Why is it that I sometimes still feel like a boy in a gathering of peers or older men? Why do I become a caricature of myself when I want to belong or impress a group? Why do I always react to circumstances instead of calmly making proactive decisions? Why do I resort to the same escape routes day and night? Why do I make choices all week long from the basic presupposition that money is the only sure safety net? How is it possible that I still carry the insecurities of my youth, and turn them on others? Why can’t I change my behavior?
Who am I?
What’s the point?
We want men who have experienced disillusionment, first with themselves (at the very least, with their own efforts to change) and secondly with the “old ways”. To take religion as an example, we do not mean that our man has lost faith, but rather that he has probably started feeling less aligned with pre-packaged theology.
Our man is hungry to wake up. He is hungry to know himself. Hungry to discover truth on the less-traveled roads of spiritual life, which seem always to be so hastily swept from the popular maps.
Up to now, our man has been willing to sacrifice virtually nothing whatsoever (least of all his Phone) to achieve his aim. Our man sees more than humor in the maxim: “if coffee, love God, if no coffee, what God.”
And yet our man has a great deal of determination and yet distinctly senses that he cannot get where he wants to go on his own. He has come to the conclusion that something has to be done, and he knows that he needs help from a community.
We presume that our man is able to be honest with himself. He is beginning to see that he inhabits a body that is lazy, full of stupid habits, and propelled through the whole day by thoughtless, mechanical behavior. Our man is willing to face his personality (ego-self, caricature-self), and wants to start doing the work required to confront it. Our man has hope of uncovering his essence beneath the accumulated years of self-centered doubt.
Our man is a beginner ego-tamer. His pride has begun to soften to the degree that he can take instruction from a younger man (perhaps he has already been learning this from his children). His way of doing and knowing is not so fixed that he is unable to begin anew. Our man can accept that the faults he most despises in others are his own.
Our man is learning the art of attention and how to discern, offer thanks and resist complaint.
Our man can laugh and weep. He wants to get ripped with howling courage and wilderness.
Our man desires to open himself to God — the Blazing Fire and the Rushing Wind — allowing Nature to approach, the Light to deepen, the adventure to flow; our man longs to be interdependent, authentic, gentle, fiery and true.