For almost the entirety of his existence, man has lived in small tribes. Even our most primitive ancestors have lived and thrived together in small groups. This is our natural way of being and although this life had its dangers, it gave us the sense of belonging and identity which all psychologist agree are crucial elements for our happiness and wellbeing. Modern life, in opposition, is distinctly unnatural and detrimental to our metal health.
The impact on men is particular high, damaging, not only to themselves but to society as a whole. Today, most men live a life full of stress, fear, competition, jealousy, depression and unhappiness, derived from an unhealthy and imbalanced connection with their true masculine essence. Added to this is a confusion about what it is to be a man. On one hand society repels the extreme masculinity of previous generations which subjugated women, created wars and was shut down to feelings and the joys of life. On the other hand, in recent years, many men have become lost in life, lacking direction and purpose and have become overly sensitive and emotional.
Whilst the problem started as tribal life gradually disbanded in favour of increasingly larger, less personal, groups, nothing has impacted men more than industrial revolution. The effect of this on men is far reaching and complex but can perhaps be distilled in the following:
- Boys lack the experience of witnessing their fathers at work and growing up learning directly from them.
- Boys are being increasingly raised by women (e.g. single mothers and female teachers).
- Our society no longer offers an initiatory phase to help a boy transition in to healthy masculine adulthood.
Societies of old provided boys with the initiatory experience of graduating into manhood through a time of physical trials, to help cross a psychological bridge from the relative comforts of childhood into the rigours of adulthood. Men also worked alongside men who provided strong role models of the healthy masculine. Each man matured with a sense of purpose and connectedness within the group.
It is utopic to expect us to return to tribal existence, but we desperately need to address this issue. If we can turn our amazing minds to creating technical wonders, then we ought to be able to address the social issues in society too. It is fair to say that women have taken the lead in working together to help each other and to help society nurture a healthy femininity. Man can and should learn from this. Unfortunately, one of the problems men need to overcome is precisely that which impedes their progress. Men have been conditioned to soldier on and not to complain. Men are reluctant to ask for help when they are geographically lost; they are equally reluctant to seek help outside themselves when they are emotionally lost life.
On an optimistic side, things are beginning to change. There are now more workshops where men can be amongst men and support each other’s process and growth. Although they’re still just a small proportion compared to the multitude of workshops for women. Moreover, many men’s groups fail to really go deeply into the problems men face. I’ve been fascinated by this work for some time. As a Tantra Teacher, I have seen the incredible difference the transformative effects of Tantra has on both men and women but I have to say I’ve often seen women go further and that is, I believe, because they compliment their work in mixed groups with female only groups.
I’m passionate about addressing this imbalance and am delighted to offer a powerful Tantric path for men: A Hero’s Journey, a series of workshops for men who are interested in stepping into the full power of their mature masculinity and learning how to live their maximum potential in the modern world.