Introduction keynote

In Search of the Sacred Masculine

We come into this world physically as a “man” or a “woman” but energetically we each have qualities of both. Some are born into a body of one gender and later identify as another – further evidence that the body is merely a bio-suite for existence on this planet. Energetically we are fluid and ever-changing as we live and learn about who we are and how we want to show up in the world.

Energetic qualities like ‘protective’, ‘outgoing’ and ‘aggressive’ are often mentioned as expressions of masculine energy, while ‘nurturing’, ‘reflective’, and ‘passive’ are ascribed to feminine energy. These labels hold some truth when we observe the behaviors of humans and other animals, however they are only generally true. Since there is variation, it is likely safe to conclude these energies are mutable and coexistent.

In a world of dualities such as day and night, hot and cold, good and bad, female and male, we have some degree of choice. We don’t need to live at the extremes. We can move more towards the center and benefit from knowing a bit of each side.

Where does the ‘sacred male’ sit on the scale of feminine and masculine? Very close to the fulcrum, I propose, but slightly on the side of masculine. This gentle-man sits close enough to be intimate with the perspective of his neighbor, making her an advocate rather than an inferior.

The Magus, Leigh McCloskey

Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in this world”. Gandhi raised awareness that justice is best accomplished by understanding our differences through discourse and positive action, rather than violence. We can create change in the world when we find the right balance within. To me, Ghandi was emblematic of sacred masculine energy.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s main teaching is that if you have peace in your heart, you begin to generate the collective energy of peace in the world. But he went far beyond just talking about peace in the meditation hall. He was a tireless social activist, dedicated to reducing suffering. (See his biographical film in this edition of Kosmos).

I’m not saying all men must be saints, however each of these men demonstrated leadership, strength, fearlessness and compassion, ideals we can all aspire to. When masculine energy mutates from protective to destructive, it is not in balance with its nurturing, reflective counterpart. I believe this imbalance has brought us to a pivotal point on the planet and we need to work quickly to find equilibrium.

Forcing hyper-masculine energy to change with more hyper-masculine energy is not going to work. We are already seeing this failure in many aspects of our society and economy. And while the Divine Feminine is rising, balance is yet to come. We continue to struggle with deep-rooted historic aggression and the continued stubborn energy of the domination mindset and authoritarianism.

Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” To see the world anew requires a different approach. We need to uplift the human capacities to nurture and unify. This consciousness offers a way to course-correct our current, destructive path.

An improved masculine model would demonstrate how it is better to listen rather than to dominate, to view compromise as a strength, to recognize that getting to ‘the top’ comes from the support of those holding you up, to see the strength in gentleness, that it is better to be kind than to be right, and that this planet is not ours to possess, control, or conquer. This is sacred humanity.

There remains a stigma that a man who shows emotion when touched by beauty or tragedy is somehow weak. Our young men need to see that sensitive men are no less capable of creating positive change in the world – in fact, they are better qualified. Why? Because they care about how their choices affect others.

I am a sensitive being. I feel life at a very deep level. I usually listen more than I speak. I am seldom so proud that I can’t bend and see another’s point of view. I love to rock climb, mountain bike, hike for weeks at a time and yes, I can build a fire with two sticks. I have also made yarn from wool on a spinning wheel and knitted a scarf. I love to bake fresh bread and cookies. I have a keen eye for interior design, and I weep during certain movies that show the kinder side of life. Yet, I am no greater or lesser of a man because of any of those things.

I am a man, and I embrace the masculine form I was born into. I know that through me flow masculine and feminine qualities  intended to bring balance and perspective to my life. If I love and accept all the aspects of myself then I can, in the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, ‘be an instrument of peace.’

To my sacred brothers, please emanate your great strength through your heart, not your fists. It takes enormous power to course-correct our world’s trajectory, but we can do our part by transforming the aspects of our identity that no longer serve us.

It is the nature of dualities to be questioned and tested. Yes, the soul of every man is sacred and non-gendered. This is the insight that can lead us home.

About Jason McLay

Jason McLay was born in the small town of Round Mountain located in Northern California near the Trinity Alps Wilderness Park. An only child in a town of fewer than 200 people allowed him to develop a personal connection with himself and nature.

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