In answer to a great post by Helen and her question about what men are about, I wrote an answer and I think it’s worthwhile to also post it in my blog. So here it is:
“I’ve just been informed by one of the beloved people I live with that she thinks it will be very difficult for me to ever find a suitable partner because I am independent and I don’t need anything. So a man can’t feel important and powerful, and men won’t enter into a relationship unless they feel important. Is that so? Are there any men out there who can shed some light on this for me?”
I know this is almost a month later, and maybe you’ll have found suitable answers to these questions already, but being a man, or so I somethimes think 🙂 there are some answers here that might be of use.
“So a man can’t feel important and powerful, and men won’t enter into a relationship unless they feel important. Is that so? ” I don’t know if men generally have this need to feel powerful and important. I am often rather motivated by the feeling of doing something meaningfull and supportive of people around me.
I rather find another general ‘need’ among men – it is the need to be free, which seems to mean, free to go our own way unchecked.
Our first experience as man is of a strong and all-powerful woman – our mother. She sets the limit to our relentless curiosity. She is also the one who had to cope with our sensual joys as they develop: all boys from the age of 1 or 2 years old onwards like to play with their pecker a lot if you let them, sometimes proudly presenting it in it’s hardened shape to their mother and others around. This is not encouraged, to say the least. From this we must conclude that there is something wrong with our feelings – especially pleasurable ones.
So women have power over our sensual and sexual feelings, a conclusion that a boy correctly draws; at least I found that in me. Such powerful beings are best kept at a little distance in the hope that if they hurt us (and that they inevitably will at some time) it will not be too overwhelming. We want to be free from that prohibiting influence.
I guess that men, wanting to feel important and powerful, are going for a compensation for the little power they have over women – and the huge power they have over ‘us’. This is a conclusion I draw from the first ‘men’s group’ I did as part of the Dionysian Festival I organise here in Postupice (Czech Rep.) once a year. Asking the men to share their most traumatic experience it’s all about this huge power of women in their life and how they were hurt. And how now, trying to protect themselves against it, they don’t want to get too intimate (and I would add especially with a strong, independent woman – especially if she isn’t obviously restraintful. The need to be with a young woman might very well stem from the centuries of experience that these women have not enough power to overwhelm us. The sad part being, of course, that they don’t allow for a peer2peer partnership where we can truly meet eye to eye).
I’m not such a fan of what I call “vertical spirituality”; much rather I take a stand for what so far I’ve called ‘cooperative spirituality’ (more about that here). The vertical spirituality looks for ‘higher development’ etc. to gain power over the ‘lower’ levels of development – basically. (You can see some of it’s results in the frequent mean-green-meme bashing that is going on in Wilberian circles – which is another topic showing, in my view, some of the possible pathologies of yellow and beyond – if indeed that color coding makes any sense). This is the spiritual male’s way out of the necessary acceptence of powerlessness, unknowing and embeddedness that we have to face.
There is no culture of suffering – rather every man seems to be looking for a way out: either through spirituality, or technology or or economy/politics/military. The Buddha’s promise that there is an end of suffering hasn’t done much good either, as I see it. (As not many people – usually men – have been able to go that way to it’s very end of enlightenment; so what about all of us who ‘fail’?)
Opening up to and opening up as the suffering here with me (in me) gives me depth and connects, showing me the blessing of being alive in the mystery called reality. If this ‘way’ is wrapped up in some kind of friendly heroic words men actually get interested in taking it I’ve found.
So, back to your question. When I look at your face on the picture with Geert (and I must say it looks familiar to me; have you been in seminars with Michael Barnett?) I don’t think that men will not be attracted to you. But what I do think that it is good to come from, “I really don’t know what you are, know, feel, etc.” This is what I practise with my girlfriend (I practise; she does whatever she does to go through the difficulties I manifest for her). Allowing myself to find out day by day what this paradoxical creature I’m with is being.
(She is definetly not a mirror – even though at times I see my ideosyncracies clearer though our interaction.)
I really have less and less idea of what it might be like to be a woman (or my girlfriend), and I’m happily and sadly surprised at times how unsurmountably different we are. So best to come from radical respect (and stop the telepathy-syndrom of thinking you know what the other means) and open heart, and see what life brings…
Hmm, I guess I got into rambling a bit. But maybe this might be of some help for you.