Stamper's vision of the new integral man is a refreshing departure from
mythic visions of the past, but without abandoning their power or magic.
— Allan Combs; Author of Consciousness Explained Better, The
Radiance of Being, etc.
very ancient and very new is being presented here! Gary
Stamper is bringing together many disciplines, much experience, fine
scholarship, and good writing style too." —
[Fr.] Richard Rohr,O.F.M.
for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque,
NM (Author of Wild
Man to Wise Man and Adam's
the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior is a call to all men
everywhere to pay attention to the powerful evolutionary forces that are
waking up and being activated at this pivotal time of change on planet
Earth. Gary Stamper has done a masterful job of pulling together various
integral and visionary shamanic approaches to assist the change that is
greatly needed for not only men of all ages but also for the masculine
that is ready to be activated within us all." - Linda Star Wolf,
Author of 6 books including Visionary Shamanism: Activating the
Imaginal Cells of the Human Energy Field
the New Masculine:
The Path of the Integral Warrior
Psychospiritual Journey into Wholeness for Men
2011 Gary Stamper
Chapter 1- What's Wrong With Men? Pathways to Healing
the Masculine ........1
2 - How the Masculine Grows
3 - Shifting Perspectives into Later Stage
4 - Mastering Opportunities for Change:
Systems Theory and Spiral Dynamics
5 - Do We Really Need More Warrior Energy?
The Path of The Integral Warrior
6 - Setting up the Container: Creating Sacred
Chapter 7 - Integral
Shamanism: Moving From Magic
to the Transpersonal
Chapter 8 - Archetypes: The Hidden Forces at Work in
our Psyches.................. 87
Chapter 9 - What do I need to work on?
10 - The Missing Link for Boys and Men:
Initiation and Ritual
11 - Sacred Activism: Shape Shifting your
12 - Emergence of the Integral Warrior
later stage consciousness comes new awareness about the changing role of
the masculine. The new masculine, this Divine Masculine, Eros, considers
all other aspects, integrating and calling as many perspectives into his
BE-ing as he can with fierce awareness, stretching the boundaries of
what is possible. Bravely holding space for the feminine, nature, body,
spirit, integrity, authenticity, wisdom and heart. The new masculine
moves forward, aligning with his true purpose and the full embodiment of
presence for the highest good of all
- Gary Stamper
It is clearly time for men to
wake up. Just a little over one decade into the 21st Century,
finding ourselves in the biggest struggle of our existence - a
struggle where the outcome is still unknown - It is time for men to stop
acting like little boys.
No longer faced with mere territorial struggles, the
consequences humankind faces today are global, and we are faced with the
very real possibility of our own demise as a species. To be sure, these
are issues of patriarchal power and the light and the dark forces on the
planet facing off against one another. It is the oldest story on the
planet. It's time for the patriarch to be disassembled and for its sons
to grow up.
Never before in human history has humankind been this close to a global
psycho-social and spiritual awakening. At the same time, never have we
been in such danger of being swept into a global totalitarianism,
potentially more oppressive than any system known before. Technology, at
the hands of little boys pretending to be men, has led us to this new
Never before have we been called to wake up on the scale that is
required today. For the past five years my work with men has been all
about awakening the Sacred Masculine and the Sacred Activist within the
masculine. Why men? Why not work with men and women? Don’t the Divine
Masculine and the Divine Feminine within each of us need to awaken?
This book, Awakening the New Masculine, and the Integral
Warrior men’s workshop series I’ve created and continue to
facilitate, are both predicated on the premise that there is still much
healing to be done, and that men, and women, almost always need to do
their own work and healing their own inner masculine and feminine
essences before they can ultimately come together in Sacred Union. We
live in a culture where men have been raised and taught to compete with
other men and the winner is chosen by who accumulates the most, We’ve
all seen the bumper sticker that reads, “He who dies with the most
toys, wins.” It is in this culture of inadequate development, where
most men remain boys, that men need to learn to trust other men -
Something we have painfully not been taught to do. And that can only
happen, I believe, within the safe container of a men’s circle.
This book is about how that happens and why it's needed.
I began this journey many years ago in my fifties when a realization
started gnawing at me that I had not contributed anything of significant
value to my time on the planet. Not content with what was basically
beginning to feel like a wasted life, I started searching for meaning.
It wasn't that I was living a bad life, just not a very luminous
life. After a couple of bad relationship experiences, I began a
meditation practice on the advice of a therapist I was talking with and
something began opening for me. Having been agnostic in my spiritual
beliefs since my early 20's, I found
myself developing a growing spiritual awareness that soon led me to
Buddhism and philosophy. The search for meaning led to bigger and bigger
questions and teachers like Pema Chodren,
Thomas Moore, and Thich Nhat Hanh
deepened the search that eventually led to Allan Combs (The Radiance
of Being) and to philosopher ken Wilber (A Theory of Everything).
Several years into this path, and after playing a major
role in the creation and moderation of the Seattle Integral Salon -
SeattleIntegral - I met wife my future wife, Anyaa McAndrew, who was
doing amazingly deep women's work. Following her lead and seeing the
impact she was having on women, it eventually became obvious to me that
my work was going to be the mirror of hers, and that one of my
contributions was going to be around evolutionary masculinity, five
years of facilitating men's workshops, the creation of the workshop The
Integral Warrior, which led to my Ph.D. in Shamanic Psychospiritual
Studies and eventually, this book.
What is the genuinely masculine contribution to the value of life - a
contribution that women really cannot make? Let me quote what Matthew
Fox says in his book, The Hidden Spirituality of Men:
Soul and Spirit are not the same thing. In
Latin, "spirit" (spiritus) is masculine and "soul"
(anima) is feminine. An awakened soul seeks spirit, but an asleep soul
may distort spirit, so that spirit is all "sky" energy with
no "earth" energy.
Matthew Fox’s quote perfectly
describes the loss of the indigenous heart, where men have ceased being
“in love” with the earth. Spirit, also known as Eros, has become
twisted and distorted, even to the point of being disowned, by dominator
cultures who value dominion more than love.
In spite of this, the
contribution men make is Spirit to the Soul and is "holy
marriage," or hieros gamus, which includes an intimate union of
opposites. And at this time on the planet, in the midst of the greatest
shift we've ever seen, what could possibly be more important?
Western culture does not adequately support boys and
men, and boys becoming men. We have completely lost touch with the
concept of elders as wisdom keepers, and the elders do we have were not
given the tools they needed to become those wisdom keepers. Today,
elders are burdens, instead of valuable resources. Our elders have not
been taught how to pass on wisdom, identities and boundaries to the next
generation. And in a society without fathers, most of us have been
under-fathered and over-mothered. The problem, of course,
is much larger than just bad fathering, although that is an
issue. The bigger issue is a lack of any father, or healthy
masculine influence in an age of single parents.
We’ve created a world of Peter Pans, or "puers,"
who never grow up and want to marry trophies instead of wives, and girls
who want someone to take care of them instead of bold partners.
"The current older generation of men,
especially in the United States, has, to a great extent, not been
mentored by their own fathers."
They were usually given false messages from TV,
movies, or worse, either in quick male style or translated through the
experience of women. Sometimes they received inaccurate and harmful
information from each other. Women, with no fathers around to mentor the
young, have been training boys to be their version of men, and the men
who are around have not been mentored by the healthy masculine and have
been modeling masculine behavior at a teenage level of development. None
of these models are going to cut it to meet the overwhelming problems we
We can only pass on what we know. Men can only
father their sons and daughters as far as they have gone. Men who lost
their fathers at an early age may do fine with their own sons up to that
age, and then often lose self-confidence in their parenting abilities.
The level of depression,
suicides, drug abuse, alcoholism, and violence among men are all
exponentially rising and are staggering and frightening. 94% of all
inmates are male. Men live an average of 7 years less than women, suffer
far more from ulcers and stress-related disease than women, and are more
likely than women to die from the 15 leading causes of death.
Over 80% of all suicides are men. In the 20-24 age
bracket, males commit suicide six times as often as females, and over
the age of 85, men are fourteen times as likely to commit suicide as
Men are hurting.
For over two decades we’ve been told our education
system favors and is based on the success of boys, but the results
appear to be exactly opposite. Women are surpassing men in leadership
positions, valedictorian addresses, graduation rates, jobs after
graduation, and now, even salaries.
In her 2010 article, The End of Men,
Hanna Rosin asks what if "modern,
post-industrial society is better suited to women," and then backs
it up with:
"Earlier this year, for the first time in American history, the
balance of the workforce tipped toward women, who now hold a majority of
the nation’s jobs. The working class, which has long defined our
notions of masculinity, is slowly turning into a matriarchy, with men
increasingly absent from the home and women making all the decisions.
Women dominate today’s colleges and professional schools—for every
two men who will receive a B.A. this year, three women will do the same.
Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade
in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women. Indeed, the
U.S. economy is in some ways becoming a kind of traveling sisterhood:
upper-class women leave home and enter the workforce, creating domestic
jobs for other women to fill."
Rosin's article set off a slew of other articles: Newsweek magazine's
cover story two months later was called "Man Up!" and
stated that the "traditional male is an endangered species,"
and that it was time to "rethink masculinity." Soon after
former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a
longtime member of his household staff, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then
head of the IMF faced charges of rape, sexual abuse and unlawful
imprisonment -of which later seems to have turned to mutual sex - Nancy
Gibbs asked in a cover story in time Magazine (May, 2011) "What
makes Powerful men act Like Pigs?"
These and numerous other articles, book, and blogs, are all pointing at
the same thing: Why haven't we come to terms with the crisis of modern
In his book, “The Biology of Transcendence: A
Blueprint of the Human Spirit”
– Joseph Chilton Pearce says we have five brains altogether and that
they build on one another at years 1, 4, 7, 11, and 14-17. At each of
these milestones, there occur brain surges where all past experiences
are stored and secured, or myelinated. He reasons we transcend each
brain stage by being around models of higher brain functions, and if
there is no modeling, neural pruning occurs and millions of brain cells
die off. This is what’s happening to boys of all stages who don't have
the next developmental stage modeled for them.
Because postmodernism equates masculinity with
patriarchy, we have, with a few emerging exceptions, been knee-deep in
the quest for anything that misguidedly levels the playing field between
the masculine and the feminine. Postmodernism demands that men become
more like women and that women become more like men, until the Sacred
qualities of each become flat and impotent. We have, in effect, been
shamed, and become ashamed, of the masculine parts of who we are, and
often with good reason.
But despite radical feminist denials, anger at the
masculine in the past few decades, and even our doubts about ourselves,
the beauty of the masculine is self-evident. We may like it, we may hate
it, we tear it apart, we dissect it, we’re afraid of it, we disown it
and we push it, and ourselves, away from us. And, we ignore it and take
it for granted. The
sad truth is that the vast majority of men have also been victims of the
With increasing awareness and
understandable anger at centuries of patriarchal behavior, or false male
power, we have come to believe that masculinity - and men - and
patriarchy are the same thing. Consequently, we deny and repress the
power and the gifts of the Divine masculine.
Both men and women carry
masculine and feminine energies and archetypes, When we suppress part of
who we are, we cannot step into wholeness. We deny our very being, our
very essence. And when we do, the shadow parts emerge.
Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette
have found that the characters in male myth, legend, and story – the
universal images that attract men – invariably circle around four
constellating images, which some call archetypes or ruling images.
Images of a king, a warrior, a lover, and a magician or wise man, seems
to be four parts of every man, our primary fascinations, the major
quadrants of our souls…..they challenge us, they fascinate us,
threaten us, and yet we are unable to totally ignore them. When we do,
or when we over identify with one or the other, they invariably take on
dark and compulsive sides. But the mature man honors and integrates all
parts of his soul. They seem to naturally balance and regulate one
another, and they make a man whole and Holy. It has been called the very
shape of masculine holiness.
Men that go through the Integral Warrior
men’s process complete four initiations, calling in and claiming their
king, their warrior, their lover, and their magician, so that none of
them dominates the others, but rather, balance each other in perfect
masculine harmony. It has been a gift to me and my own evolution to
watch the men I facilitate complete these four initiations and emerge
more whole, more complete, more secure, more confident, and, yes, more
authentic than when they first began the process.
That we can initiate all four of the major Jungian
archetypes is a remarkable achievement in that, historically, most
cultures only affirmed one or two parts of a man - usually the Warrior
and sometimes the Magician. Very few men got to be initiated as Lovers,
and even fewer as Kings. The task before us today, as Integral
Warriors and Shamanic Priests, is much more difficult because we must
own and validate all four archetypes,
including the light and the shadow of each, letting them cook and
integrate to create a full man. “Now we need enlightened and
transformed Magicians, Lovers of life and beauty, and strong non-violent
Warriors to produce truly big-picture men - or Kings.”
In the Emergence weekend, men who complete the
Integral Warrior Men's Process, self-initiate one last time, proclaiming
their gift, as men in service, to the world. They will emerge from the
process in front of their family and their friends, as Integral
Warriors, and claim the big-picture masculine that is every man’s
birthright who is willing to die to the old and be reborn to the new as
these men will have done.
Men are beginning this evolutionary process naturally, as it is required
for the survival of the species. The Divine Feminine requires it so that
together they can change the world in perfectly imperfect partnership
through Sacred Union. Together they are exponentially more powerful than
by themselves. The New Masculine is already waking up, because the
planet and our survival demand it.
The Path of the Integral Warrior hastens the awakening process, and not a
moment too soon.
How to read this book
The best way to approach this book is with other men. See if you can find
a group of at least three men — or more — and schedule reading
individual chapters by yourselves or as a group. Then get together and
discuss the concepts, the teachings, and the practices. Take turns
facilitating the meetings and the practices. What resonates with you?
What makes you feel uneasy? Why? Try to go as deep with each other as
possible and be as real and authentic as possible with your discoveries,
your attractions, and your dis-ease with the subject matter.
Hold each other accountable for not being true to yourselves, not being
authentic. Call B.S. on men who don't go deep enough. or who try to
"get away" with less than their best....your best. Ask the
other men to hold you accountable for living "at your edge"
and just a little beyond.; for attending meetings, for contributing.
This is where the growth is. Read and discuss with other men who are
serious about wanting real change in their lives, who aren't making
excuses, or blaming others, and when they do call them on it.
Last, take responsibility for your own personal and spiritual evolution,
and have fun doing it. I promise it will be incredibly rewarding.
1: What's Wrong With Men?
to Healing the Masculine
Masculine or Feminine, we have all been wounded - by our primary
caretakers, by our culture, and by each other. The premise of this book is
that not only can we heal our wounds, but that we must heal them in
order to reach more awakened states of being, or what is sometimes called
later stage consciousness. That healing largely happens around exploring,
revealing, and bringing forth awareness of what stops us from emerging
into the powerful beings we know we can become. What gets in our way and
prevents from us from realizing our full potential in our work, our
relationships, and our peace is our reactive and asleep selves, our
What is the work that needs to be done on the planet at this time to heal
the deep wounds of the masculine and feminine? Following the lead and the
work of my partner and wife, Anyaa McAndrew,
one of my gifts to the world is the healing of the postmodern masculine.
Her work revolves around helping postmodern women who have become overly
"masculinized" to reclaim their more powerful, integrated
feminine, which includes the masculine. My work revolves around helping
postmodern men who have become overly "feminized" - something
that needs to happen - to reclaim the healthy aspects and fullness of the
New Masculine without shame and a strong sense of their purpose and a
clear sense of their sacred mission, while still maintaining our healthy
feminine. It is the complete integration of the masculine and feminine
that allows men and women to step into a richer fullness.
Before we look at the New Masculine, let’s take a look at where the
men’s movement began and where it’s been. Then we can take a look at
where it might be going. By no means is this a comprehensive look at the
men’s movement, but an overview.
Oddly enough, it may have been the movie Field of Dreams in 1989
that set the tone for the men’s movement. According to Frank Pittman,
the author of Man Enough: Fathers, Sons, and the Search for Masculinity,
Most women (his statement, not mine) thought it was a “dumb fantasy”
“But baseball, with it’s clear and polite rules,
and all it’s statistics, and it’s players who are normal men and boys
rather than oversized freaks, is a man’s metaphor for life. Field of
Dreams did amazing things to grown men, who soaked themselves in sobs.
Some couldn’t walk out of the theater when the movie was over. The theme
in this or any other movie that draws the most tears from grown men is
unquestionably the lifetime mourning for the father they couldn’t get
Another of our central myths is that of the son who could not get his
father’s approval, so he turned violent and killed his brother –
familiar as the story of Cain and Abel.
Other movies that carry similar themes are East of Eden (1995), the
coming-of-age trilogy Star Wars (as in Hamlet or Iron John), The
Godfather, and the third film of the Indiana Jones series, where Sean
Connery, as the father of Indiana Jones, shows even more masculine bravado
than Indiana Jones himself.
The Mythopoetic men’s movement
With the international bestseller book, Iron John: A book About Men,
Robert Bly is credited with starting the mythopoetic men’s movement in
the United States. Until recently, Bly frequently conducted workshops for
men with James Hillman, Michael J. Meade, John Lee and others. The
mythopoetic men’s movement is a loose collection of organizations active
in men’s work since the early 1980’s. While in the public eye in the
early 1990s, the movement carries on more quietly in The Mankind
Project and independent psychologico-spiritual practitioners.
Mythopoets adopted a general style of psychological self-help inspired by
the work of Bly, Robert A. Johnson, Joseph Campbell, and other Jungian
The mythopoetic men's movement spawned a variety of
self-help groups and workshops, led by authors such as Bly, John Lee,
Michael J. Meade, and Robert L. Moore. The self-help aspect of this
movement was portrayed by the popular media as something of a fad, but it
continues to this day. Some academic work came from the movement, as well
as the creation of various magazines, continuing annual conferences such
as Minnesota Men's Conference and The Great Mother and New Father
Conference, and non-profit organizations, such as The Mankind Project,
which is still active, alive and well. Mythopoetic practices among women's
groups and feminists were more commonly seen as a portion of a more
general "women's spirituality."
As a self-help movement, the
mythopoetic movement tends not to take explicit stances on political
issues such as feminism, gay rights or family law (such as the issues of
divorce, domestic violence or child custody) preferring instead to stay
focused on emotional and psychological well-being.
As part of developing my own
work, I’ve done The Mankind Project’s experiential weekend called The
New Warrior Training Adventure.
Here’s how MKP defines the weekend:
“The New Warrior
Training Adventure is a weekend process of initiation and self-examination
that is designed to catalyze the development of a healthy and mature
masculine self. It is The Hero's Journey of classical literature and myth
adapted to our modern culture.”
The weekend is intended as a male initiation ritual.
MKP states that those who undertake this journey pass through three phases
characteristic to virtually all historic forms of male initiation:
descent, ordeal and return. Participants surrender all electronic devices
(cell phones, watches, laptops, etc.), weapons (guns, knives, etc.) and
jewelry for the weekend. This was explained as way of removing the
"noise of a man's life", separating the man "from what he
is comfortable with," and ensuring the safety of all participants.
Participants must sign a non-disclosure agreement
promising not to disclose the specifics of any of the processes used
during the weekend to non-participants. MKP states that due to the
experiential nature of the program, this policy helps create an experience
"uncluttered by expectation" for the next man. Participants must
also promise to keep anything they see and hear on the weekend in strict
confidence, protecting the privacy of all participants. MKP does, however,
encourage participants to freely discuss what they learned about
themselves with anyone. I’m not disclosing anything here about the
weekend that cannot be found online.
usually involve 30 to 40 participants, and some 40 to 50 staff. The course
usually takes place at a retreat center, over a 48-hour period, with a
one-to-one ratio of staff to participants.
take on The Mankind Project is that it serves an extremely important role
in the men’s movement, even though there appear to be some unresolved problems
within MKP. For example, the experiential weekend starts off with what
felt to me like a heavy dose of patriarchy and control. This is somewhat
similar to what initiation has been to men throughout the ages, and would
be better if it were initiating boys instead of mostly middle aged men.
Although, I must say that it does resolve itself by the end of the
weekend, I’ve talked to men who were so turned off or triggered by it,
that they didn’t complete the weekend and its benefits, especially men
who grew up under the wing of abusive fathers. Also, I think MKP can
sometimes mistake tribalistic ritual for transformation. Author Joseph Gelfer comments that
tribal type rituals may not only backfire in other cultures, but says this
about MKP’s approach to initiation and ritual:
“Initiation is another
theme from which the movement derives its status as spiritual. But again,
this is questionable. Initiation is seen as spiritual simply because it is
‘tribal’, “primitive’, and ‘ancient’ rather than having
anything to do with an actual spiritual process. Initiation is just
another expedition into fantasy realm.”
Gelfer misses here is what happens in MKP's "iGroups," the
bigger picture of continuing support circles of MKP men where deep
spiritual connections are made and promoted. However, those spiritual
connections may vary from group to group and location.
Mankind Project plays an important developmental role in the maturation of
men, and I highly recommend their program, especially for boys about to
emerge into manhood. It is incredibly important and necessary work. MKP
provides a solid base that The Integral Warrior builds on. I‘ve had many
MKP men in The Integral Warrior process who value both, saying that their
work with The Mankind Project prepared them for the Integral Warrior
Process and enabled them go even deeper into their own awareness in their
quest for stepping to the authentic mature masculine.
Evangelical men’s movement
examples of contemporary men’s work include the Evangelical men’s
Movement, typified by The Promise Keepers, a non-denominational
group, which is a prime example of the Christian men’s movement. Promise
Keepers does include therapeutic self-help., and emotional intimacy within
groups, However, As Frederick Clarkson notes,
“Promise Keepers says it aims to create ‘men of integrity’ while its
leaders mouth opportunistic double talk: Honor your wife, but take back
your role as head and master of your household. Seek racial
"reconciliation" with hugs and tears among the biblically
correct, but ignore racial injustice when it comes to education, jobs and
the scope of this work as a whole, this rather simplistic look at this
category also includes the Christian Men’s Network, Muscular
Christianity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and The Catholic Men’s
Movement. For a more detailed examination of these, and other,
organizations and their patriarchal leanings, I highly recommend Joseph
Gelfer’s Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and
the Problem of Patriarchy, Equinox Publishing. Ltd, 2009
There are many groups that fall into the category of “the men’s
movement, including the Profeminist movement, which includes groups
like MAN for the ERA –Men Allied Nationally for the Equal Rights
Amendment. NOMAS - The National Organization for Men Against Sexism, RAVEN – Rape And Violence End Now in St. Louis, and MOVE
– Men Overcoming Violence in San Francisco. By the mid-twentieth
century, Second Wave feminists began to argue that ‘the personal is
political,’ a trend that legitimized and forced political recognition of
women’s personal, emotional, and sexual experiences. It also required
that profeminist men examine where their personal practices and political
ideals connected. By the 1970s, men began to examine their own masculinity
using a feminist framework.
A couple of other categories that envelop ”The Men’s Movement,” are
groups about Men’s/Father’s Rights, Men’s Liberation, and Gay
I’ve touched mostly on MKP and Promise Keepers simply because they are
the largest Men’s groups out there. The depth of The Men’s Movement
deserves a much deeper look than this book is intended to provide.
Once again, I want to acknowledge and honor my dear friend, community
mate and teacher, Brad Collins, founder of the Shamanic Priest Process
for men, with whom I’ve apprenticed. The Integral Warrior workshop
series is partially based on his vision, to which I’ve added the work
I’ve been doing for several years.
I have intentionally left out philosopher Ken Wilber’s Integral
Spirituality as a part of the men’s
movement, as its focus, while arguably masculine, is not part of a men’s
movement and does not deal with intrinsic men’s issues. However, in the
integral approach, championed by Ken,
there is a writer connected to the Integral Movement that does
encompass evolutionary masculinity.
Meet David Deida
I’ve include Deida here because his developmental
model of how the masculine and feminine grow through three distinct stages
is an integral part of the Integral Warrior workshop, and because even
though Deida doesn’t do men’s groups, per se, men’s groups about his
work and philosophies have sprung up organically in a lot of places. When
I was living in Seattle in 2007 (population 582,000), I facilitated one of
three David Deida based men’s groups found there. Imagine my surprise
when I moved to Western North Carolina in 2008 and found five or six
Deida-based men’s groups in Asheville, with a current population of
David Deida’s first two published books, Intimate
Communion (1995) and It’s a Guy Thing (1997), were oriented
to a general readership and introduced some of Deida’s key concepts such
as his three-stage model of psycho-sexual development and an understanding
of non-gender-based masculine and feminine identities in a Western
cultural context. His three-stage model lays the foundation for a
developmental understanding and application of how to move from
“first-stage” sexually differentiated co-dependence and power
struggles, to “second-stage” sexually neutralized co-independence and
cooperation, culminating in “third-stage” realization of the nondual
unity of consciousness and light, with its potentially sexualized
expression in love.
“The first stage is
characterized by self-serving egotism and also by the traditional 1950’s
gender roles of man as breadwinner and woman as stay-at-home mom. Stage
two is the “fifty-fifty” level of empathy and balance we see in much
of the postmodern West today, where equality and congeniality reign
supreme between the genders and our main aspiration is really just to get
along. Then there’s stage three, [Deida] says, where we finally break
free of the more timid and passionless aspects of second-stage partnership
and begin to reawaken the [non-gender-based] masculine devotion to mission
or feminine desire for love that allegedly will bring back our vital core
energy and lead to a renewed sense of purposeful being…. “There is the
[feminine] energetic light aspect of existence, and the [masculine]
consciousness aspect of existence, and they are not separate,” Deida
says. “Light is the shine of consciousness. Consciousness is the
cognizance of light or energy. It’s the knowing aspect of energy, and
it’s impossible to separate them. They’re together, and that’s why
sex feels so good, because sex is the recapitulation at the human level of
consciousness and light in unity.”
In The Way of the Superior Man (1997, 2004),
Deida summarizes his three-stage view of men’s socio-cultural evolution
in colloquial language:
“It is time to evolve beyond the (first-stage) macho jerk
ideal, all spine and no heart. It is also time to evolve beyond the
(second-stage) sensitive and caring wimp ideal, all heart and no spine.
Heart and spine must be united in a single man, and then gone beyond in
the fullest expression of love and consciousness possible, which requires
a deep relaxation into the infinite openness of this present moment. And
this takes a new kind of (third-stage) guts. This is the way of the
The Way of The Superior Man profoundly changed my life. I had just come off two very quick and
intense relationships where I thought I might have found "the
one." While I have a problem with believing in pre-destiny, it's
difficult for me not to believe that both of these women were sent to me
so I could learn some very important lessons about both the feminine and
Each of these remarkable women touched my soul, and
I was inexorably pulled to each, one right after another. Each, in their
own way, were horribly wounded and carried those deep wounds by pushing
away and closing down, or projecting the causes of those wounds onto men
who tried to get too close. In my ignorance at the time, instead of giving
them the space they needed, I continued to move forward, driving them even
further away. I did not realize at the time how many women have abusive
histories. The numbers are staggering, and I wound up in relationship with
two, back to back. Reeling from the emotions of what had happened, and
desperately wanting to understand everyone's role, I began reading
everything I could about relationships and why they go wrong. That's when
I found Deida's The Way of the Superior Man.
Had I not found that book, I might not be doing this
work with the masculine today, and would surely have never been capable of
stepping into the relationship with my beloved Anyaa. Quite simply, she
would have eaten me alive! One of the extraordinary things I learned
through reading Deida was how to "open" my beloved with out
being wimpy or letting go of the polarity that is so needed between the
masculine and feminine. This is the third stage quality of being able to
open my heart without giving up my masculine essence — without going
soft or being so much in my feminine that I lose the ability to penetrate
the heart of my beloved. At
the same time, I retain the ability to move between the masculine and
feminine poles as is needed in whatever moment arises, always with the
intention of keeping the polarity, the tension between the opposites,
active and alive, always passionate, always connected, always with the
intention of giving the greatest gift the masculine can give the feminine:
the ability to relax.
Deida's work is a huge step in the right direction,
for both men and women, and, yet, there seems to be other places to
eventually go, beyond third stage, into the purity of the Sacred Union of
the Sacred Masculine and the Divine Feminine — a place where both,
feminine and masculine, just seem to drop away into oneness.
There are critics
who think that Deida's work ultimately feels unsustainable and simplistic,
especially over time. For them, the focus The focus of Deida's work seems
weighted toward sex, but this also feels reductionistic, because Deida
emphasizes that sex is not the whole answer, it's just part of the path of
the love and intimacy we seek.
Sex — as Deida points out through Michaela Boehm, the
only counselor in the world personally trained and authorized by David
Deida. — is where most of our contractions show up, and that is the place where
there can be the most openings around the contractions that keep us
unconscious. I couldn't agree more.
the fall of 2011, I attended a David Deida workshop weekend at the Omega
Institute in New York, called "The Sexual Body and Yoga of
Light" workshop. In the experiential practices, I felt a certain
reductionistic simplicity where the masculine was broken down into pure
presence and the feminine was broken down into pure sexuality. I won't go
into the details of the practice, but the exercise was ultimately
unsatisfying for me (not that I didn't have an exquisite partner who
played her role perfectly) because it felt incomplete and partial. It was
exercise, and exercises are, by their very nature, somewhat
reductionistic. After all, they're just exercises, not real life. The
triggers around an exercise may be signs of the things we need to work on,
but the time to really pay attention to what triggers us is our real life
experiences, especially around sex and relationship. Nothing pushes our
buttons like relationship. The weekend was delicious. Deida is a wonderful
facilitator and has an amazing presence. He is one of the best I've seen
at cutting through the bullshit we each bring to the stories we tell about
ourselves. If you have an opportunity to attend one of his workshops, go.
Deida's approach to sex, relationship, and
enlightenment is subtle, complex, multilayered and multifaceted,
and is perfect for a post-modern world
that is desperately seeking more depth and understanding of who
they are and how it all fits together. Because of the complexity of his
work, he is often misunderstood, often misinterpreted. For instance,
seemingly mired in controversy, particularly criticism around what
some see as his political stance, with some mistakenly alleging an element
of Misogyny. Deida suggests there are only two ways to deal with women and
world: “either renounce sexuality and the ‘seemingly constant demands
of woman and the world’ or fuck
both to smithereens, to ravish them with your love unsheathed.”
is also accused of holding little sympathy with “no means no”
Deida says “What she wants is not what she says.” What Deida is talking about is the play that happens in the
bedroom between consenting adults, not the office place or in other public
places. Again, it's very easy to misinterpret what Deida is talking about,
especially if you are still hung up on your own shadows. I
did not find him misogynistic in his workshop, and these are complex
matters, easily mistaken for what sometimes can appear as a lack of
Last, even Deida himself has characterized his
recent work more as “spiritual theater” rather than “religious
If so, I have to say it's really good theater.
Okay. I have a problem with most teachers. You might even consider me
“guru-phobic (I certainly do),” but like Ken Wilber, I take the
position that everyone has “a piece of the truth,” and as a
self-proclaimed synthesizer of multiple wisdoms, I take the good stuff
from everything and leave the rest behind, and Deida’s three-stage view
of masculine and feminine development is simply the best out there for
western culture. That said, I expect you, Dear Reader, to approach
everything I say in the same manner. Deida does a great job of summarizing
what the New Masculine looks like and I use it in my work with The
Deida’s model is key to understanding how the masculine (and feminine)
grows, as with Spiral Dynamics, a values-based system of development
featured in a later chapter,
as the shift to later stage consciousness is enhanced by an understanding
of how and why people change.
The New Masculine
What does this "New Masculine" look like? What are the
qualities that define the New Masculine and how is it different from the
The masculine, directional and focused, is defined and guided by the
search for freedom, like a jungle guide with a machete cutting
through anything that gets in his way. But not everyone uses masculine
energy to search for that freedom in the same way. The feminine path, on
the other hand, is about the search for love, or communion.
How a man seeks freedom depends on his particular needs, and those needs
typically change in three stages:
First-stage needs are about gaining something, like food, money, sex, power, or
fame. A first-stage man tends to form a dependent relationship with his
woman. First-stage masculine (and feminine) make up the vast majority of
men in western culture. For most of us, it’s what our parent’s
marriages looked like: the man goes off to work to earn a living to
support his woman and family, while his wife stays home, cleaning and
raising children, looking sadly like a 50’s ad for a stove, cooking in a
dress, high heels, and an apron. He’s in charge and he finds his freedom
by more of everything. Today's economics have had a profound impact
on that image, but for most couples, it's still the man in charge.
Second-stage needs are about self-improvement, authenticity, being in touch with your
inner wisdom, and creating a Garden of Eden on earth. A second-stage man
is interested in forming an equal partnership with his woman, what Deida
calls a "50/50 relationship." This is where women began
integrating their inner masculine (as a result of feminism) and, as a
response, men began integrating their inner feminine, largely at the
expense of denying their own masculine or feminine. Here the search for a
man’s freedom is characterized, not by more, but better.
Third-stage needs are about letting go of self-definition, relaxing the endless
search for completion, feeling through the tension of this present moment,
and surrendering limits on openness, as each moment arises and dissolves
in love. A third-stage man enjoys a relationship with his partner based on
the practice of Intimate Communion. A third stage man has re-integrated
his masculine, and no longer seeks freedom, but becomes
freedom by embodying it in his very being. This is the Divine Masculine.
Likewise, the feminine is no longer looking for love, but becomes
The New Masculine finds his freedom from within, and is not concerned
with external causation. He may have things, but doesn't find his
self worth, his freedom, from them. He finds his freedom in the present
moment, from surrendering into that moment, and letting go of
self-definition. The New Masculine no longer searches for freedom, he
embodies freedom itself, always transcending, always including that which
arises spontaneously in every moment.
The embodied new masculine is no longer being dependent on someone else's
opinion of him, although he can easily relax into a deep listening state
when someone offers counsel. It means being able to hold space for family,
friends, a partner, and the world. It means being in service to the world
without negating his own needs in a codependent way. It means saying
"no" sometimes in a loving and compassionate way. It means
living at his edge, always pushing himself to be on purpose, giving his
unique gifts to the world, whatever they might be. It means challenging
other men, and himself, to give up the things that limit surrender into
It means having his mission and his purpose aligned with his life,
filling his core, and it means having a deep spiritual awareness, not
dogmatic drivel. The new masculine penetrates the world to magnify an open
heart, love, and depth, again, his gift to the world.
Embodying third-stage masculine has some unique characteristics that
don’t exist at the earlier stages. Moving into third-stage means being
able to move freely, at will, between masculine and feminine qualities
that serve the perfect moment that continuously arises in the fullness of
love and non-separation.
Once men and women have fully integrated their masculine and feminine
sides, they are able to move back and forth between the two at will, when
either is needed in a given situation. This ability allows the feminine to
open fully and the masculine to become the essence of freedom and
love....both in the same person regardless of gender. Therein lies the
possibility of Sacred Union and higher purpose for the good of all beings,
and is the ultimate expression of BE-ing.
This is the purpose that drives The Integral Warrior process: to
help men prepare for, or to move to, the emerging new masculine, the next
step in masculine evolutionary spirituality, or what David Deida calls
third stage masculinity.
Ironically, it seems to me that the men's movement, in it's varied forms,
has been shocked into existence by highly visible patriarchal behavior and
masculine aspects adopted by some women - particularly in powerful women
or women in business - the return of the Goddess and women claiming their
own inner masculine, cultural, political and economic circumstances, and
our rising need to reclaim, rediscover, and reinvent what it means to be a
"man," and not what it means only from the feminine perspective.
The main problem I see with women integrating the masculine is that the
only model of the masculine they've been offered is the patriarchal
version of the masculine. This is not their fault, although they must take
some responsibility for it. We need the new masculine to model what it
means to be a conscious man, partly so that women can integrate the
healthiest version of the masculine into their own being.
Many women today are crying out for the Divine Masculine to show up and
enter Sacred Marriage with the Divine Feminine, both in external and
internal realms, in the individual and the collective.
no doubt that men are playing catch up with the work women have been
doing. We have surrendered to a hero image we can't possibly attain, the
accumulation of wealth, disregarding everything but our own ego and power.
Patriarchy is the consciousness of greed, the conqueror, and moves
forward, willfully, throwing its weight around and bends all before it to
its will. The patriarchy is the bully….and worse. Patriarchy is the
enemy of the healthy masculine.
As men, “we are the product of all that has come before us: the
Mesolithic hunters, gatherers and Neolithic farmers of matrilineal culture
(7000-2000 B.C.); the Indo-European warriors emphasizing the male sky gods
in the centuries of the Bronze and Iron Age (2000-800 B.C.); the turn of
the millennium with the advent of Christian mythology and its concepts of
dualistic division between body and soul, world and spirit and Original
Sin; and finally the age of scientific rationalism that allows for nothing
supernatural or spiritual and reduces the universe to a language of
numerical abstraction - mathematics.”
We are also the wounded warriors.
of patriarchy have numbed our souls, our feelings, our spirit, and we are
beginning to awaken to the need to love and work in ways that heal our
lives, and the lives of those we love, and those we want to love and want
to be worthy of.
With later stage consciousness comes new awareness about the changing role
of the masculine. The new masculine, this Divine Masculine, Eros,
considers all other aspects, integrating and calling as many perspectives
into his BE-ing as he can with fierce awareness, stretching the boundaries
of what is possible. Bravely holding space for the feminine, nature, body,
spirit, integrity, authenticity, wisdom and heart. The new masculine moves
forward, aligning with his true purpose and the full embodiment of
presence for the highest good of all beings.
Opening is a conscious choice.
In the deepest relationship I've ever been in my life, I continue to be
challenged - to stretch, to step up, to be bigger than I've ever been, to
be fully present with my Beloved and the world. I'm in this relationship
because I'm finally at a place where my consciousness can fearlessly hold
it, embrace it, and fully open to it as my heart explodes in radiance and
In the end, we, you and I, the men who choose to make this conscious
journey, are the ones who will ultimately decide what the New Masculine
will look like, and it won’t be one model. It will take a myriad of
forms, of essences, of individuation and integration, sculpted into as
many different images as there are men who choose to embody it.
I invite you to step into the Divine Masculine, The Integral Warrior.
Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and the Problem of
by Joseph Geller, Equinox Publishing, 2009