In this article, I will be attempting to answer the following question:
What is masculinity and what is spirituality? Do they contradict one another at all?
What is masculinity?
“The way of men is the way of performance.” – Ivan Throne
“Masculinity is a muscle and muscles develop from pressure.” – Jack Donovan
Jack Donovan says that the 4 tactical virtues of masculinity are strength, courage, mastery, and honor.
At its core, masculinity appears to be about austerity, self-discipline, stoicism, self-actualization, power, tribe, accomplishment, struggle, challenge, etc.
Who are the most masculine men you can think of? What are some of the most masculine cultures you can think of?
The Spartans come to mind. They come to mind for a reason and that is because they embody what all men know deep down is raw and hardcore masculinity at its finest.
Think Navy SEALs or other warrior organizations/cultures…
The warrior archetype provides a very stark contrast that touches on the essence of masculinity.
You also have other masculine archetypes such as the king, magician, and lover according to Robert Moore and other pro-masculine psychologists.
What are spirituality and enlightenment?
Notice that I didn’t say “religion”.
The reason I replaced the word religion with spirituality is due to the way I view the word religion.
Deepak Chopra says it best in this quote:
“Religion is the belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience. Atheism is no experience, only measurement.” – Deepak Chopra
The other problem with religion is that it’s corrupt in many ways. It also doesn’t address masculinity the way it should and portrays most prophets, saints, and sages as feminine and weak.
Spirituality is, therefore, a way to eat the fruit and spit out the seeds.
Spirituality a way to be a free-thinker and investigate/experience life through your own eyes.
Spirituality is less comfortable but it’s more powerful because it’s easy to be a sheep and blindly follow religion.
It’s harder to seek truth on your own and challenge the narrative.
“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” ― Adyashanti
“Enlightenment is a non-goal. Enlightenment is about what Buddhists call “goallessness” or “aimlessness” (apranihita). It has more to do with being present with and accepting things the way they actually are, without distorting them through desire or aversion.” – Thomas Bien
The above quotes summarize the destructive process that precedes enlightenment.
At it’s most simplistic level, enlightenment has nothing to do with becoming better.
You can, therefore, be an enlightened loser and drug-addict.
Enlightenment has to do with realizing your true divine nature and everyone has that capacity.
However, most people will never experience enlightenment because they live their lives in an unconscious and reactive manner.
Most people live their lives like automatons. They are essentially predictable products of their environments.
It takes a certain openness, intelligence and will to experience enlightenment. Not everyone is ready for that I guess.
The life of an enlightened and masculine man
“Know eternity. Do whatever it takes. And from this depth of being, live the details of your life. But if you postpone the process of submerging yourself in the source for the sake of taking care of business first, your life will be spent in hours and days of business, and then it will be gone. Only if you are well grounded in that which is larger than life will you be able to play life with humor, knowing that each task is a mirage of necessity.” – David Deida
Enlightenment provides a background of tremendous inner peace and soul-quenching fulfillment to a self-disciplined and masculine lifestyle. The opposite is to live a life of endless tasks, self-discipline, and challenge which at their core are superficial and void of any true meaning and depth.
At its core, enlightenment has nothing to do with your ability to function in the world. That said; there is massive power, beauty, joy, fulfillment, and evolution in living out the details of your life from a place of conscious connection to source AKA enlightenment.
The world has its demands
The 3 Biological Lessons of History:
The first biological lesson of history is that life is competition.
The second biological lesson of history is that life is selection. In the competition for food or mates or power some organisms succeed and some fail. In the struggle for existence, some individuals are better equipped than others to meet the tests of survival.
The third biological lesson of history is that life must breed. Nature has no use for organisms, variations, or groups that cannot reproduce abundantly.
Will Durant (The Lessons of History).
The innate programming that we all have for hierarchical thinking
Our nervous systems are hard-coded to read the hierarchical structures of which we are a part of. These hard-coded networks go back to the dawn of civilization. Depending on your position in the dominance hierarchy, your system will release serotonin and other hormones which act as feel good boosts and provide queues on how to act.
In many ways, masculinity has to do with your ability to compete and thrive despite the darkness and truth of this world. Masculinity is therefore about function. Your ability to function comes from your discipline and dedication to the 4 tactical virtues. It comes from your ability to stand tall and thrive despite the laws of biological competition and hierarchy.
An enlightened man still needs to accept the dark side of nature
In other words, the world has its demands and it demands that you know your place and seek to excel in the dominance hierarchy you are a part of.
If you want to be a monk or a hermit and live in isolation that’s different.
But if you want to live in the world, there are certain things you need to take into account.
If you don’t take the dark truth of hierarchy and competition into account, then you will simply feel the effects of these truths and become a victim to them.
Enlightenment, therefore, isn’t the end all be all way to be. You must still learn how to navigate this reality.
A self-disciplined, ambitious and masculine lifestyle counterbalanced by enlightenment
“If a warrior is to succeed in anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.” – Carlos Castaneda
Ultimately, there is no deeper and more lasting joy and fulfillment than enlightenment.
Out of all the money I’ve made, girls I’ve slept with, foods I’ve eaten, places I’ve visited; nothing can compare to the depth of fulfillment that I routinely experience when I consciously acknowledge my connection to the divine.
Therefore, I routinely “go dark” and remove myself from the world of mind and matter.
I relax, reconnect, and reground myself in source.
After basic survival, conscious connection to source is my priority.
Then I resume my self-disciplined lifestyle in the pursuit of CANI (constant never-ending improvement) in all areas of life (health, wealth, relationships, and happiness).
But I do so from a place of knowing that none of these things are the goal of life. Life exists for life itself. The deepest truth can be realized now at this moment. Our accomplishments, goals, and setbacks don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Existence is constantly in flux and changing. There is no ultimate goal for existence.
The ultimate goal for an enlightened and masculine man is to surf life and embrace his burden of performance but from a place of clarity grounded in divine consciousness.
This is a cornerstone piece and my intention is to come back to it and update it often. Be on the lookout.
P.s. Would like to make progress on your journey to self-mastery? Check out the Spartan Ownership shop here for badass tools, gadgets, and training courses that will accelerate your growth. Also, if you would like more personalized help with setting your objectives, book a coaching/strategy session with me here.