Answering this question takes a bit of reflection, contemplation. For me, it’s easier to identify some of the issues around becoming a man in today’s world! As a man, and father of two young men, this is something I have given some thought.
One issue, there are no true rites of transition from boyhood patterns/ways/behaviors to that of a man. The first nations, aboriginals throughout the world prior to the catholic invasion had it right (less the physical abuse). Their transition rituals created a concrete psychological, transformational shift demarcating the change from child to adult, boy to man. This was further re-enforced by the community and how “they” would shift and change in their perception/behavior/expectation towards that of the new ‘man’.
Today’s 'transition' is a shadow of these hallowed, scared ceremonies. Now, it’s more of a dinner/keg party at some specific age, or a high school or college graduation party amongst their own peers without any conscious, intentional shift to adulthood…it’s just another reason to party… The results are continued child like ways of being,... as one ages on. Furthermore our government, cultural, religious institutions, places of work and family... all predominately tend to treat each other as children, irrespective of one's age or state of development, we collectively can't seem to differentiate between adult children and adult adults.
As such, we have an epidemic of adult children; physical men (and women) who are emotional/spiritual children in relationship to themselves, their partner, their parents, their children. The only place ‘we’ seem to grow up and 'usually' act adult like in most ways is at our chosen profession. As I experience it, when it comes to intimate relationships and parent child relationships 'our inner childlike ways' dominate. Men (and women) easily, effortlessly, unconsciously quickly shift into a multitude of habitual childlike patterns… These unconscious patterns literally run most relationships… For me these childlike patterns are like Mind Control patterns keeping humanity emotionally young, powerless, inauthentic while deluding us into believing we are conscious, rational, well rounded, functional adult beings. (I have also come to believe this is one of several reasons why the Catholic Church went far a wide to destroy these first nation cultures. When you destroy transitional rites you destroy a way to break through and beyond this level of mind control conditioning and begin to move into one's own personal, authentic power. If you look around, most people experience forms of personal powerlessness in most ways. The truth is we can become extraordinarily powerful beings and consciously shape, create our realities. Each one of us are multidimensional beings of love, light and consciousness beyond measure... all we need to do is hold our intent as such and then begin to work through the conditioned limitations put in our path (from within) until we become the free, sovereign, god beings that we are.)
Another way to grow our self up would be through resonance modeling… For boys, there are very few authentic men, adult masculine role models to provide some form of resonance reference and direction from. Sports heroes, actors, public figures such as politicians, business man, police man, fire man, trades man, are usually all contrived parodies of some form acted out on TV. With the social breakdown of many family systems (because parent(s) are usually adult children themselves) there are few close adult male relatives to emulate. The way neighborhoods are constructed there is little need, little interest for families to connect and to strengthen community bonds, so again, few male role models to witness and experience. Teachers, well there are definitely a few exceptional ones out there that would be worthy of modeling, but for the most part, not.
Our current self identity as a man usually comes through one’s occupation, the ability to provide for one's family, one’s possessions and occasionally one's group activities. However, all of these ways of referencing one’s sense of self as a man is an externally, derived measurement, judgment, role.
En mass men have become emasculated and feminized in nature. While women and their physical symbolic form of the feminine, are pretty well ‘debased’ in every which way conceivable,.... this too has happened to the feminine aspect in men as well. What I see in many men is the feminine energetic seeping out of their bodies. Men do not consciously integrate their feminine aspect so this energetic seeps out through their bodies, out their subconscious emotions and into uncontrollable distorted behaviors. Paradoxically, as I have experienced it, the more I take on and consciously, energetically integrate the feminine aspects within me (and this does not happen without some resistance) the more my masculine aspects emerge and become available for integration. Feminine/Masculine polarity integration requires a back and forth balancing act throughout one’s development, through out the spectrum of consciousness, (throughout the Universal Time Matrix.) This pattern of polarity integration shifting between our masculine and feminine aspects does run the full gamut in our various "stations of identity" from the human childlike personality patterns, Soul & Monad identities to our Avatar Matrix. Collectively, masculine/feminine energetic polarity integration rarely happens by itself. At all stages of integration development for men and women, there are active program barriers/fences/obstacles in our holographic architecture that requires considerable, intentional effort to overcome.
For some specific male attributes, I will let my (20 year old) son speak, (I could not do better!) When writing this article, my son came into my room so I asked; What is it to be a man? The first thing he brought up was the four archetypes: king/warrior/magician/lover. “You should have pieces of all of them”. (Recalling from a book of mine he read years ago.) He said you need to do things to build character plus.. manifesting ‘willpower’… which he explained, creating your life but not at the expense of others,... humor, expressing self in all different ways, decisiveness, rigor, discipline… and then stated this applies to women as well ! (hmmm.. ) plus facial hair (not applicable to women)! His ideal man was some Taoist Fitness instructor he found on Youtube.. (he said I would like him… lol)!
And… with a bit of trepidation, I asked my other son who is very much more pragmatic. “I DON'T KNOW, I AM NOT A MAN.... I hate this shit … Why do you want to know again?… Guys have ‘no frontal lobes’… (paraphrasing) There is too much variety to specifically state what a man is… you have gay men who are men, lumberjack men, buff men,....….” Pauses, processes and concludes: “I guess it’s to speak your truth and be true to yourself.” Okay, that works, (whew)!
One point ‘most of these attributes apply to women as well’ I thought was very insightful. As we move further up the timeline (consciousness evolution) and integrate our masculine and feminine attributes be it in a male or female body, I believe there is a slow convergence in all aspects of these qualities of what it is to be a man or woman. Our station of ‘physical identity’ becomes less relevant.
To conclude… one story comes to mind, that of a famous first nations warrior, leader who in his prime had a ‘big dream’ where he was told to put down his warrior ways and was to live and be with the women. He explained his dream to his tribe, understanding this came from spirit it was unconditionally accepted by all as his ‘role, way of being’ shifted dramatically but his manhood/respect did not.
To be a man… Is to have the strength, the courage, the fortitude to serve one’s Source in all ways; to surrender, to allow, to become the GOD, Sovereign, Free, CC Avatar that one already is.