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June 13, 2024

Inner Peace: The male in the spiritual world

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March 15, 2024

No matter what they told you, masculinity and spirituality are not mutually exclusive

By Jim Hatton

“Being spiritual is not macho.” “If you’re a spiritual guy, you must be a wimp.” “If you’re spiritual you can’t be a real man.” Gentlemen (and ladies too), I have news for you. Masculinity and spirituality are not mutually exclusive.

Jim Hatton
Jim Hatton

In ancient times men, were called to war to defend the tribe or conquer another. Willingly or not, in order to go into battle, the men were told to be fearless, suppress all emotions except anger, and put aside any concern of brutality forced upon the enemy. The reward after the battle, was one’s life, riches and sex. The men of war would come home, and the experience of the sexual arena for both men and women was one of harshness, dominance, quickness and the body odor of musk. This became the norm in the sexual act, and its tendencies still pervade today in the forms of machismo, chauvinism and lack of intimacy in relationships.

For some men, the bedroom was the only time they could express any feelings, vulnerability, intimacy and love. Often, the result was that after sex was over with, the men would return to the “warrior” state, with feelings, emotions and having an open heart again suppressed. Often, it was necessary for survival. In the modern Western society, it is no longer necessary for survival, but we males haven’t fully adapted.

It is a scientific fact that the more testosterone one has in his or her system, the more aggressive and assertive they become, and sexual desire is heightened. This is true for women, too. The level of testosterone is directly proportional to the desire for competition, physical strength and dominance. Ego can play a large part here too, but this biological system of hormones does not preclude experiencing a sense of the divine. Closing off that intuitive and open sense is a learned trait. If we look at our boys, we will see that natural tenancy for physicalness and assertiveness, but young boys also have that need to be loved and nurtured.

There is a balance. This balance is upset to a great extent by what is expected in society and religion, and the example is passed down through generations, especially through the family unit — fathers, of course, by example, and mothers, too, by accepting what is expected of a man and the male role.

Being spiritually focused does not preclude enjoying sports, exercise, competition, consuming alcohol and sexuality. In our society, there is a tendency to make these things our “God” and the rights of manhood. Yours truly has joyously experienced all of these, and yes, I am a bit of a “gym rat.”

But there is more, so much more. Allowing ourselves to find that balance of being the young boy again; allowing our male selves to have an open heart, express feelings, and being consciously aware of other’s feelings and having compassion will enhance all our other physical pleasures and activities. Yes, gentlemen, the experience of sexuality will be a far better and meaningful experience when we allow ourselves to be consciously present with an open heart. And indeed, you will be a better lover.

We must understand that the persona of “machismo,” being a “man’s man,” is a learned ego-based identity. There is nothing wrong with it, but there is nothing right with it either. It’s an experience, but an experience that will block a greater expression of self, and it will also block a deeper and more meaningful experience of life. To be spiritually focused does not preclude one’s masculinity but actually enhances the natural expression of it. A “real man” owns his masculinity but is not bound by it.

Ladies, so much of what we discussed here you already know. Please allow the men in your life to step out of the traditional masculine “macho” role and allow them to step into their fuller, more balanced expression.

When we men embrace our masculinity and invite in our spiritual nature, we will experience life and an inner peace unlike anything you have experience before. Just do it.

Jim Hatton is author (under the pen name James Apollonius Alan) of “A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life” available on Amazon. Email him at RevFatherJim@outlook.com.

Want to contribute? Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (rcarey009@gmail.com).

Picture of Jim

Jim

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