Went on a date night with my wife the other day to go see the new movie, The Northman. Both my wife and I love viking stuff. And this movie didn’t disappoint.
But let me warn, it’s quite brutal.
We are soft today, you and I. For better and for worse.
Chances are if you’re reading this you’re NOT actively fighting for your life or fighting to take others’. That’s nice. Civilization has its perks!
But this kind of stuff is all throughout human history.
A while back I remember reading a book that talked about the two differing concepts…
Are you a GOOD man or are you a good MAN?
The difference is crucial. So much of what is considered GOOD today isn’t truly that. It is nothing more than hiding behind wimpiness, being a façade of a nice guy. It’s soft, indecisive and ineffectual.
To actually be dangerous is part of being a man. So…
How dangerous are you?
Of course, this danger MUST be directed. As much as I don’t like the term “toxic masculinity” for several reasons, there is a valid point there.
You must learn to channel your aggressive impulses…your rage, your lust, and all that.
Most people only learn to repress these.
Yes, oh yes, I speak from personal experience.
To deny them. To shove them deep inside. To lock thoughts and feelings inside of a box buried where your conscious can’t find it.
…unfortunately, that can lead to eruptions of anger, even violence.
Now we live in a day and age where rape and pillage are looked down upon. Fantastic! Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not advocating for anything violent nor illegal here.
One thing that I really liked about The Northman was that it wasn’t black and white, good vs. evil. The protagonist was far from some idealized shining white knight.
Fairly early in the movie shows the brutality involved after a village was captured where many were taken as slaves and others, including children, being put to death along with gleeful laughs.
It pulls no punches and doesn’t put things on a pedestal, despite its stylized and romanticized lens.
So moving away from all that is a great thing. (Of course, we humans haven’t fully, as events in Ukraine, not to mention what the TV and social media doesn’t tell you about Yemen and elsewhere, certainly show.)
Still…there is a shadow side of civilization in that many lose connections to such truly powerful energies.
You see, there is a difference between repressing and refraining.
What I am advocating for is to learn how to tap into those energies and channel them properly, when and where you can.
The gym is one of the best places for that.
To lift a muscle-straining and bone-creaking heavy weight is a masculine act.
It is aggressive.
It is a pitting of your will against the iron. Either you win or you lose.
It is something to be honored and encouraged.
It will make you feel like a man…which then bleeds out into other parts of your life.
Because the gym is indeed one of the few outlets for these energies. It is almost NECESSARY.
And of course, it is not complete in and of itself.
There are many issues with men today. A population level decline of testosterone makes for weaker men…who because of that weakness and impotence often turn into shadow tyrants and manipulators.
A part of this is endocrine disrupting chemicals everywhere in our environment that I often talk about.
Another critical part is this civilizing softness. Again, civilization is important, I’m not saying we should strive to go backwards. Yet this has ratcheted up even more in recent years with the war on masculinity.
Don’t let civilization cut your balls off (metaphorically of course).
Instead, I encourage you to not only get in touch with these energies but to harness and even expand them.
In other words, become dangerous.
My view is only by being so, by learning to harness your aggression, can you truly be a force for good.
Let me know if you’d like me to dive deeper of true and deep masculinity through training with more specifics.
I’ve been on something of an epic initiation over the past couple years. My house burning down was a mere prologue for the true difficulties that life threw at me next. And that story has yet to be shared publicly. I’d like to think I’ve earned some wisdom that I could share.
Hit that comment button…