Masculinity in crisis

Joe

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I liked it, especially the 2nd half. Where he mentions that the 'child man' is like "the eternal hero lost in time, like the biological father who leaves his family because he fears that the weight of parental responsibility will come to threaten his precious individual freedom. He is the old devil-may-care rebel who drives an inefficient car without seat belts restless in his urge to go on his next adventure in order to cling on to the blissful freedom of his past", that's pretty accurate for many, IMO.
 

SlipNet

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He is the old devil-may-care rebel who drives an inefficient car without seat belts restless in his urge to go on his next adventure in order to cling on to the blissful freedom of his past", that's pretty accurate for many, IMO.
This perfectly described how I lived from 19-29 years old. It seems a bit of a waste looking back but I loved it at the time. I worked part time jobs, lived within my means, and partied whenever possible, attended dance music festivals etc.

It was only in 2003, approaching 30, that I fell in love with books, and that changed everything.
 

Joe

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This perfectly described how I lived from 19-29 years old. It seems a bit of a waste looking back but I loved it at the time. I worked part time jobs, lived within my means, and partied whenever possible, attended dance music festivals etc.
Between 19 and 29 is probably ok, since you're still more or less a kid. It's the people that do that for the rest of their lives that aren't a pretty sight.
 

SlipNet

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Between 19 and 29 is probably ok, since you're still more or less a kid. It's the people that do that for the rest of their lives that aren't a pretty sight.
Yeah I was very naive. I grew up in Wales and moved to London (Uni) as a 19 year old, the party lifestyle seemed essential at that time, mid 90's London was very exciting. I got my degree but I spent most of my time socialising. I swear I learned more in pubs than lecture halls, just talking about ideas that I'd never dreamed of in the years before. I avoided post-modernism and focussed my degree on romantic poetry and passed thankfully. I skipped the more ponerised Marxism that was popularised too. Max Weber and Calvin were big focusses at that time in the curriculum. My degree was a curious clash of left wing ideologues and adventurous mystics like Blake. I enjoyed Nietzsche at this point too, and Schopenhauer. These ideas were too complex for me at this age though, thankfully I still have the books and have gone back to them. Like you say, I was a kid pretty much.

I agree that the old guys who can't leave the hedonistic lifestyle behind are pretty sad sights. Very two-dimensional...you'd think they'd have found new vistas in the preceding years. Some people just find a plateau that they're satisfied with I suppose.
 

whitecoast

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Thank you for sharing this Alejo. I see a lot of influence of the mythopoetic movement in the video. Jung played a major role in the development of this, but I don't think that detracts from the specifics of the message. The eternal Man-Child is an archetype called the Puer Aeternus, which is lined out by the youtube channel Academy of Ideas here:

A recent SOTT article (originally published awhile back) covered what it termed the "four stages" of a person's life. It seems like the more stunted individuals remain in earlier stages of their own life far longer than what is healthy. The four stages are the stages of mimicry, self-discovery, commitment, and legacy.


Stage 1: Mimicry
The goal of Stage One is to teach us how to function within society so that we can be autonomous, self-sufficient adults. The idea is that the adults in the community around us help us to reach this point through supporting our ability to make decisions and take action ourselves.This is Stage One. The mimicry. The constant search for approval and validation. The absence of independent thought and personal values. We must be aware of the standards and expectations of those around us. But we must also become strong enough to act in spite of those standards and expectations when we feel it is necessary. We must develop the ability to act by ourselves and for ourselves.

In a "normal" healthy individual, Stage One will last until late adolescence and early adulthood.3 For some people, it may last further into adulthood. A select few wake up one day at age 45 realizing they've never actually lived for themselves and wonder where the hell the years went.
Stage 2: Self-Discovery
Stage Two is about learning what makes us different from the people and culture around us. Stage Two requires us to begin making decisions for ourselves, to test ourselves, and to understand ourselves and what makes us unique. Stage Two is a process of self-discovery. We try things. Some of them go well. Some of them don't. The goal is to stick with the ones that go well and move on.Stage Two lasts until we begin to run up against our own limitations. This doesn't sit well with many people. But despite what Oprah and Deepak Chopra may tell you, discovering your own limitations is a good and healthy thing. You're just going to be bad at some things, no matter how hard you try.

Your limitations are important because you must eventually come to the realization that your time on this planet is limited and, therefore, you should spend it on things that matter most. That means realizing that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do it. That means realizing that just because you like certain people doesn't mean you should be with them. That means realizing that there are opportunity costs to everything and that you can't have it all.

There are some people who never allow themselves to feel limitations - either because they refuse to admit their failures, or because they delude themselves into believing that their limitations don't exist. These people get stuck in Stage Two. In healthy individuals, Stage Two begins in mid- to late-adolescence and lasts into a person's mid-20s to mid-30s.4 People who stay in Stage Two beyond that are popularly referred to as those with "Peter Pan Syndrome" - the eternal adolescents, always discovering themselves but finding nothing.
Stage 3: Commitment
Once you've pushed your own boundaries and either found your limitations (i.e., athletics, the culinary arts) or found the diminishing returns of certain activities (i.e., partying, video games, masturbation) then you are left with what's both a) actually important to you, and b) what you're not terrible at. Now it's time to make your dent in the world.

Then you double down on what you're best at and what is best to you. You double down on the most important relationships in your life. You double down on a single mission in life, whether that's to work on the world's energy crisis or to be a bitching digital artist or to become an expert in brains or have a bunch of ...children. Whatever it is, Stage Three is when you get it done. Stage Three is all about maximizing your own potential in this life. It's all about building your legacy. What will you leave behind when you're gone? What will people remember you by? Whether that's a breakthrough study or an amazing new product or an adoring family, Stage Three is about leaving the world a little bit different than the way you found it.

In "normal" individuals, Stage Three generally lasts from around 30-ish-years-old until one reaches retirement age. People who get lodged in Stage Three often do so because they don't know how to let go of their ambition and constant desire for more. This inability to let go of the power and influence they crave counteracts the natural calming effects of time and they will often remain driven and hungry well into their 70s and 80s.5

One way to think about it is that people who are stuck at Stage Two always feel as though they need more breadth of experience, whereas Stage Three people get stuck because they always feel as though they need more depth.
Stage 4 Legacy
People arrive into Stage Four having spent somewhere around half a century investing themselves in what they believed was meaningful and important. They did great things, worked hard, earned everything they have, maybe started a family or a charity or a political or cultural revolution or two, and now they're done. They've reached the age where their energy and circumstances no longer allow them to pursue their purpose any further. The goal of Stage Four then becomes not to create a legacy as much as simply making sure that legacy lasts beyond one's death.

This could be something as simple as supporting and advising their (now grown) children and living vicariously through them. It could mean passing on their projects and work to a protégé or apprentice. It could also mean becoming more politically active to maintain their values in a society that they no longer recognize. Stage Four is important psychologically because it makes the ever-growing reality of one's own mortality more bearable. As humans, we have a deep need to feel as though our lives mean something. This meaning we constantly search for is literally our only psychological defense against the incomprehensibility of this life and the inevitability of our own death.6 To lose that meaning, or to watch it slip away, or to slowly feel as though the world has left you behind, is to stare oblivion in the face and let it consume you willingly.
I see a lot of the boys and men in Alejo's video struggling with the first two stages -- and some perhaps even breaching them and growing to stage 2 or stage 3. I really enjoyed the article because it articulates a lot of what I've intuited during my own experience (being in my early thirties). First is growing out of the oppressive expectations people can have of you, second is striving but in doing to learning to see what your limitations are. This matures into being more down-to-earth about what you realistically can accomplish and so make better use of your own energies as time goes on.
 

itellsya

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I watched the first video and it was interesting. For me, it goes some way to explaining what we're seeing in mainstream culture (even 'sub cultures') these days more fully, and also how, for many people, there are periods in our life where we are more likely to express particular characteristics.

I think it's true that these periods have a purpose for the person and within the society, and they can be used as a force for good. In wiser times people likely knew that they could be utilized for the benefit of society. Obviously, in our times, a well developed person, male or female, is an impediment to the forces that currently run much of the planet so it pays for them to stunt their development. And it makes it easier for the following generations to be warped.
 

Seppo Ilmarinen

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Between 19 and 29 is probably ok, since you're still more or less a kid. It's the people that do that for the rest of their lives that aren't a pretty sight.
One way to look it, I suppose, is that young people in their 20's have more potential for what they can and will become (less choises have been accumulated). And more likely they haven't learned yet certain basic lessons of life, like understanding the importance of personal responsibility. So this carefree attitude common in young men - to search for 'adventure' or 'experiences' (like quitting school/job and instead going travelling abroad) - is quite universal way to learn these life skills, often more or less hard way: there's lots of things we can be aware of intellectually, and some learn faster than others, but still it's the 'hard school of life' that is often the best teacher and really brings the message home.

Thus when growing older and more likely having encountered these 'adventures' (which vary depending on the individual), people then tend to come to the obvious conclusion that shallow lifestyle doesn't offer any true meaning and isn't sustainable in long term. Young adulthood seems to be by design more (or in a different way) chaotic time period, but still something that most will overcome (i.e settle down) - although the materialistic era we live in is playing huge part in creating more challenges in this process.

People should then in their 30's to have become more disillusioned with their previous attitudes, and figured out basic foundation for more deeper values to set in (responsibility through job, family, etc). You accumulate choices through time and give up potential in exchange, which then start to define more and more who you really are - kind of shaping or carving this potential into something concrete (for better or worse).

I've seen lot of these adult man-childs, who still - while getting closer to being middle-aged - hang onto their empty lifestyle and dig deeper hole to themselves; bragging about "achievements" of the weekend, while being too clueless to feel ashamed of what they've become. This type of individual probably imagines himself as a brave rebel, yet he's just a different version of the guy who lives in his mom's basement, as both are only wasting their potential.
 

Turgon

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Both videos were enlightening and I found the analogy in Collateral of taming or grabbing the bull by the horns very appropriate and reminiscent of Peterson's work and what the C's have said about getting the 'beast' to submit. I always really liked that movie a lot, now I have a better idea why. Vincent is like the beast doing what 'it' wants, and even though it's Max's cab and he's driving, he isn't the one controlling the wheel/his life. But it's so interesting that it's by getting in touch and confronting that part of yourself that is dangerous and has the capacity for evil, and learn to tame it do you really start to come into your own as a man in this world. You become dangerous too and know you are, but always keep yourself in check and use that 'potentiality' for good and the betterment of others. The more noble progression from the archetypal hero in our teens/20's instead of going the way of the insecure petty tyrant.

Really cool! Thanks for sharing @Alejo
 

whitecoast

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I really enjoyed the movie Collateral when it was released a lot. Max seems to have high conscientiousness and agreeableness and low openness and extroversion, while Vincent has low agreeableness and higher extraversion and openess. During the night Max learns out of necessity and threat to his life (and someone he cares about) to adopt some of Vincent's traits to survive. Somehow you know that the lessons there are going to carry over into the rest of his life as well.

I noticed the first and second video seem to use slightly different archetypal language.

The first movie described the stages as "Child --> Hero --> Man," with Hero itself being an intermediary stage people are to mature out of, at the point in life where they begin to adopt responsibility and commitment. The second movie posits more of a dialectic between the "un-integrated self" (the bull-dodger) x "shadow warrior" (the bull itself) --> "transcendent warrior" (the person controlling the bull in order to serve others). The first video brings up the book "King, Warrior, Magician, Lover," and I wonder if it may be confusing on some level Warrior with Hero. I haven't read much Jung so it's hard to be sure.
 

Alejo

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Hi @whitecoast

I haven’t read much of Jung either, but I remembered that the very book referenced had been discussed a few years back. And now I’m wondering if the two threads ought to be merged or not as they seem to deal with similar or the same subject.

But browsing it I remembered I had posted other essays someone else had done delving deeper into each one of the archetypes discussed in that book.
 

Scottie

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YT spit this video out at me last night. Haven't watched the whole thing, but starting at 45 minutes and going until about 52 minutes, this guy Dr. Warren Farrell talks about an interesting experiment he did in terms of role reversal between men and women - and how it helped each side to better understand the other.

It's not terribly surprising, but nevertheless useful to keep in mind.

 

Alana

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YT spit this video out at me last night. Haven't watched the whole thing, but starting at 45 minutes and going until about 52 minutes, this guy Dr. Warren Farrell talks about an interesting experiment he did in terms of role reversal between men and women - and how it helped each side to better understand the other.

It's not terribly surprising, but nevertheless useful to keep in mind.
I found it to be a very good interview. I watched the part you mentioned about the experiment, and then went back and watched the whole thing. It is about stuff that we here already know about, but it is a good summary regarding the differences between the sexes, the consequences on children growing up in fatherless families (based on the differences in parenting between men and women), the importance of roughhousing, male disposability, how feminism today is making women weaker instead of empowering them, the myth of the pay gap, and how societies' and states' requirements of the two sexes create the roles we end up adopting, which in turn create the divisions among the two sexes. Or so I recall because I watched it in parts over a couple of days, but yes, I recommend it.
 

ersio

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Thank you for sharing this Alejo. I see a lot of influence of the mythopoetic movement in the video. Jung played a major role in the development of this, but I don't think that detracts from the specifics of the message. The eternal Man-Child is an archetype called the Puer Aeternus, which is lined out by the youtube channel Academy of Ideas here:

A recent SOTT article (originally published awhile back) covered what it termed the "four stages" of a person's life. It seems like the more stunted individuals remain in earlier stages of their own life far longer than what is healthy. The four stages are the stages of mimicry, self-discovery, commitment, and legacy.


Stage 1: Mimicry


Stage 2: Self-Discovery


Stage 3: Commitment


Stage 4 Legacy



I see a lot of the boys and men in Alejo's video struggling with the first two stages -- and some perhaps even breaching them and growing to stage 2 or stage 3. I really enjoyed the article because it articulates a lot of what I've intuited during my own experience (being in my early thirties). First is growing out of the oppressive expectations people can have of you, second is striving but in doing to learning to see what your limitations are. This matures into being more down-to-earth about what you realistically can accomplish and so make better use of your own energies as time goes on.
Thank you for posting this. The video was extremely shocking... to see how due to a lack of these initiations for a young man, that in the modern world should be encouraged by his father, can lead to this mother complex and cause him to go seeking the same sort of nurturing in his relationships. :shock: Not very manly.
 
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