I woke up this morning in a fit of self-hatred. You know, the hatred that kicks in when you’ve been on holiday too long, in the arms of a woman too long, when you haven’t gotten anything done. We kicked off for Christmas around December 23rd, and today is February 2nd. I guess we call this Russian New Year.
I will not complain too much, though. We are at the beach, the waves are rolling in, and the loving is good. There are craggy, seaweed-blasted rocks all around. Protruding limestone cliffs! And the sea is vicious at night. Dark and thunderous. My girl and I dream each other’s dreams.
It is said in other circles that much of what happens in your relationship to women depends on the quality of your relationship to other men. I’ve always had an OK relationship to other men. A few close friends, but no large-scale fitting in. Nor did I want that. Maybe it has something to do with how I perceived my father. I mean, being with women makes sense. It feels fun. Energising. The feminine is — at least for me — an energy I can bank on, that I can trust.
Yes, even if the she operates in subtle levels, illogically, and doesn’t always stick to her word, there is something curiously reliable in the depths of all that…
I’ve always felt a resentment towards the wolf pack. You probably know who I mean: guys who prefer the company of guys, sit around in a circle, often force-drinking at the behest of a leader. Guys of gutteral roars and cries for more: it’s an energy that always sat with me like seafood poisoning in my guts. For many years I’d actually walk away in self-hatred, feeling, compared with their clear display of masculine energy, that I was insufficient.
This was partially made up from my own jealousy. I lacked a connection to the warrior within me, with all its discipline, integrity-power, and self-sacrifice in the name of goal-attainment. My physical body was once described as milky(!); I couldn’t keep up with outdoor sports. And so I usually avoided these kinds of men, and avoided this kind of my own masculinity — along with the sheer power it brings — with it.
But I did always have great connections with some other men. What was going on here? Simple. These men were genuinely fun, subversive, self-deprecating, and dared to get really curious about things. Curious about me, as well. They were men who were, mostly, committed to a life outside of mainstream culture. Not that they were floppy hippies, mind, those that get stuck in dubious spiritualities or as prisoners of their own rebellion. They were men who combined both masculine and feminine energies inside them. They felt pleasure and emotion as much as they did drive and rigour.
Men without emotional intelligence are hard work and tiring. The humour is jarring and abrasive, everything feels like an elbow in the ribs, and the betas in the pack sit voiceless and traumatised, staring off into some abyss in the distance. The pecking order is at play, and life is spiritually barren. As much as I’ve lacked access to my own warriorhood, and have felt jealous pains of being with virile-seeming men because of this, it was a powerful insight to realise how most wolf pack men lack access to their own femininity, and themselves live in a kind of woundedness. A split life where the conquest of women is needed to fill up the tank, rather than seduction fulfilled merely being the obvious culmination of the delight shared by two lovers in a moment.
The kind of man who feels aligned, to me at least, holds a balance of energies within him. The Apollonian and the Dionysian, the Sacred Marriage, the Lover-Warrior bridge, the Sun and the Moon. Every tradition has found their own words for this inner alignment. The Amorati, from his artistic and well-wandered perspective, has found the need for this too.
A man cannot connect entirely to women unless he has connected to the femininity inside himself. This doesn’t mean cross-dressing to access your anima (although that was an insightful evening!); it can be letting yourself go into words, into perfume, into a sensitive piece of cinema. It means letting the guard down, the control go, accepting everything that arises, and finding pleasure — even if you’re all by yourself — in the simplicity that presents itself all around. A masterful lover can do each of these things, even if there’s not a woman around for miles. (In fact, I’ll claim that his mental health depends on his ability to do this.)
Fail to connect deeply with the feminine qualities within, and part of you will subtly remain a puppeteer, an observer, and will experience frustration and aloneness often, no matter how close to women you get.
Now this is all a perspective of course. Yet it’s a perspective that seems fitting to reality and therefore helps me live in reality better. We are free to choose our own perspectives, perspectives that have little to do with reality, and we can even shape our world around them. When the mind is strong and firm, this can be powerful. But I hesitate to choose perspectives that are not clear reflections of the world as it is, else I end up inaccessible to others — an alienated iconoclast — adrift in the maelstrom of my narcissism.
Nine years ago I first looked in the eye of my saboteur, and listened to his hate-sounding conversation. But a voice in my head is not how I experience limitations to my growth anymore. As the path unfolds the barriers to my progress become more subtle. Intractable inner conflicts around career and place of residence. Moments of defensiveness that have me guard true feelings from myself and my woman. Blindspots like not seeing how the wolf pack I judge actually suffers from an inner divide I actually have medicine for. And so on. There are various invisible ways that I stop myself from being open, easy, creative, and present, in the midst of waking life.
To love oneself entirely is the spirit that finishes the saboteur. And for me, today, I must love my own self-hatred. Yes, thank you self-hatred function! You are the holy emotion that tells me I’ve spent too much time lounging around with my outer and inner women, and that it’s nigh time this pleasure-seeking, delicacy-eating, and ocean-staring side of me can return to the back-seat of my psyche.
It is time to release the inner warrior and to get out there.
Not, anymore, as a race to man-up or fit-in. But since nature has reminded me, in her own little way, how some focused work and service is just damned good for the soul.
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I am at your service…
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