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The real accomplishment is the art of being a warrior, which is the only way to balance the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man. - Carlos Castaneda
|Like many men of the Alan Alda generation, I was an early feminist and ardent supporter of women's causes, who endeavored to nurture my own feminine side. I prided myself in becoming more compassionate, soft, caring and giving, and inevitably lost something of my own masculinity along the way. I had become what psychologist, author and lecturer Terrance Real (seen at left, addressing a men's retreat) calls a SNAG (Sensitive New-Age Guy). My wife said that if my feminine side were any more fully developed, I'd lactate.|
|I first became aware of the Men's Movement through Bill Moyers' 1989 PBS special "A Gathering of Men." That program emphasized the poetry of Robert Bly (seen here at a recent Men's Gathering), the mythopoetic literature of Joseph Campbell, Grimm's Iron John fairy tale and the exuberance of Native American drumming and dance. And the men's movement is indeed these, but far more. I learned how much more by surviving the New Warrior Training Adventure.|
New Warrior ® is about getting in touch with your masculinity, and directing it in positive ways. It is not a backlash against the Women's Movement (most New Warriors are still very much feminists), but rather an affirmation of ourselves and an acceptance of our basic biological differences. We seek to honor the masculine as well as the feminine within each of us, while confronting our own shadows and building a new vision for the future. It is about coming to terms with ourselves as self-actualized men.
|So what is the training all about? Not at all the athletic, competitive, testosterone-driven, macho mania which more traditional "men's activities" engender. Rather, I experienced kind of a cross between Marine Boot Camp and a Zen retreat, with a healthy dose of drumming, dancing, 12-step and Native American ritual thrown in. It's a sacred process of male empowerment, and a confronting of our shadow which I personally found spiritually and emotionally overwhelming. Defies description. As a Mensan and a trained scientist, my biggest challenge was switching off the analytical mind and working from the heart.|
Was I changed by the New Warrior training? I believe so. My wife insists I was. I still strive to be soft, compassionate, and gentle. I recognize that I am also tough, driven, and aggressive. The trick is to know when to let which persona emerge.
There is an animal within each of us. Since the Sixties, we have been well trained to stifle that animal. That didn't work. I believe I am finally beginning to make peace with him.
If you are a man reading this, I direct you to the Mankind Project (TM) website, for information about the program and the training. You may also wish to browse the Philadelphia New Warrior pages to meet some of my brothers. The Men's Issues Pages of the WWW Virtual Library provide additional resources. You may also wish to visit MenStuff and The Place, two excellent men's resource pages. If you choose to walk this path, I'll be here for you in any way I can be of service.
If you are one of my New Warrior brothers, I ask you to please drop me an email and establish such dialog as your heart dictates. I am an Isolated Warrior, with none of my brothers residing within a 100 mile radius. Having no Integration Group within reasonable travel time, I gain my sense of community through the Internet. Although there is no substitute for human contact, I have established eWarrior (TM) as a Virtual I-Group to support the spiritual growth of all Isolated Warriors. All New Warrior brothers who share this vision are invited to join the eWarrior list, or to contact me for further information. I can think of no more appropriate use of this technology than to promote fellowship between men of good will.
Peace and love,
Paul (Patient Owl)
Links to Men's Organizations and Trainings:
Copyright © H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D.; Maintained by Microcomm
this page last updated 13 January 2008