February, 2012

The Void is sacred space. The Void is a ritual space without any known ritual. The Void is a church with no altar and one seat. The Void is a meditative space without a particular meditation. The Void is the nothing beginning of something. If it isn’t paradoxical, it isn’t the Void. The Void is also the initiatory gateway to authentic manhood.


The Void is also a secret space under the radar of this culture. The patriarchy would prefer it wasn’t found. A person grounded in his own identity and truth cannot be manipulated or intimidated by a patriarch. The Void is the space of identity and truth.


In the Void illusions dissolve. One of the most difficult illusions a man must accept is the disappearance of the patriarchal feeling of power and control. Walking voluntarily into the Void means leaving control at the door. Stepping in means moving toward authentic masculine power. However, upon entering the Void a man feels emasculated. He feels naked without his defensive armor and his ego sword. In the Void armor becomes only dead weight in a dead space. The sword has no use if nobody else is around. Nobody is around because the Void is only entered alone, into a space empty of other. 


With nothing to control and no defenses, the sense of aloneness increases. It’s almost as if an enemy showing up, even an overpowering one, would be a relief. In fact, competition often leading to wars of words or swords is the most convenient reason and hobby a man has to avoid the Void.


The Void is also the place of humility. Humility does not mean putting oneself down. This is patriarchal thinking. Humility means accepting the possibility of a truth beyond taught beliefs. Humility is listening instead of talking. Humility is seeking to understand rather than being understood. Humility is accepting the Void on its terms.


Being humbly out of control takes a great deal of courage. Standing resolutely and humbly within the Void will be the most courageous stance a man will ever take. This is surrendering to the Void.


Some men find themselves in the Void with an immediate glimpse of life purpose and sudden feelings of peace. They are the lucky ones. Most of us will take a stand by sitting in the darkness without a glimpse or a clue. Some of us will stand and walk aimlessly ‘in the dark’. Most stands will alternate between fear and confusion and not-knowing acceptance.


The Void is sacred space. It is the space where heaven and earth meet. It is the other side come to this side. It is the place where our identity originated and still resides. This is the place where Spirit or the Tao or Brahma or God molded that identity and intends to have us find it. The purpose of taking a stand is to find what is already who we are. We become this self by choosing this self. This is where the ego bows to the self, where the small self of ego chooses the greater self of being chosen.


Some psychological terms for this choice of self are self-actualization or individuation or acting from the transpersonal self or simply Jung’s Self. Spiritual terms describe this self as the Christed self, the Atman, the Buddha self, the higher self, the soul self, one’s essence, the still voice within.  This self is the core part of our being that resonates with the sacred. The spiritual experience in the Void can be described as the dark night of the soul, the mystical journey, a vision quest, entering the Great Mystery, a time in the desert.


From this choice, this paradoxical surrender, comes the peace of living a life that gives personal peace and creates a harmonious community, a community in harmony with each other and the earth. A man’s identity is always the missing piece that makes the community puzzle whole. Elders of all aboriginal people knew this. They know this today and continue to give this Elder message. Every act that aligns this personal self and the Great Self creates a resounding resonance of harmony in the world. Every one of these acts also creates a peace that passes understanding.