Most men are good men trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately, most men are burnt out trying to do the right thing without questioning what is deeply right. Thus, depression is rampant in men. Numbness is pervasive. Addictions become the default antidepressant. Yet addictions only depress more. The cycle continues as numbness leads to more addiction.
This book has been about the mystery of initiation and the mystery of manhood. Even more it is about the path to the feeling of aliveness. Initiation into manhood is the only real and lasting antidepressant.
The initiatory journey of manhood is perilous and painful, full of paradox and mystery. Men come to me for answers. I talk of mystery and nagging, deeper questions. Men come for pain relief. I talk of the relief of handling pain. Men come feeling misunderstood. I talk of misunderstanding themselves. Most men ask for help in being a success in the world. I talk of the risk of being seen as a failure. Most men want patriarchal instructions. I talk of the wise elder within. Yet most men stay to hear more because part of them knows that there is truth in this message of initiation.
Men come from the world into my office. The journey starts in the world, follows a labyrinth deep into a man's soul, and ends back in the world. Every man is continually being pushed into initiation. My goal has been to motivate any man with a sincere heart to consciously continue this journey of inner space, this initiation in the wilderness of his own soul.
I have written this book acting as an elder culture keeper. I have translated the initiatory experience of indigenous cultures into modern terms. I have used the archetype of initiation as a guide for modern man's psychospiritual transformation to wholeness and maturity. I have tried to meld ancient and modern wisdoms. I have talked of other cultural elders who speak of aspects of the inner journey. I have alerted you to your inner elder voice, the sacred voice of intuition, the voice of Spirit within.
I have also endeavored to act as an elder by creating and holding a space where men can sit safely with their questions. I have held and offered a vision of the direction their journey needs to take. I have tried to hold a sense of hope so that men may expect that their journey will bring them answers.
If you have already found your mission through initiatory struggle, remember that you are also called to father and elder younger men and their next generations. We all are called to reconnect this circle of men from generation to generation. We are all called to make this an elder culture.
I wish you the peace that this psychospiritual journey brings. Thank you for giving my words and thoughts your attention.
All chapters of Toward Manhood are archived.