Over the years I have spent a lot of time looking at the female character and female problems. This was primarily because I was so appalled by many females fabrications of abuse and false accusations. It started a big inquiry. I’ve written many articles in this blog about it.
Ironically, it is the male that has been a mystery to me and which I have only minimally looked at. I have never really inquired that much of the male, the male character, and the problems the male faces. I have made some observations though. Here are some of them:
THE QUESTION OF INSTINCT
It seems, to me, that instinct is very powerful and very influential in our makeup and, as a result, is critical in determining who we are and how we behave. Because of this, we become “products” of that instinct. For example, my observation is that the female is literally a slave to the mother instinct. It dictates what a lot of what girls do, their problems, and their behavior. Their general attitude is one of being a “puppet” to the mother instinct. The male also has a dominating instinct as well. I speak of this as the “world instinct” or “world-directed instinct”. What this means is that the male is instinctually rooted in the confrontation and dealing with the world. This dominates much of the male life and behavior. The male, of course, responds differently to this instinct because his character is different.
According to my observation, the character of the male and female has great impact on the way the instinct affects them:
- The female tends to not have a self strong enough to control the instinct much. Much of the problems of females is caused by this inability to control it . . . they become “puppets” to instinct.
- The male has a self that is more defined and is more able to control the instinct. Much of the problems of the male is associated with the self’s ability or inability to control this instinct . . . they have difficulty trying to control it and use it.
I first made these observations of the difference between male and female with children (see Some thoughts on the difference between male and female in children). It became clear to me that nature has “designed” the male and female for specific functions in life. As a result, it appears very “naturally” when we are young. As we get older, particularly with modern society, we get more and more alienated and detached from it to the point that many people no longer have a connection with it. Despite this, we are still influenced by it deep down, and it affects our behavior, even though we are not aware of it.
I should also point out that, even though we are affected by it, instinct doesn’t have complete control of a person. I’d say that instinct is much like a force that pushes a person in a specific direction. A person has some control over instinct. Overall, though, it does direct people in specific directions. I sometimes compare this quality much like going down a river in a raft. The water pushes you and you must follow it. You can control it a bit, going this way or that but, in large part, you are at the mercy of the rivers movement. Its really not a whole lot of different. This means, more or less, that a person cannot escape instinct.
But instinct is not something that just “affects us”. It is something that is ingrained with us and our makeup. Though instinct is like a force our character and mind are “designed” for that force. As a result of this, the more a person is “in tune” with instinct the more they grow as a person and the more they “live”.
The “world instinct” of the male makes the male character and mind directed toward the world but there’s a lot to the world . . .
The Two Worlds
One could say there are actually two worlds:
- The “actual world”
- The “greater world”
The “actual world” consist of things like:
- It is that which is about us and surrounds us
- It is that which is not us
- It is not in the human sphere and beyond the human sphere
The “actual world” refers to the world-as-it-is. The “world instinct” makes the world more than that. It gives greater depth to the actual world. It makes the world something to associate with and which becomes a part of who we are. Because of this, it gives a new dimension to the world. This creates the “greater world”. This includes things like:
- The physical world itself
- Ones reactions to the world
- Ones perception and interpretation of the world
- Ones relationship and association with the world
This shows that the “greater world” isn’t the world at all but consists of ones interaction with the world as a dynamic and active phenomena. This makes it “greater” than the “actual world”, making the world more than it really is. To put it another way, we could say that the world is “greater” because we make it greater, by giving it things like meaning and developing a relationship with it . . .
The Importance of Relationship
In many ways, the “greater world” is not referring to just the physical world itself but ones relationship with it. In this way, we could say that the “world instinct” is an instinctual drive for a relationship. As a basis of this relationship one must do things like:
- Confront the world
- Establish an awareness and perception of the world
- Interpret the world
- Associate with the world
- Establish a working relationship with the world
The Innate Sense of the World
As part of this relationship is an innate sense of the “actual world” and what it is. This innate sense of the world dictate much of the males stance in relation to the world as well as his association with it. Some of these innate senses about the world include:
- It is great and massive
- It is a mystery
- It is threatening
- It is frightening
- It is life-giving
- It is something one must associate with
- It is beyond the person
Overall, one could say that the innate sense of the world is that the person is quite small in comparison to the world . . . this sense establishes a basis in the males association with the world. In fact, it permeates a lot of what the male does.
The “World Horror”
A significant aspect of the innate sense of the world is a particularly strong sense of horror of the world. I speak of this as the “world horror”. This is a unique form of horror. In some cases, though, horror might be too strong of a term, but it gets the gist of the idea.
The “world horror” is an innate sense that the world has qualities such as:
- That the world poses a threat and a danger
- That a threat can appear anytime and in anything
- That the world is beyond ones self
- That the world is beyond ones capabilities
In other words, through the “world horror” is revealed how massive, large, and powerful the world is and how small one is. In many ways, the “world horror” establishes the males relationship with the world. Because of this, many philosophies, and religions, emphasize an awareness of this as part of their point of view. Some examples include:
- The “fear of god”
- The idea of “being a man” (meaning to confront the “world horror”)
- The emphasis on being “brave”
- The idea of having “courage”
- The condemnation of cowardice
- The emphasis on being “strong”
These all reveal a sense of “world horror”.
It seems, to me, that normal healthy responses to “world horror” consists of things like:
- A respect for the world
- A humility
- A faith of some sort (which is like a form of bravery, courage, or strength)
Interestingly, these are themes that are taught the world over by the male. At the root of these is the “world horror”.
From my observation, this horror is generally unconscious and not recognized by the male. Its not something I hears guys talking about but I can see how it motivates and determines much of their behavior. There are a number of reasons why it is unconscious such as:
- It is innate and is a “pre-established” feeling that one is born with. As a result, one tends to not be aware of it.
- It isn’t prompted by an experience and so its not recognized.
Some of the effects the “world horror” creates include:
- An apprehension
- An increased awareness of the world
Deep down, males struggle with this horror though many are not aware of it.
The Primary Conflict of the Male . . .
But, since the world is beyond the self, and greater than the self, it demands much from the self and person, which is small in comparison. In many ways, the primary conflict of the male is developing a relationship with a great and massive world with a small self which has little power. The condition of the male with the world is like an ant trying to move a boulder. This fact has determined much of male behavior through the years as well as many of the conflicts the male faces.
Because of this, many males are burdened by the “world instinct” and it puts a great weight on them. I think it takes a lot out of males, some more than others. I also think it ages many males and is one reason why some males die younger.
Overall, I’d say that the association with the “world” causes a lot of stress. Its probably no surprise, then, that there is a close association between the “world instinct” and stress management. In fact, if one looks at much of what the male has created and done through the centuries one could say that a lot of what the male does is primarily a form of stress management. This includes many of the creations the male has done such as:
- The idea of “making things easier”
- Making things more meaningful
- Social organization
- Proper behavior between people
- Inventions and technology
These are, in many ways, forms of stress management that were motivated by the males burden of the world that the “world instinct” places on the male.
The Effects of the Modern World
The modern world has greatly undermined the males association and relationship with the world. There are a number of reasons why, such as:
- The awareness of the “greater world”, as a real experience and reality, is forgotten. The idea that there is “more to the world” isn’t that prevalent.
- The modern world has created a “false world”, or “illusionary world”, that has replaced the “greater world”. In short, the male has been led away into another world.
- There are too many things in the way to develop much of a relationship with the world. We have consumer products, massive social problems, education, media, etc. that have done nothing but get us lost in respect to the “greater world”.
The effect of these is that it has caused an alienation. This has had great impact and caused many problems of the male in the modern world. In general, the modern world has destroyed the “greater world” and, since the male is world oriented, it has undermined the male.
The Males Reaction to the World
The “world instinct” dictates a lot of qualities in the male, such as:
- It dictates his stance in life
- It dictates his points of view
- It dictates his outlook on life
- It dictates his growth
In this way, the “world instinct” defines and creates the male (similarly to the mother instinct with the female). The male character, really, is a product of the “world instinct”.
SOME QUALITIES OF THE MALE CHARACTER WHICH AFFECTS HIS ASSOCIATION WITH THE WORLD
There are a number of qualities, in the male, that effect the males association with the world. Some of these include the following:
The “world instinct” consists of a drive, something that pushes the male. Many males feel this drive but don’t understand it. This can make many males display qualities such as:
In many ways, for a male to be healthy means he must do a couple of things:
- He must be able to control and direct this drive
- He must be transformed by the drive
In this way, the drive is something that does more than pushes, it transforms!
The “world instinct” needs an ego in order to face the world. I generally define the ego as a “false confidence”. The ego makes the male willing to do things he otherwise would not do. The ego allows a small powerless person to confront and associate with the massive and all-powerful world. In this way, the ego is instrumental in dealing with the world.
I’ve always said that its rather interesting that humanity has survived in the world because of the male ego . . . a false confidence! Without this ego humanity would not of been able to deal with the world.
I’ve written some more things on the male ego in this article: Thoughts on the male ego
The Need to Confront
This is a quality, as part of the “world instinct”, where he must confront things. This can appear as an overly strong tendency to be willing to confront things, often violently.
The need to confront establishes the self in relation with the world. In this way, it establishes the relationship. This is more or less saying that the relationship with the world is an active act . . . confronting being another way of saying “being active”. By “active” is meant that the “self must be there”, before the world, in the act. Its not something that is done passively or imagined.
The Need for Control and Order
As part of the association with the “world” the male needs to control or have some control. Without this control there is really not much of an association with the world. It would probably be more accurate to say that the male needs an “active participation”.
One aspect of this need for control is the need for order. Males tend to need order in their life as part of the association with the world.
Many males will struggle with this in some way or another. To not have control or order often destroys their self confidence and self respect.
The Need to Discover Ones Abilities
Males will often go through periods where they do “stupid things”, like jumping over things with a bike or something. The purpose of these is not as stupid as it seems. They are basically testing their abilities. Many males will push this to the limit, to see exactly how far they can go. It can even get deadly. This helps give them achieve an awareness of self and is part of establishing ones relationship with the world.
The Need to Explain
The “world instinct” creates a need to explain things and give it meaning. My observation is that most males have to explain things, at least in some way. This has created things like religion, philosophy, science, and so on. Its also created a tendency where males get “wound up” in explanations.
The Need to be Away from the Female
My observation is that the male needs to be away from female very often. It can actually hinder a males growth. This is because the qualities of the female are as if diametrically opposed to the “greater world” and the “world instinct”. In short, the female tends to make the male turn away from the “greater world” and, in so doing, he turns away from himself. As a result, the male tends to associate with the female in “regulated” or limited ways and only in certain contexts. In many ways, the males association with the female tends to be limited.
I’ve written some things on this in this article: Thoughts on “male suffocation” – the need for the male to be away from the female – a unique character trait in the male
The Need for “Proper Behavior”
The relationship of the male with the “world” tends to develop a strong sense of “proper behavior” in relation to the world. This appears in many ways:
- Of having the “proper perception of the world” – religion, philosophy
- Of acting in the “proper way toward the world” – ritual
- Of acting in the “proper way in the world” – ethics
- Of acting in the “proper way toward other people” – etiquette
Because this is associated with the relationship with the world it often tends to be looked at in a very serious way: if you don’t do it in the “proper way” then it can be looked at as something horribly bad, even threatening.
The Need for Self-Confidence
The more a male feels a self-confidence the better and happier they generally are. This creates a sense of security. This confidence, of course, must come from experience, conflict, failure, and success. Many males feel “down”, downtrodden, incompetent, etc. when they have no self-confidence. In fact, I think one could say that many male problems stem from lack of self-confidence.
Often, self-confidence is spoken about in other ways:
- Some males refer to self-confidence as “virility”, looking at it primarily from a sexual perspective.
- Another version of self-confidence is found in the expression, “be a man!”
There have developed many expressions to describe a male with no self-confidence. Some of these are:
- A coward
- A “weasel”
- A weakling
- A loser
In my experience, expressions, such as these, are often spoken about with great contempt.
Some males will actually “judge” other males by their self-confidence. To me, this is usually a sign of arrogance or, rather, an over-confidence.
It seems that self-confidence has a great impact on male behavior. In many cases, males don’t really “do anything” until they gain a self-confidence. Once they develop it then they do a lot.
The Need to be a Person
Males tend to need to feel that they are a person, an individual in the world. This seems to have to do with several senses:
- A sense of self
- A sense of participation in the world
I would even say that a male does not “live” until he develops a sense of a person. When the male does not have a sense of a person he only “half lives”.
There is a quality which I call “self-honor”. I often define “self-honor” as the result of an instinctual need to participate in the world which, when done properly, creates a satisfaction or confidence in ones self. It is primarily a result of the satisfaction of what I often call the “instinct of being a person-in-the-world”. I’ve written more about this in this article: Thoughts on “self-honor” and the “instinct of being a person-in-the-world”
THE “HUNTING INSTINCT”
Much of the “world instinct” is a “hunting instinct”. One could probably say that the “world instinct” is based in the “hunting instinct”. This means that the males association with the world is really a “hunting for something”. The males hunts for things like:
- A relationship
In the end, the “hunting instinct” is really a “hunting for life”, in some form. I’d say that hunting, in some way or another, is really what most males do in their life and consists of a lot of male behavior.
To me, the “hunter instinct” is a real innate tendency. Its like nature has instilled, deep within all males, a need to hunt. I tend to believe that all males, deep down, have a sense of a need to hunt. Many though, never realize it and may never even develop it. Despite this, it always lies deep within, sometimes appearing in indirect hidden ways (such as computer war games). This is basically an innate need to hunt which is as if “wired” into his makeup. As a result, it has certain naturally appearing traits and tendencies.
The “hunter instinct” creates, in the male, many qualities that influence his nature and his interpretation of the world. It is so powerful that it molds his world.influences his world view and interpretation. The “hunter instinct” has qualities such as:
- The tendency to look out into the world. That is to say, one looks out into the world. In order to hunt a person must look into the maze of images, colors, and shapes to seek what they need. This is actually the origin of the “male gaze” (see below).
- A “hunger”. No doubt, its a hunger founded in the need to eat. Not only is this the need of personal hunger but social, to feed ones family. It can appear, though, as just a “hunger for something” which can be non-specific and unclear.
- A sense of a “threat”. Being based in hunger, and relating with survival, it is often associated with feelings of being “threatened” or that there is a threat in some way.
- A sense of being prepared. The ‘hunter instinct’, in my opinion, has this sense of man-versus-the-world. As a result of this, it seems to automatically entail a sense of a person being able to do this, of being prepared and ready.
- A sense of killing. The question of what it means to “kill” is critical. It primarily entails a sense of taking life from the world or, rather, a transfer of life from world to humanity. This presupposes a sense of ‘lacking’, hunger, or need whereas the world is abundant. Killing, therefore, is really a ‘transfer’ of life. Its only been later that it is perceived as killing, that is taking away in a moral sense. This shows how modern people have no sense of a ‘soul’ or ‘life’ in nature.
- The inflicting of death.
- The willingness to confront danger.
- The use of “implements”. To me, this seems a natural tendency. It is a projection of his self onto the world. In many ways, its his self portrayed in an object.
- The emphasis on the individual act one does.
- A sense of satisfaction. This satisfaction, and its powerful manifestation, is no doubt a result of its innate instinctual-like nature.
In these ways, the “hunting instinct”
- Makes the male look out into the world
- Establishes a sense of the world and its nature
- Establishes his stance toward it
- Creates a relationship
One could say that the “hunting instinct” is critical in the males relationship with the world.
Ritual and religious sacrifice seems to be an extension of the “hunting instinct”. In many ways, one could call sacrifice a “ritual hunt and killing” that is done in a formal way. Through sacrifice a number of things are demonstrated, such as:
- The “hunting instinct” is demonstrated and revealed
- It is portrayed in a controlled way
- It is portrayed in a meaningful way
- The “hunting instinct” is always satisfied
It seems that sacrifice is often something that starts to become prevalent in societies that have started to “settle” down and don’t hunt much. They start to domesticate animals. When they kill the animals they often sacrifice them in a ritual. In this case, its as if the sacrifice of domesticated animals is like an “enacting of the hunt”, that no longer takes place, in a ritual. Sometimes, the belief system can develop so much that the hunting aspect literally disappears and the sacrifice becomes nothing but an act “for the god” or something similar.
The ‘hunter instinct’ tends to turn into a desire for war in some conditions. It seems that, as hunting societies change to a “settled” life, the outlet for the “hunter instinct” decreases. Since a “settled” life is often a sign of overpopulation conflicts between people become more prevalent and, accordingly, wars break out. This creates a new outlet for the “hunting instinct”. As a result, war or, rather, conflict between societies or within society, very often becomes an outlet for the “hunter instinct” . . . war becomes the “new hunt”.
In hunting one kills something in the world, which is beyond the self, this which makes it more abstract, impersonal, and ritualistic. In war, one kills in society which is really a reflection or extension of ones self. As a result of this, war reflects the person and often becomes a reflection of ones inner state and the wars that take place within a person. In this way, war is a “hunt” that is more human-oriented and often reflects personal crisis and problems. In this way, war is more about humanities struggle with itself than about survival in the world.
THE “MALE GAZE”
The “male gaze” is a quality where the males as if “peers” into the world. I notice this look in many males. Its as if they are looking with concentrated eyes searching to find something. Its as if the world is this big mass of a million different things and he is trying to search for the “needle in a haystack” in it, that one small thing that matters. It describes a quality where the male tends to “look” deeper into things by searching. Its a manifestation, really, of the “hunting instinct”.
The “male gaze” has qualities such as:
- It is generally without feeling
- It is generally without self
- It is an inquiry, a searching
In many ways, the “male gaze” is at the base of his relationship with the world. Through the “gaze” the male does a number of things:
- He interacts with the world
- The world appears real
- There is a manifestation of a need
- The world is experienced
It establishes the world as something to associate with.
I began to use the term after noticing a particular look that certain males have. For some reason I seem to be drawn toward it, attracted to it. Because of this, it made me think about it and what it is. I would not say that the “male gaze” is an expression or an emotion. It seems deeper than that. It seems to reflect a quality of a great sense of self-in-the-world than anything else. This sense is expressed in many ways, such as:
- A ‘spectral gaze’, as if looking at something that seems to be there when there’s nothing there, of looking at something undefined and unknown.
- A look of staring into space, of something far off in the distance.
- A look as if one is hunting or seeking for something.
- A “hard look”, of a person that has been through a lot, suffered, and endured a lot.
- A disciplined look, of a person who has had to learn to restrain himself and mold himself into a specific form.
- A look of a person who has confronted fear.
- A look of a person who has overcoming great adversity and conflict.
- A look of depth, of seeing more into things than is apparently there.
- A look of a person who has changed or who has been transformed in some way.
Naturally, not everyone has all these qualities. Many just have a few. There’s often a mixture which varies from person to person, giving many different forms to the “male gaze”.
The “Male Gaze” and Natural Inclinations
I tend to associate this look with a “real male”. That is to say, a male that is in touch with his deep innate qualities. In other words, I associate the “male gaze” with a person who has discovered and learned his natural inclinations (see my article ” Discovering natural inclinations – a solution to alienation and dehumanization???“). This means that he has had to go through a process of discovering his natural inclinations. By ‘natural inclinations’ I mean the innate natural tendencies that he has within him. These must be discovered through experience and living. Natural inclinations cannot be discovered, or developed, in ways such as:
- Natural inclinations cannot be learned. You cannot take a class on it, read about it, or find it at a school. In fact, my observation is that learning and education actually impair the discovery of natural inclinations, primarily because it offers up a “pseudo-self” based on mental conceptions.
- Natural inclinations are not imagined or what a person “thinks they are”. Typically, these only reflect what a person would like to think they are.
- They are not found in imitation of another person or way.
These, really, are different not forms of imaginations of the mind. In this way, we see that discovering natural inclinations is at odds with imaginations of the mind. In this way, it is experiential and active and based in doing. I should also point out that it is doing-as-doing. That is to say, its not doing-to-fit-an-image-or-way. In this way, its a doing-because-life-demands-it. As a result, it has no image or way associated with it . . . it just happens . . . one does because one has to. Typically, the more of an image you follow the less likely you are to discover natural inclinations. This is because natural inclinations come from within, not from without.
There seems to be a process in discovering natural inclinations. It seems to follow this pattern:
- The discovering. As I said above, this is primarily a result of doing.
- The using. Natural inclinations mean nothing if you do not use them.
- The transformation. Using natural inclinations tends to cause a transformation of self. In some cases, it can transform you into a totally different person.
- The disciplining. The learning of natural inclinations causes a need to control and harness it. As a result, it emphasizes the need for discipline, control, duty, etc. this is because of the power of these impulses. this shows that not only must one discover and be transformed by it but one must control the impulses that it awakens.
Because of this process, it gives a person a quality of someone “who is who he is”. But, more importantly, he is “transformed into himself by being himself”. In other words, his own natural inclinations transforms him. This is probably the most important aspect of the “male gaze”, I think.
Being “transformed by themselves” shows that there is a great genuineness in who they are. They do not have false views of themselves, typically, unless they overly think about it and start creating images of what they think they are. Their self is based in experience, not on ideas or images. In fact, I think that this is the very thing that attracts me to it. Something seemed to tell me that there was a great truth of life here.
One important point of this is that it shows that confronting the world requires, and demands, the male to learn his natural inclinations. This makes natural inclinations a great necessity for the male. In some respects, a male who does learn his natural inclinations is only “half a man”, he remains incomplete. As a result, situations that impair his ability to learn his natural inclinations are a problem. These, unfortunately, are quite prevalent in the modern world. Some of these damaging qualities include:
- Becoming apathetic
- The absence of ‘doing’
- Living too organized a lifestyle or in a strong over-bearing system
- Being too introverted or extroverted
- Being too self-conscious
- Being too involved in an image or chasing an image
Many males are growing up without ever finding their natural inclinations. Typically, though, there is a spectrum in any society, from males who never find it to males who heavily discover it. Most males, probably, are in the middle range. It seems, to me, that in the modern world more and more males are leaning to one end of the spectrum or the other, where they never find it.
The “Male Gaze” and Character
The “male gaze” does not necessarily mean that a person has to physically do things nor does it necessarily mean he has to be actively “in the world”. This is the more obvious form as it is something everyone can see. It can also include interior acts. In fact, in many ways, the “male gaze” always leads to an interior act, at least in some way. Because of this, we can say that there are two forms of the “male gaze”:
- The “exterior look”. This is of a male who is “in the world” and confronts the world primarily. As a result, the orientation is very world centered. This is actually the “male gaze” I first saw.
- The “interior look”. This is a male who tends to be very interior. This look, though, requires that a male have a great ‘interior life’. Not only that, he must see that ‘interior life’ as something real. In other words, he can’t just be “thoughtful” or “intellectual” or even “philosophical”. Because of this, it tends to reflect a persons character. I would be inclined to say that it requires a spiritual outlook and a strong spirituality. Because this is somewhat rare, nowadays, the ‘interior look’ is not something I see a lot.
In some respects, these reflect the “extrovert” and “introvert” characters. In this way one can see that a person character has great impact on how the “male gaze” appears.
Being Transformed by the “Gaze”
The male is as if changed by the “gaze”. In other words, the ‘male gaze’ transforms the male because the world transforms him. This is because the world causes certain conditions to take place, such as:
- The world versus the male
- The confronting of the horror in himself
- The confrontation of the horror of the world
- A need for discipline
- Of looking into things
- Of seeing who he is
- Of making sense of the world
- A need to deal with fear
- Of seeing himself as part of the world
- A knowledge of good and bad
- The need to weigh good and bad
These cause transformations of the male by creating traits as well as a sense that one must behave in a certain way. In other words, it creates a need to “behave properly” in the world. In this way, the males association with the world becomes something like a relationship based in a form of etiquette.
The male generally tends to develop a strong self. This is a product of things like:
- The male ego
- The relationship with world
- The sense of ones self as an individual person in the world
Often, the male develops too strong of a sense of self, This can foster his growth or strangle him. A too strong of a self can often bring out dark aspects of the males character.
One aspect of the influence of the male self is what is often called an “ass”. I generally associate an “ass” with a particularly strong fear of the world and an inadequacy of self. His general attitude is “looking outward on a base rooted in a fear of the self”. This causes a tendency to disregard things such as:
- A disregard for self
- A disregard for others
- A disregard for principles
These makes him do “stupid” things that are often inconsiderate and rude. My own experience with this is that you don’t see yourself as an “ass” while doing it . . . only on reflection.
The self-in-the-world is when the male see’s the world as part of himself or, rather, as an extension of himself. The world instinct creates a condition where the presence of the world is particularly strong and needs to be “ingested”, so to speak, by the male.
There are three aspects to this:
- The world – needs an awareness of the “world”
- The self – needs an awareness of self
- The self-in-the-world – the self transformed by the world
Basically, the male must be transformed by this relationship with the world . . . this establishes the self-in-the- world.
The “over extended self”, loss of self, the “death theme”, and the sense of life
As part of this being transformed by the world the male often see’s himself in the world . . . the world has become his self. This tends to cause a problem which I call the “over extended self”. Basically, he loses a sense of his self and who he is.
A common effect of the “over extended self”, and loss of self, is that it creates the ‘death theme’. This causes, in the male, what can sometimes appear as a weird preoccupation with death. They can become very morbid and interpret things as death and dying. Basically, when a male over extended his self, and loses it in the world, he as if “dies” . . . he has lost his self. This can cause a number of reactions:
- His “death” becomes associated with spirituality, religion, and philosophy. In fact, they are probably the source of a lot of the “dying” and “loss of self” themes we’ve seen all over the world.
- His “death” becomes a source of growth and transformation . . . the creation of a new self.
- He can become preoccupied with killing things. He may even grow to kill things.
- He can become morbid and reflects too much on death.
- He can develop a really dark view of life.
So we see that its effects can range from good to bad.
The over extended self, and the loss of self it brings, can bring out many hidden qualities in the male. It does this because the absence of self can “expose” hidden qualities. Normally, the self covers them up and hides them. This shows a quality of how the self tends to create a condition where deeper qualities and traits are unable to be seen and discovered. In this way, the self can actually hinder a person. Because of this, the loss of self can be beneficial. In fact, many religions, ways of life, spirituality, etc. use the “over extended self”, loss of self, and “death theme” as part of their process and life.
The loss of self, its death, and the exposing hidden qualities often becomes an avenue for a sense of “life”. This is because the deeper and hidden aspects of ones self often creates a “purer” sense and experience of “life”. This shows that the self actually degrades the sense and experience of “life”. What all this does is create a strange irony in the male: the experiencing of life through death. In other words, many males actually experience “life” through some form of death than through some form of “living”. Examples of this include:
- Conflict, pain, and suffering
- Some form of spirituality involving loss of self or a death
- Hunting . . . killing
- War . . . killing
- Hatreds and dislikes
- Bad views of life
Some males can become obsessed with this “experiencing life through death” to the point that it dominates their life. For some males it can eat them up inside.
Another form of loss of self, with its exposing of deeper qualities and the sense of life it brings, is to use “artificial means” to lose the self. Examples include:
- Being an “adrenaline junky”
- Various ways of “getting thrills”, such as extreme skiing
My observation is that, though these “artificial means” may give a sense of “life” for the moment, it is not lasting and has little impact on their growth. For many males, though, this becomes their only source of “living”. Some males will grow to depend on it.
The “Projected Self”
Often, the male will project his self upon the world. When this happens the world becomes like “another person” even though its really an extension of himself. He seldom recognizes them as being a part of himself. As a result of this, the world takes on “human” properties that has this uncanny knack at resembling his views and situation. This “projected self” often appears as things like:
- A god
- An undefined “something”
With the “projected self” the relationship with the world takes on a whole new level. The world now takes on a quality of “relating with the world, through himself, through the world”.
The “world instinct” often creates a particular and unique bond between males. This creates a specific type of society which I call “male society”. It is one of the ways the male associates with the world . . . as a group or collective. In some respects, a “greater male self” is created that is bigger than any individual. In this way, “male society” becomes an extended means of associating, confronting, and dealing with the world.
Some qualities that “male society” contains include:
- A leader or someone or something, such as a belief, to look up to
- The need to follow
- A social structure where people have different roles and positions
- An ordered and defined purpose
It ends up creating a very order society. In fact, all over the world, “male society” is responsible for organized society and civilization.
Some problems of “male society” include:
- It often becomes very organized and controlling.
- It often becomes self-centered and disregards everything and everyone else.
- It often makes males lax in their association with the “greater world” as “male society” often ends up replacing the “greater world”. In fact, this is one of the dilemmas we see. The creation of the modern world is an example of that . . . it pushes the world further away.
The “Greater Society Self” and the Society Versus the Person Dilemma
The “male society” often takes on a grater role as a “greater society self” to the male. That is to say, it becomes an extended self, almost like an alternate self or alter ego. As a result, the male as if gives up his life, self, his will, and such to this “greater society self”. This often does several things:
- It often makes the “male society” stronger and function better
- It tends to degrade the person
This creates a conflict that is common in “male society” . . . the society versus the person dilemma. This dilemma often cannot be solved or resolved but always exists, in one form or another, in the society. It behaves much like a tug-of-war. In many cases, an individual male tends to lean in one direction or another. This means that “male society” tends to have two opposing groups of people:
- A social-dominated group
- An individual-dominated group
These often create two opposing schools of thoughts or philosophies. They create something like a spectrum with these two extremes:
- The opposing views can complement each other
- The opposing views can oppose each other to the point that they can literally tear a society in two and even cause war
I’ve written some aspects of “male society in this article: Thoughts on how the Queens of England helped to create a pussy-whipped male and a spoiled female
THE “MALE CREATION”
The “world instinct” has prompted the male to create many things, such as society, science, religion, weapons, etc. I call this the “male creation”. The bulk of what the males creates has been motivated by the “world instinct”, and are often ways of dealing with the “world horror”. In other words, there is a close relationship between the creation of things and the “world instinct”.
Some of what the “male creation” does include:
- It protects
- It supplies things
- It offers a new form of relationship with the world
- It promotes stress relief
I wouldn’t be surprised that, if there were no “world instinct”, very little would of ever of been created.
The “male creation”, though, has had bad effects. Some common versions of this include:
- It can become so big that it practically replaces the world
- It becomes controlling and dominating
- It causes bad effects, like pollution
In short, the “male creation” can reach a point where it becomes more of a threat than the world. This is one of the great tragedies of the “male creation”.
Sadly, even though the “world horror” is part of the “world instinct”, and creates an innate caution of the world, there is no parallel of this in the “male creation”. That is to say, there is no innate sense about anything created. Any caution is intellectual and not based in an innate sense. Because of this, it often appears after the fact. As a result, when males create they tend to throw caution to the wind. This may account for why the “male creation” can become so tragic at times. Perhaps we could speak of this phenomena as “blind creation”? This refers to how the male has no sense of caution with what he creates.
Another bad effect of the “male creation” is that it is sometimes so successful and powerful that it creates problems, such as:
- Power struggles
In short, “everyone wants a piece of the pie” when it becomes successful. This can get very bad to the point that it can tear apart countries and societies. For an example of this see my article: Thoughts on the ‘WAM envy’ – a success story turned bad.
I’ve written aspects of the “male creation” in this article: Thoughts on the “male creation”.
THE “SYSTEM” DILEMMA
What I call the “system” is an ultra-organized society. This is not the same as “male society” even though it originates from it. The problem is that when “male society” develops enough it ceases to be “male society” and turns into an ultra-organized inhuman-like “system”. This society becomes much like a machine. In so doing it ceases to display the qualities of “male society” and, accordingly, looses its beneficial qualities. In the end, the “system” ends up undermining the male and destroys him.
The “system” ends up displaying qualities such as:
- There is really no leadership
- There is a blind or empty following
- There is often no real meaning in things
- The social structure is dead or non existent
It ends up creating a bunch of lost, confused, alienated guys who are like automatons to the “system”.
The “system” creates an ironic situation: it unifies on a mass social level but divides on an interior personal level. In this way, it actually becomes contrary to “male society” and tends to degrade the person. This means that “male society” reaches a point that it actually works against him creating a dilemma for the male. It seems, to me, that this is when the society is usually in decline. Usually, there was a “glory time” before it became a “system” . . . the “glory time” basically causes the “system” to develop. As a result, we see a pattern much like this:
- A unique “male society” is created
- If its successful it can create a “glory time”
- It grows as a result
- A “system” is created by its success and growth
- The “male society” is eventually undermined
- The society is in decline
In the decline period a number of things often seem to happen, such as:
- There is an attempt at “re-enacting” the “glory time”
- People try to “cash in on the glory” that was established in the “glory time”
- People try to gain control of the society, sometimes creating a free-for-all
- People try to benefit from the society, often becoming like leeches
- Males often go into something like a stasis or stagnation
- Sometimes, females will try to “take the position of the male” even to the point that they think they are men
- The society weakens so much that it is often easy to over-run or take over, in ways such as politically, ideologically, spiritually, etc.
Examples of this situation include the declining period of Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, and the U.S. in the 21st century.
The purpose of identity is that it directs instinct and gives it meaning and relevance. As a result, much of male identity revolves around dealing with the world and the “world instinct”.
When a male loses his identity he usually has problems such as:
- A problem associating with the world. They “live in their own world”, become overly abstract, apathetic, etc.
- A problem with self. They become overly introverted, have absence of growth, etc.
In other words, there tends to be a relationship problem.
It seems that there are some things that often help with male identity problems:
- Actively associating with the world without any help
- Being part of a group
- Having someone or something, like a belief, to look up to
They seem to revolve around three things:
- Relating with the world
- Growth of self
- Being a part of something
In a way, these show some qualities with the male that are very critical.
To me, common themes I see with the male include:
- Developing a relationship with the world.
- Being transformed, in some way, by life.
- Having to suffer some form of death.
- Hunting for something in life.
- Finding ways to deal with the “world horror”.
- Having an order in life.
- Having a belonging, whether it be “male society”, being a part of something, a belief system, or something else.
- The sense of being a person.
- Having self-confidence.
- Time away from the female.
These qualities seem prevalent and important. Overall, it seems to describe a “small” person, with little power, who is standing before a massive, mysterious, and dangerous world and who needs to stand on a firm “base” in order to deal with it. That is to say, he needs other things, and qualities, to deal with the world. These other things, and qualities, are the “base”. As a result, much of what is described above are really forms or aspects of the “base”.
In many ways, much of the male life rests on the development and use of the “base”. These are qualities, that the male must develop, which allows him to associate with the world and develop a healthy relationship with it. They are qualities that appear in ways such as:
- They are discovered
- They are learned
- They are revealed in some way
The “base” is not something a person is born with but is something that is “gained” as he grows. This creates, in the male, a sense of always needing to “gain” something which will help him in the world. This sense is really a continuation of the “hunting instinct”, of perpetually hunting and seeking things.
The “base” shows two senses of self:
- The “naked self” . . . the self without the “base”.
- The “self with additions” . . . that is, the self with the “base”.
Some of the effects the “naked self” can cause include:
- It can make one have difficulty associating with world
- It can lead to a sense of loss and feelings of inadequacy
- It can lead to a loss of self, a death, and a greater experience of life (this is used a lot in many religions and spirituality, often in concepts such as humility or poverty)
- It usually takes on a quality of a “continuously seeking for a base” . . . that is, there is a seeking
- It tends to cause an introverted type of person
Some of the effects of the “self with additions” include:
- It can benefit a person when they associate with the world
- It can make one feel “achieved” and satisfied
- It can become a burden, a hypocrisy, or a phoniness
- It usually takes on a quality of “I have my base and I’m satisfied” . . . that is, there’s no seeking
- It tends to cause an extroverted type of person
So we see that the two self’s have good and bad effects, depending on the person. Both of these two senses of self can become quite strong, depending on the person. Sometimes, they can become like two separate personalities. In general, one self is usually sought for and the other self is despised or avoided. Which one is sought, of course, varies with the person.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen