Article on Masculinity and Spirituality

I recommend Angel Millar’s article on Strength, Spirituality, and Masculinity against Materialism at his People of Shambhala website. Millar argues that modern men have largely relinquished spirituality, ceding it by default to women who have, naturally, feminized and caricatured it.

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5 thoughts on “Article on Masculinity and Spirituality

  1. Thank you for this link. While Millar’s article focuses on Hinduism and Buddhism, I think much of what he says is applicable to the Christian tradition as well. I cringe when I hear someone at church claim that women are “naturally more spiritual than men.” It simply isn’t true. Both sexes are elevated when they recognize and reverence each other’s respective gifts, but the current climate militates against this mutual respect. The bien pensants of our age reflexively denigrate anything masculine, and it’s disturbing to see that thought creep into religion as well.

  2. Well, obviously. Masculinity is correctly seen as something a bit dangerous, because a bit unpredictable: a real man may risk his life to save someone,but he may as well declare war on a country purely out of a desire of conquest and glory. You can never really know. In contrast, pacifism, indiscriminate love etc. are very predictable things. They may be corrupting in the long run but they clearly do not endanger others in the short run.

    Now, spirituality is under attack since the beginnings of modernity. Would you leave something unpredictable, something possibly dangerous in the hands of your enemies? No, and neither do the progressivists, the materialists, and so on.

    On the other hand, pacifism and indiscriminate love is pretty much what everybody would wish his enemies to have. It more or less automatically makes them submissive and harmless.

    In fact, to the progressivists, toothless spirituality is better than no spirituality. If spirituality was sometimes fully extuinguished it may come back in full fury. If it is kept as a caricature of itself people are just bored of it.

    • Well, yes, I suppose I ought to have added some qualifiers, but it was not my intention to defend just anything that calls itself “masculinity” (a word I did not even use). The point I wish to make is that when men ARE self-sacrificing, this can be an expression of their masculine side too, and fashionable thinkers now are loath to recognize such a connection. But I don’t think we need to leave all terms and definitions up to them.

    • I think that each sex is unpredictable in its own way.

      Nice article. It’s interesting why some people today tend to see Christianity as something opposed to manliness when 2000 years of Christian history shows entirely different picture. Feminists would certainly disagree.

      Btw. manliness is declining even in the East. Many years ago I was in contact with white martial arts teacher living in Taiwan and he complained a lot about young people less and less interested in studying traditional martial arts. Old masters didn’t have serious disciples and so some of the traditional lines will die out. Youngsters are naturally undisciplined and the outer world offers too much of distractions. So they rather play videogames.

      Back to the connection of manliness and spirituality. There is the late Western 30 or 40 years old interest in oriental martial arts. Why? Eastern martial arts are not superior to their Western equivalents. For example Spanish or Portuguese soldiers were not impressed by skills of Japanese samurai, Boxers did not impress Westerners during their rebellion etc. The answer probably is that men living in modern materialist society longed for something spiritual and mysterious, media presented oriental martial arts as such and there were Chinese refugees escaping communist takeover and Cultural revolution. There are two distinct features to many oriental martial arts that could appeal to teditionalist: (1) tradition represented by lineage and (2) mystery which leads on one hand to self-cultivation and sort of spirituality and on the other to obscurity. For man seeking something noble, spiritual and distinctively manly all that must sound great.

      However, while oriental martial arts have something to offer in the area of self-cultivation (esp. bodily cultivation – Eastern fitness has been better with regard to health and correct functioning of body than Western until recently, now the Western aproach to fitness is changing) I don’t think Westerners should necessarily take on Eastern practises, esp. Christians do not need to engage in some refined self-cultivating practises. There are many Western martial arts, some of them rediscovered in recent years. It would be good to make them tradition again. And it is certainly an area where one could get attention of kids (at least those not entirely addict to virtual reality). And finally martial arts should become part of education as they once were.

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