The terror of young men

posted by Eivind on August 11, 2011, at 10:28 pm

About a week prior to the Oslo terror on July 22, I was in a part of town I rarely visit. I was en-route to an exciting adventure at IKEA and was waiting for the bus that would complete my journey. As I was scanning the features of the recently erected mosque there, I noticed two young ethnic Norwegians walking towards me. They didn’t look particularly tough. Though they spoke “tough”. One of them was clearly afraid. I saw it in his eyes; they were wide with terror.

Two Norwegian kids in “Pakistan city”

"Did you see how he was looking at me?," he told his small, plump friend. "I should never have come here. This is fucking Pakistan city!" His buddy proceeded to play cool and told him, as if aping a gangster, "Don't worry, I have connections here. I know so and so and they're really bad ass."

It was a strange situation for me, because I didn't feel even mild anxiety there. And there was something so sad and painful to me about listening to these two young men. They were right there beside me, but we were worlds apart.

I noticed, as they kept talking, that I felt compelled to inject myself into their world. I felt an urge to offer them some reprieve from their angst, to pass on some of the freedom that I know and give them a positive seed for the future. But I couldn’t find the right words.

I judge that in order to influence someone’s take on reality, we must first embrace and validate their existing one. I believe we can’t transform others from a starting point of completely rejecting their worldview. It just doesn’t work. But I didn’t quite know how to embrace their worldview and still maintain integrity with my own. To be honest, I still don’t. And to complicate matters further – I wasn’t even certain that what they were saying was nonsense. Maybe they had been in danger. Maybe a scared sixteen-year-old young Norwegian kid in “Pakistan city” stands out like a lighthouse. Truth is – I don’t know. The world they inhabit lies in mist beyond my own veil of ignorance and confusion.

In the end, we exchanged brief words, but I didn’t feel I left them with anything significant.

Those two boys unwittingly left their mark on me, for I felt with them a yearning to show up as a mentor, but I didn’t know how. In a way, that pain served as a turning point for me.

Hussein, the Iraqi Taxi Driver

Around the same time as my experiences in “Pakistan City”, I found myself in conversation with a young Iraqi taxi driver. I was late for my plane to Edinburgh, where I was to attend my Primary Integration Training with the Mankind Project and Hussein got me there in time.

I talk to people and so I hear stories. Hussein’s was about racism. He told me he would be exposed to racism on average 4-5 times a day. The day previously, a normal looking, polite Norwegian man my age had been in his back seat. Hussein told me he had suddenly asked him “When are you going back home?”. Hussein had started talking about saving up for going on holiday and how it was hard. Then the young Norwegian man replied “No, I mean – for good. I’ll help you get out of the country. Because you need to know that there will come a day not long from now when people like you will be shot down in the streets.” From the way Hussein told the story, it sounded like this young Norwegian man kind of liked the idea.

I was pretty shocked. I thought of the complete lack of empathy in this young passenger and as I see him before my mind’s eye telling tales of a future where immigrants are gunned down in the streets, I feel anger rise in my belly.

Hussein was a nice guy, but I didn’t like what he had told me.

Terror hits Oslo

As Hussein and the two boys in Pakistan city were on my mind, terror hit: A cynical and wildly disturbed Norwegian man attacked the headquarters of our government as he felt they had failed the nation by embracing multiculturalism. He did so with a massive car bomb that could be felt and heard miles outside of the city center. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he then proceeded to kill sixty-nine people in the spring of their lives on an idyllic island an hour’s drive from of Oslo. Visions of the island nightmare endured by those young kids will be forever etched into our nation’s collective memory.

We all thought Muslims had done it of course. But the terrorist was Norwegian, white, 32 and quite normal looking. That fact changed us.

While I haven’t studied it closely, I can say that the terrorist’s personality profile is unsurprising reading (at least to me). He was for practical purposes fatherless, insecure and carried enormous hatred behind his facade of well-adjusted politeness. Alone with himself, he became increasingly convinced that he had been given an almost messianic mission and that it was his burden to carry it out, even though he recognized it as gruesome. He was a failure in worldly terms and had to compensate in the realm of fantasy; one of his current demands is that in order to reveal all details in interviews with the police, he must first be made the ruler of Norway.

I have thought much about this man, henceforth referred to as “the terrorist”. My interest in him is partly personal. As I have shared elsewhere, when I was in my early 20s, I started slipping into an inner landscape that felt increasingly twisted. This happened while I was polite and well-adjusted on the outside. Many years later, I eventually understood that this was a symptom of an enormous repression of my inner primal masculine and all the wildness and sexuality that comes with it. Today, I treasure that period in my life as the seed to my current spiritual and psychological insights, but I remember I feared then that I would one day end up killing someone – such was the power of these repressed inner energies.

As I now think of psychotic mass murderers, school massacre perpetrators, and terrorists – especially the Western breed – I see that they tend to be the quiet ones. Their acts are generally met with surprise by those who know them, for they never let people in on their inner psychological world. That may be wise in a way, because they are unlikely to have anyone in their lives who will be able to listen and embrace what they have to share.

The terrible paradox is that these young men are generally the most spiritually attuned and sensitive among us1, but since no elder wise man is around to embrace them, recognize their gifts and show them the way through their transition, they are left alone with their over-stimulated, festering inner worlds. As a consequence, instead of seeing themselves as worthy, strong, beautiful men, they likely fear themselves and question their right to life. I observe them and suspect that most of them have strong masochistic tendencies.

Yet masochists, through the archetypal dynamics inherent in the human psyche, turn sadists in the end (exactly the impulse I feared in myself). It starts out innocent enough, perhaps as dreams of people, creatures, places or situations that symbolize suppressed inner energies. Thoughts and fantasies may start appearing in their waking world, of murder perhaps – or of brutal sexual acts. Eventually, these thoughts may start to intermingle with those we associate with normal day to day functioning and become more and more indistinguishable from gross reality.

And then suddenly one day, perhaps in the blink of an eye – or perhaps as a long and gradual buildup – this deep, primal psychic material – twisted out of shape – comes shooting like a tsunami through our repression barrier. Its energies overcome the ramparts of the ego structure, much like flood water conquers a dam, and then comes thundering down the riverbed of everyday life.

If the collapse of the repression barrier comes suddenly, the man may come to his senses with a smoking gun in his hand. He may then plead temporary insanity. In reality, it would be more precise to say that he was hijacked by the force of his own suppressed psychic material. And since few will tell him to now embrace the psychic material that turned him “mad” to begin with (e.g. his feelings of vulnerability, anger and fear), his madness will likely escalate with time. I believe only grace, enormous suffering, or the intervention of a powerful elder (like the monk that beats his murderous disciple in Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring) would change this man’s trajectory through life.

If the collapse of the repression barrier happens over time, like a trickle of water that arrives in darkness until it one day comes seeping through the floorbords, the man might gradually cease to function like a normal human being and become instead victim of a more consistently evil archetypal shadow system. With buildup over time, I believe a man becomes able to sustain his delusions and stabilize them as everyday “reality”. Sudden experiences of “losing it” are not part of these men’s psychological profile; they are consistent in their psychopathy.

In such a way, a man with a poor self-image gradually designs a fantasy world in which his alter ego can rule supreme. He will project his inner weakness onto others and may start to see himself as superhuman. He will then despise the weakness he sees in others (which is largely his own) and may grow to consider huge parts of the population as unfit for life. He may then pursue his vision, which may involve ridding the earth of an entire ethnic, religious or ideologic group, essentially in order to create a world that doesn’t feel threatening for the kid in him that he has denied and stowed away in a dark inner dungeon.

With fear as his motivation and empathy locked down in the same dark dungeon as that wounded child, the man will chase, when threatened, his own projections unrelentingly – to the point, perhaps, of laying waste to dozens, or millions, of human lives in a calculated and organized fashion. It is a terrible and tragic irony that a man’s view of himself as superhuman comes as a hard counter to a profound sense of inferiority. The terrorist and Hitler are similar in this regard. Consumed by archetypal shadow, their sole purpose remains to attack those that remind them of the fact that they are really but wounded children.

When we come to grasp the dynamics of the human mind and soul in such a way, the Oslo terror becomes, if possible, an even greater tragedy. For we may then see the outline of something so soft and vulnerable in us all that we spend vast energy suppressing. As our eyes adjust to the dark, we may be reminded of the words Jesus spoke so long ago: “You must become like little children to enter the kingdom of Heaven”. To become like little children is, in my judgment, to embrace that inner vulnerability and all the playfulness and wonder that are its siblings. And our refusal to do so is what keeps the gates of Heaven locked.

The most important difference between us and the terrorist is that he takes the suppression of what is most beautiful in himself (a part which is always inextricably linked to his wounds) further than we do. That, I judge, became his personal hell. And when we realize that this terror would likely not have happened if the terrorist was honest enough to admit “I feel afraid”, it should break our hearts.

Norway lost 77 lives that day, most of them youths. For the bereft, only tears and memories remain.

Victims of the Oslo terror

…and then The London Riots came

When I heard news that people were looting and immolating buildings on the streets of London, I suspected right away that the majority of the rioters were young men. Now it turns out that a lot of young women were involved too, but locals I’ve spoken to have gone some way in confirming my initial suspicions.

To improve our understanding of what happened in London – and to find a way to connect the dots between these events I have described – it’s essential that we now examine a much maligned part of men: his inherent primal masculine. london_riot

There is a wildness that exists in all men. It’s the wildness of Iron John and for the ones who don’t understand men, it may seem as a chaotic and violent energy. But the true Wild Man puts a man in touch with his emotions and makes him a courageous and powerful force of good in the world. He may not be a politically correct force of good, but a force of good nevertheless.

Every good woman looking for a man and every young man looking for a mentor secretly yearns for this Wild Man quality. Some young men may find it in a martial arts sensei or an unusually powerful teacher or youth club leader. I judge that the truest parts of us always appreciate the Wild Man quality, for it represents a man’s heart and soul – and we intuit that such things are important. Indeed, for those of us who have successfully evaded society’s attempts at brainwashing us with its anti-male propaganda, this force is extremely benevolent.

Yet the Wild Man is feared by liberals and conservatives alike. In the postmodern world, this ancient energy is under attack by naive socialogists who think, entranced by nonsense PC ideals, that people are born as blank slates. If you then think that all the ills of the world are caused by  men, and that this wildness seems a lot like the destructive force you are trying to combat, the path to thinking that you can remove the wildness from a man by changing his social conditioning is short. What these confused ideologues then do is treat a boy as a broken girl and suppress a big part of him, force-feeding him the idea that if he were more like a girl, things would be better2. It is likely that the boys affected will harbor anger and bitterness towards the world as a result. They have after all been under attack by the very people whose job it is to protect and teach them. This anger will often be hidden behind a veneer of nice (passive aggression) and will sometimes be expressed as rebellion.

The institutionalized war against boys I just described cannot, despite the wishes of those who have made it their jobs to hurt men, alter the fabric of reality. And reality is that for a boy to grow up to be a loving and responsible man there is nothing more important to him than to feel authentically powerful. The man who feels weak, as it so happens, is out of touch with his true heart and soul. He becomes a talking head who enjoys intellectual masturbation as well as the occassional ejaculation. But authentic feelings of love and empathy are hard for him to access. Some end up as raging and rebellious, which would aptly describe the London rioters. Some end up as emotionally numb, yet seemingly well-adjusted narcissists, which seems to aptly describe the Oslo terrorist – and a frightening amount of politcians and CEO hotshots. And yet some end up as chronically nice and sensitive, trying to live the life of a man on the terms of a woman.

Although it doesn’t excuse their behaviour, these rioters clearly have not been shown their power and their beauty by an elder. And when the authentic, benevolent force of the inner Wild Man has not found a healthy expression in a man’s psyche, it comes out sideways, as truly destructive behaviour. Modern politicians, sociologists, feminists and gender “experts” are doing their best to take a man’s power away from him, but only a man who doesn’t feel authentically powerful is a threat to society.

The promise of initiation

The promise of initiation and authentic ritual process is that they connect a man to his inner Wild Man energy. Thus a man learns, metaphorically speaking, how to wield a sword and dance at the same time. He also finds his rightful place under the stars, among the trees and the animals. But after the onset of the industrial revolution, we don’t teach that anymore. With machines now running our lives, we seem so hypnotized by the distractions of "civilization" that we have completely lost touch with the soulful nature-energy required for sword-wielding dances. That energy predates machines. And it will outlive machines. For it is like a slow, eternal, cosmic hum at the source of the world – and its promise is to return us to right relationship with creation itself. Deep down, every man’s soul knows this and it is this knowing combined with the facts of modern life that trigger our modern epidemic of depression.

There are no excuses for killing 77 people to avoid facing yourself or for burning buildings for shits and giggles and plasma televisions. And yet, there is something to be learned from this: A society that doesn’t take the challenge of its young men seriously is walking a precarious path towards its own destruction. And if the way men and boys are falling behind in society in virtually every measurable way is any indication, we have a rocky path ahead.

Here in Norway, the wave of love that washed over us after the July atrocities has been amazing. It has touched me in ways I didn't expect and I have been proud of the people I'm a member of. Yet one fact remains – the best defense in the public eye to prevent this from happening again is more tolerance and more multiculturalism. That surely sounds nice, but I don’t agree that it will make us safe from harm. For that to happen, I judge we must look for ways to accept responsibility for what happened3 and from that place of maturity start mentoring and initiating our boys so they become beautiful, powerful men.

It would do us well to honor the enormous psychological turmoil inherent in the process of becoming a man – and to realize that a society in which men are exposed to concerted efforts to make them doubt their power and beauty is in serious trouble. To stop our young men from feeling and causing terror, new answers must be sought. Now is the time.

 

1. Robert Moore tells us in his volume on the Magician archetype that old native cultures chose its shamans amongst the young men who displayed the greatest signs of psychological instability. They did that because they knew these men would be the most empowered shamans once aided through their psychological turmoil.

2. This may start in kindergarten where employees may shame the more aggressive play style of boys and instead tell them to be quiet and behave. It continues from there throughout school where an ability to sit still and keep your mouth shut is preferred over active play and self-expression. That has huge consequences for the many boys who are more physical than cerebral. Instead of having their inner gold mined, they are shamed for being full of energy.

3. Accepting responsibility for the Oslo terror would involve accepting that the difference between you and I and the terrorist is way smaller than we’d like to think. It would also involve accepting that we have created a society where a person can be driven to such an extreme. There is a huge shadow side of our so-called civilized and humane society here to be explored. Consider that the less able you are to feel shared humanity with the terrorist, the more likely you are to be in denial of the same primal energies that operate within yourself.

  • http://www.pellebilling.com Pelle Billing

    An important piece. Is Norway ready to hear the message?

    Together with Kristian Stålne I will publish a piece on Breivik in the coming issue of Integral Review (http://integral-review.org/). There is some overlap with what you’ve written here (being fatherless in a postmodern society), but for the most part the articles will be very complementary.

  • http://www.pellebilling.com Pelle Billing

    An important piece. Is Norway ready to hear the message?

    Together with Kristian Stålne I will publish a piece on Breivik in the coming issue of Integral Review (http://integral-review.org/). There is some overlap with what you’ve written here (being fatherless in a postmodern society), but for the most part the articles will be very complementary.

  • EivindFS

    Thanks, Pelle. I’m not sure if we’re ready. Time will tell.

    I look forward to reading your article too! When will it be out?

    Eivind

  • http://www.pellebilling.com Pelle Billing

    They are looking to get the issue out within a couple of weeks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=577495451 Boysen Hodgson

    Brilliant. I would like to serialize this and post it to the MKP Journal … with brief introductory commentary – may I do that? Appreciating you. Thank you. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Boysen. That means a lot to me right now. It was edgy for me to write this article, however much I believe in what I say in it. That you vouch for the quality of it really means a lot to me.

    Yes, please share it with whomever you want.

  • Christian

    Eivind – I’m a young man who wants to do the good, right, and unique acts that I feel are part of my potential but am constantly up against my own dark side and just as constantly frustrated – even infuriated – by the false lessons that I was taught by the media and my parents, teachers, and even (saddest of all) my peers. 

    It is hard to simultaneously grasp the unique and glossed-over problems that I, as a 21st century male, am dealing with and suffering from while still remaining forgiving and open towards the individuals and groups that seem to both cause and ignore those problems, but I am trying. 

    The part that is toughest is probably the catch-22 that expressing my honest unhappiness or depression pushes girls away, but faking a glib, playful, and ever-strong persona undoubtedly draws them to me. I am 75% of the time happy and optimistic, but when that 25% dark side comes out I have learned to repress it in public or with girlfriends – because if I don’t, there is a social price to pay, every single time. 

    Sometimes I feel despair that I may not ever find a partner who is alright with my dark side as well as my bright side. I guess I just don’t want to be emotionally alone forever… and there’s no worse feeling of isolation than when you’re “with” somebody and have to keep a secret from them that you wish you could share.

    But aside from all that, I just want to say that you are a mentor to me, and I love your writing. Insights, real insights that can have a positive impact on day-to-day quality of life, don’t come from playing it safe or repeating what others have said – it’s only when we’re right up close to the edge of the cliff that we get the best view of the landscape. Please keep it up. 

    – Christian

  • Tom C

    There have been immature kings throughout the ages, the Hitlers, the Neros etc. but today we lack the King Arthurs or Churchills, male leaders who stand up to what is wrong, with the truely noble intentions. Many leaders today do good things as a form of credit to their political bank. They are drawn to the power and strive to hold that power at just about any cost. They ooze political correctness, because that also adds to their political bank. They emasculate the warriors, in attempts to be viewed as tolerant. The truth is there are bad people in this world. Today’s warriors are taught to fight, but we lose the noble goal somewhere along the line. The medival knights were charged with protecting the people under their watch, today the view is ‘I will take care of myself you do the same.’ Boys are taught winning is not important, ‘you are all winners’. We dont keep score in soccer or baseball games, no sense of accomplishment is gained, no reward for exceptional effort. Male only clubs are viewed with disdain.

    With a lack of strong male guidance and leadership, the repressed inner male archetype may see the world in a mess and this is a way to change it. I believe the young man in Norway truely felt he was doing something that would alter what he viewed as a bad situation. The immature warrior felt in some warped view that his actions would elevate him as a leader.

    Deep down inside, men and women are different. This psychological boundry was documented over 100 years ago, even though it was known for centuries. We can not alter this in one generation. We have a story on our web site regarding elephants that illustrates what you and I know…
    “Orphaned adolescent male elephants were placed on a wildlife refuge in Pilanesburg, South Africa between 1992-1997. These elephants began to attack and kill the white rhino population as their physical aggression escalated through elephant adolescence. Park Rangers introduced mature bull elephants into the herd and the maulings and killings stopped immediately — Our youth need mature men in their lives, to shepherd, guide and teach them how to be a man.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dag-Furuholmen/100001946761290 Dag Furuholmen

    Hi Eivind!
    A complex paper on masculinity that shows some of the difficulty all men have to face, the fear of deficiency and the compensatory ego structure we tend to identify with completely. 
    For my part as a professional my first impulse was to stop the lawyer from prosecuting his case in the media going for insanity. It is his job, but I found it distasteful. His narcissism is just screaming at us all, but like you said he just could not let go of his world view. I have commented this in my blog masculine challenges:  http://livingmasculinity.blogspot.com/ 
    I think the main point that also you point to Eivind is how his psychological problem is manifested in an ideology of hate and superiority. This is a point most media miss The ideology as I see it is secondary to his lack of self esteem. I think this is a very common mechanism. A lot of people that got involved with the extreme left when I was a young man, had serious unfinished business with their authoritarian parents. Interestingly enough they found a compensation that both gave them a vent for their pent-up anger and also the well known security of the authoritarian framework and rules of the organization. I don’t think we need a lot of phantasy to see the same pattern in some of the extreme rightwing milieus. 

  • Peter Kessels

    Eivind,

    Congrats on this. I admire the courage, insight, craziness, compassion and wisdom it takes to not just write something like this, but put it online as well. 

    This goes to show that a lot of what makes the news these days, is clearly signaling that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way young men are (not) being raised. It takes voices like yours to interpret that and point it out, since apparently it’s not that obvious to everybody, and then still many will may not want to hear it.

    However else is reading this: you have a voice as well. Better use it. We need it.

  • Sten Johnsen

    A truly deep and touching article on a subject that is also dear to me. I remember watching the i interview with ABB’s ‘lost’ father, listening to what he said, thinking: The men in this world does not need more fathers whishing their sons had killed themselves.
    Having said that I can very well understand the need to distance one self from the horrible actions he committed. It takes a lot of strength and courage to not distance one self and focus on what I can do to create change to the better.

  • Rigel White

    Eivind~  It is wonderful to me that you have put something that is of paramount importance….This issue deserves our greatest efforts.  I am a mother of a 16 year old boy that is going through exactly what you describe and it is killing me.  

    I had a young brother who was 17 that took his life with drugs and a nephew who is in jail for repeated delinquent behavior.  I dont know what to do anymore.  I believe our current social structure is under total renovation and our young men are being left out in the cold with no idea how or what to turn to & it is eating them alive. Our young men have become victims to this cultural terrorism aimed at their hearts & bodies and as a mother it has ripped at my soul and caused so much pain…that i find myself numbed… out of grief half the time & frantic panic~pain the other half…..The drama has left me totally exausted mentally & physically & spiritually.  I have NO idea what to do.  

    There are tons of programs for men & none for young boys…except pathetic  winded religious dogma meant to strip men of their glory & leave them dull & even further deepening this wound or militaristic training….which cant be the way, both are two extreme sides of the camp…this cant be the balance they need. Sports can’t touch what we are talking about here….this is not play….this is mans work and our young men are imploding because the world can no longer see what that looks like anymore from the wider truth of an honest & healthier cultural perspective. 

    Thank you for addressing this Eivind…it is a relief to know that others can see what the world seems to be missing.  I don’t have any answers…I just have to let go now, there isnt anything else i can do.

    Regards, Christina

      

            

  • Anonymous

    I was very moved by your message, Christian. It does indeed sound tough.

    What you are describing is enormous, both, I judge, in you as well as in society, and it’s a daunting task to address it with just one comment here.

    I feel drawn to tell you that I’m now offering free coaching to a select group of men as I’m developing my own coaching platform.

    If you want to talk with someone who has been where you are and who has largely come through it, send me a note with the contact form.

    You have a choice – you go for truth and whatever pain and social stigma that comes with it. Or you go for lies, superficiality and apparent success. I chose the former and suffered greatly. But then, here I am. And there they are. I’m happy with my choice.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Dag!

    I really like the point you make about his lack of self esteem being a more important point than his ideology. That feels incredibly important. It makes his ideology seem somewhat arbitrary all of a sudden – just one random way of defending a hurt self image. Maybe not entirely random though – I deduct that if your friends with authoritarian parents reacted with a leftist pathology, then the terrorist’s right-wing pathology comes from too little authority in his childhood.

    It’s just in intuitive hit – and it matches well with what I know about him. What do you think?

    Interesting insights here. Thanks

  • Timidbuck

    In simple terms what you are describing is what Rush Limbaugh calls the”chickifacation”of men.Men NEED to be men,it is in our blood.I hunt,that is what men are,hunters.Not very”PC”,but very true.My Father was my mentor,he taught me to hunt,in that and other lessons from him and other men in my life I learned to be a man.This”PC”world is”killing”the man as it has been known.Instead of hunting animals the youth are hunting people!                                                                                 I am Timidbuck,I did my weekend in October of’97.Some who read that will not know what it is,but some will.                                 Your article tells the truth and the truth is never neutral.Be proud of this writing and don’t back off because it is not”PC”.

  • Anonymous

    Heck yeah – men need to be men. And when you mention Rush Limbaugh, I’m uncomfortable with having my thinking and his thinking compared. I don’t know him well, but I get that he is approaching this from a very different angle to me. I see you have done your NWTA, so I know you know this, but I just want to emphasize that I’m not advocating a regression to old macho ideals. I’m talking about going beyond feminism, not back to patriarchy. It’s a process of synthesis.

    The reason I make this point is that it is hard to make a positive statement about men in this country without some public figure making claims that you are from the far right. They don’t see the full picture and can’t differentiate between old-fashioned conservative politics and truly integral politics.

    That said, this world is definitely killing the male spirit, as several comments above testify, and it has to stop.

    Thanks for reading, Timidbuck! I appreciate your support.

  • Anonymous

    It pains me to read this, Christina. But you are wrong – programs do exist for boys. I will get back to you with more info.

  • Anonymous

    It appears my hypothesis is nonsense. I think of Hitler and his authoritarian father and it all crumbles. Ah well, it was worth a shot. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, buddy :-) Craziness? Heh – I’m going insaaaane.

  • Anonymous

    I thought the same thing when I heard what the father said, Sten… I thought to myself that it made his, in my judgment, gross parental neglect all the clearer.

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  • Peter Kessels

    Race you to it!

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate your thoughtful comment, Tom. And I love the example with the elephants. The journey from boy to man is challenging even in the animal kingdom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julien.devereux Julien Devereux

    James Hollis in his book Saturn’s Shadow: The Wounding and Healing of Men says that there are seven steps to healing for men.
    1. Remember the loss of the father (elder wisdom)
    2. Tell the secrets
    3. Mentor and be mentored by other men
    4. Risk loving other men (not necessarily sexually)
    5. Heal yourself (psychologically, emotionally)
    6. Restore your soul’s journey
    7. Join the revolution

    The revolution he talks about is each man taking responsibility for his own shadow and not projecting it into the world in a dangerous way.

  • http://www.filo.cat Enric Carbó

    Great text! Congratulations. Deep and compassionate analysis.
    I think there is an aspect that should deserve more insight;  As you said, the perpetrator was fatherless. I heard on TV that police went to south of france were his father lived, they didn’t had any contact for years. I wondered why they didn’t talk about the mother. Well, on Spanich TV is topic that violence is just a men’s issue, if a woman kills her husband or her children is because she is nuts, is not a matter of violence but a matter for psychiatrists -In fact if she kills a husband does not appear on TV, except to say it was self-defence from a batterer. Anyway, I didn’t hear anything else about his family. What I wonder is how such hate could be put into this man’s soul, this hate that made him develop such delirant ideas that brought him to the massacre without remorse. How was his soul constructed? What were his experiences in childhood, when teenager? I am not making reference to what you said, Eivind, about the “fear of the other” in those examples of the couple of youth or the taxi driver. I refer to something more deep. This man not only lacked connexion with his masculinity and his inner power, as you brilliantly have described; many men are like this. Without a father, as experts say, a man has difficulty to manager his inner impulses. On the other hand laws in Western countries help fatherlessness. What I ask myself is what happened to this man to lose contact with his father, and why he could develope such hate inside himself. It seems to me that both questions must be related, but I have not read anything about it in the press. On the other hand, if there is a connexion between both, the conclusion would go against the “polical correctness” (anti-male) dominant in our culture.

    I like this
    “Modern politicians, sociologists, feminists and gender “experts” are
    doing their best to take a man’s power away from him, but only a man who
    doesn’t feel authentically powerful is a threat to society.”
    Congratulations

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the book tip, Julien! I like all models that outline paths to maturity :-) I don’t understand #5 as healing ourselves seems to be the sum total of all of the others combined. I mean “healing yourself” doesn’t fit as a step on the ladder towards healing. It is the ladder itself.

    Do you have some understanding of what he means?

  • Riko Gestin

    Hi Eivind,
    I read your text a long time ago and I had to think about it, but the more I think, the more I got questions.
    At first, I think, it’s a really good and interesting work, may be essential.
    In the past, and I still do, I think a lot about gender theories and feminism. I  thought there was no difference between men and women (except biological obviolously).
    In France, for a few weeks, there’s a big moral dilemma about news books for highscool children in sciences : just a few lines which say that we born boy or girl and éducation, society influence our social identity – a boy can be more female and a girl more male deeply inside.
    This programm, even thought it’s only some lines in books, is very controversial and scandalous for conservative people.

    I do not know where’s my reflexion for a few months, since MKP perhaps…

    I agree, I think, with you, very deeply in other way.

    For me, at first, there was a big change : feminism. Simone de Beauvoir, in The second sex says, as introduction, “we didn’t born woman, we become woman”.
    And it joins your thought, for me. We didn’t born man, we have to become man. But as you shows it, in our modern societies, there’s no ways, no guides helping boy to grow up and develop their personalities for the best.
    In modern and occidental societies, in the precedent century, the evolution of women is perhaps, for me, one of the crucial event which changes everything.
    Instead of using this for evolution, men are desesperatly lost face to that. And, I believe that’s it’s more difficult to become a man than a woman.
    And it’s a shame because women shows us a way to improve…
    But, whitout “good” fathers, or guidesn or mentorees, boys, often, so often, are totally lost with what they are.


    Have to think again about that. That’s something primordial for the future and for this century, for evolution.

    Hope, it ‘s not too confused…

    Thanks Eivind, take care.

    Riko

  • Pingback: Initiation rites for boys | The ManKind Project Journal()

  • CheChai

    Except that Hitler was very Left-Wing so your hypothesis may have some merit to it.

    Don’t forget, the Right believes in personal liberty and responsibility, the Left believes that the state should decide how people should behave and act, hence Multi-culturalism is a leftist program, as are curbs on free-speech and anti-discrimination laws.

  • Running Deer

    Thank you for being so self-honest for so many years. It takes years of self-honesty to be able to begin to verbalize what’s going on inside. Being a writer helps. 
    I didn’t realize that other men too struggled with “going off the deep end” in their twenties. I certainly entertained some bizarre thoughts, despite trying to suppress them. Thank God I made it through. The biggest piece of salvation – that I was brought to on my knees – was that I opened up and started talking – and sharing honestly with other men. 
    Most domesticated people don’t get it, and in fact are scared. Thank God again for circles of men who can hold space for all of me – my archetypal energies – all of it. 

  • christian justice

    Is this blog aimed to nurture and encourage people to be terrorists???

  • EivindFS

    No, the opposite. Read it again.

  • erte4wt4etrg

    that’s great, so instead I get to be a mental patient omega instead of a shaman- go modernity!

  • http://www.masculinity-movies.com/ Eivind Figenschau Skjellum

    Yeah, it’s pretty bad I’m afraid. Our culture is quite insane.

    Hang in there – and consider my Inner Throne work to transmute some of that shaky psychological energy into your gifts. http://www.inner-throne.com

  • erte4wt4etrg

    Thanks. I’ve found mindfulness has helped alot, wish I’d had it as a kid

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