by Ed Gurowitz
In the ManKind Project we talk a lot about Jung’s four male archetypes – Magician, Lover, Warrior, King, but mostly we emphasize the Warrior. Our initiation weekend is the New Warrior Training Adventure, and during the weekend we hear the context for our work –
For thousands of years men have been warriors … In past times, men protected women, children and community – men took great honor in being this kind of Protective Warrior.
However, the world has often seen the Protective Warrior disappear after the rise of a dominating and destroying Shadow Warrior. Today, our world can no longer tolerate this Shadow Warrior way, damaging ourselves, our families and our planet; destroying cultures and killing each other. Transformation to the New Warrior has begun.
In some ways, the New Warrior is really not new at all, but recalls aspects of the Protective Warrior, and calls on us to shine a light into the darkness of the Shadow Warrior; in ourselves, in other men, and in the society as a whole. But there is much that is NEW in the New Warrior.
Even some of our most fundamental concepts … masculine and feminine … have evolved greatly over time, thanks in large part to the efforts of powerful women and men who have sought justice for members of our communities who have been dominated by the metaphorical Shadow Warriors of history. The New Warrior embraces evolutionary progress, seeks opportunities to connect, and helps all people embody their highest potential.
Today, it is not for man to be the sole Protector and Warrior. It is for the New Warrior to stand shoulder to shoulder with women and men as partners; as the protectors, builders, and healers our society needs.
In the USA in particular, the Shadow Warrior took on attributes that the Protective Warrior did not have – he became a loner – a one man army. Look at our Warrior heroes – the Lone Ranger, Rambo, Batman, the many manifestations of John Wayne. Bad guys rode in gangs; heroes rode alone. More recently the Shadow Warrior has also placed higher value on self-interest than on the greater good, and this has had disastrous effects on our families, our society, and our planet.
This image of the lone warrior stands in contrast to what we know about men historically. Human beings lived in tribes. They cooperated to provide for the tribe and to protect it – the men we cite in the New Warrior Context – Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Harvey Milk, surrounded themselves with men and women of like mind and courage and they formed movements. Each of these men spoke their truth fearlessly, and listened to and respected the truth spoken by others around them. They cooperated, collaborated, and built alliances with people who shared their views, AND with people who were unlike them in many ways. They were motivated by love, and though they recognized great injustice in the world, they did not resort to violence or vengeance to bring change.
It is now up to us, one good man with other good men, to create a safer and more compassionate world for ourselves, our loved-ones and the generations to come. As Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a thoughtful group of committed citizens can change the world, for indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
“One good men with other good men” is at the heart of our being able to do what we are committed to doing in the world. MKP USA’s vision is to create a world where men act on their individual and shared responsibility to the future of humanity, and we can’t do that one man at a time.
At our New Warrior Training Adventure weekends, the staff and men of service (MOS) outnumber the the participants – we conduct the initiatory experience with men in groups and as a group. The individual roles men take on in the weekend, whether as Leaders, Elders, Purification Ceremony Leaders, MOS, Coordinators, etc., are left behind when the weekend ends. There is a place and a need for individual accountabilities and well-defined leadership, but in the end we are a circle in which no man stands above any other man.
So I want to challenge you with a sensei question: Are you engaged with MKP as an individual consumer of what MKP has to offer – a lone wolf seeking self-gratification – or are you a part of movement of New Warriors? As a Warrior, are you Rambo, going it alone, justifying isolation, and suffering in silence, or are you MLK, harnessing your gifts in service to the greater good – a mission that will change the world?
MKP USA is such a group of concerned citizens and we need your membership and contribution. We can’t go it alone any more.
Till next time, Aho!
Out with Gratitude,