In it I said, “How often do you hear men say, “My wife doesn’t understand me.” What they really mean is, “I don’t understand my wife.”
How To Love A Woman Course now available. Click here for full details.
Do Men of Action make the world go round or are they dinosaurs who cause chaos wherever they go?
A recent email from a friend let loose about talk and inaction. It made me stop and think about what a man is at his core and question whether there are there common qualities in men. I’m not talking about the media view of men but a personal view based on experience and knowledge.
The email said,
“I feel angry and sad that coming up on a year we are essentially speaking about the same things we did when we formed alignment, collaboration, purpose, and leadership. […] I want us to stop discussing, planning and analyzing. Either produce or move on.”
Those words resonate with so much that has happened in my life.
My eXperience of Men of Action
For the first decade of my working life I was in the theatre in practical and design roles. The key to the work was achieving successful productions. People could see the results and judge the level of success. There was a resistance to spend time talking: there was usually too much to do.
Later I moved into the construction industry, as a designer, and discovered a world of constipation and dissension. You could easily spend most of your time in meetings discussing endless details of design and cost, and forget the work that had to be done. People were afraid of action, afraid of the cost implications, to the extent that projects often lost that spark of imagination that great buildings are known for.
I have been known in my life as a man of action and have both achieved and caused upset. I often do before I think, even though I love logic and conceptual thought. The question is what is more beneficial to the world, men of action of men of thought.
Hugh Thomas Brown considered this in 1854 in a debate at the Dialectic Society on Men of Action. He said,
“It may however be said, by those on the other side of this question; that those ambitious warriors, and conquerors, who have swept some of the fairest climes of Earth with devastating armies, have done more serious injury to the human race, than the skeptical French philosophy, and they will no doubt parade this before you, as one of their strongest arguments. But It seems to me, that we have no right to decide on the motives of men in the abstract, but we are to look at, a man’s acts, and his life summed up together, apart from their moral quality, and see whether they were detrimental or beneficial to the human race.
Now there have been many ambitious heroes, whose aspirations were only for dominion and conquest, and who cared not how many widows and orphans were made in the accomplishment of their purpose; yet when we come to look at the ultimate result of their careers, they were, we find, decidedly beneficial to the world. It is a fact that all history, sacred and profane, teaches that the great Author of our being in the working of his misterious providence, does not always choose his owneas instruments for working good to mankind.”
Brown was himself a man of action who became a lawyer, after graduating university and was killed as a captain in the Confederate army. He separates men’s achievements from the morality of their actions, a necessary device as action never considers its rightness or effect.
Alexander The Great – One Of The Great Men Of Action
Alexander the Great was, in many ways, a brutal man, but he carved an empire that had a lasting effect on Europe and Asia. He brought men together and encouraged them to see beyond their locality and beyond simple conquest. He elevated the nations he overcame and encouraged them to think and work together and to move beyond petty racism.
“Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies closely to hand.”
But Alexander turned that on its head and saw into the distance and into the future. No amount of philosophising and argument would have enabled his vision to prevail, only action was possible.
“Mark this well, you proud men of action! you are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.”
( Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel)
Alexander was the instrument of Greek philosophers he had studied when young, but it was Alexander who showed the world what the men of thought were considering.
Action is a truly masculine quality. It is forged from base metals of focus, direction, power and strength. It sees far into the future and it sweeps aside petty considerations. What is important is achieving the end desired. People often question whether the end justifies the means, men of action certainly think so.
Femininity is less inclined to take precipitate action. Women are more caring and compassionate. They see the effects on people and that concerns them. It is right that they should because the world of men needs their balance. Great men live in polarity with great women who temper their action without dissipating it, they know how to love a man. This partnership is practically unbeatable.
Men look at yourselves and what you do. Do you take action or do you vacillate in thought and lose the opportunity you had? What would be better for the world, what would be better for you?
Gary Stamper in “Beyond Integral”, who knows a thing or two about relationships, has recently written on the importance of polarity in relationships.
He said, “I have a friend who doesn’t get the importance of sexual polarity in a relationship. He loves that they are in a balanced relationship, each holding equal parts of the masculine and feminine. I guess it works for them, but for me it would like pushing two north poles of magnets together, repelling each other. They are great friends, but not intimate. It’s definitely safe, but certainly not passionate. They are great roommates. I am happy for them, but it’s not what I want in an intimate relationship. it feels flat to me. The masculine and feminine are like two magnets, and the principle of polarity also applies to intimate relationships: if you put their north and south poles together, they attract each other.”
From my own experience I totally agree with him. Polarity is possibly the most vital element in living intimate relationships.
What is it about Polarity in Intimate Relationships that is so important?
Thinking about it after reading Gary’s post about the importance of relationships, I realised it is very basic:
- Polarity creates energy and intimate relationships are about energy. Energy gives them life and makes them exciting. I have learnt a great deal on this through Tantra where energy is everything.
- Polarity usually ensures that both sides in intimate relationships are in their core. It is critical that each person is at ease with themself and is comfortable with how the other is. Polarity reveals so much about this.
- Polarity ensures their is no confusion in intimate relationships. Each knows his/her contribution to it and each enjoys the contribution of the other.
- Polarity creates great sex, on both sides. This is important for the longevity of intimate relationships.
It was fashionable when I was younger for men and women to seek equality in their intimate relationships, I remember looking for this myself. It seemed fair to give the woman equal say in what happened in the relationship and for the man to equally contribute. There is no reason why polarity cannot include elements of this. Re-awakened intimate relationships will take the best of the past and integrate it into a new, exciting, energetic relationship.
What is your experience of Polarity in Intimate Relationships?
In thinking about my handfasting, I go back over 50 years ago to a trip to Yugoslavia, into what is now Serbia.
I was a young man on my first extensive trip abroad. I stayed with Mama Lepa (Leposava Mihailovic, my sister-in-law’s mother). This was in the days of Marshal Tito, the days when people were proud of Yugoslavia.
One morning I met an old friend of Mama Lepa’s who told my fortune using beads. I remember little about it apart from the prediction that I would be married three times. I found this strange at the time and thought it nonsense. But it lead to my handfasting.
Nearly 40 years ago I married and thought no more of the prediction until I divorced in the last 5 years. It came back to me and made me wonder. Just over a week ago I married again and on the evening of our wedding day I realised that this day was being predicted all those years ago.
But that’s twice, you are thinking! I’ll get to that.
Handfasting – Who did I marry and why?
Cheta Urmila (now Urmila Phoenix) is the light of my life and my constant companion in work and travel. We love doing the same things and we have so much in common.
We love each other and, more importantly, we have a relationship of polarity. This polarity is at the core of who we are and how we are with each other. It infuses how we approach each day and how we spend time together.
We are each other’s life and joy.
We have found that since we decided to marry, last July, our relationship has become stronger and deeper. The element of private and public commitment has been an enormous boost. The wedding day itself is a culmination of this both publically and privately.
What did we do and why?
We had two wedding days, one private and one public; the balance between the two was crucial to us.
The first day we went to Stonehenge at 5am to conduct a handfasting, literally to ‘tie the knot’. This was a very personal service, there was just the two of us, in a place of phenomenal energy and power. The sun rose through the mist a new day and a new life was born for us. In the ceremony we said,
Above us are the stars.
Below and around us are the stones. .
May the Sun bring us energy by day.
May the moon softly restore us by night
May the Rain wash away our worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into our being,
And all the days of our life
May we walk gently through the world and know its’ beauty.
We are two persons, but there is only one life before us.
We go now to our future, enter into the days of your life together.
May our days be good and long upon the earth.
A happy marriage is a lifetime of falling in love!
The next day we started with the legal ceremony at the Registry Office in Ely, Cambridgeshire. This created a union in law and was, for other people when we were actually married. This was an intimate and very moving ceremony. It was simple and direct. In it we used a reading of ‘Aloneness’ by Osho,
The capacity to be alone
is the capacity to love.
It may look paradoxical to you
but it is not,
It is an existential truth.
Only those people who are capable of being alone
are capable of love,
of going in to the deepest core of the other person,
without possessing the other,
without becoming dependent on the other,
without reducing the other into a thing and
without becoming addicted with the other.
They allow the other absolute freedom
because they know
if the other leaves
they will be as happy
as they are now.
Their happiness cannot be taken by the other
because it is not given by the other.
Then why do they want to be together?
It is no more a need, it is a luxury.
They enjoy sharing,
they have so much joy
they would like to pour in to somebody.
They know how to play
their life as a solo instrument,
the solo flute player knows
how to enjoy his flute alone
and if he comes and finds
a solo tabla player,
they both will enjoy to be together
and to create a harmony
between the flute and the tabla.
Later that day we went to Ely Cathedral for a Blessing of our Marriage. This was an awe-inspiring occasion which just blew us away. The majesty and wonder of that building was such a great setting fro the last of three ceremonies. We chose it because I created the lighting for it many years ago, it’s power continued for me.
I read an extract from ‘The Dance’ by Oriah,
I have sent you my invitation,
the note inscribed on the palm of my hand by the fire of living.
Don’t jump up and shout, “Yes, this is what I want! Let’s do it!”
Just stand up quietly and dance with me.
Tell me a story of who you are,
And see who I am in the stories I am living.
Together we will remember that each of us always has a choice
And after we have shown each other how we have set and kept
the clear, healthy boundaries that help us live side by side with
each other, let us risk remembering
that we never stop silently loving those we once loved out loud.
Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance,
the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart.
And I will take you to the places
where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead
make my heart whole again and again.
Sit beside me in long moments of shared solitude,
knowing both our absolute aloneness
and our undeniable belonging
Dance with me in the silence
and in the sound of small daily words,
holding neither against me at the end of the day.
And when the sound of all the declarations
of our sincerest intentions has died away on the wind,
dance with me in the infinite pause before the next
great inhale of the breath that is breathing us all into being,
not filling the emptiness from the outside or from within.
Don’t say, “Yes!”
Just take my hand and dance with me.
Handfasting – Thrice Married
That evening I was joking to friends about our three ceremonies, then it hit me… Thrice married…
Finally all is revealed…
For me great relationships are part of what makes life tick, so when I became a single man, after a long marriage, I started dating again. The prospect of a new relationship terrified and fascinated me.
I found I was an expert in one relationship but an innocent as far as women were concerned. What could I do? How could I learn about women and great relationships?
I asked for help from other men in my situation. I discovered there were a lot of them out there, and I also discovered that there were a lot of women, that gave me pause for thought. We were all looking for great relationships, one that would last. The most important issue, though, was that we were keen not to make the same mistakes again. Women, particularly, were sensitive about the prospect of men relationships after a previous, serious disaster.
I worked on all the basics; understanding men and women, understanding polarity and being strong as a man.
Men relationship is crucial to a full life, the problem, though, came down to a single, crucial issue:
What was I looking for? What are Great Relationships?
This was a puzzle to me, there was so much choice out there. How do I make a choice that will work for years to come? How can I distinguish between all the amazing women out there? Then I discovered the relationship vision. The answer to great relationships, men, is simple but it requires you to be single with a completely open field in front of you. This is before marriage and relationships. Continue reading →
Do you know what love is? You form a relationship and get married to affirm your place in the world. You learn, you think, how to treat a woman, how to be with her and you call that love. But ultimately it doesn’t seem to work. You wonder where love went and wonder how to love a woman.