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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Arrow Taming The Male Ego....

    Taming the male ego: Men encouraged to get in touch with a more primitive spirituality

    Katherine Dedyna Times Colonist Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    Masculine spirituality is no laughing matter. Even a turbo search on Jokes.com can't come up with a single match for "men and spirituality.''

    And no one takes it more seriously than Richard Groves, a low-key but charismatic expert on male grief who says modern men have a lot to learn from primitive societies about how to heal themselves and the world.

    It's why he's silhouetted against the glorious stained glass window of the Church of St. John the Divine on Quadra Street, holding a small clay seed pot in his hand. The pot is a Navaho talisman of masculine healing. He asks every person in the pews to pass it around and breathe into it the name of a dead male they have loved.

    "Women know how to cry naturally,'' he tells the assembly. "If we don't teach men how to cry and mourn, we will have monster males.''

    Groves's take on taming the male ego by reconciling male pain and male rites of passage makes for a provocative way to spend an hour in church.

    Here goes.

    Modern men are stuffed with the mind games and power trips of "calculating Western culture." They are starving for authentic male spirituality and can't even cry about it.

    Underlying their pain is the idea that Western culture is the first in human history to abandon the rites of passage used for millennia to socialize young males to full maturity -- including the freedom to wail.

    Tribal cultures knew that boys of 12 needed to know the important lessons of life. Untutored, they would react to the challenges of adulthood with anger, cynicism and violence.

    "In initiation, the boy is taught, 'your life isn't about you. You are about life. You're about the greater mystery.'"

    Today, boys who are not initiated by society will initiate themselves. That might be piercing, tattoos and gangs bent on destruction. Sound familiar?

    A former chaplain in both prison and the military, Groves is co-founder of the Sacred Art of Living Centre in Bend, Oregon, author of The American Book of Dying and an international leader in the study of the male psyche. At 53, he has grandchildren and degrees in canon law, medical ethics and theology and can converse in 10 languages. He seems to know whereof he speaks.

    Modern men get the message that they're not only warriors, but lone warriors. They're fearful of other males who have wounded them or cast them adrift in fierce competition, conditioned to live in isolation and mistrust.

    Mentors aren't there to teach them early.

    "Teach a boy early enough about optimism, teach him that he has a choice about deciding what he wants to be and do with his life,'' advises Groves. Give him what every man wants: "Respect from other men.''

    Groves warns it's dangerous to leave many of them thinking there is no purpose to life.

    "There's a face-off going on in the world between the haves and the have-nots and if we don't 'get it,' then the spiral of terrorism will not stop. Males have to be taught that or they will be the warriors who will blow us off the planet. The primitives knew it, but with sticks and swords, they couldn't destroy the planet. Now we can.''

    Groves did his PhD on spiritual pain from deathbed experiences. He has sat at 500 bedsides watching people die and he has seen the toll that unexpressed grief has exacted from men. He describes Larry, a military man dying with his deepest work undone: reconciliation with a son he had ostracized for being gay.

    "Larry was in such pain. He had enough morphine to snow the neighbourhood but you can't snow spiritual pain.''

    One night, the son awoke from a terrible nightmare, called the military, got his father's whereabouts and called in the middle of the night from Japan. Their sobbing "I love you's" made it possible for Larry to die at peace.

    "I've seen this time and time again,'' says Groves. "There has to be some way to stop this cycle, to help men 'get it' at an earlier age. A very small minority of women die this way compared to the number of men I've seen die this way.''

    "We used to talk about women being the weaker sex. No. Men are. We're chicken. We're broken and we're very frightened of pain.''

    Ancient traditions brought into modern spirituality give Groves hope. His teenage grandson -- "a normal, basketball-playing, girl-chasing kid" -- has told him his life will never be the same after a life-changing ritual in the desert.

    Young people need the chance to experience that depth of spiritual work.

    "It will heal them. It will heal you. It will heal the world''

    Back to the seed pot.

    When it comes full circle, 30 minutes later, Groves smashes it on the floor. It's a crashing, masculine metaphor for breaking open the grief stuck inside of men.

    "We don't know how to cry. We don't know how to mourn. Only men can teach men how to do this. That ritual, shocking to the psyche, helps guys get it.''

    Boys are no longer taught the four stages life that served mankind for millennia. Without them "so-called primitive societies would have collapsed,'' says Richard Groves, an expert on male ritual and grief.

    The stages are the student; the householder/father figure establishing family, job and life path; the mid-life wanderer rediscovering meaning at the peak of his powers; and the sage mentoring young males.

    Unfortunately, modern Western males are stuck in phase two.

    "The human spirit requires of it greatness or it withers and dies,'' says Groves. The ancient forest dweller went to the wilderness, leaving accomplishments behind, and stayed there long enough to re-learn the lessons of life. When he returned, sages helped him integrate his inner life and his outer world.

    Modern men don't know about the wilderness walk at the height of their powers.

    "By mid-life, you'll be materialistic, selfish and turned in on yourself .... Men are hopelessly trapped in their minds and the forest-dweller teaches the man to turn off the calculating mind where nothing can be known about God or the mystery of the universe.''

    In the West, men avoid the sage stage. "In Africa, to be called old man is the greatest honour and dignity you can bequeath on anybody. Here we do anything to avoid old age.''

    Women, please persuade the men you love to attend a retreat, Groves implores. "It will heal them, it will heal you and it will heal the world.''

    A MALE RETREAT

    Rev. Andrew Twiddy, rector of St. Anne and St. Edmund Anglican parish in Parksville, says he hopes that men can embrace a new spiritual tradition through rites of passage in Calder, Oregon. Twiddy will attend May 22-26 for five days of time-honoured male initiation, including rituals and teaching. The cost is $625, including food and lodging.

    Men will undergo a five-day forest retreat -- "a process of spiritual discovery and initiation in the quest for a more balanced masculinity and the task of eldership.''

    For more information, call 250-248-3114; e-mail josephsworkshop@shaw.ca or click www.bc.anglican.ca for application forms.

    Ran with fact box "A male Retreat" which has been appended to the story.

    © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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  2. #2
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Question

    You ever post anything other then the writings and opinions of others?
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Blah,blah blah, blah blah blah blah!

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Dennis, I dont necessarily agree or disagree with much of what I find to post. I do however present items which might be of interest to someone else.

    As for your question, well you are entitled to your thoughts and opinions regarding the content of my posts and threads. You have the option to read or not read as you see and feel fit. That is your opinion, and you are deeply entitled to it. And even better is that I will defend to the death (being a professional soldier and all) that you should be allowed the honour of being able to present your opinion openly and without fear of reprimand.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  5. #5
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    The cost is $625, including food and lodging.
    Eh? We usually just get a case of beer and go camping.

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    Default Re: Taming The Male Ego....

    Originally posted by MalahatTwo7
    [B][B][COLOR=BLUE]Taming the male ego: Men encouraged to get in touch with a more primitive spirituality

    Katherine Dedyna Times Colonist Tuesday, March 22, 2005
    I couldn't help but notice that this article was written by a woman. I know she uses this guy Groves but she's the one writing the piece of crap. Just another article to make men feel useless because they "just don't get it".

    By the way, is it Colonist or Columnist?

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    Default Re: Re: Taming The Male Ego....

    Originally posted by RESERVE172


    I couldn't help but notice that this article was written by a woman. I know she uses this guy Groves but she's the one writing the piece of crap. Just another article to make men feel useless because they "just don't get it".

    By the way, is it Colonist or Columnist?
    Get what?

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Taming The Male Ego....

    Originally posted by DepChief135


    Get what?
    They don't get how to become more in touch with their feelings..............how to cry............how to mourn..........how to discover their spirituality...........how to have a more balanced masculinity............blah,bl ah,blah. No disrespect, Deputy, but did you read the same article I did? The article questions mens ability to show their emotions, deal with adversity and suggests that we all need to under-go a five day retreat. Give me a break.

    EDIT: OK, I just got your "get what"? Pretty funny~LOL~ I am not and never will claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer.
    Last edited by RESERVE172; 03-23-2005 at 10:14 PM.

  9. #9
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    DepChief

    I got your "Get what?" and had a bloody good laugh. cheers.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Talking Re: Re: Re: Re: Taming The Male Ego....

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by RESERVE172
    [B] They don't get how to become more in touch with their feelings..............how to cry............how to mourn..........how to discover their spirituality...........how to have a more balanced masculinity............blah,bl ah,blah. No disrespect, Deputy, but did you read the same article I did? The article questions mens ability to show their emotions, deal with adversity and suggests that we all need to under-go a five day retreat. Give me a break.

    ok...now you just made me cry... KIDDING!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member JenniJ375's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    Eh? We usually just get a case of beer and go camping.
    That sounds like my type of retreat!!!
    ~~Jenni~~
    Canaan Fire Department-Canaan, NH
    "In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand,
    we will understand only what we are taught."
    Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist

  12. #12
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    "Women know how to cry naturally,'' he tells the assembly. "If we don't teach men how to cry and mourn, we will have monster males.''
    Richard Groves has never been to a firefighter's funeral or the memorial services in Emmitsburg and Colorado Springs, has he...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  13. #13
    Senior Member JenniJ375's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo


    Richard Groves has never been to a firefighter's funeral or the memorial services in Emmitsburg and Colorado Springs, has he...
    I have been to the memorial services in Colo Spgs..i have to say....WOW....very moving....
    ~~Jenni~~
    Canaan Fire Department-Canaan, NH
    "In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand,
    we will understand only what we are taught."
    Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist

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