For a long time I believed everything that the voice in my head told me. It was like being tutored by an over-adrenalized howler monkey. I broke down, lost my health, left my job, got depressed—all the usual hell. In the absence of elders, it can take a lot to gentle a man. To draw him inside.
Male initiation is not about teaching boys how to be men. It is about teaching boys how to be themselves. A man is a boy who knows himself. Shall he model himself on someone else? Hell, no. Imitation is suicide.
A man does not become a man on his statutory birthday. But that is pretty much all we can muster for boys today—some date on a wall calendar. Why so thin and superficial, so uninspired and desultory? Mainly, our connection to initiatory cultures is utterly broken. We don’t know why why it would be important to introduce boys on the cusp to the other world, to the dimension of being. We think cake and candles is roughly good enough. The thing is, young men need to be initiated. That’s why so many of them die at frat parties.
Being is primary; doing is secondary. Primary. Secondary. Young men need to drink this—and, perchance, get drunk on it. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
If we don’t know this, and know it profoundly, we are spiritually hogtied.