Updated: Aug 18
This is the sixth and last post in a series leading up to the European Men's Gathering this year, which I will be posting in order to set out my thoughts on the subject. See the previous post here.
So what to do about all of this? It’s easy enough to criticise other people. The difficult thing is creating a compelling personal vision for the individual man to find the path to a more meaningful life and create the energy to actually walk that path.
That is what we have been working on at Maniphesto for years. We have found some things that seem to work at least some of the time. We are still getting better. We have realised that we cannot help men with anything that we have not resolved in ourselves, which means that the work always starts with us. The main element that I think we have really got right is brotherhood. That is the horizontal relationship and while it is not easy, I think that we have some really great tools.
But this series of posts is not about the horizontal. It is about the vertical. This is the approach of getting to know your own Ur-Father, your Father-God. That is the next step for many of us. I am certain that we need to do it and that it will continue to give positive results as we progress. It is something that can be done no matter your religious convictions, where you are in your life, who you are and what has happened before. Having a good band of brothers is a big help of course.
So I believe, that if you want to be a good father for others, then you need to get to know your Ur-Father.
If your primary orientation in the world is as an evolutionary biologist, then you need to study Darwin. Not just read a bit about him. I mean study him intensely. If you are a philosopher, then start with Socrates. If you are a Marxist, then you have Das Kapital.
But take note, “knowing” is not just an intellectual exercise. In ancient writings, if it said “so and so knew is wife”, it means that he had sex with her, and that they are joined together in an state of intimate union and knowing. That is closer to the kind of knowing you need to do, rather than just reading a book or watching a Youtube video.
Reading about your Father will get you some of the way. But you need more. You need to experience him.
If you are a Christian you have the teachings of Jesus and the Church Fathers. I would start though with the psalmist's instruction to “be still, and know that I am God”. I will also mention here (yes I am biased) that I have found it better to approach with scepticism anything that has come out of Western Christianity the last 1000 years, where we often have the bickering of more jealous brothers than real fathers.
Whoever and whatever you are, get to know your father intimately. Understand his values, his nature. The small and intimate things about him that only his closest sons understand. Especially study all of the stories about him that you can find. It seems that stories play a very special role in communicating at this archetypal level of understanding.
If you are open to it, you can try praying to your father. You might experience a revelation. Or you might find that your father’s nature is very different to what you expected.
And then find other people who share the same father as you and who have spent time getting to know him. These are your brothers and sisters. We all need older brothers and sisters to look out for us, to point us on our way, and to admonish us when we are heading off course.
And we need younger brothers and sisters to learn how to take responsibility, to love and to guide with compassion and sensitivity. And of course to be inspired by their passion and drive.
At our events, Maniphesto uses “elders”. One of the roles of the elders is to share their stories with us of how they have searched for the Ur-father, the detours and distractions on their search, and the times they have actually managed to glimpse Him.
But no one can tell you exactly how you are to find Him. But if we are open to listening, then life has a tendency to point towards him. And I believe, that if you want to know him, and I mean really want to be reunited with your Ur-Father, and you listen carefully to what life and reality is saying to you, then you will hear him calling you.
And if you do find him, you will find that he can fulfill the deepest desires of your heart. Far more so than the small objects of desire and pleasures that we distract ourselves with.
And being reunited with your father, you will naturally come to share in his love for your Mother, for your Siblings and for all of your Children, who will all naturally flock around you as a true embodiment of the Ur-Father.
That was the last of this series of posts. Thanks for reading! If you want to see the first post again you can check it out here.