In 1984, Bill Kauth had an idea to create a workshop for men. Bill saw that women were evolving, and men were struggling. The spiritual awakening potential of the New Warrior Training Adventure is now held by the ManKind Project International, a global educational and training organization. Kauth, Rich Tosi, & Ron Hering did not know that this ‘divinely inspired workshop’ would one day become a call to reclaim sacred male initiation for our time. Through this work, they saw men awaken, as the work touched a deep unspoken need in the masculine soul. Mircea Eliade an early 20th century historian and leading interpreter of religious experience, said that communing with the sacred is as fundamental a human need as air, water, food, and shelter.
The world is run by uninitiated men, boys in men’s clothing … wounded, insecure, abusive, bullies, predators. The current POTUS is a narcissistic teenager, as well as the other men in power, slowly being flushed out of hiding. In these men, the ego dominates, protecting and defending the great pain within. Rather than work on themselves, they project their pain onto others, and create the horror we now witness. The Ancients knew that boys and girls needed to be initiated into maturity to take their rightful place in the community. This rite of passage has been lost for many generations … until NOW.
The spiraling nature of human conscious must transcend & include, bringing what is useful from the past into what is imminently necessary in the present. The ancients were wise enough to bring this planet to us intact. But in less than 300 years, we are on the brink of disaster. Do you think they knew something about the laws of nature that we have somehow conveniently forgotten? Do you think they practiced sacred male & female initiations just because?
To give due credit, this awakening began in the 60’s, and eventually birthed the women’s movement in the 70’s & 80’s. When Kauth saw that women were moving powerfully forward, he also saw that men were moving dangerously backward. When Tosi & Hering asked him: “Why should we do a men’s training?”, Bill wisely said: “Because there aren’t any !!!”
A spiritual awakening begins when someone fully opens to the great mystery, and gets a glimpse of the Wholeness of the Heavens. I stay connected because I need the continual awakening that is the very fabric of the NWTA. And here is my core learning in relationship to the ManKindProject: it is a perfect place to project my unresolved hierarchical masculine issues. Many places along the vertical axis: father, boss, athlete, movie star, older brother, street gang, motorcycles, police, military, fraternities, clubs, power, money, corporations, arms, sex, drugs, & rock-n-roll. And then there is Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed … and all the other gods.
All my judgments or reactions to men in power represent the array of vertical issues still unresolved in me … I must project them somewhere. I ask that men take a good hard look inside, can you not see yourself in Donald Trump? Is he not one of us? Are the young men who do mass killings, or want to revitalize the KKK, are they not us as well? The mirror is a terrifying place to look.
Maybe it is time to reimagine the vertical … from a pole of only one on top, everyone else less than. To a more distributive structure … many moving up at different levels, with the ones above helping the ones below. Disabling the old architecture, building the new verticals: good male friendships and mentoring, teaching and learning from younger men, holding space for rage or grief and everything in between, learning how to be with women in a ‘new warrior’ way. And whether anyone likes it or not … Good Men + Good Women = our ONLY chance to save ourselves.