Okay, we’ll this was helpful. I read this book as one of the first ‘secular’ books on masculinity and relationships I read after having lived a life within the cloistered confines of religion.
I was acutely aware that I was missing vital pieces of the puzzle and that I needed insight and answers for my personal journey as a man, and this seemed like a good a place to start.
To be honest although I took good stuff from it the first time round, I have read it several times since, it’s that type of book. And although I don’t take Deida’s word as gospel, (I learnt the hard way not to give any form of ‘teaching’ that status). I have found this book to be one I’d class as part of my ‘Secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten me’ I have therefore approached ‘The Way of the Superior Man’ as I do all things now; ‘eat the meat and spit the bones’. I have to admit though that there are passages of insight throughout this book which really do help.
David Deida’s teaching seams to centre around clarifying the issues of polarity between the masculine and the feminine. I feel like his ‘why’ is to give the gift of insight into this slightly mysterious realm, so that our generation can benefit from a perspective that is not often taken into consideration.
I mean, in your own eating the meat and spitting the bones process if it doesn’t resonate with you, then surely there are other pastures in which to graze. But as a man who got married very young (19), and have since been married 25 years at time of writing and raised 4 children, I do what I can to keep my ear as close to the ground as possible.
My experience of men growing up (probably because I was raised amongst religious folk), were of dogmatic individuals, rigid in their beliefs and perspectives and predominantly unable to adapt to new information even when it was staring them in the face. My philosophy as a result has been ‘when you think you know the answer life changes the question’. Nowhere has this philosophy served me so well as in the ever changing landscape of relationships, particularly the intimate relationship I share with my wife.
Deida’s book helped me recognise that in interacting with the feminine, trying to use my masculine energy to coral, or contain it, is as futile as seeking to coral or contain the ocean. It taught me the imperative of discovering and pursuing my unique purpose as a man, how by living with an aim and an unshakable direction I am better situated to positively impact the feminine, and to engender trust and be able to share the gift of masculine clarity.
He also taught me to celebrate masculinity and femininity, that as a predominantly masculine individual , – (David makes clear the that masculine and feminine energy reside in us all). But I learnt from David that masculinity is something to be celebrated and given as a gift to my woman and the world. Can you imagine the transformation in my perspective from the buttoned up neurotic mind-set of religion or the confused man hatred of the society in which I grew up? Riddled with anxiety, guilt and insecurity trying to navigate planet earth. David helped shift certain key paradigms, so that I could see my place in the world from a much more holistic perspective. (thank you David).
And there is a lot of other stuff in there that really helps, the book reads predominantly as an existential meditation on the subject matter, more practical information can certainly be found in books like GS Youngblood’s ‘The Masculine in Relationship’ or even in Dr Glovers ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’. But if you have a mind that can comprehend the existential, you can draw a lot of practical as well as deeply inspirational insights from ‘The Way of the Superior Man’. And because we are physical beings having spiritual experiences this can be a very good thing.