With the rise of Donald Trump to the centre-stage of global power, we are now being forced to recognise the detrimental effects of a particular version of the masculine psyche - one that is deeply disconnected and wounded - upon the rest of the inhabitants of our planet. Donald Trump, however, is not alone. His antics, of course, make him an easy target for ridicule and criticism. But the truth is that behind the facade of many supposedly more mature and polished politicians, businessmen and other masculine leaders there is, in fact, a wounded boy hiding. Simply put, it seems that our world is at least in part, run by little boys in men’s bodies. And some of these boys have access to dangerous toys which include nuclear weapons, the monetary system and the mainstream media. How can it be that immature men, some of whom are possibly personality disordered and emotionally disassociated, can rise into such immense positions of power? Where are the checks and balances within society to ensure that a man must be emotionally and spiritually mature before taking on the mantle of leadership? I would like to explore here why it is so vital that modern men from all walks of life sign what I call “the “Man Contract” and that stepping up to this contract be enshrined as an an essential rite of passage for men in every culture. The “Man Contract” is essentially a set of sacred agreements that a man can make once he has become aware of, and is ready to embody, his mature and sacred masculinity. It is a proposal for contemporary masculine initiation that I am setting out in a playful fashion to provoke, inspire and generate debate. The loss of initiation rites for modern men
In today’s modern culture, we are lacking in initiation rites and a clear moral compass when it comes to entry into manhood. This has somehow left a gaping hole in the masculine psyche. Masculine initiation is traditionally the realm of older men, who in their turn have been mentored and supported through generations of ancestral wisdom. However there are various reasons why our society no longer has the necessary "elders" and "wisdom keepers" whose role it would be to initiate and guide boys into manhood.
A principal reason is the existence of long-standing masculine trauma including war, slavery and cultural annihilation through invasion and colonialism - which has cut modern men off from their rich traditions of masculine initiatory wisdom and evolved power. The initiation rites of contemporary tribal societies, along with historical records of other eras, gives us a glimpse of what men worldwide may have experienced as a rite of passage into manhood through vast eras of human history. Without wanting to idealise these rites, as they are sometimes life-threatening and can brutalising in themselves - its important to acknowledge that they are considered an important marking point in a man’s life. They are there to mark a bridge between childhood, when a boy was bound to his mother, and his entry into manhood, where he will be guided by older men versed in their version of mature masculinity. Often these rites of passage take place when a boy reaches an age as early as 11 years old. Aspects of this initiation include ceremonial grieving by mothers for the loss of their boys, and the entry of the boy-man into the secret rites and initiations of the elder men. These rites provide the necessary challenges of strength, skill and virtue that must be passed for him to be marked as a man. Being a man means being ready to survive, be self-sufficient and co-create life with a female partner, thereby continuing the ancestral line and taking a rightful place as a mature member of the community. During these initiation rites, it is laid out very clearly what the essential qualities of manhood are. Depending on the culture and historical period in question this may include warrior-ship and strength, but might also include spiritual knowledge, emotional mastery, and respect for the relationship between masculine and feminine. These teachings help to situate a man powerfully yet humbly in the wider world and be clear about his value and role. The process of these rites create the container for an experiential process to guide the boy into manhood. Today in our culture, initiation rites have been reduced to the likes of college graduation, promotion in the corporate world, entry into gang membership or other such events. These incomplete initiations leave a gaping hole in our psyches, along with an absence of information, wisdom, role models and underlying values to guide us. We live in a world of traumatised men, often with wounded, absent or disempowered fathers. There is a shortage of genuinely mature, evolved and initiated men available to growing boys and adolescents to really embody mature masculine power and create a support system and role model for them. This is why the men’s movement is so crucial at this time. The "Boy Contract" and why it is dangerous for a grown man
If a man has never learned to step up into the Man Contract through initiation (see the details of the Man Contract below) the result is that he is essentially playing out what I call the "Boy Contract". This means that although biologically he is a grown man, he is still embodying the attitudes, emotional postures, expectations, and behavioural patterns that belong to an immature male of the species. Perhaps he does this by projecting his boyish wounds and desires onto others by dominating and abusing instead of taking personal responsibility for his inner immaturity. Or perhaps he takes flight to Neverland with Peter Pan and the lost boys, never quite landing in the hum-drum, sacrifice and demands of the mature adult male “provide and protect” role. This is where Donald Trump has us fascinated and repelled all at once. He embodies the Boy from a dizzying and dangerous position of manly power and influence - transparent and visible to see. In that sense he is doing us a service by bringing into sharp relief an aspect of wounded masculinity that, although extreme in his case, exists to some degree in most men. The vital components of the Man Contract
There are various areas of life where a man needs to step up into the mature and responsible aspect of himself. Here are just a few, but there are many more. 1. Man as mature sexual partner The Boy Contract stipulates that the primary relationship a man has to woman is his relationship with his mother. Here he receives nurturing, care, nourishment, and compassion from this ultimately unconditional love figure in his life. He does not need to do anything to prove that he is worthy of love. He is mummy’s boy. However upon signing the Man Contract, a man must change his masculine perception of the feminine from boy’s mother to that of woman as a partner and equal. A healthy boy/mother relationship is very different from a healthy man/woman relationship.
A mature and aligned feminine partner and equal will not give a man the unconditional coddling that a mother does. She will challenge him and call him to step up to develop core traits of faithfulness, abundance, responsibility, honesty, and the ability to love from a deep and mature place. A mature women will not tolerate the Boy. A mature relationship is marked by a man’s recognition of his own mature masculine qualities and his ability to deeply interpenetrate with the body, soul and sexuality of his mature feminine counterpart. Please note that this masculine and feminine interplay is relevant to homosexual as well as heterosexual relationships. 2. Man as a sexual healer When the Boy Contract is in play, man unconsciously looks to be healed and nurtured by the feminine, often at the same time as projecting his wounds onto them. He negates self-responsibility and does not own his “stuff”. One of the most dangerous aspects when the boy has not caught up with the Man Contract is that he ends up projecting his wounds through emotional, physical and sexual violence. The Boy at some deep level feels impotent and unloved. He cannot recognise that he is a son of Life herself. He cannot perceive his deep and true value. He is somehow angry with the very feminine power that has co-created him and through abusing or destroying this hopes to inflate his sense of grandiosity and worth. The Boy’s sexual aggression reveals is a particularly deep and toxic place where he has not learned to be in command of himself. The Boy channels aggression and blame for his own impotence into the feminine. The epidemic of rape and sexual abuse on our planet shows the extent to which many men are still trapped in this dangerous Boy pattern. This is particularly tragic, as one of the most exquisite aspects of mature spiritual manhood is to be a bringer of light and healing to the inner depths and mystery of the feminine body and soul. As the Boy steps up and signs the Man Contract, he comes to recognise that his divine masculine sexual energies are in fact a tremendous source of healing. He is a magical being, full of sensual and emotional healing power, able to seed healing and new life with woman. He chooses to wield his ultimate power, which is his masculine light, to bring joy, pleasure, emotional connection and divine union into the world, healing himself and the feminine as he does this. 3. Embodied emotional mastery - the peace maker
In the unseasoned and immature boy, an over-riding characteristic of the Boy Contract is to sustain a lack of emotional self-responsibility. This leads to a culture of blame and outward projection of aggression, violence and conflict. The boy maintains his self-aggrandisement while often attacking and destroying with impunity other(s) whom he sees as “the enemy”. He is not in command of his own projections and is not ultimately taking responsibility for his ability to create healing or destruction depending on his choice.
Enter Trump who, along with many of his predecessors, has shown a remarkable ability for maintaining a face of self-righteousness while blatantly choosing scapegoats to bear the blame for the world’s woes, be they other leaders or entire nations. However, in order to step up into the Man Contract, requires a man to become fully in command of his own emotions. He has no need to project blame upon others. He understands his ultimate responsibility to be a bringer of peace and wisdom into his own intimate world and the wider world. Equally he has at his disposal his own internal mechanisms of repair and resolution. He knows the value of dialogue and, within dialogue, the value of self responsibility and self-criticism in the most positive sense. He knows that problems are always created as a result of two parties that are out of balance. His own internal balance allows him to become a bringer of peace and dialogue into the world, forging communication and trust between individuals, communities and nations. 4. Man in service to the world
Another deeply important point is that when a man is caught in the Boy Contract he is essentially just in service to himself. He is in service to his childish whims, his inflated ambitions, his desire for more and more (whether they be toys of the small or big variety), and his need to be the ruler of the roost at all times. Today, this boyish egocentric mentality is extremely prevalent in those who have risen to “the top”. When service to self dominates the agenda for an immature man, people, nature and her resources are simply something to be taken used and exploited in his quest for glory. This aspect of immature masculinity has led to the rape and over-exploitation of the planet in order to create ever more concentrated wealth and power in the hands of the few. However service and intentionality in the Man Contract is very different. It is the nature of the man to be of service to the wider world, to justice, to peace, to healing, and to the organic and healthy unfolding of life on this incredible planet that he is so privileged to walk upon. 5. Man as an aligned creator The immature man is essentially a disconnected boy who is insecure and empty without external factors, such as a beautiful woman by his side, success, and material wealth that prove to him that his world is full. Trump Towers, in Donald Trump’ s case, is one of the most fantastic examples of a man who needs a gigantic monument to demonstrate his prowess and command, and ultimately, his sexual and creative power. The Boy Contract stipulates an endless quest for material acquisition, or externally sourced substitutes for authentic power. This highlights the boy’s inability to feel the truthfulness of his soul from within. He will go to any lengths, including plundering the very Earth herself, to build up a vast bubble of outward wealth to hide his very boyish sense that he is not enough. Upon signing the Man Contract, the man comes to realise that that he himself, in his divine being, is enough. He has understood that he is the product of the divine spark. He has deeply experienced himself as a beloved child of the Divine Mother and Divine Father as they play out in all of their ways in this universe. This means that he does not have to obsess with being the master of his outer world. He does not reject material success, gain and creation - he simply channels his mastery into manifesting and creating in the material plane towards the greater good. He understands that masculine wisdom is about putting his very clear materialisation skills and gifts to the greatest possible purpose - towards the greater good of humanity. He uses his creative intelligence to invent new sustainable energies, new forms of social organisation, new ways of living with the Earth that will benefit the co-creation of a harmonious planet. 6. Man as a mentor and guide to other men The Boy has been bereft of mature Men to hold him, teach him, and support him - and has been bereft for generations. He is unaware of the lineage of wisdom that runs deep in his unconscious and his DNA. He is moulded by the faulty, wounded and distorted templates that his masculine and feminine ancestors have passed on to him. Donald Trump had a deeply conflicted relationship with his over-demanding and also highly ambitious father. His brother died of alcoholism, which has often been attributed to father issues. Many modern men lack the bedrock of wisdom and love that a mature father or elder can bring. In order to step into the Man Contract, the Boy must acknowledge what he does not know. He must reach into the very depths of his soul to find and recover his submerged masculine wisdom. This Hero’s quest will allow him to recover the deep strength and authentic power that has been buried under generations of pain. When he does this, he dives through and dissolves generation of pain and trauma locked in his body and emotions and re-emerges with the peace and wisdom. Finally he is ready to be a father, a mentor, a guide to other men on their journey. Perhaps some of these men are younger in years, but many may simply be younger in wisdom. The Man is ready to be a Man - for the women and children in his life, for wider society, and equally importantly, for the Boys waiting to become Men. Fortunately there is a growing community of incredible, wise Men on this planet seeding healing and transformation for other men who need to make this transition from Boy to Man.
We need to create in a world where Men are given the framework and support to explore and embody their sacred strengths - and where the world’s most visible and powerful men are paragons, not parodies, of mature manhood. Are you ready to sign the Man contract?
More and more men are aware of the "crisis of masculinity" that has in large part resulted from the various waves of the feminist movement, and most recently, the unveiling of widespread sexual assault and abuse through the #metoo movement. It is time for men to understand that they have been born into an essentially toxic and wounded paradigm that has long lost sight of mature and aligned masculinity.
It is never too late for any man to "step up to the plate", admit that he lacks initiatory wisdom, often through no fault of his own, and take the steps to ascend into a divine and mature masculinity.
The Man Contract must essentially be written by every individual man for himself. It is for him to define what this entails and what it demands of him. I sincerely hope that this playful exploration can be a productive starting point in this incredibly important endeavour of human evolution.