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S.N.A.G. Lines

(Sensitive New Age Guy)

Being asked to write an article about Male Spirituality for Illumin-8 magazine this summer produced a wide range of response in me. What could I possibly say on that subject? How do I dare to make sweeping statements about half of the world's population? I sat in a stupor and searched my brain for a hook, a topic so compelling that any flaws in my writing would be overlooked. I gave up in frustration after an hour or so and went out to mow the lawn. Later that evening, when all the day's work was done, I sat down in soft chair to be treated to a movie provided by someone in my houshold (the populations vary from day to day), "The Legend of Bagger Vance."

I toggled between "Aha!" and "Doh!" as I watched, fascinated, as one male image taught another to find the authentic person inside. He simply had to get out of his own way and be who he really was. The game of golf was being transformed into a metaphor for the flow of reality right before my eyes. I had my answer to this article in both the allegory and the example of my life. Hurray for Hollywood!

I had sincerely asked the question, "what can I say about male spirituality?" Then I let it go and went about the rest of my life. With no effort on my part, I was offered a living example of being in the flow as this movie unfolded while I sat comfortably in my living room. Even though not every man relates to sport, we are pretty universally familiar with the experience of being "In the Zone." That sense of fitting in to the flow of life, whether on the field of battle or just making all the lights green on the way home from work, makes living an effortless and joyful experience. If we can just relax around being who we really are, let go of our tension about being good enough or strong enough or smart enough, we begin to flow with life and what we really want just seems to happen. That is spirituality in action. It's a guy thing!

Well, maybe it's not a guy thing. It is a male expression though; male as principle, not as gender. The male principle is the active expression of spirit. It is the part we all can see. Of course, it doesn't exist without the female side of the coin. Without an inspiration there is nothing to put into action in the first place. Neither is superior to the other and neither can stand alone. The fact that men are generally less involved in the New Age movement of thought and practice probably stems from the fact that we, as men, are focused more on the doing of life. We experience spirit in the moment to moment unfolding of the world we live in. In those moments of being "In the Zone," we experience our essence as an integral part of the universal flow. It's pretty good!

Give us an ideology that encourages this experience of flowing with the essence of things and we are "There Baby." We dearly want, as a gender, to play at life and with life. It seems like it should be the effortless, joyful pursuit that our memories of childhood reflect. Those moments of being part of the machinery of the universe that we call being "In the Zone," are how we want to live all of the time. We are simple creatures, burdened by a cultural training that demands great effort nearly every moment of our lives. The idea of getting out of our own way and being our authentic self, of flowing with the nature of reality effortlessly and joyfully, is pretty appealing. It is also emminently attainable.

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