Rites of passage is something we have almost completely forgotten in our contemporary society. The idea that there are certain steps necessary to bring you from childhood to adulthood – from boyhood to manhood if you are a male.
We have of course such things as examns in school, getting your driver’s license, and confirmation unless you are a devout atheist. But do these acts really take us through the necessary psychological transformation processes that it takes to produce a truly adult individual?
We need new rites of passage, inspired by old wisdom, but suited to the modern world. They should not just be designed to make you a good hunter or warrior, because that is not much needed these days.
Instead, what we need is more complex. It should be something that allows us to move with fluidity between the different life endavours that we are engaged in.
The 12 Steps is an attempt at defining 12 such ’rites of passage’. 12 steps that, if you perform them, will at any rate leave you better off than if you don’t. They will not make you a perfect man. And there are other things than these steps that are good to learn too. But they will expand your inner world, and thus increase your spectrum of possible actions in different situations. Allowing you to navigate more smoothly in the world. In time they might even give you a sense of completion.
The steps need not be done in the order 1 to 12. Depending how your life unfolds, you might have dealt with step 7 already, but be missing number 3. Or something else. That said, many of the first steps will support you in the later ones, but each human life is a unique journey.
Most of these steps would surely be relevant and useful for women too. Although they sure would have a different framing. In any case, I believe it should be up to women to creates rites of passage for women. If women would be inspired by these 12 steps for men, they are welcome.
1. Build True Brotherhood With Other Men.
Create real truthful bonds with other men, where you share your truth, challenge each other for the sake of growth, support each other lovingly when needed, and share the ups and downs of life. An indispensible tool in your growing as a man.
2. Detach From & Develop A Grown-Up Relationship With Your Mother.
Our mothers deserve our greatest respect. And at the same time we need to detach from the boundless sea of unconditional love and nourishment that she represents. In order to become a man in your own right that stands on his own feet. From there you can create a grown-up relationship with your mother.
3. Master Your Sexual energy.
Mastering your sexual energy is one of the most rewarding things you can learn as a man. It brings confidence, calmness, energy and great satisfaction in bed, for both you and your partner. It cures or greatly improves upon most of the common male sexual dysfunctions, such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety, etc. And it can drastically rekindle the flame in a relationship where the sexual spark has dissipated. Finally, it can lead to transcendant experiences during sex. Learn it here.
4. The Fundamental Meditation Experience – I Am Not My Thoughts, Emotions & Bodily Sensations.
The experience of being able to watch your thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations as they are gliding by continuously. The experience that these phenomena can also change simply by you watching them. A very useful skill to have in situations of conflict or when you get emotionally triggered, for instance in a relationship.
5. Master Aggression & Fear – Prove Discipline & Commitment.
Channeling your aggression into something meaningful, for long enough to actually realise something. Thus proving discipline and commitment. And mastering your fear, laziness or other excuses that might make you let go of your commitment. A very masculine skill of being able to set yourself a goal and accomplish it. Could be an education, job training, or something similar.
6. Embrace & Integrate Your Inner Feminine.
Your inner feminine could be seen as representing your own softness and vulnerability as a man. But also as the ability to express love, care and acceptance, both towards yourself and others. Embracing your inner feminine in this way will prevent you from becoming overly hard as a man. And will also allow you to feel yourself better, which is useful in many life circumstances.
7. Honour Your Father But Become Your Own Man.
Come to grips with your father. Who was or is he? What are his faults, what are his shortcomings? Honour him for what he gave you, great and small, and forgive him for his faults and mistakes. From that place of fully knowing and accepting the heritage of your father, you can choose yourself who to become as a man. And what kind of father to be for your own children.
8. Accept Death As A Fact Of Life & A Path Of Evolution.
Deeply contemplating the fact that you will die will most likely make you appreciate life more. It will also serve to focus you on what’s important in life, as you realise that there will not be time to do everything. Finally, letting go of ideas and identity that no longer serve you can sometimes feel like dying, but it can be a very useful way to make room in yourself for the new human being that you are constantly becoming.
9. Find & Live Your Soul’s Purpose: Living From a Place of Meaning.
Sometimes all the right things just don’t feel meaningful any longer. And sometimes you may get an inspiration to do something that you cannot rationally justify. Pay attention to those moments. They may mean that your soul wants you to have a new experience. If you ignore it and keep on living the way you do, you may become more and more depressed. If you dare to sometimes follow your weird and strange inspirations, without necessarily throwing everything else over board, your life will become still more meaningful.
10. Deal With And Thrive Amongst Highly Feminine Women – Without Losing Focus & Without Being An Asshole.
If your woman is going to rely on you and respect you, she has to feel that you have integrity. Integrity means that you know what your true, core values are and that you live by them. That you are in touch with your soul’s mission and that nothing can deter you from it. Not the changing tides of the world and not her changing moods or emotions. Or your own changing moods or emotions. Being true to yourself and your mission, while still honouring and loving your woman, is one of the great achievements in this step.
11. Change Your Perspective Radically Once In A While.
Understand that the world operates on perspectives. They can sometimes be useful and sometimes very limiting. To prevent yourself from getting stuck you should sometimes challenge your own perspective, or worldview, significantly. You could visit another culture and immerse yourself in the values and worldview of it. Not necessarily to adopt it permanently. But it will give you greater clarity about your own life, culture and values, where these serve you and where they don’t.
12. Embrace Mysticism: Embrace The Unknown.
This is the step where you move beyond perspectives. Our human world is built on facts. Facts determined by our ingenious science and embedded in our technology and our social and political institutions. But no matter how much we learn, the very fact that the world exists is still a mystery. And a beautiful one. Open yourself to the mystery. Look for the blank spaces between the facts. It may humble you and open you up to a deeper, more meaningful experience of existence.