Title: Modern vs Ancient Men – Roles and what we need to re-visit
The first thing that comes to mind is that societies structure today is very different to what it used to be in ancient times.
Ancient tribes were much smaller in population and everyone had a place no matter what their challenges. People, for the most part worked for the good of the tribal community rather than the individual without losing their individuality. In fact that was the one thing that was most prized. The gifts that each person had to offer the tribe.
Men in ancient times had a place in the tribe based on their skills and from cradle to grave they worked in the tribal structure which gave them a sense of self and security. There was also a strong spiritual structure that bound everything together; man, earth and their place in the cosmos. They were also held accountable by the whole tribe for their actions...men and women. Even today most aboriginal men would far rather face a western court, than face their tribal law and their elders....because it is based in spiritual law/lore it has a much deeper meaning to them. Most of the ancient tribes that are still living the old wise ways live by 3 laws: Respect yourself, respect others and respect the Earth. In other words: do no harm.
Men today often don’t have that and subconsciously they miss that sense of identity and belonging: that strong spiritual centre that held them in deep respect for ALL things. AND more importantly, the Elders had a place and were highly respected for their knowledge and experience.
Secondly: Modern men in particular, no longer have a rite of passage. (Most women do when they menstruate and then of course when they give birth. Unfortunately it is not celebrated as it was.) This rite of passage marked moving from boy hood into manhood. It could be quite gruelling and they were sent to face their fears either alone or with a mentor. It was, in many tribes a time when a man’s true name was given to them, a name that truly meant something, it acknowledged who they were. For today’s boys moving into manhood is marked by them getting their P plates and schoolies week which can include seeing how drunk they can get which leads to all sorts of problems. The ego is left to run riot at a time when ancient man was going through a process of bringing the ego into a place of balance and a force of good for them and the tribe. Today’s boys do not have those strong role models to look up to or to guide them. They look to the TV to learn how to act and become, often with disastrous consequences.
Did Ancient men have it all right? Heck no. What they had was structure in which men had a role and a place and for the most part the really old tribal men respected the place women had within the tribe and vice versa. In fact many were matriarchal societies and that was respected.
So what do we feel needs to be revisited? 1. A respectful, meaningful rite of passage where the individual male will learn who they are and know what they bring to the world....a big ask, we know and yet there are men’s groups working on that.
2. We need the Elders of today especially the men to step up, be accountable and good role models. To share the knowledge that will help move the young males into a role of caring for themselves, the planet and its inhabitants.
3. The men of today need to get their manna back. By that we mean personal, physical and spiritual power back. Celebrate moving from childhood into manhood, celebrate in a way that brings no harm only joy, recognition and understanding of who they are. Bring it back by reconnecting head and heart so that strength comes from wisdom not physical force. This stands for women as well as men. It is also one of the reasons we take people out into the desert and travel with the Anangu of Pitjatjantjara, Central Australia; to reconnect them to the Earth, to spirit and to themselves, guided by the knowledge and through the eyes of the oldest living culture on the planet.
For more information and to join us go to;www.ancientpathways.com.au/workshops
We will leave you with one of Paul’s poems.
WHERE ARE THE ELDERS?
The channel is open, the vessel is there,
But no-one is speaking, where are the Elders?
The little ones play under the adult’s chair, but no-one is watching.
Where are the Elders?
Old ones grumble under a medicated haze, “If only I had lived!”
Where are the Elders?
Children will listen but not for too long.
Where are the Elders?
It is time to stand up; it is time to stand tall,
It is time to speak.
For we are the Elders that we seek.