Impossible and Necessary Manhood
A man’s hands are his testament. There is a certain sense to palm reading: written in your hands is the history of everything you have done and left undone. Every bit of strength, articulation, and competence is magnified and visible in the way you use your hands.
Homo sapiens is defined by its hands: our fate was set in motion by the unique primate relationship between its rotating grasping paw and sharp front-facing eyes. The image of the neurological homunculus is correct: we are so much more hand, tongue and face than anything else.
Therefore examine your hands and your feelings about them: are you proud of them? Do they speak well of you? Or are they soft, weak, and unsure of every context but the keyboard? The hands of an accomplished man will make difficult things look easy. They will be just as capable of delicate accuracy as brute force. They will have a music of their own, just as every athleticism does.
Manhood must be earned. It cannot be reclaimed with a superficial change of attitude: this is what the uppity adolescent does, and the proper response from the older men is either painful initiation or a restrained ass-kicking. One does not become properly masculine through cultivated resentment, nor misogyny, nor any sort of whining nor the obscene posturing which the internet makes so easy. Masculine self-esteem has the curious property that every bit of it must be gained in trial and error, in which no one but yourself serves as judge - with the result that those of us destined for a maximum of independence of mind and valuation, spend the longest being unsure of our own value. Late blooming boys are the best boys.
Homo sapiens is the hunting and gathering primate, and hunting is the chief function of men - for themselves, for their families, for everyone else: this is the Pleistocene reality our bodies still express and expect. Our masculine psychology revolves around it: the urge to collect trophies, the desire to be strong for the sake of others, the wish to be witnessed as competent, the thirst for hardship and adventure, the yearning which gazes “over that other hill”.
There is no cute alternative which satisfies the body and spirit like spending time outside alone. Everything else is half-successful sublimation at best, deferral, denial, or the acquisition of the role and power of women. Since the laconic workaholic father figure is out of fashion, and even the greed of the corporate world is more painted over with feminine warpaint than ever, this latter strategy - annexing the attitudes and advantages of women, or rather of gay men - seems to be more and more popular. Belligerent bigoted machismo, or venomous metrosexuality - or somehow both: there seems to be no other path.
I laugh out loud when I see the primped and crimped manchildren who frequent the gym, with their stiff useless arms, weak incompetent hands, and idiotic over- and underdeveloped musculature. Tottering across another asphalt stretch of parking lot redemption in their overpriced graphic tee, they look like a puffy jug of spoilt milk, or a hastily stuffed bellpepper, or a leaky diaper of foregone conclusions. They are even more hopeless in my view than the average slob - because they have already demonstrated a commitment to vanity and superficial accomplishment, which will only make a real accounting of their situation less likely.
Unless you are spending at least three hours outdoors and hiking several miles daily in nature, you are doing it wrong. Your body is not fully awake. The gym does not substitute. It’s not merely about stressing isolated muscle groups, but about reducing chronic inflammation, improving lymphatic drainage, digestion, endocrine balance, peripheral nervous system development, the refinement of the senses, and developing the many small muscles you don’t know about. The holistic strength and endurance of a man’s body directly characterizes the strength and endurance of his mind: there is no detour, no excuse, no other way.
An enormous amount of what’s wrong with the modern human being, is hyperalgesia: an inexcusable sensitivity to pain, which contributes to systemic anxiety. The cure for psychosomatic sensitivity to pain, is pain. Indulgence and consolation weakens the body and mind: the human being thrives in adversity - and suffers from comfort.
Anxiety is a functional response to frustration and danger. It says: “Change your life.” The danger is systemic, longterm, everywhere and nowhere: your health is in peril, your soul is in peril. Do not chase after the symptoms of maladaptation and frustrated instinct with consolation and sedative: instead, alter course. Become better. Anxiety and depression will vanish when you are living correctly: that is, when you are working toward your goals.
Aggression is the male prerogative. There is no other primary function of testosterone. However, a realized man does not wield his aggression thoughtlessly: if you are to be worthy of respect, it is your responsibility to choose your targets carefully. Only hopeless losers abuse women, children, or animals: a hunter is not a jailor. We will never quite live up to the standard of our ancestors, but equally so we must not indulge our frustration on the weak.
Each of us must find a way in this world to be a hunter and a warrior for his people: there is no other male destiny. There is no spiritual maturation that does not draw from this path of violence: do not be deceived by the priests and eunuchs. Do not participate in the conspiracy of civilization against the instincts of the hunt. There is no neat solution for the majority of suffering domesticated males, but that does not preclude the possibility of finding one for yourself.
Stupidity, ignorance, and belligerence do not belong the essential formula of manhood. Do not be discouraged by the many examples of boorish sputtering dolts who believe they deserve to be treated as men, when they act like spoilt boys. Do not be discouraged when you are mistaken for another blundering misogynist and hopeless clown. Do not allow your self-respect to be hindered because you are willfully misunderstood and slandered by those who fear your power. There are many who profit from the castration of men: ambitious social climbers, fraudulent “feminists” who lack all respect for what women are and therefore seek to be men, and weak scheming males who want to see you crushed under your own conscience. All of them depend on turning your strength against yourself: they have no other means of repressing your excellence.
One of the corollaries to the kind of masculine discipline I’m describing, is that intellectual pursuits are by no means precluded. Quite the opposite: I find myself all the more able and prepared for scholarly work with tired legs and sore feet. Moreover this balance is not so new either: a deep and abiding fascination with technical knowledge is part of why and how we became apex predators.
The cultivation of a severe and exacting intellect, a broad and deep lager of knowledge and lore, a ready and natural eloquence, and a disarming humor are part of what it means to be a whole man. Erudition and a silver tongue are not strictly necessary, but you must be able to express yourself aptly and with conviction. In particular I have found that the ability to retain tight emotional control and a sense of humor in the midst of conflict, will almost always provide the upper hand. To think and speak independently of narrow expectation and the angstful discomfort of others, while retaining the assurance that despite all neurotic fearmongering, no one will be harmed by your responsible self-advocacy, is the mark of solid masculine leadership.
Love cannot save you, but passion can. Love is the woman’s path: it is therefore to be respected. But a woman’s love cannot save you. Nor can your love of anyone else. Nor can your compassion. Only your discipline, your excellence, your pride, your passion can create a path: manhood is not something you possess by right, it is something you must earn.
Do not settle with a woman until you are ready. For most men this will be at least past the age of 30.
Misogyny is a sign of weakness. Womanhood is to be respected, but not all human females are deserving of the name woman, just as not all males are men. Some of them are old girls: they have avoided the responsibilities of womanhood. Some of them are hags: they give up on themselves and choose witchcraft. Some of them are spiders: they are fascinating and dangerous creatures, but without warmth or conscience. Many of them are simply slobs: they are no fun, of no interest, offer nothing and do nothing. In our world, a realized woman is not as rare as a realized man, but they are also growing rarer: a fearless heart, an endless love, a sweet smile, a deep strength, a deeper knowing… Find this and you have found something precious.
Most feminists lack the character to become a realized woman. Womanhood is as difficult a path as any other: it requires endurance and a certain faith to serve as anchor of the family and hearth of the home. It requires stalwart strength to raise healthy children while watching over one’s own heart and needs, imperceptibly gathering wisdom into a deep well, from which your people will later draw: this was the traditional way of woman, and it is worthy of respect.
Do not be deceived by feminist fashionistas: they do not act for the benefit of women nor humanity in general. They are old girls who refuse womanhood. They are unworthy of their ancestors: they have failed the initiation and seek thereafter to slander the path. Instead they want the respect and rights of manhood without achieving its virtues: they are neither wise, nor accomplished, nor temperate, nor just. They abuse the privileges afforded by the achievements of their fathers: they live in a world bounded by safety and comfort, but would believe they don’t need men to continue it.
When I say “traditional”, I mean the conditions of the Pleistocene and Neolithic epochs in which we first thrived as a species. I do not mean a simulacrum of the 1950s, replete with the alcoholic monosyllabic husband, desperate bakesales, and the social isolation of an involute suburban hell: but rather the rich tribal life for which we are adapted. This adaptation runs deep and will not disappear tomorrow nor the much-wished-for day after.
No simple solutions: we are maladapted for postagricultural civilization. Our sexual dimorphism cannot be eliminated nor repressed nor wished away without serious consequences to our health and happiness. The woman’s fate seems easier in this tame world, but increasingly this may not be true: we are collectively not more womanly, but simply nothing much. Neither aggressively masculine nor sublimely feminine: but very inoffensive, very blameless, very bland. Humanity as a whole is becoming more homogeneous, more predictable, more safe, more boring, more agender, more sexless, more nothing much. Striving to be a creature articulated, bold, true - that almost requires a certain foolishness which also seems to grow rarer. Be foolish!
Do not pity yourself. Despite the appearance that everything is against your instincts, that the realization of your male potential is handicapped at every avenue, that civilizational forces have you beaten - this is not necessarily the case. Our time is also ripe: the very tameness and timidity of the majority leaves many invisible gaps in the exploitation of niche. I myself live in such a gap: quite literally, for my wondrous wilderness is a wasteland to most eyes. My strange hybridized kind of manhood - half skirmishing scholar, half ambitious redneck - that too, is a hidden niche and the motivated young man will find one of his own.