A predisposition which I believe dominates in many men’s lives is desire to be heroic. Most men I know want to be the Übermensch, the truly good person who rescues others. We see this in full flower through those who sacrifice themselves totally for their fellow military troops in war. The heroic man thrives on the belief that he can make a difference in the world and drives himself, often ignoring his own well-being, in order to prove this.
The ultimate heroic attempt a person makes is in fulfilling the expectations others have placed on him: parent, sibling, spouse, partner, employer, or even God. In sacrificing his own needs he believes he can live a healthy life by giving and not receiving. He will tolerate being objectified by employers because of the higher good he perceives in moving forward in some fashion with his career, or for the financial benefit that enables him to support his family. He will allow the spark of creativity within him to lose its “pilot light.” He will settle for something less than the fullness of life.
Thus does a man sacrifice the core of his energy field, his erotic energy. Erotic energy, often mistaken simply for sexual expression, is far deeper and more vital than sex alone. Erotic energy enables a person to reach out to others with the full power of his personality, his talents, and the transforming energy of his love. It is central to fighting as a hero must fight: against injustice, oppression, and fear. Yet we can deny the importance of erotic energy, waylay it through sexual feelings, deny its existence, or even put into a suspended animation. When this happens the person is like the walking dead, going through the motions necessary to survive but not thrive. The true hero maintains his erotic energy through healthy, life-giving means, through creativity, and through conscious self-care that identifies the many counterfeit rewards promised by our culture and avoids them like the plague they are.
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