Recent scandals in Buddhist sanghas have revolved around the patriarchal abuse by male teachers and gurus of their students and community members, women especially, but men as well. Perhaps what is needed is a breakdown of patriarchal models of masculinity and the evolution of new models of masculinity.
Jiro Taylor’s interview with Charles Eisenstein begins with Charles’ earlier work on the gift economy (Sacred Economics), and moves towards his most recent work on questioning masculinity and devising new stories and archetypes of masculinity. Charles is offering an online course to explore these issues – Masculinity: A New Story.
As a transgender person who identifies as ‘masculine’ (but not as a ‘man’ or ‘male’) this is an intriguing topic for me as well. People of all genders are welcome to participate in his course. I often ask myself, ‘what does it mean to be ‘masculine?’
The following interview (link #76 – TFPP 010) introduces some of Charle’s exploration of this topic.
#76 – TFPP 010: Charles Eisenstein– Exuberant expression and new models of masculinity
I’m Charles Eisenstein, and I’ve been asking this question my whole adult life – for decades unconsciously, and more recently with increasing consciousness. Who am I, not just as a human being, but as a man? Who can I be? And how can I get there?
When I was young, I saw plenty of examples of a masculinity that was dominating and violent, that was cut off from emotions, that was afraid to cry and afraid to be seen, that was deeply insecure, that couldn’t really hear, see, and hold the energy of the feminine, that wasn’t in service to life. I didn’t want to be like that. Moving away from that model of masculinity, what is there to move into?
Some might say the next step is to discard the notion of masculinity altogether, as an obsolete culturally-constructed binary that perpetuates institutions of privilege and oppression. This online learning journey explores another possibility: a mature masculinity, a healthy masculinity, or (dare we say it) a sacred masculinity. We will explore a new story of what it is to be a man in the next culture, a story that embraces masculinity as an archetypal energy and principle of life.
This learning journey is designed for anyone – male, female, or other – who wishes to cultivate their sacred masculine qualities, and to relate in a healthy way to masculinity in others.
Released15 November 2015
“Life can be so much more vivid, real, alive and I want that. I can’t rest until I’m pursuing that.”- Charles Eisenstein
Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilisation, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His most widely read book Sacred Economics traced the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. In more recent times, as Charles’ evolution journey has led him to explore personal identity in our culture and what it means to embody masculine energies. In this 50 minute conversation we explore how in the last 200 years we have moved from a gift economy to one that is dominated by money, and how this patriarchal capitalist system bears the hallmarks of outdated concepts of masculinity. We also explore how personal evolution is what life is all about, and how personal growth really boils down to what is innate within us: masculine and feminine energies.
Charles is launching an online course: “Masculinity, a New Story”. This course explores what the expression of masculine energy actually looks like. He has been interviewing extraordinary people, who are living new models of masculinity. After much thought Charles decided to make this a gift. So he is offering this course on a donation basis, pay what you feel. Could a shift in how we all embody masculinity and femininity be the change required to increase sustainability, community and well-being for us all? NB: In this episode I mention “Dadirri”, which is a world used by original peoples of Australia, to describe inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. It is a ‘tuning in’ experience with the specific aim to come to a deeper understanding of the beauty of nature. I mistakenly call it “dandirri”, so I wanted to correct that. I also mistakenly said it was something I thought is associated specifically with males. Further research shows this is not the case. What you will learn from this episode * Differences in ideas around how to be an effective person in the east and west * What happens when you start doing things just for money? * The “slavery” of exchanging time for money * What makes Charles feel most alive, most human? * How social relationships was the currency that mattered 200 years ago * The gift that you regret giving- not all gifts are worth giving- the energy of giving * How the macro (out there) and the micro (in here) are intimately connected * Charles view on Bitcoins and alternative currencies * Why Charles decided to make his Masculinity course FREE/ by donation. Flow quotes “No matter how much you are being paid to live a life that is not yours, you are going to rebel against it.” “Life can be so much more vivid, real, alive and I want that. I can’t rest until I’m pursing that.” “200 years ago, your security depended on your social relationships.” “In the past, your neighbours good fortune was your good fortune.” [Tweet This] “In the gift economy we are no longer envious of the other.” “It is mostly men who have been oppressing other men and nations.”