When Will Society Stop Being Suspicious of Males Who Try to Transmute Their Erotic Energy into Something More Vast and Cosmic?
"When you see the world as lover, every being, every phenomenon, can become - if you have a clever, appreciative eye - an expression of that ongoing erotic impulse."
In our time, it is imperative that both men and women begin to see the ultimate beloved as the Divine, present especially within this beautiful and Sacred Earth. When it comes to an environmental ethic, "shoulds" and doomsday predictions can only take us so far. Because we receive such an overload of bad news through a plethora of media sources, we tend to go numb and often throw up our hands in frustration at feeling so overwhelmed. However, when we FALL IN LOVE with something, we work overtime to protect it. This is definitely the case with the landscapes and species we love. Indeed, a major reason why I engage in Nature photography is precisely to inspire others to fall in love with this amazing planet, which I trust will then lead to a heightened motivation to care for Her and all of Her inhabitants, both human and more-than-human.
Interestingly, most of the writers over the past several decades who've expressed this love of the Earth in erotic terms are women. For some reason, women these days are often braver and more courageous in revealing the connection between their own erotic energy and landscapes. For example, I see this apparent polarity between postmodern men and women manifested continually in social media like Instagram. Hundreds of women post images that unequivocally depict the connection between landscapes and their own sexuality, while I'm not sure I've ever seen a man do similarly.
Some of this, I believe, comes from the fact that society seems extremely suspicious of male desire. The media certainly do not help in the way they continually besiege us with images of male harassers, rapists and killers. I know firsthand that we men have to be very careful when offering a compliment or when encountering a woman alone in the wilds. We realize that we are almost always viewed as potentially threatening - at least at first - and so, at least with those of us who pride ourselves in being kind, compassionate and sensitive, we work overtime to make sure a woman does not feel threatened by our presence.
We as men are pretty much accustomed to having our assertiveness, warrior energy and the intense nature of our desire viewed with suspicion. As a result, we've learned to live double lives, expressing ourselves cautiously in public while trying to find ways to deal with our desires in private.
In any case, we males have learned to hide much of what we feel. Speaking personally, I've developed a habit of holding myself back from expressing myself in public for fear that the spiritual "intensity" others often feel in my presence will seem overwhelming or unwelcome. I've also been criticized in the past for speaking out about the need to transmute male desire into something more vast and cosmic, so I've learned to pretty much "shut up" about it.
I don't know about you, but I would like to see this situation change. I do know that many Millennial Generation women experience perennial frustration with the men in their lives. To them, males often seem unmotivated, withdrawn and passionless, with little ability to be assertive about ANYTHING. I know from experience that much of this hesitancy is a result of the fact that male passion has been systematically castigated for the past several decades. For some reason, obviously unwanted "aggressiveness" on the one hand has been conflated with healthy male assertiveness on the other, and many men have therefore felt a need to shy away from both.
I pray for a Renaissance in masculinity, and especially for a newfound ability of men to express their desire and warrior energy in a wider, more cosmic context. We need "Green Men" who will fall in love with the Earth and her inhabitants and work passionately to defend Her. Is society ready for a man such as this?
Photo: Ice canyons and a hiker on Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.