Letter to a Friend - Amden 14.06.2005
How to Become a Man?
I was 25 making a career on the top level of the International Menswear market with sales in the UK, the US, some South American countries and South Africa.
One day my boss, a strong character, but also a very kind man, was calling from the US and wanted me on the phone (I was then managing the office with the total of six people). He wanted me to provide something that was impossible to get in the way he explained it. When he heard my negative answer he went ‘potty’ (his own apt expression) and shouted: “Are you a man or a mouse?” I put the phone down and he never took the matter up again.
The way the question about man or mouse came over was so strong and made with such British raw animal force that it really made me think and to find out which one of the species I fit best!
We either learn or do not learn from ‘constructive criticism’; this letter fits into the category. In the above example about the man and the mouse I was the mouse and showed it when I put the phone down. I have later understood that my real friends are those people who criticise my faults and point them out. How could I else find out the truth?
You have presented the question in a different way and said that today, when women are so dominant, what is the identity of a man? If women can do everything, and do it better, what is there for us men left to do?
You only have to look at the primitive societies, like those we see on the television about in Africa, to realize that men actually are no good at all; they are only a weight that the women carry, also in the form of the children! Are we men all like that? Perhaps not quite, but there is a similarity that I am sure you can recognize. It is not a joke that during the World War II the English women had underwear marked with the saying: "Britain expects every man to do his duty."; Is that really all we are good for? War and sex?
In work on oneself we come across concepts like ‘good householder’ and ‘responsibility’. They are directly related to your question.
To become a man goes through these types of activities. A woman needs from a man a sense of security. Man needs challenges. The biggest challenge for a man is to provide security for his woman, and the family. A mouse provides no security for anybody. It is important to become a man!
I know no other way than roughly this:
Stop looking for help in your own situation from the outside, from outside yourself. This means a complete stop of finding other people to help you. This work is such that it can only be done by you yourself.
Others can sympathize, hold your hand and so on, but they can not really help you. (Of course, they can also help by pointing out your faults!)
2. See yourself!!
When you stop it gives you first of all a possibility to see yourself. To look at yourself and really see yourself takes a long time. It is necessary to see yourself as if you were looking at a stranger; as if you were watching a film and can do it without identifying with what is happening.
3. Find out what you want!!
Ask yourself what you really want. For example: do you really want to be a man? If this is your wish and what you want and you mobilize whatever you have got to reach your aim, then surely it is possible!
If you want to be a man what do you want today? To-morrow? This week? This month? This Summer? This year? Next year? Your life?
It is your job to define what you want so that you can have an aim. Only when you have an aim you can reach it.
4. Result of steps 1 – 3!
When completed the above three steps will give you the possibility of becoming a man.
A man is responsible for his actions and can do what Gurdjieff adviced us all to do:
Consider internally never, externally always.
This is the beginning of Love and man's responsibity.
It is also the end of Self-Love!
Something has to die for something else to be born.
This process is long and will take your lifetime. If you do not start today perhaps you have not enough time left. Do not put it off until tomorrow!
Yours with love,