The Quest for Wholness

This is an excerpt from Conscious Men, written by John Gray and Arjuna Ardagh.

Today, both men and women want to experience a multidimensional, fulfilled life: they both want to have interesting jobs and careers, they both want to create long-term satisfying relationships, they both want to create and participate in a happy family life, they both want great sex, and they both want to experience balance and wellbeing.

A man today does not want to be restricted to going out and facing dangerous challenges during the day and then staring into a fire at night. He has claimed his right to participate more fully in family life. Modern man wants to be there for the birth of his children, and he wants to be there as a fully engaged father, fully involved in birthdays and sports events, school plays, and field trips. He wants to be a part of making the home beautiful and preparing and cooking great food. He is choosing, consciously, to expand into living all parts of himself.

We see the same shift even in his emotional and sexual life. Only a few decades back, most men experienced romantic feelings and the need to bond emotionally primarily during the courtship phase. This is when he had a challenge, a mission to accomplish. Men might write poetry, give roses, and feel deeply romantic feelings…up until when his prize was secure, he had slipped the ring onto her finger, and soon after gotten her pregnant. Afterwards, his romantic feelings would often quickly diminish. Once the challenge of the situation had passed, he would frequently get interested in other women and have affairs, secretly or overtly, to again stimulate his love of the challenge.

The Conscious Man recognizes that these hyper-masculine behaviors, despite the fact that they have been time tested over such a long period, do not give him everything he longs for. Today, men marry for love and aspire to create lasting and fulfilling relationships. In addition, more men today are choosing monogamy as a value, not as a moral dictate. Many men in the past used to get married for convenience. Our literature is littered with stories of a man who had romantic feelings for one woman but finally had to marry another chosen by his parents for financial and social reasons. Nowadays, this hardly happens at all anymore. Even in India, the world’s center of the arranged marriage, more and more young people want to marry for love.

While all this represents fantastic new freedoms for men, to be able to explore and live into all parts of himself and to feel fulfillment in a multidimensional way, it also presents significant new challenges.

Most of the new opportunities that a man has—to explore loving and nurturing relationships, to be a good and present father, and to participate in the home—are connecting him more with his feminine side. But this can also cause him to feel uncentered and lost in a sea of feelings. In order to remain connected with himself, a man has to be conscious not to lose touch with his masculine essence. If a man makes his whole life about merging and intimacy and does not take the time to pull away and reestablish his autonomy, he is unable to effectively deal with the stress of the day.

The way for a man to consciously create balance and to return to himself so that he can enjoy all that life has to offer to him is to know how to consciously and gracefully take space and to honor him according to the way his nervous system is wired.


From Conscious Men by John Gray and Arjuna Ardagh. You can order a paperback copy or Kindle edition on Amazon here.

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