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  • Karen O'Moore

The Disempowered Man


One thing leads to another in my mind, it’s the way it works. It started with reading a lot of comments on internet noticeboards and then moved onto thinking about Disempowered men and their quest to achieve martyrdom, build a shell around themselves or find empowerment through others. One of the things I have observed is that disempowerment is very much self generated, perhaps through self-limiting beliefs or an unwillingness to challenge themselves or even look at themselves.

There are those who display themselves as victim, as storm-tossed flotsam in life’s turbulent ocean. Everything that happens to them is targeted, there is nothing they can do and they don’t want to do it anyways, it’s all hopeless. The classic victim mentality. In this instance, generally they are easy to spot, it is at least out in the open.

More insidious is the “Knowledge Guru”. This is a form of disempowerment and victimhood all to itself. These men build an armour of knowledge about themselves, hiding their deep seated feelings of insecurity, fragile ego and hatred (towards others, specific groups, women for example and themselves). They are usually quite eloquent in what they say, but can be very dismissive or others, jealous of others they perceive to be in one of the groups they despise or sensitive to challenge or critisism. Typically they will claim to be ostracised, not because they have behaviours or attributes which people find offensive or dislike or simply don’t trust, but because they have access to a higher truth or are too controversial for mainstream Hoi-Polloi. Who are not worth their time anyway, but god forbid these commoners if they have the temerity to challenge the knowledge guru. That usually results in a hissy fit of epic proportions. The knowledge guru always knows best, and especially what’s best for others, regardless of whether the others want or consent to it. They like shining the light of their truth on what they perceive to be the darkness of others while niftily avoiding looking at themselves, whom they see consistently to be beyond reproach. It is of course bullshit of the highest order and in the end can be seen as such, hence the general distancing of people from them as the false persona is penetrated.

The last type is perhaps the most dangerous, it is the men who seek empower themselves through others. It can be the obvious: It’s addiction to the new and the shiny. Typically the focus of attention is on what they want, totally and to the exclusion of everything else. The other person then becomes the means of empowerment, until of course that empowerment does not materialise then its move onto someone else who offers that means leaving a trail of devastation. These men can go far, they seek the power they believe they can attain from others by totally projecting an image of themselves quite different from the reality. In extremis, they revel in as many followers as possible, court the media and have the potential to cause real damage on a large scale. It’s all about the attainment of power. It’s all ego of course, all of it. Living in it, being it and seeing nothing but the ego and the ego is never satisfied with what power exists within, its hungry and seeks always more.

So what’s the alternative? Well it’s to have Balls. In that I mean the balls to look at yourself, to stand centred in your own being, no matter how that hurts. To take the hits to the ego and to accept and change. Also it’s about having the balls to change but still remain a man, to have the capacity to be masculine and aware, and David Deida is quite eloquent when he says that this can be found in solitude and in the company of other men. Ultimately though, it’s about taking responsibility for your growth, your life purpose, your ability to connect and your ability to look at your darkest desires as honestly and frankly as possible

Mark Sutton Feb 2013


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