Philosophical underpinnings

The philosophical work of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks over millenia, have led to the identification of Universal Truths and fundamental patterns that play out in every sphere of life. This is important, because if we know they are true, we can rely on them. We can build a life using them as a foundation.

The four classical elements are critical here. Earth represents our physical life – health, wealth and property. Water represents our emotional life – creativity, communication and relationships. Air represents our mental life – learning, grit, competence and skill. Fire represents our spritual life – feeling alive, aligned and on purpose. These are the fundamental aspects of ourselves. We need to work on all of them in order to achieve a balanced and successful life.

An understanding of male development is also critical, which for me is toward the goal of creating and becoming Elders. Those who help us to resolve conflict and feel a sense of collective identity. Those who guide us into our individual identity so that we can contribute to the whole, whilst providing us with opportunities and resources that remove barriers to our progress. My understanding of the stages of manhood and the initiations we must go through between them was influenced by Larry Pesavento in his book Toward Manhod.

Along the road we must grow beyond the total dependence of the Boy, through – not skipping this one – the self-centered independence of the Man, toward the inter-dependent leadership of the Patriarch. That’s a word that gets a bad wrap these days. It has become associated with tyranny, domination, corruption, greed etc. I agree that these are real problems, particularly with men in our society and though I’m sympathetic to the causes of this situation, this is not what I mean by Patriarch.

True, healthy Patriarchs are those who lead from a place of courage and discipline. They have honour. They set direction, but it is done for the benefit and with the informed consent of their followers. True Patriarchal leadership – as well as Matriarchal leadership – is and always should have been a two-way street. The capacities you will need in order to fulfill this role are rarely seen these days. I’m working hard on embodying them for myself. But the work goes on. You would do well to join that endeavour. Be the role model and example for other young men.

From my studies I have created a development framework. The Map to Personal Sovereignty.

What do I mean by personal sovereignty?

To be fully self-responsible. It’s a tall order, as we live within a system that take responsibility for us in many ways and perhaps it’s not wise to rebel and reject the protection we are afforded from the harsh world. We should learn to recognise and be grateful for this protection. Yet, seek to extract ourselves from its grasp. The level of empowerment and freedom felt when we take a step toward sovereignty, is the stuff of legends.

Start living a more sovereign life

Don’t know how to start? Our Purpose Finder tool can help

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