He: Understanding Masculine Psychology – Pt 3
“According to tradition, there are potentially three stages of psychological development for a man. The archetypal pattern is that one goes from the unconscious perfection of childhood, to the conscious imperfection of middle life, to conscious perfection of old age. One moves from an innocent wholeness, in which the inner world and outer world are united, to a separation and differentiation between inner and outer worlds with an accompanying sense of life’s duality, and then, at last, to enlightenment – a conscious reconciliation of the inner and outer in harmonious wholeness.” [Johnson, He, p. 8]
I’m in my sixties and I would love to say that I am in the the third stage, but like most modern men, I am not there . . . yet. I left the first stage too early and perhaps that is the source of my hanging around in the second stage so long. Perhaps the third stage is not reached by most men in the modern world; perhaps it hasn’t happened in many cultures over the millenia of human existence. I am not so sure as to make this a statement of fact. Buddhism makes me think twice.