MAN..

caveman 2

According to Webster: “man,” An adult male human being.

Question: What is a man?

(From Wikipedia).

“What is man?” is a piece from The Measure of a Man, a book written by Martin Luther King, Jr., published in 1959.

In The Measure of a Man, King raises issues of totalitarian government and democracy. He also states, ‘Although there is widespread agreement in asking the question, there is fantastic disagreement in answering it’. There are some people, he continues, that believe ‘man is little more than an animal’ and there are those ‘who would lift man almost to the position of a God’.

There are then those who would ‘combine the truths of both’ and see ‘man a strange dualism, something of a dichotomy’ and quotes ‘there are depths in man that go down to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven’ King sees logic in this view and uses the two following quotes as a basis for his position;

(1.)   ‘Thou hast made him a little lower than angels, and crowned him with glory and honour’. And the revised;

(2.)   ‘Thou hast made him a little less divine, a little less than God, and crowned him with glory and honour’.

He notices first that ‘man is a biological being with a physical body’, which is the ‘less than God’, as we think of ‘God as a being of pure spirit, lifted above the categories of time and space’.

The psalmist would then say that God made man that way, and because of this ‘there is nothing wrong with it’ and that ‘everything God makes is good; therefore there is nothing wrong with it’.

The Greeks, as King informs us, ‘felt the body was evil’ and that the ‘soul could never reach its full maturity until it broke loose from the prison of the body’.

However, Christianity raises the view that ‘the body is not the principle of evil; it says the will is the principle of evil’.

He then defines that in ‘any doctrine of man, we must be concerned with man’s physical well being’. To support this he brings up Jesus` quote that we need the “bread” to survive and also states ‘this isn’t the only part’ and if we stop here we would see ‘man merely as an animal’.

He then brings an example of chemists who calculated that the values of man came to ‘about ninety-eight cents’, today with our living standards it comes to ‘a dollar ninety eight for the average man’. King challenges this idea by questioning.

‘But can we explain the whole of man in terms of ninety eight cents?’ and brings up examples of human genius; and again asks…

‘Can we explain the mystery of the human soul in terms of ninety eight cents?’ To this he answers “no” and states that ‘man is a child of God’ and raises the second basic point of the doctrine ‘that man is a being of spirit’, which is the…

..‘thou has crowned him with glory and honour’,

..and because of our ‘rational capacity, man has a mind, man can reason.

This distinguishes us from the lower animals’. King then defines man as ‘God’s marvellous creation. Through his mind he can leap oceans, break through walls, and transcend the categories of time and space’. With this he defines what the biblical writers meant when they said ‘man is made in the image of God’, and that he has ‘rational capacity; he has the unique ability to have a fellowship with God. Man is a being of spirit’.

King then defines the third doctrine of man which ‘is the recognition that man is a sinner. Man is a free being made in the image of God’.

Man also has the ability to ‘choose between alternatives, so he can choose the good or the evil, the high or the low’.

King then admits that ‘man has misused his freedom’ and concludes that ‘man is a sinner in need of God’s divine grace’. King also admits that we find excuses to avoid this reality, ‘we say that man’s misdeeds are due to a conflict between the Id and the superego’.

He then states the conflict is ‘between God and man’, and that we want to cry with St. Augustine, “Lord, make me pure, but not yet”.

This then leads King to argue that ‘the “isness” of our present nature is out of harmony with the “oughtness” that forever confronts us’ with this ‘we know how to love, and yet we hate. We take the precious lives that God has given us and throw them away in riotous living.’

He then compares us to ‘sheep (who) have gone astray.’ With this line of thought he concludes with ‘we are all sinners in need of God’s divine grace’. He then looks at history and sees ‘how we treat each other.

Races trample over other races; nations trample over other nations. We go to war and destroy the values and lives that God has given us.’ With this he realises that ‘man isn’t made for that’ and ‘we were made for eternity’. The example of the “prodigal son” is then used to describe our relationship with God, believing that God will forgive us if we ask for it, ‘man is not made for the far country of evil, ..decided to rise up, ..I still love you’.

This is then defined as the ‘glory of our religion that when man decides to rise up, from his evil, there is a loving God saying, ‘Come home, I still love you”’.

This is then compared to the actions of “United States civilisation,” ..who started out right, ..writing; “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’, but after trampling over ‘sixteen million of your brothers. You have deprived them of the basic good of life.

You have treated them as if they were things rather than persons.’ He ends the article with a prayer hoping for the ‘high and noble good’ and wishing America back home. (Source, Wikipedia).

MANHOOD…

According to Webster: “man·hood.” The state or time of being an adult male human being.

BECOMING A MAN…

 Rudyard Kipling 2a

 Rudyard Kipling – Poet

“If”

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

RIGHT OF PASSAGE…

Question: What is a rite of passage?

According to Webster: rite of passage n., pl.  A (ritual) or (ceremony) signifying an event in a person’s life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood.

According to Webster: “rit·u·al,” (in context) A state or condition characterized by the presence of established procedure or routine.

According to Webster: “cer·e·mo·ny.” A formal act or set of acts performed as prescribed by ritual or custom.

A rite of passage is a “ritual” event that marks a person’s transition from one “status” to another. Milestones include transitions from “puberty,” ..year 7 to high school, “coming of age,” “marriage” and “death.” Initiation ceremonies such as “baptism,” “confirmation” and “Bar Mitzvah” are considered important rites of passage for people of their respective religions. Rites of passage show anthropologists what social hierarchies, values and beliefs are important in specific cultures. (Source, Wikipedia).

Interesting, ..(and Insane) ..Male “Rites of Passages” From Around the World

 adult baby 3a

At the heart of the modern crisis of manhood is the extension of adolescence, ..a (boyhood) ..which is “stretching” on for a longer and longer period of time.

Once thought to end in a man’s 20s at the latest, men are extending their adolescence into their 30′s, ..and in some especially sad cases, ..into their 40′s, ..and beyond…

 bumper car 3

But in some ways it’s not their fault. It’s the fault of a culture in which rites of passage have all but disappeared, leaving men adrift and lost, ..never sure when, ..and ( if ) ..they’ve become men.

adult baby 2

Today’s men lack a community of males to initiate them into manhood and to recognize their new status.

Obama feet on Desk 2  (2)

Across time and place, cultures have inherently understood that without clear markers on the journey to manhood, males have a difficult time making the transition and can drift along indefinitely, ..

..delegating their keep and care to others!

Thus, rites of passage were clearly delineated in nearly every culture as one of (the community’s) most important rituals.

land diver 1 Land Diving.

Bungee jumping is for wusses… at least compared to the men who live in Vanuatu, a small island nation in the middle of the South Pacific. Land diving among the Vanuatus goes back nearly 15 centuries. The purpose of the ritual is twofold. First, it’s performed as a sacrifice to their gods to ensure a bountiful yam crop. Second, it serves as a rite of passage to initiate the tribe’s boys into manhood.

While almost every culture has a rite of passage ritual, there existed a great diversity in what these ceremonies consisted of. The common thread was an experience that involved emotional and physical pain and required a boy to pass the test of manhood: to show courage, endurance, and the ability to control one’s emotions.

The following are a few of the interesting, ..to insane “rites of passage” rituals that existed (and in some cases still exist) around the world.

While they be quite offensive to our modern, Western sensibilities, each was born of different cultures’ beliefs of what made a man, a man.

 Spartan 2

For ancient Spartans, becoming a soldier was the only way one could be recognized as a man. Military training began at age seven when boys would be taken from their families and placed in the Agoge system. For the next 10 years Spartan boys learned the skills necessary to become a trained killing machine.

 Mandan piercing ritual 2a

Native American tribes each had their own unique coming of age rituals for the men in the tribe. But few were as intense as that of the Mandans.

Before his rite-of-passage, a Mandan boy fasted for 3 days to cleanse his body of impurities. Then, on the day of the ritual, elders of tribe would pierce the boy’s chest, shoulder, and back muscles with large wooden splints. Ropes, which extended from the roof of a hut, were then attached to the splints, and the young man was winched up into the air, his whole body weight suspended from the ropes.

Despite the pain, the boy was not to cry out in pain. (Source, artofmanliness.com).

Interesting chronicles, “albe” they of little interest to a culture where manhood has been replaced by technology.

The Marine Corps, a fraternity with a long history of building men used to display an ad soliciting…

a few good men

 Which of course, (at least in my considered opinion,) ..is no longer adequate, ..to move forward in our present political climate, America is going to need…

 a lot of good men

 Think about it, I’ll be back tomorrow

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Crusader Rabbit…

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