ReWilding: An intro to the Untamed Masculine
Welcome, my name is Charlie Wilson and I’ll be your guide to “ReWilding: the untamed masculine”. Please consider this an intro to me, and to the coming series.
I will start by acknowledging the land that I am currently residing on while writing this article. I acknowledge that I am on the traditional unceded territory of the Songhees, W’Sanec, and Esquimalt nations. To acknowledge the land is indigenous protocol and an expression of honour, gratitude, and appreciation to the original peoples who have been living and walking on this land since time immemorial.
Three years ago I began a journey of deepening and self-discovery inspired by a life crisis. They often say that to reach a place of awakening you first need to hit rock bottom; this was more than true for me. Till that point I was a denizen of the “city of eternal slumber.” Living life by the playbook, trying as best I could to fill the roles society had prepared me for, and ultimately drowning in my own complacent misery. I hated my life and even more I loathed myself. Awakening to the truths that came to me was brutal, yet liberating. For the first time I had a glimpse of the freedom I didn’t know I was missing.
In these revelations I realized that I had virtually no close male-bodied friends. Instead, I had female-bodied friends filling those empty spaces. My connection to the masculine had been deprogrammed, severed, and cast aside during my 20s. I found myself no longer able to trust men, and in turn I did not trust myself. I was conditioned to view other men as competition in the quest for the ultimate prize: money, sex, and power.
I could identify my symptoms, but I didn’t know what the antidote was.
Some time after, and two years ago, my partner adamantly suggested I read a book called “Iron John”. That small moment set in motion one of the most drastic shifts of my life. After reading the book, it felt like I had gone from seeing the world in black and white to full blown HD — a spectrum of colours I had been conditioned to ignore. I knew then what I was called to change. I was viewing the world through the lens of toxic masculinity and it was time to stop.
I had bitten the proverbial apple.
From that point onwards my journey revolved around a few potent questions: What is my place and what does it mean to be a “man” in today’s society? What is Freedom? And if I am not free, how do I shift from a domesticated man to a wild man?
This series will be an ongoing evolution of my journey into the masculine. And every great journey requires a starting point.
Once upon a time
the world is awash in problems but also with rising seas, it is boiling all around us. Overheating with climate change, and trembling with worldwide conflicts, we live in insane times. We are surrounded by radical changes that deeply affect both nature and culture. This is the unique moment that we are living in. The Greeks had a term for this called kairos or, the open moment. This is not the linear path of chronos time, but kairos, the open moment that is both a challenge and an opportunity.
The external structures mirror internal structures, and these radical changes are waiting to take place within us as well. Deep down on a soul level you’re probably feeling the same way I am; that it’s not supposed to be this way. There is supposed to be more to life than this.
I want to inspire you with trueness and excavated wisdom to find your own liberation. But make no mistake; my priority here is not to make you feel good. If you came here to lighten your day’s load I would suggest exiting your browser now. What I’m offering to you is the red pill, and once you take off the blindfold it becomes dangerous for you to put it back on again. Or you can take the blue pill, close this article, and believe whatever is most convenient.
Rest assured a day will come when someone a third your age is going to ask you the following question,
“when you were my age, did you know what was happening? ”
And the only answer, which is worthy of that moment, is, “there were enough ways of finding things out that anybody who wanted to know what was going on could have known.” And their next question will be, “So what did you do?” And the answer to that question is not in the future; you are living that answer right now.
In the coming months and years, should you choose to join me, we’ll be going on a journey within yourself, your psyche, and the mythos that surrounds you. There will be ideas, which may make you squirm, but that uncomfortability means there is room for growth. That feeling means it resonates within you. Follow it.
In service to understanding some of the ideas I’ll be presenting, I’ve attached a glossary at the bottom of this introduction. I want to ensure that everyone feels included so it’s easier to follow along. I want you, the reader, to know what I mean when I say things like, “dominant paradigm” or “story of separation” or “mythos.”
It’s also important for me to ensure no one feels excluded. When I say masculine or feminine I do not speak of the gender binary view of male and female. I am referring to the gender identity, not the biological sex. There is a full sliding scale spectrum between the poles and it is not necessarily attached to a person’s gender expression; nor is it fixed for life. Cisgender, gender fluid, gender neutral, and transgender are a few of the many ways humans identify.
I acknowledge my privilege as a cisgendered white male and will endeavor to avoid terms like man and woman whenever possible, but those are terms that must be used at times. Please have compassion knowing that I too am a work in progress. A student of life and at my core I am an ally. Through thick and thin.
My offerings will be released every month on the New Moon: which is a time of introspection and turning inwards. This phase allots us the space to reflect on each concept before exploring the next. I hope you’ll join me.
Until next time, Wildlings.
-Charlie Wilson, WildMan in Training
Animism — a belief system that perceives all things (animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human creations, words, etc) as animated, or alive. Natural things and phenomena have a life force all their own. There are many names for this life force energy: the Maori of New Zealand call it mauri, Hawaiians call it mana, and Chinese culture calls it qi or chi to name a few.
City of Eternal Slumber — the regular autopilot, you’re just stepping into the roles society has prepared for you lifestyle. You’re trying as best you can to get happiness and meaning out of a very limited context for my life. Maybe not being conscious of it, but having a lot of your decisions run by fear. It’s a slumber that’s governed by addictive patterns.
Colonization or Colonialism — can be defined as some form of invasion, dispossession and subjugation of a peoples using racism to rationalize oppression. The invasion need not be military; it can begin — or continue- as geographical intrusion in the form of agricultural, urban or industrial encroachments usually resulting in widespread genocide, cultural assimilation, and destruction of the original peoples way of life.
Dominant paradigm — the values, or system of thought, most widely used and held by society. We currently live in a patriarchal system of capitalism, consumerism, and materialism.
Emerging paradigm — a new and ancient system of thought; rooted in animism, interbeing, and egalitarian in nature. A system that respects all life and does not divide the world into ‘resources.’
Entelechy — originally developed by Aristotle, can be translated as “being at an end.” It is the highest goal and potential of perfection inherent to every living being. A caterpillar’s entelechy is to become the butterfly.
Interbeing — an alternative worldview by Thich Nhat Hanh. Self and universe mirror each other; whatever happens to any being is also happening in some corner of ourselves. Every act we take ripples out to affect the whole world, and eventually comes back to affect ourselves.
The Matrix — a cultural, social, or political environment in which something develops; a surrounding medium or structure. A system in which something, or someone, is shaped or controlled. Also, it’s a great movie.
Morphogenic Fields — fields of thought created by everything in existence; it is the input and output of creation. With every thought and action (or non-action) every individual strengthens one of those fields of thought that exist or with the focus of enough minds, creates a new one. Global fear, judgment, love, war and peace are also Morphogenic fields in existence.
Morphic Resonance — a change that happens in one place generates a field of change that causes similar changes to happen everywhere. On a micro scale, imagine a city riot and people being inexplicably swept up by the energy of the crowd, or a flock of birds moving in unison.
Mythos — an ancient Greek word referring to a story, or set of stories, which have a significant meaning to a culture, society, or person. The Ancient Greeks had two ways of viewing and thinking of the world, mythos and logos, story and fact.
Mythological — the term mytho-logical suggests that myth has its own logic and power. If the power of logos is reason, the power of myth is imagination and it is usually imagination that is missing when the facts don’t add up.
Patriarchy — a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege above women and children, and control of property. The patriarchy views the earth and animals as inanimate, divisible resources. Historically, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, religious and economic organization of a range of different cultures.
ReWilding — bringing back wild qualities where they have been otherwise forgotten. It is a movement back into our authentic states of wildness and the connection to the land that cradles us. ReWilding strips away the pull towards dogma, gurus, and being a ‘good boy’. To empower our wild souls we must know the full spectrum of ourselves, our land, and the unseen.
The Sacred Matrix — a universal pattern organizing structures, laws, and movements of life on all levels of existence. The Sacred Matrix is the cosmic pattern, the Morphogenic field of the universe, which forms the basis of organization of life.
Story of separation — a narrative that holds us separate from the world and each other. While we are currently writing a replacement story of unification, we all still carry the same wounds the separation myth has left behind. The story of separation tells us we are all independent individuals in an economic model of growth. In this reality it is money that gives us value, and we don’t need anybody else because we can buy what we need.
Toxic Masculinity — a social science term describing negative socially constructed attitudes towards the male gender role. It’s how a patriarchal society is harmful to men by denying “unmasculine” traits and rewarding anger, violence and destructive behavior.
Wild — that of which we emerged from and that of which we will return. To connecting with the land, all it’s creatures, and the ancestors. To be wild is to be interwoven into the greater wilderness, into one’s senses, one’s body and to carry the wisdom of the earth.
Xenophobia — a fear or hatred of foreigners, customs, dress, people from different cultures, or strangers.