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Healing the child within the man

The child-within-the-man can best be healed by caring for a child who is to become a man. We can heal ourselves by becoming the kind of fathers we wanted but did not have. Create out of the void, out of the absence. Our best map for parenting is outlined like a photographic negative in the shadow side of our psyches. Get in touch with your disappointment, your rage, your grief, your loneliness for the father, the intimate touching family you did not have, and you will find a blueprint for parenting. Become the father you longed for. We heal ourselves by learning to give to our children what we did not receive. To be involved in creating a wholesome future, men, gay or straight, need an active caring relationship to children. A man who takes no care of and is not involved in the process of caring for and initiating the young remains a boy no matter what his achievements.

Source - Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man (Cocreation: Familial Love and the Fatherhood of Men).

A vital part of a man’s masculinity is caught up in how potent or impotent he feels as a man with something to impart, and that may be the archetypal definition of what a father is. It is very important to recognize a man’s need to involve himself in what might be imaged in the totem pole, which shows a vertical succession of ancestors, one standing on top of another. This totemic succession is a good image of the patriarchal transmission, which rests on the home truth that each generation of men stands on the shoulders of the last. To understand the father archetype and the role it creates for a man, we have to first recognize the man’s need to participate in the archetype, to receive love and lore from a father, and to be able to transmit the same to a son or daughter.

Source - John Beebe, Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type: The Reservoir of Consciousness (Archetypal Aspects of Masculine Adaptation).

Photo: Thompson S. Ekong, 'Like Father Like Son'

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