The Irreducible Fraction of Manliness
One of the things I appreciate most about Ethos of Men is the straightforward, minimalistic approach to practical concepts. When Mr. Z provides us with an example, we grasp its deep meaning and can just walk on without further delay. One shot, one kill, no bullshit whatsoever.
On the whole, keeping things simple has an awesome virtue: in dark times, if you have ingrained in your core both the intellectual as well as the emotional aspects of a concept, the odds are it will show up in spite of our first paralyzing daze. It would be just like the long training months of a boxer before the night of his fight. Quite a different story would be told if the boxer had to remember the metaphysics of Immanuel Kant. More precisely the story of his sorry ass clubbed to death.
At the core of terror, one does not simply think, calculate and predict —at least, not a mere mortal. I would even go further than that; at the core of sorrow our full potential appears in the same fashion partially hijacked. When you feel small, independently of the cause being a bison charging at you or a beautiful woman playing with your pride in an unknown arena, you are not the same man as when you invoke your inner fire and stand ready to battle.
That is the main reason why I believe it is capital to integrate in ourselves the idea of this irreducible fraction of manliness.
Male and Female are primordial principles, ancestral forces of the universe which are by eons more ancient than men and women. A quiet gazer can feel them in nature, the cultures of the past have depicted them in the appearance of gods and goddesses.
Male energy is, in short, a penetrating force.
The female principle, on the other hand, is a surrounding stream.
Just to illustrate with an example: the ultimate penetrating force in nature is the thunder. You may see that most deities related with it are gods, not goddesses.
Now if you analyze the four tactical virtues described in The Way of Men, i.e. Strength, Courage, Mastery and Honor, they can be inferred in these terms. Let us say you lift an impossibly heavy stone. Visualize it and ask yourself: What is your power doing with it…? We could imagine a firefighter jumping into an inferno to save a little boy. What is his power doing against the horror of the flames…? You have no idea about how to deadlift. What are you doing with that confusion and state of ignorance hindering you? Last but not least, after four years of hard work, you become stronger, more courageous, and more masterful in the eyes of other men, so they begin to look up to you. Again, what are you doing in their souls…?
All of this sounds very theoretical. I encourage you to play a short video of a 100% practical guy, Mr. Jocko Willink. Type “GOOD” and his name on the search bar and , once you watch it carefully, consider if there is some kinship between these ideas.
Remember these words the next time you feel overwhelmed in any aspect of your life. For that is your gateway to become manlier than you were before.
This is my little big present for you, men.
* Pablo Barrabino is a language teacher in Europe and native Spanish speaker. He is presently busy translating Ethos of Men from English to Spanish. @thehyperboreann