Men these days can be unknowingly stuck in a state of suspended adolescence that hurts themselves and those they love. Rites of Passages and rituals are powerful opportunities for men to come back to life and awaken into a mature and satisfying life.
Cultures outside the U.S. place much more emphasis on rites of passage and rituals as we enter and exit developmental phases. These rites and rituals serve an important role beyond just celebration. They are doorways that provide an opportunity for maturing. They are uplevels that benefit both the individual and the community.
Today’s Man Alive Podcast guest, Frederick Marx, recently wrote a powerful book on this topic: Rites to a Good Life: Everyday Rituals of Healing and Transformation. Frederick is an internationally acclaimed, Oscar and Emmy nominated director/writer with 40 years in the film business. He is also an esteemed author and public speaker, with a passion for Buddhism and spirituality. He speaks publicly on a range of topics including rites of passage, men’s issues, mentorship, documentary film-making and the experience of veterans returning from war.
Our conversation focused on…
- The purpose of rites of passage and rituals, and what happens when men don’t participate in them
- The state of suspended adolescence — what it is and how to move beyond it
- The facets of mature masculinity
- What happens when you find your fundamental reason for living and how to use it as a compass
- Frederick’s honest and vulnerable examples of navigating his shadows and finding the sacred every day
Here is a powerful excerpt from Frederick’s book: Rites to a Good Life: Everyday Rituals of Healing and Transformation.
Without initiation and mentorship, these boys will never know what is sacred about their own masculinity. They’ll never know their own unique mission in life; they’ll never know what it is to serve family and community rather than their own self; they’ll never know their place in the order of things, the depths of their own greatness or the true limits of their own reach and they’ll never know what an empowering gift their own feelings can be – how they can learn to master them through acceptance; how their tears, their shame, their anger and fear can ignite the fires of passion and can actually set them free.
When you’re done with this one, check out this episode on how becoming a Renaissance man will add more freedom, power and pleasure to your life.
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Frederick Marx is an internationally acclaimed, Oscar and Emmy nominated director/writer with 40 years in the film business. He was named a Chicago Tribune Artist of the Year, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of a Robert F. Kennedy Special Achievement Award.
His film HOOP DREAMS (1994) is one of the highest grossing non-musical documentaries in United States history and the International Documentary Association named it “The Best Documentary of All Time.” Frederick is also an esteemed author and public speaker, with a passion for Buddhism and spirituality. He has spoken publicly on a range of topics including rites of passage, men’s issues, mentorship, documentary film-making and the experience of veterans returning from war.