This weekend is Father’s Day weekend. Days, which bring to the surface of my heart and mind, one of the main topics I think about quite often. The relationship between fathers and sons, along with its blessings and the most painful soul wounds in the hearts of boys, young men and many older men, who haven’t yet dealt with the wounds they’ve received, intentionally and unintentionally, from their fathers. The hardest ones to process, usually come from individuals and places we would least expect. Depending on how one deals with it, the father wound can become a great blessing or a terrible curse. Most adult males are living with the wound buried somewhere in their hearts. In their blindness and oblivion, they don’t even know they have it and most don’t know what to look for. They’re usually either numb to the inner reality or they are acting out their pain. Because of it, many are disconnected from the Source of Life within them. | “That Font of Life is the core of the individual, and within himself, he will find it — if he can tear the coverings away.” Joseph Campbell | Apart from the father wound, I believe the most emotionally/spiritually excruciating experience a young man can go through is what many experts call “spiritual abuse.” | “Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst.” C. S. Lewis | But, it’s Father’s Day weekend, and below are some more positive notes and elements I wanted to share.
On a nice and breezy summer evening, a father was walking with his son after the boy came back from a youth camp retreat. The son told his father, “Dad, the youth leader caught me staring and navigating through the smooth and curvy lines of a gorgeous beauty. Then, he approached me to talk about the dangers of the ‘second look.'” The father stopped walking for a moment, faced his son, so he could look him in the eyes, and with a very serious look on his face, he told the boy “Son, he’s right. Make sure the first one lasts as long as you can!” They smiled at each other and kept on walking …
“Yahweh, if you kept a record of all our sins, who could stand?” King David | “It’s love without end, amen!” George Strait
On his way to the gym, a sharp young man stopped by a busy coffeehouse to buy himself a drink. While in line, he asked an older gentleman, “Sir, what time is it?” The older man looked at him, ignored the question and looked away. After a moment, the gentleman faced the younger and said, “Son, perhaps you thought I was being rude for not wanting to tell you the time. However, you seem to be a very decent young fellow, so I will tell you the thought process behind my action … First: If I tell you the time, there’s a probability we’ll be talking about other matters. Second: Then, you will learn more about who I am and that I have a breathtakingly beautiful daughter. Third: You’ll find a way to meet her and because you seem to be a brave and sharp young man, chances are that she will like you a lot. Fourth: The two of you will start dating, … get married, … and I do not want my daughter to marry a man who doesn’t have the time!” As the younger began to make a gesture toward abandoning the line, the older asked, “Where are you going?” To which he replied, “I’m running to the car to get my smartphone!
“Sometimes I don’t know which way to go.” John Mayer
“I’m goin’ one way, your way. It’s such a strong way, …” Bryan Adams
The Laws And The Legends · Axis-Mundi
“It would be death to dissolve; yet death, also, to lack the fire.”
No son can wholeheartedly and unpretentiously be fond of the fathers until having acknowledged and processed the reality of their bright side as well as of their shadows. No son can truly accept himself and other men completely until he has fully embraced his substantial and essential resemblance to his fathers. This has a lot more to do with the invisible elements that make us who we are than mere external characteristics. Denial, minimization, whitewashing, rationalization, … won’t help the boys on their journey to a wholly, integrated, healthy, balanced and more mature masculinity. Many sons can be unfair and narrow-minded when focusing only on the shadow aspects of the fathers’ human nature, while the opposite keeps one bound to immaturity and naïveté. Similarly, fathers can be disingenuous when not taking their shadows into consideration, not admitting about their darkness to their sons. Most sons intuitively know, when they can’t visibly see their fathers’ shadows. Openness, then, about the double-stream inside the fathers can build a stronger, more realistic and healthier bond — smart trust — between fathers and sons.
Gawain: [ after Tristan lands his dagger in the butt of Galahad’s dagger ] Tristan, how do you do that? | Tristan: I aim for the middle.” The Legend of King Arthur | 2004
I know we could spend eons investigating and describing the dark side of our fathers, along with their negative effects on creation. Personally, I have experienced and known a great deal of it and have many stories and experiences to share, but not this weekend. As we continue to rebuild our world, we do have plenty of time ahead of us, not only to do that, but to work with our fathers, under the guidance of our Eternal Father, on the ongoing process of taking responsibility for the restoration of our Kingship Nature — our Illuminated, Life-Giving Leadership and Stewardship over what has been given to us by our Creator.
In one of my favorite Psalms from King David, Psalm 139, I like how he is adamant about the reality that we have shadow work to do, and we need God’s help in the process. | “For the LORD corrects [ disciplines ] those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” King Solomon | It’s a slow and sometimes painful operation but the healthy agony of breaking through limitations is rather necessary for our individual and collective multidimensional evolutionary growth. It implies a lot of discipline, but it sure is the best way to live.
“Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong —
then guide me on the road to Eternal Life.” King David
Now, putting the shadows aside, I want to highlight and focus on some of the accomplishments which make us extremely proud to be sons of our great fathers, the legendary heroes we admire so deeply. It doesn’t take much effort to see their fingerprints everywhere. It doesn’t take much time and research to be awe-inspired by the wonderful things they have been and done throughout the ages. Their affection, radiance, generosity, protection, support, vision, hard work, compassion, selfless sacrifices, and many other blessings, ignite our gratefulness and our sense of respect for our fathers.
“The father’s birth gift, then, is one thing, and the old men’s gift another. The father gives with his sperm a black overcoat around the soul, invisible in our black nights. He gave, and gives, a sheathing, or envelope, or coating around the soul made of intensity, shrewdness, desire to penetrate, liveliness, impulse, daring. The father’s birth gift cannot be quantified. His gift contributes to the love of knowledge, love of action, and ways to honor the world of things.” Robert Bly
Our fathers have skillfully built villages, farms, and communities as they’ve learned to take dominion over the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. They’ve selflessly and courageously fought many wars, giving their all, in order to defend themselves and others from tyranny and oppression. They’ve successfully protected their loved ones and their God-given freedoms, while in the process of acquiring and expanding their properties, empires, kingdoms, and nations. They have mastered the art of war, from the more primitive methods to our more sophisticated, but still evolving, warfare techniques and weaponry devices. Our fathers invented and innovated the various types of transportation machines and systems [ boats, ships, bikes, cars and roads, trains and railroads, planes and space shuttles, … ] They’ve traveled and explored lands and seas — they’ve been to the moon and back. Our fathers have made very significant progress in the multiplicity of the gradually developing, from simple to the more complexes forms of currency, business enterprises, leadership, political sciences, and government. They have given us one of the best national governmental tools to date — The Constitution of the United States of America. In the field of the arts, our fathers have created, crafted and given us the gifts of myths and stories, symbols, paintings, movies, songs, dances, along with many devices like the analog and digital musical instruments, books, theaters, concert arenas, … They’ve created schools, universities, and elaborate educational systems. They’ve invented a large variety of sporting activities and competitive games, coliseums and stadiums. They’ve built simple and sophisticated homes, skyscrapers, and architectural masterpieces. Their hard work and progress in the areas of healthcare have not only improved the quality of our lives, in general, but they have saved countless lives. The innumerous scientific discoveries and technological advances initiated and continued by them, in so many fields, have made our lives exponentially better, in different ways, than the lives of our ancestors. They’ve developed many theories and have discovered and unveiled many of the mysteries of our body, soul, and spirit. They’ve charted paths for our human and spiritual developments, and they’ve built many sacred spaces, sanctuaries, churches, and cathedrals. They’ve shown us the Way to our inner sanctum sanctorum. Our Heavenly Father sent a man to take full responsibility for our spiritual life, death, and resurrection.
I could go on and on describing the marvels they’ve successfully accomplished and are currently undertaking, and I know that fathers will be even greater as we move forward toward a more brilliant and balanced future.
“For the son who has grown really to know the father, the agonies of the ordeal are readily borne; the world is no longer a vale of tears but a bliss-yielding, perpetual manifestation of the Presence.” Joseph Campbell
Kingship, Positive Leadership, Fathers
“The number one responsibility of all leaders is to inspire trust.”
As I was growing up, besides being taught stories from the Bible, songs, movies, … I remember reading books on the topics of life, family, fathers, and sons, written by Dr. James Dobson and other authors. His first book I picked up to read when I was a teen was titled Life On The Edge, then Bringing Up Boys, … later on in the journey, I came across, Point Man, King Me, … by Steve Farrar, … and many others. Reading those books, together with other forms of input, were and are an interesting part of the process of self-discovery. Eventually, I learned about John Eldredge’s writings, which led me to Robert Bly, Robert Moore, Joseph Campbell, … I’m very grateful for their teachings and for the amount of knowledge and information they’ve shared. Learning from them and from many tells, like the stories of Iron John, Joseph of Egypt, King David, King Christ, … biographies and other real-life experiences help us to understand that the ongoing processes of initiation of boys into adult manhood, and the way that the stages unfold are not linear, but they resemble a sphere. | “I have been doing this initiatory work with young men for forty years now, and I think I’m beginning to get it myself.” Said an older sage. | We also understand that it requires the active presence, involvement and intervention of older men, and of course, The Presence of the Source of Life. Below is an excerpt from Campbell on becoming an axiomatic father/king.
“The traditional idea of initiation combines an introduction of the candidate into the techniques, duties, and prerogatives of his vocation with a radical readjustment of his emotional relationship to the parental images. The mystagogue [ father or father-substitute ] is to entrust the symbol of office only to a son who has been effectually purged of all inappropriate infantile cathexes — for whom the just, impersonal exercise of the powers will not be rendered impossible by unconscious [ or perhaps even conscious and rationalized ] motives of self-aggrandizement, personal preference, or resentment. Ideally, the invested one has been divested of his mere humanity and is representative of an impersonal cosmic force. He is the twice-born: he has become himself the father. And he is competent, consequently, now to enact himself the role of the initiator, the guide, the sun door, through whom one may pass from the infantile illusions of “good” and “evil” to an experience of the majesty of cosmic law, purged of hope and fear, and at peace in the understanding of the revelation of being.” Joseph Campbell
Our mission and the war we fight, then, is not the simple conflict between “good” and “evil” but it’s a much greater battle between the Kingdom of Light versus the Kingdom of Darkness. Therefore, we need physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong men, from every age and in every stage of development [ from boys to sages, ] in order to conquer the dark forces. We need to continue to get better at building strong, fierce and undaunted men, unafraid to look the real enemies eye-to-eye and laugh at their eternal demise, as we continue to defeat them and fulfill and advance the cause of our Creator.
A Very Small Glimpse Into My Boyhood
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made!”
I find it very impressive how we’ve been designed by Divine Intelligence — body [ flesh, bones, blood, ] soul [ intellect, will, emotions, ] and spirit. An amazing characteristic I enjoy a great deal about how we’ve been wired is our ability to create, attribute, store, and retrieve, multi-meaningful data to and from symbols, at a very high-speed. I like to attach them to external elements, very selectively though, as much as possible. It helps me to free up internal ‘real state’ and to access the conscious, subconscious and super-conscious parts of the self at will.
For instance, Ferrari, one of the multiple thoughts I’ve attached to the iconic prancing horse, is a story I heard from my biological father. During most of the first two decades of my life, when I was physically closer to my first-birth family, even though I didn’t have the quality time I wish I could’ve had with the old man, I managed to extract some personal stories and good moments from him. Occasionally, I would also listen to him very attentively, when he was conversing with others.
In one occasion, as he was expressing how much he loved racing on horses when he was young and audaciously restless, he was telling about how he was so eager to win a race, at any cost, that he made the horse give all it had to such an extreme that after crossing the finish line, without getting into the details of what and how it happened, the horse was basically useless. But he won the race and he was very proud of it!
During those early years, with my infinite curiosity and inquisitiveness, I remember asking for more information about my father’s biological fathers to his sister, and to my satisfaction, she passed on to me some of what she knew and showed me photographs. By the time I was born, my grandparents from that side of the family, the more Italian side, had already passed away. She told me about the time they moved from the European to the American continent so they could start the next chapter of their lives. This is one of the stories she told me, as she showed me the pictures: After acquiring properties, horses, cattle, … hiring servants, … their immigrant father really liked the daughters from a certain family of locals who worked for him. One day, he paid a visit to the family and communicated to the father of three daughters that he would like to marry one of them. My aunt said that the father took the girls aside for a quick and private chat, which went something like the following: He asked the first daughter, “What do you think about this man?” She answered, “Well, he’s good looking.” He asked the same question to the second, to which she replied, “He’s well, economically.” Then, to the third, and she said, “Father, he seems to be a very decent man.” After the brief inquisition, he came back and said, “Sir, you can marry my youngest daughter!” The soon-to-be-husband exerted, “She’s the one I wanted!” And that’s how my curious boy layer found out about how they got some native XXs mixed with their XYs. The aunt who told me this story already returned to the heavenly realm.
“He had found his path. Of two peoples, he was neither, yet he was both. He changed my life … and the destiny of our people.” Starfire | Pathfinder
From my mother’s side of my first-birth family, Europeans who also moved to the American continent, my grandfather died when I was around seven years old. He had many children and seemed to have lived a healthy and full life, not excluding his humanity, of course, to the best extent of his knowledge, will, abilities and circumstances. I have many vivid memories of him, including the times he dined with us in my biological parent’s city house, and in his city and farm houses. During those meals, he was always at the head of the table and everyone seemed to respect and revere his presence. I remember one of the main celebrations of one of his wedding anniversaries where there were lots of people — family members, relatives, and friends. I also have a clear memory of the day he passed away in the house we lived after he was brought back from a doctor’s visit. I saw him minutes after he took his last breath. It was my first direct contact with the physical death of a first-birth family member. I only processed his passing away later on, at an older age. I truly enjoyed the weekends my biological parents went to visit him and his wife. Many of my most cherished boyhood memories happened on his farmland. The house was built on top of a hill, with lots of open spaces and miles away from the farmhouses of his sons, which were built in the surrounding areas of the father’s house. There were plenty of things to do and places to be explored by a boy. It was where I broke my nose, split my tongue in a half [ it’s intact now, ] among many other accidents. During that boyhood phase of my life, I also had a blast going to his eldest son’s house, because it was near a rocky area and I loved climbing and playing on top of the rocks. It was my favorite place in the area.
“All things are in process, rising and returning. Plants come to blossom, but only to return to the root. Returning to the root is like seeking tranquility. Seeking tranquility is like moving toward destiny. To move toward destiny is like eternity. To know eternity is enlightenment, and not to recognize eternity brings disorder and evil. Knowing eternity makes one comprehensive; comprehension makes one broadminded; breadth of vision brings nobility, nobility is like heaven.” K. H.
The Journey To The Father’s Realm
“Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity.”
Maximus | Gladiator | 2000
This scene reminds me of the Book of Job, the part when he is receiving a greater and personal revelation of who God is:
“… Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.” — God
As part of the process of maturing, it’s essential for every young man to leave their parental expectations behind, entirely, and to find a second father figure — a second King. That’s the spiritual movement from the mother’s world to the father’s world; outgrowing the ‘mother’s breast’ and moving to the world of masculine adult action.
“Now, standing next to the father, … the son’s body has the chance to re-tune. Slowly, over months or years, that son’s body-strings begin to resonate to the harsh, sometimes demanding, testily humorous, irreverent, impatient, opinionated, forward-driving, silence-loving older masculine body. Both male and female cells carry marvelous music, but the son needs to resonate to the masculine frequency as well as to the female frequency.” Robert Bly
Taking the concept of sound waves, the upper and lower frequencies, to a more literal meaning, I recall the memory of when I was increasing my fascination with music. I’d listened to the polyphony of the sounds of the different instruments. The bass-guitar produced most of my favorite frequencies, textures and nuances. In those early years, I remember when the first Walkman CD players came out, around the time of the Kenny G Live album release [ 1989. ] The quality of the sound was like night and day, compared to the sounds of the other medias that were more prominent, back then. As I went through this album’s tracks, even though it sounded very beautiful, in its entirety, I’d skip through several parts because the sound of the saxophone could sometimes be a bit annoying, after a while. But, I really really enjoyed the bass movements and sounds recorded in this live production. I’d often find a very quiet spot, where I couldn’t be interrupted, and I would listen to the bass lines over and over, particularly the bass solo in the track number four, “Midnight Motion.” As a young boy and teenager, listening to music, helped me to stay in touch with my inner space and to be more aware of my quest for the “Lower Frequency Vibrations.”
That innermost place, at the very core of who we are, is the quiet place where we can sense the reverberation of the voices of our fathers and the Voice and Presence of Our Great Father. If we stop and really listen, we can hear the echoes of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, … Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, … Ronald Reagan, … and of the many other fathers who chose to take on mantles of crucial leadership responsibilities and they did what needed to be done, during their first time here on earth. Their voices, transcending time and space, call out to us and remind us that it’s our turn to be faithful to the mission and vision they’ve represented and dedicated their lives to. The torches they’ve carried are now in our hands and it is our time to be wholly devoted to the Eternal Kingdom; to the task of bridging the gap between the two worlds “… on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
“I fight for a cause beyond Rome’s or your understanding.” King Arthur | 2004
“Listen. Can you hear it? The music. I can hear it everywhere. In the wind … in the air … in the light. It’s all around us. All you have to do is open yourself up. All you have to do … is listen.” August Rush | 2007
“The water I give them will become in them
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Christ | Book of John
The next song lyric, excerpt from the book Iron John, and videos speak for themselves, about our young men’s hunger for fathers, for the eye-of-blessing, for a deeper connection to fathers and kings, for the true meat from above … the need to be seen and blessed on the journey and attempts to unfold who they really are, in all their strength, godliness, maturity, creativity and generativity.
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
I have climbed the highest mountains / I have run through the fields / Only to be with you / Only to be with you / I have run, I have crawled / I have scaled these city walls / These city walls / Only to be with you / But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for / But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for / I have kissed honey lips / Felt the healing in her finger tips / It burned like fire / This burning desire / I have spoke with the tongue of angels / I have held the hand of a devil / It was warm in the night / I was cold as a stone / But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for / But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for / I believe in the Kingdom Come / Then all the colours will bleed into one / Bleed into one / But yes, I’m still running / You broke the bonds / And you loosed the chains / Carried the cross of my shame / Oh my shame, you know I believe it / But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for / But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for / But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for / But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for … | by Paul David Hewson | Bono, U2
“When a father and son do spend long hours together, which some fathers and sons still do, we could say that a substance almost like food passes from the older body to the younger. The contemporary mind might want to describe the exchange between father and son as a likening of attitude, a miming, but I think a physical exchange takes place, as if some substance was passing directly to the cells. The son’s body—not his mind—receives and the father gives this food at a level far below consciousness. The son does not receive a hands-on healing, but a body-on healing. His cells receive some knowledge of what an adult masculine body is. The younger body learns at what frequency the masculine body vibrates. It begins to grasp the song that adult male cells sing, and how the charming, elegant, lonely, courageous, half-shamed male molecules dance.” Robert Bly
Again, there’s much more I wish I could write and share now, including many positive as well as negative personal experiences, but I’m saving it for another occasion and medium.
Happy Father’s Day to every father and to every son who will become a father. To be a man [ a set-apart male, ] a son and a father, is one of the greatest privileges given to us by our Maker. Let’s honor and respect this great privilege.
All the best,