How does the way men experience spirituality differ from the way women engage it? What obstacles particularly keep men from experiencing greater meaning in their lives, and what paradigm shifts help them find it?
My guest today has been thinking about those questions over the six decades he’s served as a Franciscan friar. His name is Richard Rohr, and he’s authored numerous books and devoted a significant part of his vocation to working with men — both ministering to those who are incarcerated, and in leading male initiation rituals and retreats.
If you enjoyed my discussion last month with David Brooks about life’s first and second mountain, you’ll want to listen to this one. Father Rohr has long taught the same concept, arguing that life is divided into a first and second half. We begin our discussion by exploring the difference between these two halves, and what it takes to move to the second half of life, including embracing non-dualistic thinking. We also talk about what prevents men from maturing into the second half of life, including having “father wounds.” We then discuss how male spirituality differs from female spirituality, why church doesn’t appeal to men, the male need for initiation, and what it means to do shadow work. We end our conversation with what fathers can do to help their sons embrace the spiritual side of life.
- What are the two halves of life? Why does the idea resonate so much?
- What’s the primary task of the first half of life?
- Why so many men never get to the “sacred dance” of life
- Moving from dualistic to non-dualistic thinking, and what that means
- What does the “fall” into life’s second half look like?
- Why do men have such a hard time passing themselves onto their sons in a healthy way?
- How father wounds keep men stuck in the first half of life
- Differences between male and female spirituality
- Finding and choosing love within disorder
- The importance of initiation rites and rituals
- Men and power
- What is “shadow boxing”?
- How can father’s pass their spirituality down to their children?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- AoM series on Muscular Christianity
- My podcast with David Brooks: The Quest for a Moral Life
- My first interview with David on the road to character
- How Jesuit Spirituality Can Improve Your Life
- Why Men Hate Going to Church
- AoM series on Spiritual Disciplines
- Ego Is the Enemy
- Fighting For Life by Walter Ong
- The Four Archetypes of the Mature Masculine
- Man’s Need for Ritual
- AoM series on the nature and power of ritual
- How Not to Become Your Absentee Father
- Why You Should Go to Church (Even If You’re Not Sure of Your Beliefs)
- AoM series on male status
- How the Hero’s Journey Can Help You Become a Better Man
- Iron John by Robert Bly
Connect With Richard
Richard’s podcast, Another Name for Every Thing
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
Recorded on ClearCast.io
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