Real Men

The book title The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine caught my attention. The book was published in 2008 by Dr. Matthew Fox, a former Roman Catholic priest who was excommunicated for having the audacity to think outside the box. Dr. Fox is a brilliant writer, theologian, teacher, and progressive. I ordered this book, started reading it on a long flight to Hawai‘I, and had trouble putting it down.

When I finished it, I knew Dr. Fox had awakened my “sacred masculine,” as he calls it. I wanted to share a teaser about what makes real men (pages 282–284), and it’s not being a marine or cowboy or smoking a certain brand of cancer-sticks. Let me share a dozen of them.

  1. “Real men work to save the planet,” knowing that if we don’t, it’s all over.
  2. “Real men meditate and are not afraid to look inside” to see who they truly are. Introspection can be scary, but the sacred masculine does so if he wants to be spiritual, which I define as authentic.
  3. “Real men love their bodies” and “work to keep them healthy” with good food and drink “and cleansing exercise,” remembering that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of agape love.
  4. “Real men enjoy sex” (regardless of their sexual preference) and honor their sexual being as a gift of Creativity, not a toy.
  5. “Real men seek to expand their consciousness . . . and their powers of imagination and creativity and exhibit compassion . . . and embrace their Divine Feminine,” which involves developing interests and skills often attributed only to women.
  6. “Real man are warriors (not soldiers)” who battle inequality, injustice, racism, and sexism and “seek power with compassion.” Real men “wage peace, not war” and enter war “as a last resort.”
  7. “Real men criticize institutions (including religious ones) that wage lies and poison truth.” They never stop until the institution either changes or disappears. This includes the church.
  8. “Real men defend what they cherish, including space, children,” youth, old age, marriage, earth, and all its marvelous creatures.
  9. “Real man use all their brains” and intellect to defend what they love. They honor and use their critical thinking skills. This insight can cause problems, but it always develops solutions.
  10. “Real men highly respect women” and constantly seek freedom and justice for women’s totally equality.
  11. “Real men are generous” with their time, talents, and treasure and never stop giving of themselves. They understand that being rich means fully using all their gifts and skills for the betterment of our world.
  12. “Real men don’t retire, they refire and join forces with the younger generation” to keep working on making this a better world in which to live, always being open to the new.

Dr. Fox has many more real men directives, all of which are provocative and life changing.

I’d love to hear reactions from my readers—men, women, and trans people.

Peace Love Joy Hope


Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash

7 thoughts on “Real Men”

  1. Hi Bil ….

    I’m trying to catch up with your essays. Never seem to have enough time with the massive influx of Afghan refugees. We started working with 2 families to welcome them to Orange County. Now we are supporting 8 with the goal of leading them to self-sufficiency. They have so little and need (and welcome) so much guidance because of the great gap between their culture and ours. Our consortium of churches, New Beginnings, has no real budget and yet we’re faced with, for example, two brothers who have 24 cavities needing immediate dental treatment, a family sharing one mattress on the floor, an Afghan dentist who is entering the Dental Hygiene courses at Cypress to get some source of income and her husband trying to pay the rent as an occasional Uber driver. Keep up the good work, friend. We’re all in this together. Regards, Steve

    • I just found a group of unanswered emails in my folder. Thanks for reading my blogs and responding. I hope you are doing well and our love to Jackie.

  2. Bill I am of Matthew Fox and have read several of his books. His thoughts on masculinity and other issues have challenged my attitudes and beliefs about masculinity, original sin and creation spirituality. Matthew has been a blessing for me. I subscribe to his Daily Meditations.


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