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The Loss of His Pride

The Loss of His Pride

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Published by Edward L Hester
What is it about life that breaks the spirit of a man?
What is it about life that breaks the spirit of a man?

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Published by: Edward L Hester on Jun 09, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Loss of his Pride.
“Our local zoo had for years one of the biggest African lions I’ve ever seen. A hugemale, nearly five hundred pounds, with a wonderful mane and absolutely enormous paws. Panthera leo. The King of the Beasts. Sure, he was caged, but I’m telling you thebars offered small comfort when you stood within six feet of something that in any other  situation saw you as an easy lunch. Honestly, I felt I ought to shepherd my boys past himat a safe distance, as if he could pounce on us if he really wanted to. Yet he was my favorite, and whenever the others would wander on to the monkey house or the tigers, I’d double back just for few more minutes in the presence of someone so powerful and nobleand deadly. Perhaps it was fear mingled with admiration; perhaps it was simply that myheart broke for the big old cat..This wonderful, terrible creature should have been out roaming the savanna, ruling his pride, striking fear into the heart of every wildebeest, bringing down zebras and gazelleswhenever the urge seized him. Instead, he spent every hour of every day and every night of every year alone, in a cage smaller than your bedroom, his food served him through alittle metal door. Sometimes late at night, after the city had gone to sleep, I would hear his roar come down from the hills. It sounded not so much fierce, but rather mournful. During all my visits, he never looked me in the eye. I desperately wanted him to, wanted  for his sake the chance to stare me down, would have loved it if he took a swipe at me. But he just lay there, weary with that deep weariness that comes from boredom, taking  shallow breaths, rolling now and then from side to side.. For after years of living in a cage, a lion no longer even believes it is a lion…..and a manno longer believes he is a man.”
1.A pride of lions has a primeval character about it; sort of like an ancient tribe of hunter-gatherers. The male does virtually no work; he just breeds the females, plays with thecubs, and drives off other males. The lionesses do most of the work. For a few shortyears, he survives this way; king of his own kingdom. Then, some younger, more powerful male defeats him and drives him away. And his reign is over..Lions and men have a lot in common. When we are young, we have a kingdom to found,a pride to create. The dream lies before us. The dream happens, or our chance for thedream passes, and then it is over so quickly..Society though makes it all too easy. The tribal way is not man’s way but woman’s. In away, both society’s roles and man’s family roles turn out to be cages instead of dreams.There is something bred into men and lions—something fierce…passionate…wild…thatdies in these cages. Sometimes, boys are drawn out into gangs and wars by that wildneed. Sometimes, it is repressed by mothers and wives and children who need hisattention and ‘protection’ and sometimes. It is stamped out by years of routine, repetitionof meaningless work in the work place..Lion symbolizes the heart, masculine strength and courage, yet the real lives of men seem
a universe away from the desires of his heart. What does he want? He wants a reason to be. He wants a purpose. Without a great battle in which to live or die, the fierce part of his nature goes underground, into his unconscious mind, and simmers there in a sullenanger that he can’t explain. Each year that passes drives another nail into his feet, likeJesus on the Cross, as he sacrifices his need to “be something” for others..
Men past fortyGet up nights, look out at city lights And wonder Where they made the wrong turn And why life is so long.2
.What is it that is wrong? Most men don’t even know. We only know that we are restless,discontent, angry about the way our lives have turned out. We pursue the things we’retold are the marks of success: power, wealth, fame, the most desirable women. But onceachieved, they turn out to be not enough. The heart is not satisfied with these goals..Ancient sages classified the masculine as “sun beings.” And the sun is the domain of individuality, ego-consciousness, which is separate and self-satisfying. The feminine, onthe other hand, are “moon beings” which are tribal, collective, and group satisfying.Faced with the danger of life in the wild, the tribe comes first. Faced with the dangers of economic ruin in modern society, so too does the tribe come first. Men want to make adifference as an individual. They require a sense of self, a sense of personal pride, thefeeling of being self-reliant and independent. That is not possible if one is to be a successin an organization or in a family. Woman want bonding, unity, domestication, collectiveidentity, joint responsibility, and mutual dependence..Wives see that “making a difference” is a collective issue: raising a family, raising andcaring for children, providing for the family unit. And it is! And in the modernworkplace, the individual ego has no lasting place; it is the preservation of the collectiveorganization that matters. Only the “top cat” in an organization can act the part of King of Beasts. Other males must circle and watch from a distance. They never win their Pride..
 A man must do. He must disengage from the mother  And find his way of “doing,”Which is a way of pain. A woman has only to be.3
.Losing their pride causes men to feel they are not men. Beneath their “public face” suchmen know they are a sham; they feel weak; they feel a failure. And they hate their weakness and insufficiency. Their frustrated passions turn dark. They become distant,abusive, controlling, angry at the wives and children, wander off into affairs, or losethemselves in strong drink. Or their self-hate turns them into hyenas, slinking around,hating themselves and their lives..
Sometimes, men’s wives emasculate their self-doubting men. Women are often attractedto the wilder side of a man, but once having caught him, they set about domesticatinghim. If he gives in, he’ll always resent her for it, and his passion for her will fade..So society “puts men in a cage” to control them. Wives do too. Employers do too. Why?Because there is something dangerous, unpredictable, and unreliable about the masculinein a tribal society. Like a male lion, there is an instinctive violence in the masculine soulthat is there for a reason. Nature puts it there. As a warrior or a hunter, he may berequired to die for the good of the tribe, and he must have a natural fierceness of heartthat leads him to face death with a sense of joy that he has discovered his purpose andmeaning in nature. Ninety percent of all incarcerated felons are male for a reason.Women seldom commit the violence against other people as do men. Men never fullyescape the restlessness that seethes within them, that keeps them from finding peacefulacceptance of society’s branding..Modern society, employers and families have no need for such fierceness of intent.Instead, they have a need for eunuchs: workers or providers without spirit, sense of self,or desire to rebel, who can be depended upon to work year after year withoutindividuality. Equality is not the rule of the King of Beasts; dominance is. Equality is therule of matriarchy. Women’s rule castrates men, as bureaucracy castrates its maleemployees; and in many cases, so too do wives their husbands. Those who survive relyon cunning, politics and lies to make their way through the corporate or bureaucraticforests they inhabit..Men’s mid-life crisis is a wake up call to such men. They are still tied to their mother’sneeds. They are called to become the men they had never chosen to be. Wives, alarmed atthe uncharacteristic behavior and feelings of rage and resentment their husbandsexperience at this time, panic and try to hold onto them, to bring them back intoaccustomed roles. And so end many marriages to wives who never understood the animalthey married nor the male energies within themselves..When the old lion has lost his pride, there is little more that he can do but wander off to be alone, as so many men do: retiring early, turning away from careers, families,humdrum lives, dead dreams, to discover who they are and what is missing in their lives.What they are missing is feeling alive, knowing who they are, having a sense that their masculinity has made a difference, feeling that their purpose in nature has been fulfilled.While many receive some measure of satisfaction knowing that they were good fathers,good husbands, good employees or team members, most still remain unsatisfied, feelingthat they were never good enough!.When a lion, or a man for that matter, cannot love himself, he never gets his needs metsufficiently to be well with his life or himself..Of course, women being true to their own nature cannot be held accountable for this.They too have their individuality and need for true partnerships, for the voyage of married couples through life is hazardous as well and needs a steady hand at the tiller and

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