I’ve been rereading Becoming Barbarian by Jack Donovan, which got me thinking about where I’m at in the world and where I want to be. As men, we need to find our path and our essence of masculinity; otherwise, we’re falling into the same cookie-cutter version of a man that we are trying to separate ourselves from — a new man in the same box.
Old habits die hard. I recently wrote an article for Barbarian Rhetoric that I had pulled because it caused some personal friction in my life. I was trying to flesh out the topic by reconciling generic red pill truths to the actuality of men dating in their 40s and 50s. I was a coward for having it pulled because people disagreed with my assessment. I allowed myself to succumb to being uncomfortable, and I stepped back into the line.
“Good, modern, civilized Western white men are expected to be the gentlemen of the world, throwing their coats down and opening every door for everyone else, putting their own interests last.” – Jack Donovan. Becoming a Barbarian
I allowed my truth to be stifled. I allowed my words to be distorted. I allowed other people’s meaning to influence what I believe. I didn’t separate myself from the old world’s psychological constraints that I no longer wanted to be a part of; I ceased to be a barbarian – an outsider.
“I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us.” – Chris Taylor, Platoon.
What makes you a barbarian? What makes you an outsider? In today’s day and age, it’s your mindset. Do you belong to the status quo, or do you belong to another group, a minority group of like-minded people?
The Barbarians of new do not look like the Barbarians of old. Modern-day culture has conscripted identity. The Barbarians of old separated themselves by their identity, by their religion, by their culture. Because identity can no longer be used to separate Us from Them, the new Barbarians must separate themselves through the mindset of divergent life philosophies.
You can’t find your tribe anymore based on how somebody looks or which God they pray to, or the location you live in; it’s much harder to find your tribe because its external traits do not determine it. Our beliefs now determine it.
Before you can find your tribe, you have to find yourself. You have to know your vision – your values – your mission – you have to know what you believe in and what you stand for. Only then can you begin your search for your new tribe – your tribe of outsiders.
The enemy that you actually face is the enemy within. To separate yourself from the prevailing culture, you have to do the mental work to free yourself from old cultural paradigms. You have to fight old mindsets, old belief systems, your old identity.
“Man conquers the world by conquering himself.” – Zeno of Citium.
The new path to setting yourself apart will be dumping your old emotional baggage, leaving your old contracts, and freeing yourself from the constraints of your past. Like a Phoenix, you’ll need to undergo a rebirth. Change grows hot inside of you as the fire burns away the old. Like fields burned after harvest, the nutrients are returned to the earth so that new crops may grow, which will be your new path.
Be prepared to stumble. Be prepared to fail. Be ready to fall short of your expectations. We cannot grow into the men that we want to be without failure. We have to step into the arena, but this time, the battle will be inside our heads. Don’t worry so much about perfection; worry more about progression.
The path of the barbarian will be one where you must wander the wilderness. One where you’ll be fighting your own monsters and demons, and as much as this is a personal journey, humans were never meant to be lone wolves. As you begin to find your new perspective, you will need to find a community of shared purpose and vision that will help you and support you as you travel toward your destiny.
“Human nature favors the tribal. Tribalism engenders violence. It was ever thus, and so it will ever be.” ― Kate Atkinson.
It’s cold outside the gates. As social creatures, we must belong to a social group – a tribe. Today, this should be a like-minded community that embraces the philosophies you believe in, and they challenge you to grow to be the best version of yourself. They hold you accountable to yourself and the group.
Old models of white knights and chivalry are dead. However, there is one truth that remains of these old paradigms. Honor. The only way to have honor is to be a part of an honor group. You can only have honor because somebody else says you do. Your honor group will be your barbarian tribe. You will have to measure yourself against these men.
The End Becomes the Beginning
When your barbarian tribe becomes the new overlords, the comfortable cultural home of sloth and gluttony, you will be faced with the choice once again. You’ll be faced with a choice of becoming an outsider – a barbarian.
I failed myself. But I’m OK with that. I’m a little wiser. I’m a little more hardened. I’m a little further down the path of the man I want to be. If I’m going to stand outside the prevailing culture, I’m going to need to be a lot tougher. And nothing toughens you up like opposition and struggle.
Written by Discerning Owl
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