The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
What your dad should have taught you, but couldn’t
“What do you want to do today?” (Angie, my partner)
“I don’t know, whatever you want to do.” (me)
I used to think that I was being nice in speaking like this. I don’t speak like this anymore. These days, when she asks that question, I take responsibility to come up with a few options that might be satisfying to us both and offer those to her. Many times, she just says, “They all sound good, why don’t you make the decision.” There is harmony and contentment in this exchange. That is one important lesson I learned from this book.
What It’s About. What is the role of a man/woman? What is the role of the masculine/feminine? The answer to these questions are in flux in our modern (or postmodern) society. This book sheds insight on what is means to be masculine (whether it be a in man or woman) and what it means to be feminine (again, whether it be in a man or woman). Because we all have a nature that is either more feminine, masculine, or balanced, we need to be authentic to that nature.
I would like to offer three take-aways from the book.
- For the masculine, the purpose must come first before the relationship. The duty of the masculine is to move towards purpose. It’s not that relationships are unimportant, but without purpose, the masculine is absent in the relationship. (a passage from the book) “Your essential emotional tone — at ease in your deepest purpose or fearful in the ambiguity of your intent — becomes part of your children’s home.”
- The masculine grows from challenge, the feminine from support. If you have a masculine nature, don’t avoid criticism. embrace it and challenge yourself to be better. If you are with someone with a feminine nature, praise her (or him) and reflect back their higher qualities.
- The feminine is abundant and the masculine is empty. I mean the good kind of “empty”. The kind of empty that is still, non-reactive, and observant. The feminine wants to be seen and the masculine, by nature of being empty, is an observer and appreciator of the feminine.
Who Might Benefit From Reading? Despite the title, more women actually buy this book than men. This book promotes authentic masculinity and femininity which creates polarity and attraction. It will help your relationships. It will point towards the role of purpose and love in your life. It will teach you things about being a man (or woman) that your dad (or mom) should have taught you, but couldn’t.
“The superior man is not seeking for fulfillment through work and woman, because he is already full. For him, work and intimacy are opportunities to give his gifts, and be vanished in the bliss of the giving.”
― David Deida