Why ‘The Uprising of Man, a Proposal’ is important to me
Ever since I bought Mark Josephs’ book, it has become an integral part of my life. Most of the time it is next to me on my desk and even next to my bed. The book is the basis for the OneforOne online programme and, for me, they are inseparable.
Mark invites men to stand up, literally to ‘uprise’. This is not a new invitation. Other books written specifically for men deal with the ‘archetypal man’, the mythical man, man in history, man in different cultures and, of course, man in relation to women.
However, in Mark’s invitation, to me ‘uprising’ sounds very powerful. It is an invitation to a profound and radical adventure. It invites me to remain physically strong, to open into my view of the world ie. my very own reality, to examine my inner world, my place in the world as a man, and my conditioning through the culture in which I live. Viewing the word ‘uprising’ through my conditioned male experiences, it has a vibration, an energy.
It is important the book does not tell me what to do or where to go, what will be good for me, an approach adopted by other books eg. ‘Waarom feminisme goed is voor mannen’ (Why feminism will be good for men). Mark makes clear his position at the outset by quoting Antonio Machado ‘Caminante -no hay camino, se hace camino al andar’ (Traveller –there is no path, the path is created as we walk). That feels good to me. From feeling and seeing my first step, I can then decide how and where to make my next step. Experiencing every step for myself and sharing this with other men like me.
The book is written just for men, meaning I do not need to relate directly to women in this adventure. For me, it’s important to walk awhile without women, to step out of the slipstream of women who are dominating the emancipation agenda. I feel I need space to evolve deeper into who I am, where I am, what my position is in this life. Drifting in the infinite ‘Not-Knowing’, as Mark calls it. And I want to do it in relation to other men, having already understood that I can’t do it alone. This does not mean I am ‘against women’. I am happy in my connections with women. But it is important for me that we as men are creating space for ourselves to make our own steps. Becoming as free as possible.
The short subtitle “a Proposal” says so much to me. It is an invitation to an equality. Mark is as much interested in our own sense and experience as his own because, as he says, he can learn as much from each of our experiences as his own. We are each unique and, in our uniqueness, equal.
The book made me curious from the very beginning. I wonder how it will be for you? Perhaps, reading this blog, you also feel it as an invitation to read the book.