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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Machney

The Gentleman

Reflecting on ages past, how have men seen themselves in relationship to their reality? What have they used as a measuring stick to gauge if they are being true to themselves? How often have we done this, or have we just carried on as was done before us? What does it mean to be a man in this day and age?


French-born novelist, Anais Nin said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” She also said, “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”


As I let these two quotes settled over, like a light peppering of snow on a chilled, silent, winter’s night, I see myself as most importantly, in this moment, an expression of spirit, the all-oneness that is in everything and animates everything. As this becomes clearer to me, I am presented with the juxtaposition of the man that I am or have been conditioned to be and the spirit that has become this expression. I wonder how much of it is me, or rather, how much of it do I want to be me, do I align with? The all-encompassing question can be distilled down to, what is my truth, my true self?


As the questions become the doorways, I stand in the frame and look ahead, inwards and then outwards again. The dimensions of who I am in continual communication with one another as the expansion of my emotional and mental bodies try and keep up with this expansion of expression of spirit through me. Paradigms confront each other and then dissolve, or at least are seen with more mature eyes, a lens of wisdom perhaps? Their stability shaken as the resonance they once held is no longer relatable to who I have become. I let them go, all the while the truth of who I am comes a little more into focus, for now.


Days, weeks and months may pass and then another piece surfaces as the ego’s influence upon what it means to be a man continues to unravel. The illusion of time, not solely from this lifetime, but others, offers the opportunity for my light to shine brighter; to see who I was and its relevance now. The child I was, knocks at my door, offering me a piece, a memory that fills a hole that had contributed to an incomplete understanding of who I am to myself in this moment. I hold him and give him love, healing the misconception of lost or wasted time. The relationship to another life, perhaps not yet clear, hints at more as the past and present dance together, unify, harmonize, and heal.


As the bandwidth of who I am broadens, the I am continues to unfurl. The consideration of a man becomes even more curious as the idea, in some ways, is no longer relevant. This helps me to understand the lenses of ego and how they have been shaped by society. Their limited relevance, as a function, not a necessitation. What is presented to me at the doorways are a bit clearer and my relationship to reality reflects that. As the manifestation of man and woman dissolves and becomes merely an outward expression on the physical, I am left with a freedom, an opportunity to explore an inner peace that I had not yet experienced because of conditional restraints placed upon me that I was taught to see as who I am.


Is this the gentleman? As these worlds within me come to light, I acknowledge them with a gentle compassion, curiosity and wonder. The innocent, almost childlike witnessing of these worlds allows for an unraveling of their relationship to reality and my, perhaps at times unknowingly conforming to them. Not just in this lifetime, but in others. All the while, witnessing them without any judgement. The charges, the triggers, another doorway for me to explore. What is in alignment to the truth of who I am? Where is my light shining the most? What brings me inner peace? Can I let go of what does not?


As I become gentler with myself and all the inner worlds that are me, coming into harmony as a balanced masculine and feminine expression, my spirit illuminates and becomes me. Through this metamorphosis, I understand what a gentleman means to me, and a new foundation is anchored; a continual consideration and point of self-reflection. Not so much about how I am seen by the world, but by how my personal and spiritual growth is bringing me to a place of personal acceptance and a continual broadening of what that means to me as a spiritual being in a human expression. Through this, my light can shine onto the world.






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