Thursday, September 9, 2010

Adventures and the Masculine Soul

There is always a depth of the human soul that is never fully seen or fully experienced. Since the experience of life is a temporally-bound journey always in motion, the desires and pleasures of a man aren't static. They change. They vary. Yet, each various stage of life and pursuit reveals a part of the soul. The dynamic nature of existence makes it all but impossible to grasp the full depth of any person's soul, including one's own soul. Instead, any part of life or oneself is a small piece of puzzle, a mere fraction of the totality of being.

While often conquering challenges is what motivates and drives men, there is also a supreme pleasure to be found in embarking on adventures. Adventuring and exploration have been manly pursuits since the dawn of time. There has always been a natural curiosity within the heart of a man, leading him to wonder what lies beyond his present horizons. Masculinity flourishes in asking that question and setting forth to discover the answer. While the danger and challenge of an adventure may be a part of the appeal, there is something deeper and more profound that drives a man to expand his world. Some things are done simply for the sake of seeing what they lead to. The appeal of an adventure is that what is currently unknown will become known. A man desires to discover new things. There is a profound pleasure in the very process of discovery.

The process of discovery takes many various forms. Some men love to explore our planet and visit new geographical locations. Some men love to explore the inner workings of people and how they tick. Some men love to explore and study a certain area of life in depth, often involving exploration of the theoretical and intellectual sort. Some men love to do things that have never been done or attempted before. Regardless of what aspect of life or the world is being explored, the same core desire for adventure is what unifies all of these various quests for discovery. Masculinity thrives on the impulse to discover.

Recently, in my own life, I have found a strong desire to explore and engage in various adventures. I've been opening myself up to visiting places, doing new things, and connecting with different sorts of people than I usually would. What motivates me? The desire to discover. The curiosity that I feel towards what lies in a certain direction that I haven't been. In embarking on these various quests, I have found that there is a supreme joy in the process of discovery, almost regardless of the specifics of what is discovered. A couple of weeks ago I visited a city that I hadn't been to before, with the intent of running a little errand. The errand itself only took about 15 minutes, but I was so fascinated by the city that I found myself walking around for nearly two hours just seeing what was there. It was a rather novel and exciting experience. The city had its own unique vibe, mix of people, and array of interesting places and shops. The pleasure was in the discovery of a small, yet interesting, corner of the world that I had never experienced before.

Similarly, recently my brother and I decided to start a small business of our own. Right now we're in the process of working out the logistics and we won't actually be up and running until a couple of weeks from now. In the process of figuring out the best way to approach the business, I couldn't help but feel excited about the newness of it all. As I examined my feelings, I found that the main joy I felt wasn't because it seemed like a challenge to surmount or because it might result in additional cash flow. Indeed, this venture certainly won't immediately provide nearly enough money to enable me to leave either of my day jobs. Instead, the reason I feel so excited is because it is an adventure. What excites me is the mere fact that we're trying something new. I really don't know how it will go. But, I also am not especially concerned with the outcome. Whether this turns into something profitable and sustainable, or whether it fizzles and merely breaks even, either way the experience of starting this sort of a business will be something thoroughly new and wholly enjoyable.

Masculinity thrives in the presence of novelty and in the pursuit of the unknown. Men do not resist the urge to discover new things and broaden their world. Instead, they allow their inner desire for exploration to motivate them to go new places, meet new people and try new things. Through these experiences there is a natural broadening of the soul and a greater awareness of the depth of life and being that inescapably emerges as a man pursues that which curiosity draws him towards. Adventuring requires a level of confidence that a man can face challenges as they arise. It requires a boldness that does not fear something simply because it is unknown. It requires a willingness to risk one's time, well-being or material assets. Regular adventureing keeps life meaningful and exciting, keeps a man's heart engaged and passionate, and serves to remind others that our world is a compelling and endlessly interesting place. Nothing feels better than discovering something new and exciting!

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