The Heroic Path was born in the hospital, the night my twin daughters were born. I was thrilled but afraid. Exposed. That night, I wrote my thoughts down in a journal. And in the coming weeks, I searched for models – for man guides – for help and guidance. As I looked, I realized we have rare few elders, no rites of passage for manhood and no framework for masculine initiation. We don’t even have language for it.
So most men gravitate towards or away from the stereotypes: Huge Pickup Truck Guy. Gym Guy. Fantasy Football Guy. Video-Game Guy. MotherBoy. We know what a man is not, and it is easy to laugh at them, but in our culture with few elders, the stereotypes are all we have.
I am intimidated by most “Man Books.” Most of them point us to bravado – the tough guy that beats his chest, grunts and eats red meat. Bravado is enthusiasm on testosterone. Bravado is not all bad – but it’s not the core. It is important for men to be resilient and “buck up” sometimes, but when a book or even a manhood movement is built on bravado – it is only surface-level, lacking depth for sustainable transformation.
It’s interesting, because most of the questions I get are people assuming this is another bravado book. I hope people don’t lump my book into that category just because there is a bear on the cover.
The main content of The Heroic Path is my learning journey and it hinges on a conversation I had with elders of the past – the then-atheist CS Lewis and the catholic Tolkien, as they argued about myth. They helped show me the mythic path towards manhood. This path points us to what Tolkien calls, the One, True Myth – where history and legend have fused.
My hope for the book is to create a framework for masculine initiation, looking at the steps Jesus took from the ages of 30-33, from carpenter to Messiah, from village under water, into wilderness and back to the village to save it. When Jesus returned to the village – he was no longer the carpenter from Nazareth. This was his kairos time – his steps were intentional. These were his mythic steps into Messianic purpose. These steps inform our masculine steps as well.