In a world where maturity is put off later in life, and rites of passage into adulthood have all but been eliminated, it is becoming apparent that we are missing a core aspect of what it is to be human and how to connect with others.
Jonathan Haidt is the American social psychologist, author, and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. His main areas of study are the psychology of morality and moral emotions, and he is the author of more than 90 academic articles, and three books, including “The Happiness Hypothesis”. Jonathan Haidt was recently named one of the world’s “Top 50 Thinkers” and his latest work “The Coddling of the American Mind” is a New York Times best-seller which explains How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.
In the video RITES OF PASSAGE: Why Do Males Need Fulfillment To Become Men?, Jonathan Haidt echoes positions of his predecessors such as Joseph Campbell, that initiation into manhood is essential for men. Similar to others he states how females are biologically predisposed to become women, while men don’t have a biological event like pregnancy and child birth that provides this state of self reflection and shift of relation to others in their society. Instead “boys need something done to them, in some cultures things that are terrifying, to ‘kill’ the child, and then the man emerges from that experience.”
When asked on why Brian Rose, the host of London Real, liked his college Fraternity, and why he referred to is a “Beautiful” the Brian responds with “it felt like I belonged to something. Felt like I was part of a tribe or wolf pack. It was our world and we got to create it.”
Haidt goes on to say that this experience is “truly is ‘mystical’ in that mystical is a way to merge with the universe”
“And yet, we are not able to do this anymore. Going back to my college fraternity at MIT, the fraternity is barely there. After a violation here and there, regulation has shut down the ability to have the initiatory experience.”
If you don’t understand the psychology of male development, you are setting down a generation for failure, and you are going to create some unintended consequences. These experiences allow for people to become self governing, but when you don’t allow that self governing experience at a young age, and then deny it in college, you are getting an early work force that does not know how to do things for themselves at the same level that previous generations experienced.
This is one of the reasons Masonic Lodges are seeing such a come back with younger generations. There are young men out there that have been denied the ability to learn how to be men in earlier stages of their life. They have not been able to self govern with other groups of men. They have not gone through anything that makes them reflect upon their connection with the universe, their life, and their society. Like Haidt said, there is something “mystical” about these types of processes, and that is likely the reason the Freemason degrees have always been referred to as the “Mysteries of Freemasonry.”
If you feel that something may be missing from your experience, that want to gain leadership experience, or want to feel accepted by groups of men, we highly encourage you to look into your local Masonic Lodge and see if Freemasonry might be an initiatic experience that is right for you.