The Wild (Wo)Man
We introduced the idea of wildness, presenting it not a negative and destructive force, but as the path to wisdom. The scriptures and the prophets have been read through the eye of civilisation, but on deeper examination are “a wild bunch” (Rohr p 3).
It was established that the preferred way of masculine communication was control oriented, involving the rational and the egocentric approaches. It was more “feminine” to feel empathy and be compassionate, and this generated the surrender, trust and vulnerability which lead to aliveness. It is imperative we make authentic contact with our “unexplored wildness”, taking this risk in order to be ultimately free to love.
Lastly, mentoring was discussed. Mentoring is not about sharing opinions or giving advice, but invoves deep empathetic listening in whcih transformation occurs. It would appear that this point is key for the message of Richard Rohr.
The group was surprizingly and refreshingly “post-genderal” in that the issues of gender identity and (in)equality were not the key issues, and the level of maturity present meant that the members could move on from the hackneyed issues of feminism and man-bashing. Instead, they could view the feminine and masculine sides to life and divinity more objectively, and there was no shame in a man talking about his feminine side (or visa versa – the group was about a quarter women).
In our small groups we discussed a memory of when we felt wild and truly ourselves. Some felt this had be in a halcyon time of their youths, doing extreme activities like sky diving or dangerous missionary work, while others said the felt fully alive now in their mature years. Of course, for each person there was a different definition of what “wild” meant – to some it meant that which was to be suppressed, to others a necessary means to wholeness, and to yet others a positive virtue.
This post is part 1 in the series Richard Rohr “From wild man to wise man” with Sergio Milandri of relating.com. The session was held on the 26th October 2009 at Sans Pareil, Hout Bay, South Africa.