FEELING YOUR WAY: A MAN'S WAY
In the early 1990's, I wrote, and revised several times, the book, Feeling Your Way, A Man's Way. I self-published the work and sold approximately 150 copies.
My son recently encouraged me to pull it out of the moth balls and publish it through Create Space, and so I am, and while I am at it, making some significant revisions which I am quite pleased with.
I decided to give my fellow Hubbers a sneak preview with Chapter One, The Endangered Species. And you can also peak at Chapter Two.
I'd love to hear your comments, and if you are waiting with bated breath, to read more!
In the actual book, I have some footnotes, a tongue-in-cheek flair to give the book a scholarly look, and some of those footnotes I have included here in parentheses. Yes, it is a very scholarly work, but I don't take myself so seriously to think for even a moment it is the last word or that I have finally found THE answer to our issues as men except perhaps we are just plain nuts at times. Sort of like the guy who goes to his psychiatrist's appointment, totally nude and totally wrapped in cellophane. "I can clearly see your nuts," exclaims the psychiatrist.
THANKS FOR YOUR TIME AND INTEREST AND SUPPORT.
Copyright © 2012 Vernon R. Bradley
THE ENDANGERED SPECIES
So why have men continued to kill themselves off over the millenia?
Is it the same phenomenon that causes whales to beach themselves?
Only God nknows and even God’s doubtful! --Sam Buddy
So what is it with us guys? What are we doing to ourselves that we’re checking out of this world at least ten years ahead of women?
As I read Genesis, it appears, that even after we got kicked out of the garden, men were still destined to live to a very ripe old age. Adam himself made it to nine-hundred thirty. What do you think about them apples?
Perhaps men suffer from the XY syndrome. That term, the XY syndrome, was first noted in documents found in the wreckage of that UFO that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. It appears that this XY syndrome is common knowledge throughout the universe, and perhaps the only folks who don’t know about it are the earthlings, US, the big dogs!
Now, you’re going to have to gradually “get it” that some of the information in this book is genuinely tongue-in-cheek, and some of it is just plain genuine. I want to believe that, as men, we’re intelligent and smart enough to know the difference. But be aware that even the tongue-in-cheek information has a point!
So, to continue. It is clear from reading this UFO document that folks from other parts of the universe have been studying earthmen, in particular, for a long time. They have always known that earthmen got the short end of the X when it comes to chromosomes, and have speculated that this circumcision of our second chromosome may result in a diminished capacity to FEEL. Now if it’s true that we are handicapped when it comes to feelings, then it would make sense that we are leaving this world prematurely, because when you don’t feel, you have no way to gauge which activities are good for you and which ones are not.
Abraham And Isaac
The Rest Of The Story
In exploring this question about men’s shortened life span, I checked out the research of one of my favorite fictional characters, Luke Nomore. Luke is a contemporary Indiana Jones type of guy. He’s an archeologist, and loves to hang out in the tomb chambers of the Egyptian pyramids and in the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
In the most recent volume of the archeological journal, Can You Dig It, Luke lays out an exposeʹ entitled, “The Nine Lives Of Men.” In this article, there are several pages of photographs of murals found inside the tomb chamber of King Tutumeni as well as photographs of cave paintings from the Qumran environment.
One sequence of Qumran cave paintings depicts a series of events in the life of the biblical character, Abraham. First, you see Abraham sitting under a tree smoking a pipe. Believe it or not, there is a bubble above Abraham’s head, indicating that he is contemplating sacrificing Isaac. The next sequence of frames shows Abraham taking Isaac to the top of the mountain. Then you see Isaac in the background still bound and ready to be sacrificed, but Abraham is slicing off a piece of his own manhood and offering it to God in place of Isaac.
Now this is an interesting discovery by Luke, because in the Biblical version of Abraham’s life, these two incidents did not occur at the same time.
After studying these cave paintings for several years and consulting with biblical scholars, Luke put together his own interesting version of the Abraham story.
Now one day, when Father Abraham was relaxing under a palm tree, smoking a little too much Hashish, he was thinking about the neighboring tribes who, on occasion, would sacrifice one of their children to the gods. He became heart-broken worrying that perhaps his God would want such an offering. It obviously did not make any sense to Abraham since God had to intervene in the first place for Sara to even conceive. But sure enough, after a few more hits on the pipe, Abraham heard a voice telling him to take Isaac up to the mountain and sacrifice him. Abraham followed the voice’s direction, but just as he was about to kill Isaac, God roared, “Abraham, you schmeggeggie,(Yiddish for numb nut or idiot). Just because the folks down the street are offering up their kids, doesn’t mean that’s what I want....Abraham, you got that stupid deer-in-the headlights look on your face. DON’T KILL ISAAC! It was the hashish, Abraham, not my voice you heard. Okay, okay, if you gotta stick to this pain theme, slice off a part of that skin covering your goyishe keppe! (Yiddish for soft head) Jesus Christ, Abraham, it was a joke!”
In a final sequence of these same cave paintings, Abraham is inviting Isaac to the top of the mountain on yet another occasion, but Isaac refuses. Luke speculates that there were probably many more times that Abraham asked Isaac to take a hike with him to the mountain top, you know, a father-son bonding thing, but Isaac never again ventured to mountain tops with his dad. Luke suggests that perhaps Isaac is the first documented case of Post Traumatic Stress.
A large segment of Luke’s article is devoted to discussing what he terms, “biblical spin.” We tend to think that “spin” is a contemporary phenomenon, but Luke points out that spin was alive and well even in the early biblical tradition. For example with the Abraham story, the inspired authors couldn’t bring themselves to show Abraham sitting under a tree smoking hashish. It would have been too humbling to depict Father Abraham being so far off the mark spiritually in thinking that God wanted him to sacrifice Isaac, and even more humbling to admit that Father Abraham made an even bigger mistake slicing off part of his manhood and insisting that everyone else follow suit as some kind of covenant with God. So again the wise authors knew just how to spin these events into stories about obedience, leaving us with a God who is as strange as all the other gods of that time period. In a later chapter, we will discuss another of Luke’s findings which tells the story of Father Abraham quite differently with the overriding theme of trust, not obedience.
In this same article, Luke also discusses one of the murals inside the Tutumeni tomb chamber. A woman giving birth to a male child is clearly depicted, and attached to the infant’s ankle is a small scroll with hieroglyphics. Luke writes,
“It took me six months to accurately translate the hieroglyphics on that scroll. I am sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the inscription reads, Limited Warranty, Nine Hundred Years.”
This certainly correlates with Biblical accounts of our ancient brothers living extremely long lives. As we already noted, Adam lived to the ripe old age of nine hundred and thirty, and Noah lived to be nine hundred and fifty. Noah, believe it or not, was about six hundred years old when he built the ark. The candles on a birthday cake in those times could be seen from distant planets! Maybe that’s how the UFO folks first found us!
(And, you know, I’m thinking that somewhere in all those three hundred fifty years after the flood, Noah disposed of the ark and probably did more than just bury it! As impressive as it was, I don’t think anyone wanted it parked in either their front or back yard, not because of it’s appearance, but the smell had to be something else. I don’t think we’re going to find a trace of that baby.)
So men started out destined by God to live very long lives. Well, what the heck happened? Chapter Six of Genesis seems to have some answers. The events that are described there have the makings of an awesome Science Fiction flick easily rivaling anything on the big screen today. The Bible describes Giants from the netherworld (There it is, even in the Bible, space travelers!) coming to earth and mating with all the beautiful women! Well, maybe less science fiction and more like the theme of most porno flicks!
As convoluted as Chapter Six is, there is one clear message. God was displeased. There are two interpretations of God’s displeasure. One interpretation seems to be saying that God thought that nine hundred years was just too much time for men to have too much fun screwing all the beautiful women. In those days, there was not a license frame that read, too many women, too little time! So God just up and circumcised our life span to a mere one hundred twenty! Wow!
The other interpretation is that God gave man one hundred twenty years to get his act together, and when man failed, God shook his finger, huffed and puffed and muttered something that sounded like “read my lips.” Then God wiped everyone out with the flood, except for Noah and his family.
AFTER THE FLOOD
Whichever interpretation you go with, the fact is that, after the great flood, men in Biblical accounts lived shorter and shorter lives. From Noah to Abraham, men lost almost eight hundred years from their life span. That’s a chunk of change in anybody’s book! But at least lighting the birthday candles no longer required a fire permit.
The inspired authors also tell us that after the flood, men started building cities, constructing skyscrapers and freeways, and going to war to conquer each other. Similarly, Luke describes impressive panoramic murals, in the same Tutumeni tomb chamber, depicting scenes of men falling from magnificent buildings and bridges and scenes of great battles. Luke also described numerous murals picturing naked men grabbing at their hearts, as if in pain, some with enormous penises and some engaged with women in precarious and seemingly impossible sexual positions.
If we look at both Luke Nomore’s findings in the tomb chambers and the Good Book itself, what we clearly see is that our ancient brothers began living their lives in a manner that just literally cut it all short! Men started taking on as many wives as they could which meant screwing their brains out and having to provide more food than they could either harvest or hunt. They began reaching for the horizon and the stars with freeways and skyscrapers before rebar was invented! Then there was that really weird thing our ancient brothers did. They sliced off their foreskins (an obvious stressor) and sacrificed their sons to the gods, and Dad didn’t wait till you were one hundred twenty to offer you up! This “progressive” lifestyle didn’t exactly add up to nine hundred years let alone one hundred twenty!
And, of course, WAR! They started killing each other in war. That pretty much shortened everyone’s life span, friend and foe.
OUR SHORTENED LIFE SPAN
Now you put all that together, and it’s clear that our ancient brothers needed more than a good diet and luck to live to a ripe old age. Spirituality began to develop around the notion of being a holy warrior. Sacrifice went from its original meaning, to make sacred or holy, to murder, pain endurance, and self mutilation!
Luke points out that here we have yet another example of Biblical spin. The inspired authors (they were MEN) tiptoed around these fatal issues. It was too politically incorrect to write the revealed truth in such a way that men would appear stupid, suicidal, and like beached whales. They spun the inspired word into a picture of a God who was as strange, crazed, cruel, and possessed as all the other gods. They convinced the believers that our shortened life span was God’s doing, when in reality it was the way that men lived their lives.
In Luke Nomore's latest book, The Death of Men, An Endangered Species, he points out that obviously contemporary men are dying long before the one hundred and twenty year mark.
Luke Nomore writes, “It does not require divine inspiration to recognize the price we pay for living our lives the way we do. Unfortunately, the stuff of a contemporary man’s life is no different from our biblical ancestors, and we continue to do it all with as much gusto as our ancient brothers....It is no surprise really that no one lives as long as Adam or Noah and very few men live to what might be considered a ripe old age....God is probably more surprised and befuddled than he is pissed!...If there was such a journal as Afterlife Times, they could certainly devote an entire edition to this problem of men showing up in the afterlife long before anyone up there is expecting us. Consumer Report would have to rate men as unreliable!”
WOMEN OUTLIVE MEN
Even more troubling is the fact that men are leaving this world, on the average, A FULL TEN YEARS BEFORE THEIR FEMALE COUNTERPARTS. Now that is the average. You do not have to watch a lot of television to notice that, whenever the morning or nightly newscast features the oldest person alive on that day, it is usually a woman! Recently, one news program featured the oldest living triplets. They were in their nineties! They were not three men!
(It is not recorded how long Eve or Noah's wife Yesah lived. But we do know that Sara, Abraham's wife, died at age one hundred and twenty-seven. Abraham outlived her by thirty-eight years. So historically, at one point, men were outliving women.)
Men dying before their female counterparts--is this a progressive trend? Will it eventually be fifteen and then twenty years sooner that men are dying off? As Luke Nomore suggests, will we eventually become extinct? Will women eventually rule the world? Has anyone informed the Pope yet?
A somewhat radical group, the National Union of Men (NUM), believes that there is a conspiracy. They are desperately trying to set up a meeting with Oliver Stone. They claim to have found evidence that political groups of women are infiltrating the beer and tortilla chip industry and spiking the recipes with an undetectable chemical that causes premature death in men.
What can we do to reverse the trend, at least reverse the trend so that both men and women can live approximately the same number of years?
Unfortunately, even if there is something we can do, it may be too late for you and me. We may already be in the pot roasting away to our premature deaths. There may be no turning back the clock for you and me. But maybe there is something we can do for our sons and the future generations of men so that they can live to a very ripe old age as God intended–to at least one hundred twenty!
Perhaps, the first thing we could do is “fossilize” the ancient model of manliness. When one looks at all the contemporary scientific advances designed to expand our life span, it is incredible that the ancient self-destructive model of manliness continues to be passed down in almost sacred fashion, and we learn it very well by age three.
A REAL MAN
That ancient model of being a “real” man goes something like this.
I am a real man, only if I kill other men and conquer women, whether on the battlefield, in the work place, or on a variety of other "playing" fields. I must sacrifice my sons to the gods of wealth, fame, sex, politics, sports and war!
(Perhaps the real problem with pornography is not the objectification of men or women, but the distorted image of how large a “real” penis is and the gallons of semen that a “real” man is able to shoot into outer space! Perhaps male porno stars are the contemporary version of the giants from the netherworld in Genesis Six!)
Living life according to this archaic and primitive model of manliness requires one to disconnect from the senses, and it follows then that we become equally disconnected from our emotions. It’s like living in a house with the electricity and other utilities turned off. And it may be that, as a species, we have been living like this for such a VERY long time that it has become almost second nature, maybe even a part of our genetic code. Some may see this as an evolutionary process that has allowed us to become more and more unique in our manhood and more and more advanced over our brother primates. But the reality is it is leading to our extinction.
We have been terribly misguided into thinking that living a disconnected life makes us powerful. It definitely insulates us from pain, hurt, rejection, compassion, empathy, and just about every imaginable feeling. We don’t even know when we are angry or raging.
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is, a disconnected person’s lights are OUT! When you are disconnected, you live in the DARK! At best, you try to steal electricity from someone else and end up living either in the shadow of their body or actually in their body! Some of us have been so hell-bent on this evolutionary path, that we actually abandon our bodies.
NOW IT IS YOUR TURN
Use this section at the end of each chapter for self exploration and sharing with other men.
1. Ask yourself how long do you expect to live? Are you aiming for a long life or a short life and based upon what? The life span of other men in your family?
2. Imagine aiming for 120 years old? In what year will you be 120? Who will be playing in the Super Bowl that year? If you shoot for 120, how many years do you have left? How do you want to live those remaining years?
3. If God appeared to you and invited you to kill your only son, would you do it? If God invited you to cut off a piece of skin from your penis, how would you respond? So why do you do all those other crazy things you do?
4. In your own way of thinking, what is so valiant about going to war and killing other men?
5. Is there any part of life where you experience yourself being a giant or wish you were a giant? No one has to know your answer, so let yourself be honest and wild in your answer.