T Nation

An Inspirational Writing

I need help finding an inspirational writing that I read on here years ago. It was (if I remember correctly), advice from father to son.

As best I can recall it was called something like, “The Anatheum” or “The Aletheum”.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

My one desperate bump.

Was it this one, by “Anonymous”?

An article from a father to his son.

Your legacy: Many of the words below are not pretty truths. They are a legacy built on the bones of millions of men who came before. Men who toiled, fought, failed, succeeded, loved, hated, served, sold out, betrayed, laughed, cried and died. And each placed a stone in the edifice of masculine service that raises you to the height on which you now stand. Look around; you have the wisdom of millions of great men to serve you if you can avail yourself of it. By accepting and integrating the harsh, ugly, unfair truths about men and about the world, you equip yourself to deliver the joyful, uplifting, fair and pretty and worthy gifts to those around you.

If you want people to respect you then treat people with respect.

If you feel like a fool at least once a day, you’re probably doing something right. Don’t be afraid to be a jerk.

If you take 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life, as if you caused it on purpose, then you will never lack for the personal power to do the things you want to do.

If you are to avoid the fate of being blown around like a scrap of paper by society’s currents and culture’s winds, you must choose a good place to set down your roots as a man. Choose well. Even a gigantic oak can be brought down by a powerful wind, so if you choose to try to stand alone, the winds of culture and society may stunt you or bring you down. Would that serve you, your family, or society? Consider that a tree among its brothers, branches and roots intertwined, can remain standing where other trees would fall. Even the rain that turns into a flood cannot remove its roots. The result is a sheltered place where a life and a family can flourish.

Hold trust in your life as a property of your own character, not as something that you grant or withhold dependent on the behavior of others. Making your trust dependent on the behavior of others is a crass form of manipulation, it dis-empowers you and others. It will result in strife for you and all around you. Yes, you will get hurt and screwed a few times, but you will have personal integrity that is beyond reproach. Extend trust because you are a trusting person, and for no other reason. Withdraw trust only when events, not attitudes, warrant it. Seek the company of others who hold trust in the same way, and educate your other companions in the true values and functions of trust.

Never be a trick pony, disporting your emotions on demand. If you don’t have the self-control to make the proper choosing of your own for processing your feelings, then why should you be trusted as a man? General Tommy Franks, a man I admire, says that you sometimes have to defer your feelings until you can afford them. If you don’t have the strength of character to resist the demands of society that you be ‘sensitive’ on society’s terms, then why should you be trusted with something more important than your feelings? Processing your emotions freely and effectively in your own time serves you by allowing you to dump your baggage and be effective as a man on a higher level, serving society in noble ways that otherwise you could not.

If you credential yourself as a ‘sensitive’ man by publicly disporting your feelings, you may earn a certain shallow trust from people who don’t matter, but you won’t be widely trusted in important matters. Society is always looking for men they can trust, but you betray that trust when you engage in a public orgy of weakness and fault. Bring your strengths to your service. Share your passions freely, but keep your baggage in the baggage room until cleaning day - and schedule those days frequently.

You don’t get ‘fair’ - solid men know this. They advance anyway. ‘Fair’ is what powerful, noble men deliver to those around them. Whine about ‘fair’ and you place yourself in the company of victims.

Never become the man she wants you to be - when you become the man she wants, you have let her down and hurt her - she won’t want you anymore as she’ll know that you do not have a strong sense of self, and she’ll know that she can’t trust you. If she ever says “what happened to the man I met…” then you’ll know that you sold out the man you wanted to be. Nothing is more tragic for a man. She’ll trust you more if you unswervingly follow your own lights. She might not like you, but she’ll respect you and that respect is more essential.

Don’t give a woman what she demands in order to make her happy. Happiness is an inside job for her and you can’t deliver it. Don’t accept responsibility for what isn’t yours. By giving her what she demands in the hope that it will make her happy, you are holding her accountable for her desires. When she inevitably finds out that her ‘heart’s desire’ does not satisfy her, she’ll blame you.

Give her what you want to give her to make her happy. If it works, then great! If it doesn’t work, then you have gathered important information that you need to know, and you are free to move on.

You are entitled to your feelings. Your feelings are never wrong. Do not discuss, elaborate, justify, or explain your feelings to a woman. Do not give her the opportunity to make you wrong or confuse you (and you will get confused if you think you can open your mouth here) - this is an area where women are the acknowledged experts - they know feelings much better than men do. You are at a natural disadvantage if you allow yourself to open your mouth. You get two words to explain your feelings and that is sufficient - after two words, actions will demonstrate your feelings.

Women invented words and are more skilled and effective in their use. Pick battles you can win and don’t fight dishonorable battles that will cover you in shame. Don’t engage in a battle you are certain to lose, so don’t try to battle women with words. You will lose, even when you ‘win’.

Don’t make demands of your woman - a man making “demands” of a woman does not have a clear sense of self or character. A man acting on masculine principles makes demands only of himself. A woman does not have much that a man truly needs until he has established his base of masculinity, and as a male you have no absolute need for anything a woman can give you.

Men have a natural fear of women for a very good reason. Men seem to have almost a natural, selective compulsion (or a deep enculturation and education) to place their emotional well-being and self-esteem in the hands of women. Perhaps this comes from our early dependence on our mothers. The hardest task you can choose for yourself will be to establish your manhood, your self-esteem and your self-worth on the foundation of your own choosing. If you do this, society will scream ‘betayal!’ because you have removed yourself from the feminine reward system that controls you and have become your own man. But nothing else equips you to serve society on a higher level. And it makes you deathly attractive to most women!

If you become a member of the Epiphany-of-the-Week club, keep it quiet - it’s no big deal to anybody but you.

Do your grieving on your own schedule, not someone else’s. You’re not a trick pony, you’re not a dancing bear, and the world needs your strength, not your ‘sensitivity’. When the time is right, release your grief or your other feelings freely. You seek and choose the proper time and place.

Do not try to solve her problems - she’ll end up resenting you for it. Women love their problems and they don’t appreciate it when you break their favorite toys by ‘solving’ them. Tell her ‘I don’t know’ or ‘don’t you have a girlfriend you can ask…’

Many people say that violence never settled anything. Heinlein reminds us that, historically, the exact opposite is the reality. Violence has settled far, far more issues than any other factor in history. If you are to be fully a man, walk a peaceful path and be a peacemaker. But be trained and be mentally prepared for violence (physical or otherwise) when it overtakes you. Sometimes, you will not be the one to move to the final resolution - the decision will be made for you by someone else and you must be prepared - you may not be allowed to choose the time or the place - it will be now and you must be ready to apply violence in a vigorous and final manner.

Never argue with a woman. You will always lose (even when you win). You will hurt her and betray her trust in you. Walk away. Go to the gym. Go have a beer. Tell her you will be back, but go away until she can sort out her feelings. Your help in resolving a woman’s feelings is not required nor desirable. A gorilla cannot perform brain surgery; likewise you cannot resolve others’ feelings.

Don’t try to control any aspect of a woman’s life. If you feel the need to control her, you’re with the wrong woman or more likely, you haven’t taken care of yourself as a man.

If someone tells you that you need a shrink, you probably don’t - you probably need the fellowship and commitment of a few good men. Good, effective healing is risky and professionals will not take the required risk with a patient because their license is always on the line. A circle of good men has no license and nothing to protect except the fortunes of those men standing there at that very moment - you will find your interests better served by the men. A circle of good men can accomplish things that a professional therapist cannot. A state licensed shrink could lose his or her license for helping you the way the men can more effectively and quickly help you. The men can tell you if you really need a shrink.

Women are much smarter than men - five times smarter at least. You will never out-think a woman in a personal or a professional relationship, so bring your strengths to a relationship with a woman, not your weaknesses.

Share your strength, humor, joy and steadfastness with your woman. If she craves to attend your pain or your wounds, then engage in those physical activities which will produce suitable pains and wounds for her to attend. Don’t betray the deep, loving trust she places in you.

Don’t try to hold a woman accountable for anything. If she is not held to account by her own integrity, then find suitable company elsewhere.

Indecision is your only enemy. Decide right or decide wrong, but decide. You can always correct, but it’s much harder to restore the trust lost through indecision.

Women live in the world as it should be - a world that is always fair, equitable, just, peaceful, gentle and happy. Your primary advantage as a man is your ability to deal with the world as it frequently really is: unfair, unjust, violent, brutal, dirty, ugly and bloody. I’ve often considered that man’s task here on earth is to make the world safe for woman’s dreams. That may be very close to the truth. Inure yourself to peaceful ways. But know how to be a fighter. Know how to hit the X ring.

The men who had to defend the walls of the ancient cities did not get to choose the time and place to fight. They ran from their sleep and their hearths when the enemy arrived, not when they felt like going. They either fought well, or their families died. The point is this: you may not get to choose the time and place of the call - you will have to perform when the call comes. Prepare.

Having personal power (sometimes the power to do violence) and using it to do gentle, good works is nobility. Using your personal power to afflict others is evil.

Your woman will encourage you to share your fears and trials with her - indeed she will insist this is required in order for you to have an intimate relationship with her. She’ll threaten you, (even threaten to leave you) if you don’t share your fears and weaknesses with her. She doesn’t really know it, but she’s instinctively testing you to see if she can trust you. But if you share these things with her, she will feel betrayed and she won’t trust you. She’ll leave you anyway. Don’t betray your woman’s deep, loving trust in this manner.

If a woman makes you right, even when you know you’ve been wrong, you’ve found a woman worth spending some time with. When you’re with the right woman, you can do no wrong. When you’re with the wrong woman, you can do nothing right.

When your heart desires the things that society ridicules, you are probably getting closer to your own truth and should listen very carefully. Society today frequently discounts the roles and values of men, but that should not prevent you from developing in the direction that your heart dictates.

Remember that man has evolved for a couple of hundred thousand years without all the things the TV experts tell us we need today. Most of the new ‘techniques’ for relationships, raising children, and getting along in society are worth what you paid to learn them - close to nothing. Rely on what’s historically proven and what your deepest heart tells you works.

The most obscene word in the known universe is the word ‘entitlement’.

Know how many doors any room has.

It’s easy to look around our society and conclude that men have gotten a raw deal from society - all sorts of ‘special interest’ groups from women and feminists to racial groups to students tout their special needs and their special afflictions, and give reasons why they deserve different or better or special treatment from society. A man takes what he gets and shines anyway. Sometimes the best way you can help a man is to teach him to vigorously oppose his own victimhood or weakness.

Being a true man carries a price. You will find that embarking on the journey of manhood goes counter to more than half of what you were taught in your young life. You will have a lot to ‘unlearn’ with great difficulty and huge emotional barriers. You will quickly earn the animated hatred of the politically correct who work hard to scorn everything you stand for. You will be ridiculed in fashionable circles. But with true manhood comes a self-respect that few men know. You will possess the deep, abiding, enthusiastic, trusting love of a woman that other men will envy. You will know the joy and excitement of a real relationship with children. Very little about the world will puzzle you. You will know exactly where you stand in the regard of other men. It’s a journey that’s worth the patience, the mistakes and the price.

Men and women naturally hold each other in a small amount of contempt. Don’t feel guilty when you feel some contempt for a woman. Don’t take it personally when a woman expresses contempt for you.

That wasn’t it, but that was nice. Thanks.

It’s got a name, and it takes the form of advice on how to lead life. I had it saved before my hard drive crashed.