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August 22, 2017

9 Bad*ss Books to help us Master Conscious Masculinity.

What does it mean to be a conscious man?

To be a strong, confident man who exudes the mature, evolved qualities of masculinity? What does it feel like to be sexually empowered as a man?

It can be a lifelong journey to discover the answers to those questions. Turning to the art of Tantra can help.

My journey to becoming a conscious, Tantric man started when I realized that my love life seemed to be constantly in the dumps—and for the same reasons over and over again. This, naturally, led me to the conclusion that the common denominator in these situations was, in fact…me!

This realization came as a huge revelation. I somehow always seemed to project my issues onto my partners, thinking they were the problem.

Slowly, the different pieces of the puzzle started coming together: I was attracting the same kind of relationships over and over again. And this was because there was a recurring destructive thought pattern running through my subconscious mind the entire time—something that I was totally unaware of thus far.

As my beloved spiritual guru, Sri Prem Baba, claims, “When something you consciously desire stays out of your grasp, no matter what, understand that it is your subconscious that is blocking it, making it unable for you to move forward and deal with the situation.”

Working on myself spiritually was not new to me. I had done it all—from practicing tons of yoga, delving into shamanism, reclaiming my sexuality, to days and weeks sitting in meditation retreats, studying how to be mindful, you name it. So I felt entitled. What else did I need to work on? But there it was, suddenly crystal clear: I needed to shed more light on my subconscious mind. What programs did I have running in there without me even realizing it? Cell biologist, Dr. Bruce Lipton, says, “Ninety-five percent of your life comes from the subconscious program. So by definition, your life is a printout of your subconscious programs.”

It took work—years of it. I did shadow work, psycho-spiritual work, therapy, and read books about Tantric and conscious masculinity. I uncovered the various subconscious beliefs I had from my childhood that still affected me today. I had grown up in a discordant family, seeing my parents fight, watching my mother suffer from alcoholism and bipolar disorder which resulted in me growing up without her, without feminine nourishment and motherly love.

To compensate, I had tried to “fix it” by recreating the traumatic situation from childhood in my adult intimate relationships, which was a recipe for absolute failure. I had led myself to believe I could solve the lack of love I faced as a child from my mother by taking it from my current relationship—I realize now how ridiculous the whole thought process was. Why on earth was I doing this to myself?  It didn’t make any sense to try to fix something from the past by recreating the situation in the present.

Those early, fumbling attempts to heal made me a needy, attached, and incomplete man. I needed to change.

Books were a great source of help on this journey of change. Reading was the first step to opening my eyes to my inner subconscious world, which would eventually lead to further progressive work for years to come. I will always consider these books to be the catalyst that led me down this path.

This path has turned my world upside down and totally transformed the way I understand women and relate to them from a masculine perspective and thus helped me to harmonize my intimate relationships.

For me, a conscious man is someone who has started to navigate the inner waters, to be more present with himself and his body, to unveil the beliefs and thought patterns we have all been programmed with from childhood. Someone who owns his emotions and is able to express them. Someone who doesn’t take things personally when being provoked because he knows it’s not him—he sees that he is reacting on autopilot from subconscious programs.

Becoming conscious, Tantric men is not only incredibly personally liberating, but it also makes us better partners in relationships, which helps the women in our lives to feel loved, safe, and happy. Conscious men are more attractive to mindful women, speaking to their need for emotional maturity, intimate connection, and honest communication. These are things which will not only lead her to fall more deeply in love, but will also be a huge turn on for her.

To go within and discover oneself sometimes requires help and inspiration from outside. A push in the right direction, a mentor or sexual empowerment coach could do it, a Tantric masculinity workshop or men’s circle could help—or, as old-school as it may seem in the digital world, a book could be just what we need.

When asked what made him so successful, multi-millionaire, Tai Lopez, answers simply that it was his love of reading books. Books are knowledge, and all the information you ever will need can be found in books—you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Tai recommends reading one book per day. As he says, “You need to have a daily brain budget.”

Inspiration and wise words are all great pointers, but they are merely that. In the end, we men need to do our own work ourselves. No one can do it for us. We need to work on ourselves to rediscover the mature masculine aspect within—the original wild man, the lost masculine archetype, or, as poet and author Robert Bly metaphorically describes, the “hairy man at the bottom of the lake.” We need to reclaim him at some point in our lives if we are to become fully actualized men.

Here are 9 books which come as recommendations from me and my wonderful Facebook community.

The Way of The Superior Man, by David Deida:

This is the first book I ever read on the subject and a total must-read for all men. Considered a classic in Tantra and conscious sexuality, it is a confronting book that you will either love or hate. It has helped me, along with thousands of other men (and women too) to learn how to merge the two seemingly opposite worlds of spirituality and sexuality, how to live as strong, confident men, and how to get a deeper understanding of the feminine side. Even before I was done with the book, I had already begun to make changes in my life, positively affecting me and my partner at the time.

Iron John, by Robert Bly:

This well-studied poetic book is a pure masterpiece. It takes you on a journey of what it is to be a man through a metaphorical story of “Iron John.” It helped me understand the different male archetypes and how we are mentally disempowered by our remote and emotionally distant fathers. In today’s modern society we lack a real initiation rite into manhood and I would claim that this is as close as it gets when it comes to rites of passage in book form.

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, by Robert Moore:

Written within a Jungian framework, this books helps men to understand their own psyches by understanding the four archetypes of masculine energies. This has helped me incorporate and embody the mature masculine in my daily life. It’s easy to oversee and be predominant in one of the aspects—but all four are equally important for a conscious man.

No More Mr. Nice Guy, by Dr. Robert A. Glover:

If you are single because women choose jerks over you, this is the book for you. Women often claim they want the “nice guy” but then end up with the “macho guy,” whenin fact, they want neither. They just want a conscious man. The nice guy syndrome is something I have suffered from before—trying to please others while neglecting my own needs, causing resentment, and lashing out in frustration at my loved ones. If you are dealing with your own mask of the nice guy, this book can transform your life.

The Multi-Orgasmic Man, by Mantak Chia:

Did you know that men can also experience multiple whole body orgasms? This book amazingly unites the secrets of Eastern Tantric Taoism with the Western scientific mindset. Read it if you want to enhance your sexual pleasure and get tips and tricks on how to separate orgasm from ejaculation. I learned a great deal about working with the sexual energy in my body.

Cultivating Male Sexual Energy, by Mantak Chia:

Mantak Chia reveals the secrets of Taoist sexuality to the general public for the first time. We learn how to transform sexual energy through the “microcosmic orbit,” and how to use that energy to rejuvenate our bodies, minds, and spirits, propelling us into transcendent states of consciousness. This book is great to realize and understand that men not only have masculine energy but also feminine energy—both which are equally important and need to be in balance.

Fire In The Belly, by Sam Keen:

This author is a part-time poet, and a full-time deep, introspective thinker. It’s an early men’s book, but much of the content is still of relevance today. It’s written to inspire men to go on a quest of self-discovery, to discover their internal fire for life and their purpose. If you like thinking, if you’re wondering what it means to be a man, if you enjoy reading psychology, this is the book for you.

Keys To The Kingdom, by Alison A. Armstrong:

Alison A. Armstrong’s 15-year study of men takes you on a journey of discovery into the workings of men, women, and relationships. The simple-to-use insights can profoundly alter your relationships, not limited only to your love life but also relationships with your friends and family. Though it’s been written by a woman, we can learn a whole lot about masculinity from Keys to the Kingdom.

Manhood, by Steve Biddulph:

This book has a specific mission: to guide men through the “seven steps to manhood.” The steps are 1. “Fixing it” between you and your father, 2. Discovering the sacredness of your sexuality, 3. Meeting your partner on equal terms, 4. Being a true dad to your kids, 5. Learning to have real male friends, 6. Finding the heart and joy in your work, 7. Freeing your inner wild spirit. There is a later edition that has been revised and updated to meet the needs of younger men, who are struggling with these issues in the 21st century.

If you are like me and are unable to read a whole book every day, even just 5 or 10 minutes day can make a difference. Start somewhere you are comfortable.

Which other books have helped you transform the way you define yourself as a man in this world? If you feel like a book deserves to be on this list and that other men may benefit from it, please post your suggestion in the comments below.
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“A book is like a garden carried in your pocket.” ~ Chinese Proverb

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Relephant read:

Conscious Men & the Meaning of Spirituality.

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Author: Steffo Shambo
Image: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman

Social Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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West Short Oct 15, 2018 8:17pm

Glad to see an article about this; male-specific spirituality almost seems an obscure topic. Had similar experiences to yours with much suffering, only to realize that behind the suffering were always choices I had made - most unconscious. Seeing myself from another perspective through spiritual "work" was helpful in bringing these unconscious choices into my awareness so I could make new choices and end the suffering. Like you I found solace in reading, although I cannot say I have ever read a book in a day. Have read Deida, but none of the others. Have found that the greatest wisdom is the simplest, and is often counter-intuitive. My favorite book is also one of the first I read on my path - The Four Agreements by Miguel Angel Ruiz. At once very simple, yet quite complex, and suprisingly deep. As with many things, the more you look, the more you see. Will explore some of the books you mentioned. Many thanks for your contribution.

Steffo Shambo Aug 23, 2017 3:04pm

Good to hear Åke. I'm happy you got something out from it. And let me know, if any book blows your mind :)

Steffo Shambo Aug 23, 2017 3:01pm

Thanks Evgenia. :)

Åke Dennås Aug 23, 2017 11:59am

Thanks Steffo, this list is really interesting! I have read most books of David Deida, and also No More Mr Nice Guy. But the rest of the books on your list was unknown to me. As this is such an important subject, I think it is good to always have a good read available and then a new one waiting... Thanks again, now I know what I will be reading in the near future!

Evgenia Lav Aug 23, 2017 8:39am

Great post, thank you! =)

Steffo Shambo Aug 22, 2017 5:57pm

If any questions write me here and I will reply within 24 hours. And if you have any book recommendation, I would love to hear it!

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo is the founder of Tantric Academy. He is a psychonaut of love and life, a self-made human guinea pig of optimal living and bio-hacks. Steffo claims his young looks are accredited to his fanatic obsession with health and diet, which are “strict,” followed each and every day (except on cheat days). He is a 950-hour certified yoga teacher, and he probably holds the world record in longest yoga education. He is an professional international tantra teacher, bodyworker as a side gig, and sexual empowerment coach as a life mission.