“This is the last article of four artcles about men. The last article focuses a lot on the aging man, his relations to women and what is important for him. The angle to the article are a combination between Chinese medicine, Chinese psychology and Western science. Remember the article are provocative to stimulate growth. Note that the references will be published on the seminars “Men and TCM”.
Welcome to read The user manual for Men part 4. Enjoy.”
Men are not like women. They act masculine. Masculine thinking or Yang thinking is about not showing weakness, manage everything alone, proactive, not cry and being on top of any situation; no matter control or level of mastery. It is about acting invulnerable and invincible. Men will from early childhood train on hiding their intimate emotions. Women will on the other hand train on showing emotions that correspond with situations; not necessarily their genuine emotion; Yin thinking. When exposed for emotional stimulation men react within 0.2 seconds, but after 2.5 seconds we find men become less emotional responsive; women become more responsive. Exactly when the man hides his emotions the woman manifests the situation proper emotion. Interestingly enough none of them show their proper emotion. Men show blank and women show a copy. Women try to mirror and men try not to. The mirroring of a woman is Yin and the neutral man is Yang. They simply got different ways to express emotions. Men try to be unaffected and women try to be affected. In other words, men are false negative/ neutral and women false positive. Often men do not understand the emotion focus of women. Their chatting results in an elevation of the emotional tension. While men are chatting they end up in a type of conclusion or logical solution to the problem; exactly what women do not want to do. The difference to this distinct ways of thinking and behaving have their roots in our congenital essence and its effect on hormones; men with testosterone and ADH, and women with estrogen and oxytocin. When the brain is marinated in these sex hormones we find the brains develop in different directions, with different evolutionary goals. The gender characteristics emerge. Experiments have also shown that if a woman gets male sex hormones or men the female sex hormones their way of thinking will transform.
The male brain has a system that gives preference to aspects that is not charged with facts and figures. One of the most visible aspects is aggression, traditionally connected to a liver qi stagnation or liver Fire. A man’s aggression is largely guided by a self-reinforced mechanism; an autocatalytic anger, making us understand that when a man become upset he flows over of testosterone, ADH and cortisol. Situations that create more Yang in liver Zang will increase the potential aggression. This is hormones or Yang factors that create a situation in the body well guided by reduced fear, but with an interest to fight for what is his territory. Fear is related to kidney Yin xu or a kidney Yang shi. When we have a liver qi stagnation we will get less Yang sent from liver zang to kidney zang, making a liver qi stagnation reduce fear in the kidney. In some cases we find this type of anger stimulate the man to give him a sensation of wellbeing or excitement. It is not that he will search for fights, but when the fight is over him, he will enjoy it. Okay, the hormonal levels will create a sensation of greatness; it is not the shredded blood. For men we normally accept them to be upset if somebody has entered their territory without permission. A man need to dominate his territory, and the more testosterone he has, the bigger chances for him to succeed. Men that are often challenged in their position are more likely to maintain elevated in their levels of testosterone; giving them an edge against their challengers. Testosterone is a useful way to give a person an extra boost of fighting will; Yang levels equals increased chances for victory. When challenged we find testosterone levels increase, making challenged dominant males a ticking bomb when put under pressure. Women know that this type of aggression is a sign of protectiveness and territoriality; alpha male material. Women find him attractive due to these properties. Do not forget that couples that never discuss their problems are creating a boiler of difficulties. One day it will happen, and when it burst the relation is more likely destroyed. Many small explosions are netter than a big one.
Men operates with territory and hierarchy; “This is mine and I am the alpha”- way of thinking. If a new man enters the arena we find the situation become tense. Will the pecking order change, or will the current alpha maintain on top? A stable life with a stable hierarchy gives lower levels of the classical Yang hormones as testosterone and cortisol. We might say that peace enters a group when the bodies do not change; Yin. External factors like social conditions, hierarchy, economy and partner creates a stability or instability. In times of Yang as instability and lost predictability we find Yang hormones (testosterone, ADH and cortisol) increase dramatically; elevated activity in Hun and Liver qi stagnation with aggressive behavior and conflict confrontation follows as a faithful dog. Never forget that men are strongly guided by their social hierarchy; the shadow of territorial interests and the pecking order (alpha male hierarchy and rank). Aggression (Liver qi stagnation) is often used as a tool to straight up in experienced irregularities; men have a unique ability to fire up liver qi stagnation.
Men have invented many different ways to maintain their social rank; most known are 讹诈ézhà or bluffing. Through making others believe (bluffing) they might maintain a higher rank than they correspond. It exist a nice idiom 耀武扬威 Yàowǔyángwēi. This is to show off one’s military strength to create fear in the opponent or enemy. I modern times we dress better than others, use expensive brands, travel to exclusive places, train in the best gyms, and drive the most expensive sport car; with a huge secret loan in the bank. We still have the more primitive bluffing aspects like faking postures, speaking hard, dominant attitude, and fighting. Men need a high status to get lucky with the best woman so he BLUFF; Ezha. Searching for a high status and pulling himself up in rank is congenitally founded and not an acquired phenomena. To feel successful in life and to succeed a man need a high socioeconomic status. He will do whatever needed to get it. Outsiders might say that the male are obsessive compulsive to impress others and explosive by nature, but he is innocent of charge. He just does it to get in a favorable position in the social hierarchy; to ultimately catch the woman. The personalities that focus most on Ezha (bluffing) are the Pro personality. He is a foresighted person that plans everything into the smallest detail and drives the deeply planned Ezha hard through. The Roun personality also bluffs, but for them it is more loosely founded lies that it is easy to unclose. Interesting enough many women buy the cheap lies of the Roun personality, but the reason might often be that they suffer from a true believer syndrome caught by his charm. The Chenn personality is a good bluffer if he is thought how to do it. The I personality get very nervous when bluffing and following he is easily caught. The Teche personality is very deep and bluffs only when needed. Due to this he is seldom caught. People trust a Teche personality.
Yin Fire – Thoughts
The Yin Fire stage is the next eight years after the Yin Metal stage in an aging man’s life. The period of Yin Fire at the age of 48 to 56 years marks the years of emerging grandchildren. This is years characterized with decisions related to his children. Yin Fire is intimately connected to a calmer period where he project thoughts on to his offspring and tries to help his grandchildren to a better life.
With age we find the man develop more toward a slow and confortable life. He is no longer interested in the hierarchical competition. He wants to a larger degree to enjoy life. His Yang burns out and his Yin emerges stronger. He became calm and thinking, and less active and impulsive. In a way, he simply became more feminine! The reason to this change is a shift in his hormonal levels. His testosterone – and ADH levels decreases, and the amount of estrogen relatively increases. As a result he becomes more sensitive to his oxytocin, and thereby also more bounding, empathizing, and not less important the men start to read facial expressions; Yin factors start filling his mind. We might say that the aging man starts to see the world as he did when he were young; calm, showing emotions and affectionate. This period are often called andropause; male menopause. Andropause happen a place around 55 and 60 years of age. When he has sexual relations we find him enjoy it in another way. The enjoyment of the partner has become more important than before, and he enjoys more from the perception of the other; Yin enjoyment. Before he enjoyed to get orgasm and to ejaculate when having sex, now we find him enjoying that the other person get orgasm. He feels and experiences the sexual intimacy different than before. He read the partner and tends her to feel special and unique. He is mature, and provides protection and companionship to their partner. Many young women find an older man as a good choice since he provides stability, security and protection. He is there for her and reads the world more like her, and not as the more immature younger men that egoistically run for status and money; ignoring the woman and her feeling. In a way this explains why younger women enjoy mature men. It is not only due to socio-economic factors, but also sexually founded aspects. Men can theoretically copulate and create children with young women all his life. He might raise family after family given the possibility. We have to remark that the transition to andropause might for many men be a panic like period. Where he tries to search for young girls, train hard and dress well. Men tend to have problems with the transition from man to mature man. A transition that might cause problems for some men and their wife; he want sex and confirmation of his power position in the family. If one of these aspects is missing he will feel uncomfortable since his self-perception depends on him maintaining his manhood; high rank and erection (sex). It is a reason for that men do not like vasectomy; the loss of manhood, the lack of sperm = no loaded weapon. When the testosterone levels sink we find his erections become less frequent and less powerful, and as a result he get scared and need to confirm his existence to sexuality related issues. Men think/ feel that sex is the most important benefit of marriage and a steady partner. When the sexual aspects start to chatter he will rethink his life; a change of direction might emerge as a result.
Yin Earth – less thinking
The Yin Earth stage is the next eight years after the Yin Fire stage in an aging man’s life. The period of Yin Earth at the age of 56 to 64 years marks the years of aging of his grandchildren. This is years characterized with observing his grandchildren and their life. Yin Earth is intimately connected to a calmer period where he thinks less about everything and speculates more in life in general. He worries less for his children and plans less for the grandchildren.
Yin Metal – Less plans
The Yin Metal stage is the next eight years after the Yin Earth stage in an aging man’s life. The period of Yin Metal at the age of 64 to 72 years marks the years of oldness. His body starts to degenerate and he experience the years that have passed. This is years characterized with a reduction in planning, before he had plans and a defined future. Now he starts to ignore the future and live from day to day. He will be more reckless than before and not as clear. Yin Metal is intimately connected to a calmer period where he lives less in the future and more in the moment.
Yin Water – Thoughts
The Yin Water stage is the next eight years after the Yin Metal stage in an old man’s life. The period of Yin Water at the age of 72 to 80 years marks the years of speeded aging. This is years characterized with slowing down of the mental capacities and closing of some – faculties. Yin Water is intimately connected to a degeneration of the congenital essence and thereby the decays of the body.
As the congenital essence became gradually more deficient we find the man become weaker and more dependent on others. His Yang becomes gradually replaced with Yin. One important factor for male adultness is a lifestyle that is socially active. If he stops living his Shen will quickly start to degenerate; he depends more and more on Yang stimulation. Remember that humans are social animals. We need social approval and – confirmation of our existence. If a man loses his wife he will start to feel lonely. Loneliness is a survival mechanism in the context that we do not like it, and we do anything to avoid it. We fight for our relations and work hard to live in a relation. To live alone were in ancient times equal to death. A man that loses his wife will have 100% increased mortality rate (compared to other men) the first 6 months after her death. When living in a social environment we exercise our mind and mental mobility. Being left alone and lonely we find the brain degenerate fast. If you do not use a part of your brain, it will atrophy. Psychic qi need to circulate in Shen to maintain normal functions. We become less social flexible and we tend to become easily irritable. Isolation is a killer for our brain. To live with a partner will on average give a man almost 2 years of extra life. Holding hands increases the oxytocin levels and thereby the bounding experience. As the speed slows down in the mature man we find him finding more time and patience for friends and family, and a deeper feeling of goodness connected to the wellbeing of the offspring; a change from an egoistic focus to a group focus. Just as an appendix. The amount of quality time the children get with the grandparents depends on the relation between the grandparents and the parents.
Men often suffer under a female survival mechanism. Women tend to focus negative when they interact with other persons; Yin. For example, an average woman (exactly, an average) will often read, analyze and interpret all sides of their husband in a negative context. They will check him through Yin (negatively) charged scenarios trying to find aspects with him that is wrong. Perhaps they find something, but not always. Perhaps they are mistaken, but they act as if they were correct. We might see this as a Fang wei (defense mechanism) in the woman to get early warning of irregular behavior in their husband. The outcome of the scenarios is almost every time the same one of this two. First: The woman has done a mistake; solution: the man has to accept his imperfections. Second: The man has done a mistake; solution: the man has to wake up and change. The woman blames the man for whatever when she is under pressure; it is not personal, it is congenital! This is not a criticism of the woman, but merely an observation of her congenital essence, her Li that tries to accommodate the man for her and the survival of her offspring. Here we need to understand the male answer to this negative stigmas, he goes defensive! The first sign of defensiveness are that he starts to avoid his wife. The result of this is of course more difficulties; a wife on distance is out of reach, but with more suspicions. As the years passes the male brain maturates and get better in letting Yin (negative) feelings go; the same goes for the female brain. In the end, the negative charged conflicts solves itself easier in mature brains. A strong Shen qi will accommodate Yin faster and with more ease. Remember this is not personal, this is a congenital Fangwei.
To understand the male brain we need to remember three aspects: power, social status and sexuality. These three aspects guide to a large extent the complete life of a man. Most actions of a man are connected to these aspects. Men develop distinct from the women, and have their own agenda; with women as the main theme. The interest in action and fighting comes as a direct consequence of their life goal – create offspring. A man feels as deep passionate and affective, but expresses it differently than women. Boys turn into men, and men have certain expectations they have to live up to. If not, their chance to get offspring with a quality woman will be strongly reduced, and with that they lose their congenital quest. The male brain develops different from its female counterpart. The man has a Yang charged Shen and the woman a Yin charged Shen.
Men and women are different. It exist a Chinese saying 夫唱妇随 Fūchàngfùsuí – Man sings and the woman follows. This indicates that the man should be the dominant Yang and the woman the subordinate Yin. We need to understand that this does not indicate who the boss is. This is merely an indication of proper couple hierarchy in public. Yang lead Yin, but Yin will overcome Yang due to their constancy. At the same time we have another saying that captures the complete essence of a couple 男才女貌 Náncáinǚmào – The ideal couple is a talented man and a beautiful woman. A beautiful woman demonstrates a strong congenital essence or good genetics, and a talented man demonstrates that he is a good provider for their offspring. This is just a quick and unfear exploration of the man. Possible with an overfocus on sexuality! What do you think?
The writer of this article gives seminars in Chinese medicine and Chinese psychology all over the world! Go to this page to find out how.