Developing Your Masculinity Through the Cognitive functions
What does it mean to be a man? How does one become “masculine” in the best and truest sense of the word? Today we are going to look at a simple and highly practical method for developing and strengthening the latent masculinity that exists within us men. Be forewarned, the method is simple, but its application requires a fundamental reorientation of all we have collectively been taught.
These topics of developing masculinity and becoming a “high-value man” are being discussed as we speak in Chase’s new season — season 31 — on Jungian Sexuality. In it, he claims that a masculine man is one who puts “self over tribe,” but that men at large have been conditioned to do just the opposite. We need a path back in order to reclaim the divine masculine for ourselves. Where can we find this path?
The thesis for that path is simple: A masculine man prioritizes his introverted functions.
What does that mean? It means that a masculine man has overcome his natural tendency to put the tribe over himself. It means that he has developed the courage to look at the world through his own eyes first. His priority belongs to what he thinks, feels, wants, and experiences. And secondarily, he concerns himself with what others think, feel, want, and experience. Thus we arrive at the following.
A Masculine Man Will:
- Ti/Fe — Prioritize what he thinks, and is willing to say what he thinks, despite how it may make other people feel. He prioritizes his truth, and walks with it in his hands.
- Fi/Te — Prioritize what he values over how others perceive him. A masculine man walks hand in hand with his conviction.
- Si/Ne — Put his duty before his desirability, and his comfort before the choices he gives to others. And all the choices he gives to others will be things he is comfortable experiencing. His comfort and his duty are his priority.
- Ni/Se — Put what he wants before the experience it will give to others. His path and his desires are his priority.
Certain authors who focus on intersexual dynamics and masculinity have some helpful concepts related to the above thesis.
Rollo Tomassi, for example, in his magnum opus, The Rational Male, implores men to maintain frame, and to be their own mental point of origin, as essential practices for being an “Alpha male.” “Alpha” is a loaded term but, for our purposes today, we can easily exchange it out with “a man who is in touch with his divine masculinity” to hold the same meaning.
What does maintaining “frame” and “being your own mental point of origin” mean? It means that you put your needs, standards, boundaries, goals, wants, desires, thoughts, and experiences first. It means that you choose to see with your own eyes first, experience with your own body first, and think with your own mind first. It means, practically and metaphysically, that you prioritize the energy in and expression of your introverted functions over your extraverted functions.
When talking about being attractive to women, Mark Manson in his book, Models, talks about the paradigm shift that a man must make in viewing the world. Shifting our first thought from, “Do they think well of me?” to, “Do I think well of them?” tracks this change in thinking.
Secondarily, Manson also talks about the role of polarization in dating. He says that polarizing other people is the main way to attract them. And that the secret to “polarization” lies within us, within the pure expression of our authenticity. Polarization is innately tied to honesty. When we are expressive with our deepest held truths, convictions, desires, and experiences, it cannot help but polarize the people around us.
The reason I include the Manson reference is not to give dating advice — as the majority of Models is about dating — but because polarization as a concept has applications far beyond just dating. In its essence, it is a call to cultivate masculinity. A masculine man is polarizing, he cannot help it. And the characteristic of being polarizing is intrinsically tied to our own psyches.
What in our psyches is polarizing? Ni, Si, Ti, and Fi are literally the four poles that border our psyches and allow the extraverted functions to even exist — thank you Chris Taylor for that insight. Nothing is more polarizing than being in touch with your introverted functions.
Will you take the risk of being true to your introverted functions? Will you risk being polarizing? Will you risk being authentic?
But wait, why is all this necessary?
There are several reasons, but the primary reason is the following: strength through stability.
Consistent stability in a world constantly in flux can only come from within. We must establish a baseline — a foundation — before stability will come. Chase has said on multiple occasions that the introverted functions represent the Yang in the Yin/Yang model. And the Yang represents divine masculinity. It exists to be the castle wall that can withstand the purging ocean waves beating against its every brick. How can a man be strong if he has no baseline — no foundation — to stand on?
This foundation — a house built on rock — CANNOT come from putting our extraverted functions first. It is antithetical to the construction of our world. One of two things will happen if we prioritize the extraverted over the introverted.
1) Either we will be spun into complete disorientation through the constant flow of trying to fulfill the different values and perspectives that others have. We will end up in psychological quicksand. We will try to please everyone else and attempt to align flawlessly with another person’s worldview to the point where we fall into the abyss of chaos. And our foundation will wash away.
2) Or we will become so infatuated with another person’s — or society’s or an ideology’s — thoughts, values, desires, or experiences that we try to merge totally with them, and become a little moon orbiting their big planet. Our individuality is washed away and joins with the abyss, and we are left utterly bland and without identity.
How totally un-masculine!
Loss of Identity
What happens when we do not put our introverted functions first? The worst thing that can happen — and it will happen — is the erosion of your identity. What once had deep contours becomes shallow. What was once sharp becomes dull. What was once strong becomes like a wet noodle, flopping to whatever external force is exerted upon it.
Gravity alone will overwhelm this man.
And close to a loss of identity, there is a loss of purpose. Purpose and identity are inextricably linked. The man who has lost his way and gives others the keys to his self, the path of his purpose caves in, and the road for him is lost entirely.
When we give the keys of our identity to other people, allowing them to dictate our values, thoughts, and behavior, we become nothing. The edges of our individuality literally disappear into the void. We become nothing because we assume the identity of other people. And there are too many people to have any stability if they determine our identity.
Placing your identity in another person is antithetical to individuality. We will try so hard to become like everyone that we ultimately become a soft putty to be manipulated profusely by the hands that touch us next.
If I allow other peoples’ experiences to be my primary drive in deciding what I want, then I will walk without conviction. I will be forced into situations where I am spreading myself thin in order to walk a path that is not mine.
If you allow other people’s values and emotions to directly dictate what you hold to be true, your foundation will turn to sand. The same can be said for when we externalize our purpose, tying our identity to how well we perform at work or how much progress we make on a project. We have not escaped from placing our stability in something outside of ourselves. Do you only allow yourself to be at peace when things outside of yourself are going perfectly? This too will reduce your foundation to fine granules of sand.
Who’s to say when that foundation will be eroded? The wind, on a particularly windy day? The rain, on a particularly wet day? The wolf, on the day it has an extra puff to spare? A person, who values something you don’t? A person, who thinks something that you don’t? Will you be flushed away at the slightest incitement of challenge? Or will your walls and your resolve be strong enough to resist even the most raging tempest?
To prioritize our extraverted functions — giving people what they want (Ne), making other people feel good (Fe), aligning with what other people think (Te), and giving other people a good experience (Se) — is to kill the masculine within us.
Wait, that’s selfish!
Yes, you are right, it is selfish. It is selfish to put your introverted functions first. This leads to the concept Chase has mentioned on numerous occasions: Responsible Selfishness. In order to understand responsible selfishness, we have to zoom out and dig into the foundational principle of ethics: love.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
This is the maxim that underlines much of season 31, and many of Chase’s other lectures on human nature.
The irony of the maxim is that we often overlook or ignore the second part, “as yourself.” It is a benign-seeming phrase, but a closer examination reveals that the whole maxim is grammatically and semantically oriented around this second part. This second part is the source of the first.
How can someone be loving if they do not have love to love with? How can someone be generous if they do not have something to be generous with? How can someone be strong for others if they have no strength to be strong with? How can we appreciate others if we do not first possess a healthy appreciation for ourselves? There is a reason they tell you to secure your oxygen before attempting to help anyone else on planes.
Imagine if the sources of all our money, food, natural resources such as gas, electricity, clean water, and everything else were suddenly shut off. We would be left with an extremely limited supply of the resources which are most essential to keeping us alive.
This is similar to the one who shuts off the generative power of his introverted functions. His kingdom is starved of the resources that only he can provide. A masculine man supplies his kingdom — he produces more than he consumes — and that is what makes him masculine.
Love is no different. We cannot give unless we have something to give. One who is focused on his extraverted function drains others as his primary vocation. He does this because he has to, because he has no internal strength to supply to himself. He is not generative.
If he is an Extraverted Feeler who relies solely on other Introverted Feelers to build his self-respect, then he is a parasite, draining others to feel strong. And worst yet, he will only feel the effects of that drained Fi for a little while. Soon he will need it again. And again. And again. And again. The source of his strength is outside of himself, and therefore he cannot be truly strong.
Because he has placed his identity in an unstable resource, his world is shaken, his identity lost, and the capacity he had to give to others? Eroded. It is eroded because he has nothing for which to give. He has placed other people above himself, and he has destroyed the well that would have allowed him to give water to many others.
Yes, the introverted functions may tire, but their strength will always return. They are a renewable resource.
So, amid prioritizing my introverted functions do I just ignore what everyone else thinks, feels, wants, and experiences?
No. Prioritizing oneself does not mean being neglectful or uncaring. It simply means you, at the very least, tilt in the direction of your own functions first.
Putting your introverted functions first doesn’t mean that you close your ears to criticism or feedback. It doesn’t mean that you shut yourself off from the suffering of others. It does not mean that you do not pay attention to the people who are destroying their own futures. It does not mean that you don’t share your life with others. It means that you live your own life first, and everyone else’s secondarily. Only you can walk your path, that’s why it’s called “yours”.
The Sun, Moon, and Stars
“A man must be the center of his own solar system.” — Chase, Don’t be a hoe (Livestream)
A masculine man is not the one that orbits, but the one that is orbited.
Is the sun selfish? The sun gives light, it gives energy, and it gives stabilization to those in its system. It is the epitome of what it means to be generative. The sun is the man who puts his introverted functions first.
And what is a man who does not put his introverted functions first? What in this galaxy generates nothing, consistently sucks up everything it can, and alters the very structure of spacetime with how consumptive it is? Nothing other than a black hole. A black hole eats and eats and eats and is never satisfied.
A Black Hole Will:
- Ti/Fe — Prioritize being appreciated over telling the truth.
- Fi/Te — Prioritize its status over its convictions.
- Si/Ne — Prioritize being desirable over fulfilling its duty.
- Ni/Se — Prioritize others’ attention over what it actually wants.
And yet, despite all the focus on others and its continual desire for validation, nothing will ever be enough for the man who puts his extraverted functions first. The black hole always needs more.
You, as a man, must be like the sun. You must empower those around you with the light of your unique strengths, you must embolden others with your convictions, you must convict others with your truth, and you must move through the world boldly with your desire or your duty, and hold them all as sacred. They are your lifeblood, and they should not be easily thwarted.
Protect your own well, and you will have much to give to others.
The reality is that having self-love is in fact the most selfless thing you can do. It is through self-love that you become like a beacon in the stormy waters, acting as a continual source of strength to guide others home. What good is an unlit beacon to stranded sailors?
There can be no freedom while our lives are shackled to how other people will react to us, to how other people will think, feel, and perceive us. There is no freedom in being stuck in the minds of others, tiptoeing around any negative reaction or confrontation. Freedom comes at a cost, but it is nothing compared to the cost of slavery. And there is nothing more masculine than freedom.
The Other Half
You may have noticed a lack of mention of women in this article. That is by design. That’s because masculinity isn’t about women. It’s about doing what you need to do as a man. Despite many attempts, it is not women who define masculinity, nor is it them whose approval you should even seek.
Being masculine creates the gravity that pulls things into your orbit. The paradox of masculinity is the more you focus internally, the more gravity you exert outside of yourself. A masculine man is one who pulls others to him, and he does so through his introverted functions.
Like What You Read?
Check out our blog to see other articles from Coach Jay Ackley and myself, as well as transcripts and videos of Chase’s past lectures.
- If want to read more about masculinity and the sacred genders, the entirety of season 13 — and Chase’s episode on the Sacred Masculine in particular — offers you a deep exploration of divine masculinity and femininity, and a path on how to develop each of them within you.
- We recently launched a new article series where we type iconic fictional characters. Click here to see our first issue, featuring a discussion of the Mandalorian’s true type.
- Click here if you want to read part one of our article series on the Enneagram and MBTI, where we discuss the potential overlaps between these two popular personality models.
- Our recent article features a Q/A with Chris Taylor where he discusses his pioneering concept of the “Cognitive Battlegrounds” in greater depth, exploring its practical and metaphysical implications.