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.
This article is absolutely awesome. Thanks to John and Chase for telling the simple truth behind the divine masculinity – A masculine man is the sun in his solar system.
Women plays no role in defining or establishing a man’s masculinity. If the effect is several women falling for a man, the cause is the man pursuing his introverted functions with integrity and responsibility.
Thank you! Looking forward to seeing what Chase has for us in the rest of Season 31.
Seems like a ery good idea for anyone to focus on developing the introverted functions — own ideas, own values, own intentions, own good memory and comfort, along with related authenticity and willingness to be polarizing.
At the same time there can be a willingness to fairly consider others’ ideas, values, worldviews, and actions — one doesn’t have to agree with them, but there will be times when others’ views may be deemed by us to be educational and even inspiring after our examination of them. Such considerations can be massive time-savers in further developing our own views
I don’t see this as just a masculine topic, seems to me it’s a universal topic.
1) For your first point, it’s all about your perspective. Are you so focused on your introverted functions that you are not taking in ANY outside input? We can both agree, that’s not a good place to be. But if you are incapable of thinking through something because you need validation from other people first, I would say that’s also a bad place to be. How can you learn if you don’t know where you stand?
2) For point #2, I agree with you. I would venture to say that its important for women too — the “love your neighbor . . .” quote isn’t just about men, that’s for sure. But, it’s ESSENTIAL for a man’s development because that is how he develops his masculinity. Much in the spirit of the article, it is — at least — slightly more important for men than women.
One question: For Si/Ne users, how is putting your duty first a ‘self over tribe’ thing to do? Maybe this is a linguistic issue, but the way I see it there’s a difference between duty and responsibility:
– responsibility is the result of a choice you made (i.e. the choice to have children, the choice to have a certain job etc.)
– duty is something that an institution puts on you (whether this is one person or a group of people or simply ‘tradition’), under the guise of ‘responsibility’.
So, because it is decided by an external source what your duty supposedly is, I would argue that doing your ‘duty’ is inherently ‘tribe over self’. You are putting the wants, needs, or goals of a third party over your own.
I would suggest that Si/Ne users have to learn this difference (in order to reach divine masculinity), by always asking themselves: is this really my responsibility, or are other people trying to make me think this is my responsibility?
The Si-user cannot blindly give out its loyalty, or be blindly obligated.
Let’s look at it from the example of an Ni/Se user first. They can give others a good experience right? The difference between a masculine man and an unmasculine man with Ni is that the masculine one will give an experience because he WANTS to, whereas the unmasculine man will give in experience first to that (he hopes) he can actually pursue what he wants. He gives the experience for THE SAKE of getting attention, instead of genuine desire. A masculine man doesn’t do it because he NEEDS attention, he does it because he wants it. And again, it’s not that the other person’s reaction is not important to him, but its secondary.
Back to Si/Ne users. It’s okay for them to do a duty and follow a set of principles, but the distinction lies in the motivation. Are they being obligated because, they hope, someone will desire them if they just do their duty well enough? Or are they doing their duty because they genuinely think or feel it is the thing they SHOULD be doing, regardless of how other people think of them? The distinction is subtle but vital.
To answer your question directly, it may look like “tribe over self,” (and yes, it COULD be that), OR it may be that the Si user has made a decision that THEIR DUTY is what is MOST IMPORTANT to them, for its own sake. I hope that answers your question.
Good article. Except for you are missing something: God. Jesus prayed to God, and said Father take this cup from me, nevertheless not my will, but THINE be done.
Everything we do should be pleasing to God first, then oneself, then our fellow man. When Christ said “Love thy neighbor as thyself” he was referring to the second greatcommandment. But the first great commandment was to love God. And unless we love God first, we will not have the capacity to love oneself and from there our fellow man.
Jesus said everything he did was to please the father but that he did not receive honors from man, because he knew what was in the heart of man.
And we please and show love to the Father by obeying his commandments and true principles. So putting oneself first without following Godly principals is selfish. And will never lead to happiness.
Your comment points to a second, important layer. Masculinity and introverted functions is the first layer, but that does not necessarily show you how to be a “good” or integral person. There are plenty of “masculine” men who are not “good”. I could nitpick and say that truly masculine men are always “good”, but I will leave that alone for now. The discussion you are tapping into is very important. But, the scope of the article was pointed to the relationship between other people and ourselves. But I will address your points.
Like you pointed to — “Jesus said everything he did was to please the father but that he did not receive honors from man, because he knew what was in the heart of man” — why should we make other people the basis for how we make decisions? I agree there. However, while I see where you are coming from, I think if we play out the implications of your argument we still arrive at the same place where the article points us, albeit with more spiritual “meat” attached.
For religious people, the principles their deities or scriptures put forth become the FOLLOWER’S principles. They become their own. And they can accept those principles as their own only after they have thought through them. At least that’s what putting your introverted functions first would look like in this situation, “Thinking through them on your own.”
Have you met people who blindly follow an ideology or religion, without putting thought into it? That’s putting your extraverted functions first. And they are possessed. That is not virtue. However, I can take your point from this perspective: on the higher path of living, we begin to realize that our own strength or knowledge is just not enough. “Do not lean on your own understanding,” right?
I personally disagree with the perspective of “everything we do should be pleasing to God first,” not because I think it’s necessarily wrong, but because I think it misses one step. We may act out something or say something that we do not really believe, thinking that it will be “pleasing” to a higher power. However, I would argue, if that action or word is not genuine — if it does not truly come from within — then I would say that is worse than someone who acts immorally but genuinely.
It’s a tough call, but, for example, doing something only because you think it will grant you a reward (or to avoid punishment) instead of with genuine conviction is, frankly, shallow in my opinion. Jesus shat on the hypocrites, especially the Pharisees, but was gentle to the genuine but immoral. When action does not match motivation, that is a dark spot to be in. Our internal reality is still the baseline.
At the end of the day, and I think the Bible supports this, honesty and authenticity are foremost values. This is one way humans can embody the “Logos”. And it’s these values that lead us to humility in the first place. And humility leads us to listen to other people — including God — and experience real transformation.
Putting oneself first without following Godly principals is selfish. And will never lead to happiness.
When Christ said “Love thy neighbor as thyself” he was referring to the second great commandment. But the first great commandment was to love God. And unless we love God first, we will not have the capacity to love oneself and from there our fellow man.
Thank you very much for this interesting article. I hope that a lot of people will benefit from these insights that you explained with so much care.
Thanks for replying. I think I understand what you’re saying; it’s about the motivation behind what you do that counts.
Exactly. Similar external behavior, but vastly different internal reality.
Wow, I’ve been loving the articles lately.
I haven’t read the whole thing yet so forgive me if it was answered totally in the article. But I guess this is the one part that bothered me alittle I. The feminine side is that it’s like it’s just living in the masculines shadow and feels like I don’t even exist. Like no point In developing the introverted functions or at least not in the same way. Like I don’t have my own self and I just live in others worlds. Maybe that’s just the negative view and I need to watch season 13 as you suggested. I think I grew up focused on my inferior Ti because the impression I got was everyone was individual and you should have a separate self. Then I ran into my oddity issues with gender that I still struggle with and it’s like I’ve lost the individuality when imagining one gender over the other. It’s like I felt I existed as a man but as a woman I’m just here for support and that’s life. I would love your opinion on this.
This is a very important question. Have you watched season 31 on the Youtube Channel ( https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cs+joseph+season+31 )? Chase discusses the exact concept you’re questioning in depth. The basic idea is that a man starts out in life putting tribe above self (putting others’ needs above his own), but as he grows more masculine that begins to flip, and he puts self above tribe — because he realizes that no one is going to take care of him, and he has to be responsible for meeting his own needs, etc.
The opposite narrative is the case for women. Because of feminine solipsism, women naturally put self above tribe. But, as they grow, they need to learn and embrace the opposite — which is one of the things that “high value men” find attractive in women, the ability for her to put him first.
However, the question of individuality you bring up complicates the matter. The end point that Chase lays out in season 31 is that you are free to choose whatever you want, just know the consequences of each of those choices. The recommended path he lays out for women is to focus more on family early in life, and then career and individual pursuits later in life.
We may feel very uncomfortable with these archetypal paths laid out for the genders, especially in our modern society which tells us we can be “Anything!” and that to “submit” to a traditional role is akin to being oppressed. But is that true? The best question I’ve found to combat our social conditioning is simply this: “Are modern people happy and fulfilled when they are pursuing the things they’ve been promised will make them happy?” If not, where do we look? Season 31 provides a possible answer to that.
Thanks John I will give these a watch. Keep up the great work
So as I’m going through that season I have a question that came to me. How could an ESFJ women put self above tribe naturally first if her hero and child function (fe,ne) are first to develop? Isn’t that more self sacrificial by nature?
It’s more of a biological thing. Chase talks about “female solipsism,” which is attributed to a biological drive, shared by all women, regardless of type. It is a necessary characteristic for survival but, as Chase goes into detail in S31, it can get out of hand.
Hmm, but how will extroverts prioritize their introverted functions?
It costs more energy, but they will be more efficient/precise with their use.