Jeff Brown critiques
I personally think much of the work Jeff Brown is doing is great. He has an uncanny way of expressing the world of emotions with a great degree of authenticity rarely seen. I appreciate this very much about him and agree with his writings about 90% of the time. Just see my favourite Jeff Brown quotes. However there are times when I think he is off the mark, and so I thought it would be a good idea to place all my opinions when I think he could do better in one place. Also a disclaimer this post really is a rant so consider yourself warned.
He posts daily on Facebook and due to the transient nature of facebook posting valuable comments often don’t get seen and quickly become lost. I have copied my responses here, and expand further.
It is my hope these critiques will help Jeff Brown to further improve his message. This applies to all “white knight” and “beta/omega” males who fall into the vicious trap that has been in large sustained by many modern versions of feminism. Having personally been involved and well versed in academic versions of feminism I know full well the intellectual trap it can create when the underlying emotional motivations are not fully understood.
I see his work as being some of the most critical in changing the planet. This will also help/inspire me to write more on this important subject and further refine my own personal views. Jeff is a classic INFP and a personality I am well antiquated with. My gf is an INFP as are most of my friends. Jeff also appears to have archetypal late existence, need, autonomy & will structures that he is working through. All these components make themselves well known through his writing.
The thing that he does, that pisses me off the most is how he has cast himself in the role of white knight for women. Now somehow he is the expert on hurt women who is going to save them. The title of his recent course says it all:
The Sacred feminine rising: healing the effects of unawakened men
He then spams testimonials incessantly on facebook. My purpose isn’t to deride the course, I think it’s likely mostly very beneficial in helping women in get in touch with their emotions however I take great issue with how he has framed it.
As if women’s problems somehow come entirely from “unawakened men”. This is incredibly problematic on so many levels and really is a judgmental error in his part on basic causality.
The way the causality actually works is more like this. Unawakened mothers give rise to unawakened girls, who then are attracted to the unawakened boys also raised by unawakened mothers. It’s the law of attraction at work at the most intimate level.
The common denominator here is the unawakened mother, for she is the causal link and this is the core premise of the most recent advances in modern somatic based psychotherapy.
The course really should read: Healing the effects of Unawakened Women (mothers) who caused unawakened girls to be attracted to unawakened boys.
Women who get into bad relationships need to take responsibility for their bad choices, something Jeff Brown somehow forgets to emphasize. I believe what he has done is projected his personal anger at his father into all of womankind as if they somehow share his point of view. This is a pretty common bias in that assuming your personal experience with the masculine is largely how other people experience the masculine as well.
It’s blatantly obvious that Jeff is projecting his own hatred at his father on all male-kind who he mostly blames for his own personal short comings.
He then looks into the world and sees only evidence for his confirmation bias. A self-fulfilling prophecy as it were.
I wonder if he contemplates the fact that his mother chose his father and that perhaps her dysfunction matched his dysfunction not in kind but in degree. Thus she would carry equal responsibility.
It is only natural for many sons to see themselves as ardent defenders/protectors of their mothers for their own early personal survival depends more on her than the father. However this lands them in the trap of making excuses for her poor choices abdicating her of responsibility in the matter. Thus a white knight with associated armor is born as a coping mechanism for this conundrum.
From the scant writings about his father and mother, it even appears that in an archetypal way his father embodied more of the hyper-emotional aspects of the feminine, and his mother the hypo-mental aspects of the masculine. This presents a kind of hypocrisy where the hatred projected outwards on others really is a reflection of a kind of self-hate, that turns him more in to how his father was than his mother. Which merely exacerbates the felt internal tension created by the paradox.
This then becomes such an obvious manifestation in his work and life perspective. His new page Awakening Men is lacking in the positive role model category and focuses mainly on critiquing masculinity in a very narrow way. There is an undercurrent of anger at masculinity that has an obvious link to his father.
I believe it’s easier for most people to hate on their fathers, precisely because their survival didn’t depend on them as much. The mother tends to be put on a pedestal and exists on near hallowed ground for it is largely rather a taboo thing to critique mothering. This because children/infants depend more so on the mother for survival in early years. This then forms a stronger sense of attachment and threats against the mother are seen as threats to the self. This is why white knighting has become such a common phenomenon. Boys/men will often protect/stand-up for their mothers even if said mother was abusive and narcissistic. It’s a perfect example of a coping mechanism that leads to the idolization of emotional enslavement.
Read: http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com/sons-of-narcissistic-mothers-despise-them/ for more information.
“Dear unconscious men,
Stop dissing women. Stop harassing women. Stop buying women. Stop hitting women. Stop hunting women. Stop kidnapping women. Stop raping women. Start respecting women. Start honoring women. Start protecting women. Start nurturing women. Start comforting women. Start celebrating women. Start loving women.”
This is classic white knighting and something Jeff does frequently. He keeps toeing the line of men as the evil perpetrators and women as being the victim-damsel in distress, and himself as the savior that is going to teach those “evil” men a lesson.
The thing he gets wrong is that Men who behave and mistreat women in such a way do it because they were treated that way by other women, most notably their mothers.
The following article gives a good description of what happens to boys/men raised by narcissistic mothers: http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com/sons-of-narcissistic-mothers-despise-them/
Mothers who don’t know how to love themselves raise sons (men) who then don’t know how to love themselves, let alone someone else. At the root it primarily comes down to healing the effects of “unawakened women”, mainly mothers, that perpetuate the cycle of abuse and dysfunction through their daughters AND sons.
Behavior is the result of deeper issues that need to be addressed first and foremost. Whining about peoples behavior and then suggesting behavior modification is not a genuine solution and never works long term because it does not change the underlying issues.
It’s not about blame but about understanding the problem correctly and using the appropriate solution. Here JEFF BROWNis royally missing the mark.
Read up on attachment theory.http://internal.psychology.illinois.edu/…/attachment.htm
“Yet another tenet of the ungrounded spirituality movement is to blame people for their physical illnesses. If only they had dealt with their past life issues, if only they had become more aware, if only they had processed more of their emotional pain, if only… Not only are these comments presumptuous- only the person with the illness can make those statements- but they ignore the very simple fact that illness is often sourced in many things, a number of which are not easily identifiable and certainly not attributable to karma or awareness or emotional health. SOMETIMES PEOPLE JUST GET SICK. I have seen too many new cagers working someone else’s illness as an egoic boost, narcissistically using it as evidence of their own superiority “Well, I didn’t get sick, because I am a more aware person”. Nonsense! Sometimes people just get sick, and if you can’t respond with compassion, keep quiet. They don’t need insult added to injury. They need our presence.” (source)
And sometimes piano’s fall out of the sky, in your supposed accidental meaningless universe. I call bullshit! Way to strip the meaning and purpose out of conditions that are meant to teach us something. Don’t think this is gonna help to many people other than help them justify their victim-hood and promote non-learning. Either everything happens for a reason or none of it does, you can’t have it both ways.
Jeff doesn’t understand the concept of karma, or free-will very well. “Karma” is not about punishment and reward, that is a very western judeo-christain concept overlayed on vedic philosophy. It would be wise for him to read the article about reincarnation by Seth in order to come to a better perspective on the meaning of suffering. For Jeff is right on one thing, many new-agers have got it conceptually wrong….again with the judeo-christain moral overlays. He is very quick to jump to conclusions about “blame”. This is a common theme in many of his ideas. To re-iterate. It’s not about blame. It’s about understanding the reasons for something so you can make an educated choice to resolve it. EVERYTHING that happens is meant to prompt your personal spiritual growth and evolution. It is up to you to pay attention and listen. For many don’t and then wallow in their misery.
“When I had a terrible self-concept, I could never admit I was imperfect or that I was wrong. My healthy ego was not developed yet, so admitting my shadow was too much to bear. I so wanted to see something good about me, after a childhood of negative feedback. It’s important to remember that people often cannot acknowledge their flaws and mistakes, because their self-concepts are not strong enough to handle the admissions. Swimming in a pool of self-hatred, they can’t take one more drop of contempt. After working hard to work through my shame-body- healing it, and proving my value with various achievements- it became a lot easier to admit my shadow characteristics, my mistakes, my arrogance. And, then, because my issues were more transparent, I could actually begin the journey of working them through. This is why the ego bashing intrinsic to the shadow jumping community is a dangerous thing. It confuses people and discourages them from developing the healthy ego necessary to manage reality and value themselves. We need a certain degree of egoic strength to evolve and flourish. Kudos to the healthy self-concept. Really.”
People who have great difficulty admitting to mistakes have structural “late autonomy” issues from early childhood. It’s a survival coping mechanism due to lack of emotional support when the child first becomes mobile around age two.
The value of YOUR life is inherent and does not need to be “proved” or justified. Even to yourself. Imagine a squirrel trying to prove it’s value with it’s achievements. Pretty ridiculous. Nature knows’ its own value, and so should you. Something a bird or a cat can “teach” you the next time you observe it go about it’s ways.
“One of the most important things I have ever watched. It captures one of the reasons why I am so opposed to the consciousness models put forth by theorists who somehow believe that the most expanded consciousness experience is an alone experience between them and God. Those models, while they are a step forward from the limiting belief that there is no such thing as expanded consciousness, are just an early stage perspective. The next and most significant step, the one that will shift us from the narcissism that entraps us and is destroying this planet, is to understand the ties between us, to develop empathic, awakened, relational consciousness models that bridge our hearts and honor our loving natures. The women have had it right all along- our very survival depends on our ability to recognize and deepen the connections between us. Until we real-eyes that we are in this together, we are doomed.. ” (source)
The women had it right all along!? Seems like you got women on a pretty high pedestal there Jeff. On the planet I’m from women can be very cutthroat and competitive…especially amongst themselves. Ever try working in a large office comprised of mostly women? In large groups men tend to get along better than women. I wonder why this is…?
Women are well aware of this fact, unlike seemingly Jeff Brown. From a recent elephant journal article: “These days I find it common that women are stinking mean to one another. Why do we feel the need to compare, undermine, feel jealous, resent, alienate, seclude, bully and judge the women in our lives at the drop of a hat?”
“Sharing some of Jackson Katz’s excellent work..http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xwu5r3_tough-guise-violence-media-and-the-crisis-in-masculinity_tech” (source)
This is a critique of Jackson Katz’s work, however applies to Jeff Brown as well because he promotes this same narrative. It also is a critique in general of most post-modern feminist “anti-violence” type ideology.
The first problem with the Katz narrative is that he puts most of the blame for “tough guise” on the media. And then tries to back it up with spurious correlations. First of all men were considerably more abusive and violent 500 years ago when there was NO media. There has been a dramatic drop in murder & violence over the last 500 years despite violence in media increasing, to the point where they are at some of their lowest levels in recorded history. Just watch: https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence
Media & culture is a reflection of what is going on the inside emotionally, and it is what is on the inside that the media then reflects back to us. Katz as with most people have the causal relationship entirely wrong and reversed.
See my thoughts on mass shootings here: http://www.gestaltreality.com/2012/12/15/mass-shooting-a-natural-reflection-of-society/
“Tough guise” really is a result of emotional issues in early childhood development such as derailment in late autonomy, will, opinion and solidarity structures. The problem here is bad parenting/mothering not media/cultural projected masculinites. This doesn’t just affect men it also affects women and why you have tank grrrrls and butch fem. http://www.gestaltreality.com/articles/the-key-to-identifying-your-deepest-insecurities-and-the-unconscious-patterns-that-created-them/
Katz is right when he says tough guise is a survival thing, the problem is he is putting the blame in entirely the wrong place. It’s the stuff on the inside that creates the stuff on the outside. By focusing on external cultural masculinity factors he is mistaking the symptom for the disease. Instead the focus needs to be on resolving inner emotional issues by resolving early structural derailments and attachment issues.
Male abusers of females engage in their activities because they themselves feel powerless. Women that feel powerless themselves are attracted to said men. If you want to stop abusive men the best strategy is to emotionally empower them. If you want to stop powerless women from choosing powerless men, you have to emotionally empower women. Funny how the solution is the same for both genders.
“The polarities are changing with respect to gender. Soon it won’t be men vs. women. It will be the awakening vs. the asleep, the heartfelt vs. the heartless. Men will rise up and stand beside women in opposition to those men who imprison all of us. The kind of men who ordered the gang rape in India, the kind of men who manipulate economic systems solely for their own benefit, will be met with a gender inclusive force of benevolent souls, who will no longer tolerate the raping of this planet or the women who mother it. I appreciate the good intentions of those who believe that we are ready to move away from opposition as a construct altogether, but I feel they are putting the heart before the force. It’s premature. We still need to fight for our right to the light, and we need to do it together. Not as two polarized genders, but as souldiers of a higher order united by love.” (source)
This is a false narrative. It never was about men vs. women or about men imprisoning the human species. What it has been about and always will be about is the insecurities collectively inside us. I like the way Neale Donald Walsch puts it. “What hurts you so much that you feel you have to hurt me to heal it?”
Men who do horrible things to women are the same people who had horrible things done to them, usually by their own narcissistic mothers. Mothers that neglect and emotionally “raped” & imprisoned them will create boys/men who do the same in reverse. http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com/sons-of-narcissistic-mothers-despise-them/
Therefore to prevent monsters from being created in the first place we need to take a hard look at what created them. This is a collective effort because as we resolve our own issues we can help others as well irrespective of gender. http://www.gestaltreality.com/articles/the-key-to-identifying-your-deepest-insecurities-and-the-unconscious-patterns-that-created-them/
“blaming all that madness on the mothers? seriously?”
here you go again Jeff, playing the blame game. Mothers obviously don’t “make” their grown sons do anything, but it’s incredibly naive to think they had no formative influence.
You can talk about sensational horrendous acts all day long, but what’s more important is WHY people do the things they do. And that requires looking at how people developed emotionally at the most foundational level. God forbid that may have any relevance. http://youtu.be/UrZL2CnUSRg?t=5m4s
This prompted Jeff to make another status update:
“All too often, I hear people blame mothers for the violent things that their sons do: “If that man had been taught how to be more loving by his mother, he wouldn’t be so violent”. When asked “What about what his dad taught him?”, their simplistic reply often is “His dad had a bad mother, too”. Nonsense! This mother bashing routine has to stop. There are a multitude of elements that influence violent behavior: cultural conditioning, repressed emotions, animalistic ways of being, medical conditions, INDIVIDUAL CHOICE etc. Blaming mommy for the idiotic behavior of the son is just another form of sexism. Many people had difficult mothers and are not shooting people in the streets. And many people had wonderful mothers, and are still violent. Stop blaming the women.” (source)
To which I responded:
“Jeff seems to be wholly ignorant when it comes to understanding the basics of neurodevelopmental psychology, attachment theory & behavioral biology. The limbic/emotional part of the brain does most of it’s growth in the first 5 years of life. The child’s emotional brain thus grows primarily based on the state of development of the mother’s emotional brain and her ability for attunement. (more info)
Now since Jeff is so fond of playing the short-sighted blame game, he jumps the gun assuming it’s ALL about the mother now. It’s not, while she may play the most direct role in the emotional development and her role is central, there are a thousand other equally important factors that come into play. Namely she needs support from the father, the grandparents, the uncles and aunts and the village or tribe. The nuclear family model is incredibly dysfunctional and in the greater historical context really is something very new. This is a collective societal issue..”
Additional note to Jeff…this was never about ONLY the mother. She just happens to be the primary and most important aspect in emotional development of people something you largely ignore. You on the other hand prefer to focus on less important dramatic sensational secondary factors. If you want to help solve societies problems you have your priorities in reverse. Teal Scott has some good advice along this vein: http://blog.thespiritualcatalyst.com/santa-barbara-shooting/
“I am so tired of people saying “You are exactly where you are supposed to be”, no matter what someone’s life circumstances and challenges. Yes, there is no question that we can often learn something of value wherever we are on the path, and yes, we may have, in some situations, attracted the exact challenge that we need to grow, BUT that does not mean that we are ALWAYS where we are supposed to be. Telling that to someone in every situation- even when they are ill or suffering tremendously- is arrogant, and adds insult to injury. Sometimes we need a kick in the ass, and sometimes we are just a victim of terrible circumstances. Sometimes our suffering is needless and the result of other people’s wrongdoing. Compassion demands that we hold the space for other’s challenges with a wide open heart. Let THEM decide if they are exactly where they are supposed to be. It’s not for us to say.” (source)
It is Seth that has been attributed for coining the phrase “You create your own reality”. While I agree with you that it is not for us to say why someone else is suffering and that compassion is really what is needed, I do disagree with the idea of victimhood or “sometimes circumstance”.
I could just as well say it’s arrogant for you to assume someones plight has no greater purpose or meaning and that it’s just a chance happening they had no stake in. Suffering always serves a purpose and that is to teach. It is up to the person if they want to learn from it.
While it may be hard to swallow the concept of chosen suffering, you have to ask yourself why does it exist in the first place. If your philosophical bent is that the the purpose of life is hedonistic pleasure in a random universe, then suffering will often seem like an unfortunate circumstance. If on the other hand everything has a purpose and is there by chosen design the perspective changes. http://www.gestaltreality.com/2013/12/28/reincarnation-explained-the-idiot-the-genius-and-why-suffering-is-chosen-as-an-experience/
“I know some couples who actually enjoy triggering each other. They enjoy it because they believe that they need the triggers in order to bring their unresolved wounds and patterns to the surface. For them, their tumultuous connection is the primary way they become conscious of their issues. This is one kind of conscious relationship, although one has to be careful to distinguish forward moving trigger-fests from co-dependent wound-mating. I prefer another kind – one where the connection is so stable and kind that your armor melts into sweetness. In the heart of that opening, your wounds and issues feel safe to reveal themselves. Not perpetually triggered by your partner, not re-traumatized by the connection, but invited into awareness and healing by their loving presence. That’s my kind of conscious relationship. To each their path home.”
My smart ass comeback: “yes, yes, and then the opiates wear off after about a year or two…and your back to triggering or another relationship for the next opiate high.”
The very nature and purpose of relationships is one about reflection. It’s a fable that you can just magically choose someone that has no problems and just nurtures you while you figure out your own. Although the first little while of most relationships may appear/be that way, it won’t last. “Armor melting” is a reference to all the late hyper-responsive structures. If a “hyper” person ends up in a relationship with a “hypo” person is may seem to the hyper person that they have just found the solution. No resistance…no push back, no power struggle, etc…However after some time other dynamics will come into play. As can be seen here: http://www.gestaltreality.com/articles/the-key-to-identifying-your-deepest-insecurities-and-the-unconscious-patterns-that-created-them/
The key to a successful “non-trigger” relationship is not to choose the right person, rather to resolve your own issues so you don’t have triggers to be triggered. This should be common sense….but alas it tends not to be.