AppleHand

AppleHand
We are beginning to remember that, as always, it is the Feminine that possesses the empathy and guidance that the focused and systematic Masculine requires. That is what has made humans a successful species, and the suppression of it has pushed our world to the brink of destruction.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

ALPHAS, BETAS AND MASKS

The Male Mask

This is the culturally essential protective shell which, to some extent, all men form around themselves from an early age. It protects them from emotional and physical danger by restraining the feminine characteristics that all men possess, but which are deemed unmanly in society. Men usually drop the Male Mask only in the presence of someone they really trust, such as a beloved life partner or family member, or in later life, when display becomes less necessary and their ‘mindfulness’ is allowed more freedom.

Alpha-Beta Soup

We have divided humanity into the Alpha and Beta energies in order to be able to differentiate between the people out there who are initiating easy contact with the opposite sex and those who aren’t. Since it is the Alphas, male and female, of the world who have less trouble initiating with the partners of their choice (even if their partnerships may not last long), the relationship part of our book is written with the Betas in mind. Alpha and Beta may seem hierarchical categories, in which the Alpha is by definition ‘better’ than the Beta, but for humans that is not necessarily the case. As the corporate world has discovered with the help of a Harvard Business School study, so-called Alpha traits are often destructive to the structure of an organization that depends on the combined skills of everyone involved.

Since true Alphas are a very small minority, Betas are by far the most numerous and therefore the most ‘normal’ of people. Our society, urged on by the media, has become so accustomed to idolizing the Alpha traits that men tend to be disturbed by being called Beta. Yet the “Alpha Male Syndrome[1] is recognized as a real problem in organizations. We prefer to think of it as the Alpha-Mask Male Syndrome (see below).

Alpha strengths used by the rare true Alphas (perhaps 5% of the population) are useful and progressive, and the Alphas’ intense focus and charisma can achieve great things. Their only weakness may be that they are not natural team-players, so may not spend enough time thinking about those lower on the totem pole that are actually fulfilling the Alpha’s desires. They lack ‘rear-view mirrors’.
Since Alphas are in such an extreme minority, and since Alphas are so accustomed to being first, we’ll start with the Beta definitions.

Beta Female

The Beta Female has received little attention in our society, which has always held up the Alpha Female version of the moment as the epitome of womanhood. But, as you will read later on, the Beta woman, when in the presence of a man, is an Alpha Female to him. Especially if he’s a Beta Male.

About 95% of all women in the world are Beta Females, so they are the norm, however much they may feel left out by the mass media and movies. They are the foundation of humanity and the driving force of commerce. Most advertisements are aimed at Beta women, because they are the ones that hold the purse-strings and are the consumers that every company wants to attract, even as they create images of women that are hard to find anywhere in the real world.

Beta women are also the drivers of human evolution, through the choices they make in their mates. It is Sexual Selection in the hands of Beta Females that provides the gene pool for our species, so Betas are of the highest importance to the world, especially now that humans have the power to influence our environment to the point of destruction.

But despite their importance to the species and the planet, women who are living alone while yearning in their hearts for a partnership are surely Betas, not Alphas. They are deterred from initiating contact with men by fear of rejection and by unwillingness to risk being labeled as too ‘easy’ or aggressive.

Beta women, having been blinded to their Feminine power, generally do not understand the extent to which they intimidate men. All men, Betas in particular, but also the Alphas, are in awe of the Feminine and its sexual promise, which is the greatest urge in every species, including ours.

We know that once the Feminine is understood and utilized by Beta women, everything is possible – lasting and fulfilling relationships, a more peaceful existence and partnership with men in every facet of our culture – since their sheer numbers could bring us to the tipping point of culture change.

Beta Male

Being called a Beta Male is by no means the slur that our Alpha-worshipping media culture would have us believe it is. Indeed the media depend upon the Beta population to read and watch their productions. Almost all human beings are Betas and it is best to regard Beta-ness as the norm, with Alpha-ness as a rare occurrence. That’s why Alphas stand out so much. Our guess is that if Alphas were in the majority, the human race would not have survived as long as it has.

There is therefore a whole spectrum of Beta behaviors. Beta men, each with their unique personal qualities, are not as driven or focused as Alphas, and lack the Alpha’s charismatic traits. There are Betas who follow, but there are also Betas who are completely independent and in charge of their own lives but who are not comfortable in positions of absolute command. They may have confidence in their own abilities, find purpose and fulfillment in their lives, but may not wish to be in the limelight.

They may be in charge of a team in which collaboration is more evident than would be the case in Alpha leadership. They can lead by example of their acquired skills in their chosen field. They are more likely to form consensus-building groups and alliances, looking for the support of a community, rather than being the classic Lone Wolf Alphas and Alpha-Masks, who will strive for ‘success’ at any cost to those around them. That’s not to say that there aren’t Lone Wolf Betas, but they are more likely to be separating themselves from society as recluses than trying to run it.

Beta men and women are the foundation of human society, doing all the work that needs doing and not usually seeking the limelight. They may have fame thrust upon them, if they do something out of the ordinary, such as writing some revolutionary software or composing a great song. But mostly, they live their lives among their peers, without being the centers of attention and without wanting to be.

Unfortunately, those men living alone yet wishing to be in partnership are most likely Betas. Alphas can call their own shots without thinking, but Betas in general are far more circumspect of exposing themselves to rejection. This book was written to help these men and the women with whom they could be partnered. Our hope is that, with the help of their female partners, Beta Males can become Mindful Men, the kind of men who are comfortable in partnership with women and in expressing their feminine intelligence alongside their masculine focus.

Also, the Alpha-Mask Males (see below) come from the pool of Betas, those who want to conform to society’s fantasy of Alpha behavior, perhaps from being influenced by movies, or by having to be aggressive, even violent, in order to survive in their environment.

Alpha Male

This man is born with basic traits of self-assurance and charisma, physical strength, intelligence, emotional control, independence, competitiveness, attractive or imposing physical appearance, courage, total focus on goals and a need to lead. The hallmark of the true Alpha is that they inspire respect for their vision, courage and focus without having to coerce others into becoming disciples.

The true Alpha Male is not driven by insecurity and fear and has no need for violence or over-aggressive tactics to achieve his goals. Alphas have historically been held as the epitome of manhood by other men, and while the world needs the true Alpha qualities of courage and independent thinking, they must sometimes be tempered with foresight of the consequences of his actions, something that Alphas often lack or show no concern for. Their competitiveness with their peers can create friction and create disharmony among their followers and employees.

This has been recognized as a liability in corporate management, where the old paradigm of the all-powerful boss is slowly being replaced. However, the Alpha Male has lost none of his attractiveness in politics, and the military is still built around blind obedience to the Alpha figurehead. Unfortunately, those two institutions are inextricably linked in countries like the USA, in which the go-for-broke Alpha is still worshipped as the paradigm of the All-American male. Only the influence of the Feminine will be able to divert unmindful Alpha Males into using their great abilities for the good of all.

The Mindful Alpha Male and Alpha Female have the greatest potential for positive leadership by example. The Alpha Males are the focused leaders who, if we can get their attention and help them to co-create rather than charge ahead alone, may help lead us all into positive cultural change.

Alpha-Mask Male – the Dangerous Wanna-be

Alpha-Mask Males are Betas hidden behind an exaggerated Male Mask. These are the men who have been, for example, so injured by rejection or abuse that they have constructed an elaborate shield that allows them to show indifference in times of fear. The more extreme Alpha-Mask Males are ‘over the top’ in their masculine traits – super macho, emotionally stunted, possibly violent, intent on their survival at any cost. Their drive, which may have been drilled into them by family, peers and mentors, is in craving respect, no matter how it is achieved.

Most often, unfortunately, the Alpha-Mask Male has been responsible for some of the most destructive human acts and is often mistaken for true Alphas by Betas. Their kind of over-aggressive leadership and willingness to ride roughshod over others has long been held up as the standard of leadership in popular culture, so much so that those who emulate them can find their way to the highest levels of business, politics and the military.

In such cases, the ‘respect’ that the Alpha-Mask craves and thinks he is receiving may only be fawning sycophancy from followers and copycats seeking their own aggrandizement. We see it all too often in political ‘strongmen’, dictators and despotic corporate CEOs. They do not take No for an answer, they rule with an iron fist and the bloody history of humanity is full of such men. Leading by instilling fear in their followers and destroying their opponents has been the hallmark of the most repressive societies. Political polarization without compromise is a typical Alpha-Mask tactic, which makes a mockery of public discourse and democracy.

Whatever the initial impetus for a man to become an Alpha-Mask Male, they are a pervasive influence on our media-driven, sound-bite society. The image of the Alpha-Mask as the strong, win-at-all-costs superman is an easy one to assimilate, and is attractive to adolescents looking for their own identity. It is unfortunate that more of these future Alpha-Mask Males are not guided towards less destructive behavior.

The influence of patriarchal values has been so pervasive for so long, that our norms are slow to change, and our dominator cultures love the Alpha-Mask Male. He is useful as cannon fodder in the endless string of wars that he is taught to anticipate with glee. He is the aggressive, violent member of the herd who thinks he is Somebody, and who can be brainwashed into any action his superiors demand of him. He is the gang member who continues to give patriarchy the ammunition it needs to keep his people down by his violent acts and his prison record. He is the avid consumer of every product that he thinks will prove he is A Real Man, from straight-pipe Harleys to weapons for recreational slaughter. We have seen Alpha-Mask Males as Presidents of the United States and as fanatical terrorists.

Yet all this behavior is founded, however unconsciously, on the male need to display, to be noticed, which gives a woman the power to ‘civilize’ the Alpha-Mask Male. If a woman can win over one of these men and get past the over-aggressive exterior, she may find a frightened boy, whose sensitivities are raw; someone with great depths of feeling just waiting for the gentle touch to bring them out from behind the Mask.

Alpha Female 

Any woman becomes an Alpha when she is in the company of a man. Men feel it instinctively, and just by being herself, she naturally assumes the Alpha role between them, thanks to the biological power of the Feminine.

Then there are those rare women who are true born Alphas who display some or all of the following: intelligence, charismatic self-assurance, emotional strength, attractive or imposing physical appearance, skill in forming alliances and building community, deep listening.

The true Alpha Female has already redefined seduction to her own ends, appealing to the better side in all of us, making no secret of her vulnerability to male force, and thereby winning the protection of men in a male-dominated arena. She does not lose sight of her nurturing side, because that is what she uses to gain allies. She is not ashamed of the effects of her sensual nature on men and is not afraid to use them to good effect around those who oppose her.

She has the holistic vision that is the specialty of the female brain, seeing fully the consequences of her actions and understanding the strength that comes from teamwork and partnership in all areas. Her charisma and charm help her to attract women and men in willing cooperation, making coercion and overly aggressive tactics unnecessary in achieving her goals. Alpha Women leaders create inclusive and horizontal cultures rather than pyramid-shaped hierarchies with themselves perched precariously at the top.

Alpha-Mask Female – playing a man’s game

These women are determined to win by any means and will adopt the qualities of the Male Mask to hide their true feminine selves. Alpha-Mask women use male tactics to gain power in male-dominated pursuits, often forsaking feminine power for abusive and coercive force.

When we talk about women as nurturers and seducers, we often hear reference made to powerful women who are perceived as Alphas in our society. The woman often cited as an example of the Alpha Female is Margaret Thatcher. But we regard her as the quintessential Alpha-Mask Female, opposed to consensus, belittling and coercive. Instead of creating partnerships and alliances, she alienated and polarized both those who supported her and her opposition; the antithesis of the alliance-making Feminine. Her success-at-any-cost campaign was in the male preserve of government, in which she made her controversial mark by assuming male strategies, holding sway over a Cabinet of Ministers that included no women.

To call her a true Alpha Female denigrates Alphas, and skews the public’s vision of the Feminine. Men understand the Thatcher approach, as it is similar to the male hierarchy-building tactic. It makes her easier for men to understand and to oppose, and she appealed to the boarding-school-educated Conservative politicians of her era, perhaps because she reminded them of the stern matrons about whom they had secret erotic fantasies. Just as ‘seduction’ has been given negative connotations in a male-dominator society, so has ‘Alpha Female’. The true Alpha woman is a powerful evolutionary co-creator, not a despotic governess.

Alpha Effects

So what does that all mean in our day-to-day existence? Who is to blame for the state of affairs the human race finds itself struggling with? Unless you believe in some god or other being the micro-manager of everyone’s lives, there’s nobody to blame but the collective cultural influence and our own genetic tampering. By trying to “fix” the human genome through selective breeding that has gone off course, we have diverted the course of our natural evolution.

We’re not talking about mad scientists here, but the choices of mates that have been made through the centuries, influenced first by patriarchy in general and then by patriarchal dilution of trust in the female power of selection. So we have a preponderance of Alpha and Alpha-Mask behavior leading the species, which is, due to the belief systems that their cliques have created over millennia, anti-Nature and thus anti-human.

In Evolution for Everyone, by Professor David Sloan Wilson[2] is an illustration of men’s tampering with Nature to make it ‘better’, and also of the effects of Alpha behavior when selected for over generations. Wilson tells of a genetic experiment carried out by a poultry scientist who wanted to test ways of increasing egg production in chickens through selective breeding.

The hens were caged in groups of nine, and in the first experiment, he selected the most productive individual hens from several different cages to breed a new generation of Alphas, which would then be housed together in groups of nine from which the most productive individuals would be selected, and so on.
In the second experiment, he selected entire groups of nine hens from the most productive cages. He kept the groups together as groups and bred them to create more groups, from which the most productive groups would be selected.

Six generations later, the most productive individual hens that were removed from their groups had produced a generation of psychopaths. There were only three surviving hens in the cage, the other six having been pecked to death, and the survivors were almost featherless from constant attacks on each other. Egg production had plummeted, even though, in each generation, the most productive hens had been selected for breeding. It seems that the original single hens had increased their egg production by suppressing the productivity of their cage-mates, and those traits were passed down through each generation as the most productive/aggressive ones were selected for breeding.

The second groups of hens gave rise to cages full of plump, well-feathered “happy” hens, whose egg production had increased dramatically. The hens that lived as a micro-society to produce lots of eggs were healthy and lived harmoniously, having been selected for their co-operative traits.

We could categorize the top-laying single hens as Alphas, who became the ‘best’ by beating all the others and competing with them, using violence if necessary, to ‘win’. When too many Alphas were trying to beat each other, the whole system collapsed as they fought each other for top honors and ended up killing themselves. Sound familiar?

We could also categorize the second groups of hens as the Betas, the ones whose co-operative, productive, community-oriented traits were selected for and created a healthy society.

The whole experiment illustrates something about humans too. The desire to always be tinkering and ‘improving’ Nature’s systems is in itself the kind of behavior that has edged us toward our destruction, especially when it is carried out at the expense of other living beings. When this is systematized by corporations and the governments they influence, without accountability for their actions, it gives free rein to Alphas and Alpha-Masks to indulge in their most aggressive and antisocial behavior.

Perhaps it’s time for the Beta Revolution, where the Beta is the new Alpha, where co-operation is more important than making it to the ‘top’ and the Precautionary Principle is valued more than ‘success’ at any price. Perhaps we can no longer endure the Alpha-Mask behavior that endangers us all, and we must begin to make the Mindful Man and true partnership between the sexes the essential paradigm.

There’s evidence that this idea is creeping into mainstream consciousness, with mindful Beta guys acing out the Alpha-Masks as the romantic heroes. Kindness and mindfulness is sexy![3]

Read more at Seduction Redefined and buy the book here or at Amazon, or order from your local bookstore.


[1] Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson, The Alpha Male Syndrome, 2006, www.worthethic.com . 
[2] Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives, 2007. 
[3] Kimberly Dawn Neumann, The New Hollywood Heartthrob: The Nice Guy, Lemondrop.com, October 31, 2008.

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