on June 30, 2012
First of all, if I wasn't already familiar with the good ideas in this book, I would have summarily dismissed the whole thing as feel-good spiritual nonsense. Deida's writing looks like mine when I just start writing what I feel without really trying to make any logical sense. The effect on me while reading was that even though I knew in my head that the words were gibberish, I knew exactly what he was trying to say and which important concepts he was trying to impart. It was an odd experience.
- Not only does the book start from the premise that there IS a desirable middle ground between being a timid wuss of a man-boy and being a knuckle-dragging, chauvinistic thug; the whole book attempts to be a manual on how to become that middle ground. I would say it's even a good start at succeeding.
- Emphasis on living in pursuit of your own purpose. Not your dad's, not your girlfriend's, not that of disembodied pop culture. Yours.
- The fundamental principle of giving to the world instead of taking.
- The focus on rooting out insecurity.
- The discussions about fundamental differences between masculine and feminine. If you take away nothing other than the realization that there are in fact big differences, the book is worth the read.
- Discussions on things like ego death, living consciously, and the notion of "emptiness." These are basically repackaged Buddhist and samurai concepts. They aren't new, but they are important.
- If I read the words "truth" or "love" one more time I thought I might try to reach through my Kindle and choke the author. I disagree with the top positive reviewer: the writing got repetitive VERY quickly.
- The spiritual slant of the writing probably alienates a lot of readers, including me. Luckily it didn't get that bad until later in the book.
- When trying to make legitimate points, like how women often say what they feel instead of what they think, the extremity of his examples undermine him and just make him sound ridiculous. It's no wonder so many women take offense at this book, and it didn't have to be that way.
- Sometimes his writing actually IS just feel-good nonsense. I notice this when he covers the most sensitive subjects, like how men will be attracted to multiple women and how women become less physically attractive as they age. In these subjects, he covers up what he really wants to say in flowery gibberish. This is upsetting to me because he spends the first half of the book preaching about being 100% open and truthful and how real men never hold anything back. Apparently Deida isn't a "superior man" even by his own definition.
Conclusion: It's worth a read, but take it with a HUGE grain of salt.
on November 29, 2007
I first saw this book on my husband's bookshelf before we were married, and I borrowed and read it. My thoughts at the time: Wow, if this man really believes and lives the principles in this book, he is the one for me! Four years of married bliss and a 3-year-old child later, I still think this. David Deida's basic premise: there is a "Way of the Superior Man" that both includes and transcends the "tough" concept of masculinity of our ancestors, and the "sensitive man" concept of more recent years, that frees a man to be both powerful and purposeful, and also feeling and spiritually alive. This has profound effects in all areas of a man's life from work to sex to relationships with women. I can attest to the value of this premise from my husband's success in his career, our marriage/sexual relationship, and as a father and a spiritual being. Being a superior man is not necessarily an easy path, but hugely rewarding. I highly recommend this book to women as well as Deida's books "Dear Lover" and "It's a Guy Thing" to better understand healthy masculine/feminine dynamics and deepen their relationships with men.
For those who feel an author must be "credentialed" (MD or PhD or whatever) to offer this type of advice, or who are looking for hard data research to back up the claims he makes, this book may disappoint. I would just encourage such readers to suspend judgement long enough to give the book a read, take what they find to ring true and useful and leave the rest. There is a lot of value here, and I have found it to be "proven" in my own experience with men and as a woman.
on February 18, 2016
I heard a few friends mention this book and I was curious to read it. I was initially looking for a book on the Divine Masculine and Feminine and I stumbled upon this one. My background? I'm a psychologist and I've read tons of books on relationships between men and women. Mind you, I read the first half of the book (till part 5) because right then I knew this book wasn't for me.
Here's what I agree with the author :
-Yes, find your purpose in life and use your force for the greater good.
-Master your own strength, your foibles, your dark side.
-Don't make your woman your priority, make your own purpose your priority. Men also are not attracted to women who LIVE for THEM. Having priorities in life other that your relationship is healthy, it will benefit both you and your relationship.
-Don't force the feminine to make decisions. The feminine sees all sides of an issue, and if you're like me, you'd be happy to have some guidance and direction. But this is only true when it comes to everyday decisions : where to go, what to eat, what to do on your spare time. I couldn't care less about those things, as long as I'm with my partner and I feel safe that he has my best interests at heart (and lets say, he's not gonna force me to eat a snake or jump from a helicopter), I'm gonna be fine with whatever he decides.
-Don't be afraid of letting out your inner caveman. Although this is a tricky one. Only when I feel safe and I know that my partner truly loves me and respects my boundaries, I can enjoy surrendering to his powerful sexual prowess.
-Take care of stuff and don't expect her to take care of things for you. This one is pretty obvious for both male and female. Don't you love when someone else takes care of things for you, so that you can relax and enjoy?
-Yes, we don't want you to deny your inner warrior. We want to see that you have the strength to face death, but specially, the death of your own ego. There's nothing sexier than a couragous heart, one that is willing to admit he was wrong, that he feels vulnerable, a heart that's willing to love with abandon, even if he's gonna get hurt. That's where your inner warrior screams SEXY. If you ask us to kill the cockroach most of us wont be turned off, but we will be turned off with a man who's unable to see himself and the traps of his ego. That screams "child" to me.
-Definitely, choose a woman that chooses you. There's a fine line between showing you love her above all and becoming a pushover who chases a woman who doesn't want to be with you. Some women want their men to jump on hoops as a demonstration of love. This type of princess behavior says that she's uncapable of loving YOU, she just wants YOU to love HER. That's not true love, isn't it?
-Don't try to fix her emotions. I, just want loving presence. Which leads me to the parts that I strongly disagree with....
What I don't agree :
-If we're in the middle of an emotional burst (no matter the intensity), don't try to laugh it off, dance the hula or lick our faces, (these were actual tips in the book....seriously, Dieda?). I don't want to be analyzed, I want to be felt. I'm looking for a sympathetic ear, a safe haven. I, and many other women, want our feelings ACKNOWLEDGED and honored.
-Why? Because contrary to what the author thinks, our emotions don't come out of nowhere. They're not just 90% of the time (as he puts it) because we don't feel loved by you. Some times, we are actually carrying stuff from work, our own self development, our friends, the current state of the world, etc...There's wisdom in what we're feeling and if you just try to laught it off, you're gonna miss it. An immature woman will believe she has “crazy“ feelings, because she herself is not able to honor them and give them direction. A mature woman will consider them a very useful radar to which navigate the world. She will consider them valuable intuitions, and she will respect them. That is “The Way of the Superior Woman“.
-The author considers himself very masculine, but it's immature masculinity. That's why he mentions as something totally common, to be regularly attracted to fresh, young feminine energy. It's also why he's attracted to the emotional storms of a woman. A man like that, will probably provoke storms in a woman just because "he needs" to feed off of her lack of self control. This dynamic will distabilize a woman, for sure. As a woman who has worked very hard to "master her inner dragon" and achieve a sense of peace, being with a man like that is a no no. If he can't enjoy my feminine presence when I'm calmed and soft, then he's not the type of guy for me. So maybe, I am more balanced than the average woman.
-The author subtly proposes that a codependent relationship is healthy. One with the man depends on a woman to "feel the feminine" and a woman depends on a man to "feel the masculine". I believe is a healthier choice to, after you've harnessed your own masculine essence (instead of denying it, repressing it and punishing it), you could also get in touch with your feminine essence and not "use" your partner as a means to achieve it. That is codependency.
-The author says that women loose their feminine energy as the years pass by. While it's true that many women feel they "have to" become more masculine in order to survive (just as there are men who feel they have to become more feminine) and so, sacrifice their own femininity in the proccess, they key is to harness our own feminine power and transcend it from the immature feminine to the Divine Feminine. I know this concept might seem alien to people outside of the spiritual community, but it's what differentiates between a woman who's emotionally erratic, to an intuitive; a seductress who uses her sexuality to gain love, to a full sensual tigress who owns her sexuality; a woman that has very low self worth to a woman who has high self esteem; a manipulative bitch and a wise empathetic woman; and so on.
-As a woman who's considered by her family, her peers and her partners as "very feminine" I feel a bit offended by this book. I DO see why the relationship dynamic that the author proposes could be helpful for some couples, though. I've known women who will love being "emotionally and sexually tamed" by a man who considers her a playful, energetic and sexy decoration.
Overall, this book has a tad misogynistic streak. The author implicitly describes women as inferior and actually looks for fragile, unstable woman (whom he calls "feminine") in order to feel powerful himself. He does not feel "turned on" by a well rounded, mature woman, because a woman like that will make him face his own immature masculinity. It honestly, looks like the "Act like a lady, think like a man" book by Steve Harvey, only with a lot of spiritual terms. This book will be very helpful for men who are afraid of their own masculinity and have become manchilds, whimps afraid of women, "the nice guy" who needs to harness his own masculinity. But it keeps relating to a VERY BASIC LEVEL. I could set a parallel between this book and books like "He's just not that into you" and "Why men love bitches" aimed at women. Fpr a book on how to really grow as a man and have healthy balanced relationships with the feminine, get "Relationship Tantra" by Andrew Barnes" and google "The Divine Masculine and Feminine“ for further information.
on January 31, 2013
I greatly anticipated the arrival of this audio book. I quickly discovered though that the teaching sessions are not an abridged or unabridged version of the book but rather an expounding of its principles. I'm sure I got every idea presented in the book and then some though. I've never had a harder time getting through an audio book! I'm not averse to new age lingo and feel good fluff but this book was just plain rediculous. First of all his voice gets annoying very quickly and I think quite literally every sentence ends with the phrase "give your deepest love" or "from your deepest heart" or "give you deepest gift". It's like meeting someone at a party who thinks they know everything and they rant and rant and rant in a stream of thought flow rather than delivering a coherent and distinct message. He actually poses a question at one point to the effect of "would having one sex partner help you to give your deepest gift or would several sex partners be needed?" Let me discuss that with my wife and see how she thinks I should give my "deepest gift". By the way, can the phrase "give your deepest gift" be any more vague and useless???? The book boils down to you being the masculine open ocean of nothingness and maintaining that connection while your lunatic wife/girlfriend/one of many sex partners (which is great too according to him) runs around acting psychotic and complaining because thats what the feminine aspect does! The feminine is a wily tornado of emotions according to Deida. Apparently every woman, when not in her masculine, is effectivly a spoiled 13 year old drama queen. He even alludes to the imagery of Shakti standing over Shiva's dead body holding other heads in her hands and states that men should maintain this blissful death state in order to cope with the manic feminine energy. But the solution to all this complaining, at least one of them, according to Deida, is to pin your woman down and "ravish" her repeatedly. I wanted to enjoy the spiritual aspects of this book, and am very versed in the Eastern spiritual concept of masculine God essence being vast uncreated with the movement of creation being feminine, but this book puts a terrible spin on that. Please dont waste your time on this. I really hated it to say the least.
on September 11, 2014
I read with interest the negative reviews of this book. They seemed most concerned with the author's lack of academic credentials, and with this book's supposed "misognyny".
On the first point, I would suggest that the author's academic credentials are irrelevant. The crucial thing is whether his views help you out or not. If they do, great. If they don't, that's a pity. And for a lot of guys (and their women), the concepts expressed by Deida here have been a great help. I would also point out that I have read a lot of relationship books authored by people with all the academic credentials, and those credentials are no guarantee that the author has anything sensible or worthwhile to impart. When my own marriage was in trouble, I arranged for my then-wife and I to visit a number of well-credentialed marital therapists, and most of them were useless. So again - credentials schmedentials. What matters is what works.
On the second point, I happen to know several women personally who are huge fans of this book. I notice also that quite a number of the glowing reviews here were written or endorsed by women. How can that be, if this book is a hate-filled screed against women?
The answer is, it can't be, and the accusation that this book is "misognynist" is absurd. It is also pernicious, in that it cheapens the value of that serious word through misapplication.
The truth is that there are a lot of enduring truths expressed in this book, and most men will be better off for having read it. According to one relative of mine, this book "saved his marriage", and it might have done the same for mine, if I'd discovered it earlier.
on March 27, 2012
I was so hoping to learn how to be a better man in these pages, but by page 54 I threw this book down in disgust. David Deida pretends to present a guide for a "newly evolving man" but merely cloths the old selfish macho male in new age gibberish. This nonsense includes talk like "know eternity", a man must "refresh the transcendental element of his life through regular meditation and retreat". What? Why? It certainly hasn't helped Deida.
He rarely supports his position with proof, and when he does, he's wrong, as when he states that without a "true purpose", "disconnected from your core", we cannot get an erection (p37). Even a corpse can get priapism (look up `angel lust'); I've even seen this in severe brain injuries. Someone like Deida who taught neurophysiology should know this. His supporting facts are incorrect.
He asks us to treat women like emotionally labile children, who can be pacified by stating we love them, not by seriously dealing with their issues. Dieda's way is a woman's way of handling situations, not a man's. He should have suggested analyzing the concerns and instituting remedies, a man's way. Males are men of action; we get things done, we should not be Deida's self-centered wimps.
His example of a man forgetting to purchase milk (p52) is perfect. The man has been so self adsorbed in pursuit of his "gift to the world" he forgets to bring milk home, demonstrating he can't even do the smallest things to take care of his family, but to Deida, his woman is merely playing a game with him to make him stronger. For him, everything is about him. He suggests laughing it off, falling into the couch and ravishing her. Try this and get knifed. She stated her needs, how she tries to communicate, but he ignores her. He doesn't try to increase communication, nor promises to improve. Of course not, he's self-absorbed in his "purpose". This man is a loser.
Deida states you only need to spend 30 minutes a day in connection with your woman as long as it is quality interaction, like, if you feel like it, ravishing her. Same for children. Just a few minutes and you're free to pursue whatever you want. He states this is really what your family wants too. Not give them your most precious gift, your time. (As if you can schedule when your child suddenly decides to talk to you, or when they might fall and need your reassurance, or don't care if you're not there for their great play in a game). He is all balderdash.
Deida's man is ignorant, silly, weak, and selfish, despicable, in short, an inferior man. We men need to do better. We must do better. (My demographics: married 34 years, grandfather, sandan judo).
on August 21, 2012
I was given this book to read by a woman I had a very brief attempt at a relationship with and I have to say that this is misogyny dressed up in New Age prose. Read some of the other negative reviews to get a handle on full of it this guy is before you read this book.
Following the advise of this book can probably get you laid with some really hot women with serious daddy issues (and that's why it's so popular in the Pick Up Artist community) but if you want to have a longterm stable, healthy relationship especially with a woman who has children then DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVISE. There are plenty of good books out there to help you for this and some of the other reviews will point you in the right direction.
David Deida presents the type of man that Ayn Rand would love in some chapters: a sociopath who is capable of rape; while at the same time in other chapters he tells you basically that you have no right to any feelings and that you should put up with any and all insanity that a woman throws at you. Clearly you can either be one of these guys or the other, and I'm willing to bet that David Deida doesn't have longer-term relationships and wouldn't know the first thing about raising a family.
But that's the trap that the book presents. You will never measure up to the fictional character that Deida presents here but you may find yourself growing increasingly frustrated (and drained) in attempting to do so. DON'T EVEN BOTHER.
There are some tips in this book that will get you places with certain types of women, of course but don't expect anything longterm from this type of chick unless you are the type of dude who would never read a self help book in the first place.
Incidentally, the reason why the relationship I had with the woman who gave me this book was so short lived was probably because I tried to follow Mr. Deida's advise. Never again.
Finally I have to add that if you have self respect and/or respect for women then this book will make you very angry. Repeatedly. I read it as a labor of love, hardest book I ever had to read and I've read several books by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. I've had a few successful relationships that ended because me and my partner moved to different parts of the world and in those relationships I never for a moment looked at women in the light that Mr. Deida does.
on July 18, 2008
This book and seminar lays out material on how to be the best man you can be. If this was required reading half of the failed relationships out there would either work themselves out or be cut off too early to be a problem. If men took the responsibility to understand themselves and how women view their actions we would all be much happier. Instead we can't understand our women and flounder until finally nobody is happy and we break up or divorce. David Deida lays out, in simple terms, how men can understand and even revel in the emotional storm that women are. This manual can not be recommended highly enough.
on July 24, 2015
Who the hell is this psychopath....
So according to him women's "divine responsibility" is to revolve our lives around a man's erection and love him and only him - otherwise we just grow old, get sick and die. Men on the other hand have other more important values in life than their replaceable intimate partner. And all of this is written with rich vocabulary of words like cum, a##hole, w#ore etc. Just your normal modern spiritual guru)))....
on July 18, 2014
What a delight it is to encounter a combination of two of the worst things in the world: misogyny and New Age spirituality. This is the book that Deepak Chopra would write if he were a raging sexist. Stephen Law wrote a great essay on "Pseudo-profundity" (the art of sounding profound while talking complete tosh). Deida has mastered the art.
The foreward of the book says that this is a book for those who have "already accepted that men and women should be equal in all economic, social, and political spheres", and then proceeds to spend the rest of the book promoting a risible view of men and women that would make such equality impossible.
For instance, did you know that when women complain, the content of the complaints is meaningless? I'm not making that up, it's one of the chapter headings. You see, when she complains, that's just her incoherent feminine energy testing your masculinity. You have to stand tall and get her to make you a sandwich or something. Don't sweat the details, it's not like there's a coherent thought in that pretty little head of hers.
I note from the comments here and elsewhere that lot of the men who love this book are unable to find a mate, since most modern women are "ballbusters" (a term used liberally throughout this book). If you take this book seriously, you'll need a mail-order bride from a submissive culture, as no self-respecting woman born after 1940 would give you the time of day. Good luck guys.