There are very few books that have been as impactful as The Way of The Superior Man.
David Deida has done a great job of explaining the difference (and purpose) between feminine and masculine energy. Especially how depolarisation is causing relationship issues across the Western world. While this book is more spiritual in nature, there are very clear actions you can take.
One particular theme I found insightful is related to a man’s purpose. The book guides men into finding their purpose and prioritizing it above everything else. In today’s day and age, we often hear the contrary. We’re told to find something we’re passionate about but to be very careful not to prioritize it above anything else because “balance” is key. I think this is foolish if you want to achieve anything significant and live to your true potential.
Any man interested in self-improvement should add this to the top of his reading list.
Part One: A Man’s Way
It’s made clear in the opening section of this book that you should stop hoping for the completion of anything.
Men subconsciously believe that one day they’ll reach an end state. Whether it’s with their woman, work, or physique. They have a false hope that there is an end state in which they can finally relax. Or worse, receive permission to do something they want to do.
There is no such thing.
“Men who have lived significant lives are men who never waited: not for money, security, ease, or women.”David Deida
Deida continues to drill this message by making it clear that men should live to their edge, act as if their father is already dead, and be committed to discovering and prioritizing their purpose.
Part one is all about a man living true to his purpose and not compromising it for anyone or anything. A man would be doing himself and the world a disservice by not living to his edge.
In other words, do things properly, with full conviction, and never compromise on your purpose.
Three Key Quotes From Part One
- “Few men are willing to give their deepest genius, their true endowment, the poetry of their very being, with every thrust of sex and life. Most men are limpened with doubts and uncertainties. Or they hold back their true drive because of fear.”
- “Choose men friends who themselves are living to their edge, facing their fears and living just beyond them. Men of this kind can love you without protecting you from the necessary confrontation with reality that your life involves”
- “A good woman will love the childlike part of you, but she wants your life to be guided by your deepest truths, not your unattended childhood wounds.”
Part Two: Dealing With Women
This section is particularly fascinating.
All the things we might resent about women we’re told to embrace with love. The points Deida makes seem counterintuitive at first but actually form a very helpful guide for our relationships.
Firstly, women aren’t liars, they are emotional in nature which can result in this behavior. A man's word is his honor, but the same is not true for women. Honoring your word is a masculine trait so you should give your woman some breathing room if she does lie.
Deida suggests that a superior man should be able to stay with his woman even when she is intense. Rather than letting it get to him, the superior man understands feminine energy and loves her through it.
Three Key Quotes From Part Two
- “A man gets resentful and frustrated with his woman when he is too afraid, weak, or unskilled to penetrate her moods and tests into love. He wishes she were easier to deal with. But it is not entirely her fault that she is bitchy and complaining. It is also a reflection of her lack of being penetrated by love. When a man resigns, and simply tolerates his woman’s self-destructive moods, it is a sign of his weakness.”
- “The next time your woman is in a bad mood, try this: Assume she is not feeling loved. Simply assume it, even if it seems that it can't be that simple…”
- “When a woman gets emotionally intense, a mediocre man wants to calm her down and discuss it, or leave and come back later when she is “sane”. A superior man penetrates her mood with imperturbable love and unwavering consciousness. If she still refuses to live more fully in love, after a time, he lets her go.”
Part Three: Working With Polarity Energy
Growing up I always heard the phrase “opposites attract”. I didn’t pay much attention to it because it sounded like another old saying based on nothing.
Deida makes it clear that sexual polarity is a real thing, and men should choose their complementary opposite. For most men, this is going to be a more feminine woman.
There are two key points that I’m glad Deida acknowledges. The first is that men often want more than one woman. This isn’t to say you should explore other women if you’re in a monogamous relationship – you shouldn’t, it will complicate your life. But it’s okay to feel this way. The second point is that younger women tend to bring a radiance that can fill you with energy. Not just in a sexual way though, so it’s important you remain respectful to younger women.
Two Key Quotes From Part Three:
- “If a man is very masculine by nature, then he will be attracted to a very feminine woman, who will compliment his energy. The more neutral or balanced he is, the more balanced he will prefer his woman. And, if a man is more feminine by nature, his energy will be complemented by the strong direction and purposiveness of a more masculine woman.”
- “In general, youth in a woman bespeaks radiant, unobstructed, and refreshing feminine energy. A young woman tends to be less compromised by masculine layers of functional protection built up over years of need. Traditionally, young women were understood to offer a man a particularly rejuvenative quality of energy. Older women may maintain, or even increase, the freshness and radiance of their energy, but it is rare.”
Part Four: What Women Really Want
One notion I’ve read in many books, including Richard Cooper’s “The Unplugged Alpha” is choosing a woman who has a genuine burning desire for you.
Deida articulates this slightly differently but the message is the same.
He says “if a man wants a woman who doesn’t want him, he cannot win.”. You should never try to win over a woman who isn’t interested in you, this will come across as needy and undermine any possibility of a relationship. Be careful not to confuse this with playing hard to get.
Part four goes further into what women really want. In summary, women want a man who is committed to his purpose and mission. Even if they won’t admit this, it’s what they truly want. A feminine woman wants to relax and take comfort in the demonstration of a man’s direction. This could be financially, emotionally, sexually, or spiritually.
Related article: Best Books for men to read in their 20s
Two Key Quotes From Part Four:
- “A man must determine whether a woman really wants him but is playing hard to get, or whether she really doesn’t want him. If she doesn’t want him, he should immediately cease pursuing her and deal with his pain by himself”
- “Sometimes a woman will make a request of her man in plain English, not to get him to do something, but to see if he is so weak that he will do it. In other words, she is testing his capacity to do what is right, not what she is asking for.”
Part Five: Your Dark Side
This is my favorite section of the book.
Deida states that fearlessness is the core of masculinity. I never really thought about masculinity this way, however, it makes complete sense.
Women want to experience your fearlessness, even if you’re scared you need to embrace your dark side. The masculine is willing to stand up for what he believes, accept his fate regardless of the outcome and do what is right. And they are highly respected for this. Especially by the feminine.
If there’s one idea you adopt from this section make it this: never be a coward under any circumstances.
Three Key Quotes From Part Five:
- “The essential masculine ecstasy is in the moment of release from constraint. This could occur when facing death and living through it, succeeding in (and thus being released from) your purpose, and in competition (which is ritual threat of death). The masculine is always seeking release from constraint into freedom.”
- “Among many other qualities, a woman wants the “killer” in her man. She is turned off if her man is afraid and wants her to kill the cockroach or the mouse while he stands on a chair and watches. She is turned off if her man wants her to get out of bed in order to check out the strange sounds in the house to find out if a burglar made the noise. Fearlessness, or the capacity to transcend the fear of death for the sake of love, is a quintessential form of the ultimate masculine gift. “
- “She wants to feel this dark masculine capacity not simply because she wants to be ravished, but because it is a sign of your overall capacity to face and know death, your own and others'. And it is this capacity that makes you trustable as a man, both as a human warrior but also as a spiritual warrior. The knowledge of death makes you humble and courageous.”
Related article: How To Stop Being A Coward And Be Brave Instead
Part Six: Feminine Attractiveness
The main takeaway from part six is to have an abundance mindset. Especially with feminine energy. Deida suggests that there isn’t a shortage of feminine energy, just resistance to it.
Deida also touches on age again. He clarifies that older women can still have deep feminine beauty and radiance. We should support them and not demand they be like younger women.
Two Key Quotes From Part Six:
- “There is never a shortage of feminine energy, only a resistance to receiving, trusting, and embracing it.“
- Men should support older women in their wisdom, power, and intuitive and healing capacities. Men should not degrade older women by demanding or desiring them to be like young women. There should be no such comparison. Each age of woman has its own value, and the transition from superficial shine to deep radiance is inevitable
Part Seven: Body Practices
Men should pay close attention to this section.
Maybe you’re already familiar with the benefits of semen retention. If not, here’s the TL;DR: increased testosterone, increased motivation, increased sense of control, and decreased anxiety and stress levels. You won’t start levitating but the books kinda make it seem this way.
According to Deida, there are repercussions for not having full control of your ejaculation.
Firstly, a man who cannot control his ejaculations cannot satisfy his woman sexually or spiritually. Ongoing distrust is created as a result. Secondly, when a woman makes you ejaculate she has conquered you. If you want to improve your relationships then you should be intentional and learn to control your ejaculation.
This part gets deeper into how to actually have better sex through breathwork and various exercises.
Three Key Quotes From Part Seven:
- “When a man has no control over his ejaculation, he cannot meet his woman sexually or emotionally. She knows she can deplete him, weaken him, empty him of life force. She has won. When a man ejaculates easily, he creates ongoing distrust in his woman.”
- “If she’s never been with a man who has the capacity for full consciousness during sex, without conceding to the mechanical reflex of ejaculation, then she doesn’t even know the extent of her capacity. She doesn’t even realize how deep and ecstatic sexual loving can be.”
- “Your woman will be sexually, emotionally, and spiritually unfulfilled to the extent that you are addicted to ejaculation. And, in many ways, the world will be just as unfulfilled by your gifts.”
Part Eight: Men’s and Women’s Yoga of Intimacy
The final section of this book ties everything together nicely.
Deida pushed men to take accountability for their lives and future success with women, the world, and their purpose. He also makes it clear that men and women are equal beings, yet very different creatures. And this is okay.
One idea from this section that stood out is that men should restore their purpose in solitude with other men. This means you should spend time with other men who you trust, respect, and who are true to their purpose.
One Key Quote From Part Eight:
- “Intimate relationship is never the priority in a masculine man's life and always the priority in a feminine woman's life. If a man has a masculine sexual essence, then his priority is his mission, his direction toward greater release, freedom, and consciousness. If a woman has a feminine sexual essence, then her priority is the flow of love in her life, including her relationship with a man whom she can totally trust, in body, emotion, mind, and spirit. Man and woman must support each other in their priorities if the relationship is going to serve them both.”
Final take on The Way of The Superior Man
Overall, this book has served its purpose.
It's insightful and accurate and there are concrete actions you can take to improve your life.
Whilst spiritual in nature, there is still clear guidance for men. There are three core ideas I found to be consistent throughout the book.
- A man must discover and prioritize his purpose above everything else.
- A man shouldn't resent his woman for her feminine qualities.
- Fearlessness is the core of masculinity.
I would recommend this book to any man who is interested in self-improvement. Especially younger men who aren't exactly sure what their purpose is.