One way to approach this subject is to look up Frans de Waal’s video on Chimpanzees to better understand the term alpha.

Labeling someone an alpha or beta is demeaning to people. For one thing, no such thing exists in humans. Why not? Because human life is too complex for such a simple term.

If we were limited to a highly predictable existence where we ate leaves all day and slept in a nest of grasses at night, interspersed with banging a few females, maybe. But, we don’t.

I like to say that if you are broken down at night in the middle of buttfuck nowhere your money or muscles don’t matter. The only alpha around is the tow truck driver who shows up to rescue your stranded ass.

Men defer to expertise. That’s one reason we build cultures. And, everyone has something to offer. None of us is expert at everything. “None of us knows the all of anything,” is the quote by Robert Louis Stevenson my father had written in marker on his bookcase at home.

Sure, we exist on a continuum of maternal care at one end and predatory aggression at the other, and we tend to form hierarchies. But those tend to always be job or context specific.

When the general gets to a river with his army, he calls in the raft guys to get across—if they are successful, they win the day and are celebrated (like the tow truck operator in the middle of the night). When the general gets to a castle wall, the siege machine operators will carry the day. And why is there a general? It’s because he knows enough shit to lead an army. It’s all context. In fact, context is everything.

If you work at a high-tech company and you’re the smartest engineer out of 200 and can work hard and be social, expect to rise to the top. Everyone under you is beta? Come on.

No man is all things in all situations.

The other issue is labeling in general doesn’t allow as easily the transition from weakness to power. It says you are “this way” or “that way” when in fact, all of us have the capacity to be weak at times, just as we all have the capacity to be more powerful.

I’ve had occasion to think hard about labels because of my own life and expertise around addictions. I’ve known too many hard-core gangsters who became decent men, myself included. And, I have known people written off as hopeless alcoholics or junkies who defeated their compulsion. Too many to call them names.

I much prefer to use weakness and powerful because any weak man can act and be more powerful in an instant if he’s called to do so by his spirit. That’s why we love the come-from-behind story of the underdog vanquishing obstacles to succeed at something. From weakness and insignificance to power and significance is within reach for each and everyone one of us.

Self concept is how you see yourself contrasted against how you believe others see you. One is the character you build and the identity you form, the other is the remnant personality and habits derived from your environmental feedback loop.

The younger you are the more you experience your environment physically (read family, school, etc.). Those experiences are recorded into the very neurons of your body. That’s where feelings and your subconscious exist. You have the same neurons for life.

The male brain doesn’t fully develop until age thirty. That’s why addictions are often picked up before that age. It’s also the age where a significant amount of people give up an addiction on their own. (the rest need extra help and keep men like me busy).

So why would we saddle a male with a term like beta? I’ll tell you why: Competition derived from predatory aggression and our tendencies to hierarchies.

There are two main ways males tend to compete.

In one way, we go head to head, mano a mano, or often against a group of men. Each lays down their best performance and may the best man win. This is how we discover who among us has expertise we can use for the group’s benefit. Afterwards, in that context, we remember who our top man or men are, so that if that situation arises again, we know who to call.

Men tend to have relationships with a wide variety of groups of other men. They can form loose bonds and move in and out of these groups with a fair amount of ease. Women, on the other hand, tend to have just one or two (and usually no more than five) girlfriends she guards jealously. These she uses for emotional regulation. Men generally have no such need.

This is another reason why men build cultures; and why women tend to stress-test them.

But it’s the second way men compete which is often problematic: It’s the put down.

Men test each other from an early age. You can see it in kids as young as grade two or three, where boys push each other to find out if you are a girl or a boy. Researchers who study this figure it’s because it is boys who grow up and defend their tribes and nations.

It is said the calling out and such is an early form of making sure the other males will be able to stand next to you and fight the enemy later in life. The literature suggests an innate trait.

Little boys create imaginary enemies early in life. Little girls do not do this. Give a piece of cloth to five-year-old kids and a boy will make a cape and become a superhero; a little girl spreads it on the ground and has a picnic with her dolls and stuffed toys.

If you hook up fMRI to males and present them with two situations, one where he competes head to head fairly, and one where he competes by putting others down, the same reward centers of the brain light up, and doesn’t discern between the two.

This may be why bullying will never completely go away.

Examining these two approaches used by men, one is prosocial, while the other is not. Anything beyond mild ball busting is, in most cases, very much antisocial, but derived from that insecurity found in children who test each other’s interdependence.

We don’t apologize for being men. That’s my stance. Yet, that doesn’t mean we don’t try to become better men. Or, in fact, grow into becoming the best men we can be.

So, men’s way of challenging each other exists on a competition continuum. It might go from head to head group or individual competing to mild ball busting to calling each other out directly to outright bullying to punching each other in the face.

I’d ask anyone reading this if calling others “beta men” is just a way to affirm their own status, a way to aggrandize themselves at someone else’s expense. What’s behind that?

Given what we know about how people take in information from their environments below age thirty, who does it help to call someone beta?

That part of self-concept which derives from how you believe others see you can both propel you forward but also become a burden. For many, their family of origin programming and childhoods are a cross they bear.

Trust me when I say I have lived too faulted a life to judge anyone else’s with much conviction.

I was once diagnosed an antisocial after I shot someone and spent 30 days in a locked psychiatric ward being assessed by the courts. You can bet that label followed me thereafter.

I’ve also been weak in my lifetime enough times to know people can and do change. I’m living proof a man can claim his power for good if he wants. Yet, it is only by bringing things into awareness that we advance the possibility of change.

Which brings me to my last point: something I call PHD. The paradox of human development says adults make your decisions when you were a child experiencing your environment physically (remember, your brain does not fully develop until near age 30).

You needed protection, shelter, sustenance, and nurturing, and so, created a conforming ego to survive. You did this with the heart and mind of a child, internalizing sensations, images, behaviours, feelings, and meanings, which obscured your true self.

We all have this judgmental side to us as a result. When we judge ourselves, others, or circumstances harshly, we are operating from the basis of what Freud called the superego. Carl Jung called it the conforming ego.

It’s Grandma’s law: “eat your vegetables before dessert.” It’s: “don’t talk back to adults.” It’s all the rules you were told to follow… for your own good. It’s the demand you tow the line.

It’s that part of you which was taught to you by parents and teachers and other adults around you as a child echoing in the back of your mind, often showing up as the “inner critic.”

These thoughts are usually expressed under the tyranny of words like “should, would, could, what if, if only and must,” serving to remind you that you are not good enough, keeping you fearful and uncertain. Not only do we beat ourselves up under this conforming ego, but we project it out to the people around us and our circumstances. We make demands of others.

We have studied this: it’s not your best side. I go further: your quest in life is to dampen this conforming ego and develop your own identity, one which manifests your gifts. The conforming ego is stultifying, existing only to keep you safe. It keeps you playing small.

Watching Frans De Waal’s talk about alpha chimps—who do spend all day eating leaves and sleeping in nest of grasses at night and banging chimp wenches—you will discover the basis of what Jung called the King archetype in humans. Chimp DNA is less than 3% different than that of humans (male and female humans have less than a 2% difference).

De Waal’s alpha chimp not only get to bang the wenches, but also get to look after ALL the members of the troupe, right down to the weakest. Roosters do the same thing.

And, if an alpha chimp doesn’t work to benefit the whole troupe, a few lesser males will get together and take him out. Humans do the same thing. A version of this leaked out from Vietnam vets in the 1970s about “fragging” a bully unit commander. In the heat of battle, it was “sorry, somehow, Sarge took one to the back of the head.” Happens with gangsters all the time as well.

That’s another compelling reason why using the term alpha for humans is misplaced.

Archetypes are instinctual energies found in all of mankind. Everywhere you go, people are afraid of the dark. Everywhere you go, people are afraid of heights. And, the same metaphors are repeated in cultural histories the world over despite being continents and millennia apart.

Carl Jung said these archetypes were proof of the existence of a “collective unconscious.” One such energy is the King archetype. It exists in every man.

According to Jungian analysts Moore and Gillette, the archetype of the King is responsible for order, fertility, and blessings.  What is a realm without order?

Now, we are not referring to wanton order imposed by a tyrant. No. We are speaking of order in the sense the needs of the many outweigh those of the few. We are talking Golden Rule.

Fertility is all about the mental, physical, social, and spiritual health of the ruler whose acts are in service of the greater good. It’s the benevolent King. When the King is healthy and rules with passion for his people, the crops grow, the granaries and pantries of the kingdom are full, and the loyalty of the people is assured. And, the women willingly produce offspring.

Blessings are the Kingly equivalent of encouragement. In a monarchy, the King might “Knight” a subject as a way of recognizing their contribution to society. He may even create an “order” bearing their name. The King can hand out “merits” and other rewards to the citizens of the realm.

Suffice it to say, a man aware of his King energy will see the good in people, often before they see it in themselves, and makes sure to let others know they are appreciated.

Look, I’m not perfect at this but you can bet we all live more powerful lives when we embrace our King energy and live up to our “true self.” Judging others always comes from a place of fear. Better to just notice how others are and then rise to your best self.

The advantage of the higher self is that it sees the silver lining, the gift in anything. This energy can spot the gold in others and serves to bring out people’s best.

Your duty to the universe is to find your true self once more.

It is to examine the beliefs, meanings, sensations, images, feelings, and behaviours inherited from your PHD upbringing, discarding what you have outgrown while adopting a truer identity with which to manifest your gifts.

Not because you can, not because you want to, but because it is what you owe.

Stay powerful, never give up

©CKWallace, June, 2020, all rights reserved
Advisor to Men, Mentor at Large



No one becomes a parent with the intention to fuck a kid up. Every parent has good intentions. It’s a paradox of human development that we arrive here out of chaos but also from the infinite wisdom of a universe which does not make mistakes. It would be hubris to believe otherwise.

When it comes to men and women, it has been decades since I abandoned the notion that the two genders are similar enough to assign differences to some minor configuration of upbringing or inborn temperament or personality.

To be sure women can do pretty much anything a man can do but will have durable preferences found around the world. It is said there is less than 2% difference in male and female DNA. Not much, until you consider the DNA differences between humans and chimpanzees is somewhere around 3%.

The important of fathers to young boys is in the news, with many believing it is a crisis prevalent in western culture. Books and blogs abound on the subject, not only about absent fathers but inadequate ones too. We have suffered several generations of decline in the role of men in their children’s lives as the move to cities replaced the family farm of old.

For men actively raising sons, I want to urge caution when confronted by the egalitarian forces of political correctness. While my daughter should have equal opportunity in life as should my son, they are too different to be called equals outside that they are both little humans beloved by their parents.

Recently, a large study was undertaken in New York and Illinois involving 200 kids. The study tested for chivalrous behaviour in young boys. The international study, carried out in partnership with New York University (NYU), found that “both boys and girls have ingrained sexist attitudes towards women.

Girls change these attitudes as they age, however, boys tend to keep their “benevolent, patronizing views”, surmises the study published in the scientific journal Sex Roles.

It is my contention these kinds of studies, often widely reported in the news, are not worth the paper they are written on.

Authors of the study asked a couple of hundred kids questions and used benevolent statements like ‘men need to protect women from danger’ as well as hostile questions, like ‘women get more upset than men about small things’.

Incredibly (or laughably) researchers found “hostile sexism decreased with age for both boys and girls, benevolent sexism decreased with age only for girls.”

So we are not talking about the idea that women get more upset or are more emotional as a prejudice carried into adulthood, but specifically “benevolent sexism” such as wanting to protect women from danger.

Furthermore, the authors contend this means little boys grow up to be “patronizing” to women. Because, of course, wanting to protect women (and by extension, children) is somehow putting women down.

It is precisely the kind of white night claptrap that has good-intentioned men everywhere confused. Thank the social constructionists for this one.

These two men, Matthew Hammond from University of Victoria and Andrei Cimpian from NYU are idiots. Hammond insists, “these principles (men defending women from danger) could be harmful down the track.”

Let me bring you in on a little secret. Girls are egalitarian, boys are competitive. In study after study, at very young ages—well before nurture can supplant nature—little girls and little boys see and act in the world differently.

Scarcity creates value. That’s why diamonds and gold are expensive. A man produces billions of sperm per month, she usually produces one egg.

Her value as a caregiver to young and old and everyone in between makes her the more precious sex. In the most egalitarian cultures of the world like the Scandinavian countries, women with the greatest options still choose to become teachers and nurses and caregivers.

Give a 2 x 3 foot piece of material to a 4 year old boy and one to a girl and he’s making a cape to become a superhero to fight enemies while she spreads it out on the ground to have a picnic with her dolls and stuffies.

Give kids in grade school word puzzles in a team of eight, boys will compete and give each other answers contributing to the whole while girls find ONE girl they can pair up with and work on their puzzle, effectively turning a team of 8 girls into four teams of two. They get things done but in their own way.

Get grade school kids to race each other. Boys and girls together: best times; boys against boys: best times; girls against girls: times drop. Why? Because to standout among the other girls means risking social exclusion. We compete differently.

A study of almost a half million over twenty years in Europe confirmed men’s advantage in all things spatial whereas women were better at reading emotions and verbal skills. Things or people is a real male to female preference.

So, none of these require men to protect a woman. They are just differences between two complimentary sexes. Nature had a plan.

However, men are heavier, taller and have greater lung capacity. They have bigger hearts and more red blood cells. Their wounds heal faster. The cranium in males is thicker in front.

Men have denser and stronger bones whereas women have more delicate skeletons, including a thinner cranium (I cringe watching female boxing). Men have larger teeth, more muscle and less fat.

We are stronger by 50% in the upper body and by 40% in the lower body. Our hand strength is greater—which is why you open the pickle jars at home.

Men’s brains are about a quarter pounder bigger but neurons fire differently. His connectivity is more back to front and within hemisphere, whereas she has greater connectivity between the two hemispheres.

But where guys like Hammond and Cimpian get off the track is in decrying that little boys are being nurtured to have patronizing views of women just because they carry chivalrous tendencies as children that endure. There is no such danger.

Would you have women not be defended by men? What kind of culture would that produce?

Intra-partner violence occurs at the same rate of less than one in five couples with differences in how men and women fight contributing to varying consequences. There exists a tiny percentage of males who are serial abusers. One of the best remedies for such a woman is to surround herself with other men who can protect her from such a man. It works, well.

I have a young son going to turn seven and a daughter who has just turned nine. You can bet I want my boy defending his sister. Just as I want her looking out for him as he winds his way through school two grades behind her.

Little boys grow up to be the young men who defend nations, standing shoulder to shoulder with other young men and fighting enemies. They prepare their whole lives for this possibility. It’s a hardwired trait which shows up in the crib.

There is good reason we admonish young men with scolds like “that’s no way to treat a lady” and “ladies first” and so forth. Would you have a sinking Titanic with the men leaving the women and children on deck and filling the lifeboats to save themselves because otherwise their chivalry might seem “patronizing?”

Look, these fuckwads who call themselves social scientists are a passing fad.

I want to bring your attention to the Lindy Effect: a book which has been published for one hundred years and still being read is almost assuredly going to be read in one hundred years more. A book published three months ago has almost no chance of being read in a hundred years.

See the difference? I’ll bet on nature. Maybe you should too.

Human sexes are complimentary. We came to fit each other like a lock and key over millions of years of evolution to the efficiencies of modern existence.

We have always banded together and taken advantage of each other’s strengths while shoring up each other’s weakness. In my humble opinion, it is unnatural to NOT defend a woman who needs it, just as it is unnatural to discourage this essential protector spirit in our young boys.

Every young man needs to learn how to treat a lady. Not only is it polite, the differences in how women process information and their differing priorities in life, as well as the contrasts in approaches to competition and to intimate relationships require finesse.

A boy should learn this from his mother for she is his model for love. And as surely as he must leave her to become a man, his respect for women hopefully remains. It is her prerogative to teach her boys what she feels they should know, just as it will be part of their maturation to leave behind that which no longer serves them once they reach and live their adulthood. Besides, that’s part of what dads are for: to offer perspective as well as their experience.

We need more chivalry, not less. The answer to problems of masculinity is more masculinity, not less. The young boys in this study display some of the best of what it is to be male and these dipshits sociologist want to erase it in the name of remotely possible “patronizing” behaviour later. This is male weakness at play, the feminization of the school system all the way past graduate levels.

Besides, the challenges and fun between the sexes are mostly in our differences. These we should celebrate as fantastic challenges for which we were made.

Stay powerful, never give up

Advisor, mentor

©2019 CKWALLACE all rights reserved

Chivalrous boy behavior Hammond

Physiological sex diffences

Racing grade school kids
The Sexual Paradox, Susan Pinker (2008) chapter 8

Grade school word puzzle teams
Warriors and Worriers, Joyce Benenson, (2014)

Other worthwhile reading:
Men and Women, an Inside Story, Donald Plaff, (2011)
Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, 4th edition, Diane Halpern, (2012)


I’ve felt this gloom and I have gone deep with it. In fact, I’m just coming out of a depression which lasted a year. During that time, I didn’t work out as I usually do. I craved carbs and ate sweets more often too. I was slowed down. Sure, I was recovering from injuries which made things worse but I know my sluggishness was more than just from this.

I slept much more, often nine hours per night after being a seven hour per night guy for thirty plus years. And, the bi-phasic sleep I’m accustomed to from a lifetime of waking in the middle of the night and reading for an hour, was often absent. I slept right through it almost half the time and had trouble getting up and facing the day. I soldiered on because that’s what men do. it’s what people do.

Furthermore, after a few months, I knew I was depressed. I didn’t talk about it to missus, nor did I burden anyone else. Men were my confidants, it was to these few I turned as I searched for answers, as I sought to realign my life in response to my body’s signaling. You see, I knew what was going on, lucky to have that kind of awareness. I think most of us do know the answers;  we just need to let them bubble up and spill out. Then, we need to believe.

After finally taking the necessary steps to course-correct over the past two months, Bingo! the depression lifted. And that’s the thing: In my heart of hearts, I knew a year or two ago I needed to make these changes and resisted because of external pressures. I have a family to look after, a wife who needs certainty, children who depend upon me. I was compromising my existence for others. It’s a typically male trap though not exclusive to men. Sound familiar?

First off, you must realize your depression is a normal thing. People sometimes get hung up on the issue of depression and think it means they are broken, that there is something wrong with them, that there is a “normal” out there and by some accident of fate, they don’t fit the bill.

Of course, this is bullshit. And it’s not only bullshit we tell ourselves, it’s often the same bullshit implied by the medical community. It’s a chicken and egg thing: Did my depression cause my chemical imbalance or did my chemical imbalance cause my depression? More like a dog chasing its tail.

Every year, the Mental Health Awareness Week folks remind us that one in five adults will have a MAJOR depressive episode in their lifetime. That’s a lot of people, a big chunk of us. So, if 20% of the population gets a big depression at some point, you can safely bet the rest of the people feel depressed at some level at some time too. I’d take those odds.

This means it’s a normal thing. Clearly, this psychological mechanism has survived tens of thousands of years of evolution for a reason. Traits generally only stick around because they are needed. We wouldn’t all feel it if it didn’t serve an important function. And, it does.

Then there’s grief. People can become depressed after the loss of a loved one. Grief has that effect on you and me, though 97% of people return to a version of normal within a year. A few take heartbreak and refuse to let it go. We must respect this while recognizing the drivers behind it: We exist in each other.

The idea that you are over there, and I am over here, is an inadequate way to describe us. Losing a loved one means that part of us which exists in them is put into doubt. This shatters our trust in the world, our operating paradigm is forever altered. It’s only resolved to a kind of imperfect homeostatic balance by settling for the part of them which echoes endlessly in us. It’s an honourable process, and a big part of what it is to be human. Our need to belong to each other is universal.

Relatedly, depression is your signal to look at your model of the world and give it a tune-up. Something is not working for you, profoundly, and needs your attention. It may need a complete overhaul and rebuild. Something may need to die or be abandoned, or at least be reborn as something else. That’s what depression is, and there is no need to conflate it beyond this powerful simplicity. How you understand your world and operate within it is what’s broken, not you.

So, what does the body do in this case? It slows down, becomes lethargic at times, sleep and eating is affected, and we turn inwards, a great introspection of doubt and questioning occurs. Our thinking slows as well, often looping, like a skipping record, and usually becoming narrower in scope as we fixate on the things which cause us pain. We are so enamored with our suffering we actively turn away from happiness.

No one fixes another’s depression. Just as it’s true we do depression rather than it does us.

We may think positively, telling ourselves we really ought to lighten up, but for all our cognitive steering, the body doesn’t seem to follow. That’s because the body is where your feelings lie. I suspect it is your methyl groups passed down ancestrally added to your lifetime databank of emotional experiences which comprises your soul. The soul is in the body, linking all of your organs but particularly the heart and the belly, connected to the brain by the vagus.

Perhaps it’s trite to say we are all on a journey, but call it what you wish. Depression is the dark night of the soul in your hero’s journey.

  • You’ll remember these ten steps of ancestral myth:
    1. Hero confronted with challenge
    2. Rejects challenge
    3. Accepts challenge
    4. Road of trials
    5. Gathering allies and gaining powers
    6. Confront evil and defeated
    7. Dark night of the soul
    8. The leap of faith
    9. Confront evil and victorious
  • 10  The student becomes a teacher

Number 7 is a tough step. It causes pain. It’s a black cloud of inability and doubt which befalls us. Hopelessness sets in so that the affected being is rubbed painfully and cruelly into the mire. Hard to see it this way but it is purposeful torment.

It’s like when you dive too deeply in water as a child and are running out of air, you look up and see the light at the surface and it’s a race to kick your way to oxygen before you pass out and drown. You give it all your might, every ounce of your body and will combined.

It’s like when the bully has you pinned down and is slapping your face and suddenly, you find the power you did not know you had to buck him off and escape.

It’s sourced from the same stuff as when a person finds the superhuman power to lift a car off a loved one after an accident. It’s an agonizing call to reach deep and pull out all the stops. It’s a silent scream inside us that’s says “NO.”

How many times have you been pushed into danger, into a situation where you felt like your survival was in question, and found somewhere inside you the resources to overcome and live? Pushed to grow, by some means you carried on. We do until called to grow once again; it’s complacency we should curse.

That’s what depression is. It’s the universe tantalizingly telling you to adapt. It’s demanding change. It’s saying you’re coming up short, that the life it bestowed upon you is under threat and it demands your care. It screams at you for adjustments, and lets you know through the whole chain of your being with pain, confusion, darkness and hopelessness. She’s a hard taskmaster our universe. There’s a billion stars in the Andromeda Galaxy I like to remind people. Best not fuck with that kind of force.

Like a child demanding attention, depression is a temper tantrum of the soul. It’s a test of your balls. It’s a doubter, the take-away closer who says, “Maybe this isn’t for you.” It’s a push at your boundaries of tolerance, demanding a greater integration of your parts. It’s nature calling you, provocatively wondering if you have what it takes to stand up for yourself and declare, “THE PAIN STOPS HERE.”

Like confidence, depression can be lifted from one big change or a series of small things which add up to a retooling of your model of the world. Sometimes changing jobs, moving to a new city, or leaving or gaining a relationship allows the light of change to shine in. But that’s rarely enough.

At other times, these are temporary because the internal operating model is what really needed attention. In my case I realized I was compromising my life and whatever gifts I have to satisfy responsibilities to others. Realizing, I do this as a tendency, having done it most of my life. And of course, I could source this to an abandonment fear as a child, to a deep toxic shame inculcated in my early years as broken and not good enough.

This gift meant my method was to become more, so as to convince myself and others around me I was worthwhile. This nice guy strategy works… until it no longer does. I needed to change jobs and set limits, imposing boundaries to keep my sanity, so I did.

Knowing all this, feeling the pain as a signal for change, what’s one tiny step you could take? Just one thing in what you think or what you do. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Our expectations drive all of our disappointments. Change one thing, then another. Soon you will have a direction. You will know if it’s right for you because your body will tell you. Our eyes see out but somehow you will see the fog within begin to lift.

When the way in which we see ourselves measured up against how we believe others see us is lived consistently, we go confidently into the night. We are ready to meet challenges, putting order to chaos, best expressing the gifts given to us by life. Self-concept is destiny.

So ask yourself: what shall I do with my metamorphosis?

What kind of butterfly will emerge when you are done?

This is your act of creation.

Stay powerful,

Christopher K Wallace
©2018 all rights reserved