The wounded boy is scattered, impetuous, reactive, and random in his decision-making. Thus, his behaviors tend to be fragmented, confusing and disturbing. The wounded boy has no center to live from. No inner life has been cultivated. He finds no place of rest and refuge. He bounces off of the culture’s over-stimulated “Guyland” environment. When you ask a wounded boy: what do you want? He doesn’t know. He will tell you what he doesn’t want. He will tell you how messed up the world is, but he will not be able to articulate his deeper feelings and needs. That is the territory of the man. The man has a very strong sense of how he feels and what he needs. He knows what he doesn’t want but he also knows what he wants. And he will tell you. The reason the man knows what he wants is because he has a rich inner life. He values slowing down and listening to the myriad voices inside. He also values the deep nourishment of the wilderness. A man will trek out into the wild to reset his psychic life. He knows the wilderness is a reflection of his own nature. He knows that when his inner nature is congruent with the outer nature of the world, his decisions and behaviors will be more clear and rounded. The man has learned to pause and listen until he can feel a resonance with his inner and outer world. He doesn’t make decisions until he feels this congruence inside his heart. He cultivates a deep intuitive wisdom that he can trust. If he doesn’t feel this congruence inside, then he will slow down even more and really listen. He will also ask for the counsel of elders. This is a man that both listens to his inner life and asks for help when he needs it.
The wounded boy lives from a very small, constricted world. His decision-making abilities are almost nonexistent. Thus he cannot be trusted. He has little substance in his life, little depth. This pain of “lostness” is the very impetus that inevitably leads a boy toward self-reflection, what Carl Jung calls legitimate suffering. Hopefully a real man is around when the boy does go down into his muddled life. This is the wisdom where miracles happen.