Veronica Cardoso––Anthroposophist, artist, teacher and coach––is currently specifically interested in working with heterosexual, middle-aged men going through a mid-life crisis. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This conversation wasn’t the one we intended to have, but that’s what it turned into. And we laughed a lot throughout:)
PART 2 IS AVAILABLE BELOW, but will also be posted separately when its transcript is complete:
TRANSCRIPT OF PART 1:
Okay, folks. Hello. It’s been a while. Here I am with Thea Mason and Veronica Cardoso. So is that right? And Veronica and Thea are there in Oregon. I’m actually currently in Texas. We’ve all been all over a lot this past year. And before we begin, Veronica, would you tell us a little bit about your background, who you are? I know you’re a Waldorf person, a bit of an anthroposophical scholar, an artist, but just give us a little background please.
A two minute quickie? Okay.
Which means different things in different situations. My husband might think something different!
Mine too! Especially in the laundry area. So yeah, I want to talk about the birth because, you know, being born in the U.S., it reappears then in my life. I was born in Austin, Texas then grew up in Mexico City. Grew up, prepared to work as an artist, then left Mexico City to live in a rural place called Chapala–woods and lake. And was a little bit pushed out of this––what was the word––utopia, of this utopia? Through the violence of the narco war in those years in Mexico. Had my ticket, which was this American citizenship that I had never considered to be important and migrated to California.
How old were you then?
And I mean, one of the biggest jokes of my identity growing up was that I was a dry front instead of a wet back. My father loved to say that, because I was an American immigrant going into Mexico illegally. I grew up as an illegal America in Mexico City. Finally, I come back to my country and into California. And the only real part of America that I knew was Texas. So I was very used to a very different America.
And where in California did you land?
I landed in San Diego and studied Waldorf after many years of studying Anthroposophy, prepared to be a teacher, worked as a teacher, and left because of COVID. And I am rethinking, well through COVID had to rethink of what I wanted to do. If I wanted to, you know, work with masks and all this, which I said, absolutely no, I can’t and migrated again to Oregon, to the middle of the forest to continue my anthroposophical journey and studies to become a teacher of adults––trying to bring that deep philosophy in practical, everyday tools for the mother, the spouse, a child mother, conflict resolution, mediating in this different tools that Steiner called “The Seven Steps of Initiation.”
So in other words, bringing it to the householder without having to go through the many years of scholarly study to be able to grasp some of it. Yeah. Which is great. And I’m understanding that you are teaching this also online. You have online courses?
I have online students and work with individuals. Right now, the age group that I’m working with are 25 to 27, mainly. And mothers are, are very popular. I’m very interested and I am trying to find people of this group that are middle age men, which I’m very interested––in heterosexual––I’m going to even be more specific––heterosexual, middle-aged men that are going through it. That are going through their middle-age crisis in this world right now. And I’m, I’m very curious. And I’ve been seeing these characters come ask questions. No? And I’ve had, I’ve had a contact with this crisis and, and it’s really one of my biggest curiosities right now of what is that the substance of, of what that man of 45, 50 years old right now is going through. Because it’s a huge bridge, the world right now. For them.
And there’s so many things I actually want to ask, so I want to ask a question about that crisis in a minute first, but before we do, so if people were interested in contacting you to perhaps learn from you, you would be open to that?
So I’m going to, we’ll put your details in the comments, or, you know, when we put this on, on the Sacred Osiris website and the YouTube site. Okay. So that’s interesting, the middle aged male’s crisis. So do you think, or have you found that, that men didn’t used to go through this crisis, this period of this middle-age crisis, I guess until modern, recent times?
I mean, I think it’s, it’s very old. I saw my father go through it. I saw my father not being able to cross the bridge in the nineties, in the early nineties. I think he was hit with a whole lot of technology with the new language. And they’re uncared, for me, men are very uncared for, and it’s a very unpopular opinion. And they’re very uncared for in their processes, in their coming of age, it doesn’t exist anymore. So by the time that they come to this middle age, I feel them fussy. I feel them like, “eh, eh, eh.” And I’m wondering, what is it that they’re asking, and what can we do to bring that to them, in this age where it’s––for me, I can even sense sometimes like even a toddler, “I want it and I want it now!” “You’re an idiot, and you’re an idiot…” And for me, that’s a call for help.
That’s a call for landing in oneself. And I think there are––and this isn’t talked about too much in many circles–– there are a lot of groups of men coming together right now, Mankind Project, and a few other things where men are realizing what they have not had through their lifetimes and are holding spaces for men to come together and go, what does it mean to be a man right now? And how can we own our being here on earth and our journey in life and how can we show up for our family and our communities in real ways, you know? And that’s the conversation that we can go through so much more as, as people have moved away from church and religion, without these guideposts and different community elders or whatever. It’s like, they’re lost at sea.
Yeah, I mean, and definitely without traditional rites of passage, milestones for men. But the thing that––I know we weren’t planning on talking about this––but the thing that first strikes me and has struck me is just, I mean, we’ve all been with men, and men just like women can be childish, but men can definitely be childish. And it strikes me that it is really it’s the duty of the woman with that man to help them grow up. I mean, we’ve all seen our men encountering the challenges of life, challenges of becoming a parent. And how obviously scary that is for them, and I’m trying to be better and not so critical of the women in this society, but whether or not it’s a failing of those men’s mothers, which I do think largely is that. I mean, I think that the last couple of generations at least had been raised by grown-up children in a way, right? A lot of, lot of the women, even the 70 year olds that you’re going to meet somewhere along their traumas in childhood, they were arrested. That development. And so there’s still little girls crying at the drop of a hat, that never grew into themselves to be able to be these strong women who are like, “Nope, here’s what you do, my son, this is how you become a man. And, and here my husband, this is what a man means.” So, it’s complex.
I just want to add in just quickly in that. Like yes, to the women and yes to this is is part of that disassembling of our societal holding, cultural holding of one another, that hasn’t been there to guide. We we’ve been hijacked through these movements that have––we’ve talked about feminism, not that they don’t have seeds of truth and goodness. And like every movement we’ve talked about gets hijacked and we’re robbed more of what makes us family and guideposts to one another. And, I don’t know if I can communicate it properly, but I have two dogs right now, and I’m learning a lot about human beings through watching these two beings that have come into the world in very different ways. And when we talk about men hitting these different ages or women or whatever, when we as people are held from our own exploration and development of our inner landscape, we then tend to feel robbed and bitter at what’s outside there, because we haven’t had our wells filled up with our own development of our inner landscape.
And a big word for me right now is canceled. What, what it is to be canceled. And the more that I want to say that to be canceled is a new activity, it is a big activity and alarming, the way that we’re handling it right now, because social media explodes everything. Yet I was asking myself yesterday, “When was the heterosexual male canceled?” Twenties, thirties? When did that happen? When did that cancellation of them start, and how, I mean, I totally understand that male toxicity, but the one that I really understand is the female toxicity because I have to dismantle that in me constantly. I have to dismantle my feminist that my father, you know, “Cut them off! You cut them off.” I had these scissors made for me, just to caught off their balls and just be done with it, you know? So I have to dismantle that in myself to be fair, to be in service of the male and to be able to then commune and receive the male. And when was that heterosexual male canceled. And in the school system, in every single layer you don’t receive, you are severed off the fountain of growth.
Yeah. I know this wasn’t what we were going to talk about, but Thea and I, we’ve talked about it, but not in this depth. And not looking at it from these angles.
We’ve talked more aa mothers to sons, in seeing this, too. But this is definitely rich.
I know. When did they, when did they start getting canceled? And Veronica, when you’re saying twenties, thirties, you mean 1920s, 1930s. Is that what you’re saying? Do you think so?
With the wars. The World Wars.
When you talk about having lived through a patriarchy, I mean, men have had it really hard. Not a popular opinion.
No, not, but I think less unpopular than the media wants you to believe. Right?
That’s the other topic.
It’s another topic. So, okay. Well, I don’t know, do we want to keep talking about this? I mean, Veronica, do you want to add a little bit more insight that you have into it from an anthroposophical perspective?
Well, yeah, that would be a great jump outside, like to bridge into what we’re here to (talk about.) Because we come back to finding ourselves or being human. And we harm each other in our communities, for Millennials, for the evident stamp that we have of gender, of color, you know, all these things and we cancel something. “Oh, you’re too big. I don’t want to be little. Then I cancel you. I sever you. I hurt you. I fight you.” Instead of being, “oh, wow, there’s a bigger person here. Let me open up and listen.”
And be inspired by their bigness to become big myself.
Exacto. Or, “Oh, wow, I’m with a smaller person. I’m bigger. Let me be a good elder. What am I going to produce? What am I going to consume?” And that dance and that relaxation comes by, I would say, curiosity in the other person, true meeting of the other. And I don’t know how somehow I would even say this craziness, but curiosity kind of now comes as the counterpart of fear. Because if we live in fear, then you’re a toxic male, then you’re a white whatever. Then you’re a slave descendent. I mean, I don’t know. All these labels appear out of fear and other things in history and whatever. I’m not going to cancel that either, but we, in this time. Where we’re pulling in that’s I feel still out of the fear, out of the trauma, out of unresolved issues. When, if we meet the man with with interest, what does this human being need? This woman, what do they need? And, it’s like let’s be Joan of Arc without the bandana. Traves? Como?
Bandana? Joan of Arc with the bandana?
The flag, the flag!
Oh, the banner, the banner. Got it.
Without that etiquette, like “what is there without putting myself out there” could be the start of a lot of understanding and shedding of the fear of.
And I want to add one thing if this makes sense. When she was giving the picture of someone who’s got a big presence, and someone who’s feeling a little contracted––I mean, that’s the, “don’t make your candle brighter by blowing someone else’s out.” Right? And with the big candle, this is something I have talked about, it’s like, how do we, when we’re feeling big and we’re in a fullness of ourselves, allow space for someone else to experience their own fullness as well, because that’s there too. Not that we get smaller, but that there’s the allowing and that holding of a space for, and that comes with interest. That’s a way we, we encourage. I’m mean, I’m thinking of as a parent with our kid, what are the dynamics we work with to draw them into, or out of their box a little bit.
It’s the shells. And those, Steiner would call them dead concepts. They’re dead. It’s a dead end. They’re not fertile places, but we have so many of those. Dead concepts versus the curiosity, the opening, the fertile. No?
Yeah. What strikes me too, is that when I think of all this, the identity politics, that’s a plague now, perpetuated by the media and the divisive puppet masters, I’d say, when I think of the different factions and groups who are embracing a victim mentality, and finding a villain to target, to attack, to cancel, when I then think about this, this word that you talk about, “the counterpart to fear is curiosity,” when we are curious, where we are curious about people, we have to be––not just have to be––but we’re not self-absorbed, right? We’re not, we’re not inside ourselves when we’re curious about someone else. We kind of expand outside ourselves in being curious about someone and kind of seeking to understand them, to interact and engage with their being.
So like you say, I mean, I’m just kind of echoing what you’re saying, but I’m understanding it now. This shell, this shell of self absorption is like a traumatized child or something that just doesn’t know how to get outside of it. Right? So what do we do for those folks who are caught in this cancel culture cult of identity, where they’re seeing the other as a villain, any other as a villain? I want to help those men who are victims of the “Me too” craziness, but how do we help the ones who are victimizing them?
It makes me think of, have interest in the villains in the fairytales. Like learn the qualities of each of the characters, not only the villain, but all of this, starting with the other, we start there, I start with, where are you? What do you need? What are you thinkig? Interest, I mean, that’s what Steiner talks about. Interest. Interest is love. And that’s how we transform these dead ends, because fear and cutting you off takes us nowhere.
It’s an end game. Right?
And we’ve seen, you know, the eighties and the nineties and the two thousands, and we’ve seen this culture grow into what we’re in the pit that we’re now in of the wrong. “You’re wrong!” Versus my opinion and your opinion, and versus truly being scientific and thinking out loud, thinking life. And there’s very little spaces to think live because we need to be liked. And sometimes when I’m thinking loud and live, it’s not a prefab and it’s going to come out because words, what we bring from the unseen that is our consciousness into the material––It’s messy! Because language is so limited in what we truly access. But then there’s this dance culture of likeability, because if you’re not liked, you’re out.
(PART 2 TRANSCRIPT WILL BE POSTED SEPARATELY UPON COMPLETION)