The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

The Book in a Few Sentences

A must-read for men. Everything you thought you knew about women is (probably) wrong. If you want to understand and transform your relationship to women, read these notes. Seriously.

The Way of the Superior Man summary

This is my book summary of The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida. My summary and notes include the key lessons and most important insights from the book.


  • This book is a guide for a specific kind of newly evolving man. 
  • This man is unabashedly masculine—he is powerful, confident, and directed, living a chosen way of life with deep integrity and humor—and he is sensitive, spontaneous, and spiritually alive, with a heart-commitment to discovering and living his deepest truth.
  • This kind of man is totally turned on by the feminine. He loves to take his woman sexually, to ravish her, but not in some old-style macho fashion.
  • Rather, he wants to ravish her with so much love she is vanished, they both vanish, in the fullness of loving itself. 
  • He is dedicated to incarnating love on this earth, through his work and his sexuality, and he does so as a free man, bound neither by outer convention nor inner cowardice.
  • Until fairly recently, modern roles for men and women were fixed and separated. Men were supposed to go out and early money. Women were supposed to stay home and take care of the kids.
  • Next came (and is still coming) a stage in which men and women both sought to balance their inner masculine and feminine energies toward “50/50,” becoming more like one another.
  • Side effects of this trend toward sexual similarity can be seen as a major cause of today’s unhappiness in intimacy. 
  • The trend toward 50/50 has resulted in economic and social equality, but also in sexual neutrality.
  • Sexual attraction is based on sexual polarity, which is the force of passion that arcs between masculine and feminine poles.
  • You have to animate the masculine and feminine differences if you want to play in the field of sexual passion.
  • You may not know your mission, but unless you discover this deep purpose and live it fully, your life will feel empty at its core, even if your intimate relationship and family life are full of love.
  • The “mission” or the search for freedom is the priority of the masculine, whereas the search for love is the priority of the feminine.
  • Even though all people have both masculine and feminine qualities that they could use in any moment—to kick corporate ass or nurture children, for instance—most men and women also have a more masculine or feminine core.
  • Regardless of gender or sexual orientation, if you want to experience deep spiritual and sexual fulfillment, you must know your natural sexual essence—masculine, feminine, or balanced—and live true to it.
  • This book is a guide to shedding pretense and living true to your core, specifically for people who have a masculine sexual essence…
  • A person who denies their own essence and hides their true desires is divided and unable to relax into the full openness of love.
  • If you have a masculine sexual essence then you would probably admit, if you were being brutally honest, that your intimate relationship is just not as important to you as the “mission” in your life—but you still want a full and energetic intimate relationship, perhaps quite badly. How do you deal with this often misunderstood dilemma?
  • Heart and spine must be united in a single man, and then gone beyond in the fullest expression of love and consciousness possible, which requires deep relaxation into the infinite openness of this present moment.

Part One: A Man’s Way

1: Stop Hoping for a Completion of Anything in Life

  • It’s never going to be over, so stop waiting for the good stuff.
  • Do what you love to do, what you are waiting to do, what you’ve been born to do, now.
  • The feminine always seems chaotic and complicated from the perspective of the masculine.
  • Practice love instead of trying to bring an end to the quality that bothers you. You can’t escape from the tussle with the feminine. Learn to find humor in the unending emotional drama the feminine seems to enjoy so much.

2: Live With an Open Heart Even If It Hurts

  • Only when the front of your body is relaxed and opened, your breath full and deep, and your gaze unguarded and directly connected with another person’s eyes can your fullest intelligence manifest spontaneously in the situation.

3: Live As If Your Father Were Dead

  • How would you have lived your life differently if you had never tried to please your father?

4: Know Your Real Edge and Don’t Fake It

  • The more a man is playing his real eye, the more valuable he is as good company for other men, the more he can be trusted to be authentic and fully present.
  • Your edge is where you stop short, or where you compromise your fullest gift, and, instead, cater to your fears.

5: Always Hold To Your Deepest Realization

  • Make your life an ongoing process of being who you are, at your deepest, most easeful levels of being.
  • How many hours today was your attention focused in the realm of change—on events, people, thoughts, and experiences—and how often was your attention relaxed into its source?

6: Never Change Your Mind Just to Please a Woman

  • If you choose to go with your woman’s suggestion even when deep in your heart, you feel that another decision is more wise, you are, in effect, saying, “I don’t trust my own wisdom.”
  • You are weakening your woman’s trust in you: why should she trust your wisdom if you don’t?

7: Your Purpose Must Come Before Your Relationship

  • Your mission is your priority. Unless you know your mission and have aligned your life to it, your core will feel empty.
  • Time you spend with your woman should be time you really want to be with her more than anything else.

8: Lean Just Beyond Your Edge

  • Once you are honest with yourself about your real edge, it is best to lean just beyond it.
  • Your fear is the sharpest definition of your self.
  • Staying with the fear, staying at your edge, allows real transformation to occur.

9: Do It for Love

  • So they [men] diddle their woman and the world just enough to extract the pleasure and comfort they need to assuage their nagging sense of falsity and incompleteness.  
  • No limit to the depth of being. Only openness, freedom, and love as the legacy of your intercourse with woman and world.
  • Otherwise, if you sheepishly penetrate them to gratify your own needs, your woman and the world will feel your lack of dedication, depth, and truth. Rather than yielding in love to your loving, they will distract you, suck your energy, and draw you into endless complications, so that your life and relationship become an almost constant search fro release from constraint.

10: Enjoy Your Friends’ Criticism

  • About once a week, you should sit down with your closest men friends and discuss what you are doing in your life and what you are afraid of doing.
  • Good friends should not tolerate mediocrity in one another.
  • Without this masculine force in your life, your direction becomes unchecked, and you are liable to meander in the mush of your own ambiguity and indecision.

11: If You Don’t Know Your Purpose, Discover It, Now

  • Without a conscious life-purpose a man is totally lost, drifting, adapting to events rather than creating events.
  • This empty feeling will undermine not only your “erection” in the world, but your erection with your woman, too.

12: Be Willing To Change Everything in Your Life

  • As you open yourself to living at your edge, your deepest purpose will slowly begin to make itself known. 
  • In the meantime, you will experience layer after layer of purposes, each one getting closer and closer to the fullness of your deepest purpose.
  • As you dissolve each layer and more toward the center, you will more and more be living from your deeper purposes, and then your deepest heart purpose, whatever that is, in every moment.
  • After completing one layer of purpose, you might not know what to do with your life.
  • You know that the old project is over for you, but you are not sure of what is next. 
  • At this point, you must wait for a vision. 
  • Don’t watch TV or play computer games. Don’t go out drinking beer with your friends every night or start dating a bunch of women. 
  • Simply wait.
  • When it comes, it usually won’t be a detailed vision. 
  • When the impulse begins to arise, act on it. Don’t wait for the details. Learn by trial and error what it is you are to do.
  • And the, one day, a few years later, it is finished. This layer has been dissolved. 
  • And the cycle begins again, and again, until you have penetrated all the layers into your deepest purpose.

13: Don’t Use Your Family As an Excuse

  • It is not the amount of time but the quality of the interaction that most influences a child’s growth.
  • If you are not full in your core, aligned with your deepest purpose and living a life of authentic commitment, your children will feel it.
  • For their sake, your sake, and your woman’s sake, discover your deepest purpose, commit yourself to it process, and find a way to embrace your family as you do so.
  • Then, when you are with your family, you are with them totally, since there is no chronically unfinished business in your life to distract you, and no inner ambiguity about where you want to be or what you really want to de doing.

14: Don’t Get Lost in Tasks and Duties

  • Tasks don’t get a man anywhere more conscious or free than he is capable of being in this present moment.
  • When you do your tasks in the right way, they liberate your life energy so that you can attend to what really matters—the investigation, realization, and embodiment of true freedom.

15: Stop Hoping for Your Woman to Get Easier

  • The most erotic moment for a woman is feeling that you are Shiva, the divine masculine: imperturbable, totally loving, fully present, and all-pervading. 
  • She cannot move you, because you already are what you are, with or without her.
  • If you are aligned with your mission, you are essentially happy, even though times cycle between difficult and easy.
  • So she will test you. 
  • She might not be fully conscious of why she is doing it, but she will poke your weak spots, especially in moments of your superficial success, in order to feel your strength.
  • If you collapse, you’ve flunked the test. 
  • You have demonstrated your dependence on her for external validation.
  • It never ends. A woman will always test her man for the pleasure of feeling his strength in loving, his capacity to transcend nuisance, his persistence in his own truth, and his capacity to share that truth in love with her, even when she is complaining—especially when she is complaining.
  • The most loving women are the women who will test you the most.
  • Yet, if your purpose is to be free, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Part Two: Dealing With Women

16: Women Are Not Liars

  • …the masculine means what it says. A man’s word is his honor. 
  • The feminine says what it feels. A woman’s word is her true expression in the moment.
  • The “truth” of the feminine is whatever she is really feeling, in this present moment. 
  • The basic rule is this: Don’t believe the literal content of what your woman says unless love is flowing deeply and fully in the moment when she says it.

17: Praise Her

  • Praise always magnifies the quality of your woman that you praise.
  • Praise specific things you love about your woman 5 to 10 times a day. Find out what happens.

18: Tolerating Her Leads to Resenting Her

  • One of the largest gifts you give your woman is your capacity to open her heart when it is closed.
  • A superior man sees his woman’s moods not as a curse, but as a challenge and an amusement.
  • Don’t tolerate her mood. And don’t talk about it with her. 
  • Participate in it. Bloom her into fullness.
  • Move her body with your body. Open her heart with your humor.
  • Penetrate her closure with your fearless presence. Open her heart, again and again and again.

19: Don’t Analyze Your Woman

  • The feminine’s moods and opinions are like weather patterns. They are constantly changing…
  • The amazing thing is this: 90% of a woman’s emotional problems stem from feeling unloved.
  • The next time your woman is in a bad mood, try this: Assume she is not feeling loved.
  • Look into her eyes with love, touch her how she likes to be touched with love, and speak or sing to her with love.

20: Don’t Suggest That a Woman Fix Her Own Emotional Problem

  • One of the deepest feminine desires in intimacy (though not in business or simple friendship) is to be able to relax and surrender, knowing that her man is taking care of everything.
  • She can enjoy her man taking responsibility for the direction, so she can be what the feminine is: pure energy.
  • The best way you can serve your woman is by helping her to surrender, to trust the force of love, so that she can open her heart, be the love that she is, and give this love which naturally overflows from her happiness.

21: Stay With Her Intensity—To a Point

  • Basically, most men are afraid of, or disgusted by, feminine emotions. That’s why you try to fix them or escape from them.
  • One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman’s emotional storms.
  • You can, however, train yourself to master the world—financially, creatively, and spiritually—by learning how to be free and loving in the chaos of your woman’s emotions.
  • Do whatever it takes to crack the shell of her closure, get your love inside that crack, and touch her heart.

22: Don’t Make the Feminine Make Decisions

  • …if you don’t contribute to her masculine decision making process, the two of you will become depolarized by each other’s energy.
  • She’ll be in the masculine, you’ll be neutral, and there will be nobody in the feminine pole. 
  • This is fine for short periods, but if it becomes chronic, then the two of you will begin to feel like friends rather than lovers.
  • As a practice, always help your woman make decisions by giving her your perspective and telling her your choices, while letting her know that you love her regardless of the decision she makes. 

Part Three: Working With Polarity and Energy

23: Your Attraction to the Feminine Is Inevitable

  • If a man tries to hide his attraction, it reveals some degree of shame with respect to his own sexual core.

24: Choose a Woman Who Is Your Complementary Opposite

  • The false neutralization, or depolarization, of relationships is one of the main reasons that couples break up.
  • The secret is not to try to change your woman’s irritating feminine ways, but to help cultivate the depth and rejuvenative power of her feminine blessings.
  • …to behold a woman free in her expression of bodily ecstasy is one of the most awesome visions most men have had.
  • You can’t have a woman who is always logically consistent, reasonable, and one time, and who also fills your heart and flesh with energy, instantly and throughout the day, with her bodily expressed love and ecstasy.

25: Know What Is Important in Your Woman

  • The more you seek a woman who gives you everything, the less you get of anything.
  • Because you expect your intimate relationship to serve so many purposes, it begins to veer toward the utilitarian.
  • Your woman has the capacity to awaken your heart and fill your body with life. 
  • If you want your woman to be your spiritual and sexual consort, not just your housemate, you must skillfully maintain your household and livelihoods so that the potency of your union is not diminished.

26: You Will Often Want More Than One Woman

  • Your desire for other women is not a reflection of any lack in your intimacy, it is a reflection of your nature as a masculine sexual being.

27: Young Women Offer You a Special Energy

  • There is something unique about being with a young woman, and all men with masculine sexual essences feel it. 
  • You feel rejuvenated by her. Just sitting next to a young woman can make you happy and fill you with life force. 
  • Our culture reduces this youthful energy into a sexual thing, whereas it is actually a whole body transmission of energy, affecting the heart as much as or more than the genitals.
  • A major part of mastering sexuality is learning to sustain greater and greater degrees of pleasure and desire in the body, without needing to rid yourself of the force because you can handle it.
  • When you find yourself really enlivened by a young woman, breathe in her fragrance.
  • Maintain a respectful formality so that she is free and empowered to give her gift, without being complicated by your personal agenda.

28: Each Woman Has a “Temperature” That Can Heal or Irritate You

  • You may begin to doubt your current intimate relationship if you don’t understand how your needs for feminine energy change.
  • When your life seems dreary and boring, a more spicy and hot woman will probably appeal to you. 
  • However, when your life is extremely challenging and you feel burnt out, a hot woman might be too much. You may be more attracted to the soothing gaze and touch of a cool woman.
  • It’s also important to know that you can receive energy from different women in entirely non-sexual ways, if you so choose.

Part Four: What Women Really Want

29: Choose a Woman Who Chooses You

  • You are only punishing yourself when you want to be in a relationship with a woman more than she wants to be in a relationship with you.
  • It is better to move on and work with your hurt than it is to continue demonstrating that your feminine desire is stronger than hers.

30: What She Wants Is Not What She Says

  • Your woman will ask you to do all kinds of things, every day. Do not allow yourself to be swayed from your truth, from the direction of your heart. 
  • Underneath your woman’s superficial request is her actual desire and need: she wants the unshakability of your loving, she wants to feel in her bones that your divine masculine presence is stronger than your distractibility.

31: Her Complaint Is Content-Free

  • The thing your woman is complaining about is rarely the thing she is complaining about.
  • Your word is your demonstration of your purpose, of your masculine core.
  • When you don’t follow through with what you say you are going to do, she feels that your masculine core is weak. She feels let down. She can’t trust your masculine direction.
  • You know the amount of bullshit you are kidding yourself with. So does she. 
  • It just hurts her more than it does you.

32: She Doesn’t Really Want to Be Number One

  • Although she would never admit it, she wants to feel that her man would be willing to sacrifice their relationship for the sake of his highest purpose.
  • If a woman has become the point of your life, you are lost.
  • She can relax and trust you because, even if you are enjoying watching TV, reading magazines, and gambling now and then, she knows that you would never compromise your highest purpose in life—which includes, but is not centered nor dependent on, your relationship with her.

33: Your Excellent Track Record Is Meaningless to Her

  • A man could be perfect for ten years, but if he’s an asshole for 30 seconds his woman acts like he’s always been one.
  • Your past successes mean nothing to her present feeling of your failure.
  • Restore love and happiness in the present moment, don’t justify your little mistake by referring to your long line of successes.

34: She Wants to Relax in the Demonstration of Your Direction

  • The more relaxed she is in her feminine, the more radiant your woman will be. 
  • If you want your woman to be able to relax into her feminine and shine her natural radiance, then you must relieve her of the necessity to be in charge.
  • If she feels your lacking in your financial clarity or your spiritual clarity, she will not be able to relax with you.
  • For your woman to relax in her radiance and feminine happiness, she needs to feel that she can get on your train and that it’s going exactly where she wants to go.

Part Five: Your Dark Side

35: You Are Always Searching For Freedom

  • The masculine is always seeking release from constraint into freedom.
  • All masculine goals—at work, on the meditation cushion, or on the football field—are directed toward more freedom.
  • The attachment to comfort and security is what limits most men in their capacity to make a spiritual touchdown.
  • Ego death, absolute surrender to the point of oneness, is the ultimate freedom.
  • The feminine seeks fullness and abhors emptiness. 
  • She will fill her empty shelves with knickknacks, seashells, and pebbles collected from special places.
  • When she does not feel full of love, she seeks to fill herself with ice cream, chocolate, or conversation, rather than empty her stress through TV or ejaculation, as men often do.
  • In the end, the feminine search for love and the masculine search for freedom reach the same destination: the unbounded and infinite ground of being who you are, which is both absolute love and freedom.

36: Own Your Darkest Desires

  • The dark feminine desire, to be forced to surrender, is as strong as the dark masculine desire to penetrate through a woman’s resistance. The difference between rape and ravishment is love.
  • Sexual energy is at the root of your bodily force of live, and your relationship to ravishment reveals your relationship to live altogether.
  • With a relaxed and spontaneous body, allow your love to penetrate her so deeply that she is overwhelmed, to the point of tears, as you yield yourself, letting go of all fear, only giving love.

37: She Wants the “Killer” in You

  • Fearlessness, or the capacity to transcend the fear of death for the sake of love, is a quintessential form of the ultimate masculine gift.
  • Today’s current fashion is to suppress both the dark masculine and the dark feminine, so we have a large population of wimpy men and polite women. 
  • But underneath the nice veneer of most women lies the wrathful goddess who would chop the head off of every mediocre “new age” man. 
  • 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 and as a spiritual warrior. 

38: She Needs Your Consciousness to Match Her Energy

  • She wants your consciousness—clear, strong, and free—as much as you want her radiance.
  • The secret is to match her energy with consciousness demonstrated through your body
  • Your woman knows your weaknesses better than anybody. 
  • She knows where you will falter and give up. She knows the degree of your mediocrity.

Part Six: Feminine Attractiveness

39: The Feminine Is Abundant

  • If you feel stranded on your own masculine island of weariness and hunger, it is because you are refusing to embrace the energy and women around you.

40: Allow Older Women Their Magic

  • If you are disconnected from your deep masculine core of purpose and consciousness, then you will also be disconnected from a woman’s depth.
  • If your purpose is to become every more free of your self-burdens and give your true gift to the world, then a spiritually mature women—who won’t let you slather in your comfy habits of security and distraction—may be an excellent ally for your journey.

41: Turn Your Lust Into Gifts

  • When a man sees a beautiful woman it is natural for him to feel energy in his body, which he usually interprets as sexual desire. 
  • Rather than dispersing his energy in mental fantasy, a man should learn to cultivate his heightened energy.
  • He should breathe fully, circulating the energy fully throughout his body.
  • He should treat his heightened energy as a gift which could heal and rejuvenate his body, and, through his service, heal the world.
  • Through these means, his desire is converted into fullness of heart. 

42: Never Allow Your Desire to Become Suppressed or Depolarized

  • Any woman toward whom a man becomes depolarized will feel his rejection, disgust, and turning away.

43: Use Her Attractiveness as a Slingshot Through Appearance

  • Women can attract you, heal you, and inspire your gifts, but they will never satisfy you absolutely. Never. And you know this.
  • The play of your body wanting her body is the most obvious hoax of fulfillment. 
  • If you have ever gotten the woman you’ve wanted, you know that it’s never as good as you hoped for, at least not for very long.
  • And yet you continue to be attracted, over and over and over, to the same woman or to different women.
  • When you don’t get what you want—when you lose money, your woman hates you, your body is in pain, and your dog bites you—you are unhappy.
  • When you get what you want, you are less unhappy.
  • You are least unhappy when you are relieved of the need to get anything at all from appearance.
  • You are that which you seek, but you have left your own deepness and are looking elsewhere.

Part Seven: Body Practices

44: Ejaculation Should Be Converted or Consciously Chosen

  • When a man ejaculates easily, he creates ongoing distrust in his woman. At a subtle level, she feels he cannot be trusted.
  • But as you live your life with more and more true purpose, you won’t accumulate so much tension during the day. Then, you will discover that ejaculation, for the most part, actually depletes you.
  • It feels great for a few moments, but the price you pay for the genital sneeze of ejaculation is a much higher level of mediocrity in your daily life.
  • It is the fullness of your presence, the actual invasion of her body by your consciousness, that most ravishes her.
  • One part of your woman is happy she made you come. She is happy you are relaxed and enjoying yourself. 
  • Another part of her is disappointed you’ve allowed yourself to choose a temporary and pleasurable spasm over the endless ravishment of her and the world.
  • The world will constantly test your capacity to give your gift in the face of refusal.
  • Your masculine sexual gift is to coax, humor, shock, and caress her love into melting through her layers of fear.
  • As always, her deepest pleasure is in feeling your fulness, your strength, and your love even while she is testing you.

45: Breathe Down the Front

  • The principle bodily key to mastering the world and women is maintaining a full and open front of the body at all times.

46: Ejaculate Up the Spine

  • The superior man’s orgasm often explodes up his spine and into his brain, from there raining down through his body like an ambrosial bliss of rejuvenation.
  • Instead of tensing your muscles as you become sexually stimulated, learn to relax them.
  • Learn to feel your partner more than your own sensations during sex. 
  • To practice this exercise, you must learn to consciously contract the muscles of the floor of your pelvis. 
  • Like meditation or prayer, sex should be a special time of practicing opening your heart and giving love fully, into and through your partner, and in communion with that which you hold most sacred.

Part Eight: Men’s and Women’s Yoga of Intimacy

47: Take into Account the Primary Asymmetry

  • Man and woman must support each other in their priorities if the relationship is going to serve both of them.
  • For example, she can experience difficulties in her career, but if full love is flowing in her life—with her children, friends, and with you—then her core will be fulfilled.
  • Not so for you. If you have a masculine sexual essence, then your woman and children can be loving you all day and night, but if your career or mission is obstructed, you will not feel at ease.
  • Because a man’s priority is his mission, he will always gravitate to a woman he feels would most support his mission.
  • Your relationship with her is not only at the core of her life, but is also the main determinant of her mood.
  • When your life is truly aligned with your highest purpose, you will become more present, more loving, and more humorous. 
  • Only when you are willing to support each other’s core desires will the intimacy give each of you what you want, and then perhaps bring you beyond even that, into the utter joy of being, of which your relationship is only a hope.

48: You Are Responsible for the Growth in Intimacy

  • The direction of growth of a relationship is primarily the man’s responsibility.
  • It is extremely difficult for most women to get out of their mood once they are in it. Your loving intervention is one of your great masculine gifts.
  • If it takes you more than five minutes to open her into love, you are probably talking too much and acting too little.

49: Insist on Practice and Growth

  • But a superior man will not settle for less than the fullest incarnation of love of which he and his woman are capable.
  • The less masculine direction you are living in truth, the more masculine direction your woman will take on.
  • But since, in truth, your core is masculine, her masculine offerings will most likely turn you off, eventually even repulsing you.

50: Restore Your Purpose in Solitude and with Other Men

  • The two ways to bring you right to your masculine edge of power are austerity and challenge.
  • The other means, besides austerity, for rediscovering your masculine core is through challenge.
  • Deeper forms of challenge involve directly giving your gift in ways that have been blocked by your fear.

51: Practice Dissolving

  • Fear is your final excuse. Don’t fight it. Love through it.