About the boxing which takes place in the men’s workshop.

If you’ve never been in a fight before — and many of the men who attend the seminar haven’t — there’s a lot you don’t know about yourself.

The men fight, in part, to conquer their fear of giving and taking punishment. “Move on or die.” You can’t move on without being willing and able to take punishment.

It’s as much a fear of members of his own sex as it is a love and desire for the opposite sex which drives a man to be with a woman. He believes that it’s safer to be with her than with other men.

Two big fears keep men from each other. One is a fear of violence, the other is a fear of contact becoming sexual. (An even greater fear — the two in one, better known as homosexual rape.)

In my seminar men fight to become friends. Which is to say, boxing opponents face off against each other to confront a mutual foe — a formidable two-headed monster, in this case.

“Boxing,” writes Norman Mailer, “… arouses two of the deepest anxieties we contain. There is not only the fear of getting hurt, which is profound in more men than will admit to it, but there is the opposite panic, equally unadmitted, of hurting others. Part of this second fear rests, of course, on the well-comprehended equation that the harder you hit your opponent, the more he is going to feel free to bang back on you …”

An idea central to Mailer’s thinking: No love without courage.

My addendum: When a man faces his real enemy, all he begins to see around him are friends.