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The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  22,086 ratings  ·  1,510 reviews
The Ultimate Spiritual Guide for Men

What is your true purpose in life? What do women really want? What makes a good lover? If you're a man reading this, you've undoubtedly asked yourself these questions—but you may not have had much luck answering them. Until now.

In The Way of the Superior Man, David Deida explores the most important issues in men's lives—from career and f
Paperback, 202 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Sounds True (first published 1997)
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 ·  22,086 ratings  ·  1,510 reviews

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Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
the casual reader misunderstands deida and wrongly characterizes him as stereotyping genders. this is not at all what he is doing. listen deeper. he writes/teaches about masculine and feminine energy, which is present to varying degrees in all men and women. when he describes feminine energy, he is not describing women, and when he describes masculine energy, he is not describing men. this is an important distinction. as he says, even places have masculine and feminine energies, e.g., hawaii has ...more
Greg Swierad
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of these books written in a very philosophical way. The way that opens your mind, and you start to perceive things differently. I never understood what it takes to be a superior man. What’s the mindset. I was always the “good guy”. I understood that being the man is having the purpose more important than the relationship. It’s about the understanding of masculine, and feminine energy, and knowing how to deal with them.

There are so many lessons from this book. These are my top 3 takea
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Ok, I NEVER write reviews on goodreads (or on amazon, or anywhere else) but this time, I just had to.

First, let me say I completely understand why serious feminists get their panties in a bunch over this book: the language is definitely not politically correct (the constant use of "your woman" rubbed me the wrong way at first, and he uses words like "pussywhipped" every once in a while). It's also possible to interpret some of his statements as discouraging women to have a career, life goals, a
Amber Lea
Don't let the rating fool you, this book is amazing. It's about a man who wants to dick down the world. It’s downright pornographic in the best possible way. Please stick with me because I will quote this book at length and you will see exactly what I mean.

Also, if women were as crazy as David Deida makes them seem I would join MGTOW. He makes relationships sound like an absolute nightmare.

This quote is basically all of chapter nine, but it’s amazing. (The third paragraph is the best one.) Also,
Mason Frierson
Dec 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
I read this book after seeing it enthusiastically recommended by various sources online, with some ringing endorsements from a few people. I bought it in spite of knowing that it's big with the PUA community. I was very excited to get the chance to read it, but I must admit that I was extremely disappointed.

As others have pointed out, Deida has no real professional credentials to fall back on, and his official bio is vague. From what I’ve gathered he has no PhD or PsyD or any other type of doct
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The core book in the teachings of David Deida. The book that stopped me in my tracks over and over again. They are very short chapters, but each 2-3 page chapter would usually take me about a week to digest. I read this for 2 years over and over again until I finally met David Deida. Let me tell you something: You can read this book for 10 years, and I guarantee you will get a hell of a lot from it doing that, but 3 days in a workshop with David was worth 2 years of reading his book. At least.

Jul 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
I cannot believe the high ratings of this book! It is terrible. Simply terrible! There are shards of stereotypical gendered roles in it for sure, so I'm sure that will ring true enough to some people. Am I a feminist in that I expect women and men to be treated equally, yes. I have never, ever put down men as a group. In fact I'm the one that usually ends up defending them. I would say a truly strong person never needs to "ballbust" because they are secure enough in their own strength/competency ...more
If you feel drawn to this book, read this book.
If you're curious about this book, read this book.
If you strongly dislike charismatic people and are slightly jealous that one man can summon so much energy through his research to write a book that doesn't degrade women, focuses on a man finding his passion, discusses the natural polarity of relationships and cuts to the core of one's self definition of manhood - then maybe this book would be more your style: The Game
This is a book for a man (or
Millionaire Hoy
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every now and then I read a book that makes me go "where the hell has this book been my entire life". In “The Way of the Superior Man”, David Deida provided the best relationship advice I’ve read since Bertrand Russell’s’ “Marriage and Morals” or “Mating in Captivity” by Esther Perel, the best advice on male sexuality since Mantak Chia’s “The Multi-Orgasmic Man”, and not since Viktor E. Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” has a book made me “check” myself and reevaluate my actions more.

Apr 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
Typical, new age bunk. Takes a truth from the Bible (gender roles) and harps on it like there was no other point to life (there is). Obsessed with sex. What a waste of paper. No real inventive thought here at all.
Hugh Kennedy
Jan 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
I actually had to stop reading the Book The Way of the Superior Man after reading about 1/3 of it. I found his writing to be extremely Chauvinistic bordering on a complete dislike and disrespect of women. (misogyny) It seemed like I was reading something from the 1940's to 50's from his views of how a man should be in life or act?? His way of thinking of how couples and what a Man is in particular should live his life are not suited to me. I Believe strongly in masculinity, but I also believe th ...more
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wow. So this is a very controversial book. It was introduced to me by a friend of mine just going through a divorce, and feeling like he'd suppressed his masculine side for 20 years (of which I actually witnessed the final few years). It wasn't that he was emasculated by his wife so much as he was willing to bury a part of him resulting in him not exploring his full potential, and living a life true to his nature. He was living this book like a paint-by-numbers guidebook. BUT... it was working ( ...more
Mar 10, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book negative stars, I would. What a piece of misogynist garbage. I managed to make it through the whole book, but if I had to hear a girlfriend or wife referred to as "your woman" one more time...

Also, women don't want to be "ravished," for God's sake! I think one of my favorite lines from the book was, "When was the last time you really ravished your woman? Or has it been so long that you are fascinated and even turned on by rape scenes on TV?" Are you kidding me?! This c
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well, I guess this is it:
I have no more excuses for anything in life.
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Stop hoping for a completion of anything in Life:
most men make the error of thinking that one day it will be done.
Do what you love to do, what you are waiting to do, what you've been born to do, NOW.

Live with an open heart even if it hurts

A free man is free to acknowledge his fears, without hiding them, or hiding from them.Live with your lips pressed against your fear, kissing your fears, neither pulling back nor aggressively violating them.

Never change your mind just to please a woman: you sho
Mar 21, 2015 rated it liked it
It's politically incorrect. It's sexist. It's gender essentialist. It's woo. It's silly. It's sanctimonious. It makes unjustified generalizations. It's demeaning to both women and men. It's unsupported by scientific evidence.


There are grains of truth. At the very least, Deida is offering a new set of models to work from, where our existing models are inadequate. Models which, for many couples, probably come close enough to the truth to be useful. Many men really are primarily driven by t
Rev. Christine
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a professional spiritual counselor and sex educator, this book has been on my "to read" list for years, but it wasn't until a client mentioned it to me recently that I went from idly flipping through it to reading and absorbing it.

As a strong, independent woman, I initially scoffed at it, but upon deeper examination I think this book offers a profound challenge to the man who reads it if he's willing to take the philosophy on. The first common misconception seems to be that Deida is calling f
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book has a few little nuggets of truth about some women and how to react to them from a male perspective. Which is great and valuable and I don't want to undermine that the author does come through with a couple points that could potentially really aid in the understanding between two people in a relationship. However, I don't think that small amount of value derived from reading this is worth the large amount of unhelpful, if not harmful, misinformation that also come through in the writin ...more
Kayed Al-qasimi
Nov 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spiritual
What a horrible book.

There were 5 moments during my reading of this book where I considered stopping. However, it was a short book and I feel that a book should be read entirely to justify a review.

The author sounds like a pubescent teen who is obsessed with sex. He tries to be direct and brash by using vulgar language and I find that immature.
There are some truths in this book but I feel the author read a whole bunch of books on spirituality and is reproducing them here with horrendous delivery
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is for any guy who has ever tried in vain to understand women. And for any woman who is interested in how men and women complement, and therefore frustrate, each other. I have never felt so explained before, in a way that I could never have done myself.

At times a bit condescending, and there was some profanity I thought unnecessary, but overall an incredible book.
Dwayne Dias
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
"He must feel his desire without suppression, and then feel through his desire into the source-energy of desire. He must feel through her beauty, into the very delight of which her beauty is a but a ripple and reminder."

Uhmm okay? This line is just one of many that represent what most of this book is - pure garble. David Deida tries too hard to sound deep and philosophical, but if you really use your brain and dig deep you'll find that most of it is just nonsense.

This book was a hard read, but I
Dec 01, 2020 rated it did not like it

I have never hated a book or author so much. I hate-read this book and genuinely want to understand why it makes me so angry.

so actually when I first read it I did take some hate-read notes. I've elaborated on these:


My general experience of books on masculinity is that they are focused on sexually active men, and that the key conflict is between them being able to chill out / settle d
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read, all men should read this. He nails the masculine/feminine archetypes and suggests that men take more responsibility for the relationship by always focusing on their purpose, and women focusing on their radiance. It's hard for me to put into words the impact this book has had -- ultimately it was a huge relief to know that my big dream for what I want in a relationship is not impossible -- it is articulated beautifully by Deida in this book. ...more
Kimberly Carlson
Jul 04, 2011 rated it liked it
David Deida does a bang up job as your new best friend.

Giving men an opportunity to be heard, affirmed and admonished by one of their peers. Giving them the sort of challenge that only another man can pose.

His blunt simplicity in tackling the real issues men face when moving into their 'full man strength' - as my girlfriends and I call it - is as educational as it is entertaining.

And just when you are comfortable with this book as an Oprah-era self help tome, all neat and tidy for prime time, Mr
Ole Hylland Spjeldnæs
As someone generally extremely critical of this sort of stuff, i decided to try and have somewhat of an open mind towards self-development. Still, i would say most of this book consists of that which i cannot possibly justify as being anything other than spiritual new age bullshit, but there are some good parts as well, thus it exceeded my personal expectations
I would say that the best thing that I learned from this book is the "inhale down the front, exhale up the back" breathing technique. It's very relaxing and I especially like doing it while I'm at the gym; I think it makes my abs firmer which make me look fitter.

I thought it was funny how the author basically makes it seem like most women are crazy and emotionally unstable. According to him, that's what makes them beautiful. Made me wonder if he knew some of the same girls that I've met.

Like m
John Montgomery
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I wish someone had given me this book as a young man, not as a middle-aged one because I might have become a half-decent person sooner in life. David Deida explains how men and women each run masculine and feminine energy but rarely make peace with these complementary life forces. Our society does a poor job of helping us embrace our masculine and feminine sides, and often celebrates sexuality at the debasement of the gifts of each of the gender archetypes. Too often the attraction of the radian ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Read again late November 2013: And I stand by the 4-star rating and review. A couple of things make more sense to me now, interestingly enough.

Original review:
An interesting book with interesting and, I imagine, provocative views on many a thing concerning the masculine and the feminine. But when all is said and done I think much of what the author says is, essentially, true. Not something I would have said two years ago but now, well, now I do;-)

My main problem with the book was the unnecessary
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Way of the Superior Man

In the constant pursuit of purpose, challenge, and growth, a man must be aware of the energy he constantly gives off.

The energy is directed at the purpose he must find, the challenges he will face, and the femininity of women he must discover an understanding of.

This can be through reading 'The Male Brain' and 'The Female Brain' to understand biological mechanisms of men and women.

Or by fully immersing in 'The Way of the Superior Man' to get a pseudo-spiritual, eastern-an
Uģis Balmaks
Apr 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
A weird-ass book.

It started out not mapping to my life all that well. Meaning things the author claimed to be true/false I know from my own experience to be the opposite, at least for me. But I decided to go along for a while because I wanted to get a different perspective.

I gave up when he started giving tips on dealing with your wife/gf when she appears to act crazy. What a bunch of baloney that was.

I've never before given a one-star rating to a book before. I hesitate to do it even when I tot
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David Deida is an American author who writes about the sexual and spiritual relationship between men and women.[1] His ten books have been published in 25 languages. He conducts spiritual growth and intimacy workshops and is one of the many founding associates at the Integral Institute. He has conducted research and taught classes at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Lexington Institute ...more

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“Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine.

If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it.

Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control.

Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering.

By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love.”
“Every moment waited is a moment wasted....” 62 likes
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