Invitation to Happy Families

Hello friend,

I have been involved with the consciousness movement for many years. Many of you have also followed along. In 1980, Marilyn Ferguson published The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s. This book organizes a view of a “great awakening” that comes along now and then in human history. The 80s, 90s and now the new millennium have been a period of deepening and realization that has sown seeds into the depth of our thinking as individuals and as a society. One of the awakenings has been a notice that the initiation process common to tribal peoples, which so strengthens the person and the tribe, had been lost to us. Initiation, simply put, is a ritual process that includes a recognition of the essential value of the individual, a bonding to the earth in appreciation of a spiritual reality, an acceptance and accountability for individual mission and action. The tools that have come about by study of transpersonal psychology now can assist the individual in ongoing healing of the shadows within the mind and a stabilization of the individual in the greater world.

The mission that has come to me for my own life-stream is as follows: “To co-create a world of powerful, gentle harmony by unity with spirit.”

It is in this spirit that I reach out to you today. Today we have a new summary book available, this by Arjuna Ardagh, The Translucent Revolution: How People Just Like You Are Waking Up and Changing the World. This book is based on interviews tape recorded over many years, and formatted topically to show what has been going on since The Aquarian Conspiracy was published. Many of us, just plain citizens, have noticed that the world in which we live, the human world that we made up and call “civilization” seems to operate in ways that appear upside-down and backward to what would feel more sensible. We also have endured pain in our personal levels that needs attention and healing. The very thought that we carry personally, and also the thoughts that drive our society have an observable temporary quality, in that these thought may have served us for awhile, but are no longer appropriate or adequate from here on. We individually find ways to transform. We influence by living our new selves and teaching and contribution. Ardagh has a term for the culture which is insanely ego-driven. He says we are in the Iago trance. Iago is a character in Shakespeare’s Othello. He plays one character against another, creating separation and distrust.

A critical awareness that popped out for me in the learning is the importance of recognizing the split-mind condition of humanity. This is very important because the ego loves to study itself, is genius, and can experience what we consider good emotions as well as harboring the difficult emotions. Problem is, the ego is fundamentally insane. It includes what we think of as personhood: the body, emotional body, memories, dreams, the whole story. It is developed early in life as a reaction to the world it perceives as fearful. There are many types of egos, or personalities. The other side of the split is what I call the individual self, that which is created by Source, however you imagine Source to be. It is in constant meditation and connected to all spiritual resources. Here I am, writing away as an ego, a person, who has had at least some disposition to attune to that which I am as an individual, and allow its meditations to flow into me as inspiration. I also have been taught by a three-year-old boy recently about the egoic development. The primary point here is that we need to embrace our individuality in order to support evolutionary changes in the person. there are many forms of spiritual practice. I personally turned away from everything churchy for many years, preferring a more general and global study. These days, I have adopted again the term religion, for my religion is my own and is not run by a church of any kind but that which is in my heart. I am a religionist and have faith, a scientist and enjoy the benefits of reason, a philosopher with the connecting capability of logic, the beauty of prose and poetry. All this is to say that taking a seat in the soul is the way.

Getting grounded in the body, on the earth, is also the way. I have experienced the initiation process as demonstrated by The Mankind Project over many years for many men. It uses the tools that have come along in the consciousness movement in a powerful and compassionate manner to host a man to new levels of acceptance, appreciation, and understanding. I have witnessed the efficacy of my own personal work advance mightily because I have brothers with whom I can process, do a piece of work, share, and acknowledge my work in mission and account to my agreements with myself and others. I want you to know that this type of work can go deep and wide. Much benefit also comes in service. This is not a commercially motivated enterprise. Men gather from all over the world to staff the weekend training for new initiates. Most of us pay our travel and the expense of our board. The men who pursue leadership tracts may receive some stipend because their experience is highly valued for this work. Many men take their enhanced level of heart/mind/action congruence into other service ministries.

I began this in order to say something about families and communities with this thing called initiation in mind. My experience of families with both partners having experienced an initiation process is that of watching calmness and wisdom in action. Imagine a couple in relationship that can step outside the Iago culture and observe with care and accountability what is being set forth by word and deed, in family operations as well as interpersonal and private matters. Imagine being able to address matters with this respectful acknowledgment of what I am seeing, feeling. (We avoid “you” statements, which tend to separate and feel like attack.) Imagine relating to someone who is directly and immediately accounting for the presence of “shadow elements,” otherwise known as egoic patterns, operating under the radar! Just imagine growing up in such a household! The best families I have been privileged to know have some semblance of these good qualities, preferring. as an example, the “choices and consequences” behavioral schema over the old “crime and punishment” method. One of the benefits of shared initiation is congruency in understanding and application, and, importantly, the ability to spread the practice and to pass it on. I am a big fan of the next 1000 generations of grandchildren.

We have big trouble these days, across the economic board, keeping marriages and families together. I know so many single moms, no man present for the children, or a series of men in some cases. Sometimes boys pursuing adolescent themes, appearing as men. Single dads, too. There is something in initiation as a shared experience that can make possible the safety and well-being of children in their community of family and friends, the extended family, the village. Initiated persons know something about sacred containers. How to create and maintain a sacred container is crucial to sacred duty. Raising children is sacred duty. Firstly, I believe marriage-type relationships are better formed within the umbrella of initiation. I wish someone could have hot-seated me as to my motivations, desires, and also the shadow elements I was about to bring to my marriages. (I bless my ex-partners!) If these parenting relationships do fail, then there can be a concept that protects the hearts and minds of the children better that church or state. The children are the initiates, and the family container is for them. Since all parties in the container are respectfully regarded, the traumas evident in divorces and separations may be much eased or eliminated. The load of raising children is thus spread out to a wisdom-village. Community elders, sage men and crone women, can care, direct, and counsel the young with blessing. It is not necessary to limit this to blood family. Often enough, there is no blood family available. It is possible to merge families into a clan for increased resource sharing. Sacred containers. We have only just begun to uncover the potential.

This is a long enough writing for today. I may have said what I mean, depending on your read. We can speak again. Here are some links to explore the immediate possibilities:

For women: Inner YAGA http://www.inneryaga.org/

For women: Woman Within http://www.womanwithin.org/

For men: The Mankind Project http://www.mkp.org/

For men in the northwest: The Mankind Project http://www.mkpnw.org/

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