Multiculturalism

I may have a different view on the multi-cultural idea:

 

The current discussion seems to me structural, and related to money, position, and power. The word ‘privilege’ is wrapped around access and use of resources, whether and how other sorts are included. It seems to have something to do with the freedom of choice with resources can be managed or assigned. Sometimes, the choices of one group may affect the experience of another group on the earth.

 

To appreciate life on Earth in a multi-cultural way, it may be an effort to sample and enjoy different cuisines and style of dress, and maybe a sense of history, religion, art and industry of various regions of the planet, or of the city, or the neighborhood. The flow of time and movement of populations and the experience of such populations moving and flowing through time leads to a melting together and interpenetration of many layers and dimensions. it can be maddening to attempt to discriminate in these days the mixing of the affects of human experience in the living of life of an individual, a family, a clan, a people.

 

It is great to get to know people better, to get a grip or a clue about the story of man, family, clan. Each of us is a rich presentation of many layers and dimensions and layers of such affects of forebears. Some of us grow up in a defined culture, with some congruence of the choices of previous generations. Some of us come up in a melting-pot experience, carrying only fragments of ancient cultural choice and dimension.

 

Interpenetrating are the threads of commonality between all groups. How are females treated relative to males? How important and what care is given to elder members? How are the children raised? does everyone have the benefit of reading and schooling? Is religion severely imposed as the guiding poetry? Are other religions and ideas welcome? Are the boundaries of culture exclusive of all others? Are the gender types that are off-polarity honored or destroyed?

 

I am tending to take a universal view, as if I were (I am) a Citizen of the Universe. One stream of thought that drove me to a greater inclusive level is the idea of holocaust. I do not happen to be Jewish, but I honor the memory of suffering imposed upon many persons of that tribal origin in the last century alone. I am in part Native American, and have absorbed the emotional impact of the Europeans on the indigenous folks in the new world, a complete theft and destruction of cultures across a hemisphere. I married a black woman and have a lovely daughter of that bonding, and have direct experience of denial of rental relationship and services due to mixed race and the  story of enslavement. I include both gender roles in my fluid gender identity, and have long felt the brutal attitudes toward abandoning the dualism. The interpenetration of story and the issues of story makes me reach higher altitude and look anew from a greater focal length.

 

The unifying theme to me as I consider multi-culturalism is a willingness to accept all others with a sense of That Which Matters Most. It is a theme, usually without mention, that runs through my experience in The Mankind Project. Men come forward to generate value in a give-away cooperation in a sacred container holding the living fire for the brothers. This practice that I am calling a reverence for That Which Matters Most is something I sense and celebrate at every gathering of brothers and also in my general community. I have a vision of a source of all life, and the fabric of universe, galaxy, star system, planet and the very bits of star-stuff from which all is made. Within this fabric, I choose to be adequately sensitive and aware to the path of the threads of another man’s life through the intricate universe which we share. I choose to be aware, given some focal length, of the contribution of my own threads to my perception and my judgements. I notice that persons tend to group themselves by differences of skin color, gender and sexuality, mental disciplines, social status, discretionary funding, conviction to established thought systems, independence of thought, and so on. So I carry a banner of reverence for the unifying theme, that I can ever invite those with whom I speak to reflect with me on life, the universe, and everything.

 

Also, we experience the Nothing. The temporary world of time and space, matter, bodies, suffering and the little joys. I vision a new world of sharing and right living conditions for all. One of the divisions of mind in our era is that of Will to Power contrasted with the Power of Love. I can see well the covert play of the reptilian brain in so-called economy and commerce, profit and wealth aggregation without regard at all to That Which Matters Most as I see it. Sadly, it is not yet popular to notice the lizard behind the curtain, pulling the levers of a financial system that has become completely uncoupled from  the sustainable use of resources and technology in service to everyone.

 

I will not respect the protective scattering of egg-shells too much around the warrior work. I will invite each one to the hall of the King in universal citizenship and  to the reverential fire of Truth under the sky of That Which Matters Most. In my judgement, arriving at a new approach to monetary management will demolish many differences of privilege in favor of creative cultural diversity, the safety and enjoyment of future generations, even to the survival of our human species, that we sing out our joyful song in the cosmos a while.

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Declaration of Misfitting

Declaration of Misfitting

“Since it is man’s unfitness–his being an outcast and an outsider on this planet–which started him on his unique course, it should not seem anomalous that misfits and outsiders are often in the forefront of human endeavor and the first to grapple with the unknown. The impulse to escape an untenable situation often prompts human beings not to shrink back but to plunge ahead. Moreover, it is in accord with the uniqueness of the human pattern that the misfits of the species should try to fit in not by changing themselves but by changing the world. Hence their bent for reform, innovation, tinkering, and plunging. Thus we find misfits in the vanguard of the settlement of new lands and the elaboration of new ways and methods in the economic, political, and cultural fields.” — Eric Hoffer, The Unnaturalness of Human Nature, from a collection of essays The Ordeal of Change, 1952.

I have come to recognize how much personal energy has been trapped by a denial that I am, indeed, a misfit. I do significant inner work with mindfulness and energetic attention. It is a factor for most of us that maintaining denials and suppressions, and keeping ancient secrets, removes some quanta of energy from usefulness in living life. Getting free is for me a process of controlling the costs of adaptive thoughts and feelings. It is, in my opinion, a worthy work to examine one’s own mind and escape the control of adaptive thoughts inherited and embellished in pre-conscious childhood.

I had the misperception for many years that others saw and understood word concepts and images in a manner like my own. Not that I exalt myself overmuch these days, as to intellectual acumen. I just appreciate that my observational platform of mind is unique in its breadth and reach. I like Hoffer. He lived as a working man, observed carefully, and wrote from authentic first-person narrative. I recently looked up the Colonel Bob character celebrated by the naming of the Colonel Bob Wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula. The namesake is Robert Ingersol, an orator of the Golden Age of Freethought. In Illinois, he spoke, against the grain, of slavery, religion (he was agnostic) and suffrage. I like this guy also. He was not to hold public office above attorney general. In my humble way, these essays I produce declare what personal authority I have acquired thus far, and take a jab at a human world afflicted by its own predispositions.

Fitting is normally considered a good thing. As a carpenter of many years experience, I have had much to do with adapting square boxes to un-level and un-straight building surfaces. This activity is sometimes called coping, as is the cutting the shape of a trim profile to butt a corner rather than mitering. Coping is good. I must adapt to some extent in order to effect a livelihood in the world. However, the point is well made that perfect adaptation to a dysfunctional system can hardly be called sanity. Once I realized the system to harbor much dysfunction, coping to it seemed more perverse and difficult. I am not a particular success in the world of capital and career.

Ahh, there is nothing like a good fit! I love fitting in. I love not having to misrepresent myself to fit in. I love blending and harmonizing in a choir. So, what is it that has me exalting the idea of misfit today? I married a black woman in the 70’s. I have a lovely daughter of that union who identifies more or less with the black community in her city. I have watched the disparagement of the earth by industry, and the externalizing of the costs on human community by industrial corporations. Collectively, our economic system has all but destroyed the family farm, known to be more efficient per acre, for huge agro-business which grows huge amounts of material which is of questionable nourishing quality and also extends markets globally making a dependence on international shipping and the weaknesses inherent in this. The water table is pumped below recoverable levels all over our country. This aquifer problem is coming our way soon. With modern technology, we are succeeding in over-harvesting fish world-wide. Government subsidies make it possible to consume beef products inexpensively at fast-food restaurants. This subsidy makes it affordable for many to hurt themselves with poor diet. One can go on with conspiracies of the undoing of health and life for profit.

I mentioned above work in one’s personal levels. I do not mind calling attention to the fact that the rearing of children, the unreadiness of young parents, often the unstudied adamance of grandparents are all too typified by the harshness of the playground. Children are very hard on each other. Usually, anomalies and suspected differences are hammered upon with great fervor. This is the playground of the ego, a particularly unyielding opponent. We each have one, and often enough, are one. One of the reasons I am an advocate for the initiation schema supported by The Mankind Project and similar groups is the effective bestowal of the essential toolkit for managing one’s mind and behavior. The prospect that we collectively take back our world from the systematizers and bean-counters is a delicious prospect. I am happy to imagine more and more of our children growing with a support network that promotes all the good things about human nature, and grooms an awareness of the shadows that erupt time and again. Watching shadow for an initiated person involves mindfulness and mission, not reaction and attack. This is very simply put, a choice for love over fear. In the world, this would be a choice for the power of Love v. the love of Power.

It has been my experience, and this is ratified with many colleagues in circles of transformation, that not only happiness, but performance and effectiveness is hampered by the load of guilt that is the burden we carry. My sensitivity to and ability to understand feeling has grown greatly in recent years. I find that there has been literally, a hampering and shutting down of my mental resources due to this burden. There is, observing in myself, a head-aching feeling and an angst that runs through the body like a hot wire of discontent. I find, when this schema is active, that I cannot handle complexity and generally discount my ability to understand and manage information, even for my personal good. It is not hard for me to imagine that such a syndrome can lead to falling down. I look to the disconnected and displaced with sympathy and sadness. Clearly, we too often are taught to beat ourselves up. The ghosts of pummeling and threat of fracture haunt me at these times, and sometimes I lose my inner sight for a while. I feel that this experience is not so special. It is also likely, as uncomfortable as it is, that many self-medicate and bury beneath callous the feedback from the body that I am a misfit that needs some work. Rather than fitting the world, seen as untrustworthy due its painful response to me, I deepen and delve for the Truth of my Being and nature. I find at last a Teacher within and learn to use the technologies of attention to release guilt and shame for the sake of a personal expression which serves the soul that I am.

As a misfit, I find a way. As a misfit, I find my brothers. As a misfit, I show out this way in my diligence and my life. As a misfit, I even risk the financial danger of no money or job, if I need to heal and grow rich in awareness and practice for a time. I come to fit the universe of my intentional cosmology. I reach ever for a more inclusive view, and greater altitude. Also, I call upon the four directions, the above, the below, the within, the without, and ground my vehicle to this lovely planet and its peoples crying out for love. I am not proud to be a misfit. I am glad that my heart is a loving one, and that I have work to do in its service. We often say “it is what It is,” when declaring an inability to change one thing or another. This implies fitting in to insanity, often enough. I celebrate “That Which Is,” and declare that what appears to be in our collective world is misfit to vision of human mature potential that I hold dear. If I were to work a miracle today, it would be that we see more Truly, find love and acceptance more easily, and respond more readily. I will bring my jumbo crayons, and as many of my marbles as I can find.

As a declared elder, I think of these things.

Universal Citizenship

Men, male and female,

I have been loving the exchange regarding spirit and religion, and think this morning to share some thoughts I have found useful.

We come to a turning time in the evolution of our species and our planet. It would seem to any person that what has gone before has taken a very long time. Yet in the observance of years, decades, centuries, and eons, our advent in the earth is a very thin line indeed. The deployment of consciousness has been rapid in comparison to geological time. There are many mysteries, and the grand mystery of existence. We have addressed these questions in various ways and with various degrees of actual and presumed authority. We as a species have built many golden halls, in thought and in the earth. Shadow also has tailed us and even leapt ahead, railroading collective creativity to various pits of doom, world wars, armageddon dreams. I have grown up in a sad world. The noble striving of the good and seemingly endless reports of war, starvation, and horror have filled my data stream for decades. My generation is the first to have had TV added to radio and movies as the huge data streams we have enjoyed and endured.

Part of the data stream in my life has been the availability of literature and experiences developed from the spiritual and religious traditions around the world over a very long time line. The practice of reason through science and mathematics has been a great blessing with the rigor of thought and requirement to recall the origins of lines of thought; primary assumptions and axioms. Logic has also welled up to assist me in engaging many thought systems in a meaningful way with structural observations of consistency and anomaly. Faith gets us in trouble over and over, for we learn eventually that everyone has 100% faith. What matters is the belief in systems of thoughts. Whether for good or ill outcomes, our feelings and motivations follow the thoughts in which we believe. I have found this to be true individually as a great gift of understanding, for it is possible to release thoughts of blind perception and encompass by choice more congruent and integrated thoughts. It is also true collectively, for our experience in the world is shaped by what we actualize as a people. I believe that there is a symbolic coherence between the thought system of individuals and the collective. The good news is that collective thought can be responsive in a way similar to cultivation of a mature, complete, wholesome individual.

It has been my experience that exposure and investigation of the esoteric technologies and histories is advisable. I have now the great benefit of understanding the mind which I am, and how to cultivate it in a useful and meaningful way. Before Freud and Jung, we could not even speak of such things as soul, psyche, ego, complexes, and so on. Now, there is a flow of insightful renderings which not only assist the understanding, but provide technology for practical effect. It has been said that BELIEF is the most powerful force on the planet. In a world run by the reptilian brain, despots have oft burned libraries and destroyed intellectual classes as a way to control the population. We have the possibility of awakening, en mass, in a volume of persons not before seen on this beautiful and painful blue planet.

The Earth is evolving also. I see this tired old girl as a very dangerous place to live. There is substantial danger geo-physically in tectonic adaptations, the spinning of  a liquid core, and the circulatory patterns of weather. There also is substantial danger astro-physically, for there is dark bits cruising through the same space we traverse with our wonderful living spaceship. To perceive the parameters of any system, I believe most would agree, requires a view-point which can encompass the greater system in which the subject system resides. A  lovely motivator is that we need each other. Caring for each other as shipmates on a cosmic voyage enfolds all the good of all the great teachings. So I dare to make the following assertion for our benefit and entertainment.

I am a citizen of the universe. I have received the blessing of scientific observation and insight that allows me to vision planets, star systems, and galaxies. I have come to believe the universe is alive, and that this is one of many living worlds in which consciousness is expanding. I have come to believe that there is a hierarchy of levels and dimensions beyond the perception of the body’s senses and that there is present help in the organized intelligence that persists outside of our time/space apparent reality. I have come to understand that my mind is split. I have a personal life with a body and an ego, an also a life in the psyche, the soul with which I may learn to identify and to serve. As I take, by practice, a seat in my soul, I am granted a fearlessness that allows the patterning in my person to transform in alignment with my evolving preferences for enlightenment and world service. The practice of faith in my life, as my cosmology evolves, is become my religion. My religion is my own. I am happy to experience overlapping world-views and sensibilities with many others, yet no one person or group is likely to mirror me precisely. Thanks to Spong and others, my Christian vector of connection with the divine has been wrenched away from the controlling despots of the churches. There is, in my world, a Creator. There is a Son, Christians and esoteric masters call Christ, which is a way of claiming the truth of divine extension of the soul of me. What we refer to as the Holy Spirit is a direct vector to Source which comes as an answer to the confusion of the Big Bang and our temporary perception of separation. One glance here to evil is the notion that the creative hierarchy has individuals within it that have the possibility of going adverse to the plan. On more than the physical level, we have the possibility of making new choices in a field of potentials, some of which are true, and some not.

An assertion to remember is that, as I work to heal my own small pains and confusions, some benefit extends to the collective. There are possibilities that such blessing and healing reaches also through time. This potential to serve the world effectively by doing my inner work has been a powerful motivator for me, for I did not and still oft do not, perceive myself as a worthy contributor to the world, my family, my community. So I say to you that religion is personal thing. It reflects how I support myself in my days with the thoughts and tools available to me. My religion spans the shaman and the artist, the scientist and the philosopher, that which suffers, and that which is ever at peace. We have the possibility of object language, understanding that thoughts are but things. We enter into the world through a burning ring of fire to learn to choose, and to choose again, as these thought objects show their patterns on the ground. My teacher is no longer the ego, the past, the convention of idiocy.  I release the addiction to dualism, a sickness healed only by altitude. My teacher is the connection that has been granted me to Source, and what this brings forward in my waking life.

So, I say it is helpful to hold a generic spirituality and ceremonies that remind we persons of our souls and our connection to each other and the divine. It is a way to make a place to exchange the gifts we are and which we bring. It is a pot-latch of many tribes of multi-cultural beings. It is helpful to be grounded in axis mundi. I write to you now from the intersection of these directional vectors. The horizon of mystery is pushed back. I assert with my personal authority my informed will to good. I am a citizen of the universe, devoted to God and Goddess in its expression unfolding through me, and we of good heart.

As I sit here weeping, I dare to imagine I have danced these words well enough to ring a chime of Great Love. Blessing in this Holy Instant, and in the days that come.

New Warrior Training for men’s circles

This is the project that changes men’s lives. It has changed my life, and I have a gentle commitment to include MKP in my ministry for the duration of my life. This is men’s work. Men’s work has been held secret for good reason for many years, in many cultures. There is a change coming that allows more transparency in sharing the processes that are employed, but still I will be reticent by agreement in describing particulars. The processes are not strange to a person that has participated in the many offerings by others in the “consciousness movement.” It can be fairly said that the New Warrior Training is a stellar and well-knit series of experiences that traverse separation from the day-to-day world, an ordeal of awareness, and a return with blessing. This takes place in a weekend that runs from Friday evening through Sunday. It has been maturing for decades now and is very successful in its effects. Continuing work in quality of delivery is always ongoing so that each man continues to be supported by current excellence. The NWTA is offered five times a year here in the northwest, and many times around the world.

“Most staff members are volunteers, and because all have experienced the initiation process themselves, they have a compelling sense of male initiation and authentic self-examination. In the final analysis, however, you run your own training through the responses and decisions you make along your journey. The staff serve as your guides and mentors, but you choose your own level of commitment, and you decide how far you will explore the inner terrain of your life, to discover the treasures, and obstacles buried within your self.” [mkpnw.org]

A word about what the NWTA is not. It is not religious, though spiritual connection is fundamental. All religious backgrounds are welcome. It is not about changing men’s sexual or gender orientation. All cultural expressions are welcome, understanding that each man, these days, is a multi-cultural expression. There have been NWTA gateway events designed for special groups such as persons of color, the deaf, prison inmates, and alternate gender/sex. It is not about separation from or dominance of women. It is about embracing love of self, living in integrity and accountability in family and community with a mission drawn from guided introspection. The initiation of women by women is supported by referral and promotion. It is not about profit for share-holders. This work is accomplished by men helping men and we support financially our own efforts to staff, to learn to be facilitators of the work and to lead the trainings.

The NWTA is a beginning. Having absorbed an experience of the tools and protocols, a man has at least an opening ability to discover and declare his intentions, to live in integrity and to be accountable for what he has chosen as responsibility as an authentic man. He has become aware of his “shadow,” the psychic levels and influences that tend to undo our best intentions if we do not see them. This work can continue in the community groups called Integration Groups or I-groups. It also continues in volunteering for staffing the trainings. My experience of joining and holding a sacred container as an MKP staff member is an unparalleled experience of alert positive intention and effective service in a long life of working with men in various groupings and industries. The leadership track for those who coordinate and lead the trainings is demanding. The men who are welcomed into these ranks are highly reviewed and well prepared for the sacred duties, safety oversight, and management of the experiences that touch the very fire of a man’s life.

“The New Warrior is a man who has confronted this destructive “shadow” form and has achieved hard-won ownership of the highly focused, aggressive energy that empowers and shapes the inner masculine self. Sustained by this new energy, the New Warrior is at once tough and loving, wild and gentle, fierce and tolerant. He lives passionately and compassionately, because he has learned to live his mission with integrity, and without apology. Our intention is twofold. To enable men to live lives of integrity, accountability, and connection to feeling. To be of service to the community at large, both as individual men with a renewed sense of passion and personal responsibility, and as communities of men working together to build sustainable relationships. We foster loving families, strong communities, and productive workplaces in a sustainable environment.” [mkpnw.org]

My opinion having delved in various men’s work over the years is that the NWTA as devised by The Mankind Project is the very best shared experience from which to continue men’s work in its many forms. To advance the gift of the NWTA, MKPNW has hosted several types of events. Many I-groups are open to visiting men for a taste of the work. There is an open-house event, and also a one-day introductory event. It may be possible, with further consultation, to organize a special event for ongoing groups who desire the structural magic so well practiced by the Mankind project. There is an elder track and community within MKP as well. I am a delegate to the World Elder Gathering in London in a few weeks in which we shall discuss the global thoughts concerning man and the world and the ongoing role of The Mankind Project.

Axis Mundi

The axis mundi: the four directions, above, below, within, the ancestors. This I choose to remember every day, and spirit around and through it all. This is a point that can be made: the point where I am just here and now: the point at which I AM. This is my point of view.

Reference to the Mankind Project

For those who land on this blog, please follow through and visit http://www.mkp.org/

There are national, international and regional links.

mkp_globelogo_165

Greetings Brothers

I am excited about sharing the weekend experience. I am at a point in life that elder energy is awakening in my heart. I am a grandfather and a main motivation in my life mission is the 1000 generations of grandchildren that follow us in time and space, here on this lovely planet.

I am grateful to report great success in my journey steps with the Mankind Project. Due to various childhood influences, I had carried terror and disconnecting considerations in my psyche around sex and gender, and have had my selfhood, comfort, and sensibilities twisted up in shadow. Personal pain is a motivator alongside a deep desire to help others. Over many years, slowly, slowly I discovered that the judgements matter not. I was early trained that there was something wrong with the strength of my affection, and that abuse and murder by men in the world would be the result. Surely, as I have noticed, I was not alone in this thwart to self-acceptance. Deep friendship with men who are now warrior brothers gave me support and some peace over the years, but the terror remained until November 2008, when men like us helped a man like me to wrest the painful thing from the gut. All the philosophies and psychologies helped lay a ground of readiness, to be sure. Yet, I do not see anything that can match the trust and acceptance and emergence I have experienced with our brothers in the training, the PIT, and in the I-group.

I have come to see us as cosmic citizens immersed in a planetary experience. We have more than one brain, reptilian, limbic, right and left. We have more than one mind expressing through these brain-transducers, the individual spiritual Self and the personal self or ego. We are choosers, and though the personal mind is apparently devoted to dualizing anything and everything, sometimes going to extremes, there is the possibility of sufficient altitude to see both sides of any divide. As I have chosen to express the individual self as well as I can, and to identify with this that I AM, it has become increasingly possible to release and heal divisions in other parts of mind. This possibility extends to our communal world, and this is what we are about.

So, I greet you as a REBEL. I am a Radiant Energy Being Enjoying Life. I draw reason from science, logic from philosophy and faith from religion. I sing with the choir that surrounds me and dance to the music in my soul. I pray us on, my brothers, and rejoice already with you, forever!