A group of us just finished Primal Spirituality 4: Grace. It was a remarkable time. It was the conclusion of a cycle of Primal Spirituality 1 through 4, and there was a sense of it all coming together, truly coming to grace. So I am very happy for what we accomplished. I’m grateful to my fellow faculty members: Uma Faith, Jane Anetrini and Ruud West.
Through this series of four Primal Spirituality courses we have a demonstrated proof of concept. In a contained environment here at Sunrise Ranch we have proven out, over this set of four courses, an educational methodology as well as foundational principles of living in Reality. We have proven within this container that the methodology and principles work like crazy. We know that from what we shared. And I know it from watching these people grow, transform and strengthen over the course of a year. It is miraculous to see that really happen in human experience. Not just a flash in the pan but real strengthening, real changes, real wisdom! As someone who cares deeply about education, to see that happen is the grand prize. I’m so proud of all who took the course and had that experience.
This is proof of concept, and now we are taking this program to the world. There has to be some thought about how we take it online, take it around the world, and invite people to come to Sunrise Ranch to experience their Primal Spirituality. But still, we have proof of concept, and that’s something to celebrate.
The cultures of the world celebrate rites of passage. But life itself is offering us rites of passage. Life itself is initiating us into new experiences. Life itself is growing us. And just as some of the initiation rites that are practiced in the cultures of the world have adversity and challenge built into them, the initiation by life contains adversity and challenge.
The Primal Spirituality program replicates the pattern of initiation that is built into our human experience in life. We designed the program with the belief that if a person experiences that pattern in a conscious context with the support of a faculty and fellow participants, they can experience an initiation that will sustain in the living of life.
We are initiated into various experiences in life. Designing the program, we re-created life experiences to initiate people into their own becoming. We have an understanding of how that happens for us as human beings, and that process is embodied in the seven modules of the Primal Spirituality series. Those initiations bring a person to grace. Grace is about all of us, as the outer human being, connecting fully with that unique essence of selfhood that is on the inside, so that the outer part of us can be a full expression of the inner.
It is a relief to come to grace because it’s a relief to finally speak and act fully as who you are, to be who you are, and to love as the person you are in the world in which you live. Another way to say this is that coming to grace is coming to a place of mastery. Now, we don’t claim that just because somebody has taken the Primal Spirituality series they’ve come all the way to complete mastery of the human experience. But nonetheless, this cycle of initiation into grace is an initiation into mastery. We find that the human experience is a beautiful, unfolding mystery. It doesn’t have to be a conundrum. We can get off the caravan of despair that life is for so many people, and join a caravan of grace.
The process of life that initiates us is the process of Creation itself, which has a pattern to it. And so, when we are initiated into grace, it doesn’t mean that for us the creative process is over. It just means that we relate to it differently. The evolving pattern of our own life, the evolving pattern of the world, doesn’t stop when we come to grace. All the challenge and crisis that’s inherent in what life is, in the unfolding pattern of the world, doesn’t go away. But how we are playing in the middle of that unfolding pattern is different.
Coming into grace, our experience changes.
I am no longer seeing myself as the victim of the calamities of the caravan of despair. I am bringing the creative urge that’s deep in my own soul into human culture, and that is transformative. It’s transformative for me and it’s transformative for the culture. And then I get to participate in the unfolding pattern of Creation as an initiated human being. So with mastery, and with understanding of the creative forces that are at work, I harmonize with those forces. I bring the urge of Creation, and the intelligence that is encoded into that urge, into my creative field. It doesn’t mean that the culture of disharmony and despair around me has gone away. But I am playing more and more masterfully. And the more I experience the cycles of Creation, the more I have the opportunity to come to grace and therefore be masterful.
There is no guarantee that because we go through the cycles of life we come to grace and mastery. As human beings, we seem to be able to enter a perpetual spin cycle, leading to calamity after calamity, so that for us the caravan of despair never ends. At least not until we come to the end of our human life.
Enlightened education can make the difference in someone’s life, initiating them into grace. It makes a difference if there is an educator who knows grace for themselves and who has the mastery to facilitate the initiation of another person.
We were told some years ago that in the face of the cracking apart of human culture, when everybody is blaming someone else for their own despair, the elders in the room need to disbelieve. They have to disbelieve in the blame and despair, and believe in grace. True elders know grace. When the family is cracking apart, when the community is melting down, when the nation seems to be falling apart, the elders in the field disbelieve in the rampant despair and blame. They believe in grace. They have faith in the creative process.
I know where this goes, and it is good. It may be hard now, but a higher truth is coming. I am the living urge of what is coming next. I am the living urge of coming together and thriving as a community. I am the living urge of a thriving human culture.
So often the attempt is made to stuff ourselves into a human culture that is well past its sell-by date. And so we try to stuff ourselves into the protocols of that culture—all the habits, all the beliefs, all the ways of acting. Psychologists, journalists and politicians are observing that world culture is hurtling into loneliness. Without an awareness of the consequences, there is more and more social media, more and more video games, more and more childhood experiences indoors instead of outdoors. More and more, people don’t know their neighbor, much less the person down the street. Younger generations are experiencing unprecedented levels of loneliness. And yet humanity is trying to stuff itself into a cultural reality that is antithetical to the human soul, without realizing that the urge doesn’t fit in cultural protocols that are dead and dying, and which lead to an unnatural separation. We don’t notice that we haven’t set our souls free.
When we live in grace, we cease trying to stuff ourselves into dead social protocols. We can be present with them, but they do not define us. I don’t have the illusion that grace comes out of a Facebook post. We, as awakened people, facilitate a social protocol that will allow the creative urge to express itself. We stand in the middle of culture as it is to facilitate the evolution of culture.
The world in which we live needs people who can do that. Communities certainly do. Some of us have been through cycles of community when the ability to hold the process of the community had diminished to the point that there was a major meltdown. That happens not only in communities but in families and nations. Sometimes whole nations come crashing down. In1980, Yugoslavian President Tito died. That left a vacuum so that there was no ability to hold a social framework in which people of different ethnic backgrounds could come together. And so there was the Bosnian War that followed. But it’s not just Yugoslavia where there has been a meltdown.
We use the symbol of the sun cross in the teaching of the Primal Spirituality series. The sun cross is an ancient symbol, used long before the life of Jesus Christ, often depicted as a balanced cross with a vertical and horizontal axis within a circle. The vertical axis represents the emergence of the Invisible Creative Urge that is coming into manifestation in the physical, down through that axis of the cross. I alluded to this in a Pulse of Spirit, saying how, in the middle of a crisis, that verticality in us has to become stronger, not weaker. We have to know what it is to invoke that verticality in ourselves, and thereby invoke the strength to manifest the full potential of any situation.
The horizontal axis of the cross represents the consciousness that holds the creative process. It is the continuum of consciousness that goes from the most conscious mental part through the subconscious and into the deepest feeling parts. That continuum of consciousness is, for us, what holds the unfolding process of Creation in our own experience and in the world in which we live—in our relationships, family, community and nation. We can hold that continuum of consciousness between us, you holding one end of it and me the other. In doing so, we are holding the unfolding pattern of Creation.
Those who study the Enneagram refer to this function as the role of the Enneagram number 9, the Peacemaker. But the Peacemaker is not just a personality type, as if some of us are that and others are not. It is a function that we all have the capacity to activate. It contains the ability to hold the protocol of Creation within the space of human culture so that culture can evolve and unfold. It is this function that holds the activating urge of creativity. Without that function in ourselves, we have the mighty powers of Creation within us, and all the fierce passion and wild inspiration, and it all comes undone, because the powers of Creation themselves are no guarantee that there will not be destruction. You may have noticed! Not every passion leads to a good place; not every creative power in the human experience leads to a good place. And in community, you can have a lot of good people with a lot of great creativity, creating total havoc. It takes this very specific quality of the Peacemaker dynamic, brought to focus in some, for culture to evolve creatively.
We are teaching this in Primal Spirituality 1. It is a quality we name as Understanding, and it is represented by the horizontal axis of the sun cross. This is one phase of the creative process into which we may be initiated. But once we are initiated and come to a point of grace and mastery, the next time Understanding is called for, we don’t have to have somebody else offering Understanding to us. Now we are the ones holding the unfolding pattern of Creation. We are there in mastery, holding it, creating the social protocols that allow something fresh and new to emerge.
This is what the Primal Spirituality series leads to. Grace and mastery and, with that, the ability to facilitate the evolution of individual and collective culture. We now have proof of concept. And we are ready to bring it to the world.