Sacred Activism and the Conscious Elder John Robinson www.johnrobinson.org
This is a time of collective initiation. Conscious elders, startled into a shocking new historical era, now face profound and unexpected tasks, gifts and responsibilities. This is not our old familiar world and we cannot go back. But this horizon holds the potential for a psychological and spiritual renewal unprecedented in human history, one that will produce a quantum leap forward if we participate meaningfully. As Howard Thurman advised, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive!” This is a time for discerning what makes us come alive and then doing it!
In depth psychology, the shadow, trickster, or devil archetype often unleashes huge transformational energies. In many respects, Trump represents our collective shadow – all the repressed, censored, dark, eruptive energies we have buried inside. But as Jung told us, the shadow is 90% gold! Jeremy Taylor, a teacher of Jung and dreams, recently wrote, “…the ‘hidden gift’ in the colossal projected shadow of Donald Trump is potentially granting us all ‘permission’ to explore and manifest our deepest creative energies and responses to the world.” Trump may be the unwitting precursor of an enormous change in the collective psyche.
As Philosopher Grant Maxwell observes in his new book, The Dynamics of Transformation, the evolution of genuinely new ideas and forms is typically unpredictable, disruptive, and shocking. He also suggests that some great and as yet unknown archetype may now be constellating in the depths of the human psyche. In other words, this disruption may be opening a new chapter in the history of democracy and civilization, unconsciously inviting us all to participate in a more vital, creative and engaged citizenship. Something deeper is at work here, a new expression of the human enterprise and a new worldview.
If conscious elders are going to light a path through the darkness of this time, we need to understand where we are and how we can respond most maturely. In the psychological dimension, we need to stay together and work through our feelings rather than react blindly, collapse in despair, or drop out. And we need to realize that anything we feel deeply holds the potential for transformation, releasing new energies and creative insights for positive action. Crises bring us back to the liberating reality of the present. I remember an old friend of mine telling me about the day her house burned down. She suddenly found herself feeling incredibly free, free to create a new life, to release the shackles of her old identity and pursue a new adventure.
In the spiritual dimension, we need to ask ourselves bigger questions and about the meaning and purpose of this time. For example, “What are my ultimate spiritual beliefs about why this is happening?” “How would my personal spiritual heroes respond to this situation?” And “Where is God in this upheaval?” And we need to return to our spiritual practices to stay centered and grounded.
Last, but not least, we need to call upon the mystical dimension, spending time in the Presence and letting its nature and consciousness expand our awareness and response capabilities. We are so much more than we think. We need to pray and ask for divine guidance. This awakening to the divine dimension in aging is not about escape from our obligations to the world—but a powerful shift to a new level of engagement. If we wish to transform our current human crisis, we must return to the mystical consciousness of a divine being in a divine world, an experience that becomes increasingly available in sacred aging.
To me, as a mystic, in this moment of awakening, it feels as if I touch the infinite surface of Being, which I envision as the smooth, rubber-like surface tension of a vast black lake. I am convinced that touching this surface sends vibrations throughout the whole cosmos, like pounding a huge drumhead sending oscillating waves across Creation. I can actually feel myself striking this great drum with both hands – boom, boom, boom – and sending powerful undulations of love, meaning and possibility through the immensity of time, reality and consciousness.
Like the surprise experienced by my friend when she lost her house, what is being evoked in us is likely to be something much larger and more creative than we would have imagined. Indeed, it may be the doorway to the next state of human consciousness. This is a time to deepen our awareness of eternal values, recognize the world as Self, join others, and then act from the deep oneness of Being. Everything we’ve ever done in our lives has led us to this moment. And together, we call on everything we are to pound our drums as one great loving force. As the echoes of our drumbeats return, their rhythms overlap with new ones. We are building a new Creation.
Check out John’s new book titled “The Divine Human”.
The Conscious Aging Alliance is a growing network of twelve ( at this time) diverse organizations, each using its own distinctive approaches to support those who are committed to an empowering vision for their later life chapters and are willing to devote themselves to making their potential a reality.
Throughout most of known human history, societies have had an honored role for their older members—a role that was recognized as critical to the wellbeing of the community. This was the role of elder. It was the elders who held the responsibility for mentoring the young; for telling the stories that communicated the history and most deeply held values of the culture; for seeing the bigger picture and from that perspective reminding the community of the importance in decision making of holding the wellbeing of the generations to come as a critical priority. It was the elders who were expected to have grown into a state of personal wholeness so they could serve their community as models for healthy human development.
Read more about Conscious Aging at http://consciousagingalliance.org/more-about-conscious-aging/
Alliance member organizations:
Center for Conscious Eldering
Fierce With Age
Gray Is Green
Institute of Noetic Sciences
Legacy of Wisdom
Life Planning Network
Recognition Rites for a New Vision of Aging
Spirituality & Practice
I lived at the Findhorn Foundation from 1977 to 1984 and left there having married and with two young children. It was a wonderful experience. They are doing very excellent work still today.
The Findhorn Foundation is a dynamic experiment where everyday life is guided by the inner voice of spirit, where we work in co-creation with the intelligence of nature and take inspired action towards our vision of a better world. We share our learning and way of life in experiential workshops, conferences and events that take place within a thriving community and ecovillage.
The Foundation has two main sites. The Park, nestled amidst dunes and forest, bay and beach, is an ecovillage that is home to many of our staff and a larger community of people living with shared values. Cluny Hill is a stately Victorian former hotel, five miles away from The Park, which houses staff and welcomes participants in our workshops and events. Our retreat house on the island of Iona, and the satellite community on the neighbouring island of Erraid, also welcome participants for life-changing experiences on the wild, wind-swept west coast of Scotland.
The Findhorn Foundation is an NGO associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information, holder of UN Habitat Best Practice designation and is co-founder of the Global Ecovillage Network and Holistic Centres Network. The Foundation is at the heart of a community of more than 500 people who every day support and live the vision of creating a better world by starting with themselves.
Through more than 50 years of living and exploring together, three key themes have emerged as guiding principles for our work in the world.
Work Is Love In Action
Co-Creation with the Intelligence of Nature
Sounds True is a wonderful company that has been around for a long time and is owned by Tami Simon. They have a beautiful website which is easy to use and a fabulous collection of downloads and CDs and DVDs that you can purchase for support for your process no matter what you are working on or with.
I downloaded their iphone app, so now all my downloads from Sounds True are all easy to get and easy to find when i want to listen to them. Soo easy. This is a company you can really feel good in supporting.
Tammy Simon is also one of the most gifted interviewers I have personally experienced. She was the one who introduced Eckhart on the stage at the Omega Institute when I went on retreat with him in 2002. She has felt like a special person for me ever since.
Sounds True was founded in 1985 by Tami Simon with a clear mission: to disseminate spiritual wisdom. Since starting out as a project with one woman and her tape recorder, we have grown into a multimedia publishing company with more than 80 employees, a library of more than 1500 titles featuring some of the leading teachers and visionaries of our time, and an ever-expanding family of customers from across the world.
Sounds True exists to inspire, support, and serve personal transformation and spiritual awakening.
The mission of Sounds True is to find teachers and artists who serve as a gateway to spiritual awakening and to produce, publish, and distribute their work with beauty, intelligence, and integrity. We treat our authors, vendors, and partners in the same way we would want to be treated. We work flexibly and efficiently together to create a cooperative, loving environment that honors respectful authenticity and individual growth. We maintain a healthy level of profitability so that we are an independent and sustainable employee-owned organization.
Eckhart Tolle TV
Sounds True is a partner in Eckhart Tolle TV, an online television service that offers members new monthly video teachings from Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now and Creating a New Earth. Eckhart Tolle TV offers free teachings by Eckhart Tolle and his teaching partner Kim Eng, plus a premium service for members that includes monthly meditations with Eckhart Tolle that are broadcast live, question and answer sessions, special opportunities to purchase tickets to Eckhart Tolle TV filmings and retreats, and a chance to dialogue with other Eckhart Tolle TV members. For a free trial, please visit EckhartTolleTV.com.
The Shift Network empowers a global movement of people who are creating an evolutionary shift of consciousness that in turn leads to a more enlightened society, one built on principles of peace, sustainability, health, and prosperity.
Stephan Dinian, author of Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our MIssion in Service to All founded the Shift Network many years ago. They offer a wonderful selection of online courses in every imaginable topic which support their mission. I will paste their mission below.
“We aim to create a sustainable, peaceful, healthy and prosperous world — what we sometimes call heaven on earth for shorthand.
“We hold a vision where, not only are everyone’s basic needs met while living in peace, but the very best in all of us is expressed and humanity’s full creative potential is set free.
“This is a world in which we know we are one sacred family and are united in our divinity, while celebrating our diversity.
“Undeniably, there are immense challenges on the road to this ‘better’ world and as Albert Einstein famously said, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created”.
“Because of this, we are working to upgrade the ‘human operating system’ by…
Supporting people to unlock their full potential through transformative education and media.
Inspiring everyone to bring their unique gifts to the world and create real, tangible change.
Celebrating and spreading the most effective and innovative ideas and practices that are transforming the way we live.
Sharing openly about our own efforts in social change via lobbying, activism, philanthropy and more.
Connecting global citizens who are called to create a better world into a network of millions around the planet.
“Our intention is to share the very best in personal and societal transformation, so that together, step by step, we’re shifting the way we do things on this planet and creating a beautiful world that works for all.
“We call ourselves the Shift Network because it will take millions of connected, activated, inspired citizens to enact the changes that are possible. A network of inspired hearts, awakened minds, and dedicated souls.
“This is what we’re creating and we’re well on our way, having served over 800,000 people worldwide with customers in 150 countries and having featured over 1,000 thought leaders in domains as diverse as spirituality, peace, holistic health, psychology, parenting, enlightened business, indigenous wisdom, and sustainability.
“We’re committed to shifting our world, sober about the challenges that lie ahead, and inspired by what is possible.
“And of course, we’re so very grateful for your partnership in this important work.