These 5000 year old spiraling circles were carved in stone at the Circle Mound in Newgrange, Ireland. This is but one of many ancient circle burial sites created to remind our ancestors, and perhaps ourselves, that to learn what it means to be human requires us to embark upon a unique “journey of connecting,” and that we are called to bring our children along on this process of self-discovery as well.
We humans have been creating sacred places and carvings since long before recorded history and the appearance of today’s organized religions. Such sites and carvings represent an early glimmer of our human need to connect with some Larger Source of Life and Wisdom.
These ancients buried their dead in a circle, worshiping, and longing for some “connecting breakthrough” in their circles, as they attempted to pass on to their children the most effective body-links that they felt had power in their lives.
Today, we now realize that this “journey of connecting” must be travelled viscerally inside our own bodies. It is no longer a matter of relying upon external symbols, which all too often lose their power for bringing meaning into the lives of succeeding generations.
There were no manuals indicating that early people should be buried in circles. There was simply a felt knowing in the body, some sense for a deeper experience of community, a continuity through and beyond death, and an awareness of some larger order, mirrored for many in the movements of stars and planets, sun, moon, and earth. Simply put, it was a knowing in the heart, within the very bones of humankind itself.
Today, hundreds of millions of people don’t feel good about themselves, their relationships, and their lives. They become addicted to everything from drugs to shopping in an endless search for self-worth and meaning.
The key issue for renewing faith in ourselves and our existence within some Higher Order, Power, or Purpose in life lies not in the revelation of new information or a revised set of instructions. Paradoxically, in an Age of Information, the path forward seems to have little to do with information– at least insofar as we are accustomed to learn about it.
During an age of so-called “enlightenment,” our body’s more inarticulate knowing has been set aside in favor of reason, logic, order, and analysis. This has now slipped out of balance into our current lopsided preoccupation with understanding, prediction, and control– the foundation upon which Western scientific method has been built.
Yet despite all our highly developed and extremely useful skills that benefit humankind in many wonderful ways, we still have failed to tame the gods of war. Revenge, greed, and all the destructive tendencies lurking just beneath the surface of our seemingly well- ordered existences can, in an instant, burst forth to wreck havoc in our lives. Mindless ruin on a planetary scale seems all too possible. The dark genii gets out of the bottle!
So, where do we go from here? How can we discover a way forward in this time of danger and confusion?
Albert Einstein once offered something relevant to our current situation that is both scientifically accurate and wonderfully wise. He suggested that when you bump up against an absolutely intractable, insoluble problem, you will never resolve it at the level where you initially experienced it. Rather, you must first add another dimension to your experience of the problem, and only then will you find your solution!
That further dimension of experience, in our view, is to include what the body knows in our search for personal and social solutions to the pressing problems of our time.
We believe that our future evolution on this planet demands development of a practical, common, body-based, non-denominational “BIO-spiritual practice” that will provide pluralistic democracies with the moral foundation upon which they can endure and flourish.
There is an ancient saying: “…the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” If there is confusion in our time, it is because we are at a crossroad facing the unfamiliar risk of taking seriously a long-hidden wisdom that lies deep within our own body- knowing. We are challenged, in the words of Marshall McLuhan, “… to re-enter the tribal night, but this time with our eyes open!”
We need a revised map and help in navigating this journey. That is what this website is all about– and much more!
In addition the commitment to traveling this inner journey requires generational perseverance. This is the only way in which a collective awareness of the giftedness of life and interconnectedness of all things can develop into a community responsibility that cares for one another and our environment. It takes time for such responsible awareness to emerge from “inside” the collective body, bringing with it the necessary “organic, and lasting structure” that evolution demands. When such awareness is unable to emerge, however, then, as in the past, violence, greed, and corruption arise once again to destroy our every effort.
The world’s major religions have lost their ability to pass on this more somatic inner journey of connecting within the body. They have, instead, substituted in its place the observance of a long list of interpretations, teachings, doctrines, and rituals which have become largely devoid of effective symbolic meaning for contemporary people.
Not only do these precepts and teachings create division, suspicions, hatred, and constant conflict over whose interpretation is “correct,” but there is an even more ominous edge in their unforgiving righteousness. Even as we write, for the first time in history most people on this earth are in some way being held hostage in yet another World War. A war that has been essentially spawned through religious conflict.
This global experience, if nothing else, should convince us that something is radically lacking in the effective ability of world religions to prevent wars. In fact, if we critically examine the sad history of human conflict, we find that a key player in most of this mindless destruction throughout human history, has been religion itself.
Unless each succeeding generation, within different cultures, religions, and historical periods can learn how to pass on to their children an “embodied inner journey of connecting,” discovering more effective ways to notice and nurture the important links in their lives, then habitual disconnections will destructively repeat themselves over and over again. Military might, laws, and their sanctions can only protect us from this plague of violence up to a point.
However, there is a marvelous doorway into this journey that may be found through noticing and nurturing our important feelings. We can gain access to body-links that build new connections into our own life stories as these unfold “within” some even Larger Story and a Larger Body that each of us can physically feel. We now know that there are simple, practical ways to develop the habit of experiencing our own body “from inside,” over a long enough period of time, that this “sense of being bodily alive in a vast (interconnected) system” can grow into a love for the Whole Body.
Such experience forms the basis for a new world of planetary citizens. It includes responsible, committed peacemaking, directly addressing our inner disconnections that lead to violence. It builds upon an abiding human resource that we all now possess– a resource that can contribute to lasting peace. And, it offers the hope of a genuine renewal of the heart within diverse religious traditions.
These are the reasons why we have created this website.
We offer this website as a living gift to those who take the time to discover its potential for guidance, hope, and peace. May your journey of connecting be deep, organic, and lasting, enabling you to pass this same gift on to the earth’s future– our children!