Over the last few years I have become accustom to using modern tools to help me through the complicated maze of my life. Often I use Google Navigation to help me see traffic ahead of me, provide alternative routes, offer time to arrival and of course for basic directions when I am in an area of uncertainty.
Maybe this has happened to you?
While I am going along listening to some podcast or song on my smartphone pulsing through my car speakers in my auto-zoned-out-trip, suddenly I will hear a female voice cut in and say, ” GPS signal lost!” My heart sinks, I immediately feel sense of fear come over me and for a moment a feeling that I am completely lost. This happens even if I am just on the 101 going between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
This subconscious reaction to my physical situation is out of my control. My body and my conscious mind know perfectly well that I am OK but in my “purple haze” of a zoned out driving condition this grabs me in a way that is totally unsettling and without conscious merit.
I have so trained myself to certain cues that when they are triggered I fall into that fight or flight… fear raging energy – What at MKP (Mankind Project – https://mankindproject.org) is talked about as the Wildman.
Recent tragic events that have occurred involving Robert Moore (“worked on decoding and mapping the deep structures of the human self” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Moore) have given way to discussion in my local men’s group regarding the 7 archetypal energies we use as a foundation for conducting our meetings based on Robert Moore’s seminal work, “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine” (https://goo.gl/hN7JKe).
In a recent meeting one of our elder members posed a question that maybe there is something that is missing in our model. Is there some other component to our model that needs to be fleshed out and included? Something we are missing which resulted in Robert Moore and his wife’s unfortunate demise.
This got me to thinking of all the trainings I have had, all the elder moments of grace I have experienced and the times in my life where I felt held by a safe container. A place in which to do my work. Was there something that I have been around that is now missing in the work I do with my current men’s group?
As some of you know I had been involved with a school while living in Seattle called the Wilderness Awareness School. For over 20 years, both my wife and I were board members separately each for 5 years, parents of one of the first graduating class students of the community school program. My wife and daughter are graduates of the Anake 9-month adult program. We helped to create a viable place for creating a better society. A more connected society. With numerous meetings and lectures from elder statesmen from tribes and native peoples from all over the world. Including sitting at the feet of Tekaronieneken Jake Swamp, Gilbert Walking Bull and Ingwe and many other elders for days at a time. There was a number of WAS senior staff and contributors of the school who helped reignite the back to nature movement of the ’80s an ’90s . Today there are over 300 schools using these teaching methods known as “Coyote Mentoring.” The school was started by a man named Jon Young who was the first student of Tom Brown (the great grandson of Sitting Bull https://www.wildernessawareness.org/about/about) . Jon lives in Santa Cruz now (http://8shields.com/ which uses nature to help people connect a healthy archetypal model for well-living).
Jon Young, through his life’s work, has developed an 8-shield (archetypal energies) model he calls an Acorn (Container) for the values of living our lives intentionally. And while I don’t wish to discard the MKP 7-directions model, I would encourage the reader to consider how this model may be missing some of the elements of the 8-shield construct. Jon’s model, which he developed after many years of studying hunter-gather nations around the world, is used in the “art of mentoring” week-long (intentional living http://8shields.com/programs/art-of-mentoring/) intensives offered in several locations around the world each year as well as being taught in over 300 schools around the world. (Outside Now is one here locally in SLO.)
Here is a link that describes Jon’s 8-shield concept
Jon’s 8-shield model splits the North direction of the meridians MKP uses into three sections: Northwest, North and Northeast…With an overlay of loops linking across the meridian model to the opposing side (oblong loops say northwest to southeast) to hold the acorn (we call ours a container) together. These bands or loops, in my judgement, are even more interesting in that they provide the glue for the “Ying and Yang” of the polarities of the opposing directions.. Jon’s concept of “CONDOLENCE”, for example, is just one of these kinds of acorns of intention.
Jon writes, “Southeast-Northwest Axis: CONDOLENCE. The Southeast and Northwest directions are the guardians of condolence. In our society people often store grief in their minds and bodies, often leading to anger, depression, and restrictions in many aspects of life. The condolence principle recognizes that grief is essential to reclaiming joy and happiness. As such, the guardians of condolence provide a safe atmosphere for people to express and work through their grief.”
Where and how does this hold up in the 7-directions model used by MKP men’s groups during meetings? Are we honoring the polarity of our meridian model enough? Where is our construct for the powers to keep these in a container. Do we just call Safety and stop the process and call it a day?
Maybe there is something in Jon’s 8-shield model that helps to shine a light on the path that Robert took or was missing, causing him to take the road he did. In a recent post from one of our elder’s who wrote in our Santa Barbara email circle regarding the announcement of Robert Moore’s passing, “Mental illness is a reality even for those of us ‘doing the work.’ My judgment and experience is that there are aspects of the psyche deeper than ‘shadow’ that demand our healing, nurturing, and support. My commitment is to re-invest in safety as I participate in and facilitate men’s work. My fear is that I can never be 100% sure where a man is after his process ends and what happens to him when he leaves the circle and returns to his community.”
I speculate from this that; how can we, as amateurs, know what a man is really going through when he leaves one of our meetings? What final solution is a troubled soul working out in their mind? What training do we have in facilitation to witness this kind of catastrophic event going on behind the smile and silent face sitting next to you in circle. Am i my brother’s keeper?
Condolence is a gateway to acceptance. A container that I feel, my judgement, that is stronger than just yelling out “Safety” when the Wildman shows his unruly head.
This is all for discussion and I hope that others who have thoughts on this will take their ideas and post them to us in some way for us to share.
Note: It is remarkable the similarities of the Wilderness Awareness School’s processes and those of MKPs. I would have thought there was some kind of formal pollination between the two but I have never heard of any. I do know a few people who know both schools of thought and sit with them here in the Central Coast of California. By the way, I highly recommend to try an meet Jon or go to one of his events he holds around the world if you get a chance.
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Details on Robert Moore Suicide.
My response to our Santa Barbara Email Groups discussion:
“It is presumably to be left to the free choice of the individual. Anything that seems to be wrong to us can be right under certain circumstances over which we have no control and then end of which we do not understand…Our life is not made entirely by ourselves. The main bulk of it is brought into existence out of sources that are hidden to us. Even complexes can start a century or more before a man is born. There is something like karma.” (Jung, 1973, pp. 435-436)”
RE Source of quote:
Selected Letters of C.G. Jung, 1909-196