How do we become seasoned adults, a true human being? Clearly, this is not a given. Traditionally this was the work of culture. Through the long labors of multiple initiations, individuals were gradually crafted into persons of substance and gravity. The process yielded someone more attuned to responsibilities than rights, more aware of multiple entanglements than entitlements. They were initiated into a vast sea of intimacies, with the village, star clusters and gnarled old oaks, the pool of ancestors and the scented earth. Through the sustained attention of culture, individuals were ripened into adults capable of sustaining culture: A marvelous symmetry.
The need is clear: we must cultivate a robust collective of adults whose primary fealty is to the life-giving world upon which we depend. We must be able to feel our loyalties to watersheds, migratory pathways, marginalized communities, and the soul of the world. We must feel the bedrock of our aliveness, and the reality of our wild and exuberant lives. Initiation tempers the soul, drawing out its hidden essence and calls forth the medicine we came to offer this stunning world.
Initiation is not optional. Psyche/soul will insist on this encounter, even in the absence of culturally held rites of passage. Initiation is an ordeal, a tempering induced by heat and pressure. Heat we have and pressure aplenty. The circumstances of our lives and in the surrounding world, are the initiatory thresholds compelling us to change. The losses, intimacies, defeats, challenges, illnesses, and breakdowns, internally and culturally, are the prima materia, the material required to activate the movement into our adult presence.
feather-light hope sacrifices nothing….
inquiry for today~ consider the way you know life…
The truth is that things don’t really get solved.
They come together and they fall apart.
Then they come together again and fall apart again.
It’s just like that. The healing comes letting there be room for
all of this to happen; room for grief, for relief,
for misery, for joy.