An Initiation at Your Own PaceFeb 10, 2022
The lack of effective initiations into adult spiritual life may be the root cause of many dysfunctional patterns in modern western culture. Why? The root of suffering is attachment to our stories about how life should and should not be. Nowhere is this attachment greater than around the stories of our identity, the me. A major function of initiation into adult spiritual life is to enable initiated people to realize that they are not their names, not their stories, and not their childhood identities but something much larger. Being initiated, one reclaims their power as The Meaning Maker of their experience. Without initiation, one thinks they are their stories, and they make their suffering the fault of others or circumstances.
We need adult initiation. How does initiation work? The initiation process creates a touchstone experience of psychological death and rebirth where the initiate, stands at the abyss and then realizes there is nothing they can do, but simply “let go.” This great “let go” enables the initiate to have a direct experience of the Great Mystery and themselves as a living part of it.
When they return, they are forever changed; reborn. Their childhood identity is seen as a fabrication of stories given by others. Their connection to The Great Mystery is understood as a “home” and their heart comes to life with an extraordinary gratitude to be alive. This heartfelt gratitude becomes the directing beacon and provides a path for their lives. The way they love life itself become the way they bring their unique gifts into the world. The initiated person becomes a person of power where power is defined as love in action.
Contrast this to modern western adults plagued by anxiety, depression, addictions, and profound attachments to looking good and not looking bad. The average adult has cultivated so many masks and pretenses that they become separated from their own essential truth. Few people have a safe place to be real, to be truthful about who they are and how they feel. Isolation and diminished engagement are chronic experiences for many adults and so they seek relief to their pain in short term fixes designed to avoid the truth of their suffering. The Cycle of Relief Seeking perpetuates the Negative Avoidance Patterns, Addictions, and Limiting Beliefs.
Worse, the dysfunctionality is passed on from generation to generation often as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s). We now know that the more ACE’s a person endures in childhood the greater the likelihood of adult physical, mental, and emotional illness. The cost of not being initiated in terms of lost human potential is staggering.
Let’s look at a few telling statistics that describe our cultural losses: There are about 50 million alcoholics and addicts, 10 million with depression, 40 million with anxiety disorders, about 247 million of Americans are overweight or obese. There are many other disorders that are largely avoidance responses; a way to avoid feeling the pain.
These substance addictions alone cost our country $740 billion each year based on numbers assembled a decade ago by the CDC. Add in $200 billion for obesity and our primary dysfunctions are costing us almost $1 Trillion per year. Adults initiated into spiritual life are much less likely to have these problems because initiation empowers one to continuously reconstruct their identity away from attachments and toward the empowered life of a person who partners with the Mystery.
Another issue is that many people struggle with their sense of purpose in life, in part, because they have not been initiated into adult spiritual life. The last hundred years has been largely focused on scientific, logical, rationalistic, and reductionistic thinking that has little capacity to embrace The Mystery that surrounds and pervades all of life.
Without acknowledging The Mystery, however, the ego/shadow limitations of personality cause us to become one sided, limited, stuck in our identity structures, and this pattern has caused a great loss of human potential.
The elders of almost all Wisdom Traditions knew that it is our nature to need an ongoing renewal process to have an ongoing restructuring of our identity, to keep from getting stuck and one sided…but these practices have largely been lost in modern western culture.
Because there is little effective initiation into adult spiritual life many people are stuck in their childhood, victim identity, and they have no way to incrementally update and restructure their identity to meet the demands of adult life. They have no effective Renewal and Resilience Building Practice. No wonder there is so much desperation and isolation. No wonder the Cycle of Relief Seeking, through Negative Coping Patterns, Addictions, and Limiting Beliefs, is so pervasive.
There is good news now. We have developed an effective renewal practice in Peer-Pods personal healing teams. It’s more effective than group processes and a lot less expensive than talk therapy. Peer-Pods are personal healing teams where you learn a renewal and resilience building practice online and then do the practice with your two Pod Mates for 1 hour on the phone each week. “Healer, first heal thyself!” If you want to heal and transform this culture then “begin within.” Join a Peer-Pod Personal Healing Team and nurture the seeds of your full potential as a healer and a human being. Do it for you, for those you love, and those you serve.
My name is Joe Campanella. Thank you for visiting. May your healing journey be full of blessings and reconnect you with the gift and miracle of life.
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