What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?
How do we help each other access the wisdom residing
at the core of our Beings that can help us evolve into our true humanity?
What is your personal experience of collective
wisdom in groups?
Someone once described spiritual synergy as “God
in the space between…” Certainly my experience of collective
wisdom in groups is that a spiritual energy enters the space between
people when we gather in a way that calls out our wisdom. My most profound
experiences of wisdom-rising have occurred in circle. I believe circle
is an archetypal experience coded in our DNA. When we sit down in the
shape of a circle and call in the structural elements that create this
social/spiritual container, we access a lineage of wisdom that is tens
of thousands of years old. We link to our ancestors and dream our progeny:
we sit in the midst of our seven generations. Grounded in this spiritual
state, the truest version of the story of who we are, and what we are
capable of being is available to us. Surrounded by our mutual recognition
of each other, the energy to rise up and do what must be done is held
in supportive community.
What is it about the work in this field that excites
you and connects you to your own deepest self?
I believe in story. I believe story guides us and that
the stories we attend to, and recite, and encourage in each other are
energetic maps. Consequently, I have huge concerns over the stories
being propagated at this time in history, and the acceptance they instill
in us toward suffering, violence, technology, mechanization, and how
they acclimatize us to the long slow death of everything.
At the same time there are new stories arising that enliven
the human spirit. My work, as a writer, facilitator, lecturer, teacher,
and especially life-learner, all focuses on raising these new stories
to the level of activation.
There’s a Ray Bradbury fable about a time when
everything seems to be falling apart and people are greatly discouraged
at the state of the world. When they are most distraught a scientist
comes to the city with a contraption he says is a Time Machine and volunteers
to get in it and go a hundred years into the future. Thinking that they
want to know “how bad it’s going to get,” the people
send him on this mission. Time passes. One day the scientist reappears,
jumps out of his machine and announces to the wincing crowd, “I
have wonderful news. The world is all right. There is sweet water, plenty
to eat, people live in peace and justice, the earth is held in balance.”
The people are stunned, but they take up their lives again and get busy
to create such a future. Many decades pass, and when the scientist is
a very old man, a young writer comes to him to discover how his great
machine worked. Smiling, the old man confesses, “I didn’t
go anywhere… I just gave them hope.”
I believe we will change the world when enough
of us believe the story that this is really possible.
Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of
what brought you to this work.
Once I had a dream… in this dream I am hacking
through the jungle with a machete. I am hot, tired, sweating, alone,
and wish to stop. After a while I call out to God, “Why am I alone?”
No answer. I continue clearing my way. After a while I call out again,
“What is this path that is no path?”
No answer. I continue breaking through the underbrush. I call out again,
“Where is everybody?” This time there is an answer. A voice
says, “You are making your way from the circumference toward the
center of a very large circle. Only those who do not give up will find
each other. The closer you get to the center, the more you will discover
those who have made their own ways here.”
We are finding each other. That is who is here. We are
getting to the center and more and more of us are close enough to reach
for each other, tell stories, sing encouraging songs, pass water bottles
and food, and share resources.
In my own life, my greatest joy and mentor is my partner,
Ann Linnea. Our coming together released
our life work: that which we do together in PeerSpirit circling, and
aspects of our work and writing we encourage in each other. Our coming
together brought us to the edge of the world, an island in Puget Sound,
and introduced us to many people who are heading toward the center of
the circle. In the past 12 years, we are in an ongoing process of discovering
our tribe and all our relations.
How would you like to be available to others in
A central life practice for me is dedication to reciprocity—mutually
satisfying exchanges conducted within spiritual flow. I follow a precept
of “ask for what you need and offer what you can.” So I
find it difficult to respond to this question because only half the
precept is inquired after “… offer what you can…”
My willingness to offer occurs within context of trade, “asking
for what I need.” A meaningful connection for me would be an embrace
of exchange as reciprocal as a hug— both people are full participants,
no matter who first reached out their arms. I will be available as long
as reciprocity is present. Talking/listening; reading/writing; leading/participating.
Let’s enter the hug and see what is alive in the moment of exchange.
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