“Be yourself.” Easy-peasy, right ?
Al Haferkamp, Dean of The Prosperos, takes a good look at these simple words in a one-hour lesson delivered on May 19, 2019.
Uplifting and thought provoking as always . . . . Enjoy.
“. . . For what is inside of you is what is outside of you,
and the one who fashioned you on the outside
is the one who shaped the inside of you.
And what you see outside of you, you see inside of you;
it is visible and it is your garment.”
- The Thunder, Perfect Mind
Nag Hammadi Library, p.302
from A Gnostic Book of Hours, by June Singer
If we understand this message, which we hear from many sources, it should be clear that any sane response to external events must begin with setting in order what we see inside of ourselves. Outrageous events that we witness in the world - and we witness them every day on the radio or television news, or on our phones - often cry out for action, and often leave us with a sense of despair because we feel we can do nothing.
That is when we should remember that what we see happening is happening in us - that is to say, in our consciousness, in our awareness - and as such can be responded to in our consciousness by the application of straight thinking in the abstract or by other meditative practices. This is fabulously good news, challenging as the times are, because it means we are not without resources nor the ability to respond meaningfully.
Responding meaningfully first will bring guidance as to further steps to be taken, letters to be written, meetings to attend, or reading to be done, if any. It can be a useful step back before clicking on that button urging you to “ACT NOW”.
Eugene Peterson, a very influential voice in defining the role of the pastor in modern America, writes in his memoir about his experience of seminary:
“Daily life at the seminary comprised common prayer in the chapel, common meals in the refectory, common play in the requisite volleyball game on the roof after lunch each day. . . . All of this took place on a quiet side street bordering the maelstrom of noisy, jostling, harried, secular, cutthroat, competitive New York City.
“I had only the vaguest notion of why I was there. . . . I didn’t know it at the time, but what I absorbed in my subconscious, which eventually surfaced years later, was a developing conviction that the most effective strategy for change, for revolution - at least on the large scale that the kingdom of God involves - comes from a minority working from the margins. . . . [T]hat a minority people working from the margins has the best chance of being a community capable of penetrating the noncommunity, the mob, the depersonalized, function-defined crowd that is the sociological norm of America” (my emphasis).
We do not change the world; but changing ourselves and working in the community of our study groups can provide the insight that will power revolutionary change on a larger scale, that is, the unfolding of Divine consciousness in the lives of an entire planet.
An old chestnut from the sales lexicon: Positive Mental Attitude. It is a pretty important asset for a sales person, but there’s a lot more to attitude than being positive or negative. Attitude determines what we see and what we don’t see. It’s very true that a person who cannot see themselves succeeding at something will have a much more difficult time than the person who can. So a lot of motivational exercises address themselves to this problem with tools like visualization and affirmations: one develops PMA.
Thei Prosperos takes a different approach - a different attitude about attitudes, as it were: Put yourself to the task of unlearning attitudes that are restrictive. The thesis is that perfect competence, perfect enthusiasm, perfect energy, and perfect delight are all part and parcel of our natural being. They do not have to be inculcated or created. Your effort and your energy belong to addressing the many claims of limitation, inability, bad luck, etc., etc., etc. Each of these claims is a liar.
It’s easier to spot some of these false beliefs than others. It can help to is ask yourself, “Where do I feel or see limitation, discomfort, or unhappiness?“ Every instance of limitation or dissatisfaction is concealing an attribute of the boundless. Your true identity is boundless and, being boundless, immediately available and at hand. The Law of the Vacuum and The Law of Assumption lessons on this website go into these points in much greater detail.
One of my favorite things about the apartment which Alana and I have shared for the past 17 years, here in Silver Spring Maryland, is that it has a south facing lanai, and we enjoy being out there in the warmer months.
One of the things you notice if you’re sitting out there in the evening is all of the bright lights that are aircraft coming in to land at the National airport just across the river from Washington DC, in Virginia.
I timed these aircraft one night and found out that they made their approach exactly 2 minutes apart. Now, National airport has two runways that run parallel to each other so it’s possible for aircraft to land on one runway or the other one. Still, between 8:30 and 9:00 PM there is a steady stream of aircraft landing, one every two minutes. Each of these aircraft is independently piloted, and most of them carry over 100 passengers. There is something truly uplifting about the professionalism and excellence of the system by which so much traffic can be handled with so elegant a process.
This is what we are capable of, at our best. We are capable of impossible feats of engineering, like sending a crew of humans to the moon and bringing them back to Earth safely. Or, like sending the space shuttle up into orbit, traveling at 17,000 mph, and then having it glide back to earth without any power whatsoever to land exactly in the middle of a landing strip at Edwards Air Force Base.
It has been a perplexity for me for many years to witness the explosions that we produce with the aim of killing people and destroying cities when we have at our fingertips the power to transform lives for the better with great feats of imagination and prowess.
It’s not a bad question to think about: What kind of explosions are there in my life? Are they outbursts of creative imagination? Or are they outbursts of anger, frustration, and so on? The message of The Prosperos, and the message of Ontology is that we have the power to turn our frustrations, our anger, into creative acts that enrich our lives and the lives of everyone around us.
. . . She led the way,
And the man followed in the deity’s footsteps.” -Odyssey, Book 5
This statement recurs throughout the Odyssey. Intuition can feel like a glimmering of the divine, and it can lay out a path for us to follow, leading us out of a familiar, comfortable, possibly unpleasant situation, into challenging circumstances, and finally to resolution in the making right (ho’oponopono) of all issues.
I have become much too dutiful. A spate of obligations has brought me to a place where, upon waking, my mind is filled with all of the tasks I have for the day. I will return to my practice of reading something uplifting first thing in the morning, before anything else.
A group of new and long-time students got together in mid-March - right before the Spring Equinox - to explore Thane’s method of Metonymy Translation during a two-day class.
This is the first version of this class as a full two-day event. It was given once before as a one-day event, in Los Angeles in 2007. Various lessons associated with MTR have been presented at Prosperos Assemblies as they've been developed. Over the years I have assembled a variety of related information, and when Al Haferkamp asked me to present a full version of the class I felt the time was right, and that I was ready.
Hawaii was chosen for a very practical reason : Irene Stewart and her sister Bridget were joining us from Australia, and it seemed only fair to meet them halfway. Of equal importance : MTR was developed in Hawaii during the last years of Thane’s life. It seemed appropriate that Hawaii should be the venue for unveiling the two-day class, and I felt that a small, face-to-face group would be best for working to develop the material.
Through Maureen Malanaphy we were able to arrange to use a retreat center on the Windward side of O'ahu (Ka’a’awa). Given the limited space, and limited local accommodations otherwise, it was decided that this class would be promoted almost entirely by word-of-mouth. Moreover, because we had three full days together following the class presentation it was possible to do daily check-ins about using the technique : were there difficulties? what kind of experiences did people have? and so on. This worked out as well as I could have wished for.
As expected, some Hawaiian students got wind of the event and decided to come. Canda Bloir opened the class with a very moving Hawaiian 'oli. I was happy to meet Brian Malanaphy (again) after many years, and he joined HughJohn and Maureen in the class. In fact, we had a Malanaphy micro-reunion on Wednesday night when Liam, Kevin, and Kathleen all joined us during our farewell meal ! Canda's grandson (!) Keoni also visited for awhile, and we discovered that his Maori connections were familiar to Irene and Bridget.
Alex Gambeau, a member of the audio study group where this idea was born, unfortunately was not able to make it. Also, Pam Rodolph and Ragin from Oklahoma made all the arrangements to come and then got shut down by a renegade snowstorm that closed the Denver airport. That was a big disappointment to all of us.
I am deeply grateful to Al Haferkamp, who managed many of the logistical issues around a venture of this magnitude, leaving me free to compose the final lessons and prepare myself for delivering the material. In this I feel very privileged - not many of our instructors get that kind of support these days. Alana had her hand very much in those tasks as well. Jim Renza joined Alana and me on the trip from the East Coast - which was a loooooong haul - and was wonderfully helpful with managing the food presentation and other details. HughJohn Malanaphy took responsibility for running the video camera on short notice and also engineered an alternative audio recording which will be of higher quality than what we could get from the camera. And Maureen Malanaphy, as I mentioned, provided crucial support during the run-up to class and a wonderful welcoming dinner feast on Friday night.
I'm also very appreciative of everyone who participated in this class experience. Whatever comes out of it very much belongs to them.
A new Moonwobble report outlines the dynamics of this cycle where the Sun in Scorpio will square the North node in Leo and South node in Aquarius. Taurus is also involved due to Uranus at the early degrees of that sign.
Long-time students Richard Hartnett and Heather Williams invite you to come to The Prosperos Annual Assembly . . . .
Long-time students Hugh John and Maureen Malanaphy invite you to come to The Prosperos Annual Assembly . . . with a special backdrop !
Over the years Thane presented several lessons on this prayer so essential to the Christian faith. In doing so he was re-interpreting traditional - perhaps a little tired with age - lines in a way that creates an invocation of the timeless and immortal: not in a far-away heaven but right here, right now.
The online listening and dialogue group - a group of veteran students meeting in a group dynamics setting to review archive materials - took the lesson on as a project and found it very compelling. After a lot of tender loving care spiffing up the audio it is now published on the website and available for listening.
Check it out, and leave comments below if you'd like. We're curious to know what you think about its relevance to our current age.
We are again in the situation where we haven't seen a lot of growth in the archive. The process of preparing the materials is not particularly difficult, but it is exacting and takes thoughtful attention in order that the result be a product of quality.
We have been able to use this platform, however, for a very unexpected purpose: presenting monitor classes as an asynchronous experience. Our Dean, Al Haferkamp, has been experimenting with this aspect of the archive to work with some new students, and we are in the process of evaluating possibilities - from the perspective both of student experience and of Mentor development opportunities.
The archive remains an excellent resource for interested seekers to hear Thane's public presentations from the 1970s and to review his students' efforts in recent Sunday Meeting episodes.
I find that Thane's open meeting lessons convey the timeless message of the Ontological instruction remarkably well - despite being almost 50 years old - while the newer ones demonstrate a lively community continuing to explore the Ontological message and its implications for our times, which are sorely in need of a sane perspective.
In fact, these times are very much like those. We see social upheaval in our own country and around the world which looks very familiar to one who lived through the 60s and 70s. "Déjà vu all over again," as Yogi Berra put it. The Ontological message reads these social uncertainties as a call for attention to timeless, eternal realities in order to allow the birth of something new which cannot come to be within the existing structures of our societies. What is it ?
The Prosperos has always focused on "unpredictable good". While the results cannot be predicted with specificity we know that our job is to clarify the collective consciousness by clarifying the disturbing evidence around us in the light of a boundless and irrepressible wholeness which is forever pressing forth. The "how to" can be found in the lessons contained in this archive.
We haven't been doing much to grow the collection for several months. We've managed to add Thane's stand-alone Greater Freedom lessons - the Law of the Vacuum and the Law of Assumption - which are one of the best introductions to The Prosperos instruction ever developed. These have been transitioned from a purchase model to a by-contribution model.
We have about half of the Transcendentalism series posted, and we plan to add the Ours for Discovery and The Greater Freedom (not to be confused with the stand-alone lessons mentioned above) series in the next year.
All of these are open-meeting-format lessons for which a contribution was always the only expected fee. Collectively they provide a window not only into the philosophy of Ontology which is the root of our instruction but into the work of an accomplished Teacher in the midst of his mission at a time of formidable social change - the late 60s and early 70s of the last century.
One thing we have accomplished in the meantime is to support several online courses and open up new inventory and payment options that make accounting easier and assist students by offering the kind of payment options they are used to online.
If you have suggestions, or questions, please send us a note.
Presentation date : January 17, 1971
This lesson is given the day after the first presentation of what would come to be called “Cosmic Intention Therapy” - “the new space-phase of religion” as one student put it.
Mary Ritley’s introduction is mentioned several times as being more relevant to the material that was given during the class than what will be delivered during this talk.
Her introduction is missing - how did that happen ?
Thane also introduces a woman who, as a child of 9, sat through the original Zion lessons in the late 1930s.
The woman’s mother was named was Virginia Stilton, and Thane remarks that she was an unusual voice, especially for that time and that place.
This lesson is about re-interpreting the Lord’s Prayer.
Ben Thompson notes that blogging as a means for individual self-expression is far from dead, although the shape is changing and a lot depends on what you’re after :
A big problem with this entire discussion is that there really isn’t a widely agreed-upon definition of what a blog is, thanks in part to the rise of sites like TechCrunch that ran on WordPress and presented posts in reverse-chronological order and so, at least in the beginning, were called “blogs”; add to that the thinly-disguised PR-channels known as “company blogs” and it’s easy to get confused.
And so, to be clear, when I speak of the “blog” I am referring to a regularly-updated site that is owned-and-operated by an individual (there is, of course, the “group blog,” but it too has a clearly-defined set of authors). And there, in that definition, is the reason why, despite the great unbundling, the blog has not and will not die: it is the only communications tool, in contrast to every other social service, that is owned by the author; to say someone follows a blog is to say someone follows a person (This applies both for amateur and professional bloggers; most of the rest of this post is concerned with the latter).
There’s a lot to digest here for those of us who wish to share what we’ve learned from Thane and other teachers.
It's a lot of work because I trim the greeter's remarks from each copy, leaving only a brief introduction of the speaker and Thane's presentation. The opening meditation and closing music have been removed to avoid copyright hassles.
So, it's a matter of loading the existing audio file into an audio editor along with the introduction and closing tags, trimming where necessary, and saving to mp3.