MTR O'ahu

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.

Rick Thomas, with Australian students Irene and Bridget Stewart under the Banyan tree at Waikiki

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.

Wonderful Aloha welcome from Maureen Malanaphy with Canda Bloir, Kathleen Malanaphy, Carol Chappell (seated), Rick Thomas, and Hugh John Malanaphy

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.

Canda Bloir
Carol Chappell
Alana Fennie
Al Haferkamp
Brian Malanaphy
HughJohn Malanaphy
Maureen Malanaphy
Jim Renza
Irene Stewart
Bridget Stewart
Rick Thomas

New Directions

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.