JOINING TOGETHER

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joining-together:New  Human  Adults  who  have  just  made  it  to  the  back  of  the  movie  theater  will usually display some common personality traits. First, they begin to understand there are possibilities that were inconceivable to them as a Human Child. Even their freedom to walk around is a new sensation that takes some getting used to. Being up and out of their seats has given them new hope and new energy. They don’t necessarily understand what’s happening, but it excites them to find out, to exercise this freedom and explore these possibilities. Secondly, anger might come to the surface for all the time they spent sitting in their chairs as a Human Child – anger and resentment toward those who had put and kept them there. It doesn’t matter that the shackles were never locked; there can still be the feeling of having been a victim of external forces, for it’s way too soon for a new Human Adult to take full responsibility for their condition as a Human Child. Next might come defiance, a determination never to go back to their seat. They could if  they wanted;  it’s not  too late.  But like  the  freed prisoner  in Plato’s Cave,  it’s seems unimaginable for a new Human Adult to consider voluntarily returning to their shackles, chained  to  their  seats,  seeing  nothing  again  except  the  movies  playing  out  in  front  of them. “I’ll be damned if I’m going back there,” although some eventually do. And fourthly, they make a decision to change things. What they decide to change – themselves,  or  what’s  “out  there”  –  can  depend  on  a  lot  of  factors;  but  their  defeatist attitude of “can’t change things” as a Human Child becomes an overwhelming obsession of “must change things” as a Human Adult. The movies that make up their life are still playing  all  around them,  the  3D pictures enveloping  them,  immersing  them,  coming  at them from all angles; and they still view these movies as the only “reality” there is, like the  shadows  on  the  cave  wall.  They  also  have  virtually  the  same  emotional  reactions they’ve always had to the movies, which reinforces their need to re-write the scripts. As a  new Human  Adult,  you  most  likely  experienced  at  least  one  or  two of  these feelings, if not all of them. A fairly good example of this was the Hippie Movement. The Vietnam War playing out on the movie screen was the catalyst that led a lot of Human Children to stand up and  shout  “No!”  As they  walked  to  the  back  of  the  theater  (they called  it  “dropping  out”), they  soon  discovered  there  were  other  possibilities  of  how  to  live  and  began experimenting  with  their  new-found  freedom.  There  was  anger  about  the  war  and  the people in charge who were making the movies. There was a defiance to no longer be part of that movie; and there was a decision to make things change. “We Can Make It Better,  We Can Change the World Now, We Can Save the Children, We Can Make It Happen,” sang Chicago in 1972.1 As far as I can tell, the Vietnam War/Hippie Movement of the late 1960’s and early ‘70’s provided the incentive for more new Human Adults than any other event in recent history. Young people by the thousands stood up in their chairs and started walking out.

JOINING TOGETHER:The Movement died fairly quickly; but a lot of people woke up swearing never again to return to their seats, and it left a huge legacy in the back of the movie theater. The  Hippie  Movement  is  also  a  good  example  of  another  common  trait  of  a  new Human Adult – the longing to be part of a group. In many cases, it’s more than a longing; it’s  a  necessity.  After  all,  you’ve  spent  your  entire  life  surrounded  by  other  Human Children and took comfort in being part of the group. In all the strangeness and newness of the back of the theater, you now seek solace and support as a Human Adult; you search for others wanting to change the same things you do; you start looking around for a new group to join. Fortunately  the  back  of  the  movie  theater  is  full  of  groups  consisting  of  Human Adults  who  have  found  others  of  like  mind  and  banded  together  for  a  common  cause. Perhaps you might wander around for a little while first, standing on the edge of various gatherings, listening, seeing if you agree with what’s being said by the leader, looking for just the right one. But very soon, you join one of them. You must. You feel too alone and  you need camaraderie, other people around you who will let you know you’re not crazy to have left your seat, new friends who will help you change things. * * The year I stayed in college after reading There is a River, I passed the time playing golf,  playing  bridge,  and  going  to  frat  parties.  In  other  words,  I  spent  a  year  roaming around the back of the theater, just trying to escape the movies somehow. Shortly after  my twentieth  birthday  I  joined  my  first group and  participated  in the creation of a musical extravaganza to become known as  Up With People.2 The idea was to change the world through music and an ideology called Moral Re-Armament.3 Moral Re-Armament was based on a certain level of self-responsibility, believing the movies – the world, life, reality – could change if everyone would adhere to a strict moral  code  of  absolute  love,  absolute  purity,  absolute  honesty,  and  absolute  unselfishness.  It was our duty to live that way ourselves, and then go out and get everyone else to live that way  as  well.  We  decided  to  present  our  cause  through  a  highly  entertaining  and professional  musical,  couching  our  morality  in  clever  and  catchy  song  lyrics  such  as “Freedom Isn’t Free” and “What Color Is God’s Skin?”4 For almost two years I gave it all I had, 24/7/365; and I had a hell of a lot of fun and did things and saw places and had experiences that  were way over the top. I still have many friends from those days, and some of the lyrics and music Up With People created were very powerful. “Coming Home,” “Where the Roads Come Together,” and “Moon Rider”5 will probably always move me to tears of joy and appreciation for this time of my life and this group. It was so much fun that I was able to overlook the glaring inconsistencies and errors in groupthink.6 For example, in 1966 I was the only one who was against the war out of hundreds directly involved in the program, even in the light of “absolute love.” But as was inevitable in those days, I was drafted and offered an all-expenses-paid, one-year-long tour of beautiful downtown Vietnam as an Army medic in 1969 – which means I missed Woodstock. I also missed out on the drug scene. In fact, I was in uniform for the major  part  of the  Hippie  Movement,  which  would have been a very interesting group to join had I been able.

Basically, I had three choices when I was drafted, considering my opposition to the war. One, I could flee the country and go to Canada or Sweden, remaining as a Human Adult and joining the group of other young men doing the same. But I was afraid I might never be able to return to the U.S.A., a country I loved and did not want to leave forever. My second choice was to go to jail as a war resister, again remaining as a Human Adult  and  joining  a  group  of  other  young  men  also  choosing  incarceration  to  being  a soldier. But I was afraid in this case I would lose the support of my girlfriend  and my mother and other friends who simply could not or would not understand. This choice also generated many very big questions about how this jail time could affect my future. So in the end, and based on my fears, I voluntarily gave up being a Human Adult, left  Up With People, went back to my seat in the theater, became a Human Child once more,  and  spent  the  next  three  years  immersed  in  a  war  movie.  The  minute  I  was honorably  discharged,  I  bolted  out  of  my  seat  again  and  ran  to  the  back  of  the  movie theater. Lying on my bunk in Vietnam I had made a decision not to return to Up With People when I got out of the Army, but to get elected President of the United States instead. As President,  I  figured  I  could  really  make  some  changes;  so  I  joined  a  political  group, starting  my  career  by  getting  elected  to  the  Arizona  state  senate  at  the  age  of  twenty- eight. However, one term as a senator was all I needed to realize that not only did this group have no chance of changing anything, but that government the way it is practiced today is actually the cause of most of the problems in the first place and the thing that requires changing the most. I ran for re-election anyway, not knowing what else to do; but I made sure I lost with some conscious decisions that could have no other outcome, like dropping my affiliation with  any  major  party  and  running  as  an  Independent,  not  campaigning,  and  taking  a woman who was not my wife to the Grand Canyon in full public view. I nearly won despite it all; but late on election night, as it became clear I would lose, my  friends  started  to  file  out  of  the  hotel  room  where  we  were  watching  the  returns, expressing  their  condolences  and  even  crying  for  my  loss.  I  tried  hard  to  look disappointed, but inside I was relieved and happy as I could be. That’s  when  I  realized  there  was  something  wrong  with  me I  should  probably address before continuing to try to change the world. I had just thrown away a brilliant political  career  as  the  new  “darling”  of  the  Arizona  Republican  Party,  and  yet  I  was utterly thrilled with the outcome. That, to me, was completely illogical and inexplicable. So I started looking for an explanation, searching the back of the theater for a group who could help me understand, and ended up joining one of the most controversial and radical  groups I could find: the Church of Scientology.  It didn’t take long to make  my way to the top, as an OT6 and a Commodore’s Staff Aide to L. Ron Hubbard. I will talk more about this experience in a different context a little later. For now, all I want to say is that my stint with the Church lasted less than two years. * * This can be quite common among Human Adults, to go from one group to another,  staying  only a limited time.  In the last forty years, since the Hippie Movement  and the resulting large influx of new Human Adults, more and more groups have sprung up with a wide variety of different approaches and techniques for changing things; so when one

JOINING TOGETHER:group turns out to be unsatisfactory for some reason, another one is always there waiting for  you.  Today the  back  of  the  theater  is overflowing  with  them,  and I  want  to  take  a closer look at some of these groups and their characteristics. In  general  we  can  say  the  basic  difference  between  a  Human  Child  and  a  Human Adult is the demand for change, coupled with a self-determined action on the part of the Human Adult. Human Children might complain about the movies and their predicament, but they will never do anything about it, paralyzed instead by fear. Therefore, for a group to last any length of time in the back of the theater, they must cater to and satisfy the Human Adult’s need to be part of a group and their obsession to change things. So they all promise certain very specific things to their followers… 1.  They  claim  they  can  teach  a  Human  Adult  how  to  change  the  content  of  the movies they are watching – how to change their life, their reality – OR 2. They claim they can teach a Human Adult how to change their emotional reactions to the movies they are watching, even if they can’t change the movies themselves – AND 3. They claim their followers will be happier, more  prosperous, more  loving, more peaceful,  more  wise,  more  powerful,  more  of  everything  “good”  if  they  follow  the group’s instructions. It’s not possible to talk about all of the individual groups – there are far too many of them – but there is some value in looking at a few of the general categories you have to choose from. First, there are the “Activists.”  These are the groups whose intent  is to change the movies  themselves  by  actually  doing  something:  animal  activists,  environmental activists,  political  activists,  social  activists,  black  activists,  human  rights  activists, consumer activists, women’s activists, peace activists, intentional communities, Save the Whales, Save the Children, Save the Planet, and so on. For example, over the last fifty years there have been more than eighty anti-nuclear groups operating in the United States alone.7 Then there  is a category I will call  “altered  states of consciousness.” In this group you  can find meditation,  hypnotherapy,  breathing  techniques,  yoga,  prayer,  the 12-Step programs,  all  kinds  of  prescription  and  illegal  drugs,  biofeedback,  stress  management, laughter therapy, tantric sex, and more. The goal of all these groups is to change the way you view your movies – your life, your reality – by changing your awareness, or in some  cases, by escaping the movies entirely through greater unconsciousness. The  third  major  category  is  the  New  Age,  which  includes  a  whole  slew  of  yogis, shamans, swamis, and gurus, along with meditation, Abraham,  The Secret, the “Law of Attraction,”  A Course in Miracles, HeartMath, dolphin-assisted therapy,  light and color therapy, Reiki, Emotional Freedom Technique, Electromagnetic Field Balancing (EMF), magnetic  field therapy,  Thought Field  Therapy,  Psych-K, channeling,  Native  American teachings, and the list goes on seemingly forever. These groups attempt to give you some sort of control over your life by offering techniques, ceremonies, and rituals designed to produce an alternative reality,  if used correctly – to change your  perception about your reality. And then there are the “Eternal Bliss Seekers,” which can also be called the “Heart- Centered Approach,” touting meditation, positive thinking, compassion, salvation, love, happiness, abundance, prosperity, goodness, beauty, mindfulness, inner tranquility, peace on earth and good will toward men. The basic idea of these groups is that “negativity is

bad  computer  programming”8 that  can  be  removed  through  “a powerful  journey of  the heart in which we come to understand the role each of us plays in creating the life – and the world – we long to live in, the one perfectly designed to help us live in happiness, fulfillment, and bliss.”9 (You’ll  notice  that  “meditation”  appears  in  each  of  the  last  three  groups.  It’s  the technique of choice for many Human Adults – ancient, but very popular these days – and offered as part of the agenda of a number of different groups with different goals – like a cure-all.) * * To be clear and complete, I also need to mention some groups you  won’t find in the back of the theater. For example, you won’t find groups representing the world’s major religions – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism (which comprise about three-quarters of the world’s population). Instead, they are part of the movies playing out on  the  screen.  While  these  religions  might  pay  lip  service  to  greater  happiness  in  the “here and now,” their underlying and ultimate message is that their followers should not expect any real improvement in their lives – any real change in their reality – while alive, but focus on adhering to various rules and regulations of beliefs and behaviors with the hope  of  being  rewarded  later  –  most  typically  after  they  die.  This  kind  of  message  is perfect for the Human Children sitting glued to their chairs, but not at all acceptable to a Human Adult who wants change NOW! That  doesn’t  mean  there  are  no  Human  Adults  involved  in  these  major  religions. There are, some. Often they are kind and loving and compassionate and well-intentioned, and have chosen to go back into the seated portion of the theater to minister to the Human Children. What you more commonly find in the back of the theater are splinter groups of these religions – much smaller clusters of Human Adults who claim to have found new ways to lessen the pain and suffering of life in the moment while clinging to the basic tenets of their faith, such as Zen Buddhists, Baha’i, Advaita Vedanta, Christian Scientists, to name just  a  few.  There  is  also  a  very  long  list10 of  other  splinter  groups,  commonly  called “cults”  (depending  on  who’s  doing  the  calling),  that  attract  those  Human  Adults  who have given up on conventional religion but still need some kind of organized system of morality. Scientology and Moral Re-Armament, my personal choices in the past, fall into this category. The same thing holds true for politics. In the United States, major parties such as the Republicans and Democrats are in the movies you watch. But in the back of the theater you’ll  find  the  Libertarians,  the  Green  Party,  the  Constitution  Party,  the  Tea  Party, America’s Independent  Party,  and so on, that  afford a Human  Adult the opportunity to join a political  group as their  method  of trying  to  change  things,  despite  the odds, and knowing full well they are up against a well-entrenched two-party system whose real goal is not to change anything (which is why they are preferred and maintained by the votes of the Human Children). Conventional  medicine  is  also  part  of  the  3D  movies,  since  its  main  focus  is  on suppressing symptoms pharmacologically rather than changing the cause of any disease. However,  in  the  back  of  the  theater  you’ll  find  over  one-hundred  alternative  therapy groups such as acupuncture,  Alexander  technique,  AK, aroma  therapy,  ayurveda,  Bach

JOINING TOGETHER:flower  remedies,  body  work,  chelation  therapy,  Chinese  medicine,  chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, crystal healing, and that’s just through the “C’s” in the alphabet.11 Heterosexuality, marriage, and the nuclear family are part of the movies as well, and these  haven’t  changed  at  all  in  human  history.  But  in  the  back  are  groups  practicing homosexuality,  swinging,  polygamy,  polyamory,  free  love,  BDSM,  voyeurism, exhibitionism, and celibacy, for example. Basically,  if  you  turn  on  the  TV  any  day of  the  week  and  watch  the  soap  operas, you’ll  see  what’s in  the  movies  keeping  the  Human  Children  entertained  and  pacified: conventional  religions,  conventional  politics,  conventional  medicine,  and  conventional sexuality. What you  won’t see in the soaps are the groups available to Human Adults in the back of the theater – with the exception of some mocking and fleeting reference in a movie  or  two  to  make  sure  the  Human  Children  don’t  believe  any  of  the  promising rumors that might find their way around the theater. I  don’t  mean  to  imply  you  can’t  be  a  Human  Adult  if  you  are  a  monogamous Republican  who  still  goes  to  church  and  sees  a  doctor.  Conventional  religion, conventional  politics,  conventional  medicine,  and  conventional  sexuality  are  the  four cornerstones  of the  movies  – the  life,  the  reality  –  all  Human  Children  and Adults  are immersed in every moment of every day, no matter where they are standing or sitting in the  movie  theater.  The  “conventional”  is  all  they  have  ever  known,  never  really questioned, and therefore find them hard to leave. This is especially true of new Human Adults who need to belong to a group and have not yet found sufficient replacements in the back of the theater. What  I  am saying  is  that  this  will  change  over  time.  As  a  Human  Adult  becomes more  comfortable  in  its  new  surroundings  and  finds  new  groups  to  join,  conventional religion, conventional politics, and conventional medicine will be replaced by groups in the back of the theater, while conventional sexuality hangs on for dear life. * * Obviously, there are many, many more groups for Human Adults to join than I have mentioned – literally hundreds, probably over a thousand of them now, some of which do not  fall  into  one  of  my  main  categories,  either.  For  example,  there  are  more  than  two dozen  “UFO  religions”  listed  in  the  Wikipedia12 that  can  be  found  in  the  back  of  the theater. So this was not meant to be a complete list of groups or categories, but intended  to give a cursory idea of the kinds of opportunities available to a new Human Adult; and I don’t know any new Human Adult who has not joined at least one of these groups within a short time of leaving their chair. After Scientology, I joined the Chiropractic group, who quite clearly state their goal is to  change the  world by correcting  vertebral  subluxation,  one person at a  time;  and  I stayed connected with this group for more than twenty years. The fun part is that you can join more than one group at a time if both groups will permit  it.  While  part  of  the  Chiropractic  group,  I  also  later  belonged  to  Loving  More, Applied  Metapsychology,  the  Royal-Priest  channeling  group,  Al-Anon,  and  the  Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis. While  not  actually  joining  officially,  I  also  “audited”  groups  connected  with  the “Seth”  books,  with  Walsch’s  Conversations  with  God and  Sitchin’s  Earth  Chronicles, with  A  Course  in  Miracles,  Urantia,  meditation,  numerology,  astrology,  Tai  Chi,

JOINING TOGETHER:Focusing,  and  Rosicrucianism.  I  attended  numerous  self-help  seminars  and  workshops, tried  The  Secret,  listened  to  Abraham,  watched  What  the  Bleep!?  –  Down  the  Rabbit  Hole, and read everything  I could from Peter Marshall, John Bradshaw, Sai Baba, Ayn Rand,  J.  Krishnamurti,  U.G.  Krishnamurti,  Deepak  Chopra,  Eckart  Tolle,  Mahatma Gandhi, and others. Then  in  1993  I  joined  one  of  the  most  radical  and  promising  groups  I  ever encountered  in  the  back  of  the  movie  theater.  It  was  an  intentional  community  called ZEGG that had a ten-year history before I joined, now located about an hour outside of Berlin, Germany. I was attracted to this group by their  Twelve Theses for a Non-Violent  Society13,  written  by  Dieter  Duhm,  and  their  practice  of  free  love.  ZEGG  no  longer promotes  the  writings  of  Dr.  Duhm,  nor  do  they  practice  free  love  any  more.  The majority of people I knew there during the 1990’s have since moved on to create another intentional community called Tamera in southern Portugal, which I’ll talk about at a later time. But for more than a decade I thought this group was really going to change things and I was excited to be part of it. Which group(s) did you join?

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