Human development in traditional cultures

I just came back from a great parenting class by a colleague Georgia Faye  She presented a child/adulthood development model developed by Bill Plotkin that was quite eye opening.  Georgia talked about the ego centric model that we are familiar with in western industrial culture.  She then talked about Plotkin's model of soul centric/ eco centric development from his book "Nature and the Human Soul"  It was quite intreguing.

I learned that humans are mystical beings that are not just meant to fill a role as a cog in the industrial system and then die a meaningless death.  All humans have a soul gift that when expressed leads to a greater maturation in their culture and in the global community.  All humans have an innate ability to be a creative visionary whereby they can express themselves authentically without having to abandon themselves to belong in a community.

Humans in development undergo rituals, initiations, and rites of passage throughout life.  Plotkin notes that many get stuck in stages of development due to lack of initiation or a lack of appropriate mentors.  Consequently, we have lots of chaos in our culture as we loose our initiations, our link to the natural world,  and jump through the hoops to become cogs in the industrial complex.  This makes me think of many of the shows on TV "reality" where people do what they want, don't cooperate, and create unnecessary drama.   Basically acting like toddlers prior to parental direction, yet they are in adult bodies.  How can we have a mass initiation in our culture so we can have a culture of adults acting as adults?  Don't get me started on politics... that will come in later blogs!

I feel so grateful to have had so many teachers, mentors, and elders in my life to help walk (or push) me through initiations.  I am particularly grateful to the Lakota people and those in medicine man Black Elk's lineage as their willingness to share their medicine and initiations with me have lead to a great healing for me personally.  A big thank you to all indigenous healers that I have crossed paths with and who were so gracious to share their thoughts and teachings with me.

In summary I learned that we need to reclaim initiation and make new ones to match our changing world.  I also learned that we as humans need to reclaim our role and connection to our place in the natural world to live and thrive.  It is central to our having a future worth living for and passing on to our children a world in better shape than we found it.