Our family has been blessed by having a living folk music tradition. By that, I mean that we have songs that have been memorized and handed down, that a central aspect of our family gatherings is singing and music. It is expected that persons in our extended family will learn an instrument and sing. This can happen at any point in life.
All of my mentors, all of my family members, my father, my mother, aunts, uncles, brother, sister, my cousins, grandmothers, grandfathers, my students during 30 years of teaching high school, undergraduate, post-graduate, all of my closest friends, colleagues, conference attendees, teachers, veterans, doctors, lawyers, musicians, psychologists, artists, dancers, philosophers that I know – and I mean All, have suffered because of the awe of mystical experiences and psychological symptoms mis-understood, distorted and mis-valued, mis-diagnosed.
All of our cultural institutions I have experienced in my lifetime perpetuate that suffering. It occurs through chronic mis-appropriation of our attention and intention. Our voices and all the voices of nature are silenced. Our receptivity is dumbed down and numbed. The symptom is a collective feeling of powerlessness and profound underestimation of our full potential as human beings.
I am F. Christopher Reynolds, M.Ed., a singer-songwriter, teacher and community shaman from Cleveland, Ohio.
My mission is to sing the dream of Peace on Earth onward through empowering as many as possible to share in the Third Great Awakening now occurring in the United States. All of my songs, chants, writings, art, workshops and ceremonies encourage waking up together and participating fully in this Awakening. My main methods are Third Great Awakening Concerts, No Man’s Folk and workshops.
Our time of The Third Great Awakening is period of Western Renaissance. The rebirth is a cultural rite of passage out of the modern and late-modern world views, and into an emerging, participatory, holistic, and quantum worldview. We are being invited to courageously participate in tending a sacred relationship with the land and with the Ancestors so that literally, spiritually and metaphorically, the Earth takes its place as the most life-giving of celestial bodies we know, in a galactic consciousness in an ever-expanding cosmos of more than 2,000,000,000,000 galaxies. It has been unfolding now for more than 170 years.
Both world views that are passing away share a rare form of soul-poverty that is also the opening to the beauty of a sustainable culture. We are wounded by the idea that we live only one lifetime. In the late-modern world view, our identity dies with our brain. In the modern and patriarchal forms of Protestant and Catholic, our identity gets one chance at a life that ends in a redeemed or damned Eternity.
Most of humanity has lived with a tradition of continuity of soul. There is wisdom in welcoming each child’s birth as a sacred re-birth. There is wisdom in welcoming a sustainable awareness of soul that encourages living, savoring of the adventure of life, of all lives, of all that live. If you are reading this, you are right now, I thank you for the risks you took to free yourself by reaching out to others. If you are still troubled by the notion of having lived before, of millions of lives yet to come, you are invited to leave your cell. The door has always been wide open.
The First Great Awakening occurred in the 13 colonies and Britain in the 1730’s and 1740’s. It was a Protestant movement that emphasized experiences of re-birth through conversion and knowledge of being saved by Christ who was soon to come. The Second Great Awakening occurred in the United States from 1790-1820. It, too, was a Protestant movement that encouraged life and cultural reform, salvation, and, once again, the immanent return of Christ in the Second Coming.
The Third Great Awakening, also calls to a re-birth, an ecological conversion, life and cultural reforms, yet not for a Second Coming of Christ, although it is an integration of essential love and compassion for all beings. Our ‘salvational’ knowledge is to be found at the growing edges in new and unexpected cultural ways for the West. The awakening we are experiencing is not a sudden explosion of awareness, but a very slow and methodical development that has been slowly dismantling old conceptual structures and making way for a new sense of what it means for us to be “home” where we know from direct experience survival and evolution of soul over many lifetimes.
Richard Tarnas in Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View offered wonderful language for what we face together:
The Western mind must be willing to open itself to a reality the nature of which could shatter its most established beliefs about itself and about the world. This is where the real act of heroism is going to be. A threshold must now be crossed, a threshold demanding a courageous act of faith, of imagination, of trust in a larger, more complex reality; a threshold, moreover, demanding an act of unflinching self-discernment. And this is the great challenge of our time, the evolutionary imperative for the masculine to see through its one-sidedness, to own its unconscious shadow, to choose to enter into a fundamentally new relationship of mutuality with the feminine in all its forms. The feminine then becomes not that which must be controlled, denied and exploited, but rather fully acknowledged, respected and responded to for itself. (p. 444)
The Third Great Awakening was nicely explained by Paul Hawken in his book, Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming, Hawken described awareness to the global transformation now going on, especially in relationship to the environment and social justice.
The protests at Standing Rock in 2016 marked the largest gathering of Indigenous peoples n United States’ History. Environmental respect is a foundation of Earth-based spirituality. Besides the cry, Mni Wiconi! (Water is Sacred), a common statement heard was, Don’t let them fool you, our ways are sacred.
To share in The Third Great Awakening means to move out of the patriarchal modern world view with its notions of a highest God who is in eternal control, as well as, the late-modern world view with its notions of absurd humanity in an accidental and meaningless universe. To be alive now and to not understand the differences between the modern, the late-modern, and emerging participatory world views presently in play are forms of personal and community soul-neglect.
Knowing through direct experience of the emerging participatory world view generally includes a profound feeling of being connected to all that is, a deep reverence for Earth, experiential relationships with Ancestors, and an embodied appreciation for the beauty and vulnerability of life for future generations.
As we awaken to the direction of change, life becomes richer and wiser. By richer, I mean that life deepens as regards direct personal experience of the awe, also known as the numinous, that makes life worth living. By wiser, I mean that when we are mentally oriented so that the modern and late-modern world views are released, our “heart’s horizon” of the numinous becomes a central, guiding element in waking, dreaming, and creative life – especially in times of greatest suffering.
I carry out my mission through original music in Third Great Awakening Concerts, No Man’s Folk, writings, rituals, healing concerts, and workshops.
I am currently performing my new release, The Immanent Function
Immanent Function is a way to heal the centuries-old split between consciousness and matter/energy. Eternity and space/time are best imagined as cooperative, loving partners, even Beloveds. The spirit worlds can influence what happens in the sensual and the sensual can influence the spiritual worlds. We are at a time of side by side.
Here is the working definition:
Immanent Function: Synchronistic, embodied becoming together when two or more choose to gather for the happiness of all beings. The immanent function is the partner to C. G. Jung’s transcendent function. Individual consciousness participates in communion with the collective ecological conscious and unconscious. When in partnership, the immanent and transcendent functions make manifest the awe that opens the human heart to the Mystery of life. Their intermingling is recognized by an atmosphere of warmth, love, surprise and humor that meks life-cycles worth living in enduring planetary and interplanetary relationships. Anomalous, synesthetic, paranormal, psychokinetic, miraculous, prophetic, numinous, aesthetic arrest experiences that are immanent to the transcendent occur in the midst of their union. Written by F. Christopher Reynolds, M.Ed. on October 7, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio