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 by inviting, welcoming and 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.
We are called to expand our founding American Declaration and dare to devote our flourishing in life to the pursuit of the happiness of all beings.
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. We are impoverished by our inability to even imagine more than a single lifetime. In the late-modern world view, our personality is an illusion that dies with our brain. In modern and patriarchal forms of monotheism, our personalities are degraded as “ego” and our immortal soul gets one chance at a life that ends in a redeemed or damned Eternity. Both late-modern scientific materialism and modern patriarchal monotheism are unable to imagine that we live in a profoundly kind universe when it comes to survival of consciousness.
Our collective poverty of imagination is similar in scale to the poverty you find in what cosmologists call the Great Debate of 1929 between Shapely and Curtis. Shapely, a leading cosmologist of his time, argued that there is one galaxy in the universe. Curtis argued that there are many. Our current estimate nearly a century later is that there are some 2 trillion galaxies. I think it’s a fair comparison to consider. Imagining that we live only a single lifetime compared to our true nature is like imagining that the entire universe is only one galaxy in a universe of more than 2 trillion galaxies.
With this constitutional meanness of what we can expect from life is a coinciding loss of the sustaining relationships, the warmth, love, humor, and help that come from our loved ones who have died, yet who continue to care about our lives — Ancestors. In the primal world view, the modern and late-modern insistence of life without Ancestors is known as living at the suicide level.
Much of American culture appears to be consuming in order to make the suicide level comfortable.
To be alive now and be unable to distinguish between the suicide level of the modern and late-modern world views, and the delight of the emerging participatory world view is a form of personal and community soul-neglect. It is a soul-neglect that impoverishes our children and grandchildren most of all.
Humanity, for the most part, has lived with traditions of continuity of soul that care deeply for the future. There is wisdom in welcoming each child’s birth as a sacred re-birth. There is wisdom in educating each adolescent in such a way that helps connect them to the reason of his/her/their 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. There is wisdom in singing each soul back to its place of origin at the end of life.
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 transformation through conversion and knowledge of being saved by Christ whose Second Coming was not far off. 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, not for an Apocalypse but for an integration of essential love and compassion for all beings — a conscious return to the Tao. 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 can come as a sudden stroke of awareness, lightning strike or flip, yet also may come as a slow, methodical development in lives that dismantle old conceptual structures.
Together we are creating a way for a new sense of “home” where we know from direct experience survival and evolution of soul over many lifetimes.
Here is William James reflecting in 1890:
“The result of Mr. Myer’s learned and ingenious studies in hypnotism, hallucinations, automatic writing, mediumship, and the whole series of allied phenomena is a conviction that he expresses in the following terms:
Each of us is in reality an abiding psychical entity far more extensive than he knows–an individuality which can never express itself completely through any corporeal manifestation. The self manifests itself through the organism; but there is always, as it seems, some part of the self unmanifested, and always, as it seems, some power of organic expression in abeyance or reserve.
The ordinary consciousness Mr. Myers likens to the visible part of the solar spectrum; the total consciousness is like that spectrum prolonged by the ultra-red and ultra-violet rays. In the psychic spectrum the “ultra” parts may embrace a far wider range, both of physiological and of psychical activity, than is open to our ordinary consciousness and memory. “
Nearly 130 years later, in 2018, the book, Changed in a Flash: One Woman’s Near-Death Experience and Why a Scholar Thinks It Empowers Us All, by Elizabeth Krohn and Jeffrey Kripal, Kripal reflects on Krohn’s experience, developing further William James’ and Frederic Myer’s participatory world view:
It is difficult to avoid the obvious next step here: the brain is more of a filter or reducer of reality than a total perceiver. It keeps out far more information that it lets in. But what would happen if this filtering mechanism temporarily shut down?…whatever Elizabeth was seeing, smelling, and hearing in the Garden (in her Near-Death Experience) was deeply informed by the human sensory system, since “seeing,” “smelling,” and “hearing” are all sensory capacities. And yet these events also went well beyond the ordinary limits of these particular sensory capacities. (p. 189)
The above affirms what William James presciently underlined, the psychic spectrum the “ultra” parts may embrace a far wider range, both of physiological and of psychical activity, than is open to our ordinary consciousness and memory. Kripal names how ordinary consciousness and memory and the wider range that they can embrace, Human as Two.
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)
Jeffrey Kripal, names Tarnas’ “crossing of the threshold“, The Flip,in his 2019 book, The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge.
Kripal calls on readers to put Flips or epiphanies of mind front and center in our understanding of reality. He notes:
Flips are...extreme, life-changing experiences that intellectuals, scientists and medical professionals have been reporting for centuries now but have written about with increasing visibility and effort only over the the last few decades. (p.12)
One Flipped scientist, Eben Alexander, was Flipped by going into and waking up from a coma:
The scientific implications are stunning, and provide powerfully for the reality of the afterlife. But this is only the beginning. As we come to realize that examples of exceptional human potential (as in genius-level creativity, psychokinesis, precognition, and past-life memories) really occur in some people, we begin to realize that the latent ability is there in all humans. In other words, these are skills that one can cultivate and enhance. (p. 70)
The protests at Standing Rock in 2016 marked the largest gathering of Indigenous peoples in 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.
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 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, Human as Two.
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