I was a high school valedictorian, graduating first in my class. And, as the country went through what I call its "guilt period" in 1964, a predominantly white college (Bowdoin College) recruited me, providing me with an academic scholarship. I graduated from Bowdoin College cum laude, became the first African American nationally to desegregate the Sigma Nu Fraternity, and co-founded the first Bowdoin College Undergraduate Civil Rights Organization.
Reflecting back on these youthful life experiences, it is clear that the seeds were sown for what I would eventually call The Path of the Bridger. It is a path that nurtures relational harmony and personal and collective growth through "being authentic" in relating to and with one another as human beings. It is also a path that looks for creative ways to bring people together for growth-filled, collaborative enterprises. It is also a path that is fueled by what I call Archetypal Energies.
As I've mentioned in other writings, I use easily recognized terms to evoke a common sense of these Archetypal Energies (e.g., Love; Acceptance; Inclusion; Harmony). I have described Archetypal Energies as Higher Vibrational Energies that have their own transcendent value, purpose, quality, and "voice" unique to the individual and that operate deep within our psyches, at both individual and collective levels. We tend to experience them as "creative urges" to move us toward our Highest Good or Optimal Realities.
The Path of the Bridger, in my view, is one of many paths that "plants humanistic seeds" for a "New Reality" of human togetherness and the evolution of Consciousness. I began to use this framework after having an expansive Consciousness experience in my early twenties. At the time, I had no words to explain the sense of interdependence and "conscious connectedness" that I experienced to All That Is. Maslow's "peak experience" concept came closest to an explanation, but it did not fully capture what I had experienced. I began to research various cultures, and to study deep "thought" and "emotional" Energy patterns. In this light, I even conducted an empirical study to test the thesis that how we "think" about our inner life matters when we "think" about human relationships, particularly black-white race relationships (the study was later expanded and published in my book, A New Perspective On Race and Color: Research on an Outer Vs Inner Orientation to Anti-Black Dispositions). Needless to say, I went through many transitions in my own Consciousness. I presented some of those experiences in my book, Transitions in Consciousness from An African American Experience. In my forthcoming book, Evolving The Human Race Game: A Spiritual and Soul-Centered Perspective, I provide a more in-depth overview of the Path of the Bridger and the role of Archetypal Energies as they relate to new possibilities for human togetherness and the evolution of Consciousness.
In a seemingly tumultuous world with many divisive voices, where fear and strife seem more prevalent than Love, Acceptance, Inclusion, and Harmony, it is important to entertain a path such as the Path of the Bridge, personally, societally, and globally, to seed the "psychology of the times" with healing ideas and "bridging approaches" that bring human beings together, individually and collectively. Indeed, many people work and even socialize in various arenas with various racial, ethnic, and self-identified groups. They even say they value diversity, and they would like to believe that they hold little or no prejudices while in these diverse arenas. And yet, at the end of the day, they return home to their separate, largely homogenous neighborhoods. Where do you live, inside and outside, and why?
What are some practical ways, then, that a person can practice using the Path of the Bridger? To answer this question, I will briefly highlight several kinds of Bridger roles that a person can practice, each of which involves allowing one's Authentic Self to emerge. Four generic kinds of Bridger roles are: (1) the role of Relationship Builder/Harmonizer, (2) the role of Transformer/Catalyst, (3) the role of Illuminator/Teacher, and (4) the role of Spiritual Integrator/Healer.
To practice the role of Relationship Builder/Harmonizer, a person would use discernment, without Being judgmental, to practice allowing the Authentic Self to emerge in one's personal, societal, and global life spaces. In turn, this stimulates others to allow their Authentic Self to emerge. The goal is to focus on life and success and to radiate various kinds of harmonious Energy, individually and collectively, that support and move one's self and others toward life and success. The Authentic Self seeks to awaken a sense of creativity and beauty. Such an awakening stimulates Higher Mental faculties for practical work in the world as people "act out" harmoniously with one another in their personal, societal, and global life spaces.
To practice the role of Transformer/Catalyst, a person would increasingly support various humanistic and transformative approaches that guard against psychic imbalances or dangers and would practice patience and balance for various catalytic-work in the world for human togetherness, the evolution of Consciousness, and harmonious states of Being with others. In this context, a person would be a catalyst for minimizing the effects of and/or getting rid of the effects of self-limiting beliefs and growth-limiting patterns of behavior. A person also would embrace newer, more growth-filled beliefs and patterns of behavior, and serve as a "mirror" or "catalyst" for kindred spirits on similar paths of growth.
A technique for changing a self-liming belief is what I call a third party stance. The technique involves viewing one's belief(s) as simply a belief(s) and not a truth(s). No one is at the mercy of any belief. Next, write out each belief and at some later point review them as if someone else had written them. Then, realize that while beliefs structure reality, at any point one always has three choices in relation to a belief: to accept it, to reject it, or to modify it to fit one's unique life circumstances. Therefore, to structure a different reality, one would reject or modify any belief where authentic win-win circumstances and relating harmoniously are not natural or anticipated outcomes.
To practice the role of Illuminator/Teacher, a person would increasingly mirror hope, illumination, and love. In practicing this role, a person would tap into, express, and mirror for others intuitive teachings, Spiritual duties, and the sacred aspects of the world as s/he awakens to a greater understanding of one's "dreams" and the role of one's creative imagination. The key here is learning to trust one's gut and bodily sensations as informational messages from one's deeper intuitive self.
To practice the role of Spiritual Integrator/Healer, a person would increasingly support those who authentically work with Nature, Spirit and Energy in an integrative manner. In practicing this role, a person may acknowledge that there are those who authentically and creatively use alchemy and vision to awaken personalities. In this context, a person would consciously and strategically collaborate with others to co-create options for physical and emotional healings and to co-create opportunities, arenas, circumstances, and events in building Bridges of Harmony. In practicing this role, a person may also naturally and effortlessly blend two or more of the other generic roles.
The practical outcome of the Path of the Bridger is the co-creation of a "climate of possibilities" for a "New Reality" for human togetherness and the evolution of consciousness. This path also holds promise for "harvesting humanistic seeds" through authentic interactions in various personal and public arenas (e.g., family, friends, loved ones, and colleagues; outreach activities; educational events and projects; strategic partnerships; and personal and global Internet interactions). The "climate of possibilities," therefore, can and will impact individuals, groups (e.g., racial, ethnic, cultural, social) and kindred organizations that explore numerous other paths for becoming more of "who we are" as human beings.
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