Seeing World Service as a Spiritual Path
A Series of Online Courses created by Serge Beddington-Behrens Ph.D.
Our planet is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. War, climate change, increasing inequality and the rise of more authoritarian regimes together with crises occurring in all areas of our lives, continues to create an environment of fear, devastation and insecurity. In addition, many of those who ought to be addressing these issues – namely, our politicians, bankers, corporate bosses, scientists and generals – are all too often part of the problems.
We are therefore seeing the urgent need for us humans to ‘step in’ and take greater responsibility for the destiny of our planet. However, not any old human being! It needs to be people who have evolved towards recognising the need for change in all areas of life and who are prepared to commit to work towards that goal. It needs to be people who realise that ultimately humanity is responsible for its future and who understand that if we don’t step in and do our best to bring about positive change and innovation in the many areas where it is needed, that there is little hope for the future of the human race.
Thus is born the Activist.
And becoming an effective Spiritual Activist not only requires that we work at becoming more fully human, but that we also focus on becoming effective in whatever area or areas we choose to direct our efforts.
This is a training programme to support those who:
- Have little knowledge either of what activism constitutes or what the word ‘sacred’ really implies, but are willing to learn as they wish to commit to creating a healthier planet.
- Are already fully-fledged activists in their respective fields but sense that bringing a deeper ‘sacred ingredient’ into their work might greatly enhance what they do, and would like to learn how.
- Already feel strong soulfully but don’t yet know how to channel this into effective action out in the world and want to find out both what they wish to commit to and how best to do so.
- Are generally willing to live with less ego and more self-awareness and who realise that learning to be of service to a cause bigger than themselves might the best way to do so.
Module One: What is Wrong with the World?
What is wrong with our world today? Why is it becoming an increasingly dangerous place full of inequality, poverty, dysfunctionality, violence and crisis?
In this first module, we will look at many different areas of world need and thus familiarise ourselves with some of the key changes or shifts that are most urgently required. Participants will also be asked to explore where their passion for change lies, as well as what most enrages them about the state of the world and thus what area or areas they might feel inclined to focus their potential ‘activist’ energy into.
Module Two: Why is the ‘Spiritual Tag’ so Important?
In this module, we will not only be looking at some of the many faces of the Activist and the many different roles we might play, but also suggesting that what is most amiss with our societies is the extent that they have become increasingly de-sacralised and soul-less.
Participants will therefore learn why consciously embracing the ‘sacred’ epithet is so important and why it is that the more they begin to connect with deeper dimensions of themselves, the more they will embody the necessary ingredients enabling them to heal societal wounds at much deeper levels.
Module Three: Growing Our Soul Life
In this module we will explore many of the gateways which the Activist can learn to open to, in order to more fully embrace their soul nature without necessarily being part of any religion.
Here, among other things, we will learn how to centre our activistic work around a deep respect for the sanctity of all life and the realisation of its innate interconnectedness.
Module Four: The Need for a Vision of Hope
To be effective in our work, it is very important that Sacred Activists who are investing so much energy towards trying to create a ‘world that works,’ have a vision of exactly that. The Activist therefore needs to understand that all is not as bad as it may sometimes look, that all dark clouds have silver linings, and that very important shifts are already taking place in many areas of our societies even if they are not always visible.
This module will therefore focus on many of the positive things that are occurring, so that Activists can have the sense that a new and more integrated world is beginning to rise, phoenix-like out of the ashes of the old one. Knowing this gives hope, and hope leads to inspiration and the realisation that there is much to celebrate – indeed, much that is very joyful – about being an Activist.
Module Five: Awakening the Heart
To be successful as an Activist, we need many qualities which include love, courage, altruism, kindness, intuition, wisdom, empathy and compassion. We also need to have awakened to a state of having concern for people whom we don’t know and may never meet, as well as be able to feel enormous indignation at many of the injustices in the world, as these feelings fuel the fires of our activistic capabilities.
All this requires that we have an open and awake heart as this enables us to hold inside ourselves all those causes which we are committed to fight for or take stands over. Since heart awakening takes time, this theme will continue to reverberate throughout the remainder of the modules.
Module Six: Exploring Different Styles and Strategies of Activism
Here we will build upon what we explored in module two and go more deeply into some of the different approaches and strategies of being an Activist. This will generally be determined by the form of activism we feel drawn to and the kinds of capabilities we possess.
Some of us may do our activism through the spoken or written word, some through our art, film-making and poetry, others through being an educator, a healer or an initiator of new projects, others through investigating corruption, going on demonstrations and taking stands for peace or human rights, etc. Some are Activists in only one area, others work in many different areas.
Module Seven: Recognising the ‘Path of the Spiritual Activist’ as a Legitimate Spiritual Path
In this module we will build upon the importance of having our activist work be ‘soul infused’ and thus intimately connected to the journey of our becoming more fully human. We will therefore see that the process of our becoming a Sacred Activist requires inner as well as outer work, and also that ‘ this path may be recognised as a legitimate spiritual path in and of itself.
If we recognise that humanity’s deeper soul purpose is to be an instrument of evolution, it may well be that the activistic path is not only one of the most powerful paths enabling us to realise our true destinies, but given the current state of the world, may also be the most important path that any of us can be on at this time.
Module Eight: Inner Work for the Activist
This module will specifically look at inner work. How can we Sacred Activists prepare ourselves emotionally and psychologically for our mission? How can we ensure that personality wounds do not intrude in our work and that emotional vulnerabilities, out of date or backward-looking beliefs, prejudices, values and mindsets keeping us embedded in the old dysfunctional realities, no longer stand in our way?
In addition, how can we best protect ourselves and develop the necessary qualities needed for us to be as effective as possible in what we do?
Module Nine: Confronting the Shadow Side of Life
In this module we will look at how we Sacred Activists deal with the dark, unethical, evil side of life, with war, terrorism and fascism, with the collective Shadow side of humanity in all its many atrocious manifestations.
Here, we will also touch on the extraordinary courage shown by certain dissidents, clearly revealing how very elevated states of consciousness can be attained through our consciously and courageously confronting the most pernicious and destructive forces in the world.
Module Ten: Working Effectively with Crises
Crises, the Chinese say, need to be regarded as ‘dangerous opportunities’. Since what the Activist is often having to deal with are crisis situations of one form or another.
In this module we will both look at the nature of crises – see the deeper meanings they may be trying to convey to us – as well as explore more transformational ways of working with them, such as viewing them as important initiations or challenges to be confronted in order to break through into new and more elevated levels of operating.
Module Eleven: Having Daily Life be a Sacred Practice
One reason why our planet is so out of harmony is because of the dysfunctional lifestyles and habits of far too many of its inhabitants. Therefore, no matter what our line of work, it is very important that the Sacred Activist be a good role model for ‘right living’ in the twenty-first century and that our Activist stance of courage, integrity, kindness and service, be reflected in all areas of our daily lives.
Therefore, our ability to live simply, avoiding excessive consumption and doing our best to bring balance and appropriateness into the way we conduct our relationships, do our work, relate to our friends, deal with money, etcetera, is very important.
This module will also look at twenty ways in which Activists can live which will bring more joy and harmony to our everyday existences.
Module Twelve: Exploring the Archetype of the Spiritual Warrior
The archetype of the Spiritual Warrior being defined as someone not being afraid to be who they truly are or show their real face, is one that is very relevant to the Sacred Activist, and in this module we will explore what we can learn from it.
Module Thirteen: Summing Up
This last day will be spent tying up all loose ends and leaving everybody with general guidelines as to how to have whatever Activist path or paths we will have chosen for ourselves, be as effective as possible.
What are the benefits of attending this program?
- We will realise how important our soul life is and we will be moved to redouble our efforts to awaken it.
- We will be clearer not only where we feel called to make a difference, but also how best to go about it.
- Our evolution will have sped up and we will find ourselves experiencing more purpose and meaning as increasingly our lives will be lived as the solution to world problems as opposed to being part of them.
- We will have touched more deeply into both the beauty and tragedy of life. There is nothing that affects our personal evolution or that diminishes the power of our egotism more powerfully, than seeking to take a stand for a world that works, no matter in how small a way.
- Our capacity to be effective in whatever areas we’ve chosen to express our Activism, will be very much enhanced.
Participants will be given homework to do and books and articles to read and after the webinar is over, you will be given ways and means to stay in touch with each other and if it can be arranged, to meet in person for a full weekend.
Dates and Times to be Announced
Serge Beddington-Behrens M.A. (Oxon.), Ph.D., K.O.M.L. is an Oxford-educated Transpersonal Psychotherapist, Author, Transformational Teacher and Spiritual Activist. For over 40 years he has worked as a Sacred Activist, having taught seminars, trained people and worked with corporations to activate their deeper potential, as well as having conducted spiritual retreats all over the world.
He has written more than 40 articles published in various journals. His first book on Spiritual Activism, Awakening the Universal Heart: A Guide for Spiritual Activists, was published in 2013, his second book, Gateways to the Soul: Inner Work for the Outer World, was published during the tumultuous summer of 2020 and his third book, Amazing Grace: Memoirs of a Transformational Journey, is set for release in September 2023.
In 1999, he was awarded an Italian knighthood for services to humanity. He now lives in Mallorca.
This essay looks at: a) the state of the world today b) what I see happening on the planet over the next eighty years and c) the new society that I see rising, phoenix like, out of the ashes. It is a hopeful essay but suggests that to get to the light, humanity may need to go through some more dark times… OK, it is time now to look forward and say a few words about what I think might…