' Get up to Know Good'
We’re going to get down and dirty as we ‘get up to know good’.
DIRT is a monthly meeting for like-minded adventurous souls to muse upon and ponder over life and how to live it well.
In recent decades, there has been a significant rise in secular spirituality. Traditional religious institutions are grappling with the changing landscape of modernity as more and more individuals seek alternative paths to connect with their inner selves and their notion of the divine.
This shift can be attributed to various factors, including the growing influence of scientific advancements, increased access to diverse cultures and belief systems through globalisation, and a greater emphasis on individual autonomy and personal fulfillment.
People are increasingly seeking spiritual experiences that transcend traditional religious boundaries, exploring practices and technologies that used to be confined to the cloistered halls of cathedrals and churches.
This rise of secular spirituality highlights an ongoing desire within individuals for a more personalised approach to spiritual growth, free from the encumbrances of dogmatism.
While it signifies a cultural evolution in which people are redefining their relationship to meaning, connection and morality, it is not without its downsides. We may be at risk of throwing a very important baby out with the proverbial bathwater.
One of the major concerns is the loss of traditions which, at their best, sought to teach congregants about morality and ethics, vices and virtues, temptation and forgiveness.
Until very recently wisdom traditions were a repository of cultural, historical and spiritual practices that anchored people to their community and to a shared identity. Moreover, places of worship have long been hubs for fellowship, where people find a sense of belonging, support, growth and meaning.
A decline in church attendance may also impact the preservation of cultural and historical traditions resulting in the loss of valuable heritage and collective identity to such a degree that we become like children lost in a cacophony of social messaging without a guiding hand to steer us.
The religious impulse is native to our species and in the absence of religious structures we are seeing a disturbing rise in religious fervor and religious zealotry within politics, entertainment, sport and academia to name a few.
I believe this is the void into which psychology can step and be of value. Psychology, at its best, dovetails with the wisdom traditions by offering individuals a framework to explore and understand their inner selves, emotions, and behaviors.
It provides tools for self-reflection, personal growth, and self-improvement. Additionally, it addresses existential questions and provides a sense of meaning and purpose through concepts such as self-actualisation and empowerment.
Since the inception of Alpha Psychology, I have been passionate about knitting together the teachings of the wisdom traditions with psychological principles. I have long held the belief that a group – open to the wider community – could also do this on a larger scale. This was the genesis for DIRT, a group that will commence in 2024.
What is DIRT?
Dirt is the ground from which life springs forth. It is in this dark, dank, womb-like environment where the seed sprouts, the carcass rots and the nutrients abound. Too often, I think, we want to bypass the harsh, grotesque, painful reality of life and get to the puppy dogs, rainbows and sunshine.
The realms of the sacred and the divine have been suffused with notions of love and light in our Judeo-Christian history. The Abrahamic traditions teach of a wrathful Father set on high to condemn and judge or a saintly Son who embodies purity and innocence.
While there is indeed a wise and discerning place for these archetypes – with their counterparts in the human psyche – culturally and historically we have not learned to navigate the darkness.
While the positive puppy dogs-and-rainbows variety of spirituality, psychology and philosophy has its merits; with deep roots going down to the Ancient Greeks and the wisdom tradition of Stoicism there are severe limitations.
We attempt to buttress ourselves against the inevitable vicissitudes of life by painting happy faces over depression, trolling, addiction, tribalism, war, divorce and all manner of malaise that plagues the human condition.
In our attempts to navigate modernity and attain our highest potential it is my belief that spiritual, psychological and philosophical elements should exist within a well-balanced, harmonious, ecosystem.
We must make room for the lovely and beautiful while also carving out space for the muck, the grime and the DIRT.
So we’re going to get down and dirty as we ‘get up to know good’. DIRT will be a monthly meeting for adventurous souls to muse upon and ponder over life and how to live it well. Attendees will be offered practiced and skills that are informed by the wisdom traditions of the world and the psychological technologies of the day.
We can’t wait to get started…and we hope you’ll come and play with us!
Express your interest to attend DIRT or ask a question…