Jean Houston’s 2006 Mystery School
The Mystery of Making a Difference
By Basia Christ
Jean Houston was the speaker on my third visit to The Inside Edge in January 2005. I hate to admit it — but will anyway— I am new to the world of enlightenment and spirituality. Her presentation was peppered with quips and witticisms as she shared wonderful anecdotes about growing up in Hollywood as the daughter of Jack Houston and colleague of the late anthropologist Margaret Mead. She spoke of “waves of possibilities,” “envisioning how we are to be of service to the world,” “recommitting and reconnecting,” and “infinite creativity.”
I had, of course, heard of Jean Houston, but hadn’t realized the passion she has for helping others live “mythic lives” and making a difference in the world. (I immediately purchased “A Mythic Life, Learning to Live Our Greater Life” after the meeting). Which brings me to why I joined The Inside Edge. I, too, want to make a difference. At this point in history, events can tip one way or the other; they can go either terribly wrong or wonderfully right. We can no longer wait “for someone else to do something!”
We were told the 23rd year of The Mystery School was beginning the following week where attendees “acquire inner dynamics to make a difference.” Without a second thought, I enrolled, not knowing what to expect, but felt it was “time to make a difference!”
On Friday, February 3, I drove to UCLA Conference Center at Lake Arrowhead. More than one hundred attendees from across the country gather for the Opening Ritual that includes a ceremonial cleansing as we enter a large room.
Jean and staff members greet us warmly. We write our 2006 goals on an index card and place it in on a table lit softly with candles. We sing “The Weaver Song” and recite a poem written by 13-year-old Anne Frank, “In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.”
Jean presents “Presence, Purpose and the Mystery of Making a Difference.” We imagine ourselves as mythical beings called by change agents to be born at this loaded or kairotic time on Earth, “God’s School.” We are here to recover old and emerging talents. We drum, dance and meet, feeling energy grow with each hug and handshake. Although I know no one, I feel I’m among friends. The first night has ended. I walk to my room up a steep incline and look at the stars in the crisp night air. The evening was magical and I don’t want it to end. The anticipation for Saturday’s sessions keeps me awake.
Saturday morning Jean continues her lecture of “acting in the service of what’s emerging.” We begin our inward bound journey exploring ways to engender the possible, while discovering what the possible is in the “Field of Being.” Those serious about making a difference must work on important things and relinquish limiting patterns that have kept us from making a difference.”
Jean says, “We are living at only a fraction of our capacity. Consciousness is always available to make the shift. We will learn emergent capacities that we never knew we had as evolutionary accelerators. A new nature is beginning to bud.”
When Jean concludes, we close our eyes and Peggy leads us in a process “Enlivening the Brain/Fine Tuning the Senses.” Asked to “live in the moment,” fully aware of our senses, we go outside to find a tree for inspiration, and tap our creativity by writing a poem for Honoring the Tree of Our Soul to share upon our return.
Jean explains Archetypes, a primal energy form from the mythic realm and how they will play a large role in helping us achieve our goals. She shares the mind-expanding government psychedelic research with which she was involved in the early 60s, as well as her global research in cross-cultural ways to expand consciousness. Fundamental to her work is an understanding of four levels of the human psyche that emerged — the sensory/physical, psychological/historical, mythic/symbolic, and spiritual/unitive.
Jean stresses living mythically and shifting our story to a larger one. “Archetypes give us our “essential connections.” Without them, we lose the gossamer bridge that joins spirit with nature, mind with body, and self with the meta-body of the universe. When we are involved with archetypes, our lives shift. To illustrate this, Jean tells us that she once asked Mother Teresa, “How can you do all that you do?” She replied, I am in love with Jesus. I see my Beloved in everyone and cannot do enough for Him. That is why my Beloved cannot do enough for me.”
”People with archetypical identity become extraordinary and woven into a larger mind. We gain courage by living mythically and can heal our world. Furthermore, the Archetype will often announce itself and choose us because it wants to be re-grown, providing us with a wave tide of giving and receiving.”
”In Ancient Greece, at a celebration of remarkable initiation, the Rite of Pathos asked, “Who are we?” and answered that “we are ourselves and our archetype.” Part of us dwells in an archetypical realm and part here in existential space and time. This is our doubled nature as we “dock with our angels” in two realms,” Jean continues.
By now MY mind is reeling trying to absorb concepts that are new, such as Energies that Govern the Psyche and Navigating in Two Realms. Am I the only one who is overwhelmed? Jean says our mythical Quantum Partners may choose us; all we need do is be open for their contact.
She shares the story of how Athena, her Quantum Partner, chose her years ago. Saturday evening’s festivities include drumming and singing with many in ceremonial costumes. Later as I dreamt, Hera appears to me. This is surprising because I expect Freya, Thor’s mother (my son’s name is Thor).
On Sunday morning, Jean holds a Social Artistry session presenting an overview of what will be learned in the weeklong session in Oregon from July 28 to August 4, 2006. Its purpose: “to build an alternative planetary society based on democracy, sustainable development, human-based needs and values, universal human rights, environmental protection, social justice, equality and the sovereignty and dignity of all peoples worldwide.” This is another part of Jean’s work for making a difference at this time.
As we close our eyes, Jean leads a powerful meditation allowing us to change a moment that has caused great pain by returning to it. Mine was when someone said something that has colored my world since I was ten. I relive the experience, heavy in heart. But instead of those words, I replace them with a positive statement and replay it. Now when I think of that moment, my heart doesn’t ache. My perception has changed.
We then engage in one of the primary experiences in Mystery School, walking the Chartres labyrinth, symbol of Jean’s work. Upon approaching the labyrinth entrance, we loudly announce the Quantum Partner(s) with whom we will walk in sunshine as drummers keep rhythm. My partners are Hera, The Phoenix and my grandmother.
I am not sure what to expect, but when I reach the center, I know I am not alone. My Quantum Team is here. Tears form as I feel my grandmother, Hera and The Phoenix. My heart is lifted. I have changed and I am not alone. I never cry, I really don’t, but when I exit, I am sobbing loudly. Suzanne Caffey hugs me as I bury my head and let my emotions — and tears flow.
Mystery School is concluded. As I leave, I know I have experienced something unique and powerful.
And I am not alone in feeling this. Fellow participant, Patty Ponce, says, “I gained a concise inner direction as a change agent to peace and harmony, and being a “minister” of healing environments. I am in a major transition and on my own for the first time.
I recently started a business and it took off THE DAY AFTER I came home! I had dynamic, FUN, and meaningful encounters with highly-conscious people who need my help. I have opportunities I have only dreamed of!”
And Carol Angell shares, “I was impacted by creating a new memory. I saw my mother giving me a strong message that my optimistic, enthusiastic self was wonderful and my sister has much to learn from me. I’ve seen a marked difference in my willingness to let that part of me shine forth without embarrassment and hesitation. People are responding with matching love and positive energy.”
Learn how you can make a difference in the world and about the incredible work Jean Houston is doing at Mystery School and Social Artistry. Visit www.jeanhouston.org or www.socialartistry.com, or call Bridget Reynolds (541) 488-1200.
Basia Christ is President of Marketive, Inc. in Aliso Viejo,
www.marketive.com, senior writer for Today’s Woman and Beach Cities Style
magazines and is writing “Women Rising From the Ashes,”
www.womenrisingnow.com (949) 690-1257 or email her at:
Return to the May/June Index page