By Hank Wesselman

Hank Wesselman

A new sense of the sacred has appeared in the Western world, one that incorporates spiritual realization, personal growth psychology, and being of service all in one orientation.

This spiritual reawakening is generating a real change in attitudes as we move into and rediscover our own spirituality, and it is generally believed that this resurgence of interest in the spiritual, proceeding from the personal to the global, has the power to shift the directions of world history.

From my perspective as a social scientist, it is quite obvious to me that the so-called New Age is not a fad, but rather heralds the emergence of a true Transformational Community--one in which the old mystery schools of the past are being recreated in response to need.

The crux of our work utilizes the time-tested ways of the shaman to reconnect people with their inner sources of wisdom and power. The ease with which these ways can be learned and practiced by non-tribal Westerners for healing and problem-solving reveals why the rediscovery of shamanism has become a major thrust of the current spiritual reawakening in the West. Shamanism is a path with heart, and includes a methodology that leads us into the direct, transformative experience of the sacred that defines the mystic.

Over the millennia, the shamans of the indigenous people developed families of techniques for altering consciousness in specific ways. These techniques constitute a form of technology. We could call it the “technology of transcendence,” “technology of transformation”, or even the “technology of the sacred.”

Awakening Process

There are countless numbers of "evolutionary sleepers" out there in the main stream of humanity, each a holon containing within itself an extraordinary biological-energetic program that can reveal who and what we may all become as the human species continues its ascent toward the culmination of our evolution.

There appear to be higher functions coded into the personal mind-body matrix that can remain dormant throughout life--but once awakened, they can transform us. The inner fieldwork of the Eastern mystics suggests that these timing mechanisms involve the ductless glands, the brain, and the heart. Once activated, these centers can enlighten the whole body, which, in turn, often undergoes striking changes.

At the time of this writing, the human species as a whole has not experienced the triggering of these higher functions, but those rare individuals who have, stand before us as signposts, as prototypes of what humankind may become when the whole population awakens and crosses the evolutionary threshhold to become a new species. This is not fantasy but a real phenomenon known to students of evolutionary theory as punctuated equilibrium.
I suspect further that when each of us becomes aware of the biophysical-energetic program that exists within us, when we awaken from the consensus slumber of culture at large and remember that we were once seeds of light, traveling among the stars, accompanied and protected by spiritual guardians, each of us can use the program as a map to navigate our way through the forests of illusion and across the plains of experience. With the closure of the old millennium and the beginning of the next, recent surveys have revealed that as many as one in every two of us have had an involuntary paranormal experience at some point in our lives--one that has carried us across some unknown inner threshhold into more expanded realms of consciousness.

As we awaken, our life exeriences can begin to manifest themselves as a true hero's journey, as an upward quest that leads us into direct experience of spirit--a journey that becomes possible for us only through the doorway of the heart.  It is through this gateless gate that we can personally experience connection with unlimited power and a god-like mind, and we know then with certainty then that no holy words or books, no secret ceremonies or rituals, not spiritual leaders or gurus or faiths can do this for us. Once the higher evolutionary functions are triggered, it seems that a predetermined schedule is set into motion, a program that cannot be given to us by any outside agency. This is because each of us already has it.

Emerging of a New Religion

I think that it is highly probable that history will repeat itself and that a new religion, or perhaps more accurately, a new form of religion will emerge in the West.

This means that many if not all of the world religions may to cease to function within the next hundred years or so. The new religion will then become the dominant form of spiritual practice for the next two thousand-year cycle.

This next religion, in my opinion, will not be about organized anything. If there is one thing that people in the transformational community don’t seem to like it is organized religion! What they want is the direct transformative experience of the sacred that defines the mystic. It will no longer be about belief or about faith. The new religion will be about direct experience.