Living Our Priesthood in the World

Abridged from a chapter of Andrew Ramer’s ‘Spiritual Journeybook for Gay Men’: Two Flutes Playing

To be gay is something that begins within ourselves. In begins in our hearts, in that place that is never separate from the living heart of Infinite Oneness. To be gay is something that begins with ourselves, that finds itself mirrored back, echoed back to us by the tribe of men who love men. This tribe, our people , is a scouting tribe, a Walks-Between people, bridge-making people, walking between men and women, between night and day, between matter and spirit, between the living and the dead.

There are many tribes in the global nation of all tribes. For so long we have defined ourselves in opposition to the great and slow moving body of the nation of all tribes itself. We have defined ourselves, and been defined, by that which seemed to be in us most different. But a tribe must define itself from within, not without. And it is not our sexual nature alone, nor its difference from the woman-and-man-loving sexual nature of the body of the global tribe that makes us different.

In this time of crisis, it is the scouting people who hold out, by our very natures, the deepest vision of healing and peace that is possible for the entire global nation. A scouting tribe gathers itself from every other tribe, ethnic, racial, religious, regional, from every age and location, and finds common ground to connect.

Imagine a time when we find our rightful place in the tribe of all tribes. Imagine a time when we will have – not our own states, our own nations, but everywhere on the globe – centres, retreats, encampments in the midst of all the other peoples, places where we can go to heal, commune, remember and create, places where we can do our scouting work, for ourselves and the whole people.

Imagine this world. This world where any boy growing into manhood, who knows that his heart is a heart tuned toward men, can travel freely to one of these centres, with the blessings of the family that brought him into the world, there to learn about himself, his tribe, his heritage. In safety, in beauty, in love, he will be taken in to the tribe. In his own time, his own way, whole and strong.

One day there will be thousands of these centres all over the Earth. There we will deepen into ourselves as the Walks-Between People, so that we can share what we have learned about the places between night and day, female and male, body and spirit, with all the world. Each of these centres will be connected both through an energetic web and a technological and informational one. Thus, the men in each will be attuned to the others, in harmony with each other, communicating with each other, working and networking, loving and healing and dreaming together. For in dreams, in dreaming together, a tribe renews itself and remembers its most ancient roots. And a people that does not know its roots cannot live, anymore than a tree can live without its roots.

Never before, all over the planet, so strongly and so freely, have men who love men been able to meet in such great numbers. In this time, in our time, when spirit is more firmly rooted into matter, men who love men can come together – to hold hands, touch, sing, love, dance, speak from the heart and do the work of global healing our Divine Parents created us to do.

There are many different clans within our tribe. In our encampments there will be room for all of the clans, for all of the clans are needed. Sit together, walk together, sit under the moon, walk among the trees. Dance together, talk together. Find within your hearts the way to embrace each other, not exclude each other. All of our centres will be healing spaces, sacred spaces, and yet each will have its own character. Some will be monastic retreat centres, some will become artist’s colonies. Some will be schools for the healing arts, including the arts of sexual healing. There will be places for people to go on shamanic journeys, and there will also be schools for gay shamans.

One of our ancient roles as as midwives to the dying. Just as young men will be able to come to our encampments, so, too, will the elders of our tribe, after a life in the world, be able to come for comfort, security, to share their wisdom and be nurtured into dying, so that no man of our tribe need ever die unloved, unwanted or alone.

Many of us look for healing within ourselves only. We forget that while the true healer is within, true healing cannot happen alone. True healing happens in community, for no man’s imbalance is his alone. Balance and imbalance are all reflections of community. Sometimes we think that healing can happen in the arms of another man. But while the eyes of flame that light the soul can always come from another’s heart, true healing happens in community. We can help our lovers and be helped by them. But we cannot heal our lovers, nor can they heal us. It is only in the safety of a tribe, because of the safety of a tribe, that we are able to go inward to the deepest places, in order to be made whole, to heal ourselves.

Just as we come from every people, our power comes from what we bind together of the world. We are not a scouting people for ourselves alone. We will not off to our retreat centres to become separate from the rest of the people. We will go off to our sacred lodgers to study, heal, deepen and make ourselves ready to do our sacred work. But that work will take us back to the world, to share with the world. For our healing comes in community, our power comes from community, and our purpose comes from living in the community of the world, as healers, shamans and transformational artists.

Sometimes you look inward and cannot find the answers. But every man carries a piece of his tribesman’s answers. Through coming together, dancing, touching, praying, travelling to other realms, and speaking from the heart, each man can give what he carries to his tribal brothers, and each man can receive from his tribal brothers that which they have been carrying for him. No man is alone in this. No man carries his own information only. It is a loving act to share your healing with others. Let us heal together! Heal each other! Heal in each other’s hearts and hands! Makes places in which to heal. This is doing the work of our sacred priesthood. This is becoming who we are.

We enter a new era in our history. We enter an era when love and not pain will be our teacher, when joy and not sorrow will colour our lives. Never before on this planet have people lived this way. But after thousands and thousands of years of struggle and growth, we have come to the point in time when all of us fill be fully incarnate in our bodies, fully present as spirits manifesting in physical form. Without our wisdom and our power, humanity cannot make it to the next cycle. With our power and wisdom, shared freely with the tribe of all tribes, everything is possible.

Let us bless the tribe of all tribes that brought us into the world, bless the people through whose sacred bodies other people come. Let us bless all the scouting peoples, whose ancient and forgotten wisdom is being remembered in this time. And let us bless each other and ourselves. It is for this that our ancestors worked, that we ourselves worked in other lives – so that all of humanity, and we the tribe of men who love men, can step into this new era, the time of love on Earth.

twoflutes

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