What’s in Store for ‘94
Through the years Samuel has tested a variety of approaches to communicating his message of spiritual growth and empowerment, always with the hope of striking that responsive chord in his audience that will motivate them to act and, by acting, to change and grow. When a point is reached where he sees room for improvement in Phoenix’s program, whether because we have responded in a limited way or have grown with it as far as it can take us, he is always ready to try something new.
In January 1990, Samuel began speaking in Lexington only one night a month rather than every Sunday, and many who had listened to him week after week stepped out of the student ranks to become teachers on “non-Samuel Sundays.” This fit right in with his vision of Phoenix as a “greenhouse” for the nurturing of spiritual teachers. He has always been frank about his own limitations, making it clear that he can only reach so many people himself—those who come to see him personally; we as teachers, on the other hand, are able to reach not just those who come to Phoenix, but all those whom we touch in our daily lives, and we do it in such a variety of individual styles that there is likely to be one of us who can reach just about anybody. What’s even more important, perhaps, is that we in form can teach by example and by relating what we teach to our personal experience.
Starting in April, the program at Phoenix will undergo the biggest revision since 1990. Samuel will continue his monthly presentations to the public on first Sundays, but the other Sunday gatherings will follow somewhat the format of past Monday night discussion groups, though with some changes. The love and manifestation circles will still open the meetings, but formal teaching will be minimized, and the emphasis will be on discussion of the experience of Samuel’s past teachings, that is, how they have affected people’s lives and how they can be used to change our lives. During the first few months, discussion will focus on the basic esoteric teachings on which Samuel’s philosophy is based; this will be a time of thorough review for old-timers and a chance for a systematic learning of the basics for new-comers.
The new Monday-night program, “Tracks of Light,” will begin a month later, in May. It is aimed at those who are seriously committed to a spiritual path—and to attending weekly meetings. These meetings will initially be closely guided by Samuel himself so he can fine-tune the process to make sure there is movement toward the specific goals he has in mind. Because of the sort of processes that will be involved, a stable group of committed individuals is required, and movement into and out of the group will be limited. Emphasis will be not just on spiritual growth, but on unfolding as teachers, too.
In Samuel’s quarterly interview for Phoenix Rising, he spoke about the nature of these changes and his reasons for implementing them:
Let me begin by saying this: I do not desire to manipulate or motivate anyone, in other words, to sell this program to anybody. My whole purpose in doing this is that—to use a human statement—I’m tired of messing around with people who are all talk and no action. It’s time for activity in the basics of ascendancy, unity, and synthesis.
The sort of program that I put in place is going to happen because it’s going to be a means for individuals to claim their leadership and power. Phoenix’s Board is a good example of that, as are its committees, and even the dynamics of Monday night meetings—all the small group sorts of things.
Through my talks at the first-Sunday meetings every month, I have been creating a broad opportunity for individuals who are awake to get a certain amount of nourishment. It was my intention that the other Sundays of the month be an opportunity for those who had been fed at my meetings to begin creating their own state of leadership. Unfortunately, it is going too slowly.
I have said for years that I don’t work with babies, but you’ve been wanting to be treated like babies. “Samuel, am I good? Am I doing this right? How do I compare to this person?”, which is all baby stuff. In the work that I have done over the last few years, I have avoided ever setting out a program that would allow you to compare yourself to another. That’s over. The changes that have been coming in mass consciousness require a speeding up.
My purpose with Phoenix right now is to create a specific program through which those individuals who want to make a difference will be able to. Either you will take part or you won’t, but I’m being the benevolent dictator here, because if you take part, you will do it my way. There is going to be a very intensive involvement on my part.
Monday nights will involve work on a specific path: I am putting you into touch with a specific esoteric work that will mean getting out in front of other people. This is going to create a very big difference in your confidence level. It’s going to create a difference not only spiritually in the work that you are doing, but also that you are seeing done in the physical world.
I am weary of individuals being afraid to change their lives because they won’t fit in. I’m weary of a world that is angry and hateful and negative and cynical, of a world which wants average to be the standard by which spiritual beings judge their effectiveness. I’m weary of it.
I’m weary of you being afraid to change your life and become a magician of the heart, because it might make you not fit in with your mother, who never loved you enough, and your sister who could not help you, and your teachers who did not understand you, and your world that only wants you to be average in order to confirm its cowardice. I’m weary of it.
I want you not only to have no excuses, but I want you to be eating the tail of your own karmic snake. If you put yourself in this program, you will see change, because I will expect it of you. If you don’t put yourself in this program . . . you’ll get to be average, and safe.
This is a program born of my weariness of people who whine because they are not receiving, when it’s because they are not giving. It comes from my weariness of people who whine because they don’t have what they feel they need, when it’s because they’re unfocused and undisciplined and have no reason to have those things except for some skewed sense that it might fill a hole that may or may not really be there.
The Sunday-night program is going to be an opportunity for those who want to have a regular spiritual practice that allows them a chance to give, to receive, and to create. You can come and enjoy it, and develop a spiritual family. You can sit in on Sunday night without actually having to take part, because the work that’s going to be done is easy, very similar to the old Monday-night program some people have been enjoying so much. It’s going to be an opportunity to do active and passive meditation work—very quick, very easy. It’s going to be an opportunity to become aware of spiritual values and the positive effects of spiritual teaching in your life by turning around the way that you see the world you live in.
Sunday night is also going to give those who are in the Monday-night program an opportunity to actually put to use the technologies of leadership and heart magic. Monday night, however, is the crux of the program this year. Monday night is using commitment and discipline—those dirty words—and I’m going to be putting out a new sitting program and a new training program.
It is going to begin with a group sitting, but this sitting is very different from the sitting program I’ve been teaching as a means of learning how to communicate in the language of spirit. This instead has much more to do with understanding your own physical essence. The sitting is probably going to sound more like a sonic meditation, although that’s not what’s actually going on. It’s going to start with a group intent; then there are sounds to be tuned to certain areas of the body.
Several things will be learned from this. One of them is that even the same parts of the body respond differently to sound at different times, a reminder that you are constantly in a process of growth and change. Another thing is that group work creates the beginning of unity, and that’s also very important—getting everyone started in the same direction.
Then, depending on the number of participants, the group may divide into two to do what I will call a group balancing. Of course, you know that you put out “I am balanced and clear and whole and grounded,” and you are—but this is an opportunity for you to both give and receive, and that’s another act of unity that is being created.
At that point, after everybody has grounded a bit more, this group will break up further into groups of three. In these groups of three there will be a particular amount of support, of magical practice, and of teaching practice.
Everything that you do in this life is teaching. You are teaching, you are learning, all the time. In order for you to put your product out into the world, you’re having to teach somebody why they need what you have to offer. If your product is a means of dealing with stress, if your product is asparagus or drumming, you must teach others why they want it. The other part—and the one that usually gets left out and guarantees failure—is that you must teach others what they are going to get from it.
Those two are very important, and you need to learn the tricks of the teaching trade. You will only do that by getting used to believing that you have something to offer. You will also learn how to read those to whom you are speaking and to adapt your presentation to them. These things will allow you to become more confident in yourself, in what you offer, and in the way that you communicate. They will work with your self-esteem in that sense. That, in turn, will allow the natural flow of your spiritual service to have more doorways, and that’s my end-product.
I will give you a subject, and you will open your mouth and start talking. It will begin with five minutes, and will eventually reach a point where you’re going to talk extemporaneously for fifteen minutes, and finally, with notes and a subject to teach on, as long as half an hour. When an individual can confidently, with notes, speak for half an hour, it’s just a matter of adding a period to do more.
A part of the process, now and again, will be exercises. It will be time for you to look at this part of your life to see what it has given you in relationship to what you’re here to do and to teach. These regular reviews will show you what you have to teach, and everybody who takes part in the Monday night groups is going to become a Sunday night teacher.
That’s it. I look for the time in which Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Lexington begin switching off teachers, so that you have a new audience and a new direction. This gives you confidence, ability, focus in whatever it is you’re doing for your service in the world, be it teaching rowdy high school students or teaching serious metaphysics-oriented adults, be it care-taking creatures or functioning in your relationships. This will affect your whole life, and that’s what’s going to speed up this process. These are works of unity that are pounded in so long and so consistently that it becomes an act of synthesis.
Furthermore, I want you to get used to the idea of a certain amount of ritual in your daily routine. By this time many of you will be very familiar and working actively in the Inner Temple work. You will have an altar at which you are doing a particular ritual daily. This becomes another part of your ritualized spiritual path. It’s a confirming process for you.
The ideal approach would be for an individual to take on the Sunday- and Monday-night programs and the workshops as their spiritual commitment this year. However, you don’t have to do the workshops to take part in and benefit greatly from the Sunday- and Monday-night work. The difference is that the workshop work has much more to do with a strengthening of your inner knowing, whereas the Sunday- and Monday-night work is about how that works in the world, which is, of course, why you are here in form.
The only prerequisites are that you desire to commit and you are willing to discipline. That’s it. You don’t have to know what the Rays are. You don’t have to know what the Initiations are. You’ll be getting that information. In fact, on the Sunday nights, which begin in April, Phoenix Institute is going to be receiving—on more than one level—the total foundation of esoteric knowledge from the beginning of the world (that should have been done with reverb on the microphone). So if you feel that you don’t have enough of that sort of foundation, you’ll be getting it. But brain knowledge is not what I’m after. I’m after willingness. I’m after commitment. I’m after discipline. That’s what I want.
You will see people respond to this program in several ways. There are going to be those who only want to continue with their once-a-month experience, and that’s fine. What I give once a month is not going to keep you alive, but it will give you a certain amount of nourishment. The first Sundays are an opportunity for those who recognize their connection with Spirit to start looking for a way to get further involved. But it can stop there, and for many that’s all they want.
Regular Sunday-night attendance is the next level, because that’s going to be an opportunity to make a commitment to yourself: “I’m going to come to the Sunday-night sessions regularly.” I believe that what you’ll find, though, is because the Sunday- night process is one in which you are literally actively and passively doing something, you’re going to find that it’s very easy to slide in and start really enjoying yourself and then wanting more. They really are designed to lead on to the next and the next. And the final level is committing to Monday nights also, and doing it all.
Here is what I don’t want. I don’t want anybody to be upset with their life if they’re not involved in the Monday-night program. If you’re involved with the Monday-night program your life is going to change. If you’re happy with the way it is right now and you don’t want change—you like your airy-fairy talks now and again and don’t want to be pushed off the cliff—stay with it as it is right now.
I went to Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Toronto giving a sweet little talk called “What’s in Store for ‘94?” The answer to that question is: nothing. Nothing is going to change. Your life is going to be exactly as it is right now. You will have the same pain, the same tears, the same frustrations and the same hole inside of you. You will have the same sorts of relationships that you had in ‘93—unless you commit to a pattern of change. It does not have to be the pattern I am starting, but I have to wonder why you’re reading this if it isn’t. What’s in store for ‘94 is the same stuff you had in ‘93, and if that’s fine with you, keep up the good work. But if it’s not, here is a program that you can determine your level of commitment to—once a month, every Sunday, or every Sunday and Monday.
How, with the potential you have, can you ever be satisfied with less than your very best? You’re unhappy with being average. And yet you spend so much of your life trying to fit in with those who want nothing else from you. If I can help you come to believe in what is your very best, and by consistent activity you are able to begin believing in your ability to live your very best, how can there be anything other than power and delight coming to you and those on this planet who are waking up and needing it?
If you’re not fully confident in your power, then responsibility is frightening. When you are confident of your power, responsibility is still frightening, because the world has trained you to believe that responsibility is all give and no receive. Or perhaps it is that responsibility to your power makes you different from everybody else, which means they won’t understand, and you won’t fit in. Thank goodness. It’s hard to purposefully choose responsibility without having to question your sanity. But, you know, only a master can do that—truly. And that’s part of why the “r” word, “responsibility,” is so hard to accept—it’s training in mastery.