A Candle, Wizard and Mountain Tiger
There are few things as important in future-proofing yourself as finding your purpose in life. When you connect to that, you’ll unleash a passion, energy and inner wisdom which will propel you through all of the change and complexity that is being created by the Great Turning.
I’ve done many vision quests or vision walks where I go into nature alone to places of outstanding beauty (sometimes for weeks) to seek inspiration for my life’s vision and purpose. I also lead others on such journeys so do let me know if you ever want one organised. Some people travel to South America in order to take plant medicine for these visions, which are incredibly powerful. But I’ve found that this isn’t necessary to get much greater clarity (although its a great way).
I believe that one’s purpose and what I call soul are the same thing. That’s why in the West we talk about the ‘soul’s calling.’ I always knew I was destined to more than the 9 to 5 life, even though I fought my calling for so long. And the soul speaks through different means as my friend and mentor has written:
“The soul faithfully comes to our aid through dreams, deep emotion, love, the quiet voice of guidance, synchronicities, revelations, hunches, and visions, and at times through illness, nightmares, and terrors.”
― Bill Plotkin, Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World
Typically one ‘downloads’ a name or images not so much as a logical plan. There is a write up here about what a vision quest is:
But my experience is that it’s not over in one rites of passage. It’s an ongoing process of going deeper – sometimes into your shadow – and crystallisation. On the back of previous such work I’ve written a longer Vision Statement as it was was birthday just a week ago. It’s not necessarily for public consumption – in fact its deeply personal – and it’s meant to have a lot of symbology and meaning. Its most certainly not a corporate version of my mission. But I feel compelled to share it with some thoughts afterwards:
“Drawing on the power of my Teachers, Ancestors and my Higher Self, I aspire in this time of great change to be a beacon of light, a mountain of wisdom, and catalyst for the emergence of a new more human civilisation.
I have three symbols – a Candle, a Lion and a Wizard’s Staff – representing the 3 facets of my life, which were given to me on a vision walk several years ago.
The Candle represents light, clarity and love. In my personal practice I dedicate myself to maintaining a clear and open mind which embraces the unknown, and a love for all sentient beings.
I will use my ability to see patterns and discern the emerging future to cast a light in the midst of chaos. Where are we heading? Where could we head? And to teach others to open and clear their minds, to harness their imagination, and build a better world.
The Symbol of the White Tiger is very auspicious in Asian culture. The tiger in China is regarded as the king of animals (not the lion). A white tiger is often thought to be a tiger which has gone through trials and tribulations and might be 500 years old. They are deemed to have magical powers and yet much serenity. I also like them because they used to be found in the mountains of Korea (and I believe they are still in North Korea) and I also have a strong affinity to mountains. In Korea especially they are regarded as a symbol of courage and absolute power. I received this symbol whilst living on the edge of a sacred Korean mountain.
I am dedicated to fearlessly telling the story of the Great Turning, the emergence of a new Post-Industrial civilisation, which is ecological and both more digital and more human; and using the power of story act as a catalyst to accelerate this process. To encourage everyone, at this time of great change, to have the courage find their highest self (to live their biggest story) as this is what is much needed by our society and planet.
The symbol of the Staff represents the wisdom of the wizard; he who seeks to alchemise the darkness into the light and he who advises and supports the other heroes on the journey. I’ve always been inspired by the likes of Merlin and Tolkien’s Gandalf.
I aspire to guide leaders and change makers on finding their unique purpose and then supporting them on their ‘hero’s journey’, through their successes, and trials and tribulations. Life is indeed an odyssey and we will live in unhappiness if we obsessively seek stability. To provide tools and ancient technologies I have learnt from both the East and West to enable leaders to keep their mind ‘wide like space and use it like the pin of a needle’ [Zen saying]. Through such change makers amplify the light of human consciousness.”
I dedicate my life to these goals and I pledge to remain humble to the insights I have received from great Teachers including the Buddha, Lao Tsu, Jesus and the ancient druid Merlin. And I pray that I will be open to the continuous teachings of life as they arise moment to moment.
No it’s not narcissistic nor is it a luxury to ‘find yourself.’ It can be a challenging and terrifying journey. But I don’t think people really can live without some kind of existential angst until they do. When I’ve been in the throes of addiction and anaesthetising, I remember an inner voice saying to me ‘Benjamin, you’re not afraid to die. You’re afraid to live.’ Wow, that blew my mind and made me cry many times.
It was so important to many indigenous tribes that they would send their young out in to the wild for weeks or months in for self-discovery and many would perish. Think about our society which has no such rites of passage, and so many of us live lives of quiet desperation – or much much worse.
This is a great quote from one of my favourite all-time movies:
“Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!”
It’s incredibly powerful to unleash what you’re really yearning to do/be. This has been foundational to my own reinvention and career changes and it is integral to the coaching I do. http://benjaminjbutler.com/work-with-me/