Men and Spirit - John Allan

Welcome to Men and Spirit. I am looking forward to exploring the possibilities of this mode of communication. I want this space to be a place of inspiration, challenge, creativity and healing. A place to test the edges and cross boundaries. A place of paradoxical logic, which as Erich Fromm said, has tolerance as a side effect. Carl Jung noted that all psychological truths are paradoxical. So this space is a place to practice hasita, the smile on the face of Buddha images. Hasita is defined in abhidhamma psychology as laughing consciousness - the subtle smile that comes with the realisation of "certain curious paradoxes". It can also cause a belly laugh and is said to be part of the make up of the awakened mind.

Here we can share our catches from nets cast into the great traditions of humanity. We can also share what we find by diving into the experience of our own lives, here and now. Connections can be made with like-minded travellers around the world. Perhaps some will join in common cause on matters that spirit requires we give attention to. Discussion groups may emerge from future writing on spiritual practice, dreams, mentoring, social action as spiritual practice, soul in the world, creativity and indigenous wisdom Who knows? Enjoy the journey.

Hermes, that winged footed messenger and considerable trickster is the patron of merchants, thieves and scholars, professions that require a flow of energy. The ancient wisdom acknowledges that in learning we "thieve" from each other. If you wish to use material on this site, do so. Just acknowledge your sources when possible.

John Allan is 43, has been married for 20 years and is a father and grandfather. His hands-on interest in culture and spirit saw him the owner of an antiques business at age 16 and "taking robes" in Thailand to study and practice Buddhism at 21. He has now been involved in facilitating men's groups for over a decade. Currently he works part time as a psychotherapist in Lismore NSW, dividing the rest of his time between facilitating seminars, sculpting wood and stone, writing, storytelling and playback theatre, and organisational consulting. A member of the Circle of Men he co-leads their annual Standing up Alive gatherings which have input from the Ngarnyin Elder Mowaljarali. John also teaches aspects of the Wunnan (sharing system) and Wandjina lore. He has a special interest in the role of soul work, story, mythology and the visual and performing arts in personal and social change.

Current Articles
The Sweetness of Life and the Spiritual Fire

Stepping Outside

Questions and Comments
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Updated 2/4/2004