IS THE AWAKENING NETWORK A SECT OR CULT
IS THE AWAKENING NETWORK A SECT OR CULT?
People who ask this question are usually concerned. Their concerns often arise from having seen or heard reports about the activities of people in other groups. Some of these report bizarre activities and some report relatively normal ones. However, for people without much experience with personal development, spiritual development, or religious groups, the reports do not enable them to understand what is involved.
To help these people to understand, we make the following "position statements" that address some of the common concerns.
Approach to Life
People in The Awakening Network have a definite approach to life and they take a stand on that approach. We are satisfied from our own experience that the approach works well. Also, because we think that others could benefit from it, we encourage them to experiment with the techniques we use to find out for themselves. The way we seek to influence others is through "walking the talk," so that we are living examples of the value of what they are learning or have learned within the network. While encouraged to volunteer helpful information, people in The Awakening Network are not encouraged to try and persuade or convert others to adopt certain practices or approaches.
Specific information is available by contacting the Network, by attending workshops and other programs or by exploring this Website using the menus to the left and top of the home page.
Life Is Precious
We think that all life is precious and to be valued. All that we do is aimed at affirming life and living it fully. We regard anything that interferes with this as something with which those involved need to deal, because it is inconsistent with, or opposed to life. Like our own lives, other people's lives are precious and to be valued. Everyone is encouraged to respond with respect and sensitivity to all other people. With this orientation, differences are understood as an asset, something for us to explore, something from which we can all learn.
Personal responsibility is very important. Anything that could diminish our sense of responsibility is discouraged. Everyone is encouraged to empower themselves increasingly, so they can reach their full potential as human beings. All are encouraged to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for those decisions. As part of this, everything taught is presented on the understanding that it will be tested. It is not presented as "knowledge." We think of it as information, experiences, or procedures that others have found helpful. Until people test things for themselves, they will not know the value. Everyone is encouraged to do this testing. This process helps us to develp personal mastery.
Personal mastery involves developing competence through experience and practice, in various areas of life. It is not to do with control over others. So, along with the personal focus on empowerment just mentioned, everyone is encouraged to remain sensitive to and respectful of other people's needs, desires, opinions, behaviour and life-styles. Every other person has something to teach each of us; and everyone can learn from others.
Acceptance of People with Different Backgrounds
People from all backgrounds - religious, ethnic, national, occupational etc. - are welcome. No-one is excluded. All are seen as having a contribution to make to the richness that we share in The Awakening Network. The practices taught and shared are of a nature that enables them to be used by most people, without their having to stop doing other things. As far as we know, there is nothing that is taught that is against any practice that is life affirming, or that promotes Awakening.
Acceptance of and openness to others is highly valued. It is not that we recommend agreement with everything that others think is important or real. However, we do encourage everyone to respect and to learn from what is important and real to others. At the same time, as we do this, everyone is encouraged to stay aware and respectful of their own values, priorities, feelings etc. In this way, we can all learn from a direct, honest, respectful exposure of each to the other.
Oneness is Something to Cultivate
Oneness, union and cooperation are also important. Conflict is seen as an opportunity to become more peaceful within by finding our own parts in the conflicts and dealing with those parts. When and as conflicts are resolved in this way, our experience is that everyone finds it easier to be at peace and on friendly, loving terms with all involved.
Mastery Is Worthy of Respect & Everyone Is Still Learning
Everyone within the network is open to challenge. No-one is assumed to know everything, or to have reached a stage of having learned all that is needed to progress further in life. At the same time, we recognise that some people have mastered more in some areas than others. In those areas, their opinions, experience and guidance may be of more value than those of others who are not yet as experienced. The mastery of people who are truly more experienced is a proper object of respect, just as is yours under the same circumstances.
Living Practically Is Important
Everyone in the Network is encouraged to live practically and well in the world. Living practically and well in daily life is fundamental to personal mastery. Much attention is given to learning how to do this for those who do not yet know. Practical daily living skills are taught regularly and material is available through the Network. (You will also find more information on this in the top menu under Urban Mysticism > Practical Living)
Resolving personal issues - to do with the body, feelings, thinking, behaviour and spirituality - is an on-going orientation. We understand that everyone has personal issues that inhibit their capacity to expand through the Awakening process. All are encouraged to respond to the need to take care of these issues continually. Ways of doing this are offered within the Network and people are also encouraged to seek help from anyone who seems capable of providing it, whether they are linked directly to the Network or not.
Finally, all money collected goes into the direct delivery of services and the infrastructure required to support those services. Under the Network's "Purposes and Rules," no-one may gain financial benefit personally from the Network's resources. This does not include people receiving a reasonable salary or wage from work done for the Network. It is a non-profit service organisation. It is not a money making organisation. Its work is to provide an administrative backup for the services the people in the Network are making available to themselves and to others. All accounts are kept meticulously and checked by an independent accounting company before annual figures are submitted to a government authority in Australia.
Produced by The Awakening Network Inc.
P.O. Box 271, Seymour, Victoria 3661, Australia
Telephone: +61 3 5799 1198
Facsimile: +61 3 5799 1132