EP107: Connie and Andrew (Part 2) Men, At the Heart of the Matter

EP107: Connie and Andrew (Part 2) Men, At the Heart of the Matter

Connie Baxter Marlow & Andrew Cameron Bailey are original thinkers, writers, photographers, filmmakers, futurists, climate “solutionaries” and inspirational public speakers. Their explorations into the essence of Reality have led to a unique articulation of the conscious, loving, abundant nature of the Universe. In their book The Trust Frequency: Ten Assumptions for a New Paradigm. Connie and Andrew present a system of cosmological axioms, informed by indigenous cosmology, quantum science and Eastern and Western mysticism, which resolve key paradoxes that have kept humanity from walking in balance with Universal Law and with an open heart. They offer straightforward, practical tools for accessing The Trust Frequency, an alternative reality where the soul’s destiny awaits, the laws are expanded, and there is more balance, beauty, joy and abundance than we can fathom.

They apply The Trust Frequency paradigm to the evolutionary aspect of relationships in their online course The Dance of Souls: The Relationship (R)Evolution




Their documentary film IN SEARCH OF THE FUTURE: What do the Wise Ones Knowis a companion piece to The Trust Frequency book and features visionary indigenous elders, Western scientists and futurists.

They have presented their work at IONS, SAND, COSM, ISSSEEM, Unity Village Chapel, New Dimensions Radio, Eagle Quetzal Condor Global Convergence, Consciousness of Immortality Conference, The Thoreau Society, Parliament of the World’s Religions, World Unity Week 2020/2021 and numerous other venues.





Clay  00:07

Welcome to In Search of the new compassionate male. My name is Clay Boykin, I support this podcast through my coaching practice. I help people visualize and harmonize find direction and meaning or simply get unstuck. Contact me at Clay Boykin calm for a free consultation. Now here’s the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate male.

Dennis Tardan  00:31

Hello world it’s me Dennis and here we are again on the search out the new compassionate male. I’m the co host of this particular podcast I’m here with the founder and host clay Boykin Hello clay.

Clay  00:45

Hi Dennis, we have Connie Baxter Marlow and Andrew Cameron Bailey for round two. Now, last episode 106. We talked about trust frequency to trust me. And today, one thing I learned was that Andrew has done quite a bit of work, men’s work in years past. And then there’s quite a bit of work that Connie has done related to men’s work specifically. And since we’re here, raising compassion consciousness for men. I’m really excited about our conversation. So I want to start off and let’s get to it, Andrew. Yeah, once upon a time you started doing men’s work, take it back as far as you want, I’d love to hear about it.

Clay  01:34

Let’s go back to Oh, the 1990. I actually just started doing my personal men’s work by joining the women’s movement in 1973. I think it was in Manhattan, really. And I didn’t know that I didn’t know there was going to be relevant. I was one of the few males admitted into sort of fairly inner circles in in the downtown Manhattan radical feminist movement, because my girlfriend was a leader in that field. So as the decades went on, so that really taught me a lot taught me a lot about dealing with a woman which is different from the subject of the compassionate male, but I think it’s relevant. Very well, when the men’s movement his John Lee is melodrama. So may His Robert Bly. Here are these extraordinary men coming out with these books and then leading these workshops. And I was busy raising five kids at the time throughout the 80s. And I was really in the midst in the year 1990. And there was a call I was living in the Hamptons, in quad or East quad in the Hamptons, which is close to Southampton. And there was a call for a meeting in Sag Harbor. Now I don’t know if you know these towns that talk Sag Harbor Absolutely. This little towns in the world, really an American particular. And there was a meeting and I sit down, I’m gonna I’m gonna go check this out. This is this is interesting, not men, the men are coming up the men are emerging. Let’s see what we can do here. So I attended this meeting. And are you aware of the Sterling group?

Clay  03:21

I’m not.

Clay  03:24

Thank God for that. Because this meeting was called by a group of men who call themselves the Sterling group. And there’s a person named Sterling. I never heard of these people either. watches this meeting, about 40 men showed up and I knew most of them. I was part of this community out there, right? I was in the construction business. I was in that consciousness realm. I was in creative arts, I had a band and stuff like that. So I knew I knew at least half if not two thirds of these men. And it was a hard sell. There was I called them five mustaches. There were a row of these five mustaches on this page. They all they look like they came out of a queen musically. And they sell sell, sell, sell, sell. So this is my this is my introduction to the men’s movement. So very weird way. And finally, it’s like, okay, who’s signing up for the weekend? $500 the weekend? And well, this

Dennis Tardan  04:28

is $500. When?

Dennis Tardan  04:29

$500 in 1994 is a is a is about $2,500 today.

Clay  04:44

So purchasing power is a guy raising five kids working really hard. didn’t have that kind of money, but also I’m very resistant to hard sell. So the question there’s a silence in the room and one guy puts up the sound. He said I’m going really good friend of mine. Actually the lead guitarist in my band, puts his hand up and said, I’m going, and then it’s like, never really tried to get. I’m realizing I’m at a sales pitch. So, okay, nobody answered. So I put my hand up and I said, you know, I’m sorry, but I won’t be going, a I don’t have the money fee. This is not quite the angle I’m interested in. But as there are 40, or 50 men in this room, I’d like you guys around here to know that if you’re interested in forming a men’s group, I’m up for that. And one of their mustaches said, I don’t like what you’re doing. Since Okay, I’m leaving. I’m out of here in a second I wanting to say. And I’ve said, you know, my number. Give me a call. If this is interesting to you, I’d like to form start something that doesn’t cost money is not part of a movement. It’s simply a group of men getting together to see where it takes us. And the guys yelling at me. And I said, okay, good night, thank you. And I left and I drove my 40 miles home, and got home, and my phone started ringing and didn’t stop ringing. So that’s how it started. So we had an X meeting with about six or seven men. So this is a this question of our man’s movement, a men’s meeting a men’s group? What the hell does that mean? What could it mean? It could mean a whole lot of different things. So we had a meeting with about six or seven men who called me and we within a week or 10 days, we sitting together in a room and going like, Okay, this is interesting. Let’s get some parameters here. Question number one, how many men and we tossed around we agreed upon 10. Let’s have a group of 10 should be handleable was 10. Too much smaller, it won’t be that relevant, too much bigger, kind of hard to handle. That 10 Min. Those 10 slots were filled within another three or four days of that meeting. For sorry, that my phone didn’t stop ringing. And I’m like, sorry, we’re full. What do you mean, you fall? Sorry. So guess what this poor guy ends up having to do? Start another one. So on every Monday night, we had a men’s meeting of the one group and the other group, because another 10 men immediately came into focus. And I was sort of the commonplace because it was my phone. It was so so and then the question is, okay, now what are we going to do with these meetings, and we came up with, okay, we’re going to have to hours, we’re going to have there for a very short amount of time each, someone’s going to have to be a timekeeper. Let’s get really disciplined and careful with us. And let’s have some real rules. No chitchat, Make it serious. No. Crosstalk talking stick while you’re on your own? And what are we gonna talk about? Whatever’s uppermost in your mind? Okay, so that I like that. It could be the fight, I just have as my wife, or it could be a painting that I’m struggling with, or it could be trouble at work. Or it could be, damn, I saw this girl on the street, you know, wow, whatever it turned out to be right. So we did that all of the 1990s.

Clay  08:21

When I let me ask you something. Why did they not go to that first group that was courting you to join for 500 bucks for the weekend? Why did they not do that? And why what attracted him to what you are offering?

Clay  08:37

You know, we never even discussed that. Really, the only man I know who joined that group is my son. That group meaning the first group, we’re just starting group, my son, decades later, my son at that time was probably seven years old. Eight years old. He later was trying to get me to join this exciting thing he had discovered and I said, Tell me about it. I said, it’s not called Sterling. And he said, Yes, it is. I’m like, okay, so it’s a big success. It’s a big deal. It’s millions of dollars. And it’s very pushy. And if we three men, were doing this together, we’d be getting really much with each other. We’d be pushing it shoving each other physically around, just show how masculine and male we are. That’s not what we did.

Clay  09:27

Let me ask you this. Because this is what I’ve run into. That there’s a whole number of men’s groups out there. And for, for guys to be in a men’s group. First of all, I think it’s great. They’re different levels of their consciousness. So different forms of men’s group work for different guys. So but what I have learned is that some of those men’s groups are trying to break into the guy to get him into his heart. But there’s a whole population of men out there who already in their heart and they need to learn how to connect with another man, I need a safe place to go. Go to. And I’m just curious was that? Does that kind of relate to your experience on what you were doing?

Clay  10:16

Um, yes. Without getting too specific. Okay.

Clay  10:19


Clay  10:20

Let me ask you a clear, quick question. Do you ever go to the Mentone? Meeting?

Clay  10:25

The mankind project? No, the Mentone in Alabama? No.

Andrew  10:29

Okay. I don’t know if it’s still going. It was an annual meeting of the I only went once. It was Robert Bly. Okay. My team, tell me him. John Lee, it was spectacular about 130 men, and it was great. So somehow, the group of men who came together to that meeting was sort of compatible with what we were working on. I have to say, that was not the most satisfying man’s experience I’ve ever had. In fact, within a few years, I was just thinking like, oh, man, you know, I don’t want to listen to these guys talking about how many times they screwed their wife last night, or how many times they’ve had an affair, how many times they’ve been unfaithful this year? I don’t care about how many times they dropped off. I really don’t care. And that kind of stuff was discussed, to move to, you know, no, thank you. And secondly, I really wanted it to be spiritual and challenging. And the best thing we did together was go on trips, go on camping trips, and we’d go camping, I had some land in upstate New York and Woodstock. And we go camp on my land, for example, did a bunch of different things, and would sit there. And one of the interesting things I had, by that time, two of the men in the group were really good musicians. And we ended up forming a band, we had this band all through the 1990s, as well as this men’s group. And so they were sort of integrated. We’re on the land, and I said something and I can’t remember what it was. But one of the men, communism, in my band, jumped up across this clearing and came at me almost got physical. I see got completely outrageously pissed off physical with me. For no known I honestly, I don’t know, I offended these guys. So there are a couple of them there. That bisexual ones, strangely enough, I somehow managed to offend them, but not because of anything to do with sexuality. It was more to do with the things in my life that have been exciting. And I that I want to talk about, sometimes have to do with people whose name you would know. And it was assumed that I was making the shit out that I was lying that I was puffing myself up. And sorry, these are actually people I’ve worked with, and they’re my friends. You know, so it was not that good. And eventually what happened, there was a, there was a coup within this group, about seven or eight or nine years in, and one of the members of my band broke up the band and the men’s group in the same evening. Kicked out, they kicked out four of us. The guy who poured from, you know, Ford for the sweats. This muscular, tattooed, amazing, the man of our men, greatest poets, like the poet laureate of New York, kicked him out. Another guy who is a very significant therapist. I mean, the four of us, they said, We’re terminating the group, goodbye. And then a week later, it turned out that the other five went to dropped out. So there were another five, those five had some waiting guys. And they reformed the group and without a hiccup. They went, and my phone started ringing again. And it was like, wait a minute, this was supposed to be for life. The poet said, this was meant to be our insurance policy for the rest of our lives was meant to be our support system. So we have this group of men we could totally trust for life. Noblesville, and what’s going on? I said, Can you come over to my place? I’ve got my little pedal. We’re recording studio. Let’s sit there. So the four of us sat down and we said guess what, guys, we other rejects. We’re out. And I’m personally really relieved. Really glad. Okay, so about that wasn’t just in other words, it wasn’t personal wasn’t right. Yeah, it was something about the dynamic nature of the group. So yeah.

Clay  14:49

What I’m going to guess here you wanted to go deeper, spiritually or metaphysically. and they were afraid to go that deep to really go into their heart. Is that what was going on?

Andrew  15:10

I think they would. In other words, they were serving a group now to beat me for just got kicked out. A group would totally disagree with you. They there was sort of a status thing or something like that, or whatever it was, I probably by 95 or so 96. I was going like, Okay, I’ve just to myself, I never really brought it, I don’t think I am, I did my woman’s work back in the 70s. I did my men’s work in the 90s. Now, I want to do the men’s and women’s work, I would like to see a group, let’s have 12 people, six women, six men, knock couples. And to really, really get deep, never did it haven’t done it yet, not saying it won’t happen. And I’ll say one more thing about the second group, which was a lot more peaceful and less contentious. And I’m actually closer to more people in that second group than I am in the first group. That group also continues to this day. And when I met Connie, I said to the men, I said, you know, knew about my divorce and all that stuff. And I said, would you even consider having me bring this woman to one of our meetings, I think she has something to say to us. And I invited Connie to the meeting. It’s the only time we did it. But man, that was the most wonderful men’s group I meant meeting I’ve ever had, where we had cry when talking about that.

Connie  16:49

Well, do you guys have any thoughts you want to talk to Andrewabout not?

Dennis  16:52

Well, we want to talk with you about because you’re here with three men who are really working to both to get to their hearts and to expand compassion. And so you can give us some perspective and give us some, some some of your thoughts please call me.

Connie  17:13

Well, I’d be happy to. Because I’ve been waiting for decades for this very moment.

Connie  17:24

Thank you for inviting me on you’re seeking the compassionate new male, because I have an incredible resonance for the tender male heart. And I would say that perhaps I’m more balanced to my masculine, Anders more balanced to his feminine. He’s way more intuitive than I may more in touch with his body. So this whole dichotomy of what meat suit wearing just just makes no sense to me what’s going on right now that the women are going to lead us the men have all screwed it all up and the women get out of the way, then. I mean, that’s a travesty.

Clay  18:09

It’s a pendulum swing.

Connie  18:12

It’s a travesty. And we’re, you know, we’re not doing pendulums anymore. We’re at the fulcrum. Now we’re going up into unit of consciousness into the open heart, how are we going to open the heart of the male, when we’re telling him to get out of the way that he’s just messed everything up? It makes no sense. Look at the men who’ve done incredible and continue to do incredible work in the Open Heart arena of compassion and kindness. And I mean, they’re leaders. I’m sorry.

Dennis Tardan  18:44

But that is Connie. That’s the that’s the difference between binary thinking and being able to to hold two thoughts at the same time, we can all we can see the the extraordinary gifts that men have brought to the table, and it’s same time to also see the limitations, we can bring them both to the table, we don’t have to reject one in order to reject the other. We don’t have to reject the men in order to accept the women. This is an all in.

Connie  19:14

Exactly, exactly. And I feel that we’ve been responding to a lower frequency on the planet. Everyone has the women as well as the men. So we’ve all been doing nasty stuff to each other. We’ve it’s, as my son said, it’s been a mutual wounding, because I feel the male heart is so tender, that it’s been wounded by our childbearing practices, and by the women in its life. Okay, in their lives. Okay, so that’s my thesis is that we just don’t know the true male. We have the armored heart of the male that steps out. After a couple of years by two or three. He’s learned that he’s not supposed to cry. He’s not supposed to play with dolls is not supposed to play house. You know, he’s he’s supposed to play with trucks and, and guns and all that, you know, it’s it’s crazy for me and so when I had a boy I had my third child was boy, I was thrilled to be having a boy and I did everything in my effort in my realm to raise a compassionate male, a true male. And so when he said at age seven mom my feelings tell me I don’t belong in school. I because of the trust frequency, absolute walking in the trust frequency for me, I didn’t have the word risk in my vocabulary. You can’t when you have your son’s life in your hands, and I said, Okay, honey, Obi Wan Kenobi says trust your feelings, Luke. I guess you don’t have to go to school anymore.

Clay  21:00

And he was how old? Oh my gosh, yes.

Andrew  21:07

You are with the mother of a first grade dropout. Right here in Wichita, you hear about this first grade dropout. What he’s doing right now at this moment? Oh,

Connie  21:15

Yeah. But let me say that see, I had been spending time with visionary native elders. So for for many years, and I saw through them that we each came with a gift. And that it’s a loving universe. This is what our trust frequency book is all about to give people the tools to be able to walk in absolute trust. I knew that the universe was going to chase Johnny Marlowe around with a silver platter, with every experience he needed to become the gift he promised to bring to the world. So I didn’t have the word word risk in my vocabulary. I couldn’t with my son’s life in my hands. But I set him free. I didn’t pull him out of school because of my beliefs. I didn’t didn’t interfere with my children’s Destiny pas in any way. We we swooped indicted and did extraordinary stuff, but I followed their lead. I didn’t lead them because their soul knows what their souls destiny is. People will say How can you let a little boy like that make that kind of decision. I said, I don’t live in there. It’s not my destiny path. It’s his. And so I set him free. And my husband just I was kind of the leader in the child rearing scene, and he didn’t understand me anyway, from the time I had my spiritual awakening. And so we I set Johnny free, I let him go. And he didn’t resonate to learning to read, he didn’t resonate to any of the academic stuff. So I just let him go. And I know that we have an x ability to access information much faster than reading. Okay, so I didn’t care if you learn how to read or not. And his father had been turned off to learning to read by his father, who had demanded that he learned to read, we are so neurotic about teaching our kids how to read. And if we understand the human spirit, that we actually have to do the opposite of what we’re told to do. Or at least, that’s my spirit. If anybody tried to tell me what to do, I make sure I do the opposite. So I set him free. And ultimately, because it’s a loving universe, man showed up on our doorstep to teach Johnny how to read. So I said, Okay, universe. So he came and he was Johnny’s tutor, Johnny’s a voracious reader and amazing writer. And, and as Andrew pointed out, he’s now a flourishing photographer. In Los Angeles. He’s 36 years old.

Clay  23:56

And I’ve known him since he was 17. Man, and he’s, he’s my hero. He really has found out differently than his peers. His college buddies are in depression or drug addiction, and God knows what and he is not very interesting. What’s the difference? There’s a difference somehow

Connie  24:16

there’s a difference because we have an educational system that does not honor the human heart and the human spirit. So I went to bat for the human heart and human spirit in Aspen, Colorado to change the educational system and bring the heart and bring native american thinking into our ponderings about, okay, how are we going to what sort of educational system are we going to have? That’s going to take the human race to our actualizing our true potential as loving beings in balance with all of creation? So that’s been my experience since the exact same time that Andrew speaking of this was 1994 My son his son, My son of the same age. And so Johnny was seven. What happened though? It was January of his first grade year, when the teacher called everybody together all the kids together. And she said, Well, this is Johnny Marlowe’s last day in school. And a little girl raised her hand. And she said, But Johnny, how are you gonna get a job?

Clay  25:22

First grade,

Connie  25:24

first grade little girl, no less. She knew what she was in school for, didn’t tell the teacher what the teacher wants to hear, or you’re not going to survive. This is called survival. You know, get a job to support your family survive, get have food on the table at seven years old, this little girl, no less. So this is the arena of the trust frequency, to teach us to give us tools for walking and trust going into a higher frequency where the laws are expanded, it’s a completely different ballgame. Because I will tell you, what happened for Johnny’s life was magical. The people who showed up in Johnny’s life, Johnny becoming he was just flown out to New York with a with a team of 30 people to do this shoot in New York City from Los Angeles. He’s just turned 36, like last week. And so he’s flourishing. He just bought his own home with his earnings as a photographer, oh, help from parents or anybody and has had the, he got the girl in Aspen, and stuff like that. And so when Johnny decided that he wanted to go to school, we swapped indicted the system, actually, somebody from an alternative school said, well, Johnny, anytime you want to come, come by the school, just feel free because his sister had transferred to that school. So Johnny had the freedom to go and be a part of a system without being a part of it. Right. And so he had, he was able to be socialized and stuff like that. And so when he decided he wanted to go to school, when the student is ready, the teacher will come. That’s absolute, it’s a loving universe. Okay. That’s what the trust frequency book is all about. Johnny is the trust frequency poster child, because he said, I want to go to school. So a companion tutor showed up for him, and came and brought him up to speed academically, so he could go to school. And this, this guy was from outside of the paradigm as well. So I just want to say that when you tell the universe, what it’s up for you, the universe must comply. It loves you. Okay, but you’ve got to do it with bold, committed action. And that’s where this trust frequency set of assumptions about the nature of the universe helps us understand how loved we are, that it gives us everything we asked for, what are our requests, where we put our attention, what our assumptions are our seven A’s of, of our consciousness. So in the end, mainly, that’s bold, committed action.

Dennis Tardan  28:22

It is. I find that when I’m getting, getting to that trust place, to be able to trust to be able to step out that to be able to step out and trust. The are there little steps to doing that? Or is it just all or nothing? That’s a great question.

Connie  28:45

Oh, guess what, Dennis? Oh, I mean, yeah,

Andrew  28:53

you can’t do it in a half assed way I think gives the answer, right.

Connie  28:57

Yeah, doubt. You can’t do it because it’s by its frequency. Its vibration, is physics. There’s no judgment. It’s not.

Dennis Tardan  29:07

All I’m saying is this is that if I am tuning in, to a frequency on, let’s say, an FM radio dial, remember those old dials where you earn it, and you would start to get and you and you begin to get some of the signal, and you get some of the signal. And then you get clearer and clearer on that.

Clay  29:30

So it is a it is a practice. It’s, I’d say it’s the rare human who’s able to just grok this gray, get it in one microsecond and say, Oops, that was then this is now now I’m enlightened down here, right in the state of total trust. I doubt that. That happens very often. But it’s about testing, testing these assumptions. For example, if you take those 10 assumptions that we proposed that week You just try it on, that you have to try it on really have to be brave enough to it’s like trying on a singleton brave enough to you know, go to go to work and wearing that suit or going to the opera or whatever it is. You have to try it on 100% It’s almost like, I think there’s a relationship to let’s say you decide to become a Buddhist. You went to a new sort of Buddhist teacher and just some of your friends really got into it and you went, You can’t do that in a half assed way. You really have to take that plunge to if you’re constantly hedging your bets. My son, my rockstar, son, when he was about 12. He said, Dad, I’m going to be a rock star. I’m going to be a musician. I said, you assurance and yeah, said good do that. He said, What about college said if you feel it, do it, but if you don’t, that’s okay. You could have a plan B. But if you have a plan B if you have a fallback position, you’ll probably fall back. So that kid right now, last I heard of was in Miami recording with a whalers about Molly’s whalers. He made that commitment. He now he, he’s trapped. That’s a term we used to use in South Africa. He thrashed school, he took the price when he graduated from high school in languages, mostly in French and Spanish. He was like the languages guy. And then he went to offensives he didn’t go to college. Now his older sister did go to college. So that was her path. She did that she’s a big deal. Lawyer right now. That was her path. She did that. And all it Yeah, I have five kids. And they’re each radically different each from the other. Now we’re all raised for the same basic principles. And I thought, Connie story of raising her kids in this really alternative way. I really thought that was what I was going to do. When I came to this country. It was at the time it was in the 60s that student rebellions. Kids were not happy with what colleges and schools were doing to them. And they were rebelling, and I was very interested in that field. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Summerhill. It was an experimental school in England. It was the time of those experimental schools. How can we completely can the Waldorf system, all these different ways of alternative ways of teaching our kids? I thought, I’m absolutely going to raise my kids, I’m gonna have a whole bunch of kids and I’m going to raise them in it’s completely alternative manner. I was wrong. Because when it came to do it, we were living in the Hamptons, there were alternative schools that were really expensive. There was no way we could do five kids. And the kids were thriving in the system. Yeah, his kids again, right. They really thrived within the system and then emerge, and we were hippies, and not even Americans. So the kids got a lot of flack at the beginning. By the beginning of high school, those kids were each being challenged by their schoolmates, and put down and your parents are just stupid hippies and organic vegetarians. What the hell’s that? etc. And by halfway alone, things began to change. And by the end of school, everybody else wanted to be like them. They honestly were like the leaders, each of them in their own way. Who were the were leaders. Now in my music musician, son shows up those kids from school artists biggest fans, in front of their stage.

Connie  33:33

Yeah, and it’s interesting because I wasn’t a hippie. Okay. I was private school, New England, old family, Mayflower descendant life, my ancestors started colleges, Bowdoin College, etc. And, yeah, but I had I, I say, I was sitting on top of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? You know, the triangle. You’re on top. And I have a responsibility. And that’s one thing these schools, New England’s women’s schools teach you is, of course, with privilege responsibility. Okay, I was sitting up here waving, hey, how do you do, I had the power to let my son drop out of school freedom, the freedom to do that, even though my parents disagreed and my sister was gonna report me to social services, whatever it was, I didn’t care, because I came with a job to do that is raised humans that are going to contribute to society. Well, number one, number two is shift the consciousness of humanity. I mean, we’re big picture thinkers, right. So we’ve got a big job to do. And so I could listen to my children’s hearts, listen to their spirits and follow those impulses for them open the doors. That was my job to open the door for their destiny path. So one daughter, instead of going to college, went off to China was smuggled into Tibet, and etc, she ultimately put herself through college and she’s now in Amsterdam. Now, yeah, for a fortune 500 company that she because she got a, an MBA and all that. And my other daughter, she had her destiny path as a writer and as a this horseback rider, and she’s now supporting our family in Aspen, Colorado, with my granddaughter, and her husband, but each one has their own destiny path, we can’t be channeling them into this educational system that says, you know, if you get this on this test, you’re okay. And if you don’t on that test, you’re not and you know, your trajectory, etc, you have to have the courage and the trust, to walk in freedom, because we can do that individually. It doesn’t matter what the rest of the culture is doing. If your vibration is up, you can you do anything. Because the rules that apply to you like Henry David Thoreau said, the laws that apply to you will be expanded, or new laws will be made in your favor, and you will live with the license of a higher order of beings. That’s in his conclusion to Walden, I quoted that last time. But that’s when you walk confidently in the direction of your dreams. So it’s just up to us to give people the courage to go there. And, and as Andrew said, it is a process. For me, it’s like, absolute. So I’m not really one to speak, because I it hasn’t been a process for me fear was never one of my things. And, you know, I just came in for a different ride. And, but it is a process, like Andrew says,

Clay  36:49

what I’m hearing is that each of you have created an environment for a young person to, to develop, I call it, let’s call it solar energy and their lunar energy. You know, traditionally the solar, you know, leads, you know, that’s the, traditionally the male energy and the, the lunar, the, the, the woman the female energy, but we have all have both, and what what I’m getting from this conversation is that you allowed whatever that was, wherever they were to find, find its own space, its own space to not be forced your your guys so you got to follow this path, you’re a woman, you got to go this way. But to find themselves along here, and I know y’all gave guidance along the way, but you were kind of tapping this side tab on the side, and letting them find and develop their heart as well as their head and then integrating in finding their own equilibrium within that integration. If I could turn the clock back boy,

Dennis Tardan  38:09

I understand that. But one, one of the things that that I miss that I feel like I missed when I was growing up, was that I, I went very much I looked up at in in the 50s I looked up at adults as a child and when they really don’t know what they’re doing, they really don’t know what’s going on. So I’m going to take this myself, I’m not going to really listen to what they said I’m just going to end and the only the end the challenge with that is that I never learned as a child what value there could be in hard work, how what value there could be in delayed gratification, I didn’t get that I didn’t get the chance you know really defeat to you know, like fight when you do that that beautiful mandola behind you to be able to have that sense of being able to do a piece and work on it and build it if I didn’t get that that instantaneous gratification so therefore it took me a while before I got until I was in my 30s that I began to see that experience of being able to now was felt that if I could have had someone that could have sat with me and helped and modeled for me and helped me to go to what the value of that delayed gratification so that’s the learning that I’m getting that I’m getting now that I did not get as a child that I just went I just dismissed dismissed

Connie  39:40

Guess what? It’s your souls journey. Everything has been perfect. I agree. I souls journey I know what if and if only. Okay, here I am world and I’ve got this work to do and get that work done because the earth is moving into to a higher frequency, we got to get that shadow work done that less than that. Okay? And if only and what if, etc.

Dennis Tardan  40:10

I don’t go I don’t go there, Connie. I really don’t. I am so appreciative of everything that got me here today.

Connie  40:17

Yeah. Sweet, sweet, that’s important.

Andrew  40:20

So Dennis, you’re, you’re bringing up for me the idea of the mentor of the wise elder in the village, you know, where a young woman or a young man has an elder to go and, and just sit with and learn from, maybe I’m gonna trade or learn a technique or talk about spiritual matters or talk about leadership or talk about marriage or childbirth, whatever the subject might be. Right. And it’s something that I think I think we lack that we’ve lost as sort of white Westerners in particular, I think the Native Americans have more of that still, to this day, despite everything that they have struggled through, they’ve kept certain things, Connie, and I believe she’d agreed we we get a lot of inspiration from our indigenous friends. There’s something there in the non white non western world that has real value that we tend to do we, the white Westerners, and to denigrate that to like, you don’t have a religion, you’re not, you know, you’re not very bright, you’re primitive, and all of those things. And I’m so delighted that we now live in a time when we are have woken up, I think it started back in the 60s, and maybe started earlier. But in the 60s, where we suddenly started paying attention to the Native Americans in this country, for example, going and sitting at a peyote ceremony in a teepee, those kinds of extraordinary experiences that are missing. So if my kids, I know one complaint my kids had about me, or at least my middle boy. And that said, I didn’t give him enough and holding support. I trusted him too much. I gave them a very clear, they had a strong one who was great. And what I gave them was the instruction that you are free. However, with freedom comes self discipline. Think about that, to my boys. Think about that. You are responsible for your for the results of your actions. So if you go get go down a path, and my youngest boy nearly did. He actually is one of his best friends just died just a month ago, over here on heroin overdose. I mean, there was heroin in that Hamptons community. And in those getting into drugs, kids were getting into breaking into places to get money to buy drugs, and with those kinds of things going on. And of all my kids, only my one son went to the edge of that. And we saw that we had an idea. And when your local cop, a policeman, and we called him and we said, look, I think our son’s maybe getting to hang out with the wrong people. And long story short, a week later, son comes home from school walks into the living room, there’s a uniformed officer there. And we just introduced him and left. That did the job.

Clay  43:29

Interesting. I want to ask a question. Because you’re touching around a subject that that keeps coming up in my mind. And first of all, I I think that we’ve got a population, the Western civilization, that we have a population of a lot of adult children. They’ve they’ve not gone through the ritual change from childhood to adulthood. I would say it’s initiation. Now, initiation is a loaded term, because it brings up a lot of misplaced activity that just gotten a bad rap. And so initiation when I ask people about it, or initiation or rite of passage, well, what was it? Oh, when I got my driver’s license? No. Yesterday you were a boy. And today you’re a man and you take on the mantle of a man. You can still live what’s in your heart to live. But there’s never been that that not never. I can’t say that. But less and less there is that that demarcation Point. And I wanted to get your thoughts on that.

Clay  45:04

So let me just say this. I grew up in Africa. At the age of three, I was transplanted from England where I was born to South Africa and grew up in the midst of a culture, specifically the Zulu people who have very strong age groups. Yes, they have these initiations at different ages, and the boys and the girls, but no more about the boys. And the boys will have a circumcision. Yep. At puberty, for example, which is a painful, dangerous thing. Yes. And they would go through this together as a group, Nelson Mandela went through this, he spoke about that. I ended up getting a degree in social anthropology because I realized I was more than a science guy. But I realized I was actually more interested in human beings and our potential than I necessarily was in physics, or math, or chemistry, which were my fields before that. So those cultures have very specific systems of mentorship. Absolutely rigid Age, Group initiations, when you reach a certain age, such and such happens when you’re a little boy, you’re looking after the chickens later on, you’re looking after the goats later on you with the cows. Right. And later on, you’re out hunting the lion, and then you’re allowed to marry. And none of those things can happen before a certain time. And before you’ve passed the test as its as,

Clay  46:29

right. Right. And, yeah,


and so much that’s so radically different from our culture,

Clay  46:34

right. And so, and I witnessed this in, in Kenya, when I was there, I saw it on the news, a woman newscasters. And this season, we will have initiation ceremonies, for 20,000, young boys, and all the hospitals and all those support systems are in place for this. And what I learned was that, yeah, they’re publicly circumcised. And if they flinch, they bring shame on their parents. Now, in that culture, for that time, in that tradition, you know, I don’t judge it. But there’s something between that extreme and nothing, right. And unfortunately, we’re swinging towards this nothing. And so we’ve got a bunch of adult children running around. And unfortunately, they’re in politics, they’re leading corporations, etc, etc.

Clay  47:39

And they were raised by women, by the way, because most of us men in this culture have to go to work. And so I was, right. If you spoke to my, the mother of my children, she would probably say you were an absentee father. And I said, Yes. Because I had to go to the city and work and bring home the bacon and bring home the money. And mom was very responsible for how other kids, including the boys were raised. Sure, yeah.

Connie  48:07

Yeah, I just like to say something. Because I always bemoaned the fact that I wasn’t part of a culture that had tradition. Okay, so what you’re saying, and then this grandmother, in native grandmother came into my life. And she said, Yeah, traditions over, I was told not, she said, I was told not to bring my all my ceremonial implements out here to Colorado, with me, because it’s over. It’s a prison. And his, you know, you have to do this at a certain time, you have to do that. Blah, blah, blah. You know, so she and this was in the 90s. And so, I think it’s just important to one thing, recognize that each culture, each color of man has a role to play in the evolution of consciousness, and the evolution of the cosmos, because everything we do affects the cosmos. Moving this in science now that the human heart and our emotions and everything actually were the same energy is all the cosmos. So we are in process and this is from the egos perspective, from Native perspective, the high visionary elder perspective, that every race has had a job to do in this process.

Clay  49:36

Well, and that’s a whole that’s a whole nother nother realm to get into and, and it’s a it’s a tough one to talk about. Especially, I mean, Dennis, you know, you and I, of course, have been in that’s been on the show before, and so I get that, but I’ll tell you what, Here’s what I think I’m, well, I’ve learned it with, with willing, Cynthia, at the gender equity and reconciliation that we’re all wounded.

Andrew  50:12

Yeah, you got mutual wounding

Clay  50:15

that regardless if every one of us is wounded, or wounded, through patriarchy through however it is. And that’s our common ground. And if I can look at you, Connie, and say, Here, a wounded soul, you know, I have people look at me, so we’ll play, you’ve got everything going for you, you’re privileged, white western male. Well, I wanted to, you know, and here’s this not comparing loads, but that’s our, that’s our common ground. And if we can look at each other beyond the surface, and recognize it, that suffering, we both share, and maybe there’s hope at this higher level of consciousness. Dennis,

Dennis Tardan  51:07

I completely agree, because that’s what I, I get into that comparison mode. And that’s where I want to, because I’m a, I believe that we can this, this is where where the the whole piece of, of that comes in. Connie about about white shaming, and how this all this work, I don’t believe that that’s that’s the process at all, we each have to carry our own responsibility for who we are and how we behave to day and behave like that. But you know, and I cannot know what it’s like to be a woman, I cannot know what it’s like to just say to a child, but I can be your ally, I can be your ally, and make sure that your rights are protected, and make sure that your rights are protected, and do the best that I can to be able to do that. I can’t know another person’s, but I can be your ally, I can be your ally. And I can also walk in my own perspective, in my own truth, to be able to uplevel my consciousness on each and every day, whether I’m sitting in a meditative chair, or whether or not I’m going and helping someone across the street. I have both of those things to do. That is my work to do.

Clay  52:25

I’m going to pick up on that, Dennis, because I want to go back to Connie, something that she said early on, about how you grew up in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And it’s incredible to me, yeah, you say I was at the top. And that’s how your your family was? And look at what your family brought. for the greater good.

Connie  52:52

Absolutely, you know, they gave away the family fortune to the people of Maine, parks and mountains. And that’s right giveaway was huge for them. That’s right,

Dennis Tardan  53:04

That’s part of the deal of really understanding what is enough. And also, I love what you said about the about returning those who have those to whom have a lot has been given a lot of expected. And they returned back to the process. And that that’s one of my great quest is to ask people, What is enough? What would be enough? And it doesn’t matter what your number is, would you know it when you got there? Does Jeff Bezos know when he gets there? When he you know, okay, I have enough. That’s all I need. And all me do we actually ask ourselves that question in the Western world. What is enough?

Connie  53:57

Our whole system is based on the problem of scarcity, our whole economic system, okay, so when the scarcity does fear, will there be enough to morrow? So then we start hoarding, okay, so in the trust frequency and a native way, the giveaway is huge. And in my family, that giveaway, okay?

Dennis Tardan  54:20

That’s circulation that things circulate in our body. What things circulate in the universe, why would they not circulate here? Why would that one place no longer be a law?

Connie  54:33

Yeah, and and it’s a it’s a, again, it’s vibration, its frequency. So when you’re in that higher frequency, there’s more abundance and you can fathom Jesus with the loaves and the fishes, etc. John Lennon with imagine, you know, they’re telling us they’re showing us something, there’s another ballgame. And we were in a lower frequency of scarcity and separation. And so that fear is So that’s what created these systems that we’ve responded to and played ball with. Right in order to survive, right? A little girl and 77 year old girl, how are you going to get a job Johnny, if you don’t go to first grade,

Andrew  55:14

Loaves and fishes has a problem, and that is what are you going to do with 40 bushels of leftovers? I mean, that’s the problem. The problem is so much abundance that you can’t believe it.

Clay  55:26

Well, you’re so so right. And I mean, we’ve just, we barely even scratched the surface of this whole topic. Oh, yeah. In the men’s work. You know, I mean, we touched into that. There’s so much, much more in such a dynamic time for men, for young men. And for the second half of lifers. Absolutely. It’s just it’s an incredible time of change. And I’m heartened because I hear more and more and more of men’s work that’s being done. That is heart centered, knowing what you’re doing really healing in. And I feel like it’s so wonderful. So Dennis, back to you.

Dennis Tardan  56:15

Well, I am just so grateful. I’m just I’m so grateful that we get an opportunity, Andrew and Connie to be able to continue the conversations about all of our vibrant our vibrations and how we are bringing more compassion onto the planet because compassion has to be part of this vibrational frequency to I mean, it has to be part of who we are. And that’s what we are in search of. And that’s what we’re in search of, without and within, as we said on the other broadcast, and I’m so grateful that you would give us with another hour of your time another hour the graceful all the links for everyone who’s watching or listening will be on the on the webpage and and we look forward to continuing conversations and also we might even be able to meet some of your family and bring out have a little bit of this intergenerational conversation along the way.

Clay  57:06

I’d be willing to ask my boys if they come on.

Dennis Tardan  57:10

Good. Hi, I’d love to be able to do anyway thank you for thank you clay for inviting me along the journey of in search of the new compassionate male and Connie and Andrew, thank you so much for giving us this time today. And we will it will not be long before we will see everyone again and thank you so much for joining us in search of the new compassionate male. We’ll see you next time.

Clay  57:36

Check out the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate male on your favorite podcast Station.

EP104: Dennis Slattery on Eros, Intimacy and Truth

EP104: Dennis Slattery on Eros, Intimacy and Truth

Dennis Patrick Slattery, Ph.D., is Distinguished Emeritus Professor in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. He has taught there for the last 26 of his 52 years in the classroom. He offers riting retreats and workshops in the United States and Europe on exploring one’s personal myth through the works of Joseph Campbell and C.G. Jung’s Red Book.



Dennis Slattery  00:07

then the question came up, can I trust laws can laws mentor us, when we experienced a loss of a friendship of a person of a, of a part of our life that we realize, you know, that’s gone. I thought I could hang on to it, I thought it was going to be permanent. And I see that it’s dissolved, or it’s in the process of dissolving, trusting in a loss can be seen as creating a vacuum in us. But it also can be understood as giving us an opening that we never had before.

Clay Boykin  00:54

Hello, my name is Clay Boykin, and I’m in search of the new compassionate mail. Just a short while ago, I had the opportunity, the wonderful opportunity to have another conversation with our friend, Dennis Slattery. You know, these podcast episodes go deep. But I can tell you that the ones that Dennis and I have go so much deeper, and we never know where they’re going to end up, but they always end up someplace good. So let’s join that conversation. We’re on here talking and in the times that we’re able to sit over lunch, and I get home and Laurie says, What would you talk about? I don’t know. But how to make it fit? Oh, I felt great. We just covered so many things. Well, what was your bladder?

Dennis Slattery  01:43

But we both know, and this is how I’d phrase it, both of us know that erros was present. Because the relationship between us and then the topics that we move through, deepen. And that for me is when arrows is present in what is present in the classroom. The classes are terrific, they’re animated, people are thinking through things not to agree with each other, but to see what their own myth is.

Clay Boykin  02:16

Okay. All right. Tell Tell me more about arrows. What what?

Dennis Slattery  02:22

So one, one of my favorite books of young is the transcripts from a dream analysis seminars, 1928 to 1930 and youngest with either two or three, I think it’s to other analysts. And they’re taking dreams of maybe five, six sentences. That’s it. And then they’re working, and youngest listening to translations and he steps in and agrees and then he steps back every August. So one drain, about page 99. In this volume that is just scintillating reading. They’re working on a man’s screen, who is in a questionable in his dream and his questionable relationship with his daughter. And one of the analysts says, well, he’s in an incestuous erotic situation with his daughter and young kind of slams his fist down and he says, No, he’s in a deep relationship with his daughter because Aeros is about relationships. Now it can get perverted into pornography, lust, greed, but he says arrows is the presence, that energy presence of relationships that bind people together. And the dream was the unconscious narrative. Not about this man having a set said the the analyst wanted to liberalize it into a sexual relationship and, and Jung essentially said, No, it’s symbolic of a relationship that’s deep that this man has with his his daughter and boy, when I read that play, I thought that that is so helpful to understand though in our culture, the anything erotic is right away kind of Freudian sexually based, but for young, it was always the symbolic and that’s why I’ve read one time play that He personally analyzed over 80,000 dreams in his professional life. You just was in the unconscious. Not all the time. But that was his. That was his default position.

Clay Boykin  05:15

That was the unconscious. That was his playground.

Dennis Slattery  05:19

That was his playground. So anyhow, that’s that’s what helped me understand arrows as relationship

Dennis Slattery  05:25

Okay, well now a couple of things but first of all, what I hear you, for me it translates to intimacy. Absolutely. The intimacy is to me is almost synonymous with arrows. Okay, and I in intimacy and not not in a sexual sound, they could be in a sexual sense, but intimacy in terms of you and I have an intimate relationship. Yes, powerful and deep and it’s hard to hard. It’s hard to hurt. Okay. So that Okay, so I’m on track there now. It was arrows, a mythological person.

Dennis Slattery  06:10

Yes. Yes. And the famous the most famous that I know. And a scholars who know more than Miss stories could add another but it’s in the arrows and psyche myth. That arrows reveals himself. His mother is Aphrodite. If my memories serving me and Aeros comes to psyche at night and psyche sisters are very envious, that Aeros chooses psyche and not them to visit at night. So they conjure and psyche trust now, I’m thinking of our theme resume here, right? So psyche trust them and they when Aeros comes he comes in darkness. And there is no light allowed. So the sister say tonight when he comes and he’s sleeping, light a candle and take a look because he’s a grotesque monstrous figure. Of course arrows is this handsome, beautiful. Man. Oh, God. And so she does. And when arrows, fields the light of think of it’s a lantern with oh, it’s an oil lamp. I’m just trying to grab some of these pieces. He awakens immediately and she startled and two or three drops of that hot oil, land on it. Oh, that’s what wakes him up. That’s what wakes him up. Because she startled at his beauty. And now she’s trying to square the circle of her sisters telling her he’s a monster. And she says, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in my life. Well, when those drops of oil land on his skin, it startles him and he shoots out the window. And then she is given tasks to perform by effort diety his mother in order to reclaim him. And all of these tasks that psyche is given in a kind of individuation process where she has to suffer the blisters of things that she says I can’t I can’t do this. But different animals, different figures come and assist her and so she’s able to accomplish them. So the story of arrows and psyche is one of the richest in Greek mythology and I’m sorry I’m not pulling up more details it’s been a while so

Clay Boykin  09:15

that’s really good that that gives that gives me a bread trail to follow

Dennis Slattery  09:23

always fascinated to play with those two or three drops of hot oil because they she holds the lamp and sees him she becomes so fascinated with his beauty that the that the lantern the lamp just turns enough to spill the oil that awakens him and he doesn’t even flinch but he shoots out the window. And then her task is to reclaim Errol’s. Yeah, it’s a beautiful story arrows and psyche and Eric noise It has written magnificently on that myth, if you’re interested, he’s just, he’s one of the best union analysts. I think that followed you home. Oh, work with young, and then follow us thinking

Clay Boykin  10:16

and myth, the myth of arrows in psyche.

Dennis Slattery  10:20

And I think it says something to us about our dream life in ways that I can’t comprehend right now that there’s something about when we enter that dark space of the unconscious. Do we trust? What we’ve been told about the unconscious? Or do we try to have a direct human experience with the unconscious? So it’s so ironic that the sisters who, who tell her this falsehood begins her process of individuation. It’s like a via negativa.

Clay Boykin  11:12

Would it be? I guess what just came up to me, is this going into the unconscious? There’s an intellectual pursuit of the unconscious, which I don’t think will get me too far. But there’s an intimacy if I can have an intimate relationship develop an intimate relationship with my unconscious? Yes, there’s then the that opens. That opens a portal.

Dennis Slattery  11:47

Yes, exactly. Right. So psyche seems to need arrows to begin that intimate contact with herself, but also with the larger world, because when she sets out on these tasks, like Hercules sets out on his tasks, she sees I am ill equipped to do this by myself. So then it puts her into relationships with others with ants and other figures that come in to help her separate wheat from chaff, something she can’t do. So she’s on the erotic road as she seeks arrows. I love it. I mean, they just are the brilliance of the Greek myth. If it’s the process, the process itself is what you’re seeking. Aha, if that, in that beautiful, poetic way that myths, speak to us.

Clay Boykin  12:56

I’m looking up something here. Yesterday, I was surprised. Well, first of all, is my birthday.

Dennis Slattery  13:07

Yes. Happy birthday.

Dennis Slattery  13:09

Thank you, as I mentioned to you, yes. Thank you. And my wife, Laurie and two friends. They took me away at 11am. And they said, Yeah, just be ready to go at 11. Okay. And they took me off. And we went to the ATB center up in cedar park to see circus Olay. Oh my gosh. And you know what the which one it was? It was ovo. Okay, don’t know it. It’s about bugs. Oh, it’s about bugs. And when you said she connected with the ants, the image of ovo the image because there was this huge egg. Oh age. And throughout the whole performance. In the background. There’s some ant carrying an egg. You know, and it’s this interconnection, of all the all the bugs together and all the acrobats. Oh, my gosh. And that’s what came to mind. Yes. Oh, my

Dennis Slattery  14:20

God, you got bugs on the mind?

Clay Boykin  14:22

I do. I do. I did. It was a great performance.

Dennis Slattery  14:27

Oh, that’s we’ve seen three over our lifetime. And each one just left us breathless. Yes, it’s just that they have a slice on fantasy that no one else can touch. Yeah, that’s our experience has been.

Clay Boykin  14:47

Yes. I think the first one I saw was in 1998. And I think they’ve they’re, I think they came out in like 93 or 98. For. Yes, yeah, that’s right out of out of Montreal is where they’re where they’re based out of.

Dennis Slattery  15:06

I think that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. Well, okay, Antonio, one in Las Vegas, and I can’t remember the others. But anyhow, you know, musing on trust after you and I had lunch, and I can pull my hunger writing out two or three pages, and then I’ve even added to it. But I’ve suffered a loss recently. And I don’t want to go into that. But I, what happened with me is that I, I asked myself, What does trust have to do with loss? And then the question came up, can I trust, loss can loss mentor us, when we experienced a loss of a friendship of a person of a, of a part of our life that we realize, you know, that’s gone, I thought I could hang on to it, I thought it was going to be permanent. And I see that it’s dissolved, or it’s in the process of dissolving. Can I learn to trust, the uncertainty, that loss opens in us? So I just was, you know, just kind of thinking through that. And I thought I’d bring it up with you to see how trust trusting in a loss can be seen as creating a vacuum in us. But it also can be understood as giving us an opening? Yeah, that we never had before. Right? So I, you know, I just was, I was just musing. And, to your point earlier, I wrote to myself, it’s just not enough to simply trust in oneself. We have to have that trust in others, who help us. Not only identify ourselves, but I think help us define ourselves. But without trust as a bedrock of, you know, who you’re going to tell your story to, and who you might not want to tell your story. True. story, too, is based on Do I trust this person. So yo, ne. And I came to this notion that trust promotes a common sense, to things. Trust gives us a common ground.

Clay Boykin  18:07

You know, as you’re saying that what comes to mind is the work that I’ve done on the topic of vulnerability, perfect trust and vulnerability or you are so joined. And, yes, you know, Brene Brown to stand in one’s truth with an open heart to heart it is the that end of the spectrum of vulnerability, and I. So if that’s wholehearted, I say, when I use the term brokenhearted is when I’m closed. You know, when I’m not going to let you in? And maybe, you know, out of fear because I don’t trust you. Yes. And another side of that is, I’m not going to let you in because I trust myself

Dennis Slattery  19:04

to not only maybe,

Clay Boykin  19:06

yeah, but I trust myself to know that I should not let you in there. Exactly. And that spectrum between being closed hearted and wholehearted are brokenhearted and a wholehearted is yes. It’s all wound, which is wound around which I think it’s it’s two it’s two pieces of a piece of rope. Yes, and vulnerability, wind around each other. Yes.

Dennis Slattery  19:35

And, you know, on a large global scale right now, I think that Putin carries the archetype of the of the of the untrusting. Yeah, nobody can be trusted. I alone. Kind of have the answer. And just from a mythic and psychological level, how that is enclosing him in a cocoon of his own making, and narrowing and suffocating. And how infernally painful. It must be for any human being, to feel that no one is trustworthy. And so if they’re forced back on their own solipsism, and it just spins around inside that cocoon, with no arrows. In fact, arrows, I think, in that situation can be transformed into a violent energy that just explodes out with no boundaries. So this is this is the flip side of arrows. Where no relationships kind of eventuate in a response, that’s one of violence.

Clay Boykin  21:09

So arrows is an energy that’s going to come out one way or the other.

Dennis Slattery  21:13

Yes, absolutely. It’s one of those primal centers in us that can split and go in either direction, either towards a benevolent, compassionate, your work and, and mine on a smaller scale. So trust is so connected to the ability to be compassionate. Without trust, I don’t think one has the capability of being compassionate towards others,

Clay Boykin  21:49

and is not necessarily trusting the other that I would be compassionate towards. I mean, that I don’t have to trust the other person to be compassionate for him. Okay, that’s, that’s a hard thing for me to, to grasp. But it’s, it’s easy to trust somebody and to have compassion for somebody that you’re close, that you that you’re experiencing arrows with, yes, but have compassion for someone who is causing harm. And to see that below that action that’s going on, at a deeper level. There’s no There’s, there’s a human being that’s in pain. That’s right. There’s a suffering that’s happening at a deep, deeper level, that’s manifesting itself in damage to other people.

Dennis Slattery  22:46

That’s right. And so Oh, no, please.

Clay Boykin  22:50

Yeah. So that’s, that’s, that’s my my point is, is if I can reach in, to have compassion for that it doesn’t condone what the person is doing outwardly. No. And that’s been a hard thing for me to really wrap my arms around intellectually, I can have compassion for the person. But in my heart of hearts, now I’m just as judgmental and damning as the next person might be.

Dennis Slattery  23:17

That’s, and that’s where self compassion, I think really plays an important part. In Yeah, that’s part of who I am. And that’s part of some of the work that I still have to do within myself. Yeah, but I like I like your point of view there. Because it suggests to me that being compassionate towards one that you don’t trust could bring that person to trust you. In which case, that might be the first step in breaking out of this negative energy field that they occupy isolated and alone. You know, like Dante lost in the dark wood at the beginning of the poem. Yeah. Well,

Clay Boykin  24:07

and that rings true with my model of vulnerability if I can continue to be wholehearted because it takes two people to be vulnerable. You know, most Yes. You know, you and I are both coming to this conversation wholehearted?

Dennis Slattery  24:27

Yes. You know,

Clay Boykin  24:28

what if I went into a conversation and the other person has an angry heart, you know, or a wounded heart?

Dennis Slattery  24:37


Clay Boykin  24:39

And they’re casting out things that would turn me off, you know, that would push me away. But if I can stand there, and remain wholehearted eventually, there’s only one place that that other person can end up and that’s wholehearted to, to get below that surface. To get down to the, to the heart of the matter. Yes.

Dennis Slattery  25:02

The other option could be just a total rejection of you, because you’re making them feel too vulnerable. And that that heat shield that they have up is going to think it could thicken not is not determined to thicken. It’s proof that they don’t want to see. They don’t want to see so that it’s part of like Campbell’s idea of refusing the call. One’s called. But no, they’re saying not now. I’m too busy. Call me back. But also because you’re making me feel vulnerable and that is really scary.

Clay Boykin  25:47

piercing through that, that sir? Yeah. Young. Let me answer your question. Go ahead, please.

Dennis Slattery  25:54

Okay, well, you go, okay. Okay.

Dennis Slattery  25:58

You wrote this article recently? Yes. What was the motivation? I mean, motivation, what was the inspiration behind writing the article? I mean, first, talk a little bit about what the article was about, I know, trust, but take it a little bit deeper than that.

Dennis Slattery  26:15

You know, so I, I, I have a copy of from the newspaper here. I think of feeling one morning, here in my study, with a candle lit into my little gooseneck, lamp lit and thinking how

Dennis Slattery  26:39

part of the divisiveness in our country, but I think also on a global psychic level is being fed daily by distrusting one another. And I thought, well, what, what is this thing of trust? So I started to think about examples and how there are boards of trustees. How on our money, it says In God We Trust, right. And getting ready for today, I thought of that show. I can’t remember how long have goes on. But it was tremendously popular and successful. And it was entitled putting trust in the show would have couples. And they would ask the wife questions about the husband and the husband of the wife. And the nation was mesmerised nothing nation, but a lot of audience. Present. were mesmerized by listening to this to this couple that been married two years, 25 years. And what is it that you don’t trust about for? Or? I mean, it was, wow, it, it could have been light. But it often got heavy. And how one or the other couple in the couple was surprised to learn something about trust, or its absence or its uncertainty, its wobbliness in the other. So I just wanted to add that because I thought about it. Maybe an hour before we got on. On this conversation.

Clay Boykin  28:38

I bet you there were some divorce attorneys watching that real close.

Dennis Slattery  28:42

recording it. So I say in the article, I think of trust as the heartbeat when we were speaking about the heart and I’m so glad that we are it’s the heartbeat of any authentic relationship. So a fundamental question we might ask, I suggest in the article is not so much. Is this person loyal? But a deeper question. Is this person trustworthy? Is this person worthy of my trust? And if I’m open, reciprocally, is that true? And I push it a little bit to muse on the relationship of trust, to truth. I say their intimate first cousins. Truth suffers a hit. I wrote When trust is attacked, or dismantled. So there’s a fragile but still strong relationship between trust and truth. And in our era of distrust of misinformation of falsities, it becomes questionable. I have a pre, I have a buddy from high school, who I stay in touch with. There’s a group of us from our graduating class of 1963. At St. Joseph’s Marinus High School in Cleveland, we all graduated in 63. And there’s a website and we share stories and so forth. There’s about 55 of us that are involved out of a class of 313. Not all of the others have passed, but many have. And Bill and I get on the phone occasionally. And I talked to him a few weeks ago, and, and I was bringing up some national events. And he said, Dennis, I don’t have anything to say, because I’ve, I’ve sworn off my newspaper, and I don’t watch the news. And I say you don’t, you’re not in tune with what he said, No. And I said, Okay, Bill, we’ve known each other for 150 years, what’s going on? He says, I don’t trust any, I don’t trust anything of what I was hearing. And I decided instead of the roiling around in my head about, Do I trust that comment, or is that another fabrication, and he said, I just decided to pull the plug. And Bill’s not alone. I mean, how many either dig in to what they have come to believe that they trust, and then everything else gets deleted. There are those of us who want to stay open, and listen, but try to be discerning on what we’re hearing. And that’s, you know, that’s fairly impressive group of people as well. But trust itself is on the chopping block. And we’re seeing it now. Go to a global level, with the invasion of Ukraine and the response, the heroic response of the Ukrainians, and that they trust Solinsky. And so trust is just clay, it’s just so all pervasive right now. In the culture. I suggest in the article, that without trust, a host of demons can invade the gap that’s open by trust absence. And I won’t read all of them, but I’m just going to read four or five of them. A suspicion of others. When trust disappears, I’m suspicious of like my friend Bill, he says, I’m suspicious of everything I hear. So I’m going to block it all out. A lust for power, that moves into the vacuum, that trusts absence, has created an upstream except obsession with safety and security, which then spills into what I am going to allow my child to hear in the classroom, and what is off limits for him or her to hear. But it’s fear based from my perspective. Another one is a fierce tribalism. We get into these clusters, and then we cling out of the fear that is bred by uncertainty.

Dennis Slattery  33:49

And for you and me today. Can I learn to trust uncertainty? I didn’t think about that until after our lunch and I was musing at home. And in saying that, I want to feel into his uncertainty, a mentor, that I have not really allowed in to mentor me, but maybe I should now and I’ll read one more, or two more. One is intolerance. When trust is pushed to lowercase intolerance goes to capitalize uppercase, I. Extremism, rigid control, and then, and these aren’t in order order of extremity. But the last one I mentioned is self doubt. When I’m when I’m surrounded by a field of mistrust and distrust. It’s not a quantum leap psychologically even mythically to We begin to self distrust. You know, can I even trust my decision here and voting in the primaries? Right? So it, it’s, it’s a toxicity like an invisible, toxic gas. And we’re all breathing it. And I just wanted to bring it into consciousness through these 620 words of an op ed piece.

Clay Boykin  35:28

It was a beautiful Op Ed,

Dennis Slattery  35:30

thank you so much.

Clay Boykin  35:32

I want to go back to uncertainty. Yes. Good. That just rings so loudly in your muse about trusting uncertainty? Yes, I’d like to peel the onion on that. Where does that? How does that play out? Yeah. One word that comes to me is faith.

Dennis Slattery  35:59

Faith? Yeah, absolutely. In fact, if I can share this, because you and I are on the same wavelength here. I was thinking and I mentioned in the article, along with faith, hope and love, I want to say there’s a fourth tip that prescribes to quaternity. And that is trust. So I started to think about faith, hope and love. And I push that a little bit, and I want to share it with you and listeners in faith, I trust in what can’t be seen, measured. But since its presence, on a super sensible, level, hope, hope allows me to trust in the future, to see possibilities I may contribute to in their unfolding. And then love to trust in the awareness of how all need to feel loved, acknowledged, respected, and maybe most important, Lee clay witnessed. People have this deep desire. And I share it to be witnessed by others. And I think that’s a form of love.

Clay Boykin  37:31

For you really struck something there. In Me, in our men’s circle, there’s an underlying, there’s an underlying theme. And I think I plucked it out because it was something that was so important to me at the time, early on this pleading this inner pleading of I just want to be heard, I just want to be heard. Yeah. You know, I don’t need anybody to fix me or make suggestions or tell me their war story. I just want to be heard. And that’s the other desperate cry. And that’s, yeah, that’s what I read. That’s how I hear what you’re saying.

Dennis Slattery  38:12

And, and if I make it beautiful, what you just said, that’s the play of arrows. I think that’s the plea of arrows saying I want to be in relationship to, and I can’t, unless I feel heartfelt that I’m being heard, that I’m being witnessed. So I’m liking what’s happening here with arrows who kind of slipped into this conversation early on and is kind of hanging onto us, which is beautiful. That arrows is that impulse to be heard. And I think it’s appropriate to go to the other side and to witness others, which is also an erotic move. And, you know, when, what something I’m reading recently Oh, the stories we live by Dan McAdams, some typing some notes on personal myth. He says what, what he discovered in his research, is that somebody somebody’s sensing that they’re deeply and intensely being listened to. is one of the greatest gifts that one human being can give to the other. Yes, yeah. I’m, I’m speaking and I’m listening. And as you and I work, we listen to each other. That’s, I mean, that is a human gift that I think is special. grid on in several ways that we could we could push.

Clay Boykin  40:07

So true. I want to come back to Yeah. Faith? Yes. In creating my mandala over the years that’s hanging behind me. Yeah, I love it. There’s I take religious tradition. And the one common theme that Karen Armstrong calls out. The common theme amongst all the major religious traditions in the world is the golden rule. Which translates to compassion. Yes. And so I’m associating compassion with religious tradition, and mythology. And I’ve been able to blur the lines between religious tradition and mythology. They’re, they’re communicating a wisdom forward. That’s right. And so in juxtaposition with religious tradition and compassion, with mythology, I associate the word faith. And the relationship then between faith and compassion is love.

Dennis Slattery  41:29

Yes. Now, how

Dennis Slattery  41:30

does that play into our conversation? I don’t know. I was just an observation that popped in mind when we were talking about faith.

Dennis Slattery  41:37

Good. Yeah, is is is faith, simultaneous with trust? Move by the energies of compassion. And I’m raising my voice into a question at the end, because I’m not sure. I was just seeing if I said anything else on No, I don’t know if this will help. But one, one insight that I was coming to off of the article, it’s not in the article. That trust sets up less a contract between oneself and others, and more a compact, a common pact with oneself and others. It seems to me that having a contract with someone else you could be married to. But there’s no compact. There was no there. Maybe it was there at the beginning and it faded. I can track.

Clay Boykin  42:58

I’m so pleased. Contractors head compact on heart.

Dennis Slattery  43:05

That’s it. Do you anticipate that’s? And that’s great that you finish? Finish that sentence? Yeah. And it’s a it’s a it’s a pack with the common place of both of us. And as I get older, the common the commonplace and the ordinary is far more interesting than the extra ordinary. Yeah. And I think that ordinariness of love is extravagant in a kind of paradoxical way.

Clay Boykin  43:44

I, I wouldn’t think of love as ordinary. But well, you put it, there’s very interesting.

Dennis Slattery  43:54

I’m resonating a little bit with them. I forget the name of I’m gonna forget her name. She lives in Wyoming. Montana, she wrote a book years ago called ordinarily sacred. Yeah, her name’s not going to come up. The title is, when I read that, I thought, I mean, this is two decades ago or more, I thought, you know, maybe I should be paying more attention to the ordinary. And then that kind of dropped out of consciousness. But as I’m getting into further into elder hood, rather than getting older. The ordinary has a has an extravagant quality about and that’s how I’m using that sense of love. Love is maybe an appreciation of the ordinary, I mean, one facet because complexity is right huge. But you know, I just find myself Watching people interacting with people and people doing small gestures of courtesy, helping one another out in ordinary ways. But it’s it’s it’s it’s love moving in the world. And in a compassionate, compassion, compassionate way play. Wow. I think it’s how love, it’s one of loves, manifestations in the world that it moves by means of the ordinary or moves through the ordinary, or makes the ordinary sacred of Linda. So almost had her last talk on it. But the title is, is it’s a small book, and it was just a profound meditation. And the name of the book again is ordinarily sacred, ordinarily sacred. Yeah, it’s just in somewhere. It’s buried in these text books. But nothing I think that was playing in the background for me. Little on I said, what I did about the ordinariness of love. And the best movie, in my limited repertoire is that magnificent film with Roy Roy double, entitled tender mercies. And it’s also the one who made it is famous and it’s it’s a in the essay on that film is in the is in one of my recent books, it might be in the I think it’s in the, the way of myth. But it’s the it’s the highlighting of a alcoholic country western singer who begins to sober up, finds himself in a motel room fighting over a bottle of bourbon with another alcoholic and then settling in and asking, can I earn my room and board and I’ll fix the doors and so forth. This is in Waxahachie, Texas, incidentally, where it was filmed flat. And the woman is raising her son, who was about nine, her husband had been killed in Vietnam. And she’s got a couple of gas pumps out front, she sells a few things in the store. And this is where his redemptive journey towards sobriety which brings up his create activity again and he begins writing songs and then he starts playing just in a little way with this band that just idolizes him and comes to visit him and they’re Volkswagen van and said, you know, you’re one of our you’re one of our mentors in song and please come and sing with us. He said, No, he has he was ready. But it’s ordinary that saves him

Clay Boykin  48:12

and it’s so it’s the right turn of self trust. Absolutely within himself, you know, Dennis this conversation could go on almost as long as our lunches go on. But I want to bring this one to close for the bike. Absolutely. Share with you. Just one one last thought. Yeah. I’m now I’m now it’s resonating with me why? Why the article that you wrote on trust, and why the whole topic of trust touched me so incredibly, deeply. Oh, thank you. And I’m in the reason it did. And I didn’t realize it until I pull up my mandola my computer here while we were talking to discuss this or that, and I’m looking around my mandola, which began years and years and years ago, is evolved throughout time. The word trust is nowhere on that mandala. And that really gives me pause. And I’d like to come back and let’s continue our conversation next time.

Dennis Slattery  49:33

Absolutely. Clay and thank you this was this is a it’s always a wonderful, stimulating. I’m surprised at some of the things that I said, which I had not planned, but we got what we do successfully is we we establish a field of relationships, and then we move around in it and that’s what’s so invigorating your center for safe

Clay Boykin  50:03

it’s so true in this whole search for the new compassionate male. And I’ve never expressed it this way but it is it’s creating a field. Yes it is and and that’s what I’m sensing it’s there’s a field of trust and vulnerability when we go into these conversations on these on these episodes so thanks for joining me on in search the new compassionate male. Check out the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate male on your favorite podcast Station.


In his 30th published volume, The Way of MythStories’ Subtle Wisdom, Dennis Patrick Slattery reaches back in “Part I: Mining the Myths Anew,” to some earlier essays on classic films and works of literature. He also includes extended meditations on the thought of mythologist Joseph Campbell; on creativity’s hungers; on beliefs as mythic constructs; and on the joys of painting. Many of the essays explore the act of reading and the importance of stories as they relate to one’s personal myth.

Ep91: Susan Cottrell on Affirming the LGBTQ Community

Ep91: Susan Cottrell on Affirming the LGBTQ Community

Susan Cottrell is an international speaker whose TEDx talk has 1.5 million views. OutSmart magazine called her “The Mother of All MamaBears.” The Advocate dubbed her “our favorite affirming matriarch.” She is a prominent voice for the LGBTQ community and their faith parents who has been featured on ABC’s 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America, on NBC News Out, and as a contributor on the Our Bible app. She is a public theologian and through her nonprofit organization—FreedHearts—Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her authentic love; and she challenges Christians to love as the foundation of faith.




Freed Hearts

Freed Hearts Podcast

Everyday Grace

Marianne Williamson – Everyday Grace


“…Grace shows up in the portal of not knowing. When the heart is clenched tight, whether in anger or certitude, in fear or in grief, grace coaxes the fist open, looks into the palm and reads there a lifeline of a larger possibility. Grace is an open hand, extended to the stranger, to the loved one, to the wounded one within. It is the open hand of relationship, of kindness, of blessing.” – Karen Hering

Few words have stirred as much theological debate and division over the centuries while still arriving in the current millennium as untarnished, as frequently and comfortably spoken and as difficult to define.

Depending on who you ask and when, grace might be equated with salvation or with sacraments, with the presence of God, or with beauty or life itself. Grace is resilience. Grace is forgiveness. It is sin’s opposite. It is healing. It is revelation, the oneness of all being. It is enlightenment. It is light. It comes before faith. It comes after faith. Some say it is faith.

Mostly, it seems, what we know about grace is that it’s largely a matter of not knowing.

One of my favorite confessions of Augustine’s is about grace. “What is grace?” he asked, right away admitting in a nearly palindromic puzzle, “I know until you ask me; when you ask me, I do not know.” I concur. When I woke up this morning I knew exactly what to write about grace. It’s when I got out of bed and put my fingers to the keyboard that things got a little difficult.

Perhaps this is as it should be. Grace, after all, begins with beyond. Grace shows up in the portal of not knowing. When the heart is clenched tight, whether in anger or certitude, in fear or in grief, grace coaxes the fist open, looks into the palm and reads there a lifeline of a larger possibility.

Grace is an open hand, extended to the stranger, to the loved one, to the wounded one within. It is the open hand of relationship, of kindness, of blessing.

Grace moves. Grace heals. Grace dances. Grace is the sigh we release on the last note of a song or when the end of the poem becomes clear.

When a room is closed and stuffy, it is grace that opens the window and grace that then blows in.

“Grace fills empty spaces,” wrote Simone Weil in her journal. “But it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.”

Grace can knock us off our feet when we stand on the shore looking out. Then it’s grace that catches us before we are washed out to sea.

Grace is given, and grace is received. It cannot be stolen, even by the best of thieves.

Grace is an opening. Just when we think we know exactly what’s going on, who we are, who everyone else is and what can and cannot happen next, grace draws back the bolt of our knowing, flings wide a new view.

Grace is the guest of humility. Rumi said it plainly but not unkindly:

You are so weak. Give up to grace. The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.

Grace never comes to the fully self- sufficient. But then, which of us really are? Grace comes to each of us in turn and to all of us unmerited.

Grace points to the possibility of more. At the end of the sentence, at the bottom of the page, in the heart held wide open, there is always more.


Salt of Grace

“Spill my tears into this sacred space,
and with a sip of compassion,
I taste the salt of grace.”


Related topic: Man’s Hidden Sadness

Metaphysical Definition of Grace – Truth Unity


The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

“…every single one of the major world traditions has highlighted — has said — and put at the core of their tradition what’s become known as the Golden Rule. First propounded by Confucius five centuries before Christ: “Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” – Karen Armstrong – 2008 Ted Talk


I invite you to visit Compassionate Austin for an opportunity to connect locally with Karen Armstrong’s Charter for Compassion.

Circles of Men by Clay Boykin is available on Amazon.


The Golden Rule

The Spirit Carriers

Perhaps this is a time to go within; reflect and remind ourselves of who we are, what our role is in the world and to hold ourselves to a higher purpose.

Some time back, Don Frick, the official biographer of the late Robert Greenleaf referred to the men in the Men’s Fellowship Network as Spirit Carriers:

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-9-45-15-am“In my view of the world there are people whom I would call ‘Spirit Carriers’.  Servants who nurture the human spirit are Spirit Carriers. They serve to connect those who do the work of the world, or who are being prepared for that role, with vision from both past and contemporary prophets. Those servants find the resources and make the intensive effort to be an effective influence. They don’t just make speeches or write books as the prophet does. They are Spirit Carriers; they connect the prophecy with the people so that it changes their lives. The spirit is power, but only when the Spirit Carrier, the servant as nurturer of the human spirit, is a powerful and not a casual force.” – Robert Greenleaf


screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-8-02-08-am“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Lessons You Can Use From the Life of Robert K. Greenleaf – Don M. Frick, Ph.D. Presented at the International Conference on Servant Leadership Indianapolis, June 12, 2013

Background on Robert Greenleaf