What can the Ancient Child actually accomplish?


I’ve been asked if the “Ancient Child 30-Day” program is designed to produce “enlightenment.”

I can only address this question using my own definitions of the term.  My favorite definition, which seems by implication to be shared by every spiritual master from every discipline I take seriously, is the Sufi saying that “enlightenment is the door of perception that ordinarily opens at the moment of death. The Seeker attempts to open it before they get there.”


Roughly, then, we’re talking about the unraveling of the ego cocoon.  That…is something that can’t quite be put into language although one can dance around it, or point toward it.  It is something beyond the “mere” stripping away of all superfluous and conflicting “programs” that prevent our operating systems from working at full efficiency and effectiveness.


A couple of years ago, I asked Buddhist scholar and long-time deep practitioner Charles Johnson if the following spectrum of human consciousness made sense from his perspective, and to my relief, it did.  This is just A way of discussing something that evades true discussion, especially in print:


  1. Sleeping Child.  The state we begin life in.  The consensual “dream”.
  2. Sleeping Adult.    Once you have accepted responsibility for your actions and emotions, and are self-supporting, you are an adult.  But you are still within the dream, mistaking symbols for the things they represent.   A person can be HUGELY successful in life by all external standards, and still be “asleep”.   Such people play the “game” of life as if it is a real thing.   In essence, they play Monopoly and live in Park Place.
  3. Awakened Adult.   This  is the first step into the next realm.  Agency, responsibility, beginning to move beyond symbols, getting the “joke” of writing a play and then acting in it and forgetting your wrote it.  there are a few “awakened children” and these are the kinds of kids who blow us away.  They are also sought by Lamas and awakened folks, often considered reincarnations of various highly developed souls.
  4. Awakened Adult with intermittent non-dualistic awareness.  You begin to move beyond yin and yang, Conservative and Liberal, Male and Female, black and white, etc. etc.    You glimpse the experience beyond language, and being beyond thought.  This is probably the end of the “useful” part of the consciousness spectrum, in terms of ordinary life.
  5. Awakened Adult with sustained non-dualistic awareness.  This is the end of the road in terms of what can be described linguistically.   We all grasp this space at times, but most of us lose it once the motivating event, experience, or insight recedes.
  6. “Enlightenment” lurks beyond step #5.   It cannot be languaged efficiently or effectively, but there are a number of wonderful metaphors that can help us understand.   One of my favorites is that in step #5 you live “here” but can visit “there.’  But at step #6 you live “there” but can, if you wish, visit “here.”


All right.  To the degree that those comments are useful, it is possible to say precisely what the “Ancient Child 30-Day” is designed to do: provide the internal/external alignment precursive to step #3 within ten hours, at twenty minutes a day for a month.   To actually feel   the body/mind/emotion feels like.   I’ve given people a taste of this in Tai Chi workshops over the years, but it took a very long time to figure out how to duplicate that effect at long distance.  Can’t begin to tell you the number of combinations of visualization, action, and emotion were tried and discarded.  But with the help of countless teachers and students…the problem has been solved.  And once you are at step #3, you’ll see how to get to #4.  And once you’re there…you’ll see the way to #5. And once there…you’ll understand what is necessary to move further, and deeper.   Whether you do will be up to you, and your innate capacity.   So…emotional healing, energy, focus, balance, accomplishment, self-love, creativity, compassion, responsibility…yes.


Enlightenment is a horse of a different color, dancing a couple of horizons away (or right under your butt!   All depends on perspective…)

Of course, you can always simply wait.  We all get there!




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