One evening a month, in a simple suburban backyard in the modern metropolitan area of Melbourne, a group of committed men support each other through the ups and downs of life, defying the infamous Melbourne weather conditions to meet around a fire and get involved in the 'Mens Fire Circle'. In the week just passed, the Mens Fire-Circle observed its 4th birthday, and so in acknowledgment of the landmark, I met the facilitator and founder of the 'Mens Fire Circle', David Mollet, to learn a little bit extra regarding just what the group does, including why it originated in the first place.
Reporter "So what was it that led to you initiating the Men's Fire Circle David?"
"It was when I turned fifty. It was a rather significant milestone and then in the days following I noticed myself reviewing life, and one of the things I was pondering was precisely how disappointed I felt with the quality of spiritual leadership on offer in our culture. It seems like our religious organizations have exhausted most of their ethical authority, and I noticed myself imagining just what my life would be like if I inhabited a tribal society where people perceived themselves as an integral part of a tribe ... It was about then that I had this epiphany and I said to myself "You have now turned fifty Dave, that means you are now an elder, so what are you planning to do about it, cry and pretend you are a baby or step up, be a leader and find a solution for it yourself."
"That thought seriously hit home and I chose to begin a group for men based on the old classical tribal values of Men collecting around fire to explore men's matters, and the idea for the Mens Fire Circle was born."
Reporter: "Why did you choose a Men's Circle, why not just a circle for all people?"
"That's a good inquiry. At that time I really felt a firm wish to contemplate tribal cultures for my vision. I wished to return to something closer to nature, it also appeared to me that in tribal societies there was a strong underlining placed on initiation events and a realization of both the many different needs, along with the specific roles in connection with each of the sexes. What's more I felt that if in their wisdom, tribal leaders had witnessed something useful in men and women getting together by their specific gender to discuss and also mentor each other through the trials and tribulations common to their own gender, then I concluded, it would definitely be a great idea for the gathering I set up to respect that too."
Reporter: "Exactly how have you ascertained the gender restricted paradigm to function, have you found it to be of value or do you lose the equilibrium of the feminine?"
"At first I was concerned about this, however paradoxically, what I have found is that it appears to be a lot easier for most guys to be connected with the feminine aspect of themselves in circle if females are not there. I sense there are 2 points at play here. One is that, frequently men will speak about challenges they're dealing with in their personal partnerships, and doing that with their own gender seems to give them a bit of added freedom to contribute plainly and candidly regarding how they really feel about 'the woman' in their lives. I believe they feel that other males can understand their concerns a lot better. Maybe it's because we've all been accorded with comparable cultural conditioning, so we are running our lives from the very same presuppositions.
The other factor is, when the fire-circle is all guys, there's less likelihood of sexual distractions getting in the way. There's no vying for the attention of ladies, no temptation to "make it" with the other sex. With any kind of possible sex-related diversions set aside, this appears to allow everybody to be far more authentic."
The Men's Fire Circle comes together at 7.30 pm on the 4th Tuesday each month, in Greensborough, a suburb of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia. You can easily locate the groups website with all the details of upcoming events, as well as the option of subscribing for email notifications of the gatherings, visit: http://www.meetup.com/Mens-Fire-Circle-Greensborough-Victoria/
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