3. My Primary Relationship

Journal Questions

Journal Reflections represent an interior dialogue with your deepest essential reality. While your responses are for you alone, the relational practice of objectifying a response in written form can be helpful in achieving clarity and determining what may or may not have value to share with others.

  1. What objective realities stuck in my memory from the encounter with My Primary Relationship: images, pictures, objects, sounds, lines of text, etc. (Quickly re-create a surface-level recall of the experience).

  2. When you hear the words The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao What sense do you make out of them

  3. What are some of the secondary relationships with which you practice identifying How do you react to the thought that these are secondary

  4. Up until now, what have your considered to be your Primary Relationship

  5. What difference does it make to your life to grasp that the basic relationship that constitutes you as a person is a relationship to the Unknowable Unknown

  6. How does one live with such uncertainty and mystery

  7. How does one choose to have a primary relationship to ones Primary Relationship Why does this choosing allow one to have a life of depth and authenticity

  8. What name would you give to this Primary Relationship

  9. As a result of the encounter with My Primary Relationship life practices, postures, or next steps you are inclined to consider include:

  10. Other questions that are raised by the encounter with My Primary Relationship, and that you wish to explore more deeply, include:

*Please star your response to one or more of the questions above to write it in the “Comments” section at the end of the module. This contribution is your personal “seed” in nurturing a depth conversation with others.

Group Questions

  1. What images or pictures caught your attention in this module What sounds did you hear What lines of text do you remember What else connected with your awareness; what else do you remember (Recreate a group verbal montage of the cinematic art form without reflection on specific elements but simply bringing the material back to mind).

  2. When you hear the words The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao What sense do you make out of them

  3. What are some of the secondary relationships with which you practice identifying

  4. Up until now, what have your considered to be your Primary Relationship

  5. What has been your experience of depending on secondary relationships as your Primary Relationship

  6. When you hear the words in relating itself to itself and in willing to be itself the self rests transparently in the power that establishes (posits) it, what sense can you make of them

  7. How do these words point us to the power of relating to the Unknowable Unknown as your Primary Relationship

  8. How does one live with such uncertainty and mystery

  9. How does one choose to have a primary relationship to ones Primary Relationship Why does this choosing allow one to have a life of depth and authenticity

  10. What name would you give to this Primary Relationship

  11. What is the relief in living focused on our Primary Relationship

  12. How might your life be different moving forward as a result of engaging My Primary Relationship What new life practices or postures are you inclined to consider

  13. What other questions are raised for you by this encounter with My Primary Relationship that you wish for the group to discuss

7 thoughts on “3. My Primary Relationship”

  1. Mary Madore says:

    This is much different than saying a mantra or clearing the mind through meditation; it’s journeying in deep.
    It’s new, and as all things that are new to me, a bit intimidating.

    1. Michael D. May says:


      Clearing the mind or observing the activity of the mind, in quiet being (meditation), is good. May we all learn this practice!

      Repeating a personal affirmation (mantra) in the perpetual activity of self-programming is good. May we all learn this practice!

      But yes! Your insight that there is something deeper going on is intimidating.and fascinating; intimidating and seductivea something deeper that is not just me fooling around with me; but my essence encountering an Other. Sren Kierkegaard attempted to re-introduce the human family to this Other 165 years ago. We remain intimidated to peek over the ledge of the depths of our own lives to which he invited us. It is in grasping the self not as a static something but as a relationship that relates itself to itself relating to itself and thereby discovering this Other to which ones essence is forever bound, that we are renewed and transformed.

      Kierkegaards great attempt to allow us to grasp spirit by looking through the less-ambiguous lens of freely chosen relationship is a gift the contemporary human family is still struggling to appropriate.

      May we all learn this practice!

      The journey continues..

  2. Honkeytonk3371@Gmail.com says:

    I feel, possibly due to a lifetime of significant disconnection and opposition to the primary belief systems of my culture, a comfort and warmth toward the seeming darkness and danger that is one’s natural reaction to the mythos journey. I am scared. I am embarrassed at my ignorance. I am shocked to be able to be in a room with so many brave people of experience… but still feel all our need to Move On and get a chance to come to our own conclusions. I wish I had a few days or a few weeks to share more with some of these wonderful people. Maybe the reason is the groups of people I have had help me in this last decade of my life. It’s hard to say. In any case… some aspects of the normal American life are “naturally” supposed to be dark and dangerous. I feel that the part of our life where we are actually trying to have a spiritual connection ought to be as dark and dangerous as the old Beat poets allusion to their Friday nights and a $20 bill. Why is drunken partying considered completely normal and a profound life changing Mythos Journey considered threatening I know the answers to that question are complicated (and threatening in themselves!) In any case, it is lovely that our group of discoverers is such a peaceful seeming, serene version of the brave human beings they truly are. I am humbled to sit amongst such honest lives in a difficult, sweet world. Thank you.

  3. Honkeytonk3371@Gmail.com says:

    To Group Question 13:

    There aren’t additional things I wish were discussed. What interests me is the usefulness of different languages in my life. When I work with my hands as a builder and carpenter (and guitar player, ect.) I am constantly astonished by the intelligence of my hands and circumstance… as opposed to the faculty of my mind and its wish to predict a pathway through a problem, puzzle or creation. So, given the quality and substance of each of the videos and segments of this Mythos Journey… I wish we participants were interested in putting together a sort of work table language with various concepts represented on our own spaces laid out by each of us to represent and discuss comfortably our personal perspectives. I mention this because when I teach songwriting my students are always astonished by the process of digging within themselves. Of being given lists of ideations and words and places and people.. to draw on and cast a spell— a creation— a narrative and song. Creations, spells, narratives and songs often contain the deepest of our fears, anxieties, confusions and sentiments. So, while I am honored and delighted by the experiences I have had and shared in the Mythos Journey… it would delight me to share with the others on a website or in a workshop type atmosphere “boxes” and reference materials from which people can draw their experiences and perspectives and fears…. giving a little el nino to the paradigms that we generalize altogether too much about… and thereby put into practice Henry David Thoreau’s famous observations about the mass of all [people.]
    After re-reading the above comment I would only add that, of course: all the suggested dreamy wishes I have of website and workshop type sharing would be suggested as opening ourselves up through the fabulous suggestions of the Mythos Journey… not some strictly biographical storytelling non-sense. That’s what country blues music is for. Just sharing info given me by my students and friends.

  4. Michael D. May says:

    Andy, Wow! What a set of powerful and insightful statements! Thank you for sticking your neck out in these comments.

    There is something strangely comforting about acknowledging yourself, or myself, as someone who never quite fit in to the popular culture. The one thing I repeatedly caution my children and grandchildren is to guard against the temptation to become normal!

    Yes, isnt it ironic that a drunken party is considered completely normal and a profound life changing Mythos Journey is threatening! And, you are correct, the answers as to why this is, are many, deep, and threatening. The embrace of TRUTH, and by this I mean the kind of truth that is not someone or some groups opinion or policy, but the kind of TRUTH that is ever-present and never changes even after the entire human species with all of its opinions, popular culture, and self-serving orientations has disappeared, connection with this TRUTH always requires one to embrace a very real offense. This truth is an offense because it does not put me (in the most shallow sense) at the center of the universe. Therefore, most of us prefer to nurture the illusion at a drunken party (whether we drink or not) and avoid the weight that might be dropped on us should we choose to live a life of depth and authenticity in partnership with the truth that IS TRUTH. The folks throughout history who have stuck their necks out in a partnership with this truth, this Primary Relationship, have routinely been greeted by the human family with beheading, burning at the stake, imprisonment, hanging, being fed to the lions, stoning, crucifixion, banishment, and other such accommodations for the one who has chosen to live out a partnership with his/her Primary Relationship. The only reason the curriculum on this web site isnt greeted with more scorn is that we are still not very good at communicating it!

    You are also correct that the most intense community available in the human family is among those who circle-up around that TRUTH and share the journey to which it delivers them. This has been the privilege of the journey we have shared in the gatherings of these past weeks. We will discuss Story Circles, as a contemporary container for such community, over the last couple of gatherings.

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts and this journey of all journeys.

  5. psage9@aol.com says:

    The Great Relationship
    We live our lives in the company of ourselves. Those thoughts, feelings and stories we tell ourselves define our reality. And so often, our minds remain conditioned by the outside culture. When we try to measure ourselves to the marketplace, we end up clipping our clipped wings to fit into the boxes of accepted behavior. Especially when we have not yet learned to befriend ourselves, what we identify as ourselves is often a relationship to the outer world which gives us comfort, support and identity. It can be scary to begin cultivating a relationship to ourselves to sit quietly and listen to the constant stream of thoughts, ideas and judgements. Once we do, that inner chatter begins to settle down enough for us to notice something else. A watcher self, unhooked from the outer trappings, the fashions and fads of the impermanent landscape was always there.
    This watcher self, this witnesser can sit in the middle of the chaos of our lives, not judging but observing oh this is uncomfortable, oh I am tired, oh this person bores me, oh I wish I could have chocolate. Whatever the experience, this witnesser is a constant companion. The awareness of this watcher may begin by watching the breathe but can move on to watching the stories or judgements the mind is telling ourselves it can make connections between actions weve taken and events that followed it can also make connections between the story we tell about who we are and how that story becomes our life. The witnesser has no agenda its only watching. It begins to notice how resistance to what is only creates more tension. The life we are given with all its limitations and obligations is the gift we are given There is always a way out of the box by going deeper into our experience. We can work to change circumstances perhaps but that begins with embracing the existing conditions.
    Mostly our thinking revolves around what we have been told even revered science limits itself to observing and telling stories about what it can see and measure. We can become locked into our theories and beliefs and overlook the possibilities that exist. Science tells us everything came from nothing through the big bang. Everything that exists is measureable and quantifiable this is called matter. As matter evolved it developed consciousness (something unmeasurable). Meanwhile sciences own rules determined that something (matter) cannot come from nothing and that Nothing – consciousness (which cannot be measured and therefore is not matter) cannot come from something (matter). So it appears that matter and consciousness may have existed separately from the beginning, yet inform and infuse all life they are inextricably linked. All life forms out of the void of possibility. All matter is energy existing as a wave of possibilities it is only when consciousness (intention) interacts or observes it that this energy coalesces into a particle essentially freezing into some specific form.
    Is it possible then that are lives and the planets future hang in our hands, or more likely our heads Perhaps what is to become of our species exists as a wave of possibilities and our notions, pre-programmed and programmable as they are, will actually cause our story to turn out certain ways. Isnt it how we define human nature that defines our cultural institutions and therefore what the possibilities are for changing our story. We seem not to come with fresh eyes to our experience. Maybe if we could be still enough and let go old programming we could create a new story which would change the future. This new cosmology would bring an end to the free fall we are all experiencing.

    Pam Raider

  6. Amanda Storywarrior says:

    Pam, Yes! A new story; this is the place we can start.

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