While the Global Purpose Leaders is a relatively young organization, the role we inhabit and perform is as old as humanity itself. Prior to rise of institutional religion, the Ages of Empire and Industrialization, each city, village or tribe had a leader (appointed, elected or sired), a Council of Elders, as well as a Shaman (also known as Sage, Witch and Guru) who lived on the outskirts of town. All of these were revered positions requiring initiation, years of study, apprenticeship and statesmanship.
The leader was the public face of the people and realm, upon whose shoulders the health and well-being of the realm fell. The elders were also responsible for the realm, but in a mentorship, scholarship and advisory capacity. When functioning well (in accordance with universal Spirit and collective Soul), the leader and the council created and evolved structures for safety, cohesion, a vibrant culture, and the people thrived. When functioning well, they blessed, mentored and educated the citizens, and created frameworks for fair economic and political cooperation, and the people thrived. When functioning poorly (disconnected from universal Spirit and the collective Soul), the people suffered and perished.
The role of the Shaman was a sacred one, primarily as a conduit between the physical and the more than physical realm, to guide the individual and collective embodiment of Soul and in accordance with Spirit. They performed rites of passage for pregnant mothers, newborns, marriages, eldering/croning and deaths. They also mentored and initiated adults, carefully and lovingly guiding each individual from child/ adolescent into a Soul-initiated adult.
In this process, each member of the village or tribe claimed their Soul's unique purpose and craft, acknowledge their identity as one in the same as the collective Soul, were celebrated and honored by the people, and began their apprenticeship with a master. As their craft matured, the became masters themselves, offering their craft and skills to the people. In exchange, they received fair compensation and the gifts of their fellow masters.
MODERN HISTORICAL CONTEXT
With the rise of empire and institutional religion (500 BC - present) and industrialization (1760 - present), the role of the Shaman was sidelined, diminished and in many cases persecuted. While humanity advanced in knowledge, culture, science, technology, civil rights and economic growth and specialization during this recent chapter, the diversity and quality of culture, mental, spiritual and psychological health and ecological resilience declined dramatically. The Shamans' role was to root human behavior (economic, political, ecological and cultural) in the sacred, and as the Shamans declined in numbers, so to did the ability of each human to receive a Soul-initiation, to fully know and love themselves, to claim their purpose, craft and gifts and make their highest contribution.
Humanity now finds itself imbalanced, existing primarily in an abstract mental, economic, political and social sphere, disconnected from planetary ecology, universal Spirit, the beauty of the unleashed individual Soul and the deeper collective Soul of our species and Cosmos.
Sensing this imbalance, the fields of modern psychology (1900-present), human potential (1970-present) and purpose guiding (1990-present) emerged to soulfully re-animate human life on Earth, guiding individuals, organization and sovereign nations into their Soul's purpose. Modern science has also joined forces with this re-emergence of Soul and has revealed a clear picture of the possibility of individual and collective human flourishing that is experienced when we discover and live our Soul's purpose (ScienceOfPurpose.org).
We now find ourselves in a crucial chapter of our story.
In recent decades, isolated shamanic and indigenous traditions, that managed to hide and escape the march of globalization, have been rediscovered on all continents, and have had a dramatic resurgence, guiding humanity into a deeper experience and embodiment of Soul. Numerous Soul discovery and purpose guiding schools have emerged, leveraging both modern psychology and ancient wisdom traditions, medicine ceremonies and shamanic rites, such as The School of Lost Borders, the Animas Valley Institute, the True Purpose Institute and the Purpose Guides Institute, to train Guides to perform this deeply needed service of Soul-initiation.
In 2015, the purpose movement spontaneously erupted, and was officially named and embraced by individuals across the planet. In January 2017, a group of purpose and Soul guides convened, what would soon be called the Global Purpose Leaders. In a series of 3 video calls, we mapped "the purpose space", and launched a series of projects and gatherings to connect, collaborate and amplify each other's work, herald the coming Age of Soul and proudly declare our critical role in this time in human history. In the months since January 2017, we've published books, launched conferences, led summits and trained each other on improving and expanding our craft.
In January of 2018, the organic desire to initiate ourselves as a collective emerged and we began a group purpose discovery process, guided by Elsie Chang of the True Purpose Institute. Seven of us (Rikk Hansen, Susan Lucci, Dustin Timmons, Tomar Levine, Brandon Peele, Marcy Morrison and Cynthia Hendricks) were selected by the group to perform this process on behalf of the Global Purpose Leaders. This process concluded in May of 2018.
A Council was formed from this group to steward and shepherd the Soul of GPL. From the Council, leaders were selected to hold Guardian roles and birth the formal, legal entity, the Global Purpose Leaders, an Unincorporated California Non-Profit. We launched publicly on November 17, 2018 at the San Francisco Purpose Summit.
It is unwritten, but holds enormous potential for the flourishing of GPL members and humanity. The future of humanity indeed is at stake. Without a mass-scale Soul awakening, we will continue to suffer and struggle until we most certainly remove ourselves from this great Earth. We hold sacred this critical context. We are here to unite as a tribe of Soul, tasked with saving humanity from its less than soulful expressions, tasked with awakening the Soul purpose of each of our 7.6 billion-strong human family, the purpose of each form of human cooperation, from romantic partnership, family, community, organization and sovereign entity and sully stepping into our magnificence as a species with unlimited potential and claiming our role as Earth steward.