Every fourth Tuesday, in a modest suburban yard in the present day metropolis of Melbourne, a community of guys bear the infamous Melbourne weather conditions to meet around an outdoor fire and participate in the 'Mens Fire Circle'. Recently, the Mens Fire-Circle honored its 4th anniversary, and in recognition of the landmark, I met the organizer and founder of the Men's Group, David Mollet, to find out a bit more as to just what the community does as well as why it originated in the first place.
Reporter "How did you come to start the Men's Fire Circle David?"
"It was just after turning 50. For me it was a fairly substantial occasion and in the days to follow I noticed myself reviewing life, and one of the points I was pondering was the way in which I was not satisfied with the quality of spiritual leadership offered in our society, or lack thereof. It appears to be that our religious organizations have actually lost most of their ethical authority, and I noticed myself imagining what my life might be like if I was in a hunter-gatherer culture where individuals knew themselves as part of a tribal community ... It was about then that I had an 'Ah-Ha' moment and I said to myself "You've now turned fifty Dave, that makes you an elder, so what are you planning to do about it, guts-ache and pretend you are a victim or lift, be a leader and do something about it."
"That idea seriously made me sit up and take notice and so in the days that followed I made a decision to initiate a Mens group based on the traditional tribal values of Men gathering around fire to go over men's matters, and the idea for the Mens Fire Circle was created."
Reporter: "Why did you go for a Men's Circle, why not just a circle for every person?"
"That's an excellent question. At the time I really felt a compelling inclination to look to tribal cultures for my approach. I wanted to return to something closer to nature, and it also seemed to me that in tribal societies there was a definite highlight placed on rites of passage ceremonies and also a realization of both the assorted needs, and also roles among each of the sexes. I felt that if in their experience, tribal leaders had seen value in men and women congregating by their gender to confer as well as guide each other through the specific challenges common to their own gender, then I concluded, it would definitely be a worthwhile objective for the circle I set up to follow their leadership as well."
Reporter: "How have you discovered the gender restricted paradigm to go, is it helpful or do you miss out on the balance of the feminine?"
"At first I had qualms about this, but paradoxically, what I have observed is that it appears easier for most men to get in touch with their feminine side in circle if females are not present. I believe that there are two factors contributing to this occurrence. One is that, quite often guys really want to verbalize concerns they're having with their intimate relationships, and doing so with their own gender seems to grant them a bit of additional leeway to exchange freely as well as frankly concerning the way they really feel when it comes to 'the woman' in their lives. I believe they feel that other guys will likely be able to make sense of their dilemmas more easily. Perhaps it's due to the fact that we've all shared equivalent social conditioning, so we are steering our lives from corresponding beliefs.
The 2nd point is, when the circle is all males, there are no sexual distractions. There's no playing for the interest of ladies, no attempt to "make it" with the other sex. With any kind of prospective sex-related complications done away with, suggesting this is useful in allowing everyone to be more for real."
The Men's Fire Circle meets at 7.30 pm on a monthly basis, in Greensborough, which is a suburb of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, Australia. You can find the meetup site with all the information of upcoming gatherings, as well as the option of signing up for e-mail alerts of the gatherings, by going to Meetup and looking up Men's Fire Circle Greensborough
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