I've wanted to build the Fountainhead Wisdom Service for a long time. As a boy, I could only look to a dead western esoteric tradition if I wanted to realise the truth about reality on my own cultural terms. So I dreamed of a future in which there was a recognisable place for me in my society, and people like me; except I had never met any.
As my search for wisdom unfolded, I never once met a person who seemed to want what I did; instead, they had chosen traditions and teachers from other cultures, or settled for seemingly related roles within our society, which although I respected I could not accept.
Over time I became a teacher, and with this title an awareness I was treading a well worn and usually disastrous path. After 7 years of teaching - observing myself, my students, the effects of belief and organisational structure - I came to identify what I consider to be the problem, and what we can do about it. And with it, the realisation I was wrong about the people I had met and their choices: the desire for a recognisable and appropriate place in our society isn’t missing at all; rather, there just hasn’t been any means of achieving it that people could see before.
Now I want to build the Service so everyone like me can see a different path is possible.
I want to build the Service for the veteran of 20th century spirituality, who saw first hand the disaster of the guru phenomenon and came out the other side unable to forget both the reality of awakening and the absurd horrors of submitting to such an institution.
I want to build the Service for the best of the online vocal critics of the guru institution who isn’t afraid to dig up the dirt and name names, who appreciates rationality plays a role in making sense of non-duality; but in seeing no credible social alternative to the institutions of belief, must bear up under the weight of a crushing cynicism with no apparent end.
I want to build the Service for the western Buddhist disillusioned with teachers on a moral crusade against scientific research into awakening, and happy to deny training to anyone even associated with a movement of honesty about the Buddha’s teaching.
I want to build the Service for those students failed by the practical dharma movement, exhausted with being told they must be doing it wrong if it hurts or it hasn’t worked yet; and growing weary of receiving instructions with prescribed dosages, a general map of stages with strategies appropriate for each, but no understanding whatsoever should they simply ask why reality must be this way.
I want to build the Service for my friend whose profound realisation inspired him to explore advaita vedanta, only to be met with derision from online 'pure nondualists' (for whom it is forbidden to speak of awakening); and after having a family, found his only socially viable option for helping others was to settle for becoming a mindfulness teacher: a practice whose divorce from awakening is complete.
I want to build the Service for the Zen Master I once met in London, sorry for his encounter with the many ‘damaged people’ enabled by a religion simultaneously ill-equipped to help. Despite the reality of his awakening (of which he was forbidden to speak by his tradition), I left him losing out to his pessimism at the thought of continuing to preach.
I want to build the Service for all those psychotherapists who secretly play a role in uncounted realisations, including the awakening of a number of people mentioned above; but lacking no credible avenue to offer the most profound service one human being can offer another, must settle for a close approximation in the career of the psychological counsellor: a vocation in which awakening is neither recognised nor provided for.
I want to build the Service for everyone out there who is tired of compromise and ready to finally come home to a modern wisdom institution.
More: I want to build the Fountainhead Wisdom Service with everyone who wants to build it with me.