The need for an order such as this one arises as the consequence
of the demand of our time for the emergence of "true men."
A true man is one whose love for and sense of oneness with his
fellow men leads him:
To experience woman as the Other whose truest inherent qualities
inspire respect and devotion, out of the awareness of men's historical
participation in the violation of the ideal of womanhood;
To the deepest feeling of pain that this violation has masked,
for many women, the glory and power of masculine love;
To a commitment, through loving his fellow men, to building solidarity
among men toward the goal of transforming violating tendencies
in the masculine race.
The Symposium's contribution to such transformation consists in:
Study of spiritual-scientific materials elucidating the nature
of the emergence of the sexes and the qualities flowing from the
difference in their constitutions, in order to school Thinking,
that its life may come into harmony with impulses flowing from
divine worlds that seek to guide human spiritual evolution towards
the emergence of true human beings.
Workshops for the cultivation of a life of Fellow-Feeling that
is the proper basis for civilized existence.
Guidance, as sought, for individual practice in accordance with
the consciousness that the life of the Will can be the expression
of an impulse to penetrate the Earth with divine love.
Participation in the Symposium is predicated upon an interest
in other men whose nature is that it includes respect for the
quality of response to masculine beauty that underlies
gay and bisexual culture in this time. At the center of the Symposium's
interest, in continuation of the impulse expressed in the dialogue
of Plato from which it takes its name, is an immersion in a discipline
for the permeation of sensuality with spirituality. This
discipline begins with the recognition that, contrary to a prevalent
misconception in some circles, sensuality is not inevitably or
necessarily inherently spiritual, but must be made so by conscious
human striving to bring into the experience of the senses impulses
from the life of Thinking, Feeling, and Willing that have their
origin in a Higher Thought, Higher Feeling, and Higher Will.
The Symposium's discipline is expressed fundamentally in a Rule
consisting of seven practical precepts:
I. Since spiritual progress depends upon the work a soul can do
with what it brings into Sleep from the striving of any given
day, no day may go without immersion in some form of meditative
or contemplative activity designed to deepen the soul's contact
with thoughts about the nature of its own, humanity's, and the
Earth's spiritual progress.
II. Since social life can and needs to experience transformation
out of such meditative or contemplative activity, Symposium participants
are encouraged to cultivate a form of conversation--the basis
of social existence--that takes its inspiration from the concern
for that spiritual progress that meditative or contemplative activity,
practiced with proper seriousness, has the effect of deepening.
III. Since spiritual progress and improvements in social life
depend upon the quality of our relationship to Things, each participant's
relationship to what he owns is a proper object of scrutiny by
himself and, in brotherhood, other Symposium participants.
IV. Since the quality of our relationship to Things begins with
the quality of our relationship, as spiritual beings, to our physical-material
body, since the life of the senses of that body can and should
undergo spiritualization, permeating sensuality with spirituality,
if social life is to be transformed, and since the ultimate social
problem arising from our sensual natures is the problem of our
relationship to one another bodily, at the heart of the Symposium's
discipline is the practice of scrutiny of, inquiry about, and
questioning engagement with the senses' response to the bodily
presence, image of the bodily presence, or imagined bodily presence
of others, in order to fathom its moral dimension.
V. Since the deepest moral questions regarding our relationship
to one another bodily pertain to sexual encounter, and since,
for the male, sexual encounters revolve, in their nature, around
the impulse to send forth semen, for the Symposium all inquiry
about the permeation of sensuality with spirituality culminates
in the question: how can the semen, as a physical-material substance
of the physical-material body, be spiritualized?
VI. Since the spiritualization of anything depends upon its coming
into harmony with Higher impulses, and since these Higher impulses
flow, by their nature, like a waterfall vertically from Height
to Depth, in order to admit these forces access to the social
organism the Symposium is, conversation in the Symposium takes
its guidance from Higher Worlds. The power of the Higher impulses
to imbue the community of the Symposium with their Qualities will
depend upon the harmony that can emerge between this vertical
guidance, experienced as imagination, inspiration, and intuition
on the part of Symposium participants, and the institutor or his
representative's efforts to see to it that every individual's
freedom to contribute to the community of conversation is respected.
VII. Since all healthy community life rests upon the capacity
to respect differences, and since authentic spiritual, as any
other, striving results in differences in the level of development
of individuals, the Symposium's participants will find their level
Adopted Brother: The Adopted Brother is progressing on the meditative/contemplative
path but does not feel completely comfortable speaking freely
about his relationship to what he owns.
Half-brother: The Half-brother is progressing on the meditative/contemplative
path and feels comfortable speaking freely about his relationship
to what he owns, but has not yet committed himself to treating
his possessions as if they were his brother's as well.
True Brother: The True Brother is progressing on the meditative/contemplative
path, feels comfortable speaking freely about his relationship
to what he owns, and has committed himself to treating his possessions
as if they were his brother's as well, but due to other obligations
in life does not feel free to do so in every case even when the
brother in question truly deserves this treatment. A True Brother
is considered a participant in The Brotherhood Project.
Father: The Father is progressing on the meditative/contemplative
path, feels comfortable speaking freely about his relationship
to what he owns, has committed himself to treating his possessions
as if they were his brother's, and feels perfectly free to do
so in every case where the brother in question truly deserves
this treatment. The institutor must have attained the Grade of
Father; if, at the death of the institutor, no one living has
attained this Grade, the Symposium is dissolved.
Individuals may participate in the life of the Symposium as Visitors.
John Stirling Walker, institutor