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  • Image of many Baby Ducks riding on their Mom's back

    From Compulsory Reproduction …
    Toward Conscious Choice

    Yin Yang Symbol

    Shambhala Masters teach our students to question everything, including our own behavior, so that we might all make informed, responsible and Conscious decisions about everything we do … especially reproduction.

    The Shambhala Master

    Turn off the Spin

    Highly germane to redefining the meaning of the family and Home is the issue of reproduction. Sacred as some regard it to be, Shambhala Masters know that propagation is in severe need of critical scrutiny. Throughout the ages propagation has been the unquestioned right and responsibility of all sane and able-bodied persons to couple, and then duplicate themselves. But Shambhala Masters have always known that making propagation a responsibility creates compulsory reproduction. When we talk with our students about the importance of redefining the family and Home, some students respond in self-righteous, indignant tones, “But what about children?” These students are saying, “Surely you do not dare to question the importance of producing the world’s most precious resource … our children. ”

    COMPULSORY REPRODUCTION

    Shambhala Masters respond by saying, “Question everything! As a Conscious, responsible human being, questioning everything is my, and your, first and most important responsibility.” Shambhala Masters teach our students to question everything, including our own behavior, so that we might all make informed, responsible and Conscious decisions about everything we do … especially reproduction.

    Compulsory reproduction, and the way it jeopardizes every new life brought into this world, needs rigorous examination. The deep scarring most, even well-intentioned, parents leave on the souls of their children, is why we live in a violent war torn world. Throughout the ages compulsory reproduction is responsible for the horrors of child abuse, child sexual molestation, and the murder of children by their parents.

    The longterm result of this abuse is that children become angry, violent young adults and turn into abusive parents themselves. Consequently, Shambhala Masters teach our students to seriously question their chemically and socially controlled drive to reproduce.

    Shambhala Masters teach our students to Consciously question their reproductive priorities. We train Shambhala students to move beyond prince/princessing, pair bonding, and compulsory reproduction … toward Self-loyalty, community crafting, and Conscious ProCreation. And, if this personal inspection of their reproductive priorities slows down the population explosion, so much the better, for we are not an endangered species.

    CHILDREN: OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT?

    Image of many Baby Chicks surrounding an adult Rabbit

    When it comes to propagation, Shambhala Masters know it is errant to value children over adults. As important as it is to recognize children as people with feelings and needs, rather than inanimate objects to be possessed and used, it is equally important not to esteem children over their adult counterparts. Children are not more precious than adults. Even in youth worshipping cultures, whether the issue is the survival of the species, the economic well-being of the society or any other yardstick, adults matter more. This, however, is not to say that children do not matter. They matter a great deal, especially when they grow up with adults who know their own inherent worth.

    Shambhala students learn that there is great danger in devaluing maturity and wisdom. When you undervalue yourself, you underestimate your impact on the world and on your children. When you undervalue yourself you do not behave in ways that will make a lasting positive difference in your life and the lives of all those who come after you.

    Parents, and their child-free adult peers, make the world what it is. You have the social power, the courage, and the capacity to change not only yourself, but the world. Children do not have this power. They are powerless and dependent on the adults in their lives. Shambhala students learn to regard themselves and their moment to moment choices and actions very seriously. Shambhala students learn that it is their actions, not their words, that make lasting differences in their homes, their children, and in the world.

    Therefore, as Shambhala students redesign their sense of family and Home, it is crucial that you affirm the irreplaceable importance of the adult family members. It is also mandatory that you examine your historically acquired proclivity for compulsory reproduction. Throughout the ages, propagation has always been your social legacy and your genetic dowry. You are not only socially required to reproduce, but you are chemically wired to feel painfully inadequate if you do not produce offspring. Even today, in this overpopulated world where most parents must work full-time and leave their children to be raised by strangers, your social and chemical mandates require you to reproduce.

    THE RESULTS OF COMPULSORY REPRODUCTION

    Why, even today, in this overpopulated world, is reproduction still compulsory? Some will say that the burning desire you feel to reproduce yourself is “natural.” This implies that there is something drastically wrong with individuals who prefer to forego the painful, expensive trauma of childbirth and the life-long responsibility of parenthood. “It's natural” is a romantisized way of saying, “Do what is historically, socially, and chemically expected of you. Do not disrupt the status quo by getting out of line or by asking too many questions.”

    Shambhala Masters know that these consuming mandates to reproduce and their biologically acquired chemical counterparts are not “natural.” They are not aligned with Nature's Intent. They were, at one time, a way of adapting for survival. And, it worked. The human species has survived. We have survived long enough and in large enough numbers to have now become the most dangerous threat to our survival.

    EVOLUTION - THE CALL TO CREATE

    Nature's true Intent is two-fold. First, Nature Intends survival; second, when survival is achieved, Nature intends evolutionary excellence. Ignore the latter and the former is jeopardized. If you fail to honor Nature's Intent toward evolutionary excellence, once your survival is secured, you place your survival at risk. The proof of this is so obvious you may miss it. Human beings as a species have survived, but we have not evolved! Consequently, we continue to arm ourselves with more destructive weapons and our competitive greed continually places human existence in constant jeopardy.

    Furthermore, when you turn your back on evolutionary excellence you place your personal survival in grave danger. If you fail to honor Nature’s Intent toward evolutionary excellence once your survival has been secured, you obstruct Self-evolution. You shun the Call. You steal the gift of Life and refuse to give anything of value back. You separate your Self from that which Creates.

    This Self separation is what is currently referred to as self-alienation in the popular psychological literature. It is what makes you feel like a stranger in your own life. Worse yet, Self-separation makes you feel like a stranger in your own body. It estranges you from yourself. It annihilates all sense of belonging. You feel isolated and lost. You do not thrive. You become desperate. Some turn inward with depression and silently wither away. Others, like gang members, war mongers, social deviants, and parents who abuse their children, turn their self-anger outward, and use it to destroy the lives of others. Either way. personal survival is jeopardized.

    Shambhala Masters see the results of this Self-alienation everywhere in today’s world. And, we know that if people continue to produce, generation after generation, people who are soul-severed then it is just a matter of time until we cause the end of our own species' existence. If we continue to ignore Nature’s Intent toward evolutionary excellence, if we continue to turn a deaf ear to the Call, human beings will justifiably cease to exist.

    Shambhala students choose to honor the Call, and Creatively further evolutionary excellence. Shambhala students accomplish this by using the powerful mind we all share to call themselves to attention and Consciously align their behavior with Nature’s true Intent. Shambhala students then begin to realize that self-duplication is not ProCreation. Self-duplication is just propagation.

    Reproduction is a survival tool used by genes; this survival tool has kept the human species alive long enough for us to now learn how to procreate. ProCreation is a huge leap beyond propagation. The prefix “pro” comes from the Latin “pro” which means “to forward.” The suffix “pag” is also Latin from “pangere” which means “to fix or fasten.” Accordingly, propagation means “to advance what is already set or fixed.”

    On the other hand, combine the prefix “pro” with the suffix "creates" and procreates means" to make something out of nothing for the first time." ProCreation is a major step beyond physical and biological replication.

    After survival, Nature intends evolutionary excellence. It is a Call that demands ProCreation, not propagation. It is a Call that fills Shambhala Masters and their students with an urgency to contribute, to give back, to forward our kind beyond our acquired limitations – for the first time. It is a Call meant to free us of our biological and social boundaries.

    Shambhala Masters know that it is not sexual reproduction that answers this heart-felt, deeply stirring Call. This Call, that we hear deep within our Selves, has nothing to do with reproductive organs. Rather, it has to do with an all-consuming spiritual challenge to forward the evolution of what it means to be human. This Call beckons you to recognize that propagation is no longer the pathway to human survival, and that self-duplication is not ProCreation.  Shambhala Masters recognize that it is Consciousness and Self-directed behavior that is now our only hope for evolutionary excellence, rather than continuing to jeopardize human survival by being biologically, chemically, and socially controlled. We are Called to recognize that only through Consciousness and Self-directed behavior can you truely ProCreate.

    Before our students panic, Shambhala Masters reiterate that Consciousness and Self-directed behavior are not devoid of romance, rushy feelings, and/or bearing children. Honoring the Call to ProCreate is not a question of choosing one or the other, propagation or ProCreation. Do not give up romantic rushes to become a sentient being. You do not have to live without the delight of children in your life. The Call challenges all of us to free ourselves from our acquired directives so that we can, for the first time, make Conscious choices to as to how we can best answer the Call to ProCreate and further evolutionary excellence.

    QUALIFICATIONS FOR PROPAGATION

    As Shambhala students begin to free themselves from their socially and biologically acquired directives to reproduce, as they make Conscious decisions as to whether or not they want to share their lives with children, as opposed to living child-free, it will be helpful and informative to have some guidelines for making these life-directing and evolutionary decisions. Before exploring some decision-making guidelines for propagation, it is educational to wonder why no such guidelines exist. We are earthquake prepared. We have career aptitude tests and training classes. We have driver's training and testing. Why do we not assist individuals in their ability to decide whether or not they will make good parents? Why are there no courses offered in helping us access our “propagation proficiency?” Why are there no talk shows that explore the decision-making process in “reproduction preparedness?” Why are there no self-administered, qualifying exams for parenthood? Why are there no interviews or questionnaires that inform you as to your parental aptitude, readiness, or capacities?

    Why? Because your cultural inheritance preconditions you to assume that the only responsible option for an adult is to pair off and reproduce. You are also preconditioned to assume that the only qualifications necessary for propagation are reproductive maturity and a sexual partner. In primitive times these qualifications were adequate because families and tribes needed to increase their population for survival and social power. Still today, especially within our separate nations, churches, and political parties, the myth that “numbers equal power” is actively fostered, but it is errant. One obvious example is that women have outnumbered men in many countries, but women seldom wielded the power. Women are grossly underrepresented in all centers of power, even in the centers of influence that once belonged to women in antiquity, such as education, medicine, ministry, etc. Survival and social power are no longer acquired through increasing the population, even if we are still trained to behave as if they are.

    As Shambhala students Consciously redefine their sense of family and Home, they must also rethink their assumptions about what qualifies a person to propagate. Though the final decision must be left to each individual, not in the hands of the legislators or the State, you need to be knowledgeable about the aptitudes, capacities, and signs of readiness that qualify you to bring a new life into the world and to nurture that new life into Conscious adulthood.

    I have heard it said frequently, "Have children when you're young; when people get older, they are too smart to want kids." Apparently, some people believe the necessary qualification for propagation today is youthful naiveté. This sad commentary prompts Shambhala Masters to give thought to the variables and conditions our students need to consider before choosing to share their lives with children. If you think your are responsible enough to (1) bring a new life into this world, and (2) nurture this new person into Conscious adulthood, then you also need to be responsible enough to determine your propagation quotient before doing so.

    Most people have the physiological ability and the emotional inclination to propagate. The dangerous issue is whether or not Shmbhala students are ready, willing, and able to nurture a child into Conscious adulthood. I say dangerous because bringing a new life into the world with limited means for nurturing that new life into Conscious adulthood is deadly dangerous. Wanting and loving a child is not enough, not nearly enough, to justify compulsory reproduction today. As with opposite sex pair bonding, most people have romanticized parenting into absurdity. They have fooled themselves into believing that people whose intentions are loving will not severely damage their children. Most people fool themselves into believing that people who want children should have children.

    Most people glorify their own childhood recollections, with the help of television sitcoms, personal denial, selective memory, and romantic ideals. You convince yourself that your childhood was unburdened, innocent, happy, fun-filled in the protective arms of your loving parents. You develop the capacity to rationalize everything your parents did as being “for your own good.” Even in the best of homes, childhood is such a frightening, powerless, confusing, painful time, that if you dared to remember, you would never yearn for the return of the “good old days.”

    Shambhala Masters know there is plenty of documentation about the damaging results of well meaning, dedicated parenting. Stalin, Hitler, and Ceaucescu all thought they had “loving” parents. However, what they had was  forgotten, abusive childhoods. Our prisons are full of the fruit of well-intentioned parents. Child abuse and molestation, more prevalant today than ever before, are re-enactments of painful, forgotten childhoods, as is gang violence, holocausts, mass murders, and individual homicides. Anger, vengence, confusion and emotional pain from unacknowledged parental abuse is turn onto authority figures, innocent bystanders, and/or ethnic groups.

    Because your compulsion to propagate is culturally, biologically, socially, and chemically conditioned, and because so few are really prepared for the task of parenting, your strong emotional desire to have children and/or create a family must be held suspect and seriously scrutinized. Before Shambhala students choose to bring a new life into this world, you must weigh your realistically assessed readiness against your conditioned desire for children. You must ask yourself, regardless of how badly you think you want children: “Do I have the necessary aptitudes, skills, temperament, self-knowledge, familial history, capacities, and readiness to bring new life into the world and nurture that life into a healthy, Conscious adult? The purposes for propagation have changed, and as such you need to examine your qualifications for this task.

    To that end, listed below are some of the aptitudes, skills, and capacities that indicate an individual's readiness to bring a new life into today's world and nurture that life into healthy adulthood. Follow these three steps to compute your PROPAGATION QUOTIENT (PQ).

    STEP #1. Write down a number from 1 to 10 that represents your CURRENT DESIRE (CD) to have a child. The numbers 1, 2, and 3 represent “little to no” interest in having a child. The numbers 4, 5, and 6 represent a balanced, but sobered, stance, wanting a child while, at the same time, recognizing there are complex and challenging issues that have to be seriously considered. The numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10 represent more strongly compelled desires for a child, regardless of the complexities and personal sacrifices necessary. After selecting a number from 1 to 10 that reflects your CD move on to step #2.

    STEP #2. Assign a number from 1 to 10 for each line on the following questionnaire. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 represent a strong “No” or “Never.” Numbers 4, 5, and 6 represent a milder response of “Somewhat” or “Sometimes.” Numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10 represents a strong “Yes” or “Always.”


    PROPAGATION QUOTIENT QUESTIONNAIRE (PQ)

    1. Do I like:
             _____  infants
             _____  toddlers
             _____  children
             _____  teenagers

    2. How much time have I spent with:
             _____  infants
             _____  toddlers
             _____  children
             _____  teenagers

    3. How often have I been solely responsible for the care of:
             _____  infants
             _____  toddlers
             _____  children
             _____  teenagers

    4. Do they respond positively to me?
             _____  infants
             _____  toddlers
             _____  children
             _____  teenagers

    5. How good am I at relating to people?  _____

    6. How good am I at creating relationships with others?  _____

    7. What kind of track record do I have at creating and maintaining healthy relationships with:
             _____  youngsters
             _____  peers
             _____ more mature people (inlaws who will be my child's
                       grandparents)

    8. Remembering that the statistics indicate, I will most likely raise my child/children as a single-parent, how self-contained, independent, creative, and resourceful am I when I am left to my own devices to deal with life’s most challenging dilemmas ? _______

    9. Knowing that children today spend most of their waking time with someone other than their parents, how comfortable am I with leaving a major portion of my child's (childrens’) upbringing to strangers?
             _____  baby sitters
             _____  day care centers
             _____  teachers

    10. How confident, competent, skilled and prepared am I to financially support myself and a child or several children for at least 18 years by myself?  _______ 

    11. How prepared, capable and willing am I to be both mother and father to my child (children)?

    MOTHER
             _____  general nurturing
             _____  infant care, i.e., midnight feedings 
             _____  changing diapers
             _____  toilet training
             _____  dressing/grooming
             _____  taxi to school and activities
             _____  preparing meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
             _____  PTA & youth/parent meetings
             _____  table manners
             _____  sex education, i.e., pregnancy, safe sex, AIDS, etc.
             _____  homemaking, laundry, maintenance cleaning, marketing
             _____  general first aid

    FATHER
             _____  provide firm guidance/structure
             _____  discipline (even male teens)
             _____  provide financially for each child for 18 yrs + college educ.
             _____  participate in youth activities, i.e., sports, special interest 
             _____  talk about drugs, sex, violence
             _____  home repairs and maintenance


    DETERMINING YOUR TEST RESULTS

    To establish your test score add up the total of your responses and divide by 48, and then move on to STEP #3.

    STEP #3 Add your CD to your test score and divide by 2 to compute your PQ.

    INTERPRETING YOUR PQ

    This test, as all other tests, is a tool. Its usefulness is dependent upon numerous variables. The honesty and accuracy of your self-report is of paramount importance. Both your honesty and your accuracy are dependent on the depth of your knowledge about yourself. Knowing that most people are laden with self-deceit and that most make a career out of repressing and denying their feelings and life-experiences, Shambhala Masters place little to no stock in tests based on self-report. Keeping all this in mind, you may interpret your PQ score accordingly.

    If your PQ is less then a +8 you must give grave consideration to all the issues you may encounter before bringing another life into the world and committing to nurture a child and/or children into a healthy, Conscious adulthood. If you score less then a +8 your PQ is too low for you to allow your chemically, culturally and socially driven need for children to mindlessly direct your behavior, for there is a high indication that you will unintentionally damage your offspring.

    This particular test is designed so that all PQ's will be less than +10. As with all tests, this test was designed by people with a purpose in mind. The purpose Shambhala Masters had in mind in designing this test was to create a learning tool that would cause Shambhala students to think about some of the issues involved in parenting. Some may say this test discourages people from the joy of having children. They might say, “Who would have children if they considered all the ramifications of parenting?”

    They have a point. There are those who are highly motivated to have children who, after considering all the variables presented in this PQ test, will realize they are not ready to parent. Then again, there will be those who have always questioned their desire and their ability to parent who will, after taking this test, find themselves more ready and able then they thought to share their lives with a child.

    If your PQ (Propagation Quotient) is less than +8 and you are still committed to the idea of child rearing how can you get your numbers up? There are a number of things that Shambhala students can do to educate and better prepare themselves to decide about their propagation readiness.

    Some are listed here:

    1. Get an education.
    2. Get some life experiences.
    3. Raise a puppy.
    4. Volunteer to spend three to six months working with each of these age groups of children; infants, toddlers, children and teenagers.
    5. Get financially stable in a good job or career that you enjoy.
    6. Become independently self-sufficient.

    Shambhala Masters hope this test and these “Get Your Numbers Up” suggestions will cause fewer Shambhala students to mindlessly or “accidentally” or automatically propagate. It is an appealing thought to Shambhala Masters that far fewer children will be brought into this world to fulfill their parent's romantic illusions of child rearing. Shambhala Masters look forward to the time when children are Consciously conceived and welcomed into Self-Centered Homes by individuals dedicated to Self-Loyalty and Integrity. Shambhala Masters are eager to meet children who grow up among communities of individuals who are Self-dedicated.

    Such children will know that is their responsibility to add to the quality of Life within the Home. A Shambhala parent knows that their greatest responsibility to their children is to teach them how to add to the qualiy of Life within their own homes. Parents who become lax in this zone end up living with children they may love and feel obligated to, but with children they do not like, do not want to know, and/or do not want to be around. To require your children to enrich their own Home life, rather than allowing them to become major or minor sources of irritation, heightens the possibility that as adults they will have the skills to enrich their own independent lives.

    *The word “Called,” is spelled with a bold capital “C.” The Shambhala Master uses bold capitals when referring to the primal, Core, spiritual essence of a word, as opposed to the conventional understanding of the word. Please consult the Master’s Glossary for the definition of this and other unfamiliar terms.

    For more Shambhala Wisdom, visit www.shambhalablackbelts.com.