Complexity Medicine: Learning Through Lineage
Mentorship: Completing Circles within the Experience of Our Lives
There is a saying in Western education, “That you learn more and more about less and less until eventually you know everything about nothing at all!” This of course is the celebrated domain of the uber-specialist, as well as the province of the academic, wherein we bestow the title and station of 'Doctor', whether it be in medicine, laws, the arts, or the sciences.
The world's ancient cultures would argue that our pedagogy is on its head. The elders would say, "Work on emptying yourself at the start. Become less and less until you are nothing more than a dry leaf, ready to be blown away on the wind." In this way, you paradoxically will discover more and more as the richness of Life serenades you with the poetry of her own creation.
In our present cultural model of education, we have teachers, instructors, facilitators, professors, scholars, lecturers, tutors, and preceptors, pundits and pedagogues. Spoken or unspoken, the metaphor of the 'tabla rasa' or 'blank slate' still holds sway. All of those that would choose to educate us, wait for our return impatiently each fall semester, so that our heads and minds may be filled anew with their bequeathals of imparted knowledge. Certainly, this approach has its uses and merits. Nevertheless, despite the efforts of our Byzantine educational bureaucracies, many of us continue to feel an ache and longing for a fulfillment of another sort.
Every child comes into the world with a genius, and, with this, their own unique gifts and passions, as well as a reciprocal set of challenges and angst. This being said, their genius is a raw genius; it requires gentle tending and nurturing, and at times a harsh tempering, demanded of a rite of passage. Traditionally, a community as a whole would collectively watch the children, observe their behaviours, and note their predilections and sensitivities. Moreover, the adults and elders of a tribe would reflect on the recognitions and recollections that the youth of the community, as a product their actions, stirred up within themselves. Then, through the attraction and reciprocity of these incipient mutual relationships, the beginnings of a mentorship would take root. Overtime, these relationships and exchanges between a mentor and his charges would be nurtured and strengthened through a lifetime of shared experience; the learning always holistic and contextual to Life, as it presented itself. In this way, an individual was always viewed as complete from the start; their unique gifts lying in wait. It was the mentor’s role to help the individual discover their gifts, and the nature of being that lay within, via the nature that lay without.
Mentorship, however, is never a one-way exchange, for it is only through engagement with his or her student or apprentice that a mentor found fulfillment and completion for their own life gifts. The teaching only ever becomes complete when the circle closes on itself, so that the cycle may be started anew. It is this process that true lineage and the transmission of wisdom is founded upon.
At the Institute of Complexity & Connection Medicine, our pedagogy is firmly grounded in the sacred and ancient tradition of mentorship. You will find many passionate people sharing their gifts, the fruits of their own mentorships, and their excitement for Life. In the alchemical mix of our community, we encourage you to quieten and soften yourself so that you may feel the tug of the mentoring rope, as it connects one heart to another.
“The life so short, the craft so long to learn.” ― Hippocrates
“We may indeed be justly proud of our apostolic succesion. These our are methods - to carefully observe the phenomena of life in all its stages , to cultivate reasoning faculty so as to be able to know the true from the false."