Passion Circles - Current and New

Surrounded in loneliness. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

Passion Circles — Current and New

September 26, 2022 | Posted by Illuman Admin | Council, Drumbeat

Illuman recently launched a new kind of Virtual Council that we are calling Passion Circles. These provide opportunities for men to gather online around shared aspects of their own personal spiritual journeys and/or mutual common interests. “Interest-oriented” Passion Circles provide an opportunity for deeper, shared learning, as well as preparation for service. “Issue-oriented” Passion Circles provide support for men during difficult times. Who better to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with, than other men who have experienced similar challenges?

See below for details on our newest addition, On Becoming Elders. Other Passion Circles include:  Learn more and sign up for any of these at


New Passion Circle — On Becoming Elders 

 “The future belongs to the learners, not the knowers.” 

—Eric Hoffer 

 “The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents.”

—Carl Jung

Elders fall into the category of things that are made, not born. An infant becomes a child simply by aging, but a person cannot become an elder by simply becoming older. Old age alone cannot make the elder, for the qualities most needed involve something more than physical change. Becoming an elder is not a “natural occurrence”; there is something metaphysical involved, something philosophical and spiritual that is required.

In playing the role of elder and seer, William Blake advised: 

“Wisdom combines insight with experience, 

and vision with maturity. 

If maturity expands vision, it will lead to wisdom. 

If not, maturity becomes degeneration.” 

Knowledge makes a person older, but the wise also become younger by knowing the song of their soul, the rhythm of their heart, and the living dream that brought them to life to begin with. 

In a world that continually turns upside down, it becomes increasingly important to be able to imagine the inner elder as the age-old source of genuine resiliency, not simply the source of hope, but, more importantly, the resource of deep imagination. In doing that, we can join Yeats when he writes, “an aged person is a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick, unless soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing for every tatter in its mortal dress.”  

We can hope—or, better yet, imagine—that we someday become that aged person, worn and tattered by life, and yet still able to tap into the deep imagination. That is the genuine inheritance of humanity; may we keep finding the inner song line that secretly connects us to the ongoing heartbeat of creation.

In our first half of life, it is healthy to embark on a “hero’s journey.” In the second half of life, after we’ve experienced and metabolized life’s natural initiations, it is healthy to shift to an “elder’s journey.” 

We have learned we are inherently imbued with a life purpose that is further and deeper than our work career. The second half of life is the time to “remember” and more deeply “live the truth at the center of the image we were born with” (Bill Plotkin). It is a time to become an elder—or, at least, to become ready to answer a call to be an elder. Illuman helps men to heal their wounds and supports their journey of illumination—why? So we become elders—to others, to our communities, and to the world. 

What does this really mean or look like?

How do we do this? 

Where can we find allies for this journey?

We’re looking to form a cohort of men to intentionally explore what it means to become an elder and to continue our journey toward that vision. We look to mine the insights and experience of wisdom elders who have gone before, as well as those who have studied and written about that process. Along the way, we will identify new practices we can adopt to continue our lifelong learning. 

Most importantly, we will be a community of men who support men transforming through a loving power greater than ourselves. This is required for us to come of age into elderhood, if that is the gift that awaits us. 

To request to join this Passion Circle, or to ask any questions, please contact Clint Heyer at