Many of you have been receiving our communications for several years now. But, with this mailing, we're reaching out to many new men we haven't corresponded with before. So we feel it appropriate to explain our program and some of the work we do to implement it. And since the media's attention has mercifully been diverted from the Men's Movement at last, we believe we can settle down now for the long haul and get the real work done.

ON THE COMMON GROUND is a non-organization for men in New York City, very much inspired by the work of Robert Bly, Michael Meade, and James Hillman. It's made up of men who hear our own personal need for greater clarity about what we men are in our society, and know we need to explore our own questions.

As participants in the Men's Movement, we advocate no doctrinaire concept of what a man is. But we do believe we men have within ourselves the right to our own defined gender ground as males. We are male persons, with the need and ability to discover what that means.

The essential center of the Men's Movement then is the call each one of us hears to discover our own personal authenticity, our own heart -- beyond the dictates of our childhood experiences or our present socialization. There are as many definitions of manhood as there are men. And we want to discover our own genuine feelings, our own ideas, our own words -- who we are when we are truly ourselves -- in all the situations of our lives.

Then, we know that a most effective way for us to explore authenticity is by coming together as men. We draw together to share our experience with one another, to experiment and to grow, to witness and validate who we truly are.

After that, everything else in the Men's Movement is a variable detail -- an additional opportunity. Drumming, dancing, feathers, sweat lodges, and all the other practices the media have so sensationalized are variables. If they help me find something about myself and you, I may use them. If they don't, I don't. To be himself, each of us must be free to select the nature of his own work. In the final analysis, the only point is that I probably must work with something if I want to achieve my goal.

Ultimately our purpose in the Men's Movement is to relate to ourselves and one another as richer, more fully defined men. And as such, we will flow far more fully to the women, the children, the animals, our society, nature and this good old planet itself. We seek to have the richer and clearer definition of our own life in order to share it more fully with all those in it. That's why On The Common Ground's motto is: AS MY REAL FEELINGS TOWARDS MYSELF, SO AM I TOWARDS YOU, SO AM I TOWARDS OUR EARTH.

If you're so inclined, please join us.

John Guarnaschelli


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