Family Wholeness and the "Family-Being"
(from an work in progress by David McNamara,
© Copyright 2004 by David McNamara. All rights
does it mean to talk about wholeness or unity in a family?
There are all sorts of ways to describe or think about it, but probably
most important, we can feel it in those times when we feel connected
in love and understanding and belonging.
Usually, we dont tend to talk about this sense of family
unity. For one thing, given the state of the world and stresses
on families, we may not feel it very much! But, also, it is difficult
to put language to, even if we can feel it.
Any group of people, when they are aligned, or have
the same sense of purpose or deeply-shared life, can experience
that sense of unity. Science calls it a field of energy.
Jesus said that when two or more are gathered in my name,
there will I be as well. Families, by the very nature of their
time spent together, their love and communication, their knowing
of each other, can co-create a very strong shared unity. I use the
word co-create because such a field of unity is created
from the contributions of each family member, and yet creates something
more than just those individual energies. I believe that is what
Jesus was suggesting: that there is a spiritual quality, some bonding
energy that holds the group or family together, where the whole
is greater than the contributions of its parts as psychologists
would put it.
I have been working with and thinking about this sense of family
unity for years, and I continue to struggle to find a word for it.
But, for lack of a better word, I think of it as the family-being:
the living being created of shared consciousness which the family
Why It Matters
My experience from the time in our own family is that being conscious
of the "family-being" can be very useful in a number of
ways. First of all, it is a powerful concept, which when you begin
to think about it and incorporate it into the way you think about
your family, it takes the idea of unity and wholeness and makes
it very personal and real. (It IS, in fact, real, in terms of energy
and consciousness. It is not just a metaphor.) And, so it can help
you keep that sense of unity of the family in mind more often. And,
obviously, the more you keep it in mind, the stronger the idea grows
in your mind, and, in turn, the stronger the "family-being"
becomes, as it is at least partially a creation of your consciousness.
So, just by holding the concept of the "family-being"
in mind, the family is strengthened: the energy field created by
the family grows more powerful, and, therefore, so does the energy
of unity which holds the family together. Of course, the energy
field or being of families who are full of conflict
or dont spend much time together is obviously much less strong
and clear than a family which seeks to build love and understanding
important aspect of the "family-being" is that youand
your partner/spouse, if you happen to have onecan shape this
energy field in the way that you want it to grow. If mental clarity
and intellect are important to you, you can infuse the field with
that attitude. Likewise if love or sensuality/touch or spiritual
devotion are important to you, you can invoke those into the energy
field. (If you DO have a partner/spouse, and the two of you together
agree on how you want to shape this energy field, it grows all the
stronger, of course!)
And, what makes all this important is that it is that field of
consciousness that Im calling the "family-being"
is the energy field that your children grow up within and which
helps to shape their consciousnesses; to make them who they are!
So, to put it most directly: what are the qualities of consciousness
that you want for your children? You can consciously shape
that through working with the "family-being" and shaping
it through your own thought, imagination, and intention!
Of course, your childrens own character and quality and interests
and nature make their own contribution to the "family-being".
It is the energy field of the whole family. But, childrens
contributions tend to be of a much, much lesser extent than the
parents. Obviously, the conscious power of parents intention
tends to be much more focused than that of the kids.
If parents bring focused intensity of will and clarity of vision
to the "family-being", the children bring their own contribution
that is equally important: children are so closely connected to
Spirit, especially in their early years, that they bring this extraordinary
quality of energy to the "family-being" in a way that
makes a family as special as it is. If infants and young children
are surrounded with angels, as many wise people have told us, than
those angels bring their quality into that wholeness that is the
"family-being". Obviously as the kids get older, this
energetic quality changes, and different aspects of the child are
contributed. As innocence shifts to experience, and total openness
to spirit shifts to their own perceptions of the world, so too does
the quality of the family and the "family-being". But,
certainly, the contributions of the children are of major importance
and need to be understood and valued accordingly.
Another important aspect of thinking in terms of your "family-being"
is that you can draw strength from it. If your family creates this
energy field of consciousness, then that energy field is there to
be drawn from. Just like a bunch of smaller and larger streams flow
together to create a river and that river has much more power than
the streams on their own, you can step out of your own smaller
stream and open yourself to the far greater power of the river.
Following this image, the more conscious intent you and your family
put into your individual streamsyour awareness
of the "family-being", the stronger and larger the river
grows, gathering and unifying all of the individual streams of consciousness.
So, the "family-being" is there to be drawn on, the energy
from the river, when you are feeling tired, low-energy, confused,
or whatever negative state. And, the more consciously you work with
the "family-being", the more you remember its presencesay
hello! every so oftenthe easier it is to draw
upon its power.
it all sounds very abstract and even unreal, it is because we are
not used to thinking in terms of fields of consciousness and how
groups and families create these energy fields. In fact, though
I have been emphasizing the positive quality of the "family-being",
a family where the negative or painful or hurtful emotions are stronger
creates its own being: one of pain and hurt and hurting. In this
sense, we have a choice how we want to create our family and the
being we create together. Through the quality of our
intentionwhat we intend and want to occurthe "family-being"
is shaped and its qualities formed. Again, thinking of the being
that we create as a family can help us to remember to be conscious
and careful with the feelings we show and the thoughts we hold and
the images we allow to play in our minds. We are powerful creators!
And, our families are a primary field for our creation!
How do we make the spiritual entity of our family, the "family-being",
a living reality in our lives? First, it is important to remember
that it is there, whether you hold it in consciousnesswhether
you remember it!or not. Co-creating this energy field is a
reality, a reflection of your total family contributions of mind
and feeling. Whether we are conscious of it is similar to whether
we are conscious of ourselves, whether we are attentive to who we
are and how we think, feel, and act.
Just as in spiritual practice, we become more self-reflective and
self-aware, so we become more family-aware through similar
Simply remembering and thinking about the "family-being"
is the most obvious and, yet, powerful way of feeding
its consciousness and its unifying power in our familys life.
Or, we can focus our attention more directly and consciously:
we can meditate with the "family-being", bring
that awareness into our meditation, and align our individual consciousness
with its larger, embracing consciousness.
We can meditate alone or with a partner, or even with older
children. The more people who hold the similar intent in meditation,
the more powerful the meditative work becomes. But, it is certainly
appropriate to do it on ones own.
We can open ourselves to its guidance and wisdom, in meditation
or simply intuitive awareness. Ask for its help and guidance in
how to handle a family problem, for example.
A most powerful aspect of working with the "family-being"
is if we are caught in some family conflict. In conflict within
a partnership or with an adolescent child or between siblings we
can ask for its love and blessing to come in healing for the conflict.
Again, the energy field is alive and potent if we feed it
with focused attention and intention. Likewise, we can draw upon
its loving and unifying energy for the good of the family.
When the family is not together, holding the
missing person in the light and consciousness of the "family-being"
can be very significant and powerful. When a young child goes off
to school or crèche or playgroup, when a parent travels,
when older children go off to university, they can be heldimaginallywithin
the embracing aura of the "family-being".
This is actually quite a powerful working with energy and consciousness;
many families have spoken to us about how this has been quite significant
and potent in their familys life. University-age children
have agreed that they have felt still very connected to their family
when their parents have been meditating in this way.
co-create a "family-being" whether we are aware of it
or not. In becoming more conscious within our families, we can become
more conscious of this "family-being" we have co-created,
and choose how we want to create the family. What are the qualities
we wish to have within our family? Do we value the power of unity
which the "family-being" can bring to us? If that sense
of unity is important, it is ours to have by consciously invoking
it into the family. Perhaps the simplest way to put it is that INTENTION
and ATTENTION are powerful human qualities which shape consciousness.
We have the power to shape our family the way weall those
within the familywant it to become!
© Copyright 2004 by David McNamara. All