Home | Videos | Books | Solitary Practices | Intimate Circles | Journals | Courses | Articles & Audios
About Us | Straw-Bale Architecture | Book & Movie Reviews | Facebook | Blog Articles | Contact Us


Realistic Living Courses

Dates for your Calendar

Spring, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK:  Beyond Patriarchy
June 9 (7:00pm) - June 11 (12:30 pm), 2017; Bonham Texas: Leadership Training School
June 11 (7:00pm) - June 13 (9:00 pm), 2017; Bonham Texas: Research Symposium Meeting

Beyond Patriarchy

This workshop contains brief probing spins on five traits of the architecture of patriarchy, followed by  innovative exercises that help each person explore in their personal lives these external and internally habituated oppressions.  This program was created by Joyce Marshall and Pat Webb over many months of planning meetings, and was enthusiastically acclaimed by its first participants.

What participants say about Beyond Patriarchy

•The organized information about Patriarchy was helpful in understanding the behaviors to be challenged and changed.  The techniques used to teach this complex social organization were excellent, even extraordinary.  The body exercises, the art activities, the imagery, the music—all outstanding.  The entire course was masterful, harmonious, and balanced—an invaluable experience.  

•A well-planned and sensitively led course that made me aware of the complicated web of patriarchy as it has manifest in my life.  It provided a safe environment for us to open up to how much we feel burdened.  

•Experiencing the practices in this course in the context of the “architecture of patriarchy” helped me become more aware of which aspects have been most operative in my socialization as a child and lie behind habits of thought and behavior that still “hook” me.  

•This course helped me to discover how I have been oppressed and how I have oppressed others, and I learned antidotes for those oppressions.  

•I found the unhurried pace truly restful and the sharing with small groups or partners was intimate without being forced.

For further information on Beyond Patriarchy” e-mail Joyce Marshall: jamarshall@cableone.net
or  Pat Webb: webbpat1@cox.net

Biographical information:

Joyce Marshall has spent decades becoming “untrained” by vipassana meditation, Sufi dance meditation, Inquiry, Interplay, Qi Gong, and the Christian spiritual exercises from Ignatian and Benedictine traditions.  She has passed along what she doesn’t know in spirit groups, classes, and house church meetings, as well as through the creation of numerous spirit manuals for solitary use.

Pat Webb is a poet and lifelong contemplative.  She is an Oklahoma Artist-in-Residence and in that role has made poets of students of all ages.  Following the Zen tradition of her teacher, Thich Nhat Hahn, she co-founded and directs the Silence Foundation which has offered mindfulness retreats and ongoing sanghas for the past decade.  Pat also creates and leads Journaling, Play Shops, and Mind of Love Retreats.

 The Next Research Symposium Meeting

is scheduled in Bonham,TX for June 11, 2017 at 7:00pm until June 13, 2017 at 9:00pm.

“Research,” as we use that term is more that an academic activity.  This research involves whole bodies in group experimentation with what works to nurture our profundity and prepare us for a mission that heals and restructures the life of the planet.  This research involves creating a religious movement that impacts the specific regions of this one and only available planet.

If you are new to the basics of this movement or want to review them, 
consider the following programs that you may attend and/or conduct:
A Six-Course Curriculum
In Unreduced Realism
insights for a next

Here is the core pattern of these six courses:
    1. Introduction to Christian Theology
    2. Introduction to Christian Ethics
    3. Introduction to Christian Practice
    4. Advanced Theology - Three Faces of Finality
    5. Advanced Ethics - Essential Temporality   
    6. Advanced Religious Practices - The Interreligious Necessity

These courses are:

Good for both secular open-spirited persons and
committed religious practitioners who are seeking a deeper experience.

Good for both solitary contemplatives and social activists.

Good for both people who are new to these topics and

old religious warriors who seek further tools and clarifications.

Following are the titles and a paragraph on each of these six courses.  For more information on the titles of each essay and the essays themselves, simply go to: RealisticLiving.org/UR1/ or UR2/ UR3/ UR4/ UR5/ UR6/ 

1. Christians: Who are We?
a deep look into misunderstood symbols

This is an accessible and updated rendition of what we used to call “RS-1” or “The Twentieth Century Theological Revolution.”  Session one is about the experience of God.  Session two is about using the myths of “God.”  Sessions 3, 4, and 5 are about the Jesus Christ  revelation of that Eternal Reality that meets us in every event or our lives.  Session 6 is about unfaith or sin.  Sessions 7 & 8 are about Holy Spirit.  And session 9 & 10 are about the Church as a dynamic of response in history. 

2. Religious Action in Century 21
 the secular ethics of a responsible Christian

This is a course about religious ethics—a contextual ethics that applies not only to Christians, but to any realistic religious practitioner and to secular activists as well.  Some of these essays mention Christian topics, but they do so in a general way that makes clear that Christian ethics is simply ethics for anyone who wants to be realistic in an unreduced realism manner.

3. Steps Toward a Next Christianity
 transfiguring a religious tradition

This course is about solitary and communal nurture.  The first three sessions deal with the solitary journey using the beatitudes from Matthew 5.  The next four sessions deal with the polarity of solitary and communal in Christian practice, and with the stages of Spirit journey of a Christian community.  The last three sessions deal with sociological models for a post-Christendom formation of Christian life together.  Session nine deals with leadership in these freshly conceived sociological dynamics: Guild, Temple, and Circle.  Session ten is about liturgy.

4. The Magic of Three—Infinite Faces
an adventure in triune Christian theologizing

This course is advanced Christian theologizing.  It cleans up some subtle misunderstandings and spells out in terms of everyday experience the three faces of the Christian Trinity.  Each time "Eternity" happens to anyone or any historical group, all three Faces of the Trinity are part of that experience.  The course winds up with a session on the meaning of revelation and a session on the ethics of radical monotheism and how radical monotheism differs as an ethical foundation from two other common modes of ethics.  This course is a deep dive into the sort of Christian theologizing that we began to clarify in courses 1, 2, and 3. 

5. The Magic of Three—Finite Processes
ethics and our essential temporal processes

This is a course on ethics—illuminating the many places where ethics takes place: social life, solitary life, and life within this unavoidable natural cosmos. Step-by-step this course develops a sense of wholeness: the essential processes of human society, the essential processes of solitary personhood, and the essential processes of the natural world.  The course ends with a session on a theology of cosmology, and a final session on Eternal Reality as a the land of wonder that undergirds all the temporal processes of our living.

6. The Interreligious Journey
Tools for Dialogue and Cooperation

The course is about the Interreligious Journey and tools for dialogue and cooperation among all the great religious explorations of human history.  Through interreligious dialogue and cooperation, each religious community can be inspired by the others to better practice their own chosen religion. A core curriculum today would not be complete without a course on interreligoius relationships.  Much of this material is found in my recent book The Enigma of Consciousness; this course provides selections and simplifications of that thoroughgoing philosophical book.

Contact us for more information on any of these programs:

3578 N. State Highway 78
Bonham, Texas 75418
Phone: 903.583.8252
E-mail: jgmarshall@cableone.net

Here are persons available to teach the above six-course curriculum.

In addition to the home faculty of Realistic Living:

    Gene Marshall <jgmarshall@cableone.net>
    3578 N. State Highway 78
    Bonham, TX 75418

    Joyce Marshall <jamarshall@cableone.net>
    3578 N. State Highway 78
    Bonham, TX 75418

    Alan Richard <alanrichard@cableone.net>
    702 CR 2521
    Bonham, TX 75418

The following persons are Realistic Living faculty for this curriculum.  Please feel free to call any of us about teaching one of these courses or about making recommendations for holding one of courses in your location.

Ben Ball  <firstcolony8@gmail.com>
Ten Rainford Court
Sugar Land, TX 77479

Richard Corl <rscorl@gmail.com>
8413 Hidden Trail Lane
Spring, TX 77379

Ellen Gentry <ellenhouston03@msn.com>
4629 SW Carson St.
Portland, OR 97219

Terry Hoops <THoops@austincollege.edu>
402 N. Grand Ave.
Sherman, TX 75090

Joshua Lawrence <joshua.a.lawrence@gmail.com>
2214 MacGregor Way #2
Houston, TX 77004

Houston Markley <ellenhouston03@msn.com>
4629 SW Carson St.
Portland, OR 97219

Leila McKay <leilamckay@yahoo.com>
5407 Mt. Bonnell Rd.
Austin, TX 78731

Elvagene Philbrook <elvagene@gmail.com>
305 Hollywood Drive
Edinburg, TX 78539

Leroy Philbrook <lephilbrook@gmail.com>
305 Hollywood Drive
Edinburg, TX 78539

Jeffrey Robbins <jwrobbins11@gmail.com>
112 Farmstead Circle
Lebanon, PA 17004

Harold Slater <Hslatotrailwulf@aol.com>
3927 Lincoln Woods Drive
Midland, MI 48642

The following two courses are comprised of accessible papers that can be taught by you in your local setting.  Each course implies a series of 10 sessions.

The Mathematics of Divinity

simple discourses on profound topics
essays by Gene Marshall 2010

Table of Contents

1. Isaiah 6 – When Y died, I saw X

2. Solving Psalm 90 for X

3. Romans 1 – Everybody Knows X

4. Our Hearts are Restless until they Rest in “Thee” Oh X

5. So What was Before the Big Bang? – A Genesis One Overhaul

6. What is Evil?

7. The Death of M1 and the Birth of M2 – a Big Shift in Religious Talk

8. X was in Y Reconciling W to X

9. When Three is One

10. The Magic of Three

These ten discourses comprise a ten-session course on topics like:  What do we point to with the word “God” when we live on this side of the demise of  both literal and metaphorical talk about gods and goddesses, One God and angels, Satan and demons – who live in an upper deck (or lower deck) beyond the natural cosmos?  Also how do we honor the writers of the Bible who quite naturally used this double-deck metaphor and other images of transcendence to talk about the most profound matters of their lives?  Indeed, how do we translate the messages they wrote into language that we can use to speak about the most important matters of our lives today?  Such a recovery of the Bible is important not only for Christians and Jews and Muslims who use these scriptures devotionally, but for all interested investigators of Western religions, whatever be their religious practice or philosophical leanings.

By “mathematics” I do not mean something complicated.  The “mathematics” in these discourses is a sort of gimmick algebra used for solving Scripture passages for their most likely human meanings, as well as some triangular geometry for noting the relationships between aspects of “Divine” experience held with words like “Almighty,” “Christ,”  and “Holy Spirit,” – and subtopics of these basic aspects held by words like: “sin” “grace,” “trust,” “love,” “freedom,” “peace,” “rest,” “joy” and more.  I am intrigued with Christianity’s emphasis on the number three and how the three aspects or faces of Divinity are related to each other and protect each other from perversion.

In a word, these ten discourses are attempts to point to the profound matters of Christian heritage in an elementary way.  Nevertheless, this will entail a paradigm shift for most people.  We consider this a core piece of curriculum for the Next Christianity.

The Next Christianity

An Ongoing Action in Religious Invention
(The October 2010 edition)

The ten essays for this course have been freshly rewritten by
Gene Marshall with much editing, critique, and rewriting assistance from
Joyce Marshall and Alan Richard.  Also contributing significant help were
Marsha Buck, John Howell, Paula Brennecke, Nate Custer, and others.

Essay Titles

1. Infinite Awe & Finite Religion

2. From Jesus and Paul to You and Me

3. The Last Days of Christendom

4. The Communal Quality of Christian Practice

5. Nurture, Mission, and Discipline

6. The Re-form-ation of Christian Worship

7. The Why, How, and What of Study

8. Witnessing Love

9. Contributing to Social and Ecological Justice

10. An Adventure in Discipline

Extra Essay on CRC Membership


This course owes a huge debt of gratitude to the creativity of Joseph Wesley Mathews whom I count as my mentor from 1953 until his death in 1977.  I also owe much thanks to the Order:Ecumenical, a family order in whose practices I participated from 1962 to 1976.  These methods and contexts for Christian communal life were further refined in the last 35 years through the explorations into Christian communal experiences with my marriage partner Joyce and our colleagues in the work of  Realistic Living, The Symposium on Christian Resurgence, and the Bonham Christian Resurgence Circle. - Gene Marshall

A Useful Teaching Process for Teaching These Courses:

Plan an opening remark that places the study in context for the group.   If appropriate, ask each person to say what struck them about this study document.

Have a chart of the paper already on the white board (or other visible device).
Explain what the chart means and how you came to decide upon the divisions.
(A full explanation of the charting method is available from Realistic Living.)

Point out the places you want to ground with experiences from the lives of the group.
Ask for other points that it would be good to ground.

Use these grounding steps:
    1. Clarify the point to be grounded either by
        a. asking for someone to clarify what  it is
        b. giving your own clarification
        c. reading or having someone read a portion from the paper.
    2. Plan a grounding question that gets at this point and is useful
         to enable people to mix their life experience with that point.
    3. Invent additional “push” questions as needed on each occasion.

Plan how to allocate the time spent on each section to fit within a 50 minute session.

Plan a way of ending the teaching session.  Do one of the following:
    1. Ask a concluding go-round question.  (Time has to be planned for this.)
    2. Read a bit of the paper that is poetic in nature and summarizes the study.
    3. Give a brief closing remark on the topic.

Rational and Existential Aims

The selection of appropriate points for grounding (as well as the quality of the grounding process) is greatly enhanced by some clear thinking about aims. There are two types of aims that guide the teacher.

Rational Aims are summaries of the content that the teacher wants to communicate and clarify with this study.   For example, in session one a rational aim might be: to make plain that religion is a finite social process and Spirit is an Eternal Reality that religion may, in the best case scenario, call to our attention.

Existential Aims are insights into the inner changes within the lives of the participants that might be assisted by this study.  For example, in session one an existential aim might be: to loosen the hold of “old-time” religion and create space for the awesome challenge of creating religion anew.

Democracy, the Earth, and You
creative responses to the twenty-first century

This course can be taught by anyone willing to master and teach it. The entire construct is available free for your use. This one-day program consists of four presentations, each followed by a group process using the skills of pristine listening, honest sharing, and constructive dialogue.

Here are the titles of those four sessions plus the major subtopics covered in each:

1. Master Pictures of the Ecological Era
Thinking for Ourselves about Reality
Society out of Balance with Person and Planet
From the Cenozoic to the Ecozoic Era
Telling the Universe Story

2. The Ecological Crisis, Facts and Prospects
The Sixth Extinction and the Importance of Ecological Diversity
Global Warming and the Importance of Stabilizing the Climate
The Population Explosion and the Importance of Stabilizing Population
Planetary Exhaustion and the Need for a New Mode of Society

3. Core Blocks to Progressive Change
Obsolete Economics Corporations Rule our Lives
The Demise of Democracy
The Public Relations War on Truth
Whence Comes our Hope?

4. Strategies for Planetary Transformation
Is There a Winning Strategy?
Democratic Governance rather than Corporation Rulership
Global Cooperation rather than Corporate Globalization
Local Innovation rather than Monopolistic Uniformity
Concluding Words on Doing Our Part

This course is designed to be taught by one or two teachers in one day, two sessions before lunch and two after. It can also be taught on four evenings, condensed to some shorter period or expanded.

For further content on this program, go to DEY and you will see a list of seven files: the overview and workshops, four talk scripts, and two files containing handout sheets.

The aim of this course is to assist people:

1. To overcome the belief that it is too difficult to think through fresh master overviews of the world in which we live.

2. To work through reluctance to give up comforting misinformation and to experience the tragic yet glorious truth of the actual challenges of our times.

3. To work through doubts that anything significant can be done about challenges of this magnitude.

4. To embrace the glory of being overwhelmed by tasks that are clearly too big for us and for which we all are woefully unprepared.

A New Resource for teaching Democracy, The Earth and You

Video tapes and DVDs are now available for the four presentations of our four-session course on the ecological crisis and social transformation. These recordings makes holding this course very easy. Just invite a dozen people to see these presentations on a television screen. Then following each presentation, lead the recommended group process that will be sent to you with your videos or DVDs.  Click here for more information and ordering instructions.