Quest at Kalien


For men over age 38. This two-and-a-half day adventure and secret rite (with founder Randy Elrod) focuses on finding meaning in the second half of life. The price includes the Quest experience here at Kalien.


For men over age 38. The second half of life is not so much the chronological moment becoming over age 35 or over age 40, it’s when a person begins to say in a very radical and sort of sober considered way, “So, what’s going on here? What is my life about? What are the agencies within me that are making choices for me? What is it that I need to do that will make changes in my life?” And it’s at that point that a person may begin to walk out from underneath the umbrella, that has hovered one’s head, metaphorically speaking, that defines one’s self.

The quest is one of the oldest themes in history. Every quest on which a man embarks finds an echo in some universal search or personal yearning for meaning.

According to the latest figures, average life expectancy in the United States is 77.6 years, compared with 75.4 in 1990, reports the July 2006 issue of the Harvard Health Letter. Furthermore, old age begets older age. Today, a 65-year-old American man can expect to live to 81.6; if he reaches the age of 85, he can expect to live to see 90. Old age adds to life expectancy.

Our fathers had a life expectancy of around 60 and our grandfathers a life expectancy of around 50. They had no expectation of living the second half of life.

Today, man lives in an unprecedented era. We can expect to live over twenty years longer than our forefathers. And because our forefathers had no promise of the second half of life—we have no mentors to guide us in finding meaning in a time that can possibly equal or exceed the length of our first career. A career that for many of us took care of our families, our reputations, and our companies—but ultimately did not fulfill the yearning, the quest for meaning deep within our soul.

This two days and a half (with founder Randy Elrod) will address universal questions, universal emotions and the twelve stages of The Hero’s Journey: a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the man who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization.

Our time concludes with a sincere and solemn rite of passage replete with symbology and meaning on which to build a foundation to move forward into a meaningful and fulfilling second half of life.

Here are a few more details: The first two sessions are composed of questions drawn from the book “Finding Meaning In The Second Half of Life” by Dr. James Hollis. He is head of the Jungian School of Psychology in Houston. The next sessions are “Understanding & Identifying The Unique Dragons In Our Life and How They Relate To Our Strengths And Actually Make Us Better.”The ceremony is at Kalien and the actual Rite is outdoors at an undisclosed location at night. It is a true (and secret) individual rite composed of American Indian mythology, silence, Ceremonial Liturgy and sociologist Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.” No public nudity involved. Next day we chart our career and life progress and identify our current position on the “Hero’s Journey (The Hero With A Thousand Faces)” chart. This provides an eye-opening look at our future and the possibilities of the second half of our life. We end with a debrief around the fire of our beautiful mountain retreat. We have meals together (dinners are at a Mexican restaurant, lunch at a local diner, and one dinner is at the Timberloft Seafood Restaurant at Granville Marina), the cocktail hours are at Kalien—I serve as the mixologist), and all the discussions are at Kalien.


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