In Peergroups

Of all social relations love-relationships keep our families, our communities and our individual lives going the strongest.

An underrated place where young people do come home is in their peergroups.

During their maturation boys and girls feel strange and between child and adult worlds.

Where they feel no exception with peers who feel similar.

Without peer groups, it is difficult for young adult worlds to enter. There they celebrate permanently their identities and learn to behave as an adult.

Where many young people in Europe to search but hardly find places where trust wide, deep and just. For three generations we / they are in their hitchhiking, their backpacking, their world travels, their free year and their working holidays looking for something that is not here (more adequate).

Exceptionally important forms of coming home young people search and find in house-parties and dance events. There they will find of what we, in Europe, became afraid of and what still exists among indigenous peoples in many manifestations: trance & other forms of transcendent consciousness.

In 1998 I wrote a paper on liminal experiences where young people, also in my youth, were looking for: trance experiences where you exprience deep wellbeing, and will learn to know why you’re here and what life-purpose in this life is (Van Bekkum 1998).

Many experimental search, of mostly boys and young men, is about doing adventurous things like using hallucinogenic drugs in combination with physical ordeals (see also Addiction and Trance; Van Bekkum 1998).

These are exactly the active ingredients of initiation rituals:

a) what do I have, as this unique man, to offer to our community, to this world?

b) where do I (not) belong?

c) how can I come home with my male strength/vulnerability with and in a woman?

d) how can I, without any doubt and hesitation, learn to feel deeply at home regularly.

On how to use active ingredients of initiation rituals in urban contexts, I wrote several articles:

a) Rites of Passage as Supportive Structures into Adulthood (1998)

b) Conflicting Loyaties and Migration in case-Vignette Feisal (2001)

c) Wanted: initiation rites for young men (2002)

d) Rite of Passage Program in Youth Psychiatry (2007 Dutch)