FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Making contact with the Elders for the Wisdom Council
Q1: Can you tell us more about the process of making contact with the twelve Elders?
The Elders are identified by the Le Ciel founders who are guided through extensive research over several years, meditation, their personal experience visiting indigenous people notably in Gabon, and direct guidance from indigenous Elders.
In all spiritual research, a day comes when you gain direct access to the source.
For some, the source comes through spirituality, for others it comes through the profane. In our case this connection is of a spiritual nature. Through the means of meditation and knowing how to ask the right questions, intuitions, which are verified with practical research, come to us. Through spiritual investigation, intuition brings us to a pragmatic approach.
For example, when the trip to Botswana presented itself to us, immediately, one person in our network, whom we hadn’t seen for a long time, came into our thoughts. After a phone call we discovered that not only had he been to Botswana two years prior but that he had kept close contacts there. One contact led us to another and another, until we arrived where we needed to be, sitting with the two Elders.
For instance, how was the list of countries chosen- is there an advisory group that recommends suitable individuals/communities?
It is not a question of choice. Once again, as a collective, we allow the answers to come to us. When this answer presents itself on two occasions, without any consulting between ourselves, we take this information into account. No group gives us recommendations. As said previously, we go from person to person until we reach the right one. It is work based on faith and synchronicity.
How much contact is made with the elders prior to an in-country visit?
No contact is made prior to the trip. We make an appointment with our contact in the country and once there we explain why we have come. We have systematically been brought us the elders, through however many contacts are required.
Q2: Please can you describe the in-country visits in more detail. How long do these visits typically last, and who leads them?
Before leaving for our destination, again through intuition, we know exactly how many days we need to stay. These visits typically last around one week, mostly spent in travels as the elders usually live in very remote places.
Once arrived at the airport, we meet our contact on the ground and it’s during this first conversation that everything is put in place for the days to come. Nothing is planned beforehand. We are thus free to follow all the signs that lead us to the elder.
The actual meetings with the elders usually take two days, as the team needs to go through layered entourage and spiritual tests before obtaining the opportunity to finally meet the elder. The visits are led by Sophie Monpeyssen and Peter Giblin, who are the key ‘spiritual’ intermediates between Le Ciel Foundation and the elders.
The team that travels to meet the elders work together to follow the path laid out in front of them. We know that we have arrived in the right place when those that we meet are waiting for us because they have seen signs in their environment that we are coming.
The team is always accompanied by Lucy Martens, another co-founder and award-winning documentary filmmaker. Lucy is filming The Twelve, a documentary about the search for the Council Elders. They are also joined by our photographer, Tinko Czetwertysnki, a lead artist in the Wisdom and Nature exhibition hosted by PHILLIPS auction house. Lucy and Tinko have their own travel budgets. It is common for a third co-founder to join a specific trip when required.
Le Ciel hires a guide and translator on each trip with whom we get in touch with before traveling. As we travel with a filmmaker and a photographer, we hire a mini bus with a driver and always choose the cheapest hotels and options to keep the costs to a minimum.
Q3: What challenges or risks does Le Ciel face in the management of relationships with indigenous leaders/communities?
The main difficulty during the trips is assuring that we remain 100% dedicated to its goal and success. Another possible difficulty, which in reality isn’t one, arises when working in these environments and concerns the notion of protocol. Each society, each culture has its rules of propriety. The idea is thus to arrive in absolute humility, so as to adapt to each situation, while retaining the integrity of why we are there. The idea is not to please but to Be. The idea is not to convince but to open a door to the big picture, as in actual fact all of the elders are already in contact on the spiritual plane. Therefore, we need to open up the same connection and communication on the physical plane, so that contact can be made sitting around a table in one specific place.
Assuming the elders have limited previous exposure to Western culture, how is Le Ciel preparing them for a visit to the US?
The aim here is not to prepare them but to accompany them. If over however many thousands of years these cultures have preserved themselves, it is not only because of their environmental isolation and the fact that they know how to protect themselves but also because they uphold each one of their values.
What, if any, financial or in-kind benefit will communities receive as part of their participation in this project?
Each of these communities has received a $10,000 financial contribution with the aim of allowing them to put in place projects regarding their preservation, ecology and also to repair the possible misdeeds of the encroaching industries and societies around them.
For example, financing water pumps to source water for the community because their natural streams have been polluted. Each financial contribution has been assessed on a per community and project basis.
Le Ciel people and governance
Q4: Please can you describe for us the process that led to the formation of Le Ciel Foundation, and the key people involved in the foundation’s formation and ongoing management?
The Foundation was established in 2016 as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
Le Ciel Foundation has officially been registered as a charity in the UK since January 2019.
Founders: Sophie Monpeyssen, Olivier Girard, Jessie Balfour-Lynn, Peter Giblin, Sebastian Curtis, Maciej Sedlak and Lucy Martens
It is important to realise that each one of us holds in them a small part of a common project and like in ancient times, alone we cannot do anything. Every person who works in the foundation is key. There is no hierarchy here. We work together for the good of one thing- the success of one joint mission that spreads out across numerous projects, over many years.
Of course, biographical information can be provided but the important thing is not what each one has already done but what each one can provide. Working with a group synergy based on kindness each one can quickly develop their potential and discover for themselves unsuspected capacities. From union and unity, evolution and the opening of possibilities is brought to life.