I posted this on Facebook November 6, but i should have posted it here as well. Would have, if i had not been having computer problems (redundant term) at the time.
Working with a Guidelines group at TMI
I took a break from my life as hermit, last night, to speak to the Guidelines class at the Monroe Institute. It turned out to be an extraordinary experience, I think because of a couple of subjects that have been much with me recently.
The night I talk to Guidelines is always on Wednesday. For four days, they’ve been doing hard work, trying to improve their access to the internal guidance that always there, though not always heard. And now, on Wednesday night, they have only one more day ahead of them before they have to go back to what I call “the unreal world.”
Usually, some of them are worried that what they’ve found so far is all there is. Others are puzzled by things that have happened or not happened. Still others are wondering if they will be able to carry over into their day-to-day lives. This mixture of emotions provides a very good opportunity to think together. And, that’s how I view it, an opportunity to work with them, not just talk to them. I tell them, I am not a performer and you are not an audience. It is a group effort.
There is a thing I sometimes call “the tyranny of the podium,” which makes one person the expert and everyone else, presumably, the neophytes to be instructed. But I try to keep well aware that I am expert in only one thing: my life and my experiences and my tentative conclusions. That’s all I have and that’s all anyone has, and that means that every person in the room has something unique to contribute, because nobody else has lived that life or formed that viewpoint. It isn’t like I am, or should be, on a pedestal. Pedestals only get in the way of communication.
So, we sit in a circle around the room, and I tell the group what I think I know, and I ask who’s having problems, and what kind, and we go from there.
Last night, I told them that the guys upstairs have said we all communicate by creating a temporary joint mind. And after a while I mentioned how I had been led recently to realize that I need to stay awake, which is harder than you might think. Most people, most of the time – maybe everybody, all the time, if you ask them if they are awake, they’ll say yes, of course. But in fact much of the time, our higher functions are asleep. Gurdjieff talked about this, decades ago. And, as he pointed out, no work can be done in sleep. But how do we wake up and stay awake?
That question engaged them, and different people had different suggestions, experiences, etc. In othe words, that’s what our temporary joint mind wound up working on together. Extraordinary.