I’ve posted occasional reflections here about the More Beautiful book group I started with some friends. We’ve been contemplayting one chapter a week of the More Beautiful World for 6 months. We’ve one more chapter to read: “Initiation.” I recently shared some ideas with the group after we discussed the penultimate chapter “Destiny.”
Here’s some more musings from last Friday’s meeting.
In the course of our conversation I advocated that we come up with pleasurable protocols that will help us birth the More Beautiful World. As an example of the kind of protocol I had in mind I read aloud this passage from Chapter 21, Attention:
One day, she said, they had to admit that the group was collapsing. The main flame holders had a long discussion and after many hours came to the following consensus:
They would look after each other, caring and protecting, and if one is not doing well, the others would surround this person;
Their initiatives have to come from a pure intention, generosity;
They would continuously look into their personal development, supported by the group; and most importantly,
That everything they do must come from pleasure, real desire, and their epiphanies. They decided not to engage in sacrifice, nor to prioritize action based on what someone says is most urgent.
From my perspective, y’all didn’t engage much with my proposal. So I’m bringing it back around with a makeover. Perhaps inviting folks to find common cause in composing and testing protocols sounds to many like a geeky head trip. There’s a saying from Wittgenstein I like: “Every word uttered sounds a note on the keyboard of the imagination.” It’s also true that the same word might sound different notes on different people’s keyboards. While “protocol” gets my blood racing, perhaps for others it evokes a bureaucratic, uptight culture that is far from the More Beautiful World you yearn for. So I’ve been looking for synonyms, such as: process, procedure, precepts, principles, ethics, ground rules, parameters, agreements, commitments. In our communal culture the most obvious word to choose instead of “protocol” is “process.” That’s a popular word in community life. For me it’s rather a flabby note, used so loosely in so many contexts. It evokes a muddier note on my keyboard than the more precise “protocol.” Still, I’ll happily revamp my proposal: let’s design and experiment with a process optimized for bringing forth co-enlightening co-empowerment. Let’s develop a process that also retains the pragmatic precision and assiduous curiosity that protocol evokes on my keyboard of imagination! (Idea: what about developing a “protoplay” – a playful protocol, a procedure that is also a game designed to bring out the best in players? Hmm… a protoplay optimized to aid in midwifing the births of each others’ souls. Protoplaying… protoplayer… protoplayground…)
How might we deepen our lives in community in the light of this question: What sort of process would we like to propogate and proliferate to evoke the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible? How might we design a way of relating and collaborating that precipitates a contagion of co-enlightening enjoyment that vigorously grows, ripens and spreads throughout the world (with astounding rapidity)? Does the specific process/protoplay described by Eisenstein above appeal to you? How might you amend, expand and/or test this process in your own relationships, in your work and play? How might you personalize this process to give it more relevance and applicability in your own context?
All for now