The small group is the core evolutionary unit of growth-oriented people. Alone we’ve almost no chance of not being swept up in the craziness. The tides of politics, entertainment and mass emotion have hidden undercurrents we’re not evolutionarily equipped to notice in the moment. We fall for those undercurrents (primarily the need for tribal belonging) every time – until we don’t of course.
We need another “culture” to notice, a micro-culture for “awakening.” I don’t love the “awakening” word because it sounds so lofty and esoteric. It sounds like some future personal nirvana. But it’s more like what Rumi says:
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Simple right? Asking for what you really want! It may be difficult but at least it’s not hard to understand!
If the core unit is the small group, the core practice is holding and sharing our truth while contributing to the collective awareness. Being both connected to “I” and “We.” Lonely meditation isn’t enough; benefit gained is often limited, if not outright trumped, by social pressure unless there’s group work too.
And such evolutionary micro-cultures have far far greater bandwidth than Facebook or Twitter can scrape together. Those two can certainly gather time around them though, can’t they? But for all the time spent on them, social media is mostly a distraction. They equalize a cat video and a drone strike as you scroll through. They flatten all perspective but they do it invisibly so you don’t notice. They tempt us to be info hogs, like a glutton working on his second gallon of ice cream. We want another spoonful but we take it without really enjoying or being nourished.
Perspective and understanding are capacities of the “soul level” of us, of depth. They’re the ability to see what fits where and what’s connected to what. What doesn’t involve the “soul level” really amounts to fake news. It’s data flotsam. We literally don’t see what we think we’re seeing but just a simulacrum instead. We sleep.
The “truth” is in the interconnection between the seeming parts, including the interconnection to us. Facebook groups can pay attention to this dimension but very often they don’t. They either commerialize or else they substitute contextless wise sayings and image-candy and become “upliftotainment,” upliftment junk food. That’s why I give a score in my “value game,” Small Groups 11- Facebook 2.
Awareness and direct clear seeing are our most important challenges at this time. Nothing’s more important than that. And skillful small groups for that purpose are a stronger way than alone, or social media. More on this soon.
I haven’t been actively inviting comments for some time here but I’d welcome them as part of the conversation. Please throw in any response or reactions for the good of us all. I’d love to hear from you!