I want to share an update I like for doing spiritual work together, a way of organizing it, that I’ve just “gotten” recently. To me it seems both obvious – and new. It changes how I see being in groups andwhat’s possible.
See what you think. And I’d love it to hear what you think at the bottom of the blog. Here’s a short short summary and a link to a longer article that sketches it out more fully.
Think of we humans as having three different imaginationsthat we access at different times for different purposes. All are good, each isvitally necessary. When we’re doing spiritual work or “worldwork”(both are work for the common good, worldwork perhaps more activist), the key is in how we shift as a group from oneimagination to the other so that the group is in Imagination 1,2, or 3 at the same time. And knows that it is!
Imagination 1 is basically ordinary waking consciousnessthough this can be more or less informed. Imagination 3 is a deep coherence inwhich participants are spontaneously more interested in what’s emerging in thecommon space between them than they are in their own private preoccupations.This state can be more or less developed but a robust sense of it is widelyavailable. Imagination 2 is the important transition between 1 and 3. The trick is tomove together between the three, to use naming and our natural body sense totell us where we are.
When we’re in the same one at the same time together and weknow we are, there’s coherence. The group effect with its many benefit is noticeable in all three but most apparent in 3. That coherence starts to put our lives into a new light. There is no limit to how deep the coherence can go, only more or less clarity in approaching it.
Without that coherence, youhave people in different consciousnesses not understanding what’s going on withthe others and not understanding the discord in the room. When some people arein Imagination 1, some are in 2, and some are in 3 you have well-meaningconfusion.
Being in the higher imagination together is an exhilaratingand instructive process in which we’re led by a kind of emerging group wisdomthat I think of as “distributed prophetic imagination.” My job is tohelp hold space for the three different imaginations. A traffic cop. It’s not to be a higherauthority in terms of any content. The stuff (content) comes entirely fromgroup members. Growth is a natural result of coherence.
If you’d like to read the longer version of this that really gets into it, you can doso here. Did I tell you that it means a lot to receive comments and that they’re very important in knowing what readers are resonating with and how this is landing? You can leave a comment below! Or join us to practice this Thursday. Here are the details. WE-SPACE Open Space