Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ground Rules for A

Community of Innocence

Communities of Innocence are innocent in the sense that they have no interest, investment, or stake in their members—they do not seek to exploit us in any way. The community simply receives us well, listens to us attentively, asks us questions that enable us to say what we have to say, and tells us what it has learned through its experience that may be helpful in our situation. That's it. What we do with all of this is up to us. Progress along the path cannot be hurried. We proceed at our own pace, in our own time, waking up as we are able. The community of innocence does not try to hurry us along, but accompanies us kindly, with compassion, having nothing to gain and nothing to lose. We speak to hear what we have to say, not to tell others what they need to hear. We find the way together by listening one another to the truth of our lives.

Parker Palmer says, “There are ‘two key Quaker convictions’ upon which this approach is based: Our guidance comes not from external authority but from our Inner Teacher; and we need community to help us clarify and amplify the Inner Teacher’s voice. And Rumi says, “If you are not here with us in good faith, you are doing terrible damage.”

The Confidentiality Rule:

Everything Said Here Stays Here. Everything said here one week stays here that week. We won’t ask anyone to update us on something she, or he, has talked about in the past. If anyone wants to say more about something she, or he, said in a previous conversation, she, or he, can be trusted to do that without inquiry from others. And no one will take the reserve of the group as an indication of a lack of interest or concern.

The Don’t Fix-it Rule:

No Fixing

No Saving

No Advising

No Setting Anyone Straight

No Confronting

No Correcting

No Converting

No Condemning

No Excommunicating

No Telling Another What We Think He, or She, Needs To Hear

The Pass On Anything

At Any Time Rule:

No one has to say anything ever. You can pass on anything at any time. “I think I’ll pass on that,” is always an appropriate response.

The Comfort Rule:

The comfort rule always applies. Live to be appropriately comfortable at all times.


Nick said...

I typically follow the don't rip someone's nose off, and then give them a rose to smell rule...but sometimes, when the light in thee be darkness, I need to fan the flame to get some light in there. But I'll keep it short, because with the amount of gasoline you just spewed out, it only takes a small spark.


Saying "No Telling Another What We Think He, or She, Needs To Hear" is (without exaggeration) at least tied with the most ridiculous statement ever said. In saying no telling another what they need to hear, you are effectively telling others what you believe they need to hear.

That's like saying I don't eat ice cream while shoving an ice cream Sunday down your throat. IE completely contradictory.

Please explain to me how what you say can be true without violating any of your rules.

I eagerly await your response! And as an aside, I am not trying to be a jackleg for the sake of being a jackleg. But I have seen this argument presented one too many times, and I feel as though it needs to be explained and justified.


Jim Dollar said...

Hi Nick, You're right. We are awash in contradiction, paradox and irony, and have to make the best of it.