Does This Figure Look Familiar?
In response to a prompt from Beyond Belief I went looking for an image to represent what happens when people work in groups, especially in spiritual ones. This is what I found. It looks like the crop circle I saw at Barbury in 1989.
It’s the three concentric circles that makes this informative. The outside circle represents people who attend meetings, out of curiosity and/or casual interest. The next circle represents those who find meaning and reassurance in the belief systems. The inner circle represents those who find hidden depth and understanding in the process.
It was like that with local Fountain Groups in the UK in the late 1980’s.
Why This Causes Problems…
The local Fountain Group in Torquay used to meet monthly at the Friends Meeting House. Then some wanted to meet more frequently, so an Inner Circle for weekly meditations was set up in our home. The obvious problem was the lack of physical space. So, casual attendees were dissuaded from attending.
That brought criticism of elitism. From the inside this looked like sour grapes; from the outside we looked like we were better than the rest. In the end, after a year of weekly meetings, we finally withdrew from the group.
The lesson, as I noticed later, was this is how very progressive and effective groups are minimized by ‘the other side’.