Intentional Society: Improv philosophy
Unfamiliar with Intentional Society? Friendly informational call this Sunday, March 7th.
Last week we played the Glass Bead Game - a rather enigmatic name for a fairly simple practice, but perhaps appropriately so. I'd call it a Circling-type modality, or an inter-subjective meditation practice, but those still require long, squishy explanations. My best attempt tonight is to say that "circling something" involves modeling it in your head, maintaining high fidelity awareness with an embodied right-brain type of thinking that creates a fairly tangible sense of "presence" of that thing in our experience.
Empathy Circling centers a person and their expression. Modern Circling centers a relationship. Collective Presencing centers a group coherence. And the Glass Bead Game circles around a concept. In timed turns, two players improvise reflections or commentary on a topic, back and forth with deep listening and a present-moment "yes, and" spirit. In contrast to the "I sense, I feel, I think" distinctions highlighted in people-focused circling, the Glass Bead Game dissolves the speakers by banning "I" and "you." This seems to me to have the effect of removing the belief or truth status of statements, floating them out into space unqualified and unattached, like probes launched out to illuminate new possibilities.
At least, that's my take given my limited experience. I enjoy existential questions and philosophizing as a general rule, and also happen to enjoy the GBG experience. It seems very generative and recombinative, a great brainstorming technique for exploring the various meanings of and connections to a topic. There is a play, an art, found in creative constraints and unfiltered thoughts, which is very difficult to find via rational cogitation. Yet I find people and their experiences and relationships to be so meaningful, that I don't which to overweight the exploration of topic space. Both are fruitful, to be sure, and tastes may vary.
Our group's enthusiastic reaction to Empathy Circling previously means that this week we're scheduled to dive deeper into that practice of listening and reflection with each other. As always, I'll let you know what we learn. ☺ Not too much farther out, we also intend to introduce ourselves to Adult Development Theory and start sensing into what those maps might have for us regarding our journeys of personal growth.
Would you like to join us in these explorations? The door is open; this membrane is permeable. Feel free to come learn more, or if you've already had an orientation call and somehow slipped through the cracks of my invite tracking, just reply to this newsletter to receive the private meeting link for our Sunday 1pm Pacific session.