If you’d like to experience Intentional Society, start with an orientation call Saturday March 26th, 1:00-1:55pm Pacific Daylight Time (4pm Eastern, 8pm UTC)
Last Sunday we finished (for now, I think) our multi-week focus on case practices. Case work? Maybe I should say “case presencing,” verbifying “presence” to point at the act of bringing one’s presence deliberately in service of another person and their world. (Tip of the hat to the Presencing Institute for that move and for bringing Case Clinic into our usage.)
Presence could be said to be made up of our attention, our focus, our engagement, and maybe even our attitude. To give it to another person, as we do in our case practices, is a gift. The experience of receiving that gift was called “decadent” and “luxurious” by our case-sharers.
The experience of offering our presence and support is also richly rewarding. Our experiences rhyme with those of others, and so “nothing human is alien to me” and we are to some degree advanced and transformed by that act of service itself.
This type of group practice should, in my opinion, be an often-used tool in the toolbox of every small group that desires. One sharer this week reported “I feel so, so much better” afterward
The potential of unknowing I wrote about last week continues to pull at me. I’ve been buzzing around the edges of the problem space, considering how to design practices (which mostly consists of structure) for turning toward unknowing and divergence (which embodies the ethos of emptiness).
Why practice unknowing? I think it’s a response, at least in me, to having a high fraction of fairly new folks currently. These newer members have been “learning the ropes” and joining in the game as played. This has been wonderful and skillful and, AND, Intentional Society is also more than “this is the way we practice together in Sunday gatherings”.
So how to do it? There’s a certain non-doing, a letting go, that I can sense. To frame it with too many words would be to reduce it, displace it. It can be held and embodied, entered in to, but only without the presumption to know how it’s bounded. There’s an oil-and-water tension between form and void, where a vast emptiness can’t fit in a snug tight box.
“What can I un-know?” might be enough words, guiding the somatic opening. That query touches the content of our propositional knowledge, and also the rules or container around the query itself. I feel more grounded in trust, the more I contemplate our community capacity and the deep okay-ness of ungrounding from (the illusion of) control. The trust-fall experience of swiveling away from systematic security and falling towards unknowing has been one, in my past, of floating rather than flailing. I don’t know what will happen this Sunday… and that’s right.