Recieved: 1999/11/18 18:34
Subject: [K-list] Return of the dart board factor
On 1999/11/18 18:34, Ckress posted thus to the K-list:
Over the past few weeks, I've received private emails from list lurkers who
have appreciated some things I've said in recent posts. A number of them
expressed reluctance to post their views directly to the list, not wanting to
trigger arguments or be subjected to critical dissection of their personality
and character because someone took offense to something they had said. As I
remarked in the close of my reply to one of them: Whoa, this has turned into
such a El-Collie-crusader-sermon that I might post it to the list (and
probably set off a new furor, LOL!). Actually, at this point I'm probably
mostly preaching to the choir but what the heck:
I often wonder what goes on out there in the silence of Lurker-land. It's
nice to know that not everyone thinks I'm a lunatic (or worse), LOL! A year
or so ago I complained that the K-list atmosphere was so threatening, few
people dared post for fear of being publicly torn to shreds. The resulting
turmoil from this sizzling topic led to a mini-mutany resulting in the
development of several alternative K-lists. Maureen Heffernan's Sacred
Kundalini list, which was born at that time, is quite gentle; the list
members are generally very gracious toward one another.
What I've discovered for myself is that the continuing hot-seat element of
this K-list is great for helping me learn to remain centered within myself
while in relationship to a larger group. Because I know I may be taken to
task for anything I say, I have to keep checking within myself to ask: "Do I
really stand by this? Is it true to what I've experienced and observed? And
is it spacious enough that others won't feel hammered over the head by it?"
That last one is often the hardest to balance with the first two, and
sometimes it falls by the wayside. Not for long, though -- someone on-list
is sure to yell, "Hey, OW!!!" soon afterward...
I see the Internet as an unprecedented opportunity to come together as a
global family, where the old boundaries of geographical distance, cultural
differences, age, race, gender, social status, etc. are greatly reduced. If
you can get computer access and figure out how to operate the thing, your
voice can be heard by hundreds (or more) people who otherwise would never
have known you exist.
I believe that each of us is an equally important part of the whole, and
while not everyone needs to make their contribution through words, so many
have unique stories and ideas which can enrich us all. Internet forums like
the K-list can allow for unity through diversity, where rather than
sacrificing our integrity to gain acceptance from a homogenous group, we
stretch the parameters of group dynamics to accommodate and respect
differences. Big, starry-eyed ideal! It's called, I believe, "democracy."
Which doesn't mean we all need to sit politely with folded hands after
someone has presented ideas we find objectionable, but making our
disagreements known with as much decency and fairness as we can muster.
Not everyone wants or needs to volunteer for this kind of self-exposure and
risk of public humiliation. As I said in another post, there are spiritual
skills which can't be developed in a pleasant, safe environment. I find that
the risk factor on the K-list mirrors some of the "real world" challenges,
with the advantage that if it gets too fierce, you can press the delete key
or turn off your computer and that's the end of it. If only we could do that
in our non-virtual-reality life situations!
Learning to stand up for what we are and what we value (even if it means
standing alone and apart) while allowing others to do the same (even if we're
sure they're dead wrong) is, in my opinion, critical to collective spiritual
vitality. Without it, all you get is holier-than-thou warring factions, or
One-World-Religion, Inc. which stomps dissenters and innovators through group
Let us all observe a moment of silence to thank the Powers-that-be that you
are not as irritatingly pompous as I am. Brother Aquinas will then pass the
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