Road Rules for Transformation: Guidelines for Integral Institute Forums
June 24, 2006 16:27
With Integral Institute now gone live, and its various forums starting to rapidly build their communities, I thought I would share with you our Road Rules, or general guidelines, for all of our forums (and, indeed, for all of our commons spaces, which are our own Lower-Left quadrants in intersubjective resonance, with a validity claim of rightness or justness, aimed at mutual understanding). These Road Rules are designed not just to regulate traffic, but to call all participants to their own highest awareness.
Most forums anywhere in cyberspace are a type of sharing commons. People simply get on, post various material, share it with each other, and boogie on down the road. But I-I has guidelines that invite people to act and speak from their own Highest Self, however they understand that. These guidelines are simple, easy to understand, and remarkably effective. Moreover, they do not impose anybody’s idea of “higher” on you. The main guidelines are all variations on, Let the next words out of your mouth (and into this forum) be from your Highest Self as you understand it.
That guideline, along with a few others, make the forums at I-I unique, in that they subtly, slowly, but profoundly help one not just translate, but transform, to one’s own higher truth and goodness and beauty. We have provided these forums as a space for just that: a beautiful space in which everybody’s individual higher truths interact to create a greater social good. Of course, we totally invite people to also just play and dance and free associate, to criticize and judge and rank if they wish. Just every now and then, let those activities flow from your deepest well of life and inspiration and your highest source of luminous clarity and delight.
And then guess what? We all grow together. Not according to any fixed stages or levels or models or whatnot, but following the highest resources according to your intuition. I mean, I have proposed plenty of professional psychological models for levels of consciousness, but those are not part of these forums. I personally believe that when people act from their own highest resources as they see them, all those stages will take care of themselves. In any event, those models are categorically not a requirement or a model for these basic Road Rules.
At I-I, we act from I-I, and we grow together in the process. This is the world of I-I squared, where transformation is not an empty promise but a way of life. Come join us! We’re having too much fun…………
Community Basics: Salon/Forum Participation Guidelines
Integral Institute strives to provide a commons space that is integral (which simply means comprehensive, open, inclusive, transparent; and which is also known by many technical names: centaur, turquoise, vision‑logic, second tier and third tier, holarchically ranking, post‑postmodern, and so on). The quality of this integral space (and this integral sanctuary and integral playground) depends on the quality of your participation.
Therefore, like all forums, we have guidelines or Road Rules, and ours are integral. The following guidelines are designed to help make everyone’s experience in this “We-space” a fulfilling one:
1. Let the very next word out of your mouth (and into this forum) be coming from your Highest Self. If you understand what “integral” means, then let the next words out of your mouth be from your own integral mind or integral awareness. (Turquoise or higher, vision-logic or higher, second- and third-tier, etc.) If you don’t know exactly what integral means, then use “Highest or Higher Self,” “True Self that is no-self,” “Spirit Mind,” “Big Mind,” or whatever you are comfortable with that evokes the highest or deepest or brightest You. Try to think/act/speak integral. This is at the cutting edge of evolution – what is it to think/act/speak integral?
2. Feel the thinker. Feel your self, feel your ego, feel the self-contraction. That which feels the thinker is beyond the thinker, that which feels the self is beyond the self, that which feels the ego is beyond the ego, that which feels the self-contraction is free of the self-contraction. When you feel the thinker (or ego, etc.), you engage your Higher Self. You take the stance of the Witness, the I that is aware of I, the I-I in you that is beyond you. And the Witness, although itself empty, takes on and speaks integral at any level.
Therefore, feel your ego, or feel your self-contraction, and then speak and act from the awareness that’s doing the feeling; that sees the ego as an object like any other; that impartial Mirror Mind reflecting and embracing the universe in its brightness and luminous equanimity, the higher perspective that is no special perspective but open to all. Make the subject object whenever you can, and this will help you come from your Highest Self.
Thus, when you become a member of I-I, begin to engage your I-I: the I-I “out there” is your integral community, and the I-I “in here” is your Highest Self. Welcome to I-I squared.
But don’t make a big deal out of this. Simply try to feel the thinker or feel the self-contraction every now and then, and sooner or later it will make sense and feel natural to act from a higher level that is not the ego but is aware of the ego.
3. Those rules help with your Higher Self, however you understand and intuit it. And now, a few rules to help with your lower self (aka, your unconscious, your shadow, the dis‑owned self, the dork self, the self that will sabotage your every move, given a chance).
Discern your “emotional buttons,” or the things to which you hyper‑react. In many cases, whether or not your judgment is true, a hyper‑emotional recoil often means that shadow elements have been triggered, or as everyday parlance has it, somebody “pushed your buttons.” Simply notice this happening; try to make subject object (which, as we saw, is the fundamental rule of development). In other words, try to make the reactive self (the lower self) an object of awareness. Just see and feel your emotional reaction; you don’t have to do anything else. It’s that simple. Don’t worry whether something spectacular happens or not; that very act has already caused a mico‑transformation and dis‑identification, and repetitions of that simple act will have a profoundly cumulative effect. Of course, you can do more work on it if you choose, but most essentially, they are ways to just further that process.
You can investigate this more if you want. If someone or some comment gets on your nerves, what are you pushing against? Seek the underlying value in you that is trying to be expressed in your emotional charge. If you’re experiencing strong recoil, resistance, or rage, odds are what you are experiencing is a symptom of your own shadow. If this is so, we recommend doing a little shadow work with your response. Again, don’t make a big deal out of this, but work on it in whatever way you know how. If you want some assistance, try our own 3-2-1 process (which you can find here), or check out some chapters on the shadow (click here, here, and here to see the PDFs), or get an I-I Mentor to lend you a hand.
If you don’t want to do shadow work, or don’t have the time for it, not to worry: as we said, simply feel the self that is recoiling and acting negatively. Simply try to make subject object. And then go on about enjoying the forum.
4. Don’t wait for others to make the experience you’d like; ask explicitly for what you want and take steps yourself to help create it.
5. Before you offer your wisdom to or about others, remember that your perspective is yours, and just one of many. Can you own your perspective as a limited one? Can you distill out your clear observations from your interpretations and assessments? Are you still curious about other perspectives? Are there any shadow elements in any of your posts in the forum? Before pointing out the negatives in others, we try to clean our own house first. Don’t be afraid to make judgments—we want your opinions and judgments very much!—just try to have the next judgment that comes out of your mouth be a discernment from your Higher Self.
6. Your participation in any I-I forum indicates that you have read and accepted these general Road Rules, and that you will do your best to live up to them. Like forums elsewhere, I-I reserves the right to refuse community service to anyone for whatever reason. We relish diversity of perspective; we also value basic remembering of the I-Thou We-space. If you’re routinely causing a disturbance, or not living up the Road Rules, you will very probably be asked to leave the forum. If you enter this forum, you are agreeing that you can be removed for any reasons whatsoever judged necessary by I-I, and reasons that do not have to be argued or explained; you are entering this We-space with that understanding and agreement.
This mutual understanding is a pledge we all make to each other to engage or live up to the highest, deepest, best, brightest, clearest, caring Self that we can. This is our promise to each other, because we are here not merely to share, but to grow. Other forums share; I-I forums help us grow, because the Road Rules actually foster transformation and help us grow, even as we share. We all want to change the world, and I-I actually does it—and you are now a member of that wonderful I-I, and we dearly welcome you. Just remember the single most basic Road Rule: when in I-I, speak from I-I.
We are here to grow, but also to play, to practice, to hear, to be heard, to dance, to reflect, to contemplate, to receive and to contribute.
Stir the pot. Have fun. Debate. Put it out there. Reveal Spirit. It always already Is, and It always already is HERE.