[tmtranscripts] Rio Rancho TeaM (08-02-09) Group Dynamics
Gerdean at cableone.net
Sat Aug 8 19:00:58 PDT 2009
DATE: August 2, 2009
LOCATION: Rio Rancho, NM
T/R: Gerdean O'Dell
TOPIC: Group Dynamics
TEACHER: Good afternoon. I am going to spend some time with you without giving a name. It seems names are, or can be, prejudicial. There are some who won't even listen to what some teachers have to say because of one reason or another, just as there are some who won't listen to a T/R for one reason or another. It is not as though I intend to accommodate all these limitations, but to help transcend the problem in this immediate configuration, including my T/R, who has by now developed a concept of who we are and what we are going to say based on our role in the universe hierarchy, not unlike many others who also share that opinion.
In the days of yore, when we first started showing up, it was advisable to identify ourselves because you mortals are accustomed to attaching names to personalities and so you admittedly felt more connected to us when you had a name to which you could attach our personality but that too is a spiritual booby-trap because you have your own preconceived notions of what names represent, what names have more value than others, what people listen to certain teachers and not others, and so I am hoping to transcend that by not identifying myself. Perhaps we can just try to find the Spirit of Truth in our efforts.
I understood you to say you were having difficulties with your group. And before I even hear what the difficulties are, you might consider that if you were able to transcend your own prejudicial notions of who was going to say what, based on what you perceive their motives and aspirations to be, you might be able to hear with new ears. But let me not prejudice you; rather, open the floor for your inquiry. You came today with much eager anticipation of receiving counsel and I do not want to disappoint you. Ask me. What concerns you?
Student: There is danger of personal rifts getting in the way of having a smooth-running study group, and of other people who aren't involved in the rift getting kind of torn between these two people, so that makes it difficult. We'd like to stand our ground, I think, and say we are all equal to it. It's sort of like handling two bull-headed people and determine how to resolve the differences they have.
TEACHER: You have two individuals? Not three or five or eight, but two individuals who have differing approaches? Is it these two people who are causing the rift?
Student: Yeah, it's sort of a rift between D and C. Now, the rest of us, you know, we like them both. And we understand that C talks a lot but we're working on ways to deal with that. But D, apparently, has a personal conflict with C, and D considers it his group. And that leaves the rest of us saying, 'we like the group but we don't necessarily agree that one person should lead over the others.'
TEACHER: Let's think about this. Two men, D and C. Each one feeling he has a responsibility to represent a perspective on behalf of the group and on behalf of Deity itself. And yet this has given rise to a schism between the two with followers on each side.
Student: Stuck in the middle! Not really wanting to take sides.
TEACHER: Well, there is no reason why anyone should take sides because it isn't your battle. If there is a battle waging between D and C for supremacy, then the smartest thing you could do is completely remove yourself from it and not care who wins. It's not your battle. However, as you say, their carrying on affects the group. Also implied is the regard you hold for each and so it must come about that each are able to uphold the role they have been given to do by Deity. They need to learn to co-operate rather than compete. That may well be the responsibility of the group, to become the leader in the situation.
Instead of waiting for one of them to assume leadership, the group itself can assume leadership, for in the group there is the collective consciousness. Might may not be right but it is what is, and so you need to stand up for the entity itself and find ways in which both those guys can serve without beating out the other. Allowing one or the other to become the supreme ruler is defeating the purpose for all of you. That is perhaps a paradigm that was useful in former times but in future times it will not work. You might as well begin now to learn to operate as a team, as a community, instead of as an organization that functions from the top down.
It would seem that C is the intellectual and D is the businessman. In the universe, you will notice that there are differing roles for differing personalities. Some have been created specifically to serve that purpose. Once size does not fit all. And obviously these are men of integrity and worthy of loyalty to the ideals they espouse. And so you need to support them both and not get caught up in their struggle for supreme rule; that is not the solution.
There are gifts and abilities that each of you has, and each is important. Someone -- in this case yourself -- provides the environment, and the refreshments! There are those who attend and contribute their thoughts and disciplines. Sometimes they bring cake! There are those who organize and facilitate. There are those who provide supporting data/ research, and there are those who play the devil's advocate and produce contrary attitudes and materials in order to keep a group on its feet. all of these roles are to be appreciated for what they are and what they do.
It seems the problem is in the idea of rulership/leadership. And once you, as a group, realize your own leadership abilities and can let these fellows know that their vying for position at the table is creating havoc with the purpose of getting together, then you all begin to also lead. Do not sit back and think it is a battle between those two alone; it is something the entire group needs to address, for the sake of the group.
You mentioned in social discussion earlier that you thought you might step up and provide your own leadership angle for it is, after all, at your house, and this is an example of how it is that you expand the consciousness of a two-sided paradox. Your position is as viable as anyone's, and those others who also attend the group have their reasons for being there and something they contribute. No one is lesser. Everyone has something they bring to the group to make it the group.
As you know, anytime you have three or more together, you have a problem, and so there is nothing unique about this situation. It is the same that occurs in any group that has formed or ever will form.
Student: That's why I wanted to work through this and not disintegrate over it.
TEACHER: If you just disintegrate over it, you just put off your own evolution. Because if you don't learn it this go-round, you will have to learn it later. And so disintegrating over it is really not the easier, softer way, it is just postponing the inevitable, and it is postponing it at the expense of those who would take advantage of the fact that there is a group that represents and sponsors what you do get to get together for.
Student: Well, I don't think we are going to disintegrate. I think we are going to work it out. I think the people of the group are strong enough and determined enough that we are not going to let this make a huge schism, we're going to work through this and work it out and come out on the other side here. Please help us -- when it comes time -- to not disintegrate into some kind of name-calling.
TEACHER: When that occurs, then, you who know better must be the hero and do the right thing, even if you want to do that which makes you feel better and that is to fight along with everyone else in the fray.
Student: Food fight! Yeah. I know. It's like a bunch of dogs. One starts barking, they all start barking, you know?
TEACHER: Yes. It is classic human behavior. It is classic human behavior that borders their animal cousins far more than their supernal cousins.
Student: And we wonder why we don't progress.
TEACHER: You tend to burrow into your perspectives so comfortably that you fail to see the forest for the trees.
Student: And then when somebody points out all these trees to you, you take offense! That's kind of hard, too, trying to point out -- not our flaws, but -- trying to keep the focus of the group going.
TEACHER: Everyone is flawed. Everyone in the group is imperfect. On a finite level like this, that is stating the obvious. In order to function, you need to get beyond that. If that means that every time someone opens their mouth you must remind yourself that they are that way because that's as far as they've gotten and they don't need to meet your expectations. You just have to have patience. Perhaps it will inspire you to be a better teacher, or a better example. The challenge is really yours!
Student: Mine individually, or mine collectively?
TEACHER: Everyone's individually: yours and yours and yours and yours and yours. Instead of waiting for someone to fix it, instead of waiting for someone else to set the example, you need to set the example. Gradually and eventually others will get the point.
Perhaps eventually, even in your lifetime, you will see that more people have gotten the point than those who didn't get the point and you will see how you have advanced socially as a result of this effort of advancing one person at a time into a greater paradigm, a greater reality.
It is walking into the sun, into the sunlight of the spirit, from the forest in which you have been comfortably ensconced with your animal cousins, seeking protection from the open spaces. But now we ask you to come into the light. Bring your flaws -- as if you could leave them behind -- and transcend those in your efforts to learn to work together. It is the work that is important, after all.
The question is: what is the work? How is that established? In the establishment of what you have gathered together for are the seeds of malcontent or progress. Is it something that everyone can support? Is it a purpose everyone can get behind? Or is it designed to serve only certain members? If it is designed to serve only certain members, what are the others to do? Are they to serve you? Or do they serve another cause? Or do they serve the same cause through different means?
Student: Is that a question?
TEACHER: That is a rhetorical question.
What are M and N to do if they are not respected as important parts of the group? Are they to go play in traffic? Start their own group? Or do they represent the Alpheus twins, who were just as much a part of the apostolic corps as Nathaniel and Andrew. And their work was just as important. The work they did for the ministry was such that it would not have been done as well without them.
Student: And their enthusiasm.
TEACHER: Yes, there may have been mayhem but for their ability to keep order, like ushers in a theater. Even simple work is important work when you all work together. The idea that the doctors and professors work is more important because they have more schooling and earn more money is part of the problem. The nurse and the garbage man may not make as much, may not have gone to as many classes, but assuredly their work is essential, for without their efforts, what good can the professor or the doctor do? The thing is, the doctor and professor must learn to respect those whose work is not as glorified as theirs.
Student: Or what they think is glorified.
TEACHER: Living without germs and maggots and the stench of heaping swill allows everyone to be dignified and civilized. Nurses with their care and bedpan patrol, lifting, nurturing and all that they do to care for patients is sometimes considered more important that what the doctor does. Anyway, they cannot function without the other and so this is the lesson that your group is faced with. You cannot function without each other. You cannot function as a group without group cooperation -- at least to some extent! And if it is not an extent that allows for some growth, there is no real point in it carrying on because it will simply stagnate and will rot on the vine.
Student: So to keep it active and alive and growing and good .
TEACHER: I would urge you to step forth. I would urge the others to step forth. And let it be known that each one is a leader in that group. It is the facilitation, the teamwork that is important.
Student: Not who is going to be the leader.
TEACHER: There is much to be said for leaders.
Student: But not if it takes the place of . Well, D has been accused by C of being a dictator and we are his puppets.
TEACHER: Accusations can go both ways. They are something the group mediator can handle. When that kind of thing presents itself, direct your focus to the mediator, as if to call it to his/her attention. If you are following your own guideline, you will be carrying your notebook and pencil and you can make a note of exactly what point the objectionable remark was made; recall the situation and discuss it at the end of the group. This helps you iron things out. It may also come to pass that the functioning of the group as a group, as imperfect and flawed it may be, is so satisfying and rewarding to all present, these peccadilloes of who rules will become less of an issue. It's an age-old problem, my dear.
Student: Um-hum. I'm sure. That's why I think it's important we carry on and get through it and get it resolved and solved. I tell people, you know, "You gotta nip it in the bud," and so maybe that's what we are doing.
TEACHER: You are right to work it through, however, than to just put on a happy face. There is much made of civilized behavior, and sometimes the demand for civilized behavior is such that it contributes to a state of unreality.
Student: It also keeps people from saying what's on their mind or how they feel about something when they really should be speaking up about it -- in one minute or less.
TEACHER: Yes, everyone has a vote; everyone should express his or her position. That's democracy, that's fraternity, that's equality, but you are right to put it within a time limitation, for those who have a bigger appetite for dissension and debate can feed on that energy and attempt to suck in everyone else as if they should equally enjoy the animosity and striving. It well may be that those two fellows do not have enough to do. They are not acknowledged sufficiently in their own lives and so they look for that honor and respect in the group to which they invest themselves.
Student: C's problem is the fact that nationwide he is sort of revered, and other people think he is just great, so that feeds his ego so he thinks he is just great and that everything he says we are just hanging on every word, when the reality is we would like to get back to our subject now.
TEACHER: In certain circles there are people who have mutual interests. Let's say we are talking about the animal kingdom. Let's go to the frog genus, and there is a scientist who has done intricate studies on a particular species of frog -- say the African Tree Frog -- and they are well-known throughout scientific circles as the most renown scholar on African Tree Frogs, but there those who are not interest in reptiles in the least, who are, rather, interested in birds and so they are not interested in his expertise in and among those peers where that matters.
There are also those who could not care less about birds or frogs but who are interested in contact sports, and so that enters into another dimension entirely of what interests people who comprise a group. The point is to stay on track of what the group is for. What is the group for?
Student: It is to read and study the Urantia Book.
TEACHER: That is fine, as a start, but are you the kind of group that will study the Foreword for 20 years? Are you the kind who wants to read the entire book in a year's time? Are you the kind who wants to talk about personality for two years? Are you the kind who wants to help its members become teachers and put on public demonstrations of their knowledge? Is it the kind of group that will get into the religious life of Jesus in such a way as to implement those qualities in your own life? Is it a two-dimensional, three-dimensional, or four-dimensional experience to come to that group? Just to sit and read and study the book is not well-defined enough.
Student: We're onto topics. We do studies by topics. And then we'll read, develop, discuss whatever topic they are interested in, and then it will go on to somebody else to do their topic. Like most groups, people are reluctant to step up and they will let somebody else do it if somebody else is willing.
TEACHER: Then you have opened up the door for those who will take the lead to take the lead. You will need to have a different format.
Student: We will need to have everybody equally involved.
TEACHER: You all do it together or you don't do it at all. Like children, you all get the same sized cookie.
TEACHER: And when these recalcitrant students discover that they are at fault -- that is to say they are culpable for the imbalance in the group, that by their not saying anything, those who will have taken over -- they will realize their duty to participate. This is a value lesson that everyone in a democratic nation could take to heart. As long as you allow others to lead you and you neglect to participate in some way in the process, you are virtually allowing the powers-that-be to take over and put yourself in a position of following. If you don't want to be a follower and subjected to what they do, then get involved. Now, you are involved by default because you have two men vying for position.
Think of it as Gabriel and Machiventa. Gabriel is the Chief Executive of the universe of Nebadon. Father Melchizedek is the firstborn son and elder in the schools, the education system throughout the spheres, so one is in administration, the other is in education. In a college, you have the business office as well as the teaching staff, and so in your organization, if everyone understands their role, you can continue and stick to the same format, but it is not going to be "my role is more important that yours."
We need you to do this for us. We depend upon you to do what you say you will do, but no more, because the others in the organization also need to do their thing and express their participation. And there are times then when it operates like a well run machine and no one is pushing heir agenda on anyone; it takes care of itself. This is what you are aspiring toward, that the personalities slide into their place, so that the organism, the social organism can operate.
Student: I think we'll be okay. It's just that turmoil is always hard, so we all have a littgle lesson to learn here. I just feel that if we get too comfortable, our angels will give us a nudge.
TEACHER: There are also those who would say that at some point it may become clear to those who are ambitious that the others will just never step lively enough to suit them, and so they may decide to go off and create their own group, leaving those who are more complacent and who study at a lesser pace, to continue to be civilized and steady. That's another solution. But with a group of only 6 to 10 people, that's --
Student: That's not enough to make two groups, really. I mean, look at -- here's the whole of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho and Gerdean has a hard time getting anybody to come to her groups . without expensive advertising.
Gerdean: I would be happy to go to their house if they wanted to, and let them do it, but I just don't see anything happening around here, so .. It ain't my fault!
Student: Draught. Although there are a lot of enlightened people around, doing enlightened things! Their searching just hasn't brought them to the Urantia Book yet. There are some people that have found the Urantia Book, invited to group, haven't come, haven't come back.
TEACHER: There are a lot of people who are intimidated by the Book completely, and after they get the book and find out it is not as frightening as they feared it would be, are nonetheless intimidated, thinking other people who've got the book understand it better than they do, and it's an intellectual challenge to them, then, to allow themselves to be exposed to people who know more than they do. This is one of the drawbacks of the intellectual approach.
This is why it is important that the Alpheus twins types to be a part of the group because they are able to put these people's minds at ease by living proof that the Master does not care about your intellectual standing; he cares about your heart space and your soul.
Perhaps D is the heart of the group and C is the head. If you don't have the heart and the mind working together, you can't get soul to express itself. And if the group is the soul, then you have the heart and the head doing battle and nothing is coming out but a cacophony of noise that will not attract new people. It will not cultivate those that already exist, so you have a choice of either standing up to the situation and putting it into it as a group or allowing their battle to destroy what you have created.
Student: And we don't want that.
TEACHER: It is understood that D has taken it upon himself a mantle, handed to him by the group's founder, and he is taking that very seriously with sincere integrity. He has a legacy to uphold! He remembers, perhaps, the days and hours spent with V''s group -- the picnics, the camaraderie, the study -- and wants that legacy to be carried forward, knowing that such social fragrance can contribute to light and life; whereas C wants intellectual integrity. He would not tolerate something like the Teaching Mission because it is too loosely woven. He is the kind of fellow who wants to cross every T and dot every I. And there is indeed a place for that kind of mind. It may not be in a loosely woven group of new and or somewhat serious students. His frustration levels must be overtaxed often.
Student: He is a teacher of adolescents, so I think he must be used to it by now.
TEACHER: Yes, but if he is a teacher of adolescents, and he puts you in a position of being adolescent, then he is looking down at you and you are absorbing that and acting adolescent. You are acting out for him, and so you need to -
Student: Which reconfirms his position.
TEACHER: -- which reconfirms his position. And so you need to break away from that which he may be projecting for you and become self-acting. You have been watching this ping-pong game for so long you have forgotten that you can turn out the light, and they cannot play in the dark. In other words, you forget your own power.
Student: Well, I want everybody to start speaking up, too. If they hear that somebody is saying something that is either degrading or a putdown or inappropriate, then they need to speak up and say that it's inappropriate.
TEACHER: Yes. In that, you need it to be made clear that not only are we studying the book, we are studying human behavior, because it is as much how we comport ourselves as how much we understand, that we assimilate when we attend these meetings. We learn from each other as much as we learn from the book. It was Jesus they loved, not what he taught.
Student: And yet, that is what he was trying to teach. That it was not necessarily himself that they should revere, but understand the teachings he taught.
TEACHER: Yes. While it is important what the facts are, as set forth in the revelation, it is also important to remember that you are admonished to love one another as Jesus loves you and he never browbeat his apostles with facts; he never made them take a quiz on the adjutant mind spirits or planetary seraphic government. He never sent them out to build a coalition, or form a committee to take into the villages on behalf of the people.
Now, there are others who can and will and should do that. Perhaps it gets back to the heart and the mind of the mission -- the difference between D and C, or the difference between the Teaching Mission and the Monjoronson Mission, or the difference between Republicans and Democrats, or men and women. There are usually two sides to the story, at least two that are most visible, but the actuality of the third element is (A) what causes trouble (B) what opens the paradigm; (C) involves everyone; (D) reflects the possibility of paradise trinity and paradise pattern.
Those will come as a result of trusting God and trusting each other, and that will come when you are able to feel that your fellows love you as Jesus loved you, without discriminating, without favoritism, without regard for your name, background, age, race and all that. He loved the Alpheus twins as much as he loved John and Peter. He loved Judas and Simon and Thomas . and Mary.
So no matter what the situation, "What would Jesus do?" is always a good question. Or "What would I do, if I were Jesus?" or "What would I do if he were guiding me?" For these are indeed your circumstances. These are your growth opportunities. These are your challenges as they are also of the others in the group of which you are a part.
Student: I liken it to a really dysfunctional family. You know, families get together at holidays and all the dysfunctionality comes out and yet they really love each other; they are all related; they all have history together, and I think there are bonds of affection. People's work and trauma-dramas and all, do play out when they really don't need to be brought into the group, but I love them anyway.
TEACHER: Yes, they understand their kin. Family members understand other family members. You understand your cousin Melvin has a hair lip and your niece Grace has naturally curly hair.
Student: You know, it's interesting, in our study, because we are studying personality and the soul and self-consciousness and I think it's interesting that all of this comes up as a study of personality and identity and how these people are identifying themselves to others in the group.
TEACHER: Part of the difficulty is when one who presumes to know wants others to know their own perception. That is not necessary. If you think your brother is a sociopath, you need not advise your sister unless and until she is becoming mentally ill by her association with him and everyone wonders "What's wrong with her?" Then you can tell her there is nothing wrong with her but that she is allowing someone else to influence her perspective of herself.
Stand behind what is good and right. You don't have to destroy what is imperfect, just stand behind what is noble and good. Eventually you will learn that it's easier this way but it's very difficult to soar with eagles when you're hanging around with turkeys. It also may seem lonely to be flying around up there while the gaggle of geese and-
Student: -- and hens are all cackling -
TEACHER: -- merrily.
Student: Thank you very much for all your advice.
TEACHER: Human Associations are perhaps the most important thing you can be working on now. After having given yourself a good going over, this is the work at hand. There will not be much progress without these cornerstones being laid, these foundations being laid. Once you know who you are, you are going to want to associate with others and that is a lot of work, a lot of adaptation is necessary, but this is something that you will be learning throughout the morontia zones -- and even beyond -- so it is important.
It may be irksome but you see the end in sight, you see the goal, you know how it can function. Try not to limit your preconceived notions of how it should function for it may be much bigger or better than you have imagined. Just allow it to grow but allow everyone to grow together and at a pace they are able to assimilate.
One of the greater tasks of those who have much to offer is to remain students and remain teachable. We will let you know when you have graduated. You will be fused!
Student: Well thanks for your patience. It could be a long journey.
TEACHER: Gerdean, did you have any questions?
Gerdean: Oh! I was enjoying the lesson and thinking of those in terms of the Monjoronson /TeaM faction - the forest that I seem to have wandered into and can't find my way out of. I will take value lessons from what you said and see if I can apply it to that paradigm, that group, or that interaction between those people of which I am a part. So I am sure I got something out of this.
I'd like to put in a request for another T/R in this area. I need a T/R here that I can hear, whether it's a traveling T/R or a New Age channeler, or somebody! I need to learn from somebody. I need to remain a student, and so I'm putting in for an imported instructor of one sort or another.
Student: B really liked what she read of Jeremiah's piece on the Correcting Time and got very excited; she is open to the concept. I'll work on her. It would be nice to have a teacher come to Santa Fe, too.
TEACHER: It's nice to be able to talk these things over with a calm mind and an open heart, to take the time to dwell on such things as personal perceptions and interpersonal relationships and how they impact on the world in which you live. For as you live and as you relate to your environment, you affect all the world and the future. You fraternize with destiny. Every decision counts.
I will cut you loose for this afternoon with thanks for the opportunity to practice this craft.
Student: Thank you, for your advice and counsel.
TEACHER: You are welcome. Farewell.
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