|We are a Circle|
Because it has a sense of containment, the Circle process has a Beginning, a Middle and an End that are framed by simple rituals that are appropriate to the group and setting. The circle has a shared, verbalized intention so that everyone knws why they are gathered. The [formal] circle is self-governing and it corrects its course thorough the adoption of common sense agreements of behavior beforehand. When confusion arises, or the Way is momentarily lost, everyone agrees to fall into reflective silence, refocus on the group's highest purpose and follow protocols for problem solving that reestablish trust and cohesion." "Calling the Circle" by Christine Baldwin" Often the person incharege of balance simply yells "FOCUS !". Objects like talking- sticks are used to make sure everyone has a say, and no one is left out.
Hierarchies do offer an efficient means for organising huge systems, and can be thought of as a Triangle, with the Leaders on top and the masses below. In many cases the Circle and the Triangle forms of decison making are not antagonistic to each other - the main problem with the Triangle is the hidden or overt aggression behind it. It's been turned into a weapon that systematically destroys preexisting social and spiritual structures and processes the dregs as profits for Greedheads. As a product of technological culture it often reflects the worst aspects of it - the desire to obliterate or enculturate native peoples so that indigenous cultures are lost or forgotten as alternative ways to live.
The circle is a form of structure that locates its leadership around the rim - everyone is a leader, and it provides an inclusive means for consulting, delegating tasks, acknowledging the importance of the individual, as well as honoring the spiritual. The circle is a useful form for learning, governing, creating community, providing services, envisioning, and stating longterm goals; and can be extended beyond the ceremonial to everyday experience. Besides, it can withstand the imperfections of human interaction and survive tremendous social shifts. As much as we thing we know about the nature of being human the Circle knows more. If two heads are better than one how about fifty heads ? Like most institutions it has both strengths and weaknesses. Circles do break up, and sometimes the honesty IS too much...
But do do all of this, we have to learn how to behave with respect towards one another and toward our Earthly resources and towards Spirit. To use this form we must change how we interpret and interact with others around us. Don't blame me, taalk with me/ don't withdraw form me, step towards me/ Don't shun me, embrace me; don't sue me meditate with me Don't assume question, and don't let our differences blind us to our commonality.