Personal Reflections on Contemporary Philosophy of Transformation #6

Posted on | November 11, 2009 | Comments Off on Personal Reflections on Contemporary Philosophy of Transformation #6


Then the trainer said quietly, ‘Alright folks, is anyone here willing to bet their car that all of you will deep your work for the whole weekend?’  He said it seriously.  I knew he meant it.  It was not some kind of joke or a sarcastic comment.  The guy really wanted to know if anyone in the room was not only willing to commit personally to keep the guidelines, but was also willing to bet their car that every one of the 94 others would as well.

I raised my hand.  When I say, ‘I raised my hand,’ it was more like ‘I experienced my hand raising.’  I felt a tingling all over my body and a kind of electric hum in my ears and an excitement in my belly that I have only known in deeply profound spiritual experiences.  Catharine leaned over and whispered, ‘Are you serious!?’  (We only had one car. . .)  She saw that I was.  I whispered something like, ‘It’s O.K.  We’re all going to do it.’

Now, I have to tell you that I knew right there and then that we would do it.  My statement was not a prediction, nor a statement of probability, nor a hope, nor even a belief.  It was more that all those.  In a language we were to learn later on, it was a promise, a declaration, a stand taken.  It was one of the most powerful things I have ever done, and I knew at the time that my commitment and declaration were contributing mightily to making it possible. I struck me then that where I was at the moment was called ‘faith.’

Whew. . .  I can still feel the tingling of excitement when I recall this and write about it.  I ‘got’ the workshop about empowered communication in the first ten minutes!  The rest of the workshop was very useful.  It gave me a frame of reference for understanding my promise regarding our car, for seeing what had not been happening elsewhere in my life, and introduced me to a way of accessing that creative ‘place’ again and again.

By the way, the guidelines turned out to be fairly simple but challenging things like:  Be in your seat ready to begin on time each time we start, including after breaks; Always have your notebook with you and something to write with; No drugs during the weekend, including alcohol.  There were times in the workshop where people ran in, breathless, just before the second hand hit the starting minute, and crashed into their seats.  The long and short of it is that we did it. Every person kept every agreement for the entire workshop.

The Trainer told me later that in his seven years of doing the workshop, this had been the first time that a) everyone had come back after the break, thus promising to keep his or her agreements, b) someone had actually been willing to seriously bet his or her car, and c) that all agreements had been kept.  I told him that I saw them as connected, that my stand may have created the possibility for participants to overcome things that always ‘come up’ in the circumstances.


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