Question: What is the role of the guide, of the moderator, in a group of integral education and upbringing?
Answer: It is much easier to study theory than to manage people and teach them practical lessons by bringing them to conclusions that they cannot arrive at by themselves. On the contrary, those who study according to this method reach these conclusions and experience this method themselves and invent a method of self-reform when they suddenly begin to feel that the group is the “artist” that sculpts something totally new from them.
With an unexpected feeling and impression, they perceive how far they can change. In addition, what previously seemed illogical suddenly becomes ordinary and what was imperceptible before is suddenly perceived and accepted much more easily, and even things they disagreed with suddenly seem different.
So first they begin to study the influence society has on a person. At the same time, each one discovers, quite surprisingly, how dependent he is on the environment and to what extent he can be manipulated by the environment.
We can compare it to a weight loss support group, or to alcoholics anonymous, or to a group of people trying to quit smoking, etc. It isn’t about quitting a certain habit and formatting a totally new personality: it isn’t your “formatting” according to the same egoistic pattern, but acquiring a totally new perspective, a new nature, a new code of behavior, and changing people.
Sometimes it may be quite unpleasant, or at least very surprising, because a person doesn’t even think that he can change himself so easily, by using the environment.
The environment is willing to help him in that. If it operates according to a certain method, and explains to people what they have to turn into, then there is an accurate mutual cooperation in the group, when they play together and this collective game, just like in a theater, turns them into totally new people. What is more, the role they are playing remains part of them.
There are many “buts” here; the question is whether the role they begin to play remains part of them forever. Does it become part of them like the permanent memory of a computer? Or is it temporary and it may change by different attributes, functions and other roles? This depends on the guidance a person receives and the guidance of the group, and on whether these groups will become a constant incentive that influences people.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 2/27/12