TO: ALL PROCESSEANS 20 August 1974 FROM: ROBERT DE GRIMSTON
Brethren, As it is,
I wish I could write to each one of you personally, but fortunately ( ! ) there are too many of you. So instead, one letter to all of you.
First, to those of you who were in New York on 27th and 28th July, bless you all for the warm and validating reception that you gave us. It was such a pleasure, and it made our visit so worthwhile. The sense of unity, particularly when we were singing Process hymns in Washington Square on Sunday afternoon, brought back a very old and almost forgotten Process feeling. We set a seal on something, which bodes well for the future of All Processeans.
Next, to those of you who are starting to establish your own PROCESS groups, most of this I've already said, but it feels appropriate to put it down on paper. As far as I personally am concerned, there is at this time no official central Process organisation. The only practical manifestation of The Process, which is laid down and can- not be changed, are the written teachings. However this doesn't mean that there can't be official LOCAL Process organisations, all linked together by the common bond of what those teachings represent. And they will have my full support and encouragement AS LONG AS THE TEACHINGS ARE THEIR FOCUS.
That last point is important, because if the organisation loses sight of the teachings and begins to exist for itself alone, then it ceases to be a Process organisation, and confusion results because what is being presented (the teachings) no longer coincides with what is being practised (the organisation).
Beyond that one stipulation, the choice is yours. You may form ANY kind of group or corporatlon or commune that suits you. You don't need my authority or my permission. The Process is not even offi- cially a church any longer, but if you want to form a local church you're free to do so, and if you want to hold assemblies, baptisms, healing circles, seminars, progresses*, or any other activities of your own invention, that also you're free to do, and you may use the old Process formats, if you have them, or others of your own.
If you want ranks and titles, by all means have them. If you want uniforms, the same. Three other things though, which remain a Process consant; The Process symbol, the Unity cross, and the Unity symbol, and I would prefer that you didn't use any other symbols without first sending the designs to me for my approval.
*A syllabus and suggested format for a series of seminars covering all Process teachings will follow in due course.
Now, a few guidelines to help you on your way.
1. Where posslble, try to strike a balance between democracy and hierarchy.
Allow everyone the freedom to voice his or her opinions, feelings, attitudes, disagreements, reservations, doubts and preferences. And give them the consideration due to them, however much they may differ from your owm. Beware of the establishment of an exclu- sive group morality and/or reality, where a stigma is laid (not always overtly, but nonetheless effectively) on anyone with a diver- gent view. You don't have to agree with a dissenter - any more than he has to agree with you - but validate his reality, and give him credit for it. And that doesn't mean tolerate it or condescend to it. It means try to understand it and see its validity.
Try to base your policies and your major decisions as much as pos- sible on general agreement - and by that I mean GENUINE agreement, not acquiescence under threat! Argue your points by all means, but avoid the questionable success of agreement by intimidation.
That's the democratic side. On the other side, a natural hierarchy will almost certainly emerge, on the basis of such things as knowledge, drive, imagination, initiative, control (real, not com- pulsive!), innate authority (and that doesn't mean an ability to intimidate, but a real willingness to take responsibility for the welfare of others), intelligence, capability and experience. Allow it to emerge. But maintain its relevance. By that I mean, the most capable in one particular field should not necessarily be the leader in any other fleld. Give him his authority only where it manifests. And also remember that the higher you are in a hier- archy, the greater must be your willingness to CARE FOR those who are dependent on you. Seniority which carries with it no more than status, prestige and subservience is meaningless. So use your powers of leadership, but remember how easy it is to misuse them. Rule through love, not fear.
2. Where possible, remember that if a member of your group wants to leave it, that is no reflection either on him or on you. He is still a Processean. You're still a Process group. All you can say is that your group's WAY of fulfilling itself is not his way. Neither of you is 'wrong'. So wish one another well, and part friends.
3. Where possible, try to find everyone's talents and capabilities, and allow each person the scope and the opportunity to use them to the full. If a person is unhappy with one function, give him another, until he finds one he enjoys and does to hls own AND your satisfaction. (If there's none, perhaps your group is not his way of being a Processean).
There's a link here with point one. As Processeans, we are all equal. None of us is better or worse than another. But each of us has a different talent, and therefore a different function, and sometimes this is a leadership functlon in a speciflc area. In that area a person may be superior because he has a greater capa- bility than anyone else. Allow him his superiority, but don't let it overflow into areas where others are more capable, and don't let it distort itself into an OVERALL superiority - unless of course he's really better than EYERYONE else at EVERYTHING!
4. Where possible, remember that the end can never effectively justify the means. Because the means ARE the end. Fulfillment is not an aim for the future, but an activity of the present. To make war, for example, in the name of peace, is an anachronism.
Only the Game Itself dictates the cycles of death and rebirth, separation and unity. We're not here to implement them as a con- scious policy. We may know, for example, that reconciliation is only possible when conflict has reached a peak of intensity, but that doesn't meam that our task is deliberately to intensify con- flict. The Game does that, at the proper time and in the proper way; just as the Game implements the Unlversal Law, without any need for our intervention.
5, Where possible, remember that Process teachings are knowledge, not morality. They tell you how the Game works, the consequences of certain actions, activities and patterns of behaviour, and the reasons why things are as they are. They don't tell you how you SHOULD behave, what you SHOULD do, or what your ATTITUDES should be.
Certalnly they contain advice, based on the assumption that, on a conscious level at least, everyone is looking for the greatest possible real satisfaction, and they offer the WISEST paths to take in order to attain that. But that's not morality. Everyone is free to make his own choice, and the wisest ( ! ) thing a Pro- cessean can do is eliminate his own tendencles towards moral outrage and righteous indignation. They are both great reinforcers of fear and guilt, which are the two corner-stones of the negative side of the Game.
6. Where possible, try to find the points of agreement, rather than dwelling on the points of disagreement. Give the disagreements voice. Don't be afraid of them or feel guilty about them. There's nothing WRONG with them. But, if you want progress and fulfillment, don't become trapped in them. Resolve them as far as its possible to resolve them, and then move on to COMMON as opposed to differing realities.
Well, there are a few guidelines for you. And I must add one more; the same as the last of the guidelines for bringing up Process children, in BI 29.
So, 7. Where possible, avoid feeling bad about not INVARIABLY following these guidelines!
And finally, never forget the Process Precept which tells us that nothing is lost by falling, as long as we rise again.
So be it.