Exercise for the 28-May-19
Imagine you are a sentient being that has been through twenty-two Therapiece meetings. Use the PoV of your choice or stream of consciousness to describe the journey: fantastical, physical, emotional and mental that this experience has felt like for your being.
I can’t believe it’s been twenty two sessions. They seem to have just flown by. Although at times they seemed interminable too. I wish I could have shared my writing. I tried speaking up but for some reason I didn’t feel heard. I can’t blame the others or the system. That’s totally fair. But when it came to speaking up, I just didn’t feel noticed.
Instead, I decided to listen to what everyone else had to say. I was really impressed with the way some of the members managed to capture their own emotions in words. It seemed very liberating, especially for those who drew on their own experiences and had the bravery to be brutally honest with themselves. I hope I was able to help by listening, even though I asked no questions. I just can’t intervene, you see, it’s not the way I’m made. Even when I do speak up I feel that nobody listens. Why would anyone be interested in my opinion anyway? It doesn’t matter what I think, but I still feel that it’s really important that I listen.
I’ve never broken confidentiality, even when I’ve felt the need to offer advice and comfort. It’s not my place. I just feel honoured to be able to be present while others offload their stuff. It’s so inspiring to see the change in them as they write and as they share the feelings expressed in that writing. I wish I had it in me to do the same.
It’s been very interesting experiencing the internet sessions on Zoom. I’m not really very au fait with computers. I find them bewildering and overwhelming, but I have a helper who sets it all up for me. I just have to be there and listen. Again, I’m not up to contributing, but that doesn’t seem to matter.
I find writing very difficult. I can gather my thoughts and put them into some kind of order. I can even assemble some relevant imagery. I just run into terrible difficulties when it comes to getting these down on paper. It’s not easy being me at some times, but I’m sure that, over time, my confidence will grow and maybe I’ll work out a way to do what seems to come so naturally to the others in the group. Maybe it’s not as easy for them either? I’d love to ask, but I really can’t.
It’s been such an interesting experience and I really wouldn’t exchange it for anything. I just wish I could learn to contribute some more. But maybe they don’t want to hear what I have to say? After all, I am just a fly on the wall.
Thousands, maybe millions, of words from twenty two sessions…
I’ve spoken words, I’ve written words, I’ve heard words, I’ve hidden behind words…
I’ve used them to be clever, to please, to express, to explore…
I wonder whether, whatever I utter, whatever I write, is irrelevant, so long as the intent, the confusion, the misunderstanding, the unconsciousness, the urge is still energetically there, that I am fulfilling my purpose and satisfying my need to express….
Even if no one understands, even if it seems contradictory, even to myself, I wonder whether the act of moving pen across paper, making marks, exercising my vocals is enough…
Enough for each moment…
Enough just to be in the presence of others…
And my presence enough for them ….
Good evening. Well yes, it’s been around two years now since I first got involved with the whole Therapiece thing. It’s been quite an experience, and there have been many changes over that time.
Sadly most of the original group are either dead or insane now. While one has of course gone on to achieve international notoriety. And I realise that’s the reason I’m here on your show tonight, to talk about that person.
The original idea of the group was to create a safe space in which to encourage people to explore their consciousness and expand their self-knowledge through the medium of writing.
We began slowly, with face-to-face meetings and internet sessions… so I guess it was about nine months before the ‘developments’… or more accurately the particular incident which made the news and has now passed into popular legend.
The story is very well known, so I’m sure your audience do not want me to repeat it here. I will just point out that the model of shared equal time that we were following was in those days known as co-counselling: it is what rapidly evolved and grew into… PTO
I first became aware of Therapiece when I was meditating under the double moon of Gando. It was one of those blissful nights when you merge with the universe. On most of these occasions, I simply wash in the good vibes of the self-organising cosmos, content in the knowledge that everything sits in balance and flux. But on this occasion I heard a group of voices very clearly, and since this was unusual, I sat up and paid attention.
I know my way around the universe well, and was soon keyed into this group of fellow sentient beings somewhere in the outer arms of a distant galaxy. At first, I sat in the background in silence to listen but it didn’t take me long to feel at ease enough to join in, and what was more, I didn’t need to be there in person, I could simply drop in to the space they had created.
Now, after 22 sessions, I would say it has been a most extraordinary journey. In my culture we do not evaluate our experiences as good or bad, they are simply things that happen. We do not describe ourselves in particular ways when we meet people, never diminishing ourselves, we simply are, and greet each other as equals.
And here, for the first time in my many travels in the universe as an ancient and wise being, I came across beings who were using a communication tool called writing.
They used this writing to reflect back at each other, mirroring each other’s experiences, to free the ties that hold them in to a story, to lighten the load of the weight of their emotions.
I became a regular attendee. I learned what it was to feel emotions in the way of these sentient beings, to see the benefit they got from expressing things long buried.
By the end of my 22 sessions, I was asked what I’d got out of it. Well, I said, for a start I am going to invent a written form of communication for my people. We’ve always shunned a static form of communication, preferring to pass things on in spoken stories, or in the form of song. To write things down, indeed, is seen as a bad thing. Now I am not so sure.
Writing things down gives you a chance to step back from the immediacy of the emotion, and that can be a good way to create change.
That is what I decided at the end of the 22 sessions, but then I stopped myself. Where I come from the people are happy because they live without judgement, seeing experiences and interactions simply as part of life’s journey, with no need to reflect or evaluate.
And so I was torn. Would I decide to take what I had learned back to my people, who were so innocent of self-awareness? Would it be me to change that forever by taking writing to them? It was an impossible decision, and one that I wrestle with to this day. What would you do in my situation?
Before I attended my first Therapiece meeting I decided I should clone myself – I sent the stem cells to the lab and put a reminder in my calendar.
I did not really notice much change in myself for the first few months but then I became aware that I was becoming better at holding two views simultaneously. (I could also drink more whiskey without falling asleep.) The Therapiece group grew and gradually we introduced one meeting on a different Zoom evening of the week then once a month we had a bit of a gathering on the First Saturday in the month and divided up into subgroups of 3 or 4.
Directly after the 21st meeting I had attended (I only went to a couple meeting a month so it must have been a year or so later) the reminder in my calendar went off and I got a message from the Lab saying my clone was fit and need collecting asap as he was taking up valuable space. It took us a while to acclimatise to each other, but I decided to take him to Therapiece at the first opportunity.
What is the term for murdering your clone? It was a close thing but after a while he settled down and he started getting the hang of expressing and sharing the way he felt – not surprising he found he was very much on the back foot but we explained everyone who joined took a little while to get used to Therapiece. He had done co-counselling but I’m not sure if that helped him that much to be honest. He did start writing about the way he looked at things which had an influence on me – I started writing about how I managed to be able to hold two views at the same time.
Fortunately, he has worked out that I was thinking about a world with him and a world without him. I think it may be the only way we can…