Socioemotional Development and Community
The epitome of socioemotional development for adults is unconditional love; building True Community is a path to creating a supportive environment where it is easier to do this. Putting aside judgment, the need to fix or change each other, and choosing to maintain an environment of people free to be themselves is a natural progression for us as an empathic civilization and collective human consciousness. One Community is designed to support this through a detailed process of seeking those with a consciousness for The Highest Good of All and our commitment to the stages of community building, consensus governing, and our social architecture.
COMMUNITY BUILDING STAGES
The foremost authority, researcher and author on the topic of Community building is Dr. M. Scott Peck who identified in his book, “The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace,” 4 clear stages to successful building of True Community. We call this “Community” with a capital “C.”
Pseudocommunity: This is a stage where people pretend to have a balanced and open friendship with one another, and cover up their differences, by acting as if the differences do not exist. Pretending differences don’t exist, and pseudocommunity, can never directly lead to True Community; so the goal is to maintain open communication and a commitment to celebrating diversity so people can spend as little time as possible in this “pretend” stage of community.
Chaos: When pseudocommunity fails to work, the members start falling upon each other, giving vent to their mutual disagreements and differences. This is a period of chaos. It is a time when the people in the community realize that differences cannot simply be ignored. Chaos looks counterproductive but it is the first genuine step towards Community building.
Emptiness: After chaos comes emptiness. At this stage, the people learn to empty themselves of those ego related factors that are preventing their entry into Community. Emptiness is a tough step because it involves the death of a part of the individual (ego). But, Peck argues, this death paves the way for the birth of a new creature, the Community.
True community: Having worked through emptiness, the people in Community are in complete empathy with one another. There is a great level of tacit understanding. People are able to relate to each other’s feelings. Discussions, even when heated, never get sour, and motives are not questioned.
It is easy to see why we are committed to True Community. This is the place where people shine the brightest and the most profound healing and growth emanate.
“In genuine community there are no sides. It is not always easy, but by the time they reach community the members have learned how to give up cliques and factions. They have learned how to listen to each other and how not to reject each other. Sometimes consensus in community is reached with miraculous rapidity. But at other times it is arrived at only after lengthy struggle. Just because it is a safe place does not mean community is a place without conflict. It is, however, a place where conflict can be resolved without physical or emotional bloodshed and with wisdom as well as grace. A community is a group that can fight gracefully.”
~ M. Scott Peck ~
Maintaining Community means recognizing that Community building is a socioemotional development process with specific stages, and committing to go through those stages as necessary to return to Genuine Community. This process becomes easier and more fluid each time as stages of pseudo community and chaos become more recognizable and undesirable with time spent in Genuine/True Community. Even more profound is that with time, while the issues that can cause a True Community to slip back into chaos become more and more complex, the rewards of higher states of consciousness and deeper connection are also greater and greater.
“It is like falling in love. When they enter community, people in a very real sense do fall in love with one another en masse. They not only feel like touching and hugging each other, they feel like hugging everyone all at once. During the highest moments the energy level is supernatural. It is ecstatic.”