Date: 05 Jul 1992 16:45:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: the mighty prune man
Subject: Re: Flames

"Dana Watanabe" 2-JUL-1992 14:31:05 writes:
Ya know im pretty sure there has only been one other heavy flame session on sfraves and it was over something pretty stupid just like this one

does anyone else have a concept of raves being not just about music but about everyone else getting along and being friendly and accepting everyone's ideas as their ideas and whether or not you agree with them dont insult them, just tell them you disagree

really flames suck
they dont belong on sfraves nor should be associated with raves at all whether or not you need to swallow little wafers to do this, lets all just try to be friendly in person and on the net

It gives me enormous amounts of pleasure to see a post like this. I admire Dana's idealism in his attempt to transcend differences as part of a quest for community. I feel, however, that conflict is actually part of the process of building unity.

I'm reading M. Scott Peck's "The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace"; I managed to find a copy of it in the clearance bin of a bookstore here in Rochester for $2. If you don't already know, Peck is the author of a number of self-help books, including "The Road Less Traveled". I haven't finished the book yet, but I strongly recommend it for anyone who desires to be part of a community building process. (It's published by Simon and Schuster, ISBN # 0-671-60192-X.)

Peck suggests that there are four stages in the construction of a true community:

pseudocommunity, chaos, emptiness, and finally the sought-after community.

Pseudocommunity is the stage in which the group initially forms, and everyone is polite and nice. Eventually, though, differences between people begin to manifest themselves as the original facades begin to come down, and someone gets on someone else's nerves. This is the chaos stage. The interesting part of the chaos stage is that often the biggest contributors to the chaos are those with the highest intentions, the people who have the strongest desire to "convert" people over to their way of thinking. This can potentially lead to organization, a tendency that could possibly degenerate the chaos back into pseudocommunity again. A healthier response to the chaos, however, is one of emptiness, an abandonment of personal agendas or prejudices. I can't define this emptiness any further than that it is a form of death. After the hard work of emptiness is done, however, comes the joy of community, where differences between individuals can be accepted, and true love and peace among members of a group can flourish.

Further information can be obtained from
The Foundation for Community Encouragement, Inc.
PO Box 50518
Knoxville, TN 37950-0518
(615) 690-4334>

From the mighty p r u n e m a n, Rochester, NY.
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