Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
10-28-2020, 03:24 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 09:22 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#1
Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Hello everyone,
 
The thread Should these forums be closed? was a wake-up call for us. I am very grateful for this needed catalyst, as are Garry and Austin. Thank you. Truly.
 
Following is my full reply. Start to finish it is about a 20-min read.
 
Forum History

There has been some invocation of the forum’s biography, so I will begin there, as it may add a little clarity to how this thing came to be.
 
Carla L. Rueckert-McCarty gifted all of us with the seed vision from which grew this website, at the heart of which were the Bring4th Forums. I have no doubt that the metaphysical imprint of her spirit lives here. But to reduce the entirety of this forum environment to “Carla’s image” is also an oversimplification. Carla did not know how to design, build, or operate forums—I don’t mean the back-end programming, but the guidelines, the structure, the processes of moderation, the processes of participation, etc.
 
This is not to minimize her contribution. We’re all here because Carla gave her life to us. Our worldview and sense of who we are is shaped profoundly by the Law of One and other aspects of who she was. Carla is one of my personal heroes, the closest thing I had to a mentor in my life. She was possessed of superlative strengths that exceed what I will know in this lifetime. I am only saying that forums were foreign to her.
 
Its construction and implementation was a process of discovery, creativity, learning, and journeying—us finding our way. At the start I was its principal co-architect, so the forums bear my imprint. Monica and Steve were there at the beginning too, so it bears theirs. (Steve literally built the website.) And many others, members included, have contributed along the way, particularly Austin, Garry, and Jade. Whoever has contributed, the construction has always been in harmony with Carla’s vision. And as with everything I did, I strove to make Carla proud, and still do.
 
At whatever stage of the forums’ evolution, it has never been a haphazard experiment, a space thrown together for a free-for-all merriment. It was built with purpose and vision, and continues to be held with purpose and vision. You are co-creators in that.
 
To give a small snapshot of its growth, on Christmas Day, 2008, the forums began with these:
 
·         Strictly Law of One
·         Wanderer Stories
·         Life on Planet Earth
·         The Harvest
·         Science & Technology
·         Meet-Up Area
·         Olio
 
From 2008 onward, the forums continued to grow slowly and organically until in 2015 we implemented a system-wide restructuring. At that point I stepped away to leave the forums to the moderating duties in the capable hands of Garry, Austin, and Jade.
 
Where L/L is in relationship to the forums now: Plenum has been L/L’s most present representative. Though posting little nowadays, he does a good amount of housekeeping and bot slaying. It is through his reports that I know of Bring4th life. Austin keeps an eye out now and then and he springs into action when there is a guideline violation or other moderator issue requiring attention, but he also is not posting much nowadays.
 
We have indeed asked ourselves whether it is within L/L’s mission to continue hosting a forums, but we’ve never actually walked through that door—we only looked at it off in the distance. We do feel that Bring4th offers a service to L/L’s readership, confirmed by multiple people in this thread, and as such we feel that it ought to be sustained. But, as you rightfully note, L/L has been rather MIA. This is because the energetic cost is high and the other commitments are legion. And the forums? They could use a tuning. (Much more on that below.)
 
We were planning on making serious inquiry into the question of the forums in tandem with the launch of L/L’s new website. We had gotten as far as developing a plan to transplant all of Bring4th’s non-forum features over to the new website, thereby reducing Bring4th to the forums only.
 
We ultimately decided not to absorb Bring4th into the new archive site in order to leave some daylight between the two. This feels protective toward the archive. This means thatBring4th will retain its own domain and it will be linked to in the navigation of the new site. And SOON’ish Bring4th with finally be mobile-friendly.
 
In short, it is our intention to support the forums as long as they remain both a service to you and aligned with L/L Research’s mission. And many thanks to this thread, an opportunity is opening to evolve and fulfill the potential of the forums.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-28-2020, 03:26 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 03:49 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#2
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
My Personal Involvement

Personally, I have had a mixed relationship with Bring4th. It is part my baby, too, so for that reason and more, there is genuine love of the forums, the people, the thoughts shared. As I’ve expressed over the years, I have learned a great deal from discussion here. But a few things mitigate greater participation strongly for me:
 
1) Time/energy/bandwidth. My commitments for L/L are intensive and many. With these come considerable weight of responsibility, from all the practical matters to the people matters to “the honor of propinquity to light.” Bring4th is like a small city now and keeping up with it is beyond my powers.

2) Burnt from moderation. To a degree, I do carry scars from my time as a mod. They are small compared to what would come later in my life, but it was very hard going at times here. I likely didn’t experience gender-based animosity, as Jade reported was her experience, but my face was punching bag enough to precipitate pain. It was particularly difficult not being seen when I had poured so much heart and soul into the construction and maintenance of this place.

However, I’m not an ideal moderator. I am impacted by the thought-forms of others, particularly when they go on the offensive, though I have grown so much in that area. As Aion and Diana have described, thick skin is needed, though no human being is impervious. And the co-director of L/L Research itself shouldn’t be a moderator anyway. The target on the back is way too big.

3) Balance. In my days I am steeped I the Law of One, and in text, lots and lots of text, and in sitting in front of a monitor. In my extra few minutes, I need balance. I need to tend to relationships. To home life. To other goals. To recreation. To my dogs.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-28-2020, 03:28 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 04:11 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#3
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
About Moderating

As Jade described, there is a significant amount of work that goes on behind-the-scenes when moderating. Lots of team discussion and not infrequently lots of communication with the affected member. These processes are all described in the Moderator Handdocument. Though there have often been different depths of engagement on the mod team, decisions are always made by consensus. I’ve never seen an instance otherwise, either when I was mod or when I was watching the mod team.
 
Austin’s On the Role of the Moderator effectively articulates the challenges inherent in the role on a forum dedicated to the Law of One. A few choice nuggets:
  • “Things like free will, love, compassion, respect, spiritual evolution, harmony, free expression, trust, support: these are all vague ideas that I think we all resonate with and that attract members to this community. […] Herein lays one of the greatest challenges of this role. It becomes increasingly difficult to perform in this role through various social situations in ways that a) honor the principles of the Law of One, b) uphold the guidelines, c) serve the greater community, and d) make everyone satisfied with such a variance of perceptions in how the mod team handles things. In other words, we can’t please everyone despite a great desire to do so.”
  • “The moderator team on Bring4th collaborates a lot. I have stated multiple times before, there could be an encyclopedia published with the amount of discussion that has gone into the appropriate way to moderate Bring4th in accordance with the principles upon which this forum was founded.”
  • “We approach each situation attempting to recognize its unique nature and context. Whether to implement a harder or softer touch is always the ultimate question, and we don’t always succeed at choosing the best option, but every effort is made in attempt. We cannot please everyone, but at the end of the day, we can hopefully cultivate a community which does please most people who are drawn to it.”
Many on planet Earth endure hardships that are agonizing just to think about. Moderating Bring4th is not one of them, but for the open-hearted soul sensitive to negativity and the energies of disharmony, it takes its toll. It is by far the most emotionally labor intensive and difficult volunteer job in all of L/L Research.
 
You may recall the “thought-war” that transpires in fourth density. Of that, Ra says:
  • 25.6 Some polarity is lost due to this friction, and both sides, if you will, must then regroup. It has not been fruitful for either side.
  • 25.7 This is the most difficult work of the Confederation. Only four planetary entities at any one time are asked to partake in this conflict.
Sometimes I have framed moderating in this light. It is necessary work. It is undertaken for positive purposes to serve others. But over time it can feel that it depolarizes one.
 
A larger and more active mod team could be of aid here, because when you feel like it’s just your face receiving those blows, the demoralization grows.
 
On the other hand, moderating can also be an incredible accelerant for spiritual evolution. The catalyst that the moderator must negotiate in this very special setting calls upon and tests most if not all the chakras and all the key balances as the spiritual implications are constantly considered weighed around decisions of free will, love vs. control, accepting vs. rejecting service, etc. It is a strenuous workout for the soul.
 
It’s just that the way it’s done on Bring4th is so damned energy intensive. This is especially true for those who do more than just enforce guidelines but minister to the community like Monica and Jade went above and beyond to do in their own time. Unless you either a) devote a sizeable portion of your life to it, or b) operate as a larger team, or c) moderate Reddit style and just delete and ban at will, it’s too much for a lone individual or two who have other commitments in life.
 
I REALLY appreciate the empathy and understanding expressed toward the Thankless Role. I’m sure it lands well with all those who have borne this mantle.
 
I hear the multiple calls in this thread for more active and engaged moderators. I believe this is needed too. I’ll dive more into this later.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-28-2020, 03:36 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 03:49 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#4
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
DeTuning

Bold added + “[…]” for omitted material.

Quote:Peregrine on detuning : Why do I say the forums are de-tuned?

1)      the forum guidelines state that the forums should be a safe, welcoming and sacred space.  In my view, that was the case in years past, but it is no more.  The affect of the place has become murky due in large measure, I would say, to the visible absence of moderators.
2)     
LLR material has become just one source among many in the forum discussions.  Why is this a problem, you may ask?  To me, it feels that this dilutes the purpose of the forums and over time significantly de-tunes them
3)      Third, the guidelines state that, outside of the Cork Board, the forums should not be a place for self-promotion or promotion of personally espoused ideologies and such, and I think this has deteriorated in two ways. More obviously, it is now not uncommon for members to promote their personal projects or relentlessly propound the virtues of their personal spiritual group.  Less obviously, it seems to me that over the past while more and more members are signing up so that they can offer their seemingly authoritative interpretations of a broad (and shallow) mix of spiritual literature and traditions in such a way that they end up minimizing the import of the Ra Material.  I consider this another form of self-promotion and another influence that de-tunes the forums, preventing them from serving the highest possible good.


Quote:Peregrine on detuning: […] Although the forums were intended to be an online extension of the LLR community, this has failed utterly as nearly all have drifted away from it--including LLR staff.  Also, it is rarely being used as a resource for those with a newfound interest in the LOO writings compared to the FB group.  Likewise, it has not become its own community in any stable sense where many thousands have become members, yet only a dozen or two are active at any one time, and turnover is constant.  Perhaps, in the aftermath of various ongoing changes, a more manageable online community format could be created?
 
Lastly, it was pointed out above that the format of the forums is far more conducive to organizing information and having parallel threads than the endless stream format of FB,   But I would say that this is negated by what I would call the poor stewardship of users, whereby unfocused transient material and focused questioning are freely intermixed (even though the addition of chatty forums was meant to alleviate the need for that and the forum guidelines specifically discourage it) to the point where serious conversations are routinely swamped by trivial and undirected conversation.
 
Putting aside the periodic harsh contentiousness which comes and goes, this behaviour alone markedly de-tunes the forums by diluting and derailing the pursuit of sincere seeking, and it turns them into an overall detriment, the way I read it.


A consensus on Peregrine’s analysis did not emerge in this thread, but I (and the other active mods) think that, whether or not accurately conceived, Peregrine is tapping into something worth exploring here.
 
There are variety of reasons that others in the Law of One community do not use or visit these forums. E.g.: Too busy, don’t like to read forums, prefer to study alone, don’t know what a “forum” is, etc. But I have heard from others who took a look in here and got… turned off. I have even personally hesitated at times before recommending the forums to another. This is NOT to denigrate all the wonderful outpourings of love, seeking, and service that manifests on here every day, it just to say that sometimes the negatives can be louder or more visible than the positives. And wanderers tend to be sensitive to disharmony in their field.
 
We at L/L have a few key takeaways from this:

  • As many have noted, the forums are low in or absent of investment and engagement from stewards, whether site owners or moderators or both.
  • The forums could benefit from greater care given to both the culture (the intersubjective environment of relationship dynamics) and the focus (topics discussed, sustainment of inquiry, ratio of study to transience,) by the community itself.
  • Bring4th, while humming along and definitely not at the point of a failed forums, is also not achieving its potential.
 
I would like to speak to all three points. First, the second point:

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-28-2020, 03:41 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 09:26 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#5
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Community Tuning: Culture

To explore #2 from the previous post: One of the fundamental challenges of the forums is one of the fundamental challenges of all human relationships:
 
Whose distortions are whose?
 
Trying to unpack that opens many conundrums in the endless hall of mirrors:
 
  • Is Entity A projecting onto Entity B? Or is B’s conduct & intent really as A says it is?
  • When describing the other person, are we talking about them or ourselves?
  • Is it control to request or insist upon a change of behavior? Or is it setting a healthy boundary?
  • Where does love/acceptance end and control begin?
  • Is the other-self’s truth disrespectful when communicated?
  • What is abuse vs. what is speaking honestly?
  • Who is responsible for this dynamic?
  • Are two people actually talking to and hearing one another?
In this hall of mirrors emerges what a negative that I see a lot: diagnostics. Many are the diagnoses of others that include:
 
- This is what you are or are not doing
- I understand your motives and your blockages
- This and that and this label apply to you
- You are limiting yourself, or misguided, or not seeing clearly as me
- This is who you are

 
There is a subtle and delicate art of holding up a mirror to an other-self in order to help them to see their impact, but I don’t always see that mirror-holding being undertaken skillfully in online forums, even among the most intellectually brilliant among us. (Nor am I an adept in this art.) In conflict or disagreement, there tends to be more “you” talk and less “I” talk. Condescension easily sneaks in. Separation increases.
 
Such is the stuff of third density. Such are our lessons. As the Bring4th Principles communicate:
 
Quote:While the information we all share with one another is certainly very important, and a great source of catalyst and continuing education, the greater lesson of Bring4th is simply learning to get along with, accept, and even genuinely love one another.

Key to the forum’s vision is the keystone guideline, the first one. In designing the first guideline at the beginning, I knew intuitively that the way to fulfill Carla’s vision, and the glue which would hold this together, was compassionate communication—treating with respect the person with whom you disagree and, ideally, seeing the Creator in them. If hewed to, this principle would most ensure the viability of a shared environment for the myriad disparate perspectives, backgrounds, temperaments, traumas, ways of communicating, level of development, etc.

 
As has been articulated here, the purpose of the forums is indeed designed to be a place of welcome, belonging, and safety. Not safety from different points of view or communication styles or occasional disgruntled flare-ups, but safety and freedom from sustained mistreatment, abuse, attack, insult, and other shadows that bury the Creator in self and other.
 
The energies of bellicosity are poison to the positive polarity. The world is swimming in these energies. Just as we humans need constant moments of meditation to balance [our] activities, we need also need to balance the strife and discord of our global environment. Bring4th is intended to offer this to the weary soul who is battered by this troubled world. What’s extra beautiful about that service is that in striving for such an atmosphere, we are literally practicing and advancing our own chosen polarity.
 
This fundamental respect—the “duty to refrain from contumely [and] discord” when standing near the light—does not differentiate between those who identify as green ray and those as blue. Both have home here. (I think most interpersonal difficulties arise due not to a love-wisdom imbalance but to orange/yellow blockages, but I may be mistaken.)
 
What Bring4th asks and expects is that, at minimum, we will treat one another decently here.
 
Again, this does not mean homogeneity of thought. It means being sensitive to our impact.
 
It means, and I cannot emphasize this enough, PUTTING ONESELF IN ANOTHER’S SHOES. As best as possible, meeting people where they are.

  • We can suggest an attempt to become aware of the other-self as self and thus do that action which is needed by other-self, understanding from the other-self’s intelligence and awareness. – 18.6
  • It is a delicate matter to be of service, and compassion, sensitivity, and an ability to empathize are helpful in avoiding the distortions of man-made intelligence and awareness. – 18.6
  • Each entity has its ways of viewing and learning from the illusion, and each processes catalyst using unique circuitry. – 101.2
  • Thus, what would be an improper distortion with one entity is proper with another. – 18.6
  • It is our feeling that to be each entity which one attempts to serve is to simplify the grasp of what service is necessary or possible. – 89.30
 
The first way to build this culture and fulfill the vision of Bring4th is to embody and model this yourself. Social creatures that we are, we take our cues from one another.
 
The second way is to make this conscious in the collective mind via meta discussion. In threads, we should be reflecting on forum culture, how we relate to one another, how it can be improved. Chances are there will be a diversity of opinions, but the mere act of engaging in the conversation brings the culture to light, helps others to see and think about it, places importance on how we relate, and creates the space for the deeper self to coalesce individuals into shared values.
 
More deeply, it opens the door to allow that which wants to be born, to be born.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-28-2020, 03:43 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 03:50 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#6
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Community Tuning: Focus

Lack of focus, depth of study, and on-topicness have long been gripes. This is probably true of many online spaces dedicated to a particular subject or field.
 
Official community stewards can play an important role in this focus, as can the parameters (Guidelines & Principles) that set the intention of the forums.
 
But the community itself also plays an indispensable role. Among them, members can:
 
  • Not energize off topic or unfocused conversations that do not relate to the thread or particular forum at hand.
  • Develop a culture of reminding each other when the focus begins to veer, or flagging posts for moderators with a request to split off the derailed conversation into its own thread.
  • Stay focused! Take the conversation deeper. Keep drilling. Keep asking. Keep narrowing down on the thread’s and the subforum’s field of inquiry.
 
This doesn’t speak to the question “Should the focus of the forum change in any way?” It only speaks to how to sustain and deepen any existing focus.
 
Of course there are a plethora of other creative ideas for enhancing and tuning both culture and focus that the community itself can self-initiate. I speak now only to the fundamentals.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-28-2020, 03:45 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-29-2020, 11:38 AM by Steppingfeet.)
#7
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Community Stewardship

Do you know what else blew me away when I dove into this thread? Just how long some of you have been with Bring4th. It delights me to no end to see that you have stayed with this community through thick and thin.
 
In this thread alone I see the following accounts at 4 years or above (apologies if I missed anyone!):
 
Peregrine: 11 years
Unity100: 10 years
Aion: edit: 10 years
Great Central Sun: 10 years
Diana: 9 years
Patrick: 8 years
Jade: 7 years
Minyatur: 6 years
Glow: Almost 5 years
Flofrog: 4 years[/u]

 
And when I look at the member list, I see lots of 8–10 year-old accounts of people still active. Despite the anonymity of usernames, no actual representation of your image, and other veils, you probably know quite a bit about each other. You’ve probably frustrated each other. You’ve probably learned a lot from each other. You’ve probably helped each other. You are a community.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-28-2020, 03:46 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 07:56 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#8
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Building Anew

You know, for some time I harbored a sense that the light of the Bring4th Forums was waning. I felt some of what Peregrine described, I saw the rise of Facebook, and I thought that the forum technology might be on its way out.
 
That is until realizing that Bring4th has a core community that endures no matter the limitations and the dissatisfactions inherent in online social experiences. And, as some have said, forums offer strengths that Facebook cannot equal, like:
 
+ Exquisite organization of discussion into forums, topics, and threads across a spectrum of interests.
+ Archive and retrieval of past discussion through sorting and searching.
+ Ability to see any member’s contribution over time.
+ A sense of place that is unto itself, a distinct place that you go, free of advertising and uncluttered from the various distractions of Facebook.
+ An ability to deepen discussion over time in a way that is virtually impossible in an FB group with a single stream. (And soon to be mobile friendly!)

 
And in the discussion of what to make of this place, no one has mentioned the Guidelines, the Principles, or the two Moderator documents (available here). We already have in place a fairly awesome and fine-tuned template for L/L Research-sponsored positive online community. Evolution and refinement are available, but the wheel needs not reinvented. What is needed is greater investment in stewardship. And that is best sourced within the community itself.
 
Presently we are working on a plan to help seed and empower the rise of a Community Moderator Circle to serve as stewards in ways that we at L/L are too time-strapped and distant to do. Stay tuned.
 
And if you, the community, feel in your heart the growing pull of the transition to fourth density, if you seek greater connection, depth of study, and more meaningful positive experience, if you want more than what Bring4th presently offers, you are invited to step into stewardship with each of your posts and interactions with others, on or off forums.
 
You are here first and foremost to connect. Secondly (and still importantly) to exchange teach/learning. To achieve this, we must, well, connect. Toward that end I would encourage to, insofar as it is comfortable, reveal yourself. Put your picture on your profile. Sign your posts with at least your first name. And *MEET OUTSIDE OF THE FORUMS*. Video spaces, physical spaces, whatever---you need to see and “be with” each other as effectively as you’re able.
 
As you know, fourth density is here and growing. The new Earth is rapidly changing our world, catalyzing great pain, strife, and even chaos as it breaks apart the old structures of third density and as negative forces capitalize on this moment. Bring4th can be refuge and oasis and an active force for positivity in the world simply by virtue of people loving one another. When we keep the vibration tuned to the open heart, light then effortlessly emanates from our collective intersection in time/space, serving as a POWERFUL and BRILLIANT beacon to others in the darkness.
 
Importantly, fourth density emerges most effectively as heart connects to heart... into a network of hearts, eventually. That's where the magic is.
 
All over our planet Earth, there are many millions of wanderers. Many who are isolated and confused. This place of study and discussion can be a welcoming home to them. You can be extensions of L/L Research’s mission to serve as a beacon and a home to wanderers, not the only one on the planet, but a powerful one.
 
And, who knows what active projects might ensue if the community begins meeting and organizing itself. And what higher-vibrational third-density beings and discarnate souls might be attracted here to to support the Bring4th’s work and to contribute to the study and application of the Law of One.
 
There is so much untapped and unconceived potential here for you to collectively discover.
 
Thank you for inspiring me, and us, into renewed vision.
 
- Gary Bean

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-28-2020, 04:49 PM,
#9
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
  
Thanks, Steppingfeet, for bringing the discussion of the forums to a new level.  I have some off-the-cuff queries, in no particular order (meaning: disorderly).

--Austin's quote above about trying to please everybody seems to me to touch at one root of the delicateness of this enterprise.  That is, I think a lot a damage has been done by trying to please too many people.  For instance, there's the tacit policy of moderators taking an immoderate amount of abuse.  Is that necessary?

--Tied to the above, is it your thought that if a bunch of moderators get stuffed into the meat grinder, then each one will possibly suffer less extremely?  Is that the strategy or is there something else that I missed above which would protect moderators from immoderate amounts of abuse?

--Again related, I can't help but wonder what the experience for you has been to send people out into the field (Jade, for instance) knowing that they are freely and willing going into a mine field and knowing that others before them have been suffered so savagely (Monica, for example).  I would feel very uneasy about that, myself.  What's that been like for you?  I would think it is yet one additional layer of trauma.

--Right now there's a lull in forum traffic, but it's just a matter of time before a new boatload of restless youngsters comes ashore whose main goal is to expend energy.  They'll say "whatever" in various levels of coherency, then wander off, possibly to cause further disruption elsewhere.  What's the plan to deal with that occurrence the next time around?

On other item: food for thought.  It feels to moi that there ought to be some sort of inherent healing element baked into this cake.  Not sure what that would look like, but the need for it is abundantly clear.

Thanks very much.  And to honor your request that, if we wish, we sign off with our real name......

I wish you well,
Frankenstein!



Happy Hallowe'en, dude.

And pet your doggies for me.
    
May all beings be happy.
May all beings find peace.
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10-28-2020, 07:49 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 07:50 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#10
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(10-28-2020, 04:49 PM)peregrine Wrote:  --Austin's quote above about trying to please everybody seems to me to touch at one root of the delicateness of this enterprise.  That is, I think a lot a damage has been done by trying to please too many people.  For instance, there's the tacit policy of moderators taking an immoderate amount of abuse.  Is that necessary?

In your statement, I read two separate but somewhat related threads:

1) Pleasing too many people. The Guidelines & Principles are our best attempt so far to balance an environment focused primarily on LLR material with the human need to connect over various related topics.

For instance, in your Homecoming example, I get just as much if not more out of free-wheeling connecting during break and meal times as I do in the structured study times. Meaning that if Bring4th is a community with greater variety of color than a monochromatic focus on the "Strictly Law of One" forum (though any seeker is welcome to set up their postal address in that forum), other spaces are needed. We are firm believers in the Studies/Community split.

Consider that Ra more or less describes how we are the truth that we seek, we are our material for study, we are the generators of the catalyst that, well, catalyzes evolution. Thus a more potent learning about the Law of One may happen in a discussion on a seemingly unrelated topic because of the way the topic reveals self to self than one that drills down into why sixth density negative entities release their polarity in that density.

That notwithstanding, has the attempt to meet needs expanded too far outward and diluted the forums? That is a question very much worth exploring, and is something that we are going to encourage the community stakeholders to consider.

2) Is it necessary that moderators take an "immoderate amount of abuse"? I'm not sure how the word "necessary" is applied in this question, but being on the receiving end of some amount of "abuse" seems baked into the job, whether the most lax or the most strict online environment.

Should moderators continue to take it on the face without bringing the ban hammer down in order to appease or coddle or avoid infringing free will? A subjective answer depending on who's answer that question, and to whom the moderator action is applying, but generally, no, I don't think so.

It's just an extra delicate dance to draw the hard line on a forum built upon a philosophical bedrock that honors free will as supreme, and describes a pathway of evolution that, first and foremost, honors the free will of others.

Rejecting service, as it were, must be done of course, and it is done. And Garry and Austin have moved in the recent year or so in the direction of "take less poop."

But, again, moderating is something that, we'll soon see, is a question that the community, or members thereof, will need to begin exploring.

I take it your in favor of preserving the viability of the moderator by drawing that line more swiftly and with ears closed to appeal or argument from the affected party?

(10-28-2020, 04:49 PM)peregrine Wrote:  --Tied to the above, is it your thought that if a bunch of moderators get stuffed into the meat grinder, then each one will possibly suffer less extremely?  Is that the strategy or is there something else that I missed above which would protect moderators from immoderate amounts of abuse?

Drawing lines sooner could certainly help protect, along with other measures. But generally speaking, more moderators mean that the tough work can be rotated out (kind of like that 4D thought-war) so that each can recoup. Also, more moderators can support one another in a given effort, whether in front or in back of the house, both emotionally and logistically.

Do you have another idea?


(10-28-2020, 04:49 PM)peregrine Wrote:  --Again related, I can't help but wonder what the experience for you has been to send people out into the field (Jade, for instance) knowing that they are freely and willing going into a mine field and knowing that others before them have been suffered so savagely (Monica, for example).  I would feel very uneasy about that, myself.  What's that been like for you?  I would think it is yet one additional layer of trauma.

Hm. If I think back to 2015 when we asked Jade to sign on, I don't recall having trepidation for her. Jade was much more engaged with and embedded in the community, much more loved than me, much more active in a service of ministry, not a distant authority figure. I thought she would do much better than me. Plus, she was one of three, though her engagement outweighed the other two, which created more surface area, one might say.

When I was teamed with Monica, I did my best to go to bat for her when she was in the weeds. She also, as you know, was passionate about topics that were inherently divisive, and that coupled with wielding authority made something of a lightning rod at times. Though I did witness her give her heart's best to balance her responsibilities with her passion.

The arrangement of the core staff of L/L trying to participate in moderating is really not workable, we're finally realizing.

(10-28-2020, 04:49 PM)peregrine Wrote:  --Right now there's a lull in forum traffic, but it's just a matter of time before a new boatload of restless youngsters comes ashore whose main goal is to expend energy.  They'll say "whatever" in various levels of coherency, then wander off, possibly to cause further disruption elsewhere.  What's the plan to deal with that occurrence the next time around?

Give them your email address?

(10-28-2020, 04:49 PM)peregrine Wrote:  On other item: food for thought.  It feels to moi that there ought to be some sort of inherent healing element baked into this cake.  Not sure what that would look like, but the need for it is abundantly clear.

Can you elaborate what you mean by "healing element"? I think that Community Relationships was supposed to be a designated forum space for that, but for it to function effectively, skilled facilitation is really needed, along with non-partisan group support for the conflicting parties.

I do believe it is a vital element for any social group, particularly those dedicated to knowing the self as the Creator. In fact, our friends in Asheville are pioneers of applied spirituality in communal living, in my perspective. Recently they formed what they call a "Harmony Council" designed to help heal interpersonal conflict when it arises. (A very structured, disciplined, and results-getting effort.)

Talking to one of my friends there, he said that it was the missing organ of the community. He explained (and I have seen that) they are all diligent in doing their own work, but they lacked an intentional space for resolving interpersonal disputes.


(10-28-2020, 04:49 PM)peregrine Wrote:  And to honor your request that, if we wish, we sign off with our real name......

I wish you well,
Frankenstein!

Thanks for being a wayshower.

(10-28-2020, 04:49 PM)peregrine Wrote:  And pet your doggies for me.


Cooper and Emma Lou says thanks. Smile

And to offer a serious reply about the next wave of "restless youngsters," that's a good question for the community to source. How do you guys want to respond to anyone who, in working with your hypothetical scenario, are less aligned with the purpose and vision of the forums?

Good tidings Frank,
: ) GB

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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flofrog
10-28-2020, 10:47 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-28-2020, 10:48 PM by flofrog.)
#11
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Cooper and Emma Lou are quite great names...  Smile

Gary, I liked a lot your paragraph on each member who loves LL could after all do a little stewardship as it goes.  I hope, because being originally french, I didn't misunderstood what you said, but I was thinking it would be great to have a more or less standard way (kind of course ! ) to let new members,  ( LOL or old ones... )  know when they just let themselves, through passion, come too heated on another poster.  Something like " Hey Other-self,  it is nice to cool down "   Something really kind so not patronizing.  It is just that if we came to recognize that sentence as a standard, for what it is, perhaps done by any member, this might ease the atmosphere enough for limiting moderating.  I hope my idea is not too nebulous in the way I expressed it...

Sorry, it was just my thought when I read your passage on stewardship, Gary...   Wink

I don't remember this when I subscribed in December 2016,  but when we subscribe, to get 'membership' do we have to read guidelines or is that just there in case we wish to know of them ?

Sorry for all those questions...  Smile

signed
flo the nebulous frog
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Steppingfeet
10-29-2020, 02:22 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-29-2020, 02:33 AM by peregrine.)
#12
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(10-28-2020, 07:49 PM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  I take it your [you're] in favor of preserving the viability of the moderator by drawing that line more swiftly and with ears closed to appeal or argument from the affected party?

The answer there is definitely "yes."  Anyone member who is clearly abusive should given one warning and then, if recalcitrant, a time out for no less than three months.  Others who are borderline should be moderately less severely, but it should be made clear to them this place is trying to be a scared space--oops, I mean, "Sacred Space"--which is dedicated to loving engagement, even when ideas conflict.  And I would apply that to my cranky old self as much as anyone else: reminders can be quite useful.


I just came from lounging in the neighbor's hot tub where my memory drifted back to 2011 or so when a beloved forum member, Ali Quadir, gave a farewell speech.  He was someone many of us looked up to for his warm style of engagement and dedication to spiritual principles.  He said then that the rancor on the forums was something he felt no obligation to put with.  I recall stressing this point then and Monica saying it was no big deal when a person moved on from here.  Of course, she felt she had to bail out to save her own integrity some while thereafter.

In my view, harsher moderation is needed to retain those forum members who are dedicated to reasonable discourse.  You pointed out, Steppingfeet, that a few of us have persisted for many years here, but if you count all those articulate, caring and dedicated-to-the-light members who have likewise bailed out, the cost is notable, don't you think?

So, there's an open question whether accommodating disruptive behaviour is worth the cost.  From my longstanding perspective, it decidedly is not because it keeps this space in a sinkhole of vacillation between high anxiety and medium anxiety.  I think that's very much why so many have bailed, leaving those of us who are less affected by such stress to remain.
  
Regards,
King Tut
 

[Image: ?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsd.keepcalm-o-matic.co....amp;nofb=1]
 

PS:  Have you spoken to Coo & Lou about becoming mods?  Figlet, the pussycay whom I host has expressed interest.  However, she's on the autism spectrum and the ADHD spectrum and probably a few more spectra, which makes her not wholly reliable.  Plus, her typing is pretty bad.  But she would definitely pounce on the miscreants quickly enough!
    
May all beings be happy.
May all beings find peace.
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10-29-2020, 03:25 AM,
#13
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Thank you Gary for bringing this clarity to the vision of the forums and extending your hand to all in understanding.

To clarify my timing, I believe I made my first account in the latter half of 2010 so around 10 years now. Actually, this account is the longest lasting yet, and I will probably keep it this time. (Probably.)

I am going to give all this some time to simmer before giving my full bits in.
The desire to be free is one of the brightest burning flames in the heart of humanity.
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Steppingfeet
10-29-2020, 07:32 AM,
#14
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Are you considering implementing a community moderation system as can be seen in the comments section of slashdot.org?
 

"Sockets are the standard networking API, also useful for stopping your eyes from falling onto your cheeks" zeromq.org
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Steppingfeet
10-29-2020, 05:45 PM,
#15
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(10-28-2020, 10:47 PM)flofrog Wrote:  I was thinking it would be great to have a more or less standard way (kind of course ! ) to let new members,  ( LOL or old ones... )  know when they just let themselves, through passion, come too heated on another poster.  Something like " Hey Other-self,  it is nice to cool down "   Something really kind so not  patronizing.  It is just that if we came to recognize that sentence as a standard,  for what it is, perhaps done by any member, this might ease the atmosphere enough for limiting moderating.  I hope my idea is not too nebulous in the way I expressed it...

Thanks for the idea flo the nebulous frog. (I liked your sign-off. Smile)

Have you seen this used elsewhere to good effect? Do you think there if there was some generally agreed upon cue that would help the heated poster to know "okay, maybe I had better cool down," that it would work? How does the same work in normally phrased requests?

I don't have clear wisdom enough to know how effective a shorthand of this nature might be. For someone who understood the cue and had enough sensitivity, they might adjust their behavior. Conversely, it could also trigger the upset person into becoming more upset and defiant. Or it could be used in reply to someone who is not heated and thus cause offense, or it could be used facetiously, or in other misapplications.

I generally wouldn't think that posters would be that programmatic as to adjust their behavior the same way one would hit the brakes at a stop sign, but it's worth a shot! You could start a new Bring4th cultural meme. (And by meme, I don't mean pictures + words.)

Also, thank you for considering what can be done to help tune up the place. Smile


(10-28-2020, 10:47 PM)flofrog Wrote:  I don't remember this when I subscribed in December 2016,  but when we subscribe, to get 'membership' do we have to read guidelines or is that just there in case we wish to know of them ?

Good question. This page is what one sees when registering. (You can go to that page at any time by clicking "Click for free membership!" on the home page. We should really remove that exclamation mark.)

The new registrant clicks an "I agree" button in response to "By continuing with registration, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agree to this policy; and that you have read, understand, and will comply with the Bring4th Guidelines." With a link to the Guidelines.


(10-28-2020, 10:47 PM)flofrog Wrote:  Sorry for all those questions...  Smile

Two whole questions was a lot, I admit... ;-)

Reply to more posts later.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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flofrog
10-29-2020, 07:45 PM,
#16
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
In my humble opinion, allow me to offer a suggestion.

It could be a rule, that if say 80% of a post is completely unrelated and off-topic from the original post on a thread, then that post should be split off into another thread.

This is not to be rude, as some tangents brought up by posters deserve their own thread for deeper exploration! But of course, there will be those topics that don't attract engagement, and so that comment can stand alone in its own thread. It would be the responsibility of the members here to energise those conversations which are productive, and leave alone those conversations that are less so.  

If the poster is upset that their post has been split off from the original thread, then they can be invited to edit their post and try again to join in on the original thread. I think this can be a great discipline in improving one's communication as well.

Now there is the problem that this would require a lot of work - so I propose that some senior members which have proved good discernment, commitment and unbiased action, could be invited to have the administrative ability to perform such thread splits. I do think there are members here that read most of what is posted and have the maturity to perform such a task.

This would be a separate and more limited role than full moderation. As of course moderators have total administrative permissions, with the ability to delete posts and ban members. I do think that these more intensive responsibilities should be reserved for those few who are very close to L/L Research.

I'm not that into the idea of group voting systems, as it has a little "mob rule" vibe for me ... but that could just be my own bias. Smile
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10-30-2020, 11:11 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-30-2020, 11:12 AM by flofrog.)
#17
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
I agree about the issue of the mob system.

I also think my idea of cool down would trigger most probably more upsets.

I really think peregrine/KingTut has a point about the three month hold, to keep the space sacred (scared Big Grin ) but how can one get to that without way more scanning from moderators. And yet perhaps when signing in, separate agreeing to each few strong rule might help new member, such as cranky peregrine, understanding that this is the way we have to behave... Big Grin
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10-30-2020, 11:19 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-30-2020, 12:10 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#18
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(10-29-2020, 02:22 AM)peregrine Wrote:  Anyone member who is clearly abusive should given one warning and then, if recalcitrant, a time out for no less than three months.  Others who are borderline should be moderately less severely, but it should be made clear to them this place is trying to be a scared space--oops, I mean, "Sacred Space"--which is dedicated to loving engagement, even when ideas conflict. And I would apply that to my cranky old self as much as anyone else: reminders can be quite useful.

You described the basic gist of moderator procedure: warning followed by action. Due to the infinitely unique circumstances, though, the warnings may be multiple, or there may be other complicating factors.

I don't think the "clearly abusive" cases are difficult to make decisions about. I think the real challenge lives in the grey areas. Some are adept at straddling the boundary without quite blatantly going over.

Take these reflections with the caveat that I haven't been an active mod for over five years, though I've passively watched their processes.

Also, I appreciate the self-accountability in the final statement.


(10-29-2020, 02:22 AM)peregrine Wrote:  I just came from lounging in the neighbor's hot tub where my memory drifted back to 2011 or so when a beloved forum member, Ali Quadir, gave a farewell speech.  He was someone many of us looked up to for his warm style of engagement and dedication to spiritual principles.  He said then that the rancor on the forums was something he felt no obligation to put with.  I recall stressing this point then and Monica saying it was no big deal when a person moved on from here.  Of course, she felt she had to bail out to save her own integrity some while thereafter.

In my view, harsher moderation is needed to retain those forum members who are dedicated to reasonable discourse.  You pointed out, Steppingfeet, that a few of us have persisted for many years here, but if you count all those articulate, caring and dedicated-to-the-light members who have likewise bailed out, the cost is notable, don't you think?

I agree, more or less. It is right to lament lost community members who may otherwise still be here were it not for correctable imperfections in the forums.

*If* efforts can be made to retain love-and-wisdom oriented contributors dedicated to Law of One study by procuring a more friendly, kind, and focused forums, then all efforts ought to be made.

We are entering a moment when it is time to collectively reassess what this place is and what can be done to "tune" it: to help it fulfill its potential to be a place of sacred study, of service to others, of community, and an online home for wanderers.

Thank you, Peregrine, for stimulating this discussion. I hope your voice continues, and I hope more voices will join.

*A quick addendum to the above thought. We could pad the place with pillows and still high-vibrational contributors may find reason to be upset with the forums, perhaps for reason of not enjoying their reflection, or other triggers personal to their distortions. In other words, not every resignation is the fault of forum design, focus, or vibe. (Though it very well could be the limited amount of emoticons.)


(10-29-2020, 02:22 AM)peregrine Wrote:  So, there's an open question whether accommodating disruptive behaviour is worth the cost.  From my longstanding perspective, it decidedly is not because it keeps this space in a sinkhole of vacillation between high anxiety and medium anxiety.  I think that's very much why so many have bailed, leaving those of us who are less affected by such stress to remain.

Ha. The high to medium anxiety... I'm not sure you're describing the forums exclusively. I think what you're speaking about is planet Earth. I would wager that the majority of our social experiences are inherent with this anxiety. Look at the chemicals we douse our bodies with to mitigate this. (And I'm no stranger to a good drink.)

Consider that even in pre-veiled life - where there was no insecurity, no true fear, no isolation, and no lies (I presume), where they blissed out night and day on the happy bus - there was still some measure of disharmony:

Quote:83.10 The societies before veiling did not depend in any case upon the intentional enslavement of some for the benefit of others, this not being seen to be a possibility when all are seen as one. There was, however, the requisite amount of disharmony to produce various experiments in what you may call governmental or societal structures.
  
I say this not to discourage reform, but to balance our vision with an awareness that dissatisfaction/disharmony will be inextricablely woven into our social experiences.

I think we should nevertheless strive to turn down the dial a few notches on whatever it is that is contributing to this anxiety. What, Frank, is your anxiety level when surfing these here forums?

Re "Cou and Lou" (ha), they would be unideal for the job. A frisbee, a treat, or, for Cooper, a dog to hump and they would forget their responsibilities.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-30-2020, 12:04 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-30-2020, 12:49 PM by Steppingfeet.)
#19
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(10-29-2020, 07:45 PM)Louisabell Wrote:  In my humble opinion, allow me to offer a suggestion.

Opinions welcome!  

(10-29-2020, 07:45 PM)Louisabell Wrote:  It could be a rule, that if say 80% of a post is completely unrelated and off-topic from the original post on a thread, then that post should be split off into another thread. This is not to be rude, as some tangents brought up by posters deserve their own thread for deeper exploration!

You speak after my own heart.

I don't know what the proper ratio of off-topic is, but I am a lover of the free-flow spontaneity of discussion and discovery balanced by structure, organization, and topical focus. If I could make a couple more copies of me, I would devote the time of one of them to housekeeping the forums: splitting off threads, merging threads, playing wack-a-mole with derailment, etc.

Sustained (and increasingly single-pointed) focus is one of the essential-most ingredients for the upward path of the adept, and it is also essential for productive study.

Of course it is near impossible to isolate any given topic in a faraday cage so that it remains unaffected by outside influence. Everything is known through comparative study, and the introduction of seemingly unrelated ideas may benefit greatly the subject at hand. But some posting does go right off the figurative rails, having little to no bearing on the thread's subject, even as an evolution thereof.

But this focus isn't need for every subforum. Some subforums are better suited to meandering discussion.  

Idea Maybe some forums can be designated as places of enhanced (or enforced) focus.


(10-29-2020, 07:45 PM)Louisabell Wrote:  But of course, there will be those topics that don't attract engagement, and so that comment can stand alone in its own thread. It would be the responsibility of the members here to energise those conversations which are productive, and leave alone those conversations that are less so.

Indeed! But to build that culture requires... building that culture. Conscious, perhaps even coordinated efforts of a critical mass of people adhering to a basic ethos.

That "coordination" needn't happen through meetings and planning, per se, but simply through the mutual reinforcement of visible action after action that follows the setting of the intention.

Always there is a greater intelligence that coordinates groupings of entities who align with shared intention and values.


(10-29-2020, 07:45 PM)Louisabell Wrote:  If the poster is upset that their post has been split off from the original thread, then they can be invited to edit their post and try again to join in on the original thread. I think this can be a great discipline in improving one's communication as well.

I appreciate the space for development and accommodation, vs.: "this doesn't belong, go away." Some derailment may inadvertently happen by people who sincerely meant to contribute.


(10-29-2020, 07:45 PM)Louisabell Wrote:  Now there is the problem that this would require a lot of work - so I propose that some senior members which have proved good discernment, commitment and unbiased action, could be invited to have the administrative ability to perform such thread splits. I do think there are members here that read most of what is posted and have the maturity to perform such a task.

This would be a separate and more limited role than full moderation. As of course moderators have total administrative permissions, with the ability to delete posts and ban members. I do think that these more intensive responsibilities should be reserved for those few who are very close to L/L Research.

Personally I am totally in favor of housekeeping roles. (If there's a better term, I'm all ears.) In fact, the basic idea you describe was first designed for Jade as the entry point into moderatorship. Though it hasn't been employed since.

[Going to wax philosophic for a moment, but it will tie into the forums I swear!]

To function as a whole is necessarily to organize, much as the way the concept is embedded in the word "organism." Scattered, uncoordinated, random energies don't cohere into productive, upward movement without focus and organization.

This organization isn't an end in itself, otherwise one risks moving in the direction of the negative path that imposes the self's vision of order onto the already divinely ordered creation. Instead, it is the organizing of the container through which spontaneity flows without impediment.

Much like how the development, discipline, and eventual crystallization of the energy centers form an organized, crystallized stability which renders the personality transparent. Then the cosmic prana of the south pole moves higher upward to meet the inner light of the north pole in order that the self may enter a more profoundly, acutely realized present moment, living without pretense, living authentically as it is, living spontaneously.

All the various subforums (organs) of the The Bring4th Forums also constitute an organism which, through the multiparty coordination of individuals, may discipline the outer nature in order to unify into a coherent whole.

I'm feeling tired. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for the great thoughts, Louisabell.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-30-2020, 12:06 PM,
#20
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Aion, I was wondering when you originally signed on, as you ditched a previous account (or two). 10 years? Wow. Thanks for the info. I edited my post.

Patrick, not at this time, no. We are exploring another model. More soon coming.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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10-30-2020, 02:32 PM,
#21
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Thank you Gary for your renewed vision of a "reset" of the forums rather than a "shutdown." I think these forums provide a service to the world, and not just to the members who are active here—but to the larger group of visitors seen here daily.

Like Aion, I am letting all this percolate a bit, glad that there is the opportunity to regroup and evolve as a community. 
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10-31-2020, 12:37 AM,
#22
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(10-28-2020, 07:49 PM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  
(10-28-2020, 04:49 PM)peregrine Wrote:  One other item: food for thought.  It feels to moi that there ought to be some sort of inherent healing element baked into this cake.  Not sure what that would look like, but the need for it is abundantly clear.

Can you elaborate what you mean by "healing element"? I think that Community Relationships was supposed to be a designated forum space for that, but for it to function effectively, skilled facilitation is really needed, along with non-partisan group support for the conflicting parties.

Several times per year a member will dump a load of "woe is me, my life sucks!" in a forum.  I was thinking maybe we could have (1) a special spot for people to unload their troubles and (2) a weekly time set aside [maybe Thursdays 7pm local time, as an example] for all to send love and light to those who request it.  Then we could check in to that special spot to say that we did our duty.  There's been some discussion of members wanting to give a little something back towards the LLR general enterprise, and I think it might help tune the forum a wee bit to do something like this, provided there is enough commitment to do so.  And, speaking of tuning (which is a key spiritual element up for discussion right now, I should think)...............


(10-30-2020, 11:19 AM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  We are entering a moment when it is time to collectively reassess what this place is and what can be done to "tune" it: to help it fulfill its potential to be a place of sacred study, of service to others, of community, and an online home for wanderers.

Have you any further thoughts along these lines?


(10-30-2020, 11:19 AM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  Re "Coo and Lou" (ha), they would be unideal for the job. A frisbee, a treat, or, for Cooper, a dog to hump and they would forget their responsibilities.

Yes, perhaps, but was it really that much different when you were moderating?  (Be honest.)

  
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10-31-2020, 12:57 AM,
#23
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
As something complementary to the rest of what's discussed here, I'd like to bring out, more clearly, two main idea I had and briefly mentioned here in the "Should these forums be closed?" thread...


The overall intellectual level of discussion suffers when what participants build up and refer to (both in their minds and in text) is diluted by noise. Noise is however inevitable when there is openness and free flow of inspiration in discussion, instead of rigidity of form.

Compared to other online communities with a serious purpose, I have found Bring4th to be closer to an end of a spectrum, with excellent flow of inspiration, but also significant "noisiness" or "dilution" limiting the level of discussion.

A compromise comes automatically, in large part, when having one shared environment for the more clear and structured content contributed by the community, and the more open-ended discussion and looser chatting. Consciously or unconsciously, a line then is drawn somewhere along the spectrum.

A suggestion for an environment where the compromise would be less severe, allowing increased level of discussion without rigidity, would be to have a complementary way for the community to build content. My favorite idea would be a community wiki. That's one way in which, over time, members could create a nicely edited concise overview of key topics, which can then be referred to in forum discussions. The memory of past insight then more clearly and sturdily represented, noisiness in discussions cause less intellectual erosion.

If made, the possible contents of such a wiki may overlap with the LLR book series planned and including the Concept Guide. At least the way I thought of it before, "[...] a more structured broader overview of how the LOO relates to other spiritual topics. Hopefully concise and universal by avoiding the adding of dogmas and distortions, and instead relating things to the LOO in as logically sound a way as is possible."


Secondly, with the bigger discussion described as a "wake up call" for the staff, here's some thoughts on why that situation developed in the first place...

Jade described how the moderators felt that their actions were unwanted, after some loud voices criticized anything being done. I pointed out that "the kind of things which are the most easily expressed will be expressed the most thoughtlessly", including in knee-jerk leaps from general liking for free speech to ignoring the context of abuse being hurled around.

Also, one side of the collective mentality expressed itself while the larger remainder of it was not heard. The moderators took the visible part for the larger whole, and falsely came to view their work as unwanted. At the time, they did not actively search for more information which would have given an accurate view of the situation.

That's one illustration of how passively taking in the opining of people is not a reliable way of measuring where a community is truly at. That's really a common theme in the life of groups and societies, impacting going-ons in all kinds of ways. It could potentially bite again differently. So there's something more general which could be learned, having to do with being pro-active in bridging communication gaps before they grow too far. Easier said than done, of course.
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Steppingfeet
10-31-2020, 09:53 AM,
#24
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(10-30-2020, 12:04 PM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  [Going to wax philosophic for a moment, but it will tie into the forums I swear!]

To function as a whole is necessarily to organize, much as the way the concept is embedded in the word "organism." Scattered, uncoordinated, random energies don't cohere into productive, upward movement without focus and organization.

This organization isn't an end in itself, otherwise one risks moving in the direction of the negative path that imposes the self's vision of order onto the already divinely ordered creation. Instead, it is the organizing of the container through which spontaneity flows without impediment.

Much like how the development, discipline, and eventual crystallization of the energy centers form an organized, crystallized stability which renders the personality transparent. Then the cosmic prana of the south pole moves higher upward to meet the inner light of the north pole in order that the self may enter a more profoundly, acutely realized present moment, living without pretense, living authentically as it is, living spontaneously.

All the various subforums (organs) of the The Bring4th Forums also constitute an organism which, through the multiparty coordination of individuals, may discipline the outer nature in order to unify into a coherent whole.

I'm feeling tired. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for the great thoughts, Louisabell.

I'm glad you went philosophical - that is such a beautiful way of explaining the delicate balance sought here! Organization alone cannot make community. But like the trellis, it provides the foundation and structure which allows the climbing rose-bush to flourish and bloom, thereby providing much beauty.

Thank you! Looking forward to hearing further updates. Exciting times. Smile
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hounsic, Steppingfeet
11-05-2020, 11:45 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-06-2020, 11:42 AM by Steppingfeet.)
#25
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(10-28-2020, 07:49 PM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  Can you elaborate what you mean by "healing element"? I think that Community Relationships was supposed to be a designated forum space for that, but for it to function effectively, skilled facilitation is really needed, along with non-partisan group support for the conflicting parties.

(10-31-2020, 12:37 AM)peregrine Wrote:  Several times per year a member will dump a load of "woe is me, my life sucks!" in a forum.  I was thinking maybe we could have (1) a special spot for people to unload their troubles and (2) a weekly time set aside [maybe Thursdays 7pm local time, as an example] for all to send love and light to those who request it.  Then we could check in to that special spot to say that we did our duty.  There's been some discussion of members wanting to give a little something back towards the LLR general enterprise, and I think it might help tune the forum a wee bit to do something like this, provided there is enough commitment to do so.  And, speaking of tuning (which is a key spiritual element up for discussion right now, I should think)...............

Ah, I see now what you were aiming at. I don't think it would be feasible to have one spot only across the forums with a sign that says "Unload Troubles Here," but I think it's entirely reasonable to have a particular thread dedicated to requesting and returning healing or comfort or support.

People in need of prayers, or encouragement, or just a positive reflection could ask for such there, or they could just share their challenging condition. Then others could chime in here and there with notes of support, and for a dedicated few, a prayer circle could be held at a designated time each week, as you indicate.

I can speak to what I think are the merits of any given idea, but implementation is beyond my already claimed powers. I think any regularly meeting group needs an anchor, someone or someones who can reliably show up, hold the space, and keep the torch lit. You know anyone who might be inclined to take the lead and hold the light for such a thing? Say, someone with lots of good ideas for deepening a supportive, communal experience here?



(10-30-2020, 11:19 AM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  We are entering a moment when it is time to collectively reassess what this place is and what can be done to "tune" it: to help it fulfill its potential to be a place of sacred study, of service to others, of community, and an online home for wanderers.

(10-31-2020, 12:37 AM)peregrine Wrote:  Have you any further thoughts along these lines?

Thanks for asking. Most of my presently available energy toward those above-stated goals was expended in this thread and in behind-the-scenes work we're undertaking now in an effort to turn moderation over to the community.

Like I mentioned in this thread, I think that if the focus is sustained, if a culture of mutual respect predominates, if people make an effort to connect off-forums in non-text ways, if groups organize service-oriented activities (like the one you described above), if people become less anonymous, big strides will have been made.

Intentional and organization efforts to direct attention (say, driving a particular thread, or organizing a focus study session on a particular topic or session) or efforts to direct service (group prayer, group meditation (as Garry and Jade were doing), welcoming committees, accountability circles, service exchanges) would go a long way toward all these goals.

Keep your hand on that ladle and continue the stirring the soup, Peregrine. But once hot and cooked, don't forget to pour the soup into bowls and serve it up!


(10-30-2020, 11:19 AM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  Re "Coo and Lou" (ha), they would be unideal for the job. A frisbee, a treat, or, for Cooper, a dog to hump and they would forget their responsibilities.

(10-31-2020, 12:37 AM)peregrine Wrote:  Yes, perhaps, but was it really that much different when you were moderating?  (Be honest.)

You got me. Frisbees, dog biscuits, and dog butts... irresistible distractions when attempting to fulfill my responsibilities to the forums.


(10-30-2020, 02:32 PM)Diana Wrote:  Thank you Gary for your renewed vision of a "reset" of the forums rather than a "shutdown." I think these forums provide a service to the world, and not just to the members who are active here—but to the larger group of visitors seen here daily.


How I wish we could poll non-posting visitors! I spoke with a Law of One friend last week. I shared with her the recent ongoings in the forums and, to my surprise, she said that she used to be a frequent visitor. I asked what her honest thoughts were about the forums, expecting a critical review, but she gushed and said that she loved the place, having left with print-outs of different posts to bring to the physically meeting LOO study group she was a member of. Her only critique was that the search feature has a minimum four-character limit.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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flofrog
11-10-2020, 07:19 PM,
#26
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Hey Asolsutsesvyl

(10-31-2020, 12:57 AM)Asolsutsesvyl Wrote:  A compromise comes automatically, in large part, when having one shared environment for the more clear and structured content contributed by the community, and the more open-ended discussion and looser chatting. Consciously or unconsciously, a line then is drawn somewhere along the spectrum.

I hear what you're saying, I think. This hearkens back to the creation of the studies/community split.

(10-31-2020, 12:57 AM)Asolsutsesvyl Wrote:  A suggestion for an environment where the compromise would be less severe, allowing increased level of discussion without rigidity, would be to have a complementary way for the community to build content. My favorite idea would be a community wiki. That's one way in which, over time, members could create a nicely edited concise overview of key topics, which can then be referred to in forum discussions. The memory of past insight then more clearly and sturdily represented, noisiness in discussions cause less intellectual erosion.

A Law of One wiki in general would be an incredible idea. Though I think that the alignment of diverse viewpoints necessary for a wiki on these often subjectively interpreted metaphysical concepts might prove elusive.

(10-31-2020, 12:57 AM)Asolsutsesvyl Wrote:  If made, the possible contents of such a wiki may overlap with the LLR book series planned and including the Concept Guide. At least the way I thought of it before, "[...] a more structured broader overview of how the LOO relates to other spiritual topics. Hopefully concise and universal by avoiding the adding of dogmas and distortions, and instead relating things to the LOO in as logically sound a way as is possible."

A wiki could have the benefit of harmonizing dogmas and distortions so that the Confederation's intended message and perspective may shine through; or, conversely, articles may become incoherent with inconsistent points of view. Be interesting to see!

(10-31-2020, 12:57 AM)Asolsutsesvyl Wrote:  Also, one side of the collective mentality expressed itself while the larger remainder of it was not heard. The moderators took the visible part for the larger whole, and falsely came to view their work as unwanted. At the time, they did not actively search for more information which would have given an accurate view of the situation.

Certainly the loudest voices can drown out or obscure the less loud or silent voices. Per the design of our archetypal mind, catalyst which is perceived as negative tends to grab the attention, and it can lead to a skewed worldview or perception. I'm sure that I have been susceptible to that mechanism during my time serving the forums.

At the same time, voices of support could be helpfully expressed as well.

Thank you Asolsutsesvyl. : )

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. - Rumi
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flofrog
11-11-2020, 01:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-11-2020, 01:51 AM by Vasilisa.)
#27
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
(11-10-2020, 07:19 PM)Steppingfeet Wrote:  A Law of One wiki in general would be an incredible idea. Though I think that the alignment of diverse viewpoints necessary for a wiki on these often subjectively interpreted metaphysical concepts might prove elusive.

My comment may not be entirely appropriate, but I know that in Russian there is for example a theopedia, where the basic concepts from the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky are presented in a structured form.

https://ru.teopedia.org/hpb/%D0%9C%D0%B0%D1%85%D0%B0%D1%82

Or the encyclopedia of Thelema thelemapedia
http://www.wiki93.ru/index.php/%D0%A2%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B0%D0%BF%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%B8%D1%8F

Or, for example, Wikiquote on the books of Castaneda

https://ru.wikiquote.org

PS These strange icons "B5%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BC%"  in links are Russian names that the browser doesn't understand.

And I couldn't insert the last link correctly. In the search bar you need to score Учение Дона Хуана or Карлос Кастанеда
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Steppingfeet
11-11-2020, 02:19 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-11-2020, 02:41 AM by Aion.)
#28
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Some of you may not be aware that there was a sincere effort to create a Ra Material wikipedia page in the past and it was deleted multiple times.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AThe_Law_of_One_(The_Ra_Material)%2FArchive_1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AThe_Law_of_One_(The_Ra_Material)%2FArchive_2

According to Wikipedia pundits it is "not notable" and not mainstream enough to deserve an article. Keeping in mind that Wikipedia is fueled by empirical skeptics.

Not that there's anything wrong with being that type of person, they just don't usually take to this kind of 'fringe' stuff.
The desire to be free is one of the brightest burning flames in the heart of humanity.
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Steppingfeet
11-11-2020, 03:05 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-11-2020, 03:06 AM by Vasilisa.)
#29
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
I wasn't talking about Wikipedia Smile And about processing in the form of an "encyclopedia" in almost the image and likeness of Wikipedia. And I gave a few links to Russian-language resources that are familiar to me.

In the English-language Wikiquote there is such a very small page.. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Carla_Rueckert
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11-11-2020, 03:12 AM,
#30
RE: Building Anew: Inspired Community Stewardship
Sorry I was more noting because Gary mentioned it, forgot to quote him.
The desire to be free is one of the brightest burning flames in the heart of humanity.
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