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Re: Let's get ideas how to be creative

Feb 27, 1997 12:05 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

> One example of this we are trying in San Francisco is to read the
> OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY, a real classic by Mr.  Judge, in a new way.
> What we are doing is to assign to each member of the group
> responsibility for one or more chapters.  Then we go through the
> book, which that member facilitating discussion, and after the
> chapter is read, that member brings in relevant magazine and
> newspaper articles on the topic, drawn from THEOSOPHY magazine,
> other Theosophical journals, current newspapers and scientific
> journals.  That way we pause after each chapter and see how
> students have APPLIED those ideas, how modern science has moved
> forwad (or backward) from positions Mr.  Judge outlines in his
> 19th century work.

We used to do this in Los Angeles.  It gets the members of the
group to takes responsibility, to engage the text and to plan a
presentation of their ideas.  Otherwise, you have a group of
passive members reading the material to each other.

On the other side of the question: When the group is diverse,
where you have long time members who can recite the book from
memory sitting next to the newbees; when the abilities among the
members to read with comprehension vary greatly; when there is a
great difference in the ability of members to research and find
information, then a great deal of subtle compensation is required
to facilitate such a group.  Perhaps creating teams to do certain
research tasks, where the team members are mixed with high skill
and low skill members.  Then the more skilled members can mentor
the less skilled ones.

In our study groups, we have found that general assignments, such
as "keep an eye out for discussion of this topic in your casual
reading and on television" Works quite well.  No training is
required--no learning how to navigate through ninety volumes of
Theosophy Magazine etc.  Some people like to write poems, or have
their own ways of expressing what they have learned.  We need to
remain very open to these things.  Rejecting the way people give
feedback to the group is rejecting them as a person, and they
won't be around for long.

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