These “men’s club” conversations and ramblings grew long and started focusing on ideas about communication. When one says something to someone else there is an inherent belief that the information is transferred as intended. We spent a lot of time on discussing that and it resulted in the garden club Wise-Men’s-Council. It goes something like this at a garden club session. New entrants are introduced to the idea that the Wise-Men’s-Council is always composed of all the listeners. When you speak – everyone else at the meeting is the Wise-Men’s-Council. You are telling things to the council that you believe they are hearing. You are expressing your wishes, beliefs, opinions and ideas. They then tell you back their interpretation of what you said. You would be amazed at the differences. The cardinal rule in these sessions and the only garden club rule is that you cannot say NO to the council. The response to anything told to you by the council is – YES THANK YOU (for the information you gave back to me). It sounds simple but many men were ejected from the club because of the inability to accept information contrary to their positions. They just could not say “YES THANK YOU”. Now saying that “YES THANK YOU” doesn’t mean you agree with the conclusions of the council about your issues. It means you are hearing what was received by someone else which may be a lot different than what you thought you were putting out.
Another major subject we settled on as an issue can be described in a word. AUTHENTICITY. Most gatherings of people are really gatherings of their representatives (garden club discussions). You send in your representative because you believe that your representative will get you better results (recognition, wealth, friendship love etc.). We believe this is true – however the more successful you want your experience of living to be (Garden Club Conclusion), the closer your representative or self-representation has to be to whom you really are. This is true in every activity (we believe – even at your job, but you may have to pay dues there). Where it really counts is in your personal relationships.
Here are some Authenticity tests and exercises we devised in our discussions. Create an imaginary tape recording when you’re on the phone talking and record your conversation. After the call keep asking yourself, “Who cannot hear this conversation?” No matter how you rationalize – any person not allowed to hear the “recorded” conversation is someone you are lying to or deceiving in one way or another. Yes, you basically, when it comes down to it – are lying to them. Fixing yourself and making your living experiences more fulfilling is a process of eliminating the differences between you and your representative. Allowing the entire universe to listen in is the goal – I think maybe so far the Dahli-Lamma, Jesus and maybe 1 or 2 others have succeeded. But this is really more of choice about a direction to move in days to come than it is a specific plan of action. Are you more authentic today than you were yesterday… or less? Does this matter to you? Are you aware of the direction in which you are going?
We got a mean taste of this when we decided to invite some wives into a session. It lasted one session. (People sleeping with their representatives?) That’s what cheating is all about. It’s not about sex – It’s about representation errors – Ha! We got stuff like, wife to husband – “you never said that to me, or you never told me that” – and this was one session. This makes it sound like group therapy – but it really was nothing like that. You don’t get high at group therapy. (Not that that was a common practice).
We had our last session (after about 3 years of garden club meetings) at R—– house when he came home from the hospital just before he died. But the memories live on. Many of theFire Islandcrowd has sold and moved on. I haven’t been in contact for years. It was a wonderful time. I think I’m reliving it now because we both spent time and sharedFire Islandtogether about that time. I tried to give you a taste of the Garden Club – I hope you found it enjoyable.