From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Circles of Trust: Souls beyond roles

Sacred Circles (Public Domain)
When two or three are gathered, there can be a (metaphorical or literal) shouting match – or there can be a circle of trust.

In a article titled "Sitting in Circles," Parker Palmer speaks about how to create the latter.  He draws upon wisdom gained during his eleven years at Pendle Hill, a Quaker community in the Philadelphia area.

Palmer begins by discussing two principles that explain the need for such companionship.  The first is that we all have an "inner teacher"
whose guidance is more valuable than that of any outer source.  The second is that other people are necessary for helping us "to discern the inner teacher's voice…"

Palmer emphasizes that the inner world can be just as confusing (if not more so) than the outer one.  Those who believe that clarity can only be found by going within might be better served by the wisdom of
trustworthy relationships.

Within circles of trust, souls can begin to emerge from the constraints of societal roles.  A "communal space" is created in which the "inner voice of love" can be distinguished from the "inner voice of fear."  Advice is not doled out, nor is criticism emphasized.  People learn to simply listen to what is being said without succumbing to the temptation of running it through their own wringers.

Palmer concludes that if people were to interact in ways that strengthen each other's souls, then miracles would surely occur for all concerned.


Copyright August 17, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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