In general the theory of microcosms, as used in group processes, bothers me. It seems to me to be a kind of scientism to believe that the whole can be described by any kind of representative sampling, and directly contradictory of the systemic wholism and wholism at the core of Antiochian theory. Further, the dialogical call that I’ve articulated which draws the attention toward radical inclusivity requires that attention be paid the whole, not just a systemically or statistically significant sub-set of the whole.
Using representative samples cannot be not radically inclusive of people that are not willing to self-identify due to a real or perceived lack of good faith in the larger community, and they require advanced knowledge of important voices that just is not always possible or reasonable for communities, let alone for a lose confederation of affinity groups.
This is not to mention that it is necessary to recognize that while I have been using the term “The Olympia Reclaiming Community” it is important to state that the Olympia pagans are very eclectic and folks don't necessarily identify as Reclaiming even if they self-identify as witches.
Further, without explicit attention paid, any process that involves merely a representative sampling from the known members of the community is not only quite likely to fail to engender a feeling of involvement in the whole community but also is quite likely to create hard feelings toward the endeavour and any outcomes.
This very issue is perhaps an insurmountably paradoxical problem. For a community that thrives on consensus, how can any whole community, or even whole system, decision be made when there is also an expectation of privacy and secrecy?
Posted by John Bell on June 8, 2006
Tags: Putting Community In