Circling vs. “Distinction-Based” Transformational Modalities
(Extract from the Circling Guide)
Here is another way in which Circling is distinct from many (or most) of the most popular human transformational modalities, and even religions.
Most human transformational modalities and many religions are what I call “distinction-based”. They create an intellectual model for how human beings operate, or a model for universal truth, sometimes referred to as a “structure”. Adopting a model or structure can be very useful, to the extent that the structure is in alignment with the truth of our humanity, and can therefore generate success and happiness.
The classic case of a human developmental structure is the Landmark Forum (previously “Est” or Erhard Seminar Training), which is the most successful Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT) of all time. The Landmark Forum works in creating success and happiness because the distinctions it provides (that include “empty and meaningless”, “come from nothing”, “enrollment and registration” etc) are powerful and accurate reflections of the human condition and of our right place in society. Compare and contrast Landmark to Circling, however, by understanding that Circling carries very few ideas or distinctions. Circling is an “integral emergent practice” because the fundamental practice is an investigation of present-moment truth or emotional reality between two or more people, with an understanding that “truth” is highly complex in many human contexts. Circling carries few or no distinctions per se, there are simply principles and guidelines. The fact that Circling is NOT a distinction-based transformational modality is one of the reasons it is so difficult to write about and why there are so few books about it. Even here in this book, words fail as I attempt to describe the aspect of Circling that relates to “presence”, or maybe Transpersonal consciousness. It is something that has to be experienced, maybe even a great mystery.