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Many in Body, One in Mind

25 December 2000
Neil never raises his voice.

Hi, my name's Neil and I'm going to be your facilitator for today.

Now, the first thing I want us to do is just to take a moment to reflect on what it is that has brought us here. What was it that you were expecting? What were your hopes? What about your anxieties? I'm not going to ask you to share them with everyone because sometimes there can be something very personal about our fears but bear them in mind because it helps us to remember that we are all bringing our outside experiences in with us today and taking this experience back out. Above all I want to help you realise that this site is a mirror, it causes us to see and to understand ourselves as much as it may inform or entertain.

It's also going to be important for us to create a place of safety here, so what I want is for us all to leave our prejudices outside of the door. We all have prejudices, political, religious, whatever they may be, we make assumptions and judgements, I make no exception for myself, but just for today leave them outside the door. We all know what it's like when somebody's made a judgement about us, said something that's dismissed us, boxed us. How hurtful that can be. So all I want you to do now is go to that door, drop those judgements outside of it and come back in so that we can all feel safe here, we can all be human.

Because it's worth remembering that behind whatever opinions and beliefs someone may hold is a human being and it is important for that human being to feel heard, so please do try to hear each other; when someone speaks don't just listen to the words, hear what they are saying. Try not to think in terms of what they say in terms of right and wrong, sometimes there are things which we might say are unhelpful but it is important for us not to be always thinking that two plus two makes four, it's about breaking that circle of mentality. You are all of value, which is why we would like to invest in you.

What's going through your mind at the moment?

Part of this process of reflection, this penetration into yourself, is to find out how this site is going to work best for you. We have to recognise our differences and understand what it is that is going to best help us to comprehend and to enjoy because this isn't going to be about me writing for you, this is going to be a process through which we help each other to come to a clearer understanding of the issues involved. So just think about what styles, what kind of articles work best for you, what would best enable you to become an enabler, because we all respond in a variety of ways; I'll give you an example and I'm going to speak from my personal experience.

I lived for a period in Bahrain and during my time there I was learning to drive. Now, in Bahrain driving instuctors are allowed to offer certain kinds of physical encouragement to their students. So when the pupil goes wrong they sometimes administer a slap or a clip round the ear as a means of inducing the student to correct the mistake. <pause> Now, that kind of physical enticement didn't work for me, it made me very angry and I wanted to hit the instuctor back, instead I would have preferred somebody to have told me what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do to correct it, and in the same way you may find that you are more receptive to certain types of stimulation than to others.

So, how are we feeling? Don't worry if you're finding it all quite heavy, you've come face to face with a lot today, it's only to be expected; you were wearing sunglasses but now you've got a different kind of clarity. You'll be down here for a while but you will come up again and as you go away I want you to have some recognition for yourselves and what you've accomplished. You're a different person now than when you logged on this morning. You've experienced something.

How does that make you feel?


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

17 June 2002. Neil writes: Cockfosters
23 May 2002. Neil writes: Siege Mentality
29 April 2002. Neil writes: Oh So Pretty
1 April 2002. Neil writes: Lost
11 March 2002. Neil writes: These Are The Days
14 February 2002. Neil writes: Bedtime Story
21 January 2002. Neil writes: Said She Was An Artist
24 December 2001. Neil writes: Here's All the People
3 December 2001. Neil writes: On Antibiotics
8 November 2001. Neil writes: Private Schooling
15 October 2001. Neil writes: Morning After
20 September 2001. Neil writes: Flightpath
27 August 2001. Neil writes: Tsarina
2 August 2001. Neil writes: Family and Friends
9 July 2001. Neil writes: My Fabulous Weekend
14 June 2001. Neil writes: The Sound of Music
21 May 2001. Neil writes: Lethal Injection
26 April 2001. Neil writes: Voter Apathy
2 April 2001. Neil writes: ET
5 March 2001. Neil writes: The Shadow Over Brunswych
12 February 2001. Neil writes: Bibliofile
18 January 2001. Neil writes: Suburban Gothic
25 December 2000. Neil writes: Many in Body, One in Mind
30 November 2000. Neil writes: Urban Regeneration
6 November 2000. Neil writes: In Extremis
12 October 2000. Neil writes: Obituary
18 September 2000. Neil writes: Your Mother Sucks Cocks In Hell!
24 August 2000. Neil writes: Parent Power
7 August 2000. Neil writes: Love Letter

Let meeeeee entertain you


We are all Upsideclown: Dan, George, James, Jamie, Matt, Neil, Victor.

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