The idea of community has many elements and communities are expressed in many
ways. There are communities of the heart, the mind, the spirit, the
professions, of play, of geography, of every kind of drawing together that
human beings can imagine.
The concept of community implies a common interest. It has no other element
to bind fragments together. This common interest may be any of the objectives
mentioned. Consider the community that forms when people live at a certain
place on the earth's surface. This place is known among you as your address.
Those who share this space on either side, on adjacent paths within the
extension of the space, are said to be of one community. This application of
the word 'community' is easily understood. Nothing else may be shared beyond
the geographical location; nothing emotional or professional or spiritual need
be involved, just place. Certainly a community, however.
Now, within that geographical space two or more members may find an affinity
of interest beyond surface considerations such as leaf collection, taxation,
and noise levels. They may discover that they share an interest in sports.
This interest may take the form of belonging to groups who also share this
interest. This then becomes another kind of 'community' for those so
inclined, based on their common attraction to sports, either watching others
actually involved in activities or participating in them themselves.
Take the community of the spirit. This is what you who call yourselves
Michael Students belong to. You share a common interest in the teachings that
we bring and you have, by virtue of that interest, a commonality of purpose.
Even the designation 'International Community' is one of spirit. It has no
physical expression at all, but is only a vision of purpose, not necessarily
agreed upon but nonetheless shared.
A community of the heart means the sharing of an emotional state. When two or
more fragments are drawn together in affection this also constitutes a
community of a kind. The affection may begin with sexual attraction and move
into a more profound place of body/mind/spirit blending. Or the affection may
be one of attraction without sexual overtones and is then known as
friendship. The human family is another heart-based community, but can also
mean those who come together to live as family without the element of
kinship. All of these heart-bonded communities are based on common purpose
or interest, even though the emotional element implies something less remote,
something more personal.
The community of profession is a common interest in a particular way of
earning a living. It is usual to speak of 'the scientific community', or 'the
medical community'. The members of this kind of community may not even be in
the same geographical space, may not ever have met each other, may not even
like each other. They use their affiliation to their profession to create a
sense of belonging to something larger than themselves but with a shared
We will not enumerate all the possible ways that community can be thought of,
but we present these examples to assist in the understanding that 'community'
is not just or only an emotional tie that requires bonding from the heart.
This is only one kind of community.
Having said this, we suggest that broadening your appreciation for what
community can be will open up a better understanding of how fragments
experience it. Some fragments are of a 'professional' mind. That is, they
share an interest in a particular aspect of a particular group, but are drawn
to the subject matter, not especially to the humans involved. This can happen
even in a family 'community'.
You have all known, if not experienced, the situation where one or more
members of a family seem outside the pale, so to speak, are unattached to the
rest. The 'stuff' of the family for a fragment so situated is far less
important than it is to others who perceive the community of the family as one
of affection, which is to say emotion, or of reason, which is to say a genetic
connection expressed by acceptance into the lineage provided. Nevertheless,
the odd-man-out members are still of the family community by virtue of their
choice to be born into it.
We bring these thoughts to your attention so that you may consider the
ramifications of the 'communities' which you have joined or will join. Not
all of them are going to be emotional attachments, only some will have
rational components, a few will draw for their spiritual content, and even
fewer will be heart-felt, that is, centered on agape.
Each of you will choose many 'communities' for the specific return they
offer. Each of you has already joined a number of communities, either
deliberately or inadvertently, not the least of which may be the so-called
Michael Community. Keep in mind, however, that the range of possible
understandings regarding what membership implies or requires, even within our
little Michael Community, is vast, encompassing the whole of the membership.
Therefore, acceptance of this range of understanding may seriously color how
each of you perceives the rest of you and how much diversity permeates this
The framework of the roles/overleaves may be applied here. The discrete
shaping of each of you that takes place on the physical plane because of the
choices you have made regarding not only the overleaves but also of genetic,
social, geographical, and other factors contributing to your existence on the
physical plane, means that when you speak of 'community' as applied to this or
any group, you may find that your understanding is too limited. You look for
a mirror instead of a window.
When you focus on only one aspect of all the possibilities contained in the
label 'community', the one mind/one heart aspect, for instance, you end up
with a much greater mutilation than that which the occupant of the Procrustean
bed endured. Be aware of which kind of 'community' you are dealing with each
time, and adjust appropriately your expectations of yourself and of others who
share in that community. This approach will tend to alter your understanding
very much for the better and allow much more tolerance of any purely human
involvement than you might have if your vision is too narrow for the
circumstances. Go in peace.