Alarmed by the lack of transparency and vulnerability, and the short sound-bite rituals within the community that insured that key patterns could remain invisible within the community for decades, I tried to imagine what I could do to respond to my own frustration around being invisible and the frustration that my invisibility was itself invisible. There are many pieces to this that in my experience take roughly an hour before an individual sees what I'm referring to here in the way that I see it, whether they share my urgency about doing something about it or not.
My response to this blindness and blindness about the blindness was to sit down and take a month two write a user's manual for myself. If I could I would have started by asking other people for their user's manual, but asking hundreds of people within the community direct questions such as "What would make you feel totally and completely loved?" only to be told that they had no idea and that no one had ever asked them that question before, left me clear that asking people to write a whole book about all the secret things going on in their mind, history and how they saw others would be pointless. What has worked when I want to tease out more transparency than is allowed in our culture is for me to lead, be judged by a majority as self-centered for doing so, and find maybe 10% of people who appreciate that I was willing to "go first" and then see if 10% of those will actually follow me into the rabbit hole of "into-me-you-see" and be equally vulnerable. In and out of HAI there is less than 1% of the community who jump towards this kind of transparency enthusiastically, which means that I need to be very patient with a lot of hemming and hawing, answers that sound "Well, what I definitely don't like is when people are rude to me.... yes yes... I'm getting to what makes me feel loved. But I definitely don't like people being rude." Since this is absolutely useless (I've never met a person who enjoys rudeness, but it is useful when that question is asked to have someone say "If someone holds the door open for me I feel that they are being patronizing to me as a woman," because that is the only way you can tell the women who feel that way compared to the women who lament that "chivalry is dead.") it requires a fair amount of patience to keep coming back to the question, which can take 30 minutes to go nowhere.
This being said, I wanted to model what direct, clear transmission of answers to more than 1000 questions looked like, and group it by topic, so that I would be an open book to use. Since my book was a hundred times more clear, interesting and easy to act on than "How to Use Microsoft Word," or the equally complicated "Computers for Dummies," I think that rationally it is intelligent and shows some life-experience to want to read a user's manual before finding yourself tied up with an alcoholic with herpes and wonder how this princess drama magically happened by following one's gut. It just did not seem logical to prefer the round-about way this culture learns about and navigates around people if a user's manual was available.
I finished my user's manual and announced on Norcal Announce that I had written a user's manual, wanted to invite anyone else who was interested in being seen and understood to do the same, and that I was willing to share mine and help anyone who wanted to write this user's manual for free.
Then I worked to re-write this post three times to fit into the 550 word count limit....
I was aware that no one had ever done any of this for me. I had had to crawl through tangled messes of thoughts and mixed messages in thirty HAI partners for months to get even 30% of the information I was sharing in an indexed format so that if someone wanted to know what my food allergies were, they could find it in 10 seconds, or my astrology, or my family history, or my STD status or... Anything I had ever wanted to know about anyone was in there - as a courtesy. You cannot make informed choices that are self-loving until you see who you are dealing with. You cannot love another person (only a projection) until you replace the projection with actual data. I've had so many women say "I know you are not the kind of man to do XXXX I love you so much." To which I reply, "Actually, in XXX situation I would do XXX and in the past I did XXXX in this situation. How do you "know" because you want to have sex with me that I am all these things you have not asked about and you have only met me three days ago?" But they would actually know, since I have never lied to a friend or partner even one time, that there was a 95% chance that if they saw it in the book, that's how I would continue to be.
This posting was blocked. I had a fit. The book was called "Into Me You See." I got the idea that seeing deeply was important from HAI. Here was HAI's list manager telling me that garage sales were more important than responding to one of the greatest sources of rage and frustration in my life: Other people's commitment not to see me, and not to be seen, only to set me up for being blamed for not seeing and being seen."
So I asked why this was not an announcement? I was announcing a book. I was making an invitation. What was it, if not an announcement?
It just was not, according to Mike York and John Maguire - too people I am grateful for for moderating the list as volunteers.
This seemed madness, so I asked Jason Weston to intervene and do something, not only for me, but for any other people who were desperately trying to swim upstream in a culture drowning in minutia and numbness. Jason sympathized and asked me if I would meet with everyone involved in a meeting. I said Jason, you know the facts of this case already. If you can't and the list managers won't do anything by e-mail I have nothing more to add in person. You are either a list that helps people grow and facilitate mental and emotional depths or you limit your "intimacy" to facilitating hookup sex. I am astounded that one of the biggest efforts I've made to integrate HAI's verbal teachings is being blocked at HAI from getting out there.
Questions: How deep is the chauvinism that says that as long as people are having physical sex, their thoughts, feelings and deep truths do not matter? What would it look like for HAI to turn it's stated values into actual questions that would be the basis for action?
"Would it help our students see more about themselves and others if everyone had a user's manual?"
"Would it facilitate healthier and more sustainable relationships if people cultivated mental, emotional and physical intimacy in balance, rather than rushing into bed?"
"Is there anything better that we are or could offer than the idea of a user's manual?"
"Is it going to cost HAI any money or resources for Dane to volunteer to help anyone who wants to in our community see and be seen more clearly?"
"Is personal growth more aligned with HAI's mission than garage sales?"
Are these and other questions (these are just a first draft) better questions than: "Is this an announcement according to our non-dictionary related use of the word?" Or "Is this communication taking place in less than 550 words."
Concern: There are so many areas where HAI has no guidance, integration or protocols that insure that it's behavior produces the things it's mission statement say the want to do. When this lack of coordination and integration goes so far as to reject, obfuscate, shame and block the growth of the clients the organization was formed to serve, it is operating under false pretenses and needs a clear protocol for coming back on track.