Read more from the Being Truly Human April 1999 Newsletter
By William Grice
…but what are we going to do now?
As I marvel at the printed pages from the Internet website for the Phiroz Mehta Trust, I cannot help wondering if we should perhaps be doing more at ground level.
This question is obviously at the back of the mind of many of us, and was brought to the fore during the Autumn School last October. From the outline of the discussions on this subject in newsletter 33, it is my opinion that attention might be best devoted to the direction favoured by Phiroz himself — separate group meetings. As a matter of fact, the whole question of group meetings was very much in my mind as I battled with the elements on my way to the first meeting of the Autumn School on October 24th. As if to mark the end of British Summertime and the ritual of putting clocks back an hour, the heavens opened to provide a spectacular deluge of rain. After the third ford was navigated (just past a house with a boat in the front garden), I gave voice to the rhetorical question, “Why bother to go to a group meeting at all?” It would be far easier to listen to one of the many tapes which have accumulated at home, or perhaps read from one of Phiroz’s books.
The answer is simply that I do not have time to listen to a tape, let alone devote an hour or so to single-minded attention to the issues that arise. Ironically, I am too caught up with life to think about the way I know it should be lived. Fortunately, group meetings not only provide a focal point to end such a ‘catch-22’ absurdity, but more importantly provide the much more vibrant element of being in the society of like-minded fellow students. Such a friendly atmosphere ensues from the attentive listening of a group of individuals, whose isolative individuality is suspended, that silences of ten or fifteen minutes may follow a tape with no awkwardness whatsoever.
All this makes the case for group meetings quite convincingly. The fact that adverse weather conditions militate against long journeys suggests that it is probably the formation of groups on a geographical basis that Phiroz had in mind.
One thing is absolutely certain: for all that I have harboured some doubts, due to feeling under the weather for instance, before a meeting, I have never felt for one moment during my homeward journey that a meeting had not enriched my life considerably.
Sufficient answer to the rhetorical question?
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