Friends, remember that TRUE friendship is a relationship that has to be BUILT with ENORMOUS EFFORT, and has therefore got sweet blow all to do with what most people perceive to be "warmth!" Sadly, if one wants to be ruthlessly HONEST, then one has to acknowledge that although there is a great WILLINGNESS within the Group to build friendship, as of yet MOST of what is perceived as being warmth is actually pretty CONDITIONAL!
From a totally OBJECTIVE point of view I see within the Group a great deal of CAMARADERIE, which is in itself most excellent, but there is not yet too much GENUINE warmth, or more precisely, UNCONDITIONAL warmth! Should the friendship within the Group suddenly be SORELY tested it is doubtful whether the current "warmth" will be STRONG enough to hold the Group together. I say this because so much of what is currently being perceived as warmth within the Group is in actual fact what is, technically speaking, termed SUPPORT! But once again, as with CAMARADERIE, although SUPPORT too is an essential and necessary attribute of friendship, yet properly speaking support is an ACT of INTELLIGENT CO-OPERATION and does not necessarily imply warmth or friendship! This is why I said that most of the "warmth" within the Group is still conditional! In other words, it is only NATURAL to feel a certain sense of warmth towards anyone whom is seen as supporting one! But if that support is for some reason suddenly removed the "feeling" towards that person all too often changes. So what was quite a warm fuzzy feeling the one moment can suddenly become a rather angry RESENTMENT the next! Not exactly what can be termed UNCONDITIONAL warmth! :)
The other issue I wish to bring to your attention is sentimentality. The Group, just like ANY Group, becomes ever so sentimental from time to time about all this business concerning inclusiveness and friendship! Sentimentality is in fact the flip side of romance, for both are based within IDEALISM and ILLUSION!
If I have owned and therefore spent a great deal of time wearing a certain pair of pants, I can become so sentimental about it that even when it is worn out and in tatters I still can't bring myself to throw it away! :) Of course, we do this most especially with our HABITS, don't we?! <g> We have become so ATTACHED, so sentimental about our HABITS, that we hang onto them for dear life! And what are most people's so-called friends, other than OLD HABITS which they MISTAKENLY look upon as being DEAR friends for whom they "feel" a great deal of warmth! Is this shocking? No, I don't think so, for I know it is TRUE! This is precisely WHY I have encouraged you to DISCARD the FORMAL meetings of the UK Group!
We may have become highly sentimental about these meetings, but quite frankly, in the UK they have become a habit, a rather OLD habit that is no longer serving a REAL purpose! I also do not see too much warmth in those meetings! By this I am NOT saying that there are NOT members who are beginning to feel a very REAL warmth towards SOME of the members, but, generally speaking, the "warmth" which gets whipped up for the occasion is beginning to become a trifle THREADBARE! I mean we can only smile to a point, and we can only hug to a point, and then, well then we start to count teeth, wondering what we are doing there! But is this true warmth?
And finally we need to address physical intimacy. :) When physical CLOSENESS is a SPONTANEOUS ACT of true warmth, then it is something truly BEAUTY-FULL! But when we put the cart BEFORE the horse it just turns into a right royal mess! I don't think there is anything quite as UN-COMFORT-ABLE as when a supposed act of warmth suddenly turns into a having-to-slap-the-hand bit! It always makes me sad and miserable when this happens, for I am always left with the feeling that I now have to UNDO what I have tried so hard to BUILD in the first place! As you know full well, this is precisely why Russell and I became so deeply concerned at this past retreat, for in having INITIATED the ACT of BUILDING friendship, I suddenly had these visions of the Group going off on all SORTS of wild and weird tangents! The LAST thing I want to see happen is for the Group to become all "touchy" and "feely" and warm in the nether regions, and this in the NAME of the Yellow Rose of Friendship! <wg> And the LAST thing I NEED in my life right now, or ever for that matter, is for people to JUSTIFY this on the grounds of, "Oh! But Théun SAID that all warmth is SEXUAL in nature!"
Sexual it may be, and this for the simple reason that the ONLY energy there is, is the SEXUAL energy, but I think I have ALSO tried my damndest to make it clear that just as we CANNOT EQUATE warmth with lust, so too can we NOT EQUATE the NOUN "sex" with the ADJECTIVE "sexual," anymore than we can equate "engaging in sex" with "BE-ING sexual or intimate!" But this is for MOST people such an ABSTRUSE concept to grasp that the only way in which I can REALLY try to explain it is to use the example of the Toltec hug!
The very reason WHY people tend to shy away from hugging is BECAUSE it is such an INTIMATE act, and in being intimate it is, of course, very SEXUAL! But as you all know by now, just BECAUSE it is sexual does NOT mean that it HAS to BECOME an act of LUST! In fact, as you are all busy learning, instead of it having to become DEBASED by animal lust, the hug CAN be the most HEARTFELT EXPRESSION of GENUINE WARMTH which has its basis in TRUST! If you really come to THINK about it, there is nothing quite as BEAUTY-FULL as the TRUST that is IMPLICIT within the Toltec hug! In other words, I OPEN myself to you FULLY as I MERGE my luminous cocoon with yours, for I TRUST that you mean me no HARM! You will neither harm me by driving a dagger into my back, nor by poisoning my luminous being with inappropriate thoughts or desires! This is the UNSPOKEN MESSAGE within the Toltec hug, and herein for me lies its MEANING, namely, an ACT of TRUE warmth and friendship!
With respect to all I have shared I would like to also leave you to ponder the following! I started off by saying that I see within the Group a great deal of WILLINGNESS to build friendship, but not yet all that much warmth. There is within this state of affairs a technicality which I believe you will thoroughly enjoy exploring! I have already explained that until such time as the HEART CENTRE is open and fully functional, man is forced to express his warmth through the SACRAL CENTRE, and hence man's eternal battle with NOT being able to distinguish between warmth and lust! Yet humanity today does not use ONLY the sacral centre, for in truth his AWARENESS is centred within the THROAT CENTRE, except for the Jews who are centred within the SOLAR PLEXUS CENTRE!
However, here is the technicality I would like you to explore! When the awareness is centred within the THROAT CENTRE, man is THINKING about HOW to express his warmth which, for now, he can only REALLY express through the sacral centre, and therefore in his STRUGGLE to transmute lust into genuine warmth he EVOLVES the ENERGY originating from the SACRAL CENTRE into what is termed the WILL-TO-LOVE! The implication within this term, the "will-to-love," speaks for itself, does it not? But can you also see how it is the FIRST STEP towards learning HOW to open the heart? So, yes, although it is true that there is not YET a great deal of GENUINE warmth within the Group, yet there is already a great deal of the will-to-love manifesting VERY strongly within the Group! And it is this will-to-love that marks the REAL progress the Group has made in terms of becoming truly inclusive, open and warm!