Re: DSM: Un Nothing Non Anti No Huh-uh Not

Date: Sat Apr 07 2001 - 11:25:07 EDT

Dear Alan,

Thank you very much, you write:

> It's like compiling performance data for skeptics: the term "school"
> backwards to bring along those who aren't yet with it. It's something we
> just have to do, and it's OK, but it's not the point.

     So then, recognizing that Sudbury Valley as "school" and as "education"
is not the point, I would like to focus on Sudbury Valley as the Art of Doing
Nothing, as offering freedom, which, it appears to me, is the point. I see,
this very same point, as offering a deep respect,a profound regard. Another
way to say it, is that Sudbury has institutionalized the idea of "live and
let live". It is a reverence for boundaries.

    So, the question arises for me, are there any other folks, in all the
institutions we know of, working this very same point? Practice being more
valuable than theory, are there any other types of institutions actually
doing it? Theory being of some use, are there any folks even thinking and
considering this very point? And since the point is so powerful and useful
are there even any folks who are almost, or "kind of", considering it?

    Here is my list of possibles: (Remember, in all the things these folks
may be about, I am interested in their proximity to the Art of Doing Nothing).
     1) There are individuals that are very nearly naturals. Every now and
then, at a shoestore, or park, or restaurant, I can see it. It is
serendipity. Kind of sad that we don't yet have a range of institutions where
they would be extremely valuable.
       2) The Partnership Way folks are close with their discussion of the
"dominator" paradigm. They are about to start a school and are proceeding to
adopt a "non-dominator" curriculum. Notice how recursive this stuff is. They
are about to teach(dominate) a "non-dominator" curriculum. They could see the
paradox, but thought teaching was justified because we were all so inculcated
with the "dominator" mode.
      3) Lots of the Buddhist stuff addresses the notion of nothing or
nothingness. Nothing "sits" between the poles of an illusionary duality.
Doing nothing, a koan(a paradox - how is it that one actually does nothing,
anyway?) in itself, actually crushes the duality and is highly creative (this
is how doing nothing at Sudbury allows for such rich social and cultural
production). As an example of this, suppose we actually did think that a
child was an "improver". We have set up an illusionary duality. The child is
"less" but somehow and someday they will be "more". The duality is an
illusion. A child is not going to become anything, they already are something.
        4) There is also something called Practical Christianity (Unity
Church). They also offer a "non-improver" paradigm. To mix metaphors, they
suggest not the faith in a Buddha, rather the faith of a Buddha.
      5) The "Conversations with God" folks (lots of discussion groups
nationwide) have heavy theory. They have also started their first school,
this year, in Ashland, Oregon. After some churn, they adopted Sudbury as
their model.
      6) Finally, of course, we have ourselves, and each other.

Deep Regard,
Bill Richardson

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