a personal account of the core of CCI John Heron 7 October 2009
This is my vision of what CCI has the potential to be, and is, in my view, in the process of becoming:
1. I see CCI as a worldwide federation of independent local self-help communities whose members are trained to become competent in whole person development.
2. This development includes at least six dynamically interrelated paths:
- Healing past and present emotional trauma by catharsis, transmutation and re-evaluation.
- Celebration and validation of self and others and the wider world.
- Creative thinking and the life-enhancing transformation of personal beliefs.
- Goal-setting and action-planning for personal, social and planetary flourishing.
- Artistic expression of unfolding insights.
- Opening to the spiritual and the subtle, especially the presence between autonomous and co-operative peers.
3. Members are trained to work in pairs, taking turns to be in the primary role of self-directed worker and in the supportive role of co-worker.
- The worker always keeps some attention outside their work within any path in order creatively to direct that work, and also to be alert to switch to any other path that calls to make its contribution.
- Before starting work, the worker chooses the contract in terms of which any facilitation is offered by the co-worker, whose basic support within every contract is to give unrestricted free attention to the worker’s emergence.
4. The CCI belief system affirms that the guiding authority for the work of personal development manifests in a uniquely creative way within each worker, an idiosyncratic personal authority which is refined in the crucible of validation and facilitation by co-workers.
5. Within the CCI worldwide federation there is no central control of anything.
- Local communities are self-organizing with regard to the training and accreditation of teachers, and to the schedule of basic and advanced workshops and other developmental events.
- International workshops held regularly in various parts of Europe, the USA and New Zealand, provide a forum for sharing differences of local approaches, for co-creative hybridization between them, and also for stimulating ongoing international discussions online.
- This kind of mutual education and collaborative inquiry makes possible a forward movement of basic CCI beliefs and practices, the soundness and validity of which are thereby enhanced by a continuous, ongoing and informal kind of participatory action research.
6. Leadership within CCI communities is a spontaneous, emergent phenomenon, where different members at different times, validated and supported by their peers to do so, take initiatives to train newcomers, and to organize and facilitate a wide range of peer support, development and inquiry groups for established members. This kind of leadership of an event is primarily authenticated by the degree to which it enhances the personal autonomy and interpersonal co-operation and co-creativity of those participating in it.
7. There is no one exclusively valid account of the core of CCI. Validity is a social phenomenon, progressively built up by the way in which a whole range of individual accounts both overlap to empower each other, and also have differences of style, emphasis and content to enrich and complement each other with idiosyncratic personal wisdom.
8. The CC in the acronym CCI can stand for different titles: ‘Co-counselling’, to bring out CCI’s historical roots, ‘Co-creation’ to affirm its innovative developmental work, ‘Cooperative Culture’ to assert its status as a leading form of peer to peer social organization.