In contradistinction to the traditional hierarchical, pyramidal structure of a Work group, managed from the top by a teacher, Mr. Beidler often described the group at Northeon Forest with the image of a school of fish who move together in unison without any overt leader. The weekly meetings were planned and directed on a rotating basis by Triads of seekers and Mr. Beidler participated in the meetings as just another seeker. He was available at all times for private consultation, either in person at a meeting or by phone or letter.
The groups were set up in this way: After a year probation, each seeker was assigned to a Triad, a group of three people. Each week a different Triad was responsible for planning the inner and outer work of the meetings. Meetings were held twice a week on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings, corresponding to the shock points in the law of seven. Each Triad had to collaborate prior to the meetings and produce a written plan for each meeting. The outer work in meetings was based on practical physical tasks such as gardening, building maintenance, forestry, crafts and food preparation, during which the inner work was practiced. The inner work was based on the Holy Equation. All meetings had a period for questions and answers.
Several times a year Mr. Beidler produced a "program", accompanied by an explanatory talk, which expressed a theme to be used as a guideline for inner work until the next such program. The presentation of a new program took place during special 3 day work weekends. Satellite groups traveled to Northeon Forest for those meetings.
As new inner work was introduced with the programs, eventually a pool of exercises was built up which was drawn from by the Triads as they saw fit for planning the regular weekly meetings and for exploring various aspects of the program. He used what he called a "shot-gun" approach. All the exercises and methods that he taught were introduced to the group as a whole and as new members joined the group, they picked up and learned the exercises as they were re-used by the Triads in the weekly meetings. This format allowed each Triad to explore issues and exercises that were pertinent to the Triad members in their own personal search as well as presenting to the group the issues and exercises that were perceived as being relevant to the group as a whole. Thus, each Triad had to consider both the first and second lines of work. This format also placed each seeker in the position of having to lead a group meeting, since each member of the Triad was responsible for leading the inner and outer work of the group for one third of each meeting.
One of Mr. Beidler's goals with the Triads was to train each seeker to be able to return to their personal life and construct a personal daily work program for themselves based on the circumstances of their own life situation, rather than blindly following a plan fixed by someone else. Another goal of Mr. Beidler's was to instill in the seeker an understanding of the method of working on oneself, of the proper construction of exercises and of the types of exercises necessary for self-development. He wanted seekers to be self-reliant, rather than dependant on a teacher who dispensed a heirarchical teaching structure. Armed with this understanding, seekers would eventually be able to start new groups of their own in their local geographic areas.
The Triad format enabled a group to be self-sustaining and self-correcting, so that it could function without a teacher. In other words, the group wasn't focused on a teacher, but rather towards an "abstract purpose", or an Ideal, which is The Work itself. In terms of Complexity Theory, one would call it an Attractor. At the different scales of the group structure there would be relevant attractors, such as the 3 lines of Work. An individual is a 3-centered being, whose parts work together towards the attractor of Real I, or the first line of work. A Triad is like a 3-centered being, whose parts need to work together for the second line of work with others. A group is like an organism and the Triads are like its organs or centers and individuals are the cells, and all parts work together within the group for the third line of work.
Comments on Triads by other Seekers
DM : "Paul's Triad was a incredible breakthrough in regards to the study, application, practice and assimilation of the "Work". Based on the teachings that we must harmonize within our self, in a balanced manner, thought, emotion, body; the triamazikamno; being-partkdolg duty; father, son, holy ghost etc.
"From a practical viewpoint it was inspired, since it stabilized the activities within a group - because there was no "leader" - there was a Triad, and both so called weaker and stronger types were able to co-exist and still produce searchings that were aimed at "being", and of course the deep sense of involvement that all got from participating.
"My experience with "led" groups was always deeply dissatisfying and kind of useless. Experienced seekers lead others usually until they can progress no further up the hierarchy. In Triads, there is no hierarchy. Paul's emphasis on a school of fish was very appropriate - no leaders - the inner connectedness of the group was significant. He seemed to care little for the individual - seems like a wise model - still everyone got their turn - and no one was burned out or overburdened and the ideas stayed fresh. It really was like being in a search - in fact we were really searching - from where we stood - now - in our own particular circumstance. And we had to keep that connectedness - no one got too far out or too far behind - we pulled or were pulled together by our collective efforts.
"Besides you must remember the ego's of all who wished to lead - the blight of guruism. I think the truth stands and connects us to our earlier discussion re: world dynamic - no one can win unless we all do - hence All & Everything. O Endless Source of ALL that exists - our task is salvation of the whole creation - the individual is simply a part of that amazing mystery."
The Endless Search © 2004 Ian C. MacFarlane