Communal Effervescence

Michael Maguire began the day with the idea of energy being moved by our intention and attention; by having a clear intention to be or achieve something, combined with close attention to achieving what we intend. He then went on to introduce us to the concept of collective effervescence which Brene Brown borrowed from Emile Durkheim.

Collective effervescence refers to the idea of a collective celebration of either joy or pain.  Michael explained how important it is for communities to mark moments of joy and sorrow, as signs of the life of the community.  As opposed to the idea of collective effervescence, he showed how the phenomenon of ‘parallel play’ can exist in community where, life two-year olds, Brothers in community can lead individualistic lives, separated one from the other.

The second session took up the ideas of Sandra Schneiders who identified four major challenges for religious to face in the light of changing times.  He explained each one in detail, while here we just list them:

  • Facing the Challenges in changing situations
  • Stability: fidelity to internalized values
  • Frustration Tolerance and Resilience
  • The call to move beyond the smaller Self to the Higher Self

He concluded with the invitation for us to be flexible while taking the risks to create something new, and warned against focusing on the negative or toxic instead of putting our attention and intention on the way forward.


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