Our biggest ritual

Recording Secretary Jeff Bishop

Recording Secretary Jeff Bishop

I don't focus a lot in the book on my personal scenius, the Lichtenbergian Society, because the Society is not the point of the book. What the Society does for me as a creative individual — and what its Precepts can do for you — is the point of the book.  (For a quick intro to the Society, see here, or buy the book.)

However, in the chapter on RITUAL I discuss in some detail the Society's most important RITUAL, our Annual Meeting.  It felt odd talking about it, as if I were revealing the Eleusinian mysteries or something, but there's not much hippie woo to it.  It's just us drinking around the fire and talking about what we procrastinated on last year and what we hope to procrastinate on in the coming year.

Here's the agenda:

  1.  Roll Call
  2.  Toast to GCL
  3.  Acclamation of the Officers
  4.  Corroboration of the Validity of our Claims
  5.  Consignment of the Corroborative Evidence to the Flames
  6.  Engrossment of the Year’s Efforts
  7.  Meditation on the Year’s Efforts, followed by the Burning of the Coals & a Silent Toast
  8.  Censure for the Betrayal of the High Ideals of the Society
  9.  Engrossment of the Proposed Efforts for the Next Year
  10.  Toast to the Proposed Efforts
  11.  Topic: “Quo Vadis Lichtenbergianensis?”

Lots of fancy language because nerds, but here's what you need to know: the simple act of saying what we would like to work on in the coming year is extremely powerful.  It's not goal-setting, per se, because if we don't achieve them so much the better: Cras melior est.  And the posture of the Society is such that if we do achieve them, we are frowned upon and even censured.  (Yes, I expect to be spanked this year.  Hard.)

But as I say in the book, knowing that you're going to have to face your fellow Lichtenbergians and confess whether or not you worked on your Proposed Efforts is a powerful motivator — and at the same time, knowing that your failures will be commended more than your successes is a powerful comfort.

Our Annual Meeting is tomorrow night, as required by our Charter ("on or before the Winter Solstice").  I need to figure out what I'm going to avoid working on next year; the book has been my go-to TASK AVOIDANCE for a couple of years, but now... well, you know.

Cras melior est.