Arkashean Q&A Session -- 104
EDDY: Read it Paul.
PAUL: What is the formal and informal process to ask for assistance here in the Monastery? And once a person agrees to take on a task, how accountable are they?
PETE: What's the first part?
PAUL: What is the formal and informal process to ask for assistance here in the Monastery?
PETE: What kind of assistance?
PAUL: Well, that's...we can do both just to cover all bases.
PAUL: We can answer for personal and counseling kind of stuff, but also formal tasks like getting things they need done. Say somebody's car breaks down or they need something typed up or something, who do they ask, that's the first step.
PAUL: First formally and then informally.
PETE: Well, formally we have our area managers and if you have a concern about an area and you want to ask for assistance in that area, like for instance, the TV room, then you can either...well formally you need to go to the area manager.
PAUL: Formally you need to have it in writing. Anything that was formal had to be in writing.
PETE: Yeah, but what if, ah, if someone wants to clean up or move something around in the TV room, you're saying you have to put it in writing?
PAUL: If you want to do it formally, according to the law book, anything formal has to be in writing. That's what gives the accountability as far as there's a record that shows it entered the formal process. Informally, you can talk to the person, just like we have, you're brought up on charges, formally or informally, there's unwritten, there's verbal...
PETE: Well, that I understand...
PAUL: The same thing with the tasks, if you want a request, say of the kitchen, you want it to make sure it goes through the legit, formal process, then it has to be in writing.
PAUL: The Minister would have a certain amount of time to respond to it in writing or take the action, whatever. Informally...
PETE: Can you guys hear?
PAUL: Informally, which is the vast majority of things we all do around here, you just ask the person.
PETE: Okay. So formal is in writing, informal is verbal basically, of major categories.
MARY: What about using titles and stuff?
PAUL: Actually, you're right. I mean. it depends on how "formal formal" you want to get. If you want to get really formal, traditionally, actually we're really supposed to be addressing each other as "Lord High Priest" and you bow slightly and you wait for him to return a bow when you ask a question formally. Uhm, that's actually how we're supposed to be greeting each other all the time, but we've gotten very lax as far as the rules and everything.
LEROY: I'll say!
PAUL: Remember you're going to be on tape for all eternity.
LEROY: Strike that from the record, Your Honor!
PETE: So if you have a request obviously from the kitchen or in the kitchen, if you want some food, you write it down, that's kind of a formal thing, but if you want something changed or if you're requesting a change in the kitchen procedure, then you would informally approach the Kitchen Minister and talk to her or put it in writing as a formal. If you're not satisfied with her response or her timeline of saying she would do something, then you could formally submit it in writing.
EDDY: I'd like to take the discussion from a different perspective.
EDDY: How about the process of communication, to be able to convey a certain level of urgency, a certain level of necessity, what is the appropriate protocol, what are the appropriate words so that everybody understands the level of urgency and the degree of need when let's say somebody official is asking...let's not use the word official, let's just say, when somebody's asking for help or assistance.
PETE: I would say that...we addressed this at one point in the books -- these priorities - and I don't remember exactly what it said, but given...if we put that aside for a moment from what's actually written, we had a Priority 1, 2 or 3, did we not?
PAUL: Uh yeah, that was...yeah, there was a ranking system but...
EDDY: What I remember was....
EDDY: If for example, there's an officer that needs help, let's say for example, the Kitchen Minister needs something for the kitchen and needs it in an urgent fashion...
PETE: You mean like a piece of equipment, for instance?
EDDY: Whatever it is, what I recall was that the person would say, "This is Kitchen Minister," or "This is Lord Governor"
PETE: Or you say, "As..."
EDDY: Or "As Lord Governor"
EDDY: "...requesting the following."
PETE: Right, that's correct, but that's to talk to an officer to someone else. That's the other perspective.
PAUL: There's also another phase of that, but that's not what the question is...the other thing is more someone asking a person or asking the government, rather than the government demanding and asking.
EDDY: Right, right. Let's say...We should take it from both ends.
MARY: Yeah, uh-hmmm.
PAUL: The additional thing on your end of the government, if a person says, "I'm Lord Governor, I need this task now" and they say, "No, I'm under Pharaoh's orders or under somebody else's orders to do a different task," then the officer then has to use the code "I'm evoking 22" or whatever it is, there's a code that we use and that says, you're off the hook.
PAUL: You do what I do, right now, without any more backtalk and I assume responsibility from any crap you're going to get from Pharaoh or anybody else and at that point, if you back-talk or delay or anything, then you'll be brought up on charges or whatever. So that's the government part. The government part's easy, because they can kinda demand things. For example, I'll give you a good example, this may even address it. Recently Leroy and Candace asked me for something. I dropped the ball. I didn't get to it. So they asked informally and probably formally through Pharaoh, uh he asked me to get involved in something. So it didn't get done until the day after; they had to handle it themselves. So what accountability, what's the accountability to them? That might be a good working place or something...
EDDY: Well, it certainly ties into uhhh accountability from their perspective and the degree of trust that they would have, let's say, in asking you again.
EDDY: What credibility did you lose or gain as a result of the...not falling through of what was asked of you.
EDDY: So if that starts to build up people will just say then say, well, at least from an informal perspective.
EDDY: There's no accountability, there's no uhmmm, commitment to when a request is made, so therefore I'm going to take it upon myself to do these things or go some place else.
PAUL: Right, that's partially correct, because yes that's a natural process of human behavior. Arkashea should have and I think it does have a more accountability uhhh...related system.
SANDY: Well, it can't...
PAUL: They can then ...
PETE: Call a help meet...
PAUL: ...bring it to the Nomarch or if it was something that Pharaoh had requested, they can go to Pharaoh and say, "You asked so and so, Paul in this case, to do something, he didn't." And then Pharaoh or Nomarch will take the ball up for them on the more formal basis and say, you know, call him to task. So there's always someone you can go to. Nomarch is your first line of defense. You go to Nomarch anytime there's a problem where you think that something was done wrong...
PETE: No, no, no. Let's clarify that right there. Does everyone know who the Nomarch is?
LEROY: He doesn't even know it himself.
PETE: Yeah, right. No because he's invisible for the most part because of Pharaoh's order.
LEROY: He's still invisible?
PETE: Yeah, pretty much.
LEROY: I thought that was when he does PE.
PETE: No, he becomes visible when he says "I'm visible." But in lieu of that, Paul...
PAUL: Knowing me, I'll say, "Gee, there's no problem here, boys."
PETE: Yeah, Paul takes over Nomarch.
PAUL: It's got to be carried over.
PETE: So if you're not satisfied with Paul's response or whatever then you would go to me after that.
JADE: But in the example it was Paul that...
PAUL: Well, I would still have to take action, I would still have to bring it forward to Pharaoh, otherwise that's a reason to be brought up on charges.
JADE: Oh really?
PAUL: But on the other hand, say it was just Kitchen Minister; everyone knows that the Kitchen Ministers, their boss is Nomarch...No, no it isn't.
MARY: It's Lord Governor...
PAUL: Lord Governor. So if you have a problem with the Kitchen Minister, you can go to Lord Governor and he'll take it from there. Uhm...
PETE: And if you don't, the recourse is?..Take it to the next level.
PAUL: If I don't take care of it?
PAUL: Well, then again if they want it formal, they need to write it up in writing and I think we actually have forms, the format it's supposed to take place in. That addresses some of your thing where they have a form they're supposed to fill in that says, "What was the problem" I mean sort of like making a law. It's the same thing.
PETE: I can uhm, reprint those forms out if the people will really start using them.
CANDACE: I would like to see it, just to see how...what...
MARY: You can at least leave a few in there, yeah.
PETE: 'Cause it really should be in writing. If someone doesn't ...if your immediate contact doesn't respond to your liking, then there should be a formal thing written for the next person up, so they have something in writing to deal with. As a matter of fact, it's supposed to be that way. It can't be verbal after that point. It has to be formal.
JADE: That means that the person gets in trouble then?
PETE: Not necessarily, no.
JADE: Does it mean...
PETE: We're trying to help everybody here, not get people in trouble.
JADE: Yeah, but when you formalize things the implication is that...
PAUL: That they're going to try and correct the problem, not get somebody in trouble.
PETE: Now remember, with all the things that we do around here, you can take it one or two ways. You can take it as a learning opportunity or you can take it as feeling punishment or attacked and that's up to each personality to decide which road they're going to take when they get pressed for something that they're supposed to do and they didn't do.
PETE: ...And that includes involving a help meet. If someone's brought forward to a help meet, uh typically the person on the hot seat in the help meet is going to be defensive for a while and because they have this feeling of being attacked. But everyone is surrounding that person trying to help that person. But humans being the way they are don't take it that way initially. But hopefully by the end of that help meet, a person would feel like they haven't been attacked and there truly are people around trying to help that person change as far as their personality, their behavior, their thinking pattern, whatever it is.
JADE: Yeah, oh okay. Let's take a different tack. Suppose...okay, this scenario Candace and Leroy asked Paul, so that it...would it have been better if Paul told like some time schedule and said, look...I mean I'm trying to just look...
PETE: Yes, that'd be good.
JADE: ...and said, "Look, I'm busy now but within...give me til whenever" and then...
PAUL: Right, but assume I gave him an okay and said I'd do it tomorrow and I didn't...
JADE: Oh okay.
PAUL:... then what's the accountability for that...
JADE: Oh okay, alright.
PAUL: ...or anything? Say, we've got all these tasks on our Sunday thing. You're going to grout the shower, you're going to do this, you're going to do that...
PAUL: And you come back week after week and you say, "Hey, I never did it." We have an accountability system that says, "Hey, you either do that by next week or you're brought up on a help meet." Lately it should be clear that we've tried to keep everything as informal as possible 'cause if you had to live by the strict structure of the way the laws are in Arkashea, according to the books, it gets very very rigid at times.
CANDACE: We wouldn't be here...at least me!
PAUL: We'd all be here I mean, it's just...Just so you know, help meets...help meets were actually a regular occurrence in the Monastery. Somebody at some point was always up at least once a week for their attitude, things where, you know, like if someone didn't turn off the light or you know, we're trying to fix the light bill lately, that person was required to turn off the lights for everybody.
PAUL: When you want to enter a room, "Yo, turn on the light!" When you leave the room, turn it off. That person in the middle of their whatever...not sleep, but watching TV, movies, was disrupted.
PETE: You weren't allowed to turn off the light until you got that person.
PAUL: Which made it harder for everyone else, but ...
PETE: Yeah, we all suffer when there's a help meet.
MARK: Doesn't the present situation...
CORA: With the bucket.
PETE: With a bucket! It's a huge bucket...
MARK: Doesn't the present situation have to do with that we don't have enough people to do all the things that we want to do?
PETE: Yeah, well, we all are stretched pretty thin, that's why we're fairly informal about pressing people about doing their tasks and we can decide right now to put more pressure on us all or to maintain our existing accountability, which is let's say, fifty-fifty for lack of a better percentage.
CORA: You know everybody needs lists. I mean, a definite thing, when you have the paper trail not only for accountability, but if you even have a paper trail and that system is not working, you can go ahead and say, "Well, we can do the paper trail and we did do this," let's see, maybe there's further along that you have to start with.
MARY: No TV!
CORA: No, we were talking about the bucket, you know, you lose your stuff!
JADE: Sounds good!
PETE: Well we do have a paper trail because each week...
CORA: A formal writing until you find something out...
PETE: Well we do. Each week we have a task list. Yeah each week we have a task list and someone's attached to that task and they're supposed to be doing that task. And more often than not and I hope we're doing this, there should be deadlines on those tasks and if there're not...
PAUL: Also on, well...
PETE: Are there deadlines on our task lists?
MARY: Not usually, they're pretty open.
EDDY: Sometimes there are...
CANDACE: Sometimes what we do is, like we do priorities.
PETE: We prioritize yeah...
PAUL: Yeah we should put the date they're assigned and kind of, the anticipated date of completion.
PETE: Okay, so let's get the accountability question...
PAUL: One last thing on informal. Also on basic informal, if you have a problem or if you need help lifting something, moving something, bringing groceries, informally you just ask somebody informally, ask whoever's around and the idea is we all do whatever we can to assist each other. But if somebody gives you guff, like, "Hey, carry your own stuff! I don't care!" You may want to talk about the attitude and bring that up later. But...At that point, you can go to the Nomarch or the next highest-ranking officer and say, "I need help bringing in something, can you assign someone for it" and they will try to, if there's somebody.
PETE: Well, we could have a ...we've experimented with this in the past, having what used to be called a suggestion box, I would call it an input box, that if somebody's having trouble with things of this nature, that they put it in the box and I or Lord Governor can check that box to see what kind of activity's going round that somebody's not liking.
JADE: It's supposed to be anonymous?
MARY: Yeah, just you two would be looking at it.
PETE: Right, exactly.
PAUL: Actually that was the other thing. We implemented a few...about a year ago... We used to have to fill in a personal concerns report every week, everyone. "Did you have a good week? Did you have any interactions with a person, with the government that made you feel uncomfortable? If so, what was the nature of that action? What took place? Brief explanation." And those would go to Nomarch or at that time, I think we were going to Co-Regent and we'd review them. And sometimes half of them we'd say, "Eh-h-h! Normal life!" He'd get back to the person and say that shit happens, whatever.
Other things he'd say, "Hey, this needs attention" and he'd go to the next level, so...
MARY: When was that? A year ago?
PAUL: Well, we used to have them...no he reintroduced the form a year ago. He gave them, passed them out to use.
CANDACE: Well he didn't give them to me. I was here.
LEROY: I didn't want to fill them out that bad!
PETE: Maybe it was three years ago.
PAUL: No, it was about two, 'cause I had it on my desk.
MARK: Right before I was here, 'cause I had seen that.
PAUL: When was that?
MARY: I never saw them either.
CANDACE: Me neither. I hadn't seen it.
JADE: I saw it once.
PAUL: Yeah, it's maybe been....
LEROY: 4 or 5 years.
PETE: Yeah, that's when I think it was more...
PAUL: Oh, you know when that happened? Remember, when Pete tried to have sessions with everyone? One on one?
CANDACE: Ahhhhh! I remember that.
PAUL: At that time, he started having a personal concerns report also. But that lasted a week 'cause too busy. It was just ...Anybody, if somebody messes with you...
PAUL: If somebody messes you up or something? Go first to them and say, "Hey, what happened?" Like Eddy says, that person's credibility's on the line and you just may find out, "Oh my God! Ewwww!" Other times, they may have a good excuse. They should report back to you and if not, they need to watch themselves.
EDDY: Now if there might be some ambiguity that you might want to uhm touch upon also 'cause uhm some people are following directions from others and in some cases you have fair given directions. In other cases, you have people working at the Magic Circle or the café that are following certain directions during certain hours of the day.
EDDY: And uhhh, there's overlaps between certain functions of the Monastery and certain activities in the café. I think it's been set up that way too, for example, with foods or some of the household items, certain people buy them through mechanisms at the café or some people buy things here through the Monastery and then whatever.
EDDY: Are there any ambiguities as far as like with priorities like, for example, if you need something and you've got people like Del or other people maybe getting these things for you, is there a mechanism as far as conveying a degree of urgency or you know, who do you go to, if you need to raise a priority, things like that?
MARY: I don't know if there's ever been a...I guess it's just by saying, "I really need this in two hours" or "Therry really wants French Fries, I need you to get 'em by 3:00 o'clock" or something. I'm trying to use specifics.
EDDY: Well from my recollection whenever Therry says, "I want something," that takes top priority.
MARY: Yeah right.
EDDY: So there really shouldn't be an ambiguity there.
MARY: I mean as soon as you say, Therry, people will go and get whatever they have to.
PAUL: Same as household. If somebody puts something on the board or makes a request, 99.9%, Jade's on it like the next day or as soon as she can. I mean rarely anything slips. Once in awhile something does and then the person just says, "Can you get me this and she'll say, "Oh yeah get it yourself and get a receipt" and that usually...
PETE: Now if someone starts...if someone exhibits a pattern of non-accountability or non-responsibility, that's time to have a help meet for that person. So, anybody can call a help meet at any time and again, it's not a punishment, it's trying to help out the person, you know, to change his style or behavior or whatever and people have to understand that because that's why we're here, to change ourselves. So if there's something going on along these lines, then I urge anyone to let me know or Lord Governor know that "I'd like to have a help meet for such and such" and then they'll have one.
PAUL: And that's the other thing. If you're thing is against Nomarch, then go to Lord Governor. If it's against Lord Governor, you can go to Co-Regent, that would also be acceptable for you to jump over the person that the problem is with.
PETE: Uh-hmmm. But people are afraid to call help meets I fear because they fear some kind of emotional retaliation and...
JADE: But isn't that natural?
PETE: Well, yeah a lot of things are natural that you want to put aside and get beyond, you know, I mean...Humans are fearful, yeah that's natural, I suppose, but you got to get beyond your fear.
PAUL: And it should be clear for anyone who's lived here for anytime now, you call a help meet on any one of us, any day of the week, any hour. You can find something about a person's attitude, the things that they do, the way they do it, the dishes, the non-dishes, the lights, the things, the laundry, we could have help meets all day and sometimes, it may be a good idea to start bringing them back a little bit more, so we're not so afraid to address some of the problems that come up.
PETE: You'd be surprised how much they really do help, these help meets, you know, for anybody -- myself, Sandy, Paul, anybody.
PAUL: And you always know you run the risk ...
PETE: I've been called...I've been called to meets several times in the past. I'm not immune to it either.
PAUL: I walked into a room and Sandy and Pete were typing and I looked over there and they looked at me and I said, "You're calling a help meet on me!" And they didn't say a word. I just knew...[Laugh] They just continued typing. I said, "Ah-h-h-h!"
CANDACE: I have some...This is just a personal thing. Like I wouldn't personally feel like calling a help meet for any of the women here.
PETE: You would personally not feel?
CANDACE: No, because I'm afraid.
CANDACE: Because for me they're different than men.
CANDACE: For me, men, it's like so easy...it's easier to call a help meet and they'll either ignore it or...[Laughter] it's not like...it's not taken so personally I think and not against the person, at least sometimes. That's what I think.
PETE: Is that true, Mary, Cindy, Tara?
CANDACE: That's what I think.
CORA: I'm not understanding what she's saying.
PETE: She's saying that she's afraid to call a help meet against another female because she's afraid that the female will tell you what they feel.
MARY: It'll get too personal.
PAUL: Wrong answer to that!
JADE: Sounds like we need a help meet! [ Laugh]
PAUL: Well, you know, the thing about doing it, is one of the things...like you don't realize, the whole weight of the government comes behind it. Remember, retaliation is another reason for a person to be called and when Pharaoh and Co-Regent starts jumping on people...
CORA: Right after the female...
PETE: If they start acting like they're...they're... "Don't do that to me!" they're going to be called to carpet...on the carpet to what their response is. I know there's a generating mechanism that may continue to the next person, to the next level, but that's just the way it goes. Everybody will benefit after it's all said and done.
PAUL: And, also the men do it too. Jim and I used to, really....We'd go to war with each other and there'd be days that'd go by that we'd just be ignoring each other.
CANDACE: Oh really?
CORA: I would just tell them instead of fighting with them.
PAUL: Therry noticed we were fighting and Therry says, "Enough of this. Let the wiser of the two shut your mouth." So we both sat there sitting there.
PAUL: Jim says, "Pass the salt" and I said, "Fuck you!"
PAUL: So we started going at each other and Therry goes...and he got finished five seconds ago talking to us and we're at it again. So that happens.
JADE: [Laugh] So none of you were wiser.
PAUL: Well, I wasn't!
MARK: I don't really understand what the criteria is to call a help meet.
PETE: It could be anything. If you're having a problem with somebody's personality or they're responding to you negatively and you think it's unfair or it's unwarranted, you either can talk to you know, Nomarch, Lord Governor, myself or Lord High Priest and talk to them informally and if it becomes a pattern, more often than not, then that's when you call a help meet. The first time, you know, the first two or three times you encounter a particular attitude, uhhh typically we don't have a help meet. But if a pattern is there, you know, after that amount of time or that amount of repetitions, then a help meet is in order.
EDDY: Something you could also do is, ahm, approach an officer and ask or describe the situation and oftentimes the person will say, well we should have a help meet.
EDDY: Go ahead and the officer will call the help meet for you. You don't have to do it yourself. You can check with someone to see if that's appropriate.
PETE: Alright then.
PAUL: Another thing, very few things go unnoticed then in this place, so if you have a pattern and you display it towards Leroy, chances are, you've also displayed it towards Cindy or Paul or someone else at another time. Lord Governor, Nomarch, Co-Regent, they hear about this stuff because everyone usually talks and says, so and so said this. When you hear the same thing coming from five people about an attitude a person has, then they say, that's the straw that broke the camel's back. There's enough where we can give twenty examples of where this pattern keeps coming up and you know, a lot of times...again, in the law books you can look that up. There is a system of where there's verbal warnings. "Mark, you keep leaving the lights on." Another one, verbal warning, "Mark, you keep leaving the lights on."
PETE: And that's unlimited. You can get an unlimited amount of verbal warnings.
PAUL: Then there's written verbal warnings, if you can imagine such a thing.
PAUL: "This is a document, you have been verbally warned to cut it." You can have two or three of those, a very limited number of those. After that, you're brought up on charges.
JADE: Eeek! So what does the charges mean? You're out?
No, no, no, no!
PETE: It's kind of a bad word to use.
MARY: No TV!
PETE: Charges is a little, you know...
PAUL: That's the word.
MARK: Brought up on charges means there's going to be a help meet for that?
PAUL: Well, it either goes to help meet or if it's something that's serious enough that the person's endangering or causing more ripples than they have the right to in Arkashea for too long a period of time...'cause we all give each other lots of time to change, years in some cases, but when it comes to a point where enough is enough and a help meet even isn't going to help, then you go to Court 1. Court 1 basically says, you have this offense, there's four or five different penalties for that offense, the jury or the Pentacle picks one of them. It maybe as simple as, "Mark you're going to not be able to turn on lights for a week," or not even a week, three days I think is the first Court offense.
PETE: Yeah, there's a time limit, you know two weeks is the ...
PAUL: The second option is to bump it up to Court No. 2. Court No. 2 is a week and we've had things...we've actually had people who were brought up in Court 1, that Court bumped it to Court 2, Court 2 bumped it to Court 3 and then it went to Pharaoh and Pharaoh dealt with it right then and there. I mean, so we went to a Court system but it was so fast but...
CANDACE: Does it like also...sometimes I know it happens that you don't follow those things and you go direct to Pharaoh and then it's not as good as it is because then he deals with it too strong.
PAUL: Exactly. Yeah, half the time...we have a law if you keep...you're better to keep Pharaoh out of it. If you do bring him involved he's going to do something you're not going to like. It's the same reason, that's why... I mean we haven't spent a lot of time ...
PAUL: ...instructing about Common Law.
PETE: Excuse me, that's the reason why it's good to have help meets. Because the more help meets you have, the more you can keep it away from Pharaoh. Because if it builds up too much where it gets to be a huge blow up, Pharaoh's going to get involved and then, "Bang!" everybody's gonna suffer a lot.
CANDACE: And then it's...
MARY: But he still knows about the help meets doesn't he? Pharaoh does?
PETE: Sure. Yeah, sure.
EDDY: The laws...
JADE: Why because he's ...?
PETE: Eddy's talking...
EDDY: The laws are written such that it's a public forum, it's appropriate for a much larger organization.
CANDACE: The who?
EDDY: It's appropriate for a larger organization - the laws are written in that fashion. Whereas even here if you tried to not bring it to his attention, he's going to find out about it anyway because people talk to him and you know, he inquires. So the structure of the Monastery today is very difficult not to go to him so that he knows what's going on and he just automatically because of his nature.
LEROY: Also I notice that if somebody goes to Therry with a particular emotional flare of a problem, it's been my experience that Therry's more apt to respond to that person's view and you know within reason. If their emotions are way out of control, he'll obviously tell them that that's their problem. But if there's a line where they present the situation to him in such a way where, you know, he gets the impression he's going to have to decide to take extreme drastic action on it without hearing, you know, other people's views. So that's what I found out why it's even worth more of a reason not to go.
PAUL: I mean we've all been in situations where we've had the "race to Pharaoh..."
MARY: Yeah! [Chuckle]
PAUL: ...where two people fight and it's who can get in there first, where you pretend, "Oh, I'm going to the bathroom."
PAUL: And they're eating dinner and everyone knows you went in to see Pharaoh and the first thought was "That so and so, they beat me to Pharaoh!" Sometimes I've done the same thing. I know they've went in and I'll knock on the door and say, "Therry, you want any water?" And I'd say, "Oh, are you discussing this? Let me tell me all about it."" World War III, I mean!
PAUL: But the other thing, the same with the law proposals. Common Law is controlled by you guys. You know, anybody has a right to bring a law up to Arkashea, what the problem is, how you resolve to solve it, three penalties attached to a law, it goes through the whole process. If ...where you don't bring a law and we don't pass them and we leave it open and Pharaoh by his High and Holy Law must intervene on certain things and when he sees a problem that hasn't been dealt with by the people to care of themselves, he steps in and makes your life miserable. I mean everybody... Air Conditioning... "Turn it off!" "Therry, man we just want to go down a degree!" "I want that ripped out of this wall!"
PAUL: "They'll never be air conditioning in Arkashea again!"
PETE: So that's why it's good.
MARK: Is that where we are now?
PAUL: And actually we got somewhat lax again because about two years ago, maybe a little bit longer and stuff...Pharaoh was getting bombarded by talking to so many people. He got sick of it. He wanted the protocol followed. You are not allowed to talk to him. You had to pass through the Gatekeeper of Co-Regent, otherwise you didn't get in to see Therry by yourself and then that kinda faded but...so... It's so lax right now, that for all practical purposes, some of these rules have been suspended.
PAUL: So it's more important when something does come up, you know and somebody didn't get something done or if there's a problem that you need - talk about it. Even if you're afraid of the person, go talk to somebody else, bring them in on it because so much can get resolved if we all just deal with it...You know I don't go to anyone purposefully often because I don't want to torture anybody else, but it does happen.
EDDY: But that's a good point as opposed to letting it fester and build up within you or it's just better to just...
CORA: I distinctly remember there used to be a lot more yelling and fighting in this household!
PAUL: You guys don't realize what angels you guys are in comparison to what went before you. I mean those attitudes were prize, but the wars that used to take place on a regular basis were unbelievable. I mean outright, people not talking to each other and sessions for hours and hours.
EDDY: That's true.
CORA: Ah yeah! The halo falls!
PAUL: The stupidest things...the TVs doing that, you know.
LEROY: I smell roses and blueberries, do you smell it?
JADE: That's funny!
PAUL: I mean, the car radio on the way in and out of work, how much gas you put in your gas tank because it would require us to stop three times during the week instead of two and not waste another ten minutes of somebody's time.
PAUL: I mean, major wars over these things. John Denver almost brought the Monastery down.
MARY: John Denver...[Chuckle]
PETE: What happened...the radio? [Chuckle]
MARY: Yeah, the radio...
PAUL: We'd get in, Pete would first thing, put on his tape and it was like scraping walls for someone else and we got in this really mega fight over it. "I can't take it!"
LEROY: That's like the Big Leboski where he's gets in the cab and has to listen to the Eagles. "Oh, I love Eagles!"
EDDY: This is why we all have our own cars now.
JADE: Well is that part of...I mean...okay, I'm just trying to...I don't know what this question is about but anyway...is it, I mean fighting over these small things, is it just because maybe you're in a Monastery and you don't get out much and...
JADE: I'm being serious actually...
JADE: No, kinda...
JADE: I mean, do you think it's sorta that?
PAUL: We're all too close, there's no privacy here, there's not enough room, it's loud...I mean people get on each other's nerves. Everyone's stressed out to the max, everyone's busy with school, they got responsibilities in the restaurant, they got responsibilities here, Area Manager there, they've got personal relationships...It's amazing we function the way we do.
EDDY: That's why we need the world of magic.
PETE: Yes! [Chuckle]
PAUL: If we were all into science, we all would've killed each other by now.
LEROY: Yeah, can you see some German mathematician somewhere [in foreign accent] "I don't understand zis! We should all be dead by now!'
LEROY: I am Sigmund Freud, I must do the calculations again!
JADE: That, he should do that on stage on Friday night. I'm going to write these jokes down.
CORA: No, but Paul seriously, it's no more difficult than a family outside that has to juggle their children and their job and their school and their living and they're struggling economically, they have stresses.
PETE: Yeah, that's true.
CORA: It's a family...
PAUL: We had a problem where...
CORA: You have different stresses, but no more no less than the average family who's dealing with...
PAUL: The average family can go out and...
PETE: We have more restrictions.
PAUL: ...go to movies, stay away from their family, they can go get laid and kinda like blow off some steam. You know, you got a lot of things...
CORA: You got a lot of things, like people...some people don't have economic concerns, they don't have to worry about where the next paycheck is coming, how they're going to pay their insurance for the month and if they can afford the gas in their car to get to work. There's a lot of different things that are traded off. They also don't have the security of some of the family orientations that the Monastery has, so emotionally they may be lacking a lot of things, so it's not...you know, for we who go in and out, it's...it's synonymous and there's pros and cons, but definitely there's pros that outweigh most of the cons out there.
PETE: Yeah sure.
CORA: ...and then likewise, you know...Likewise, I'm sure, you know.
LEROY: I feel better. [in fake weeping voice]
CORA: No, it's true. But I'm serious, people out there have a lot more stress than you guys. I mean my perception is --I know you live in close quarters...
PAUL: It's different.
CORA: But it's equal to, trust me on that, it's equal to.
PAUL: Right, but...
JADE: You don't have someone farting in your face and next to the bed.
CORA: Yeah but you have other things that are equally as trying.
PAUL: People have stresses everywhere...
JADE: Isn't that what you do in the men's dorm?
PAUL: I agree with you, everybody has stresses. There are some that are unique to an environment and...but also...
MARY: No, it's true though.
PAUL: One of the other things you got to keep in mind, many of us would not even deal with one another if we weren't in the Monastery environment. We wouldn't be friends for the most part some people. So you get people with very different backgrounds, very different levels of understanding, very different goals, everything is involved. You're going to have conflict to some extent and that's what the law and the help meets and trying to deal with things formally and informally and try to make it all copacetic.
PETE: That's part of the magic of it all, because there's this binding energy and there's binding underlying precepts and concepts and feelings that we all belong to something bigger, better and greater and like Paul says, we all come from different backgrounds, we all have different baggage. It's amazing that we can keep it all together with the varied personalities that we have here, because in a family, in a nuclear family, you know, they're all kind of similar, they all grew up together. I mean you're coming from totally different parts of the Universe here and coming together to try to make a group happen.
PAUL: And you get freedom at eighteen or whenever you want it.
PETE: So we should give ourselves a lot of credit for being able to get along as well as we do and try to aim for the same goals as well as we do. I mean, there's been a lot of growing pains, that's for sure, you know. But uhm I think most everybody around the table would admit it's worth it.
PAUL: I was going to say, don't be afraid, if somebody does drop the ball, don't be afraid to approach 'em because you're going to find out if they dropped the ball or if something happened you can work it out instead of it festering or "You don't care about me" or "Nobody likes this" or you know.
PETE: You need help Paul. He needs help meets.
PAUL: Actually, I'll show you for example. Am I somewhat irresponsible at times?
MARY: Oh yeah!
PAUL: I might need a help meet.
CORA: See right there?
MARY: I can tell them about the mugs too.
MARY: I'm in the kitchen about noon-time today, I'm cleaning, doing something and I see him tip-toe, I see him come, I can see from my eye, I can see him in the laundry room and I'm, "What is he doing?" you know and I just went around the corner and he was hiding and he had six (6) mugs, four (4) Therry mugs, four (4) of the good ones, in his car...
PAUL: Oh shit!
MARY:... six (6), seven (7) spoons and he was..."Oh!!!" and I said, if you, you know, see... that should be your help meet, it really should.
CINDY: Everybody does that.
PETE: Then you should call it.
MARY: I really should.
PAUL: The thing about me is that I overcommit myself, I stretch them, basically I don't take care of a lot of things I should, you know.
PAUL: Who to? Please take the cups out of my area!
CINDY: I know, I'll wash your mugs for a dollar so I could buy lotto.
JADE: That's funny. [Laugh]
PAUL: Yeah, Therry yells at me. Procrastination is one of my biggest problems - I delay...
LEROY: You're not alone.
PAUL: Yeah I know, I just...Thank you, man! [Fake sobbing]
JADE: You, a procrastinator?
MARY: Hi, I'm Paul, Procrastinator.
PAUL: Next week, let's get together and talk about this. [Chuckle]
JADE: "Hi, I'm also a procrastinator."
SEAN: I was going to procrastinate but I decided to put it off.
LEROY: Thank you for that, Sean, you're in a better place.
JADE: That, that's a good one!
PETE: So we do have a mechanism. I hope besides all the lack of levity, do you all understand the nature of what you can do and what we expect you to do?