Glossary of Keristan English

Written up by Even Eve


Scientific Utopianism and the Humanities
Vol 1 Issue 4 Spring 1985

return to Kerista Home

copyright 1985 by Kerista Consciousness Church.

Part 1

Ed: I am abridging the complete glossary to focus on terms with relevance for non-Keristans, and avoid the religious mumbo-jumbo.

1.Abacus Method - A basic approach to forming and organizing any type of social production in which one person (the project originator) looks for a second person to join him/her, then those two look for a third, the three for a fourth, and so on.
2.ABNQ - A non-phonetic acronym for 'Almost But Not Quite'. This refers to people who come very close to being able to hang into doing something (be in a particular BFIC, or identify as a Keristan, for instance) but cannot keep it up beyond a given point. A person in this category has many subpersonality coalitions that are capable of doing the thing in question, so that one has the impression for some time that they are going to stick with it.
3.Alphabet Board - An important cultural artifact used for 'telepathic information transfer through touching inspiration together'. The alphabet board looks something like a ouija board, with the letters of the alphabet and numbers painted in a circle on its surface. Keristans (two or more at a time) put their fingers in a cup on the board. The cup moves to spell out messages and answers to questions posed. The movment is spontaneous and totally uncontrived, occurring via subconscious ideomotor activity. The source of the messages is believed to be morphogenetic intelligence fields, which personify themselves into human-like personalities for the purpose of transmitting the information. These personalities are the 'Sacred Names', the pantheon of Keristan deities. The alphabet board first appeared in Keristan life through a series of mystical and humorous circumstances. A transient stranger left an old folding bed in one of the early Keristan houses in New York's East Village (circa 1964). When it was eventually opened up, there was a large piece of plywood inside with letters crudely painted on it in a large circle. Someone said, "That's a oiuja board". For days the early Keristans tried to get it to work, with no success. Finally, it started working, and they became very excited. A couple of the men were so excited that they decided to use the board to predict the outcome of the horse races that day, and went down to the track to bet on the predicted winners. Naturally, they lost. In fact, they lost all their money, including their bus fare to get home. When they finally made it back and asked the board what happened, the response was "Schmucks, don't use me!". The board has always had a good sense of humor. It is the source of all Keristan's names, as well as volumes of advice, wisdom, practical suggestions plans, stories, plays and great comfort.
7.BFIC - Short for 'Best Friend Identity Cluster', the formal name of a Keristan family. A BFIC (pronounced 'bee-fick') starts with a group originator and grows to a maximum of 36 adults. Each member joins the group with a current intention of lifetime involvement and a nonpreferential feeling of deep affection for all other members.
8.Board Session - A session during which two or more Keristans use the alphabet board and receive information from the Sacred Names morphogenetic intelligence fields.
10.Chastening - A technique used to try to modify a recurrent and serious negative behavioural problem. Chastening is similar to 'docking' a person from some privilege she/he normally is entitled to - for some limited period of time. For instance, people have been chastened from attending the Growth Coop for being excessively non-verbal there, even after repeated gestant conversations about non-verbality. chastened from staying in Keristan space after a series of chronuic aggressive outbursts indicating an absence of trust and tenderness, and chastened from being on their sleeping schedules after repeatedly acting insensitive to partners. The idea is to help ingrain the importance of getting control of the negative behavior in question, and inculcate appreciation for the thing from which the person is being chastened.
12.Compersion - The positive emotion that comes from seeing one's partners enjoying themselves together, the antithesis of jealousy. Compersion (the word) was coined by the alphabet board when a word to describe the emotion was being sought. Interestingly, some years later, an anthropological term 'comperage' was discovered by a Keristan in a book opened at random. 'Comperage' refers to a custom practiced by certain pre-technological tribes of men 'sharing' their wives with visiting male guests (the women sleep with the visitors as an expression of goodwill and hospitality). At the time that the board coined 'compersion', no one had ever heard of comperage or any words similar to it. An example of intelligence fields being on the ball, one might say.
14.Divide and Regroup - Inside of the Keristan Commune and Tribe, there are many different family groups (B-FICs). People join a given B-FIC based on the belief they will be happiest and experience the most positive growth and change in that group, and go into it with a current intention of lifetime involvement. However, there is always the possibility that things will come up later that change the picture...repeated communications problems, a loss of high synergy, a pull to be with another group of people. Whatever the reason, any lapse in a solid, positive group identity is grounds for an individual to leave the B-FIC he/she is in and join another one, start a new one, or change lifestyles. Dividing and regrouping, as this is called, is done without any sense of obligation, disapproval, or ill will. It is highly respected and is, indeed, a very important part of Keriatan credo. Dividing and regrouping has occurred a lot in the last ten years, and attitudes about it have evolved toward a point of genuine 'zen', with any sense of stickiness or wishing a person should do something other than what shes/he chooses to do falling away.
16.DMI - A non-phonetic acronym which stands for 'Decreasing Magnitude of Interest'. Any relationship can be evaluated at any moment as to whether it is growing closer, or moving further back. Even relationships that are at a stable plateau must be nurtured and kept alive, or they begin to fade back into DMI.
17.Down Rap - Criticism about an individual or group that is based on untruths, ill will, or distortions. Down rap is generally delivered when the parties being criticized are not there, with the intent of negatively influencing the listener.
20.Flair - What attracts people to each other, and, once together, enables them to form the kinds of affinity bonds that keep them harmoniously together. Keristans have pondered this through years of dividing and regrouping, and studying types. Beyond agreement on social contract standards and being nice, there seem to be other factors connected to compatibility such as sex appeal, gestalt intensity, and a person's pace in her/his own personal growth. We still don't know for sure.
21.Free-Form - 1) The first and last messages of an alphabet board session, which are received without any specific question having first being asked. 2) A mode of unstructured group conversation in which anyone is free to say whatever she/he wants. People can interrupt each other (within gracious limits) and there is no particular agenda or order (as in certain other conversational modes).
22.Gestalt - The word, originally used in Gestalt Psychology, has come to be used in several different ways by Keristans. 1) An interpersonal confrontation created by some disagreement that lacks tenderness or humility, or some other contradiction that violates an agreement or standard which is pointed out by one person to the other. Differences do not in and of themselves generate gestalts; it is only when defensiveness, harshness or some other form of rudeness enters in that a gestalt ensues. This may last for only a few minutes or for hours (days, occasionally) on end, during which time there is an intense dialogue, gropes as to what might be motivating the person's negative behavior, and an attempt to thoroughly air out the issue and get it resolved, one way or another. 2) To actively encounter a perceived contradiction in someone else's speech, actions, or demeanor through straightforward verbality ("to gestalt": a verb). 3) The combination of all the elements of a particular scene or setting that adds up to a whole that has a unique feeling and ambience. For instance, the "motoring gestalt", which has components like the feeling of being in a comfortable car, the scenery going by, the company and conversation of travelling companions, and the destination of the trip; or the "going to the movies gestalt"; which features the trips there and back, the company, the anticipatory feelings, the pleasure of the movie theater as an architectural experience, the film itself, the aftertaste and followup conversations. 4) "Gestalt sense", a holistic, intuitive appraisal of a situation based upon consciously perceived factors as well as impressionable hunches.
23.Gestalt-o-Rama - The ongoing, egaliltarian, non-commerical personal growth and interpersonal communications process used at all times by Keristans. Gestalt-O-Rama is based upon principles like rationality, verbal expression, honesty, commitment to growth and change, and the desire of all participants to develop deep friendships with each other. The G-O-R social contract contains 101 standards. In additon to its mainstay of lots of conversation, the process uses 139 personal growth techniques.
25.Go-Around - If people come back together again after they have divided and regrouped from being in the same B-FIC, or distanced from one relationship ring to another further back, it is called a go-around.
26.Graceful Distancing - Moving a relationship to a less close level of involvement when there has been some incident or new development indicating that the previous level of involvement is no longer appropriate. This is done without ill will and without anyone blaming anyone else, on the premise that once at its proper level, the relationship will be better. No one has a right to insist that she/he should be closer to anyone else than is reciprocally agreed upon.
27.Grope - An important Gestalt-o-Rama technique, in which people make educated guesses about what is going on below a person's conscious awareness. The grope tries to ferret out the things that could be motivating an out-of-context or undesirable behavior or attitude. The purpose of the grope is to bring things up from the unconscious into consciousness so that they can be dealt with more effectively. A grope may be made strictly on intuitiopn and may seem farfetched. Any grope is acceptable, and not infrequently, the more unlikely sounding ones hit the mark.
28.Groucho Marx Syndrome - Based on the Groucho Marx story, in which he wanted to get into an exclusive country club that was turning down his application because of Anti-Semitism. Upon finally pulling strings and getting his application accepted, he said, "I'd never join a club that would accept someone like me!" This is quiter common in relationships ... a person wants someone else to give her/him acceptance, but her/his inferiority/superiority complex is so strong that once accepted, she/he is no longer interested.
29.Group Mind - The collective intelligence bank created by the linking up of many individual minds which are in high levels of alignment with each other. Keristans never abdicate individual sovereignty or decision-making responsibilities, but do learn to respect and trust the group mind for its wisdom and its ability to perceive things which an individual may not get on her/his own. The opinions of the group mind are determined through dialectic and democratic process.
30.Growth Co-op - Regular rap groups using the Gestalt-O-Rama process attended twice a week by Keristans, and open to participation by non-Keristans who are seriously exploring the Keristan microculture and want to use the standards of the Gestalt-O-Rama process.
32.Heavy Gestalt - Intense direct verbal confrontation of contradictions. Some people don't like the intensity of it, but to Keristans it is bad manners to beat around the bush or try to be soft in delivering critical input. This point of etiquette springs from the Keristan experience that heavy gestalt seems to be the only thing that penetrates people's defensive shields in certain situations. So if you really care about someone's mental health, you will heavy gestalt them when they need it.
34.IMI - Stands for Increasing Magnitude of Interest ... the opposite of DMI.
37.Junk Food Psychology - It has been observed, during years of group living, that there are certain heavy gestalt situations in which the group is stalemated and the individuals being gestalted are locked into subpersonalities that are hard and incapable of softening up enough to understand what is happening. It has further been observed that at such junctures, ingestion by those present of large quantities of chocolate, ice cream, cookies, soda, and salt products (potato chips and corn chips) has the uncanny effect of causing a subpersonality shift in the people being gestalted and allowing new perspectives to come through and getting the gestalt back on track towards a resolution point. Whether this is due to chemical changes, telepathic enhancement, both, or something else is not known. But we do know it works.
42.Lifestyle Package - Everyone 'buys' the lifestyle she/he lives in, whether she/he likes it or not. Lifestyle always contain variations on the same component parts: family structure, friendship model, economic patterns, sexual attitudes, religious or spiritual belief system, etc. Rather than being something vague, mystical, or unquestioned, lifestyles can now be looked upon as packages with their own costs/benefits, and chosen intelligently on that basis, if a person is inclined to be intellectual about it.
43.Light Gestalt - Within the Gestalt-O-Rama process, those conversations that are concerned with small talk, prosaics, and other relatively superficial (but often enjoyable) subject matter.
44.Love - An unconditional, devotional attachment which is felt deeply and given only to Kyrallah (Divinity) by Keristans. Interpersonal bonds of a deeply emotional nature, (including affection, appreciation, tenderness, sexual surgency) are not unconditional and not considered love. Keristans recognize that other people do feel unconditional bonds of this type for other people, and do not deny that they have love, but it is a different placement of the same or a similar emotion.
45.Lovjoy - Another alphabet board original, describing the unique essence of any given one-to-one relationship. People have lovjoys with each other around their mutual interests and activites they like to do together...this, plus the particular vibes and combined style that emerges from the dyadic mix are the components of lovjoy. In non-preferential relationships, no two one-to-one's are the same, yet they are appreciated equally for their individual qualities.