The metaphor of the circle is unequaled as a symbol of an ideal relational community. There are no leaders or followers, no hierarchy. Geometrically, the circle gives us symmetry and strength, the archway that supports a Cathedral, or the wheel upon which a train might ride. At the institute we literally sit in a circle for most functions of community interaction, so there is no “head of the class” or “back of the room.” The circle in the lore of symbolic imagery describes perfection, symmetry and infinity, cycles and seasons. It also evokes ideas of enclosure, safety (as in circling the wagons), impenetrability, and of completeness.
So why is it necessary, even vital, to break the shining circle of community?