Initial Affiliation

  1. You must submit a paper proposing the inclusion in our all-required reading list of a work presently missing, ignored or left out, one that you conclude is nonetheless fundamental to understanding the reality of the One Alone. We have not covered all thoughts about the Absolute, we have not found good ones from every tradition. There may be a reason for this, namely that not all cultures of life concerning meaning are religions, nor do all of them think truth matters. We do. Your task is to search your own experience and your own love for learning and to identify and to promote to us that work which you believe we all must read together. You might also suggest a rationale for replacing an existing work on our reading list.
  2. You must also compose a poem on the Unity. There are many Monologies; as a group we do not embrace just one. You may tell of the One in the way of your highest skill. You may not be a poet already, but exercising poesis in its own way — dense words, surrealistic words, rhymed and metered words, words sounding and saying more than they appear, important words about important things — transmutes ordinary experience, making of it Something More.

Teaching Corvid is not a matter of getting a job. We are not gatekeepers. It is a matter of being attracted to a distinct idea about education. You are not applying for employment. You see a group at work and join yourself to that work, in the role of teacher not of student.

An important idea is suggested by the etymology of "affiliation". ad-filius "son to" (son of), to fix the paternity of. Through a discerning choice, one becomes affiliated with persons undertaking the study of our Source. For their part the group affectionately adopts one another, which is the deeper heart of conviviality and the very heart of friendship.


Participation is not taken for granted, however. It is meant to be recalled in the conscience, as an important relationship to preserve. Tenure, though it served a useful purpose at one point, with the degradation of the college due to bureaucratization, is no longer the best form of "job security" or academic freedom for it has become sheer mechanism. It is thoughtless. For a number of reasons, (funding sources with dubious ethics, the publish-or-perish threat) academic freedom is found in its healthiest state outside Merely Higher Education. But these are not organic problems, to borrow Ursula Le Guin's idea from The Dispossessed. They are artificial problems, and wouldn't exist without bureaucracy. Relationship is the organic problem.

In a college like Corvid, which has exorcised the demon of bureaucracy and replaced it with cooperative control (with its own inevitable administrative tasks), the teacher is asked to reflect each year on her continued involvement. If or when the monetary economics of the college get going, even that exchange will not be bureaucratized, which means centralized. It will be easy for a teacher to remove herself from the collective. More importantly, she and each other will be asked to decide again on being a teacher. The collective will not take for granted that every member is happy in the work. There will be an annual renewal of commitment to the college (most likely this will be ceremonialized in some way).

This is modeled on the Church of the Savior in Washington DC. See Elizabeth O'Connor's book Call to Commitment, p. 37f)

Matching affiliation in its importance is the notion of commitment.

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