Read an interesting piece this morning that focuses on the importance of pairs, or partners in creative work. An excerpt:
…given that our psyches take shape through one-on-one exchanges, we’re likely set up to interact with a single person more openly and deeply than with any group. The pair is also inherently fluid and flexible. Two people can make their own society. When even one more person is added, roles and power positions harden. This may be good for stability but problematic for creativity. Three legs make a table stand in place. Two legs are made for moving.
Pairs also naturally engage each of the two people involved. In a larger group, an individual may lie low, phone it in. But nobody can hide in a pair. (Source)
Please read the whole piece and not just that short section.
I agree with the above and would add that groups all but force us to employ lowest-common-denominator semiotics in communication.
Moreover, it is very important to understand that the meso-level of communication (words and semiotics) between two people is not now and probably never will be describable in terms of neurons or the physical matter of the brain. The more we know about the brain, the better. But even if we have perfect knowledge, we may never be able to use it to predict the trees of association that will form in your mind after being prompted by virtually any semiotic, word, or concept. It is very unlikely that thought will ever be entirely reducible to neurons or chemistry.
What do you imagine or associate with the simple composite of a sheep plus an apple? Then what do you imagine or associate with whatever that is?
It is very unlikely that any micro-science of neurons will provide us with an answer to that, though you could easily just tell me what your associations are.
Thus, at the macro-level of society or more than a few people, it is difficult or impossible to arouse the depths of your mind, your being, your creativity, your unique existential reality.
At the micro-level of physics, it is unlikely we will ever be able to describe those processes or phenomena, let alone improve on simply speaking honestly to each other.
At the meso-level of communication with a trusted partner we can achieve detailed and fulfilling psychological traction. We can discover aspects of thought and feeling that we cannot find in any other way. An individual alone cannot check their work. A group cannot handle significant detail. Only partners (maybe more than two) can find robust clarity and depth in the meso-reality of interpersonal semiotics, that level at which we most deeply recognize ourselves.
FIML practice is designed to be done by two people. It works by providing partners with a means to unlock the profundity and complexity of the meso-level of semiotic exchange between them. In the linked essay, Shenk puts it well why we need partners. FIML gives ordinary people the means to become extraordinary by showing them how to investigate the meso-level of semiotic exchange between them.