Whereas self-serving beings naturally form hierarchies with the strongest and most ruthless at the top, service to others beings would form networks. In the words of the Cassiopaeans, the concept of networking is a foretaste of 4th density STO.
To bring the idea into context, we can start with Gurdjieff's definition of a group: In a group, what is gained by one is gained by all and what is lost by one is lost by all. A group in this sense can only exist within the context of esoteric work. Such a group is free from disagreement not because of a command structure but because the same truths are seen by all. See the article on Esoteric, Mesoteric and Exoteric circles for more.
We can distinguish two types of group effects: The first is where the group descends to the level of the lowest common denominator, as happens in lynch mobs and other cases of mass hysteria. We can envision a situation where the whole group would rise to the sum total of the understandings and capacities of all members. The latter happens to a small degree in teams displaying good synergy. However, the imperfect quality of human communication and friction coming from personality dampens these effects and usually limits their scope to a well-practised area such as playing a team sport or playing in an orchestra.
The hope of esoteric work is to make these effects greater and more comprehensive. Achieving this is sometimes called the communion of saints. This goes beyond a social phenomenon and involves sharing the 'substance of knowledge' or 'higher hydrogens' generated in group work.
In general we can say that a group amplifies whatever is a consistently shared and applied principle in the group's work. This contains a catch: We often find, specially on the Internet, New Age groups that are in a sense 'open' but where the exchange degenerates if not into a shouting match then into a more subtle feeding or pleading or manipulating contest. It seems that internal work for purifying the signal and making the self first clear is a prerequisite for a group to amplify anything but subjectivity. For mixed, predominantly self-serving entities such as present day humans, indiscriminate sharing of everything simply makes noise. A great deal of attention is required for the participants to overcome first themselves and then act in a manner approximating STO oriented beings, thus not according to their default impulses. Again, determining what constitutes service to others in which case is its own question but a certain skill or sense for this can form via practice.
In practice, a network does not imply the interchangeability of all members. This is not achievable nor is it the goal. Having reached a similar level of development does not imply identity of personality or group think but does imply striving for seeing the same understandings. A group can involve specialization and contain teachers and students but is by definition a voluntary structure and does not exist for the benefit of any single member or subgroup. Instead, such a group may exist for performing a specific esoteric task, as may be required by the time and context.
The concept of giving back is emphasized by the 4th Way. Since the principle of service to others represents balance through the idea of serving self through serving others, this principle requires reciprocity in order to work. Balance cannot be legislated but it may occur naturally if the participants share the same direction, i.e. are collinear.
For 4th density harvestability, a network offers distinct advantages over working alone. The members can complete each other even though their own vibrational purity were not perfect. For graduating to 4th density STS, the aspirants must generally work alone since the very idea of service to self sees sharing as generally undesirable.