Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Monday, May 24, 2004day link 

 Blogging as Bohmian Dialogue
picture Is blogging Dialogue? Well, in many ways the medium succeeds better in creating such a space of dialogue than any other online communication method I can think of.

I've tried to create dialogue in chat rooms and mailing lists in the past. Trying to make sure people in advance had read something like Dialogue - a Proposal or Bohm's book "On Dialogue". But each time it tended to degenerate into normal discussion and arguments and smalltalk, despite that most members tried to make it Dialogue.

In one's own blog, one isn't directly answering anybody, isn't being held to any set topic. One might start off with what somebody else said, but one isn't arguing directly with them. It is one's own space, and one usually feels free to say what one wants to say. Most people don't feel a need for being defensive, or for resorting to the various covert verbal combat techniques we often use in direct conversations. We might even feel safe enough to be vulnerable and question and examine our own assumptions. Plus we can get away with examining the assumptions of others without it being a confrontation.

Dialoguing is an almost paradoxical combination of a meta perspective and vulnerable personal communication. One talks about something in the middle of the circle, examining it, inquiring into it, questioning it, trying to say what it is, from a bit at a distance. But one is also saying what one feels and thinks, as authentically as possible, without trying to censor it or making it be acceptable or slick.

Same when blogging works well. One is talking about something, trying to understand it better. And the most enjoyable postings are often when somebody opens up, and shares their personal process.

And blogging becomes a group activity when multiple people are talking about the same general subject, even if it is vague what exactly it is. When we're referring to and commenting on and expanding each other's words. And it usually happens in a remarkably constructive and peaceful manner. Most people don't argue in their postings, they just say what they see and what they think.

People who teach or promote dialogue are often posed the question of what one should do if the other people aren't doing it. I.e. if one is trying to create a space of dialogue in a certain group, but the other members are just arguing and posturing the same old way. The wise answer is usually that one should just do it oneself. A one-person dialogue is a good start, and others might be inspired to join. One might start all by oneself, getting centered, speaking authentically, examining what is there to examine, inquiring in an open manner, avoiding defending your own ego. And that is meaningful and productive, even if everybody doesn't join right away.

Likewise, a blog might just be one voice at first. But if it is real, one tends to attract others who either are inquiring into the same general areas, or who respond to the authenticity of one's words.

So, maybe, just maybe, that has a bigger effect than we notice. More people might become inspired to inquire and share and say their truth. It might even become the "norm", and we might become so good at recognizing it that it grates in our eyes and ears when we notice somebody who isn't being real. And it might just be so obvious that things work better if we show up as fully as we can, if we inquire into how to make things better, without undue attachment to the outcomes, and we speak our truth, and share where we can.
[ | 2004-05-24 05:13 | 18 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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