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 Dialogue2004-05-22 08:35
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I'm missing dialogue. Dialogue as per the principles outlined by David Bohm. See
Dialogue - a Proposal. I used to be in a dialogue group that met once per month for half a day. Run by the people from The Dialogue Group. Dialogue done this way is something unique, very specific, but yet strangely nebulous. It is a gathering that doesn't have any direct purpose or aim. Nobody's trying to "accomplish" anything or to gain agreement or to arrive at an outcome. One sits down in a circle, quiet at first, and then when somebody feels inspired to speak, one speaks. When they're done, when somebody else feels inspired to speak, they do so. What others said forms part of your impetus to talk, but you aren't directly answering the others. Everybody focuses what is in the "middle" of the circle. We're in a way talking about the same thing, but without having agreed on what that is, and without any requirement to agree. We're kind of talking about what we see, what we experience. We can explore our assumptions, ideas and feelings. And, magically, it leads somewhere. Not necessarily a neat result, and it is hard to say what exactly came of it, but something will. It is a different kind of space than what one finds just about anywhere else. It is free, real, authentic. People are present. Where it goes is entirely open.
Dialogue, as we are choosing to use the word, is a way of exploring the roots of the many crises that face humanity today. It enables inquiry into, and understanding of, the sorts of processes that fragment and interfere with real communication between individuals, nations and even different parts of the same organization. In our modern culture men and women are able to interact with one another in many ways: they can sing dance or play together with little difficulty but their ability to talk together about subjects that matter deeply to them seems invariable to lead to dispute, division and often to violence. In our view this condition points to a deep and pervasive defect in the process of human thought.

In Dialogue, a group of people can explore the individual and collective presuppositions, ideas, beliefs, and feelings that subtly control their interactions. It provides an opportunity to participate in a process that displays communication successes and failures. It can reveal the often puzzling patterns of incoherence that lead the group to avoid certain issues or, on the other hand, to insist, against all reason, on standing and defending opinions about particular issues.

Dialogue is a way of observing, collectively, how hidden values and intentions can control our behavior, and how unnoticed cultural differences can clash without our realizing what is occurring. It can therefore be seen as an arena in which collective learning takes place and out of which a sense of increased harmony, fellowship and creativity can arise.

Because the nature of Dialogue is exploratory, its meaning and its methods continue to unfold. No firm rules can be laid down for conducting a Dialogue because its essence is learning - not as the result of consuming a body of information or doctrine imparted by an authority, nor as a means of examining or criticizing a particular theory or programme, but rather as part of an unfolding process of creative participation between peers.
Here are some other links, with much material:

Bohm Dialogue
Dialogue and Conversation
UIA Dialogue Links
Global Dialogue Institute
Open Forum

I haven't seen much real dialogue happen online. At least only rarely. But some of what works well with weblogs leans in that direction. Where you can just state what's on your mind, what's going on, without having to worry much about what others will think or whether what you say corresponds properly to what others are saying. But when it works, we might talk into the same space.

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22 May 2004 @ 18:34 by konchock : thanks
well friend, thanks for remind me about david bohm, he is a wise man.  

22 May 2004 @ 18:45 by vibrani : Dialoguing
I think this is a wonderful process and have found that at NCN there are several places where we do accomplish this; sometimes in a log and sometimes in a private room. I call your attention to Swan's latest entry, as one of many examples. Jazz has another.  

23 May 2004 @ 05:37 by ming : Dialoguing
Yes, it is wonderful when it works. I guess I'm looking for ways of making it more likely to happen. But it is a bit paradoxical, as the dialogue space doesn't always appear when one wants it to, but it does happen when he conditions somehow are right, or the right people are present.  

23 May 2004 @ 21:12 by ov : Dialoguing
I've been noticing some of it happening here in the blogs, not in the comments sections but in the main entries. In the comments I usually see a little bit of conversation but I don't respond to it; Perhaps I focus too much on the critical analysis that does not avoid the taboo aspect of dialogue. Where I see dialogue happening in the blogs is when somebody writes an article that is in response to a point that was uncovered earlier by another person's blog. It's the talking and listening to the collective mind that I like. If you want interaction take it to instantmessenger or email, imho.  

24 May 2004 @ 04:27 by ming : Blogs and Dialogue
Well, blogging indeed might capture a good deal of what's cool in dialoguing. Like, one might write an article as a response to somebody else's posting. But not a response in the normal sense. One just addresses the same subject, and says whatever one is inclined to say about it. There's usually little need to be defensive or to use the covert combat techniques we often use when having a direct discussion. We might even feel safe enough to be vulnerable and question and examine our own assumptions.  

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