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NCDD-DISCUSSION  July 2007, Week 1

NCDD-DISCUSSION July 2007, Week 1

Subject:

Re: How do we hold our enemies with compassion?

From:

Alice Rudnick <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Alice Rudnick <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 2 Jul 2007 11:53:13 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (118 lines)

In my experience it is too simple to place a label and never simple to question a label.  
It is a very challenging matter to question anything that contributes to seeming definition, certainty, judgment, stereotype, prejudice, bias, discrimination.  And there will rarely be any simple answers either, since those attitudes can represent just the tip of an iceberg.  To even begin to ask the questions often leads to an adventure filled journey of discovery into layers and dimensions of intricately connected beliefs and behaviors.

In my experience- beginning with intention for being as open as possible (heart, mind, body, spirit). 
Awareness of labels, certainties, mindsets, time limits, or other restrictions to discovery of the possible not yet imagined possible.
Objectively observing manifestations of difference/conflict/dispute
Compassionately noticing triggered feelings
Respectfully identifying compromised interests and values.
Getting clear on what would promote/support interests and values.
  
Is it a "biological impulse" to label? Is it tendency of nature or nurture? Will the answer be the same for all of us?  Interesting considerations.  Do we want to end labels or learn as much as we can from them?  Study them so we can move beyond them?  Are they more of an entrance through which to travel?

Alice

>>> Rogier Gregoire <[log in to unmask]> 7/2/2007 10:14 AM >>>
I agree Alice,
The idea of "an enemy" is a non-starter but it seems to be a  
universal and ubiquitous responds. Do you have a suggestion as to how  
either you or I or any one else for that matter can deal with "an  
enemy". Once the question is raised what happens then? What are you  
suggesting? Its too simple to just question a label unless you have a  
follow-up to raising the question. Please respond, I honestly want to  
know what should be done to develop a practice that leads one away  
from such a deep seated (biological impulse) to form the notion of  
enemy? When a rabbit sees a fox does that animal construct a notion  
of "enemy" and/or does it try it try to escape?

As a human I form the notion of enemy instinctively (I try not to)  
but the language in this thread uses the term "enemy" and I used it  
to get at the deeper issues that separate us from fox and rabbit  
metaphors. to see what we can do to change our behavior and the  
underlying assumptions that drive (our) poor behavior. Please tell me  
what you think should be done to end the labeling you talk about?

Rogier Gregoire
On Jul 2, 2007, at 8:39 AM, Alice Rudnick wrote:

> I suggest that the first thing we do is question the label of enemy  
> for anyone. My experience is that I lose much possibility when I  
> define with such certainty.
>
> Alice
>
>>>> Rogier Gregoire <[log in to unmask]> 6/30/2007 11:37 AM >>>
> I have been reading the posts to this question randomly and not
> consecutively so I may have missed the continuity of thought that now
> has reached a point where I would like to make a comment.
>
> We (I) often disagree with our (my) enemies but the lack or presence
> of compassion invokes a level of judgement that seems at this point
> inappropriate. Anger and encompassing feeling of ill-will and
> negative assumptions (as well as other negative responses) often get
> swept up in our (my) response to a view inconsistent with the one we
> (I) currently hold. All of this is within the desire to be "right" or
> to affirm a personal world view that supports my very identity.
> Therefore, can mean or symbolize a threat to my very existence not
> just my ideology or spiritual cosmology. I can easily become
> embroiled in deeply held, even subconsciously maintained, ideas and
> assumptions that I honestly consider "reality" but never question or
> consider openly.
>
> I am not always capable of sorting this out for myself or the groups
> I facilitate but I do the work to get at these issues through
> inquiry. So first I have to reveal what inquiry is as a praxis
> (practice) within dialogue. First I try to look at the assumptions
> within my own reasoning that  support my "world view". What is real
> as experience and how much is assumption contributed by the natural
> cognitive process to substantiate experience with mind created or
> retrieved thoughts or ideas. (Sounds great but is infinitely more
> complex if we are to believe the neurophysiologists) So I turn to my
> colleagues in the dialogue to help me look at what is assumption and
> what is experience. (I play this role for others when I am
> facilitating.) Not to discard either but to gain a better
> understanding of my contribution to the conflict of ideas and
> assumptions that we are confronting. Often this effort is intertwined
> with a similar effort by my opponent (hopefully). They are also
> trying to see where and why we disagree and gain a better
> understanding of our discontinuities.
>
> Inquiry, by my understanding, is the effort to see into the
> complexities of our differences and gain a better understanding or
> higher level of consciousness about our differences not to ameliorate
> them or deny our essential integrity but to raise our consciousness
> about these differences. Inquiry presupposes and excepts differences,
> often passionately held, as critical and essential to a diverse world
> view. It is an effort to accept those differences (and sadly the
> behavior they generate) as unavoidable and an aspect of the very
> nature of the universe.
>
> There is another element to dialogue that is seldom talked about and
> only obliquely referred to in previous posts. That is the notion of
> agape, the force that holds the collective together - our love for
> one another. The brain even substantiates this sense of empathy in
> the mirror neuron constructs and behaviors. For me, a sense of
> affection, which is irrational and often difficult to maintain is
> critical to Dialogue (as I practice it) and demand most of my
> attention as a facilitator (and participant). I'm trying to
> understand my self, to be self conscious of my bias and prejudice
> that I hide from myself in my assumptions. No other practice works as
> well.
>
> We can have differences and even act differently out of our
> differences and still understand and even accept our common
> relationship as human beings with common goals and ambitions that
> transcend our differences. We might find even value in our
> differences if we could only understand them as aspects of a diverse
> reality rather than opposed world views.
>
> Dialogue (as I practice it) is a search for greater understanding and
> a higher conscious relationship with a diverse world, not a moral
> struggle or an ethical pursuit. It is a search for inclusiveness in a
> world increasing intolerant of diversity. It most assuredly is not a
> search for consensus. I might also add that violence in thought or
> action (behavior) is a symptom not a cause. Let's address the causes
> first.
>
> Rogier Gregoire

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