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NCDD-DISCUSSION  June 2007, Week 5

NCDD-DISCUSSION June 2007, Week 5

Subject:

Re: How do we hold our enemies with compassion?

From:

Rogier Gregoire <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Rogier Gregoire <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 30 Jun 2007 10:37:16 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (74 lines)

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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