About our cyberjournal community dialog…

2002-08-22

Richard Moore

Friends,

One thing that does not happen effectively on this list
is dialog among the subscriber community.  Since my
attention to the list is sporadic, group discussions
very rarely get off the ground.  By the time I get
around to reviewing people's contributions, the moment
has passed, the dialog is stifled.

And then I have this habit of wanting to comment on
what everyone says.  In some sense this is a good thing
-- many people have said their favorite postings are
the 'rkm dialog' variety.  In another sense it's a bad
thing, as it further stifles dialog amongst the the
rest of you.

This is why I've set up the chat area over on the quay
largo server. I'm hoping it can be a forum for the
kinds of dialog which don't work well here.  But so far
it isn't getting off the ground.  Only a few people
have posted anything.  I'd like to understand why that
is.

I'd really appreciate it if you'd write in and let me
know why _you don't participate.  The system is only a
first draft, and it can be changed 'every which way'. 
But I need to know the particular 'which ways' that
would make it more useable.  Perhaps you don't like to
stay connected to the web, perhaps you'd like to be
able to click on particular message headers and have
them emailed to you.  Whatever, let me know.

It would help the process a lot if more of you would go
ahead, bite the bullet, and post some kind of "Hello
world, here's who I am" message, just to break the ice.
 If nothing else, that's a good way to find out what
parts of the process are friendly and which aren't. 
Then you can tell me and I can fix it.
    http://www.QuayLargo.com/Transformation/ShowChat/

The suggested content focus is the Zen quest story, but
that shouldn't be much of a limitation.  So many topics
are touched on (flown past?) there that almost anything
is fair game for discussion.

The contribution below is too long for a posting in the
chat area, but it's exactly the kind of discussion that
would make sense there.

think about it,
rkm  

============================================================================
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 01:09:53 -0700
From: "Jan Van Erp"<•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Appreciation and Suggestions

Richard,

First of all many thanks for your wonderful thinking
and writing.  I have been an internet junkie since our
presidential elections trying to understand what is
afoot in our land; and since then have taken one red
pill after another, or so it seems.  Not only are your
explanations of what is the case the best that I have
encountered, but your thoughts on ways toward
improvement also make the most sense to me of those
that I have encountered.  It has seemed to me that
polarity is part of the problem and a large energizer
for the machine that keeps us in the dark AND for
keeping us impotent.  BRAVO!!

Your summer ruminations have asked about what we might
be doing in the context of your site, and I have a few
thoughts on that.

1) The first is that seeing the reality for what it IS
is the key.  You have identified this so clearly.  It
~also~ seems to me that it is important to find some
way of being at personal peace and stability with this.
 To continue the MATRIX analogy, NEO finally vanquishes
his adversaries by accepting them into himself.  All
attempts to defeat them outside of himself are useless.
 It is the opposition that sustains them.  Until we
find in ourselves some way to accept the current
situation, we will be giving it our energy.  Or so it
seems to me.  Peace may be the wrong term for this
because it is so loaded; but what I mean here is a
sense of personal stability after the red pill.  The
only person that I know who works specifically on this
with people is Joanna Macy (www.joannamacy.net), but
there certainly may be others.

The process of developing this stability may look very
different for each of us depending on our temperament,
history and resources.  For myself it looks a lot like
grief, for others like going sober (off consumerism,
perhaps), and for NEO it looked like learning martial
arts.  I am particularly glad to see that the Zen of
this process is being appreciated.  ìThere is no way to
peace, peace is the way.î  If we are going to be able
to focus on the process rather than the goal, and
especially be able to allow it to lead us where it
will, it seems to me that there must be some
significant space in our own consciousness that allows
that to happen.  I would like to know if others feel
this way about it and what has been helpful.

Another, even more basic stability factor is the whole
recovery from the shock of the change.  NEO had an
entire community inviting him to join.  I went through
most of this myself with occasional help of one friend.
 All of the people I know really do not consider this a
life changing matter.  For me, it felt like one shock
after another as I went from the election travesty
through the realization that 9-11 was allowed to happen
by our government.  So I had no real community able to
focus on this. Even though I am active in several
communities that practice transformational dialog and
tried to engage them on this subject repeatedly, I had
to deal with most of the process of going through the
shock by myself.  I would be interested in hearing
about the experience of others in this regard too.

If my experience is any guide there are a lot of people
who need help with the shock of this and are finding
only those offering them the blue pill.   It would be
helpful to hear about the experiences of others
choosing to take the red pill during that transition.

2)  The second is that, again from just the briefest of
readings, it seems to me that the next step has been
rightly identified as engaging with others on subjects
of mutual interest in ways that I currently name
transformational dialog.  This is the very best of
memes!   I am so glad to see a place where these issues
of what is next are being engaged with these remarkably
powerful techniques.  There also seems to me to be an
employment of these techniques in the
anti-globalization movement.  Although consensus is
sometimes controversial (methinks for reasons that the
consequences of my first observation have not been
recognized), they are often attempted and sometimes
with remarkable consequences.  (These techniques were
SOP with the Movement for A New Society (MNS), for
example.)  Do others find transformational dialog
common or uncommon in activist groups these days?  Are
they receptive?

There is also the recognition that this is a process
and NOT a program.  This is brilliant.  And I like the
tribal analogy in your essay on changing the world.  To
me, again from the briefest of readings, what seems to
be missing in carrying on with this process is to
engage other TRIBES, rather than (as it seems to me)
organizing an independent effort.  As long as we make
attempts to organize as others have, it seems to me
that we are behaving like a faction and will look like
that.  I have no history as an organizer and have only
recently been looking a little into this.  But might it
be possible to take the meme to existing groups as a
process proposal for conducting meetings and making
decisions?  And might we just start this by making
contact with existing groups to explore interest in
this approach?  Has anyone tried this? What have been
the results?

3)  The third is to emphasize that I would like to see
a lot of information about the experience of others in
this process shared in this space.  How did you make
the decision to take the pill?  How did you go through
the shock of withdrawal from consensus reality?  How
did you (re)discover your sense of
mastery/peace/spaciousness?  What has been your
experience in communicating this meme with other people
and existing groups in your lives?   What has been
helpful and what has not?


Thanks again,

jan
-- 

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