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I would like to echo Judy and Matts' sentiments and add a couple of
thoughts. Although lately there has been a lot of discussion on this
listserve on this listserve, I think it's been useful, important and
nearly entirely constructive.
This forum is of great value for a variety of reasons. Thinking back to
its origins and the structure we created for it - an invitation only list
- the main concern we had was that we (practitioners, researchers,
professionals [I use that term with caution because it often has
different meanings and connotations for different people]) needed a place
for exchanging ideas, experiences, information, questions, etc. that
would not be continually plagued by the need to explain everything at the
beginner level, not have a lot of traffic on the basic topics that people
could find elsewhere, leaving us free to focus on the larger and in some
cases more complex or techical matters, or matters that were of concern
to some of us who were "leaders" or stewards of this movement.
In other words, we wanted a forum in which we would focus on things at a
more advanced or knowledgeable level, not to be exclusive for elitist
reasons but for the practical ones - including not having to spend hours
sorting through messages dealing with the basic newbie questions that
we'd all been answering for years, to find the level of information that
was of interest and concern to us. Many have stayed active in those other
lists and a few of us, myself included have had to pull back from them
because of other commitments or focus.
Speaking just for myself, I value this list immensely because of the
quality of the voices here, the strong tendency not to abuse the
privilege of being included, and, as Judy noted, the incredible
generosity of spirit that resides here. I have no problem with others
having access to the archives of the list, though I can imagine some
circumstances in which that might be problematic. But clearly, there is
much discussion here that is of great value and should available to
people who could benefit from it. I just don't want to open this list to
anyone who would clog it up with questions and suggestions that aren't
conducive to the level of dialogue we experience now.
I can't speak to the issue of Hank Carr's membership on the list because
I don't know him or his work, though my tendency is toward inclusion
rather than exclusion if the person in question has something of
substance to offer to this community at an appropriate level that they
can contribute constructively. One the the issue that Rob raised, if Kim
Thompson, from Nova Scotia, is not a member, or Habib Gonzalez from
British Columbia for that matter, I would propose them now strongly
because of their past contributions and what they have to offer.
Finally, some of you may have gotten my thanksgiving message of a few
weeks ago, which included this from the writing of the late physicist,
David Bohm, from his wonderful little book, On Dialogue:
In this book, which is about real communication, Bohm explains that his
meaning for the word "dialogue" is somewhat different from common usage.
He points out that the word comes from the Greek word "dialogos." Logos
means "the word," or the "meaning of the word." And "dia" means "through"
not "two." A dialogue can be among any number of people. Bohm writes,
"The picture or image that this derivation suggests is of a stream of
meaning flowing among and through us and between us." "In...a dialogue,
when one person says something, the other person does not in general
respond with exactly the same meaning as that seen by the first person.
Rather, the meanings are only similar and not identical. Thus, when the
second person replies, the first person sees a difference between what he
meant to say and what the other person understood. On considering this
difference, he may then be able to see something new, which is relevant
both to his own views and to those of the other person. And so it can go
back and forth, with the continual emergence of a new content that is
common to both participants. Thus in dialogue, each person does not
attempt to make common certain ideas or items of information that are
already known to him. Rather, it may be said that the two people are
making something in common, i.e., creating something new together."
Bohm continues, "But of course such communication can lead to the
creation of something new only if people are able freely to listen to
each other, without prejudice, and without trying to influence each
other. Each has to be interested primarily in truth and coherence, so
that he is ready to drop his old ideas and intentions, and be ready to go
on to something different, when this is called for."
What I have appreciated above all else in this GSBN community, is that
true dialogue often occurs here and I hope we can appreciate and work to
preserve this as a safe space in which we can have real dialogue.
With warmest regards,
Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about;
ideas, language, even the phrase "each other"
doesn't make any sense.