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Re: Young Scientist Has a Dialogue

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  • Charu
    Thank you Howard for your response. I appreciate that you ve answered each of my questions. Honestly, I will have to read the post a couple of times before
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 1, 2006
      Thank you Howard for your response. I appreciate that you've answered
      each of my questions. Honestly, I will have to read the post a couple
      of times before it really sinks in. Is there a way I can see it in
      action? I mean see people having a dialogue, and reaching an
      understanding. The more I try to apply this, the less effective it
      seems to be working.
      Charu
    • Howard Ward
      Hello Charu - ... **Thank you. And thanks for being interested. ... **I wish I had a good answer for where you could see this in action. I know of groups in my
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 2, 2006
        Hello Charu -
        >
        >Thank you Howard for your response. I appreciate that you've answered
        >each of my questions. Honestly, I will have to read the post a couple
        >of times before it really sinks in.

        **Thank you. And thanks for being interested.


        >>Is there a way I can see it in
        >action? I mean see people having a dialogue, and reaching an
        >understanding. The more I try to apply this, the less effective it
        >seems to be working.


        **I wish I had a good answer for where you could see this in action. I know of groups in my area (So. Calif.), but I don't really know about any local groups anywhere else. As I've suggested many times here, I think using a dialogue approach is great for online communication as well, but it's a bit difficult to "see" it first-hand.

        While it's clear to me that cooperative dialogue is continually growing and expanding in it's usage, it still seems to be limited to a small percentage of the society. And many of those who have experience in dialogue probably don't have groups in their area actually doing dialogues. So I'm basically saying that at this point the opportunities to experience this first-hand seem to be somewhat limited...to my understanding.

        What I'm basically attempting to suggest to people I come in contact with is that if they are interested in some sort of change, which will likely involve or require a 'change in understanding', then it might be worth looking at how adversarial debate is essentially counter-productive to 'learning together', and that a cooperative/exploratory dialogue approach creates an environment much more conducive to learning.

        The reality, it seems to me, is that human understanding is rarely going to change at the speed we normally tend to wish it would. I'm not suggesting that dialogue will change the normal learning process into visable change every time it's used. What I'm suggesting is that the chances of learning occuring goes up significantly when you have an environment which is actually conducive to learning. But it's still largely dependent on the 'interest' of the people involved in actually learning.

        With adversarial debate I'd guestimate that the chances of people having any signifcant insight into some aspect of life at about 1%. In cooperative dialogue I'd say it goes up to about 10%. And if someone is truly passionate about learning, it jumps up significantly from there.

        I came across an interesting related quote recently:

        "...when new groups of phenomena compel changes in the pattern of thought...even the most eminent of physisists find immense difficulties. For the demand for change in the thought pattern may engender the feeling that the ground is being pulled from under one's feet...I believe that the difficulties at this point can hardly be overestimated. Once one has experienced the desperation with which clever and conciliatory men of science react to the demand for a change in the thought pattern, one can only be amazed that such revolutions in science have actually been possible at all." - Werner Heisenberg


        With regard to seeing it first-hand, I suggest that one can observe the benefits of this exploratory approach by familiarizing oneself with the guidelines and then observing 'oneself in relationship with others', and how others respond to this cooperative approach, while using this approach. In addition to this, if one has the opporunity one could ask if others were interested in trying the guidelines in a dialogue together.

        Last month a friend of mine and I had a dialogue on Immigration with about 12 people attending. Essentially only myself and two others were familiar with the guidelines, but I went through the guidelines for everyone before we started, and it seemed that pretty much everyone was pleased with the outcome. This month we are meeting again to dialogue on Globalization.

        I hope I won't bother anyone by repeating some previous suggestions I've made here, but I'd like to offer a few suggestions about Dialogue vs. Debate so you can have a few things to 'see in action'.

        First, here's the link again to the Dialogue Guidelines I use as a handout to explain the process:

        http://www.uoregon.edu/~mears/about.html

        I made a bunch of copies that I take with me to different groups I attend, in case the opportunity arises to suggest dialogue.

        Here's a link to one of the online comparisons of Dialogue vs. Debate:

        http://www.nald.ca/clr/study/scdvd.htm

        To my observation, you are already using aspects of a cooperative approach. But familiarizing oneself or others with each of the guidelines seems to help bring a greater clarity to the different aspects of the cooperative approach.

        I also feel there are what might be called different levels to dialogue. One can use it to simply explore social issues, or one can go "deeper" into observing and learning about oneself and the relationships one has.

        In my opinion, the 'learning about oneself' and one's relationships is where the real benefits of dialogue become most evident.

        Here's one of the Debate vs Dialogue points:

        Dialogue reveals assumptions for re-evaluation.
        Debate defends assumptions as truth.

        Let's say you meet someone who has a different view than you. With an adversarial debate approach, each person will basically defend their beliefs. And one can 'see this in action' in ones daily life. In addition to focusing on defending one's existing views instead of openly questioning them, the adversarial approach basically sustains the fragmentation and division among people. It perpetuates the me vs them relationship.

        Now, how would it look in action if one asked the other person if they were interested in both you and them holding their views loosely so that an issue could be explored more openly and respectfully to see the issue in question as clearly as possible?

        If you do that, that's generally just one aspect of what might occur with a more open cooperative approach.

        Now let me add in the 'observing oneself and one's relationship' aspect, which is basically totally absent in debate or most normal discussions.

        When someone expresses their view to you, you can then observe whether you are really listening to what they say, or whether you are thinking about something else, or whether you are trying to fault with what they are saying instead of listening to them. One can also observe any feelings which arise like fear or anger. If a reaction like fear or anger does arise, one can explore the thinking which seems connected to the emotion occuring.

        Then when one is going to respond to the other person, one can observe one's own beliefs & opinions to see if they are actually accurately reflecting reality or whether one is simply voicing culturally conditioned ideas?

        My experience in doing this led to an awareness that there are thousands of questionable ideas floating around in our heads as a result of the cultural conditioning we are all exposed to, and if we observe this conditioning in action, it can have a corrective affect on the incoherent aspects of the thinking.

        Basically, cooperative dialogue is really just a collection of the best ways of learning and communicating with one another that various studies have shown. Things like the importance of listening, the importance of being respectful, , the importance of going into things thoroughly, the importance of questioning, the importance of having friends look together with you, the importance of observing directly for oneself, the importance of not limiting the looking to just concepts about reality but rather to looking at the reality directly for oneself, etc., etc.


        Regards - Howard
      • education@justice.com
        I would like to suggest the work of David R. Hawkins here in understanding the effects of consciousness on outcomes in life:
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 6, 2006
          I would like to suggest the work of David R. Hawkins here
          in understanding the effects of consciousness on outcomes
          in life:
          http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/104-0881868-9148758?url=index%3Dstripbooks%3Arelevance-above&field-keywords=%22+David+R.+Hawkins%22&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go
          (first five)

          I have only read his latest book ("I..."), but this and
          the fact that some very smart friends of mine have
          suggested his other work implies to me that it is likely
          of value to anyone who is open to (non-denominational)
          spiritual answers to life's questions.

          On Fri, 2 Jun 2006 12:46:11 -0700 (GMT-07:00), Howard Ward
          wrote:

          >
          > Hello Charu -
          > >
          > >Thank you Howard for your response. I appreciate that
          > you've answered
          > >each of my questions. Honestly, I will have to read the
          > post a couple
          > >of times before it really sinks in.
          >
          > **Thank you. And thanks for being interested.
          >
          >
          > >>Is there a way I can see it in
          > >action? I mean see people having a dialogue, and
          reaching
          > an
          > >understanding. The more I try to apply this, the less
          > effective it
          > >seems to be working.
          >
          >
          > **I wish I had a good answer for where you could see this
          > in action. I know of groups in my area (So. Calif.), but
          I
          > don't really know about any local groups anywhere else.
          As
          > I've suggested many times here, I think using a dialogue
          > approach is great for online communication as well, but
          > it's a bit difficult to "see" it first-hand.
          >
          > While it's clear to me that cooperative dialogue is
          > continually growing and expanding in it's usage, it still
          > seems to be limited to a small percentage of the society.
          > And many of those who have experience in dialogue
          probably
          > don't have groups in their area actually doing dialogues.
          > So I'm basically saying that at this point the
          > opportunities to experience this first-hand seem to be
          > somewhat limited...to my understanding.
          >
          > What I'm basically attempting to suggest to people I come
          > in contact with is that if they are interested in some
          > sort of change, which will likely involve or require a
          > 'change in understanding', then it might be worth looking
          > at how adversarial debate is essentially
          > counter-productive to 'learning together', and that a
          > cooperative/exploratory dialogue approach creates an
          > environment much more conducive to learning.
          >
          > The reality, it seems to me, is that human understanding
          > is rarely going to change at the speed we normally tend
          to
          > wish it would. I'm not suggesting that dialogue will
          > change the normal learning process into visable change
          > every time it's used. What I'm suggesting is that the
          > chances of learning occuring goes up significantly when
          > you have an environment which is actually conducive to
          > learning. But it's still largely dependent on the
          > 'interest' of the people involved in actually learning.
          >
          > With adversarial debate I'd guestimate that the chances
          of
          > people having any signifcant insight into some aspect of
          > life at about 1%. In cooperative dialogue I'd say it goes
          > up to about 10%. And if someone is truly passionate about
          > learning, it jumps up significantly from there.
          >
          > I came across an interesting related quote recently:
          >
          > "...when new groups of phenomena compel changes in the
          > pattern of thought...even the most eminent of physisists
          > find immense difficulties. For the demand for change in
          > the thought pattern may engender the feeling that the
          > ground is being pulled from under one's feet...I believe
          > that the difficulties at this point can hardly be
          > overestimated. Once one has experienced the desperation
          > with which clever and conciliatory men of science react
          to
          > the demand for a change in the thought pattern, one can
          > only be amazed that such revolutions in science have
          > actually been possible at all." - Werner Heisenberg
          >
          >
          > With regard to seeing it first-hand, I suggest that one
          > can observe the benefits of this exploratory approach by
          > familiarizing oneself with the guidelines and then
          > observing 'oneself in relationship with others', and how
          > others respond to this cooperative approach, while using
          > this approach. In addition to this, if one has the
          > opporunity one could ask if others were interested in
          > trying the guidelines in a dialogue together.
          >
          > Last month a friend of mine and I had a dialogue on
          > Immigration with about 12 people attending. Essentially
          > only myself and two others were familiar with the
          > guidelines, but I went through the guidelines for
          everyone
          > before we started, and it seemed that pretty much
          everyone
          > was pleased with the outcome. This month we are meeting
          > again to dialogue on Globalization.
          >
          > I hope I won't bother anyone by repeating some previous
          > suggestions I've made here, but I'd like to offer a few
          > suggestions about Dialogue vs. Debate so you can have a
          > few things to 'see in action'.
          >
          > First, here's the link again to the Dialogue Guidelines I
          > use as a handout to explain the process:
          >
          > http://www.uoregon.edu/~mears/about.html
          >
          > I made a bunch of copies that I take with me to different
          > groups I attend, in case the opportunity arises to
          suggest
          > dialogue.
          >
          > Here's a link to one of the online comparisons of
          Dialogue
          > vs. Debate:
          >
          > http://www.nald.ca/clr/study/scdvd.htm
          >
          > To my observation, you are already using aspects of a
          > cooperative approach. But familiarizing oneself or others
          > with each of the guidelines seems to help bring a greater
          > clarity to the different aspects of the cooperative
          > approach.
          >
          > I also feel there are what might be called different
          > levels to dialogue. One can use it to simply explore
          > social issues, or one can go "deeper" into observing and
          > learning about oneself and the relationships one has.
          >
          > In my opinion, the 'learning about oneself' and one's
          > relationships is where the real benefits of dialogue
          > become most evident.
          >
          > Here's one of the Debate vs Dialogue points:
          >
          > Dialogue reveals assumptions for re-evaluation.
          > Debate defends assumptions as truth.
          >
          > Let's say you meet someone who has a different view than
          > you. With an adversarial debate approach, each person
          will
          > basically defend their beliefs. And one can 'see this in
          > action' in ones daily life. In addition to focusing on
          > defending one's existing views instead of openly
          > questioning them, the adversarial approach basically
          > sustains the fragmentation and division among people. It
          > perpetuates the me vs them relationship.
          >
          > Now, how would it look in action if one asked the other
          > person if they were interested in both you and them
          > holding their views loosely so that an issue could be
          > explored more openly and respectfully to see the issue in
          > question as clearly as possible?
          >
          > If you do that, that's generally just one aspect of what
          > might occur with a more open cooperative approach.
          >
          > Now let me add in the 'observing oneself and one's
          > relationship' aspect, which is basically totally absent
          in
          > debate or most normal discussions.
          >
          > When someone expresses their view to you, you can then
          > observe whether you are really listening to what they
          say,
          > or whether you are thinking about something else, or
          > whether you are trying to fault with what they are saying
          > instead of listening to them. One can also observe any
          > feelings which arise like fear or anger. If a reaction
          > like fear or anger does arise, one can explore the
          > thinking which seems connected to the emotion occuring.
          >
          > Then when one is going to respond to the other person,
          one
          > can observe one's own beliefs & opinions to see if they
          > are actually accurately reflecting reality or whether one
          > is simply voicing culturally conditioned ideas?
          >
          > My experience in doing this led to an awareness that
          there
          > are thousands of questionable ideas floating around in
          our
          > heads as a result of the cultural conditioning we are all
          > exposed to, and if we observe this conditioning in
          action,
          > it can have a corrective affect on the incoherent aspects
          > of the thinking.
          >
          > Basically, cooperative dialogue is really just a
          > collection of the best ways of learning and communicating
          > with one another that various studies have shown. Things
          > like the importance of listening, the importance of being
          > respectful, , the importance of going into things
          > thoroughly, the importance of questioning, the importance
          > of having friends look together with you, the importance
          > of observing directly for oneself, the importance of not
          > limiting the looking to just concepts about reality but
          > rather to looking at the reality directly for oneself,
          > etc., etc.
          >
          >
          > Regards - Howard
          >
          >
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          >
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          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          "True form is formless"
          Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching
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