Dialogue: Beyond You
Peace will never find itself manifest, at the end of a monologue.
"The Stages of Deep Dialogue (which the ego-mind and its monologue, cannot know)."
All of this teaching belongs to Professor Ashok Gangadean, Ph.D., and whom you can learn more about here.
Deep dialogue is a space ...
If we could decode and enter into this space, we would have access to other alternative worlds as well. This requires listening deeply to the other.
To enter dialogue requires stepping back from one's lens, and into open space, daring to listen. It requires re-morphing our mind into the ecology of another world.
What tools and skills do we need, to break the "ego addiction" (as Buddha called it)?
"Ego-ing" is a mind-habit. And habit is a kind of addiction. Changing the habit is possible. Such change requires, (of course) re-hab work (re-habiting).
Q: "Where is the Book for this rehab program?" Ans: ...
- Stage one - rather than taming and domesticating the "otherness" of others through my world view lens, a radical encountering of differences begins. The self faces the other. A stage of shock. Where one's habits of mind, cannot make sense of this "other." This encounter quickly evokes vulnerability and a sense of limitation. A realization that taking in this "other" into my world view is dysfunctional,... it's just not working. I pause and face silently this realization, and open a horizon of uncertainty and risk. A decision is required: to move forward or draw back. This shock of seeing the "other" as truly "other," so different from "me," is the first prerequisite to being willing to step back from one's lens that has up until now, provided comfort and identity. A "mid-life crisis" equivalent, in which we truly sense the "otherness" of the other.
- Stage two - crossing over into the world of the "other." Stepping back from what I have been familiar with. To make sense of this world of the "other," requires setting aside one's prejudice and pre-judgement. This is bracketting and setting aside one's world to learn a new language, entering a totally different mental ecology.
- Stage three - inhabiting and experiencing this world of the "other." Transforming into the "other" and entering into their space. The objective here is to "try on" this foreign world and look at it through the lens of the "other." Feeling a new deep empathy for this new way of being, still holding on to prior views, but advancing conservatively. I experience this new world view and the reality of the "other." One suddenly faces questions like: "where is my true home?" This stage calls into question who one is, in this reality. One can finally say to the "other" in this stage, in a moment of true empathy: "I see how you see it." This results in a dilatation of our minds and our prior sense of reality.
- Stage four - Crossing back with its now expanded vision, the self returns home, or tries to, with this new vision and a dilated/ expanded mind. I bring back this new knowledge of how to think and act, perhaps adapting certain parts of what was just learned. Sense of self and life is deepened. There can no longer be a return to a previous unilateral, monologic, ego-minded way of thinking. Return to prior ways of thinking, seems hampered by this "dilation" as though an irrevocable effect of expansion has taken place. A new sense of reality.
- Stage five - A dialogic awakening begins: a double-bracket transformation of self. Inner expererience and encounter with others are now changed and become different experiences. The former world view has had a foundation-shaking experience. Mindful of other world views and perspectives, one can no longer return to one's former world view and identity, or forget the living presence of the "other." An emergence of openness to other pluralities, worlds and perspectives begins to emerge. This results in a transformation towards feeling a deeper sense of self and one's ecology. One's true identity is now perceived as connected with this expansive network of relations with others. And with that, one begins to awaken and rise nto "the zone." Connectivity, in stage 5, becomes a living reality.
- Stage six - richer and deeper ... one's whole being is now deepening, beginning to arise and flourish. Discovery of a boundless inter-relational web, where multiplicity and diversity enriches myself and my world. All these worlds are situated in a common ground. Even radical Differences are situated in the field of Unity. One experiences three related dimensions of awakening ...
b. relation to others - A dynamic dialogue opens with others in my community. A new relation with others, seen as my peers, who share my world. This can be disorienting, for as I grow in my identity, I find myself at a strange distance from many of my peers. I face a new challenge, misunderstandings, and to address these, a new dialogue begins to unfold in my community.
c. relation to the world - a global awakening emerges in all aspects of life. The realization of being surrounded by many world views creates a new global horizon, revealing a global consciousness. Here inter-personal, inter-disciplinary, inter-religious, "inter-inter" dialogues abound in all directions. A new global sense of reality, in a dialogic space, in which muliple alternative worlds are situated in a dynamic, ever-deepening series of inter-relations. A new understanding of life, ethics, politics, and religious practice emerges. A space that now no longer frightens, even if it throws one off kilter at times, it invites growth and maturation as a human, moral, dialoguing being. This without feeling at all, as one would have before, that one's own identity is being undermined. In fact, whatever may have been lost in getting to this step, an essential falling away, means not losing one's self, but gaining it.
(and below, I paraphrase) :
The I, and the Thou, and the We, would be profoundly interconnected, in a world where each person, has the right to Be.
Is this chaos? Or is this a deeper order, The Deeper Order?
When viewed by the ego-mind, what is actually order, may look like chaos. But in fact, living The Deeper Order, is living The Law, and living autonomously yet free: Free from tyranny.
As one seeks to imbibe this teaching, realize that its summarized presentation here does it injustice, or rather, does you injustice. Because what you have missed is the absolutely essential "prior art" that precedes this and leads up to it. Without that, your reaction may unfortunately lean towards: "What is this guy talking about?!" So do yourself a favor and don't pass up the gestation before the birth. The links are here.
- Our "Targets" are entities, countries, people, rulers, ... where dialogue isn't. "Isn't what?" you ask. Just isn't. Not the true, deep dialogue as invited here, growing and evolving through such stepwise progression.
- We feel that The Challenge is of a magnitude, that to meet it,... if you do not already have, or develop, these strengths of deep dialogue within yourself, (yes, go ahead, talk to yourself about your world view),... you will fail in meeting The Challenge. Almost certainly. How could you approach a country bearing Peace and Compassion, where women's rights are non-existant, if you are Director of a feminist organization with no conflict between your personal beliefs and those held by your organization ... IF, you cannot imagine viewing in yourSelf, the rulers of such a country, and committing to Send Them Peace Now?
- For those who can't get a hold on the SendThemPeace mouvement from its "practical" tasks, to apparently absolutely insane efforts to meet The Challenge, ... Efforts taking place in seemingly chaotic spaces of Uncertainty where little or nothing is "tacked down," ... then you need this teaching.
- Q: "So what is all of this? Just another Dream and another Dreamer?" Ans: "I certainly hope so."
"What is your relationship with ISIS?"
None? And don't want one? And happy to say that?
Yes. Certainly a challenge to reach ISIS right now, through dialogue.
"OK. You trying to get your head blown off, buddy ? Your tongue cut out ? Hunh ? Is that what you're after here ?!"
In surgery one learns to say: "Move from known to unknown." This avoids missteps.
So to support your dialogue, what do you know now? Do you have a profound relationship with a teacher who can expose you to what you don't know?
Because if your knowledge is lacking, but you feel that doesn't matter. If you're happy with your monologue just the way it is ...
Have you read Huston Smith's section on Islam in his book, "The World’s Religions"? It's been the Religions 101 university course bible (pun intended) for years.
Start there. (Want a smaller view of world religions? Buy Smith's Islam. But know that the larger text includes this smaller text, and for not much more expended).
How can one have anything but a shadow relationship with another person, if one doesn't know and feel their beliefs? If one hasn't thought through, on what these beliefs are based, and the historical context in which they arose?
Then ask yourself: "Where are my relationships in this? Who do I trust to guide me in creating this dialogue? Who's feeding me the information that I need? The media? My Social Networks?
Commit now to relationship, and dialogue: not, action based on ego-centric fear.
Now, I understand without being too judgemental, the following reaction to the above statement :
"I may be expressing a bit of "ego-centric fear," as you call it ... But before I start drinking tea with ISIS members, I wouldn't mind seeing a few more 500 pound bombs dropped on their heads. This of course, only to encourage and support your call for dialogue, and reduce by a bit, my "ego-centric fear." Maybe such action taken daily for about the next 3 months or so: the bombs, I mean. Then I might feel better about drinking tea, chatting a bit, and listening to what they share with me as to their desperate needs. I don't mind being in a "shadow relationship" as you called it, with these guys. I'd say I favor, No Relationship. But I do think that a few more 500 pounders just might increase my compassion considerably."
Have bombs ever helped to put an end to a dictator's madness? Yes. At least to the actions arising from that madness. This, by placing such action out of reach, as material resources and troops for continued action became "unavailable." And who else suffered, as always? Just the berzerk dictator? You know the answer.
Is bombing always effective to meet one's ends or "end the War, finally assuring that a permanent Peace Is At Hand"? No. Look at the "Christmas Bombing" by B-52's and others at the end of the war in Vietnam, this in never-before-seen concentrations. Did "our side" win? No. Did many humans lose? Yes. A material method that was completely ineffective at meeting its goal. Even the pilots and crews said that the method of carrying out these same bombing runs, in straight lines day after day, were stupid, and contributed to their losses. But our subject is not military tactics for winning wars.
"Yes, it's sad. Very sad. But that's war. What else have you got? And say,... you're not a Pinko-Commie are you"?
Are we now in a new space ? Or not yet ?
Is there a more Spiritual rather than a Material method, to SendThemPeace?
While many are laughing, or staring in wide-eyed disbelief,... let's try The Challenge.