Making Community Work

Most of my blog posts on the topic of community make a case for seeing it as a social organism, as something that emerges, grows, flourishes, and dies, just like other living things. I typically focus my reflections on how not to interfere with or undermine its organic process, suggesting that we see ourselves moreContinue reading “Making Community Work”

Spirituality for Everyone

One of my objectives in this blog, to be perfectly honest, is to help others understand spirituality as essentially distinct from orthodox religion and esoteric spiritualism. It is not, as religions commonly are, an establishment of conservative morality and an echo chamber of archaic superstitions. But neither is it a secret tradition of metaphysical revelationsContinue reading “Spirituality for Everyone”

The Heart and Hope of Democracy

Let’s begin this meditation on the heart and hope of democracy with you identifying yourself with either the Blue or Red sphere in the diagram above. Then let’s pretend that all of your life you’ve been training to be the best Blue or Red you can be. From an early age your tribe was activelyContinue reading “The Heart and Hope of Democracy”

The Big Picture

It’s true. I’m obsessed with trying to clarify the Big Picture, referring to the full view of our human situation not only inside our ethnic and national pocket cultures, but on the planet and across evolutionary time. Much of our difficulty at present, recurring through history as we tend to get snagged on the sameContinue reading “The Big Picture”

Thinking About Religion

Recently in the Wisdom Circle I attend we engaged a discussion on the difference between “inflexible” and “flexible” knowledge. Inflexible knowledge is when our understanding of something is fused to the particular example by which it was first introduced. We are not yet able to think of it abstractly – or in other words, apartContinue reading “Thinking About Religion”

A Method of Dialogue, Final Step: Resolution

We’ve been digging into my Mentallurgy Method of Dialogue in order to understand its progression of steps or phases. Preparation addresses the critical importance for each would-be partner to arrive at the table in the most resourceful state possible. Consideration begins to create the space where partners can search for common ground and clarify whatContinue reading “A Method of Dialogue, Final Step: Resolution”

A Method of Dialogue, Step Three: Deliberation

Making meaning in community can be difficult work. Even in what I call ‘genuine community’ there will be misunderstandings and occasional conflict. Partners in community don’t always get along, but when they find themselves at odds they know how to work together for resolution. In this mini-series of blog posts I am describing the stepsContinue reading “A Method of Dialogue, Step Three: Deliberation”

A Method of Dialogue, Step Two: Consideration

Let’s remind ourselves: Dialogue is different from mere conversation, topic discussion, or competitive debate in the way it involves partners in the co-construction of meaning. Dialogue is about working together; its back-and-forth exchanges are conducted in the interest of respecting differences, building rapport, finding common ground, and cooperating toward a satisfying and meaningful resolution. TheContinue reading “A Method of Dialogue, Step Two: Consideration”

A Method of Dialogue, Step One: Preparation

A method is not like a machine, where once you get it going you can step back and leave it alone. This is particularly true when we’re talking about a method of dialogue and community formation. To step back from dialogue is to abort the process and abandon community. Furthermore, dialogue and community simply doContinue reading “A Method of Dialogue, Step One: Preparation”

A Method of Dialogue (Introduction)

For our future to be long and prosperous, our species needs to learn better ways of getting along. Our growing population, along with the steady increase in the pluralization of global culture, is making it impossible to stay inside our provincial bubbles of meaning. More and more, we are confronted with the differences that characterizeContinue reading “A Method of Dialogue (Introduction)”