The Garden of Hesperides
Dialogue is interchange. In dialogue, something transpasses between you and me. It confirms the interconnectedness that we as a culture are just starting to become aware of in our world. Dialogue helps me to understand that I have to be who I am, and that who or whatever I am is dependent on my connection with everything and everyone else. Dialogue cuts through that mental confusion that emerges when according to our minds things have to be one way or the other, and yet to our experience there is no fine line between them. It is in action of dialogue that we resolve this conundrum of (mis)understanding. I like the title of the book The Cloud of Unknowing which tells me that it is when I let go of needing to know that I come to know. It is in dialogue that I come to understand who I am, who you are, and our relationship to each other.
For me dialogue does not have to be based on words. It is often much more meaningful when it is experienced as an energy exchange between us. Being with another person in silence can be profoundly moving. In that experience something occurs which often causes discomfort. When that feeling is worked through, a gem can often be found below the rough exterior. There is dialogue in the most sublime and the most mundane aspects of life. The give and take of daily living and relationships, even in connection with buying and selling is an aspect of dialogue and represents an opportunity for profound spirituality. It can also provide the means to be a base person and unfortunately, many do not see other than this. As I wrote in the introduction, "Give and take has to do with an ecology that forms the invisible basis of all health and vitality, whether personal, social, political, economic, or otherwise." My hope and vision has to do with bringing that potential of dialogue to consciousness and working with it attain the promises it holds.
Listen – A request or appeal by an unknown author.
Links to outside the garden (links open to a separate browser page)
The art of listening by Brenda Ueland
The Ecology of Interaction website is dedicated to William Johnston, whose books, especially Mystical Theology, have taught me much about dialogue and its value, and also to Martin Buber, who needs no introduction to those with an interest in dialogue.
Copyright © 2003, Dirk Kelder