"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."- Albert Einstein
Rabbi Michael Lerner suggests that the “absolute prerequisite for making peace” is to “reconnect with what it means in the Torah when it tells us categorically ‘Thou shalt love the stranger’” (2004). Therefore, it is a necessary to cross our thresholds to connect with the other for peace to exist.
David Bohm points out that, “Love will go away if we can’t communicate and share meaning” (1996, p. 46). The corollary to Bohm’s statement is in agreement with Lerner: If humans are able to communicate and share meaning it is possible to “love the stranger.”
As a student and practitioner of Dialogue, I have constantly explored the question of how can we cross our thresholds to meet with the inimical other for the purpose of creating peace. Through my exploration of this question, I have developed a unique theory of dialogue that includes a definition of dialogue as an archetypal process that occurs in an enabling space and that has a set of observable phenomenon that emerge from that process.
Posted by John Bell on December 10, 2006
Tags: The Fifth Principle of Dialogue