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Posts from the ‘Dialogue’ Category

Mazeway Dialogue and The Pursuit of Global Wisdom

The Mazeway project will extend its reach around the world by way of  Mazeway Dialogue. When fully developed and functioning, this facility will enable anyone with access to the Internet to become knowledgeable about all aspects of the project. That is, dialogue about:

  • each of the 14 element of the Life Map Template;  
  • each of the 14 great issues of our time; and 
  • about the pursuit of a coherent, moral, and universal MetaVision.

One very important variable to the dialogue process is the higher level of it defined by Professor Leonard Swidler, leader of the Dialogue Institute Programs at Temple University:

“In the dawning of the age of global dialogue, we humans are increasingly aware that we cannot know everything about anything. This is true for the physical sciences. No one would claim that she knows everything about biology, physics, or chemistry. Likewise, no one would claim that we know everything about the human sciences –sociology, anthropology, or good heavens, economics. And, each of these disciplines is endlessly complicated.”

“But, in the field that is the most complicated and complex of all, mainly religion, which, of course, attempts to provide an explanation of the ultimate meaning of life and how to live accordingly, based on some notion of the transcendent. Well, in that area, the most complex of all, there are billions of us humans who claim we know everything. That, of course, is precisely the place where we should be most modest and humble in our claims. Why, because nobody knows everything about anything.”

“Neither I nor anyone can know everything about anything, including this most complicated claim to truth, religion. The question is: how do I proceed to search for an ever-fuller grasp of reality, of truth. The clear answer I believe is dialogue.”

“In dialogue, I come to talk to you primarily so I can learn what I cannot perceive from my place in the world with my personal vengeance of knowing. And, through your eyes, I see what I cannot see from my side of the globe, and vice versa. Hence, dialogue is not just a way to gain more information. Dialogue is a whole new way of thinking. We now are painfully leaving behind the age of monolog and we are, with squinting eyes, entering into the age of global dialogue, during which we can improve our chance, as Mr. Parrotto would say, of fulfilling our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species.”

As Professor Swidler’s comments suggest, understanding reality and the pursuit of truth requires expanding the boundaries of our perspective. Dialogue is one of the primary means through which humankind is able to elevate itself and become citizens who inspire and influence those around them. Privileging one’s own worldview and perspective leaves little to no room to consider the credibility of another’s. And understanding another’s viewpoint requires withholding judgments and projections of our own lens onto theirs, so that the other’s voice can come through to us.

Furthermore, dialogue allows us to develop holistic perspectives and synthesize our learning. With the extreme specialization of our academic disciplines, there is insufficient emphasis on synthesis and holistic thinking. The consequence is that students are not invited to situate themselves emotionally and projectively in the nexus of problems the world faces.  Synthesis — how to put everything together — is as important a skill as analysis, but there is little occasion for students to practice it across disciplines on the whole range of issues facing humanity.

Entering into deep dialogue expands our mind towards a global perspective that is able to hold space for a variety of views. This is necessary to cultivate global wisdom, in which we become mindful of the diversity of perspectives and the patterns and common foundation that emerges when we learn how to listen and dialogue across worldviews. This would allow people to connect with each other on the common ground of human experience and unite to face the problems of the human condition.

Humanity has a greater chance of creating coherent, moral, and universal premises that will allow us to move forward and thrive as individuals and as a species, if we learn the art of deep dialogue and possess global wisdom.

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T :  Fulfillment Of Our Best Possibilities as Individuals, as Societies, and as a Species

Empowerment of the Individual

If entrenched institutions are to become open-ended, self-catalyzing, self-cleansing, and adaptable to change in a manner that reflects the will of keenly aware citizens, “we the people” must be educated in a manner that increases our awareness of what is possible and what to demand of ourselves and of our institutions in a creative and peaceful way.

Unfortunately, such individual empowerment is not occurring very much. Due to the highly fragmented, industrial-age modeling of our system of imparting knowledge, very few of us become comprehensive, critical thinking, and self-directed individuals. Even after 16 or more years in school, most of us remain imprisoned conceptually within a provincial orientation. back link check The result is that the general population moves on with their lives as fragmented, incidental cogs in one part or another of the mindless socio-economic machine of their time, largely unaware of the premises that empower it and frustrated about how to adapt to it or how to improve it.

This condition suggests that not enough of us have been or will become aware of what is possible and what to demand of ourselves and of our institutions. Such lack of awareness does not bode well for the future. The chances are, like all the other major civilizations that came before us, we will become just another failed society that had taken root and flowered for centuries, but eventually decayed. It would not matter how extraordinary our civilization had been. If we are to orient ourselves coherently in this complex, rapidly changing global environment, it is imperative that educational programs help individuals be liberated from illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies.

It was with the preceding observations and challenges in mind that I developed three courses to show how we could learn to direct our lives and our institutions more wisely than those who came before us.

1. Map Your Life is an empowering process that leads us through a journey of self-exploration. Its goal is to enhance our understanding of our self as a unique individual, member of society, and as part of the larger world so that we can orchestrate a more authentic, productive, and satisfying life.
2. Social Mapping focuses attention on great issues of our time with an emphasis on the need to transcend illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment that diminish us as individuals, separate us into warring camps, and perpetuate the endless cycle of misadventures, destruction, and despair that humankind endures.
3. MetaVisioning is a process dedicated to establishing coherent, moral, and universal foundations upon which to build a coherent, moral, and universal vision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully.

These “bottom-up” courses help us arrive at the truth of our true identity as a unique individual, who is whole, free, and empowered to function as a comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed person. No one demands that we must change or adopt any particular orientation. Since it is our life to live, it is suggested that we direct it from our own point of view. Accordingly, we are encouraged to question the programs advanced by prevailing institutions and the manner in which they are orchestrated, rather than submit to them thoughtlessly. This respect for our individuality and the effort to help us fulfill our best possibilities generate safe, truth-seeking, social spaces within which we more readily access the inherent moral and creative sensibilities embodied within us – sensibilities that will help:

  • liberate us from illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies, rather than remain imprisoned conceptually;
  • unite us, rather than divide us into warring camps;
  • spawn love, compassion, charity, and hope, rather than hatred, indifference, greed, and despair; and
  • stop the endless cycle of misadventures, destruction, and despair that humankind endures, rather than remain passive and, perhaps, part of the problem.

Whether or not you are a student in school, I hope you participate in this endeavor to realize what is possible and what to demand of ourselves and of our institutions in a creative and peaceful manner. Yes, we can resolve a coherent, moral, and universal vision of how we can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully; and we can fulfill our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species. We can help make all of this happen if enough of us begin putting our own life in order in a coherent, moral, and universal manner and connect with other individuals dedicated to the same noble quest.

As you explore this website further, you will find fuller explanations of the mapping and visioning courses, along with syllabuses and examples of Life Maps, Social Maps, and MetaMaps. And, in the Feedback segment, you will learn about the success of the mapping courses taught at Drexel University. In the Moving Forward segment, you will find how The Mazeway Project will proceed to fulfill its promise.  Lastly, in the Mazeway Network segment, you will discover how the project will extend its reach beyond the classroom.

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T : Life Mapping