Convener: Edwin Rutsch is founding director of the Center for Building a
Culture of Empathy. See
his full Bio here.
Discussion Transcript and Outline:
Panel 8-A Feb. 14, 2012
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0:22 Jon - part of why I wanted to go back to you guys is
that I see you as part of a core group of individuals that I know that
are doing this work. Iím totally down for Edwin supporting you and
having this recorded however you want, but I also want to make sure that
there is that quality of relatedness with each other -- especially since
Darci you were so kind to go back to your family and make time for it.
So however we can make sure that there is enough of that genuineness
with each other here because Iím very curious to hear what your
experiences are right now.
I think weíre kind of at a critical moment with the way
Occupy has emerged and what itís turned into. I definitely want to make
sure weíre there with each other. Edwin and I talked about it yesterday.
He was sharing some of his pain that he experienced with his community
dealing with Occupy, and I sense itís probably the same for you David.
Iím curious Darci, what itís like from where youíre sitting. Take this
down the path, Edwin, but I just want to make sure we honor the
closeness weíve built as friends here.
1:22 David - Yeah, Amen to that!
Darci - Iím in!
Edwin - Iím all for it. I hope weíre not taking
away from that by recording the discussion. I did want to frame the
discussion around how do we build a culture of empathy and compassion.
In terms of starting, checking in, the main thing Iíve been working on
is this year-long conference, ďHow to build a culture of empathy and
compassion.Ē Iíve just been getting the ball rolling with it, and
thought this could be one of the ways of holding a panel together and
framing what weíre doing, our work, around how our work is working
toward building a culture of empathy and compassion. So maybe we could
check in around that, see how itís going for you all.
2:40 Darci - Iím a co-founder of a (audio problem)
4:20 Darci - We are very, very close to bringing an
empathic action proposal to the Occupy movement in the way that it needs
to be brought. Weíre still trying to figure that out at the moment.
Weíre noticing that thereís confusion around it. When we bring the idea
to people, they like it, but thereís a basic ďunknowingĒ about what
empathy is. Thereís sometimes a distress over what empathy is and
whether or not itís right for any given situation. My experience is
thatís a really normal response and that most people donít really fully
grasp where empathy can take them until they have experienced it
themselves, experiencing someone giving them lots of empathy.
Until there is that experiential learning, thereís
resistance, and so one of things Iíve really taken in over the last
couple of months is the idea that there is resistance to empathy and
compassion. Thereís a big curiosity in me now over why that is and how
to help people feel more comfortable with the idea of being heard, and
hearing one another. So thatís where I am at the moment. Thereís much,
much more to talk about in terms of the regional supportive lists that
we are working to create that will help list providers and enthusiasts
in the realm of mindfulness training, nonviolent communication training
which would involve active listening and concrete request making, and
life-affirming strategy creation, as well as restorative practices.
Those are the initial methodologies that weíre looking at having
specialists and enthusiasts bring to the people involved in and affected
by the Occupy movement.
7:15 Jon - Iím a compassionista, somebody whoís trying to
sort out a huge mess over here. Iíve been inspired by the Occupation
movement and what Occupy offers. As you would expect, we also got to see
the shadow side of Occupy and all the challenges that happen when people
start out thinking theyíre unified and try to figure out how theyíre
going to work together. Iím humbled by, and reminded of many times and
ways, the wisdom of Cosmic Lady, who says that planet earth is the place
that the souls of the slow learners are sent. This has served me well as
a way of coping with the challenges that we face as people all over are
trying to rise up in a way that is meaningful and learn from each other
to create a culture of empathy and compassion. I think that those are
high-minded ideals to some people and they need to be practically
experienced. I know this change starts from within. So for myself, Iíve
been in a deep exploration to figure out who I need to be, how I need to
relate to those around me to create that opportunity and the desire for
a more empathic way of being with each other.
So Iím very curious about, Darci, the idea of presenting
to Occupy, because frankly here, weíve come to see that thereís no one
General Assembly, in fact weíve been more effective by dispersing the
power and having many general assemblies here in town [Seattle] because
there are people who have genuine grievances. This whole topic of
nonviolence has opened up a huge learning opportunity that I did not
appreciate, that many people who see nonviolence as -- in effect, if you
commit yourself to nonviolence, youíre committing yourself to give up
your right to self defense.
Weíve organized here what we call now a series, a
ďUniversity of Views,Ē which was originally called ďDiversity of Views,Ē
but then a wise indigenous teacher said diversity is divisive, so we
renamed it a University of Views. It started as a riff off of Diversity
of Tactics because of many of our friends who are anarchists who are not
committed to violence. Thatís the thing. If you say youíre not committed
to nonviolence youíre not saying youíre committed to violence. Iíve got
a lesson here that Iíve been going through, learning the subtleties
between nonviolence with a hyphen, without a hyphen, anti-violence,
civil resistance, armed resistance. I think weíre in the middle of a
huge learning project about how do we come up with strategies for
political and social change that can really be unifying and can actually
move us beyond the culture weíre in to move toward a culture of empathy
David - Wow!
Darci - Itís beautiful.
Jon - Maybe so.
10:45 David - Yeah, maybe so. Thatís how I feel, Jon. We
established the City of Peace here [Eugene] with the idea of simply
creating conversation about things that matter, shepherding the process
and letting the results take care of themselves. I saw at the beginning
of Occupy a communication problem with the polarity set up by the 99%
versus the 1%. Iíve been watching and waiting that process. I got
involved in mediation between the Occupy movement and the police and the
city, and between the Occupy movement and the University. We have here
locally a mediation service with some very talented people. After the
encampment shut down peacefully, which is apparently fairly unique in
the Occupy movement. The City Council said the camp had to go. This was
just before Christmas. There was no riot police invasion of the camp.
Even the people who vowed to stay there and get arrested, left
peacefully. This was quite a phenomena, but then what happened was these
anarchists that Jon was referring to -- theyíre everywhere! I thought
they were just here in Eugene, Jon!
There is now going on a very similar conversation here
among the people who ascribe to nonviolence in a Gandhian sense, and the
people who think of it in a very strategic sense -- all across the
spectrum. The opportunity came to start a Nonviolence Working Group to
try to figure that out, collect resources, and support the Occupy
movement. A sub-group of that, that I wanted to create, we called the
ďSustainable Relationships Resource Group.Ē One of the people involved
is a person very skilled in an open fishbowl listening process, which is
an empathic process. It has been very powerful, introduced to a very
small group at first, and then a larger group. The plan is to keep
making that group larger and larger, creating the experiential learning
that Darci was talking about, so that people get it by experiencing it,
and they donít have to think about it anymore. Itís a slow process, but
itís growing and Iím very hopeful about it.
I had to take a break from it because it was taking up my
whole life. The meetings, the e-mails, the circles themselves were just
hours and hours of time. I had to step back and finish my book. Now itís
done, itís due for release. Iím making announcements today by e-mail and
on Facebook. This is about the evolutionary process of going from a
culture of violence and domination to a culture of peace and
cooperation, which is the same as this culture of empathy that youíre
talking about, Edwin.
What Iím finding is that small circles of people gathered
together in a room are the best, most fertile ground for the creation of
a culture of empathy. Iím trying to find a way of furthering that
process along, moving it along, make it go viral, and create a mentoring
process we arenít dependent on experts who have had years of training,
but a process where this can be spread. I think the most powerful thing
that can happen is when you get these small groups together in a large
room and together they experience hundreds of people around them who
have had this experience in common and can then feel this bond without
alot of talk, or without alot of intellectualizing around it. They have
this presence they give to each other as a gift, basically. It gets very
exciting then. It gets attractive, and people want to sing and dance.
Thatís my hope, thatís what my excitement is about right now is to move
that along and create the zest. Part of my fear is that there needs to
be a grieving process involved when we acknowledge the damage thatís
been done, and get to a point of being able to let that go. I find that
is one of the biggest barriers in the way -- all that anger, all that
held-on grief about the injustices that are still present, but have a
long history, generations of history, of abuse of power.
17:13 Jon - I sent you guys a couple of links. One of the
most profound teachers that Iíve encountered over the last number of
years in the community is an authentic Navajo medicine woman named
Patricia Ann Davis. If you get into the indigenous world, many of the
Native Americans were put into Christian boarding schools. Her father
initiated her at 8 years old. Heís a very famous medicine man, and she
never went to the boarding schools, but she did go to University here,
Antioch, and learned about whole-systems design. So she has this
incredible capacity to translate. The session sheís doing tomorrow is on
the indigenous ceremonial change process. Thereís a step in there,
David, that speaks to exactly what youíre saying, and I did not realize
how missing it was. So after the first step is identifying the
out-of-balance condition, the root cause, then the next step is called
ďemptying,Ē and emptying is not venting. We do not have safe places to
empty. Itís exactly like you were saying, whereís that grief and what do
you do with that? I canít emphasize this enough, that the natural order
of things is something thatís different than an ideology, different than
a philosophy, itís different than a belief system -- that weíre out of
touch with the natural order of things.
This is what the indigenous wisdom has impacted me, in
fact if you guys saw that paper I did with the hereditary chief Phil
Lane, that summary statement, ďStarting from within, working in a
circle, in a sacred manner, we heal and develop ourselves, our
relationships, and the world.Ē That summary statement is articulated in
16 guiding principles. Thereís an illusion in our thinking system, that
weíre going to figure this thing out, like thereís some right answer. I
know for myself, even as you ask the question -- if you know David
Breaux on the Compassionate Action Network site, heís posted I think 26
times now, answers to the question, what is compassion? He stands on the
corner in Davis. Edwin, I think you went to visit him. There is some way
that we are hooked -- let me speak for myself -- Iím hooked thinking
like weíre finally going to get the Right Information, weíre going to
figure out the Right Answer to this problem. I think thereís some
illusion there about that, that it really doesnít work that way.
20:07 David - Yeah, you canít figure it out! Itís
like ďwhyĒ is not a question -- ďwhyĒ is not an answer! (laughter)
Jon - Well, David, Peter Block wrote a book called ďThe
Answer to How is Yes.Ē I think we need more yes in the world, and
more spaces for people to empty and do the ďre-frame.Ē Thatís what itís
called in the ceremonial change process. She calls it ďco-creative
situational leadership.Ē Itís a different model. Itís more in line with
consensus. It means that in any moment if weíre working together, maybe
we pass the ball to you, Darci, because you have the competence and
skill there. Itís not based on heirarchy. What Patricia always says,
ďlearning is healing, and healing is learning.Ē We need to create
environments in which some of this ancient wisdom can be revealed and
brought to light, as a way of coping. Things like water, and fire, and
air, and the earth, are so elemental but yet they belong to all of us.
If we here in North America would just realize that water was sacred we
would have a very different reality than we have right now.
Edwin - Regarding the circle, of small circle discussion,
itís a bit of what Iím seeing the conference on building a culture of
empathy being. Itís kind of like small group discussion like this, maybe
5 people, and just starting to address the question, how do we build a
culture of empathy and compassion, what can we do to do that, and just
explore it and start talking about it, kind of frame the larger
discussion around that. So I donít know how that resonates, because
everybody has their different values that are important to them. You
talked about the emptying. I think thereís a part of emptying that you
want to be seen by someone. Itís not like we just go out and empty
ourselves, itís actually being seen by someone else, that empathic
mirroring kind of process. Thereís something about it, to be seen at a
deeper level that has something healing. For me healing is that being
seen and that connection with people, with others. Iím wondering what
you think or feel about this whole notion of building a culture of
empathy and compassion because youíre saying that thereís no -- you
canít think your way into it or figure it out, but we do need
vocabulary, we do need ways to be expressing what weíre talking about.
Sometimes you have to create a language to be able to express what it is
weíre feeling. Maybe the part about thinking about things, that the
thought serves the connection, right? Sometimes thought and intellect
serves judgment. I judge you, ďYouíre an idiot, and hereís my thoughts
about why thatís true,Ē right? So those are just a couple of things that
are coming to me.
23:50 David - I would say the language, the vocabulary,
is in the process of being developed in many, many, many different ways,
and itís after the fact, after the experience. I see it coming up in
many different forms right now. Somebody here just published a set of
cards for group facilitation. Each expresses a certain kind of ideal,
like ďlettting go,Ē to stimulate conversation.
Jon - Darci, you still there?
Darci - Iím still here. Iím just fascinated.
Jon - OK. Take a look at the event that I sent you link
http://www.facebook.com/events/188898871209863/ Itís called
Pure Democracy, Peacemaking using an indigenous process. What Patricia
did there is apply these five steps to the specific issues that Occupy
is dealing with. The first step she calls ďproblem identification,Ē
right, which is naming the out-of-balance condition. Here she named it:
fraud and corruption in the leaders of government and corporations.
Youíve got to get to the core. She says the root cause that maintains
the out-of-balance condition, thatís the core, and she names it here as
addiction to greed, never enough and never satisfied. Now look at the
second step. Itís all language here, Edwin, it speaks right to what
youíre saying. She says, ďEmptying is correcting the obstacles to
internal change that maintain the root cause of destructive and
death-producing choices.Ē She says thatís all that we really have, weíre
either going to create life-affirming choices or death-producing
So here she names the obstacles here as recruiting each
generation of youth to participate in their own demise by using their 5
senses as a weapon against themselves and others by perpetuating social
engineering and conditioning to win-lose which is no-win decisions.
Sheís claiming weíre stuck in a thinking system. That we donít even see
it, and itís all based on win-lose. Thatís just the application of step
2, which are the obstacles. Then step 3 moved into this re-frame, this
Realistic Ideal: (reframing win-lose=no-win decisions into win-win
decisions for constructive and life-affirming choices. Affirming
powerwithin to have powerwith others eliminates the need for powerover).
Iíd recommend to you Edwin, that this is some of the insight into how
create a culture of empathy, is to get people capable of re-framing and
coming to understand that weíre in a worldview that is win-lose, that
itís so prevalent that we donít see the opportunity to transcend that.
27:10 Jon - So if you look through this, she lays it out,
the co-creative resolution, how you manifest that co-creative win-win
solution. She said to me -- weíre talking about nonviolence -- she says
ďdefending the truth is different than protecting the truth.Ē Itís so
subtle. Itís so powerful.
David - It is subtle. The word ďcultureĒ refers to
unwritten, unconscious rules of behavior, ones that we almost never talk
about, except in academia, or philosophy classes. So what weíre doing is
creating a whole new set of unwritten rules and behaviors. Thatís the
paradigm shift. We can talk about it later, but I think itís the
doing of it thatís going to create it.
Jon - Yes, yes. Authenticity gives the ability to
Darci - I just had a thought about culture. Iím hearing
what your talking about in terms of defending the truth is different
than protecting the truth, and again coming back to the idea of culture
as being -- and I hear you saying that basically youíre in kind of a
survivalist mode, the way weíre operating, is this way weíve been
socialized into, or maybe itís inherent in our bodies, to survive. It
seems to me that every culture out there is doing what they do in order
to make it through the day, and through the week, and through the month,
and a year, so they stay alive, stay like themselves and next to their
neighbors. I think itís really interesting that weíre sort of naming
this and weíre also looking at the idea that the way to change it is by
doing. It brings me back to the idea of those small groups of people,
five people sitting in a room talking about things, and then you bring
those people together in larger groups. It seems to illustrate a path
toward doing, a path to getting to ďyes.Ē Itís really fascinating, and I
wonder what you guys think when I throw out the idea of culture as
surviving, and then our moving forward like this, as re-defining our
culture in a more life-affirming, surviving pattern.
30:10 Edwin - When you say culture as surviving it feels
kind of like fear, being fearful that weíre not going to survive, being
constantly afraid about finances, are we going to be heard, are we going
to be alone, are we going to suffer by ourselves...
Darci - Is our government really going to help us, yeah,
are they really looking out for our needs, are they really hearing our
voices and moving our choices through, or are we really getting squashed
by some sort of political control that weíre not fully aware of? Or is
it that weíre not speaking up enough? Are we being complacent, are we
not voting, or what is it?
David - I think at the deepest level culture is built on
a concept of who we are. Whatís the answer to the question, who am I? As
a human being, at my core, what am I? Thereís so many answers to that
question, but I think they all revolve around our essential aliveness as
this wonderful, awesome thing that not only do I have it, but you have
it, and everybody has it. There is this common bond among us, and if we
get back to that definition of who we are as a human being then we can
move out and move forward into greater levels of cooperation and
31:52 Edwin - You know, I just interviewed Marco
Iacoboni, who is a neuroscience researcher, and I asked him, ďWhat can
we do to build a culture of empathy?Ē He says the number one thing for
him was to get the word out about mirror neurons. Itís showing that we
actually are connected. Itís that story that for hundreds of years weíve
been told that weíre individual, autonomous beings, going for our own
well-being, for our selfish well-being. Mirror neurons actually shows
that we are, as weíre sitting here watching each other, that your
emotions are playing themselves out inside of me. Itís kind of like we
do have this shared reality, this shared experience. Itís science saying
weíre connected, showing the mechanism by which we are connected.
33:16 David - The importance of that information
appearing now is that it gives us a perspective on where we have been,
and where we are going, which is another essential question that we need
to have an answer to. Where are we in our evolution?
Darci - Mirror neurons help us come back to a level of
trust. We can trust that there is that connection between ourselves and
another person, something that weíre really, really needing in order to
create more life-affirming direction for ourselves, trust within
ourselves and trust with other people.
Edwin - The trust being that we are not alone, or is
Darci - Yeah, the trust that weíre not alone, the trust
that we donít have to be in it for ourselves, that we can rely and give
to our neighbors, that we wonít falter if that happens, if we allow that
David - The trust that what appears to be an emergency
may not be an emergency.
Darci - Thank you, yes.
34:50 Jon - Trust is an interesting term, because itís an
assessment, right, when we say trust? Itís having to do either with
oneís sincerity or oneís competence, like trusting me to fly a plane.
You would be unwise to trust me to do that. Thereís a faith that thereís
something greater. For instance, when I saw that note back from you,
Darci, about this call and that you went back to your family and asked
-- I have a faith that the work that weíre doing matters. I donít have
any evidence for that. Thereís a faith thatís within reason, and then
thereís a faith thatís above reason. I trust that some of this wisdom
that weíre right in front of -- whether it be mirror neurons, indigenous
wisdom, the indigenous science Iím pointing to -- we have everything we
need! Thereís like a cliff we all need to jump off of here, that has
trust. Thatís why I think trust is so important. Itís either fear or
love, right? You canít have 99% fear or 99% love. Itís 100% - 0%. Itís
either we make that break or we donít. At least thatís how it shows up
for me in my life.
Edwin - I like those ďIĒ statements! (laughter) I see you
working on those, Jon!
Jon - Iím trying! I! I! I! I really do believe that those
moments make a difference. I think that what we have within ourselves --
thatís why it was so important for me to get back together with this
core group a little bit because I do think the worldís shifted around us
and itís up to me reaching out to the people that I have respect for,
who are working in this work, to say OK, here we are. Thereís a moment
when leadership is so desperately called for right now. How can we use
the resources we have to turn what we have into what we need, to amplify
the message of empathy and compassion. Thatís why Iím so grateful for
you, Edwin, for organizing this, and Darci, for you making the shift,
and for David, for all the good efforts that youíre doing. How do we
take from here, where do we go from here? How do we strengthen each of
our work and strengthen the whole that weíre creating at the same time?
37:21 Edwin - For me, itís creating this conference. Iím
seeing the conference as like a crystal, right? In honey, at least, you
put a little bit of crystallized honey into a dish or a bowl of honey
thatís not crystallized, and within a day the whole bowl crystallizes
around the crystal that you put in there. If you put in a coarse
crystal, it creates a coarse crystallized honey. If you put in a very
fine crystal, it crystallizes along that pattern. It could even be a
metaphor for Occupy, right? If Occupy is this coarse, rough crystal,
things will crystallize along that. If itís an empathic crystal, then
maybe it can crystallize along those lines. This call was around how can
we build a culture of empathy and compassion within the Occupy movement.
We had set up an empathy tent at the Berkeley Occupy here. We invited
people to come and just be heard. We did empathic listening, we were
moving toward conflict resolution, doing art. People could talk about
their values. You were saying, Jon, about not being sure that itís
having any effect? Well I could see as people were coming into those
groups, having time to talk to someone -- young people who were on the
road -- they would come and say, ďIím feeling lonely, Iíve never
connected with my family, Iím having trouble making friends.Ē They were
just heard like for half an hour or an hour around that. You could see
they were leaving with a little more sense of connection, a little more
calmness, a bit more humanity of feeling. I can see the benefits. I can
see how itís contributing. How do we get more organized around it? I not
seeing that committee as well-organized as the confrontational
39:45 David - Edwin, I wrote a book on how to build a
canoe, but in that preface to the book, even though itís a book of
instruction on how to do it, I tell the reader, ďJust Do It!Ē because
itís in the doing of it that youíre going to figure it out. When I felt
this mission of mine to get involved in creating a peaceful world it was
overwhelming at first to consider what a huge task it was, but when I
realized that all I needed to know was the next step -- and I wouldnít
figure it out, it would be obvious what the next step was -- thatís all
I had to do. I see each of us doing the next most obvious thing without
knowing what the whole path is, without knowing what the whole map is.
Now, we have a vague idea that ďout West somewhereĒ thereís an ocean and
a sunset, but between us thereís alot of mountains. I just have faith,
like Jonís talking about, that if we just take a run at the edge of the
cliff and spread our wings, we will fly. It doesnít take alot of
figuring it out in advance. Thatís what I wanted in my own insecurity,
to have a telegram from God, saying ďthis is it, this is the 12-step
Plan.Ē Not going to happen that way.
41:38 Jon - Did you not get the telegram? I should show
you the one I got!
David - I got this one telegram that said, ďTake this
one step, will you please?Ē
Edwin - Well the step Iím taking is starting this
David - I think itís great!
Jon - Great, Edwin! I want to consider putting together
two minutes of highlights. Maybe we could show at one of the events here
when Karen [Armstrong] is in town, to give a shout out and promotion to
what youíre creating there.
Darci - Yes. That actually speaks to everybody here. I
mean, you ask the question what can we do to help each other, and I
believe promotion is really going to help. The more we tell people about
whatís gong on with everybody else, the more people go, ďOh, thereís
stuff happening elsewhere, this is great.Ē
David - Thatís very supportive.
Jon - What would you like to see us promote about what
Darci - Well, very soon, actually now, Iím needing help
finding people who are willing to donate their time and services to
those involved in the Occupy movement. I need help, actually going
region by region, figuring out whoís available, who wants to help, get
their contact information, and get it on the list. So thatís my next
step, is getting that done, so thereís supportive lists of people out
there. One of the things I was saying earlier was that weíve got this
empathic action proposal, and really what it is, itís an answer to a
call for better facilitation tools within the general assemblies,
regardless of how many there are. People are still wanting these
facilitation techniques, and the active listening skill-building,
etcetera, etcetera. The more I can help just present it in an
experiential way, too, so people can actually feel what itís like to do
those sorts of things, to decide is this what we want? Thatís what Iím
hoping to do, to get those tools out there so people can choose to use
them or not.
43:58 Jon - Darci, I put a link in as well to the Occupy
Seattle Nonviolent Group. Itís a pretty active group there, hard-core,
committed folks. Weíve been working through facilitation methods based
on the Madrid document. Collective thinking has been a very powerful
concept. You know longer come into a conversation waiting for your
chance to promote the idea that you brought, but youíre actively coming
to give up the idea to create something new with others. Thereís
been some really remarkable writing material about how to facilitate
peopleís assemblies and how to facilitate a different kind of governance
Darci - Cool. IĎve heard lots and lots of good things
about that group, and again another thing we can do is just keep
promoting, letting people know to take a look at those places and get
involved with them if theyíre in the area, or figure out how they can
use the same sorts of models wherever it is that they are. Itís one
thing to use the model, itís another thing to have the support, so
again, if we can start to develop the supportive enthusiasts lists that
will help people feel they can keep moving forward with support.
Something I want to mention at the very end here, is that one of the
things weíre really hoping for to have from the enthusiasts is the
ability to go into these places as learners and not as teachers. More as
a learner going into a situation to ask the questions, whatís working
here, whatís not working well here, and what is it you would dream to
see happening here? So, as theyíre moving forward, starting to
understand more about the culture that theyíre creating. They can use
those three questions as a path.
46:20 Jon - Cool, cool! Well, Edwin, I want to honor
Darci, because she was so willing to convene earlier, with Valentineís
Day in Holland and her family there, that we stick to an hour. How do we
wrap this up in a good, powerful, responsible way?
Edwin - How about we summarize what we feel are some
points for building a culture of empathy and compassion, like whatís our
summary, our takeaway from this?
Jon - For me, it comes down to how we treat each other,
like right here, this little core group. So now I know that Davidís got
his book and we want to help promote that; youíve got this conference
that youíre doing; and Darci, youíre embedded right in the middle of
Occupy, looking at a global perspective to get regional engagement
thatís happening and become more aware of it. Those are all three things
I can practically support. I think itís how we treat each other, like
that crystal that you talked about, Edwin -- are we going to drop in a
coarse crystal, or drop in a refined, loving crystal to affirm these
life-affirming choices to create a different way of being? So, Iím down
for that. Iím willing to jump off that cliff with you David, and Edwin,
Edwin - Well, I like what David was saying, What
resonates with me is small group discussions. I think discussions, four
or five people, and the process for doing that called World Cafť, built
around that, gives everyone a chance to be heard. For example, a
discussion like this can be very productive.
Jon - Yes. I concur. Weíre small group addicts here in
Seattle. Everything is done Conversation Cafť, World Cafť, Compassionate
Listening -- weíre all rooted in the importance of those small circles.
I totally concur.
Darci - Super cool.
48:40 David - My experience has been that an open
fishbowl has alot of the feel of a small group because the person
speaking in the speakerís chair is often speaking for many people in the
audience. Thatís the direction I want to take things because I feel this
urgency about creating a rapid expansion of this empathic, intuitive way
of being with each other. Iím just waiting for the day when this
technology that weíre using right now expands to where we have a hundred
or a thousand people onscreen, and they are all participating
empathically over the internet. That would be something.
Edwin - Looks like Darci has the final word.
Darci - I do agree that going forward in small groups is
an easy, interesting, and fun way to start, but mostly Iím just noticing
in myself the sense of ease and relief, like OK itís moving great to
re-connect with you and hear a kind of underlying joy that weíre all
getting even though this a really rough road. Sometimes we really donít
know what the next step is going to be and weíre kind of half-stepping
into it. I still feel joy. I just want to say thank you so much for
being here and for connecting the way that we are. So thank you.