“Today’s democracy is like an old dance. We need a new dance, a deeper democracy, based on awareness of what it happening inside ourselves and others.”
A couple of years ago, Mr D gave me The deep democracy of open forums, by Arnold Mindell, for my birthday, and for that, I am eternally grateful – now, that I’ve finally read it, that is! The thought behind the gift, any gift, always warms my heart. But reading it, I understand why he gifted me this book. Right up my alley, and most definitely a book with a lot of food for thought!
One of the ways I show up in the world these past 5-10 years or so, is making use of my heightened ability to look at things from different perspectives. I have gotten good at it, in many ways, and in different situations.
“Without some form of awareness training, within the privacy of our inner autonomy, most of us behave like tyrants. When it comes to recognizing different aspects of ourselves, we become dictators who simply refuse to do so. If we are strong, we ignore our shyness. If we are harmonious, we repress and/or deny our anger.”
And yet, reading The deep democracy of open forums, I realize there are many more aspects of “different perspectives” that I have yet to acknowledge. There so much more to become aware of, not in the least that which is not visibly present, and yet, so significant, for instance unvoiced sentiments and feelings, ghosts of the past or of those not physically present yet very much there, and so much more.
“Power is less important than awareness. If you have awareness, you do not need power. You need power only if you are fighting something. Awareness does not fight; it may notice fighting and other things happening, but it does not identify with or judge those things. When awareness is present, the spontaneous behavior of everyone is awakened and unpredictable processes emerge that are what’s best for all.”
This book has given me a deeper appreciation and understanding of the importance of taking all perspectives into consideration, on everything really, but I guess to narrow it down, it might be helpful if I say “all perspectives of conflicts”, even though, truly, my appreciation for where a heightened awareness comes in handy goes way beyond “simply conflict”. Awareness is always beneficial – even when it might not be immediately apparent.
“If you notice change, change happens. You need awareness, not power, to notice and follow the unceasing flow of change.”
The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.
0 thoughts on “The deep democracy of open forums (book 21 of 26)”
“When awareness is present, the spontaneous behavior of everyone is awakened and unpredictable processes emerge that are what’s best for all.”
Yes, I totally agree! And I both consciously and unconsciously strive towards that awareness in groups I am involved in. Although in the non-striving attitude….almost all of the time. So it takes time.
And then the feeling of remembering how it feels like when I am the only one aware in the room. All else still in search for power or believing in power. Those moments are not my best. Nor am I my best at those.
Thanks for reminding me of this 🙂