Monday, September 11, 2017

Dialogue from the shadows

Dialogue that focuses on "issues out there" without at the same time exploring the "shadows in here" are at risk of staying at the level of intellectual gymnastics. We pride ourselves in being brilliant analysts and operate like prophets who see and expose all the wrongdoings of others. Nothing wrong with being a prophet in a skewed society, as long as we see ourselves as part of the problem. Again, as I've said so many times, it is much harder to honestly face ourselves and admit to the parts of ourselves that we criticize in others than to continue fighting as activists.

Richard Rohr says: "Human consciousness does not emerge at any depth except through struggling with our shadow. It is in facing our conflicts, criticisms, and contradictions that we grow. It is in the struggle with our shadow self, with failure, or with wounding that we break into higher levels of consciousness. People who learn to expose, name, and still thrive inside the contradictions are people I would call prophets."

While nobody in debates is likely to admit to their own debates, dialogue opens the possibilities for authentic conversations that traverse the canyons of our own brokenness so that we can all emerge with illuminated minds and stronger relationships. We are contradictions living in contradictions.