Two different ways to think:

We have different ways to think. Some of them involve thinking alone, and these have proven fruitful. But there is another whole realm of ways to think when we are thinking together. These we have barely begun to explore. The fact of the matter is that together we go places we would not and could not have gone individually.

Just what ways do we think together? First, there is something that exists only in the group. Second, we have more views on everything and so these lead to more angles which ideas can bounce. Third, we have more experience against which to measure what we are seeing.

That is enough.

But what is this something that exists only in the group? There is something there, but it is a mystery. Perhaps it is a mystery because individually we cannot see it! It is related, I think, to people getting hopeful when they hear each others’ stories—it is in hearing and being heard. It might be in seeing the gaps and possibilities opened by the stories and the others. This hearing takes us beyond our own perceived limits: it stretches us. A group simply is larger than one person. It is also larger than a collection of individuals because of the hearing and seeing and stories. We cannot have stories with one person. There is a mystery to move us in stories, and it is simply the movement back and forth between teller and hearer. It touches something inside each.

So with groups in conversation: hearing and heard touch both.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on July 13th, 2010 | No Comments »

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