Dialogue - silence LO10219

Jim Michmerhuizen (jamzen@world.std.com)
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 09:14:30 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO10204 --

Michael -

On Thu, 26 Sep 1996, Michael McMaster wrote:
[ ...about using a randomly timed gong to institute 20-second silence into
meetings... ]
> The gong is set to go off regardless of what is happening. There is
> an assumption that I make explicit in the set up story that we are
> seldom awake and that any time is a good time to become so.

There is a great deal of depth here, isn't there. We are acknowledging,
in effect, that we may not be, or at least are not necessarily, the best
judges of our own moment-by-moment need for awakening.

And by a simple subliminal bit of reasoning that everybody can make, it
also implies that there is no moment in which such an awakening is not

> This set up makes clear that we will seldom be able to have a call to
> awareness be made elegantly only when those calls are being made when
> someone is "off track". That is, what is "off track" will be
> someone's judgement and often be part of the problem.

Put as simply and soberly as that, it's a revelation. Here is a group of
people subordinating their individual and collective judgements about
"what to do next" to a simple inanimate object, a GONG?

Maybe what is so extraordinarily powerful about this is that it represents
a kind of action that Western culture has denied itself for centuries:
acts which are both "symbolic" and "practical", in one and the same
context, and whose symbolic and pragmatic meanings in fact are
indistinguishable or at least intertwined and mutually supportive.

The "talking stick" idea from a long-ago thread is another such synthesis.

> I just call them back after 20 seconds as I haven't found the device
> to do it automatically. I don't want the gong to call them back
> because that would pollute the signal of the gong.

Yes, certainly. In these realms, actions and their meanings must be
utterly pure, clear, simple. And it lies entirely within our power to
determine them, doesn't it, provided only that we can see what realities
we are actually dealing with: "the gong cannot be used to mean both a
calling away and a calling back."

     Jim Michmerhuizen    jamzen@world.std.com
     web residence at     http://world.std.com/~jamzen/
--------------------------------------------------- ---------------------
. . . . . There are more different kinds of people in the world . . . . .
 . . ^ . .             than there are people...                . . . . .

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>