Entering the ((Sanctuary)) of ((Deep Dialogue)) by Ashok Gangadean -Margaret Gest Professor of Global Philosophy and Founder-Director of ((GDI))
What is the ((Sanctuary)) for ((Deep-Dialogue))? Why a ((Sanctuary))? What is so “deep” about “Dialogue”? Why should I care about “Dialogue”? Why is Dialogue a matter of Life and death? Why does our human (personal, interpersonal and cultural) well being and flourishing turn upon entering the ((Sanctuary of Deep Dialogue))? Who is this ((Dialogue Sanctuary)) designed for? Why is ((Dialogue)) at the Heart of the Art of being Human?
((Most of us are not aware that as we breathe in our culture from day one the “lens” of our mind is being shaped: and through this mind-lens we receive, co-create, shape and process all our experience- our lifeworld, what makes sense, our meaning, our truth, our living realities. And as we move across diverse worldviews, ideologies, cultures, religions, disciplines, perspectives….it becomes clear that what “makes sense” in one world often fails to make sense in another. My world, my truth and reality, my perspective often does not square, fit or make sense when we cross worlds. World are thus worlds apart and there has been chronic breakdown in the clash of worlds through the ages. And our great wisdom and spiritual teachings through the ages have been focused on the myopic limitations of our /personal lens/ and calling us to dilate our lens, our localized and tribalized patterns of mentation and consciousness to rise to a deep integral and holistic pattern of meeting and communication across and between our profoundly diverse lifeworlds.
In fact when we step back from privileging our localized mental lens and open space, dilate our lens to a more inclusive and expansive ((global space)) we are able to see more clearly, perhaps for the first time, the true Depth of ((Dialogue)) across and between diverse world, cultures, religions, ideologies, perspectives….When we dilate our hearts and minds into this ((global lens)) we are able to see astounding patterns in our personal and cultural life that could not be seen from our relatively local mental lens and worldview.
In this ((dilated)) perspective we more readily see that our great wisdom teachers – our teachers of rational awakening, of enlightenment, our great scriptures, our spiritual teachings…across the planet and through the ages have been urging us to see clearly that humanity has been lodged in deeply entrenched patterns of “monologue”, of privileging its own more localized lens and not maturing into the ever surrounding ((sacred space)) of Dialogue and flow with the fundamental Field of Reality.
In this dilated space of ((global awakening)), the Global Light of Awakened Reason, it is striking that our Great Wisdom teachers concur that the Primal Field of Reality is an ever Present, Infinite Field, a Holistic, Integral and Dialogical Field of inter-connective flow and inter-relational being. When this Field, be “It’ called Tao, Yahweh, Allah, Christ, Aum, Brahman, Buddha Nature (Emptiness), God, Primal Energy, First Cause, Infinite Being… there is striking consensus across the planet that our great Endowment of Wisdom converges on this recognition and honoring of What-is-First as Infinite Presence.
In this Global Light of Reason, and through our dilated ((Global Lens)) it has been recognized that the Infinite First (by whatever name) is Infinitely ((One)) and thus our ((Infinite Source, Force, Ground)) that must be ever-Present and Presiding in every pulse of life. What is striking is that our diverse great Spiritual and Awakening Teachers through the ages in one way and another recognized that our human evolutionary journey is our maturation from /monologue/ to ((Dialogue)).
These evolutionary pioneers, bringing through our great ((Scriptures)), recognized that in the Beginning is ((TheWord)), ((Script)), Infinite Sign, Symbol, Rational Light…And our great ((Teachers)) saw that our predominant stage of evolutionary development remained lodged in a /monocentric/ and adolescent stage of /script/ development, /lens/ development, /mentation/ or /consciousness/ development in our personal and cultural lives.
And one striking disclosure through the ages in that this stage of /monologue/ or /monocentric/ life falls short of a more healthful and mature evolutionary upgrade to a more Integral, Holistic and ((Dialogic)) mental ((lens)) and ((dialogic script)). The bottom line across the planet is that a life of /monologue/ is estranged or alienated or broken off from a true engagement with the Primal Field of ((Reality)): is not truly ((in touch)) with ((Reality)) which manifests as ((Presence)).
Whether in the deep dialogue drama between Abraham and Yahweh; or the deep dialogue encounter between Moses and Yahweh at the Burning Bush ((Sanctuary)); of the Life and Passion of ((Jesus)) in bringing ((Script)) to Life and opening ((space)) for humans to let go of entrenchment in /monocentric/ life to rise and cross into the ((Christ Space)) of ((I===Thou)) life. Or, again, whether in the ((Deep Dialogue)) between Lord Krishna (voice of Aum) and Arjuna, the fallen warrior on the battlefield in his life crisis- Krishna leads Arjuna into the ((Sanctuary)) of Yoga Science and Technology to let go of his dysfunctional mental /lens/ and cross into the dilated ((Integral Space)) of the ((Aum Zone)); or shifting focus for a moment to the heroic life and death of Socrates as he models and teaches the dialogic pattern of awakening higher Reason and crossing into the Rational Light of Logos; or Buddha’s great awakening where he brings his ((Four Axioms)) to the people, teaching that /existence/ is suffering, caused by addiction to a dysfunctional stage of mentation development, /egomental/ life, and urges that we humans have a ((choice)) in our mind operating systems, and can end the dysfunctional suffering and rise on the re-habilitation of our mental patterns to ((mindful, dialogic, awakened)) Life in the deep interconnectivity and flow of the Buddha Field…In all these exemplars we notice that the key to our human flourishing is the call to maturation from /monologue/ to ((Dialogue)).
In my own journey as a teacher through several decades it became clear that we urgently needed to introduce explicit ((Markers)) to bring into the open when we are lodged within /monocentic/ or /egomental/ patterns of life and culture, and when we cross into the ever present surrounding Primal Field of ((Presence)). Our great teachers and scriptures urgently called upon us to recognize that the ((Field of Presence)) cannot be appropriately encountered or processed within the adolescent script of /monocentric/ mind and literacy.
The ((Script of Yahweh)) is not the /script. of /Yahweh/; ((Jesus)) is not /Jesus/; ((Aum)) is not /Aum/; ((Logos)) is not /Logos/ our ((Self)) is not /self/…and so on.
Once we introduce explicit ((markers)) to bring this dimensional shift into the open and stop the unconscious and unmindful /conflation/ of the two dimensions of Script, Literacy, Mentation, Scripture,Wisdom, Experience, Life and Reality…we are able to ((see)) for the first time the striking dimensional difference between /monologue/ vs ((Dialogue)): Monologue Script is our common, everyday, ever dominating /script/ of “talking”, “thinking”, “experiencing” ABOUT self, other, world, nature, scripture, phenomena…etc. This is the /Monologue Life/ of /I===It/ Script.
Whereas, the dimensional shift to entering the ((Script of Presence))…is entering the ((Script)) of ((Deep Dialogue)): the ((I===Thou)) script which no longer /objectifies/ the /content/ of consciousness as if it were an /object/ of thought or experience. When I /objectify/ my /Self/ and /other/ and /world/ and /experience/ within /monocentric lens/ and /script/ I automatically make my life and experience into an /It/ when I live in this /monocentric script/. Whereas, if and when we go deeper and move beyond the dominance of /monologue/ into Dialogue…((I===Thou)) Script we dilate our /mono lens/ and ((open space)) for ((Self and Other)) to truly ((meet)) in a sacred ((open space)).
In this ((Sanctuary)) of ((Presence)) we dilate, awaken, shift to a higher form of ((Script)), (Mental Processing)), ((Human Relations)), ((Encounters of the First Kind)).
It is in this evolutionary ((shift)) called for in our great ((Awakening Teachings)) through the ages that we may bring into the open and enter the ((Sanctuary of Deep Dialogue))
The collective genius of our great ((teachers)) is that when we are alienated (separated, disconnected, estranged, cut off…)) from ((Holistic Connection and Connectivity)) with the ever-present ((Unified Field of Reality)) we suffer, we fall short of our true ((Human Form)), and are thus severed from ((Life)), ((Being)), ((Truth)), ((Meaning)), ((Love)) ((Well Being = Happiness)), ((Moral Law)) and ((Human Freedom)). This is why our maturation from /Monologue/ to ((Dialogue is the most urgent priority facing each of us individually and
collectively. Our heroic pioneers ((Lived and Died)) for this all-important evolutionary shift in our ((human journey)).
Let us provisionally use “((LogoSophia))” as a ((generic global holonym- holy name)) for this ((Field of Preence)). ((Logos)) is the classical Greek word for ((The PrimalWord)) ((Light of Reason)) ((Speech)) ((Language)), ((Script))…thus ((LogoSophia)) as a ((Holonym)) is inclusive of all Sacred First Names: Tao,Aum,Yahweh, God, Christ,Allah, Brahman, Sunyata (Buddha’s Emptiness), Infinite Being…and so on.
And ((Sophia)) is the Infinite Feminine embodied ((Wisdom))…Philo-Sophia…lover of Sophia…Lover of Wisdom…is true ((Philosophy)). And the Latin derivative: sapience = wisdom is encoded in “homo-sapiens”.
We are not /egosapiens/ but ((Logosapiens))… and our evolutionary journey as ((Humans)) is from /monologue/ to ((Dialogue)),maturing from /egopillar/ to Buddhafly.
One striking finding through our (Global Lens)) as we listen to our great ((Teachers)) through the centuries and across the planet is that: We are as we mind; so when we are living an /egomental life/ we have a fragmented, polarized, disintegral, egomental life, experience and living reality; when we live in a true ((I===Thou)) Literacy, Script,Mental Pattern of Deep Dialogue flow we ((flourish)) within the sanctified, sacred space of ((Presence)): and this is the ((Sanctuary of Deep Dialogue)).
Our Evolutionary Elders have seen and shown, in effect, that /monocentric/ (I===It) script and patterns of life generate wide ranging human dysfunctions, personal and cultural pathologies, polarization, fragmentation, objectification of one an-other, and thus inherently violates ((Self)) and ((Other)) and ((Sacred Ecology)). Without intending it,we reduce ((Self)) and ((Other)) to an /It/ = /Object/ = /Thing/ using our local myopic pre((Dialogue)) mental /lens/ and without intending it we /slash/ one another in /objectifying/ and /reducing/ ((Self)) and ((Other)) and everything we /touch/ to our /lens/. This is the origin of /violence/ in its many forms, and ultimately yields in genocide, holocaust, ethnic cleansing, sexism, homophobia, racism, slavery, the chronic clash of worlds, religions, civilizations, ideologies in boundless forms.
This is why, in a true sense, the missing ((Commandment)) is ((Thou Shalt Dialogue)): ((Love One another)): ((Love and Honor What-is-First)); /slash/ not one an-/other/.
We are ((Dialogical Beings)) = ((I Thou)) beings and ((Dia-Logos means ((through the Logos)) ((Via-Sophia)) which is the funding source of all our worldviews, ideologies, narratives, perspectives, religions, scriptures and disciplines: rational competence is ((dia-Logos)).
Entering the ((Sacred Space)) of ((Deep Dialogue)) is thus the ((Human Art)) and ((Deep Dialogue)) is the ((Art-Science)) of ((Being Human)), ((Human Being)), being an awakened ((Rational Being)): ((Deep Dialogue)) is the dilated ((literacy of awakened, mindful critical thinking…open minded inquiry…ethos of self revision in light of the ((evidence of the other)). ((Rational Life)) emanates in ((Deep Dialogue)) literacy, skills and competence.
Cultivating ((Lensitivity)): dilating our /mono-lens/ to a more open, resilient, flexible, inclusive, non/violent/ ((global lens)) = ((deep dialogue lens)) is urgently needed in our internal personal lives, in our human relations, with our children in creative ((parenting)), relations with our ((significant others)), in our ((work place)), in our ((civic spaces)), in the intimacy of ((love)), ((marriage)), inter-cultural encounters. Becoming keenly self aware of one’s own /lens/ and becoming sensitized through ((Deep Dialogue Literacy)) to the “lens” of the ((Other)), to multiple alternative “lenses” is ((Lensitivity)).
The art of ((Deep Listening)) to ((others)) comes with this cultivation of ((skills of ((deep dialogue)): we cannot and do not truly ((Listen)) to the ((voice of ((Others)) when we are entrenched within our own personal /lens/ and self-privileging (or absolutizing) our own /lens/ or the /cultic lens/ of the /group/ or /culture/ or /religion/ or /ideology/ that holds us captive.
When we enter the ((Sanctuary)) of ((Deep Dialogue)) we check our /egomental/ posture at the ((door)) and make a ((dimensional crossing)) into the ((Open Safe Space of I===Thou relations)). When we stand back and ((dilate our ((lens)) and drop our /prejudices/ we open our ((Self)) in ((Presence)) to our ((Other)), whatever ((It)) may be…a ((Person)) an ((Other Religion)), a ((Work of Art)), a ((Sunset)) a ((Rainbow))…
This is where we rise to being an ((impartial)) participant in open ((I Thou)) flow. And this deepens our ((scientific cognition)) and, ((objectivity)).
In this ((light)) it is more ((evident)) why there is such deep ((Phobias)) within /Monocentric/ Life: fear of ((Self)), fear of ((Other)), fear of ((Logos)), fear of ((Intimacy)), fear of losing one’s /egomental identity/ = /self/, fear of ((Love)), fear of ((Death)), fear of ((Freedom)).
All this adds up to fear of ((Dialogue)) behind the “protective” shield of /Monologue/.
This is why ((Deep Dialogue)) is ((Healing Medicine)) for all aspects of our ((life)). The “person”, (/person/) is lodged in /monocentric life/…Whereas the ((Person)) the ((Mensch)), ((True Self)) blossoms in the ((Sanctuary of Presence)).
The /monologue self/ is fragmented in her /inner psyche life/ harboring multiple alter identities across diverse inner /worlds/: so inner ((Dialogue)) is vital for ((healing the Whole Integral Person)). If /I/ am in /pieces/ and /fragmented/: which comes with /mono lens/ and /egomental /script/ this is an ((ontological disorder)).
Our great ((Spiritual Therapies))…Krishna…Buddha…Jesus…for example, teach healing strategies to move from /alienation/ to ((Peace…Well being…Personal Flourishing)) and this comes with cultivation of a ((Life in Dialogue Literacy)).
Thus with the /monocentric life/ we are cut off from our ((Bodies)), our ((Feelings)) our ((InnerWisdom)), our ((Self)), our ((Psyche)) and this existential severance produces deep, un-spoken, even pre-verbal existential dis((orders)). This is why ((Deep Dialogue is the ((medical yoga)), the ((Yoga)) of “yoga” that lifts us into ((Life in the Zone)). When athletes, artists, musicians, lovers are ((In the Zone)), in ((peak performance)) we sample the ((Sanctuary of Deep-Dialogue Flow)). And our great ((wisdom)) teachings urge us to cultivate the ((Integral Literacy of Living in the Zone)).
When we /objectify/ of ((bodies))…into /body/…which invariably comes from /monocentric script/…we i-solate our ((Self)) into a /lonely place/- the /egomental/person is in his-her /private space/ (in contrast to a mature ((I===Thou)) personal space)… and then seeks to /fill the void/ with /things/ or all kinds, which our great ((Teachers)) know would be futile and only compound the suffering, and deepen the wound.
Whereas the ((I Thou)) Medicine helps us to discover our mature ((Self)) which is inherently connected with ((Other)), with ((Presence)), with ((Nature)) with ((Polis)).
And the ((Reason)) why it is so hard, so challenging for individuals and /humanity/ to truly ((listen)) to the ((Wisdom Medicine of Deep Dialogue)) and enter a ((life of Dialogue)) is precisely because of this chronic and inveterate /habit/ of /down-loading/ the ((Wisdom of Dialogue)), of our ((Scriptures)), to our /monocentric script/: we chronically down-load ((Scripture)) to /script/, ((Self)) to /self/, ((Dialogue)) to /monologue/ ..rather than ((up-scripting)) through the Art of Deep Dialogue from /life/ to ((life)), from /script/ to ((Script)), from /experience/ to ((Experience))…in every aspect of our lives.
This is why ((Deep Dialogue)) is ((deeper)) than we /talk/ /think/ /speak/ /script/ /live/ /know/.
So the ((Art and Literacy of Deep Dialogue)) is vital for every aspect of our ((lives)); if our /civic space/ is fragmented, /polarized/, /scattered/ in a multi/cultural/ public /commons/ without the powerful medicine of ((Dialogue across ideologies and worlds and perspectives)) then we cannot truly be ((We the People)) and the very ((fabric)) of our ((Democracy)) faces an evolutionary crisis.
If our “education” discourse is dominated by /monocentric/ patterns of talking /about/, embedded within the /literacy/ of /monologue/… then we must wonder whether we are truly ((Educating)) ((Humans)), ((LogoSapiens)) ((Global Citizens)) for our ((Global Age)).
All of this hopefully helps to make ((clear)) the ((answers)) to our opening ((queries)):
((/Who/)) needs the ((Sanctuary Literacy of Deep Dialogue))? Every ((Person)), in all /walks/ and /talks/ of “Life” urgently need the ((rite of passage)) and this ((right of passage)) into the dilated ((Space)) of ((Deep Dialogue)).
And this is the ((Design)) of our ((Sanctuary)): it is a ((Sanctuary)) rather than a /work-shop/ or /retreat/ or /think tank/…: we need a ((Sanctuary)) since entering (Deep Dialogue Presence)) is a ((sacred rite of passage)); we need a ((safe haven)) from the /toxic effect/ of the /monocentric ecology/ surrounding us and in-scribed within ((/us/)) to have the ((safety)) to make our ((Selves)) vulnerable to crossing into ((I Thou)) space.
to be continued…and hoping to meet you in our ((Sanctuary)). Love, Ashok))