Re: MD Bye

From: Joel Kotarski (
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 17:11:40 BST

Could anyone explain what has been going on here at I found this
site two weeks ago, was pleased to learn about Diana starting the site and
discussions, was thrilled to find out that someone organized the posts
(Lila's Child), found out that Dan had further edited and compiled the
posts, witnessed a tooth and claw match, insults thrown in various
directions, Dan pulling out Lila's Child, Dan leaving, then Diana leaving.

This is the compressed view of a new visitor, so I am sure a lot has
transpired in the last few years.

As a passive, neutral observer, I can only give one piece of advice that I
have found useful in my arguments recently.. This comes from the MIT
Dialogue Project, headed by William Isaacs. I am not implying that anyone
here wants to have a dialogue, I guess I am just hoping so. Take it or
leave it as applicable:

There are four phases of dialogue (flow of meaning, thinking together).. A
crisis is necessary to move into each higher phase.
The first phase is characterized by well-established, polite thought in a
well-established system. "The crisis here is realizing that we all together
are somehow responsible, and must discover what to do all together. The
team must decide its own fate"

The second phase is called a breakdown. "It is at this point, Scharmer
notes, that people 'say what they really think'." The strongly differing
opinions of a group becoming visible at this point.
    "In this space some of the pain that is present in and among the people
can arise. The evokes the _crisis of separation_ -- learning to find a way
to cool down the exchange so that the entire group can move into a more
fluid inquiry and reflection.
    "Unfortunately, many groups never get beyond this point. Things heat
up, people try negotiating, compromise, or unilateral control, but they fail
to move collectively into the space of reflection. Eventually, they recycle
back into politeness, because it is the only other alternative that they
    "People typically experience this dimension of the container's
development as the time when trouble arises. They begin to interpret what
is happening in terms of personal discomfort, are less concerned about
censoring what they say, and tend to cling to their perspectives."

The solution? Ironically it goes along with this month's theme (I believe)
in the moderated list: "The crux of this crisis involves coming to the
point of realizing, 'I am not my point of view.' I have a point of view,
but that is not what I am."

This is a hard pill to swallow in a SOM way of looking at things, but it
falls easily into place when you realize that you are not painted by your
intellectual static patterns.. If you are defined by SPVs, then you are
static. However, if you watch the SPVs you "possess" evolve in the face of
DQ, you are flexible and free.

Forgive my intrusion on this matter, but isn't this point about not being
defined by the intellectual static patterns what is at the heart of this
disagreement? Diana on one hand feels that she has evolved over time
because her intellectual patterns have reached higher levels of Quality;
therefore, she will not be properly represented by the past discussions.
Furthermore, the flow of meaning of the group as a whole will not be
represented due to the way certain portions are included and certain
portions are left out.

Also, Dan naturally put a lot of work (2 years I think?) into Lila's Child:
involving the editing and organization into coherent sections. Of course,
when the compilation is insulted he feels a blow.

In the end, can't the fact that all of this is unfolding present a
possibility of finding the deeper solution and a common flow of meaning
between the collective group?
Forgive once again my intrusion.. Only the original members can answer
whether the group is worth it, but you guys have been participating in
active discussion for years now. That must indicate some value?

I close this with one more passage from William Isaacs:
    "The transition here is essential and perhaps one of the most difficult
ones in the entire dialogue process. It is hre that people may choose to
loosen their grip on their positions and take in a wider horizon.
    "There is a crisis involved here because of the fact that people hold
their assumptions as 'necessary'.. This is another shift of identity--one
that says, 'Though my positions may be right and well thought through, they
are still not _who I am_. I can make space for other positions without
jeopardizing my own inner stability.' Coming to understand this is to
navigate the crisis of identity inherent here.
    "The crisis of suspension also moves individuals into a zone of
reflection that previously they had not been willing to occupy. Suspending
my views opens the space not merely for more advocacy but also for inquiry."

Joel K.

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2001 0956 Shaoul
Subject: MD Bye

| Dear
| Well my husband says (repeatedly)that this is a
| waste of time and I'm getting myself upset over
| a bunch of losers when I could be doing something
| constructive instead.
| And you know what, he's right. So I've decided to
| quit.
| Bye.
| Diana
| ps. that was easier than I thought!
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