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David Bohm 1917 - 1992

If this I did not every moment see,

    And if my Thoughts did stray
At any time, or idly play,
And fix on other Objects: yet
This Apprehension set
In me
Was all my whole felicitie.
                 Traherne - The Apprehension

 

We held Dialogue meetings at our home in Sydney for the about 15 years before drawing to a close in 2009. We continue to have less regular meetings in the spirit of Bohmian dialogue but they are no longer convened specifically for the purpose of dialogue. It is difficult to describe  exactly what we mean by Dialogue but it is essentially what David Bohm proposed as a more effective means of communicating and relating to one another. For a detailed explanation I recommend the paper Dialogue a Proposal  which is attached in the Dialogue ARTICLES sub-section. A  major aspect of Dialogue enquiry is the challenge of assumptions, both internal and external, as they arise. Consequently, it is an extremely useful method for allowing engagement of people, often with widely differing views, without our belief systems getting in the way. An analysis of why people go to Dialogue by Professor Mario Cayer identified five main reasons: conversation, participatory process, collective enquiry, creating shared meaning and collective meditation. It is perhaps the latter category which has most to do with Capacitie.

One of the requirements for successful Dialogue is the suspension of assumptions. This ensures that space is created for other points of view and for the possibility of something quite new arising. If this suspension is carried through to fundamental beliefs about what I am and my world view, I discover an openness which I believe to be what Traherne referred to as Capacitie. The normal understanding of self/other is undermined and a commonality of interest or impersonal awareness comes about. I think this approach is what Traherne meant by 'True apprehension'. .

Participation in Dialogue is an excellent way of testing such notions because, in addition to providing a test-bed, it involves engagement with alternative points of view. The NOWletter came about as an extension of the Sydney Dialogue meetings with the aim of carrying through some of the issues that came up in meetings and providing ongoing contact with people remote from Sydney and unable to meet on a regular basis. This section is included to record and provide access to notes, commentary and articles about Dialogue which have appeared in the Nowletter since its inception.

5th October 2015