Listen to the podcast; join the follow-up teleconference at www.compression.org. This podcast topic is “Deep Change.” Learn how to address complex issues, think from alternate viewpoints, originate solutions, and dialog with others.
Teleconference: To make big changes in how we think and work, we must successfully challenge our deepest assumptions and beliefs. Some are so deep that we are scarcely aware of them, or not at all. To live in balance with nature we need to feel a part of it, and in a 21st century world, where most of us live daily so far removed from nature that we hardly notice it, much less feel in awe of it. Gaining that feeling today may require dedicated intent.
The teleconference starts by asking everyone if they can identify assumptions they have made, or beliefs they may have held, that are so deep that they have been unaware of them. If you abandoned or changed those beliefs, can you describe the experience; what happened? If you have had no such experience, don’t worry; you won’t be asked to embarrass yourself or describe something that didn’t happen.
We overuse “deep:” Deep clean, deep dive, deep spirituality, deep doo-doo…Another is Deep Ecology, an expression for a feeling of being inseparable from nature; I’m part of it; it’s part of me. For some, Deep Ecology is so emotional that they literally feel pain when others unnecessarily destroy life — but not when a literal hawk nails a dove. After all everything eaten is alive on once was, and predators eat too. Almost no one possessing Deep Ecology can articulate the feeling. That’s why it is labeled “deep.”
Three contrasts largely characterize a deep change to Compression Thinking from the prevailing expansionary thinking — that human systems have to grow:
- From Expansionary Economic thinking to Compression Economic thinking.
- From Fragmented Thinking to Integrated Thinking (or systemic, Symbiotic Thinking — all is connected).
- From Domineering Aspirations (command and control) to Symbiotic Aspirations (more collaborative).
To question one’s deep beliefs in a group setting, the prevalent methodology is called dialog. The first requisite is willingness to talk with others whose beliefs are different. (If opponents are belligerent, one can only negotiate a truce until they cool off.) There are many variations, but the basic rules of dialog are:
- Listen to learn (to understand other’s beliefs; not to refute, argue, or name call)
- Speak only in turn (think what you will say before you say it, too)
- Everyone must speak, giving their perspective — even if it is repetitious.
- Bring all “stakeholders” in a situation into the dialog. (Someone must speak for the environment too.)
- Question your own beliefs as you listen to others.
- Fully map a situation, including clashing beliefs, before trying to make an action decision.
If there is an ideology to Compression Thinking, it is that mankind can somehow unify to counteract threats to existence of us all. We gather in tribes and oppose other tribes. Is it possible to form a “tribe of the whole?”
If we are to learn to think very differently, how do we deal with our deep beliefs? Can we really bring ourselves to be inseparable from nature? Or is that like expecting the leopard to change his spots?