Pages Navigation Menu

4/23 Bohm Dialogue — A Sustainable World and Human Nature

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in General News, Religious Exploration, Salon - Bohm Dialogue

What would it take to live sustainably on planet Earth and are humans capable of it? Humans obviously have to reduce pollution and consumption of resources to sustainable levels and give Earth’s ecosystems, oceans and atmosphere space and time to recover. But that’s not enough – any improvements can be quickly overtaken by population growth.

The road forward should be  rational and obvious. The knowledge and technology exists. Why don’t we just do it? What’s stopping us? Lack of agreement on the problem and the solution is a big stopper.

Is there a flaw in human nature? Or is the flaw in a civilization structured to be dependent on continual expansion? In 1943 Abraham Maslow proposed a useful map of human instinct called The Hierarchy of Needs. Psychologists quibble over the details but there is general agreement that it is basically valid. The basic idea is that lower survival and security needs must be met before the higher needs like Love, Esteem and Self Actualization become active, the very needs we need in order to care about each other and this planet. Hmm … we know that our hunter-gather ancestors were egalitarian and sharing – is there something about civilized life that tends to keep us down and so from agreeing on the ‘obvious and rational course’?

Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday April 23rd at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.

Read More

4/23 Bohm Dialogue — A Sustainable World and Human Nature

Posted by on Apr 2, 2017 in General News, Religious Exploration, Salon - Bohm Dialogue

What would it take to live sustainably on planet Earth and are humans capable of it? Humans obviously have to reduce pollution and consumption of resources to sustainable levels and give Earth’s ecosystems, oceans and atmosphere space and time to recover. But that’s not enough – any improvements can be quickly overtaken by population growth.

The road forward should be  rational and obvious. The knowledge and technology exists. Why don’t we just do it? What’s stopping us? Lack of agreement on the problem and the solution is a big stopper.

Is there a flaw in human nature? Or is the flaw in a civilization structured to be dependent on continual expansion? In 1943 Abraham Maslow proposed a useful map of human instinct called The Hierarchy of Needs. Psychologists quibble over the details but there is general agreement that it is basically valid. The basic idea is that lower survival and security needs must be met before the higher needs like Love, Esteem and Self Actualization become active, the very needs we need in order to care about each other and this planet. Hmm … we know that our hunter-gather ancestors were egalitarian and sharing – is there something about civilized life that tends to keep us down and so from agreeing on the ‘obvious and rational course’?

Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday April 23rd at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.

Read More

About Salon/Bohm Dialogue

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in General News, Religious Exploration, Salon - Bohm Dialogue

(The 3/19/17 topic chosen by attendees was Global Warming.)

The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays at 7pm in the Brackett room to discuss various topics.  The current incarnation of our salon was begun in 2011 by interim minister Gary Kowalski and was based on the group reading books on a topic, usually religious. After Gary left we continued but it was difficult to agree on a book and even more difficult to get participants to read enough of a book to be able to participate in meaningful discussion, so attendance at the salon dwindled. In 2014 Paul and Tom visited the UU congregation in Swampscott to experience a different way of having discussions which avoids these problems and provides other benefits. Since then we have followed this practice which is called Bohm Dialogue.

What is Bohm Dialogue

David Bohm

Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception. Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture? – David Bohm

From Wikipedia:

Bohm Dialogue … is a freely-flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding. The purpose is to solve the communication crises that face society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness. It utilizes a theoretical understanding of the way thoughts relate to universal reality. It is named after physicist David Bohm who originally proposed this form of dialogue.

 

Bohm Dialogue Principles:

Read More

2/19 Bohm Dialogue — Idealism

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in General News, Religious Exploration, Salon - Bohm Dialogue

For this month we chose the topic:

idealism
/aɪˈdɪəˌlɪzəm/
noun
1. belief in or pursuance of ideals
2. the tendency to represent things in their ideal forms, rather than as they are
3. any of a group of philosophical doctrines that share the monistic view that material objects and the external world do not exist in reality independently of the human mind but are variously creations of the mind or constructs of ideas Compare materialism (sense 2), dualism (sense 2)

The Idealist strives for perfection or at least improvement, while the Realist says reality will be the final judge. The Realist says great evil has been done in the name of ideas while the Idealist says our greatest teachers have been idealists. But the Buddha advised seeking the real and rejecting dogma. However are not all ‘isms‘ idea driven, including Buddhism, UUism, … even Realism? For better or worse humans are idea driven, always mistaking the symbol for the thing, the model for reality, hence is it realistic to pretend otherwise? Given that all supposed reality is filtered through and shaped by our senses and mind, how real is it, really? And what is the relationship between Idealism and Hope?

Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday Feb 19th at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.

Read More

1/15 Bohm Dialogue — Heaven (on earth) or a Discussion of Same?

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in General News, Religious Exploration, Salon - Bohm Dialogue

sudbury-signThe old joke goes: “A Unitarian Universalist dies, and on the way to the after-life encounters a fork in the road. The left path has a sign “To Heaven” and the right has a sign “To a Discussion about Heaven” Without pausing, the UU turns right.” In January you will have the chance to take the right path, to dialogue with us about the topic of Heaven (on Earth) i.e. Utopia.

Why do people dream of Paradise, why are we dissatisfied with what is? Do we long for something dimly remembered or something yet to be? What would your paradise be and would others agree? Is thinking about Utopia futile or necessary?

There is an old story, with variants told in many cultures, about Heaven and Hell. Hell is a place where the food is abundant and delicious but everyone is starving because their arms are bound in splints and can’t bend so they cannot feed themselves. Heaven is the same but no one is starving because they have learned to feed each other. Compared to other animals people were made for cooperation: we lack great strength, speed, teeth or claws, but we have hands to grasp, arms for hugging, minds for understanding and shaping things and language for communicating — humans are weak alone but strong together. So why do we (c0llectively) tend to choose Hell?

The answer will may be revealed Sunday in dialogue! Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday Jan 15th at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.

Read More

12/11 Bohm Dialogue — How Do We Decide How to Vote

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in General News, Religious Exploration, Salon - Bohm Dialogue

Voting Symbols vectorVoting is a right best exercised by people who have taken time to learn about the issues. – Tony Snow

 

Its easy to view politicians as corrupt and voting essentially an act of picking the lesser of two evils. I understand that perspective and feel it’s valid. – Macklemore

 

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. – James Bovard

 

Voting is a right that has been given to every American; however, as Christ followers, our votes should reflect our God.  – Monica Johnson

 

No matter what name we give it or how we judge it, a candidate’s character is central to political reporting because it is central to a citizen’s decision in voting. – Roger Mudd

 

Nobody would say, ‘I’m voting for this guy because he’s got the stronger chin,’ but that, in fact, is partly what happens. – Daniel Kahneman

 

Well, first of all, I think that a lot of the voters who are voting for the tea party candidates have really good impulses. That is, they believe that for years and years and years, the people with wealth and power or government power have done well and ordinary people have not. That’s true. – William J. Clinton

 

For some reason, voters can be brainwashed, and they vote sometimes against their own best interests, let alone voting against the interests of people who need them, like people who are disenfranchised and people who are poor and so forth. – Joyce Carol Oates

 

Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom. – Friedrich August von Hayek

 

Research shows children can reliably pick winners of parliamentary runoff elections using only facial appearances. – John Antonakis.

Last time we solved the problem of  ‘Automation and Us’ (ha!).  The topic for December’s salon is How Do We (collectively and individually) Choose How to Vote. How do you choose? In the light of this past election how do you think others choose?

Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see our January article.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday Nov 13th at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.

Read More