Given the political /activist focus of a number of recent discussions here, and related discussions of birthing a new culture, I thought it might be worthwhile to look at the following paper by Terry Patten (presented at ITC 2013).  In it, he proposes a dialogical approach he calls "integral trans-rhetorical practice."

Enacting an Integral Revolution

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A few preliminary thoughts after reading the first few pages. I've always praised Patten for getting politically active. What struck me in these pages were how others in the AQAL bubble tried to dissuade Patten from this task, saying it was God's work, or we can't really do anything about it, or we should accept the regression (5-6). I again commend Patten for standing up to these narcissistic and isolated bubble-heads.

I'm also interested to see how he develops this notion of trans-rhetoric to see if it is at all similar to my theurjism rhetaphor.

While I agree that change will require large-scale collective action, as usual I question the notion that it must come from the cream of the evolutionary enlightenment crowd (9). I'm much more inclined toward the idea that effective large-scale action comes from using framing to influence voting and activism behavior of the less than enlightened crowd to enact laws. But let's see how Patten uses trans-rhetorical communication in the following sections, for it may be akin.

It seems in the pages up to 14 he's agreeing with me that AQAL language (aka kennilingus) can get in the way. Pp. 14-17 sound a lot like group therapy, to the point where I'm not seeing trans-rhetoric as different from that. Other than the usual kennlingus hauteur that it's being done by more enlightened beings. P. 17 acknowledges that others have done the same, where he calls in "open-ended inquiry" since it acknowledges the "unknown." If those are the parameters then IPS qualifies, except we might translate the unknown differently via the withdrawn. On 18 he notes that some of these practices indeed grew out of group therapy.

I don't think at the moment that we can look to the west for solutions to a new energy source to scale civilization. There is too much vested interest in the big petro status quo here. If the establishments in India and China are sincere in their proffered claims of bringing their populations up to the west's living standards, then, they know by now that they need an alternate new energy source that is as clean as possible. At this moment this is where i am hoping humanity makes the needed advance on this front. From all the info i have; they are indeed, working feverishly to solve this dilemma. We can hope that big oil's bloody covert agents keep their toxic bloody noses out of it. 

I can't say that i am overly impressed with Terry's notion that some people are not more culpable than others here. Integral doesn't recognize varying degrees of murder; let alone who is committing the most murder?

BTW., i've mentioned already today that the so called mythic religions already have interpretive mechanisms in place within their traditions to get major portions of their populations to re-embrace constructive ecological principles.

Integral Obama? Oh, pleeeeeze! Please get Terry to watch the documentary dirty wars! And while your at it get him to spend 24 real hours investigating one of the most horrific murders in human history that Clinton sponsored. In saying that, i am not excusing what the residents of Waco did. I think maybe, though, that we might stop patronizing those who sponsor these blue blooded acts of murder. Now pragmatically, there has got to be some tough calls when one is in these positions of power; but really, enough of the nobel peace prizes to these guys! That's just mockery.

I'd like to point out the intersubjective interior we-spaces have been happening throughout every culture in human history. The monks and nuns in their abbey's, potlatch ceremonies, and i could go on and on. Integral theory likes to imply that prior to 150 years ago their wasn't a person on the planet that new that women should be treated as equals; that all people are deserving of dignity and respect regardless of their class or sexual proclivities, it's true that these people were in the minority but we have always been here. And newsflash, there have always been people who became aware of the nature of the present moment and didn't feel the need to reify that state as something extraordinary. Obviously, i don't really have a quarrel with these folks and i get that they have heart, and, are right in my opinion, that love is at the heart of the universe; but this love isn't for a chosen few, it's for everyone, all we have to do is but choose and that door would open. But god is the left hand path, too. And those ways also have to run their course. 

I don't mean to be prickly here, but i have to ask, is Hedges just being mean to an Integral Obama? Serious question, though.

See the first part of this post, Bryant discussing performative rhetoric, similar to Patten's trans-rhetoric perhaps?

Hey folks- Balder asked me to post this here-- the day my daughter was born! I'm just getting around to it now, quite a bit late:

Hi Sri Doge - I liked reading your paper and I bow both to the importance of it and the high challenge of it. Many of the skills and intentions mentioned for consciously making the world a better place have not been my forte. Thanks for doing it.

I am a little familiar with some of the ideas though I have garnered them in passing, through osmosis, and as dabbler. I spent some time in a workshop with David Bohm at the Krishnamurti school in Ojai, California, so I light up a bit when I hear him referenced. Too bad I was in way over my heart and head at the time.

Regarding your parting inquiry, I think that Marshall Rosenberg's "compassionate [non-violent] communication" is a methodology for beginning to clear out assumptions and reactive patterns that get in the way of authenticity and a feeling of group safety. As a skill set for learning to describe situations with more objectivity, for getting in touch with the feelings that we try to obfuscate and defend against, for coming to feel and identify universal human needs, and for beginning to practice one's courage to speak out, as with making requests, the work may be a good set of training wheels for your large intent and an apparent global need.

I have one small comment about what I would change, were I the author.

"Unless I am playing a zero-sum game against you, it is in both of our interests to be transparent, which involves learning how to effectively communicate not only larger scale messages, which is perhaps more the traditional meaning of rhetoric, but also simply what my own moment-to-moment experience is without projection, helping to create the kind of intersubjective resonance from which an awakened field can emerge."

Because I use and hear a broader definition of "projection" than the conventional simply a troublesome defense mechanism, I would probably say something like "minimizing projection" or "being alert to projection, especially disruptive or unhealthy projection." It seems tricky to me and I don't know quite the best way to address it.

I tend to think that projection is a mechanism of expressing outward that which is inside, unconscious surely, but also conscious. For me, to say "don't project" is a little like saying "be objective", "leave the subjective out of this". Contemporary psychoanalysis has made a good case that it is not possible to take a position of objectivity. Projecting ones' interiors may be part of what makes up the intersubjective.

So for me this has to do with more qualifying and seeing this dynamic as an ongoing inquiry and process. I'm guessing that this is not that far from you are saying. As I did a very quick internet check on the word, "projection", most of them did say a defense mechanism. One psychoanalytic definition said, "A psychoanalytical theory, projection is the process whereby one subject believes they see attributes (both good and bad) in another." It did however go on to speak of defense mechanisms.

I'm sure it is fine the way it is, but my post-modern self wants to qualify most everything :)

May your work go well. ambo

Sri Doge Lee said:

Hey folks- Balder asked me to post this here-- the day my daughter was born! I'm just getting around to it now, quite a bit late:

I am still reading your blog, Andrew, but I just read the paragraph Ambo addresses here, and I believe I would echo his point.  I'm not certain we can, or even should, escape all 'projection,' at least in its more general (non-pathologizing) sense.  In an enactive understanding, and in a postmetaphysical one as well which critiques the metaphysics of presence, we never achieve total transparency or escape projection; in fact, it is part of the cocreatively emerging tissue of our relation.  Sloterdijk has, at the beginning of one of his Spheres trilogy books, a statement to the effect that only those who understand and value the dynamics of projection should venture further into the text...

Thank you very much Ambo- I am honored by your reading and your considerate response! 

I'm using projection there in a way very similar to what you're pointing at with NVC-- the methodology I mention briefly in the piece "circling" works with very similar principles, and I see it as a basic (as in foundational) inter-personal practice for just that reason. 

I'm not really saying don't project, but the fulcrum between the 'personal' inter-personal practices and the 'trans-personal' inter-personal practices is a fairly clean place (it has to be, of necessity), so if I am projecting, yes, I am much more likely to catch it and bring it into the open, since the road to that 'clean' place has been the practice of continually surfacing projections and working with them in the open. 

So yeah, let projections arise-- and practice seeing through them. Then there's a place where anything I'm experiencing I'm doing so not through the lens of subject/object, but from a place where what's arising is group material, and I happen to be the 'me-instrument' in that-- the metric of my own individual experience. 

This relates to the 'projecting one's interiors...' comment which I'm totally in agreement about (and which certain practices like Hubl's transparent communication make conscious use of)-- but this is a slightly different use of 'projection' than I intend here. 

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