Coherence in the Vastness of Misunderstanding

Our dialogue practice is designed to create areas of coherence in the vastness of misunderstanding. Most ordinary talk in our society may be called incoherent.

Often a major benefit of our dialogue practice is to experience the power of collectively shared meaning.

To learn our way of dialogue takes ongoing practice. This practice we have given names such as The Dialogue, Dialogue for Peace, and Magic Table Dialogue.

We emphasize that the dialogue has rules which call for practice to develop proficiency. Our rules point us to effective practice.

The Dialogue is aimed at thinking together coherently. Thinking together coherently calls for sustained dialogue. Early practice may be called listening practice, but it  calls for use of voice and mind as well as ears. Thinking together is both satisfying and a source of power. We believe that our practice is well worth the effort.

Such thinking occurs consciously and also on pre-conscious or tacit levels.

the growth prcocess may be expected to call us to a higher level of honesty.

We have not yet found an effective way of practicing our way of dialogue online. We find that our abilities best improve when our practice is face to face with persons whom we, at least, recognize. We have so far found that truth, reality, and our own honesty are best brought out in fairly regular face to face interaction.

We believe that were times and places when this kind of talk was common, but these days it is uncommon, rare, and precious. We believe that our dialogue may be an important aid to the preservation and improvement of our culture and perhaps necessary to our survival. I believe that it is urgent that we learn to use this sort of dialogue now. It is urgent that we practice a more effectively honest and coherent communication. By “we,” I mean everyone who is ready, willing, and able to practice the dialogue. This “we” ought to be inclusive.

For our well-being and perhaps for our survival, we need to better share our consciousness and to become better able to think together. Being able to better think together enables us to do intelligently and effectively that which we deem necessary.

In our practice, there is no agenda in the more ordinary sense. Our purpose is the practice. The practice is the honest and just sharing of meaning, and the development of coherence. The practice helps us to develop certain methods and skills for honestly and justly thinking together.

I relatively short time the practice can, and ought to become less reliant on teachers and leaders. Each member can and ought to take some responsibility for facilitating learning and for practicing some leadership. New members may be expected to feel nervous about a seeming lack of goals, teachers, and leadership, but most often come to see the group and its members functioning well, and feelings of nervousness diminish. We practice and share the benefits of the practice with little hierarchy.

We do have the purpose of practicing skills and learning rules. We may call the “rules” methods, or ways and means. We come to better appreciate how the practice builds and supports the satisfaction and vitality of our culture as we listen and speak.

However, we will need to talk more about what our dialogue is; we will need to talk a bit more about the nature of and value of the dialogue. The beginning is talking it over; talking about how we can do our dialogue, talking about why we are doing it and about what it means.

You may expect me to post more about the dialogue on and


by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill.



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