Earth Community Dialogues
An Earth Community Dialogue is a conversation focused on identifying, understanding, and articulating the differences between Empire stories and Earth Community stories, testing the underlying premises of both sets of stories against personal experience, and planning activities to expand the conversation. (See The Great Turning: Epic Passage.) It may involve as few as two people. There is no upper limit.
Growing Community through Dialogue
Dialogue is foundational to the process of developing the partnership relations of Earth Community. Through dialogue we reclaim a sense of authentic community and develop the shared language and stories of a new Earth Community culture. Facilitating such dialogue is integral to the work of every Earth Community Navigator. The dialogue best starts locally with people who are in daily contact, but ultimately it must as well be national and global.
An article or talk may open minds to new perspective and initiate a process of personal awakening. The language and stories of Earth Community become part of our lives and being, however, only as we come to use and share them in daily conversation. It is best to start experimenting with the use of the language and the sharing of the stories with a sympathetic group of friends who are on a similar journey and have already developed bonds of trust with one another. It is most productive if this is a group of people who are in a regular continuing relationship, such as members of a church, synagogue, mosque, interfaith alliance, neighborhood association, college, business, or local nonprofit organization.
Creating a Liberated Cultural Space
When you create such a conversation group, you create a liberated cultural space in which participants give one another permission to explore new ways of thinking and being. As the dialogue deepens you develop and practice an Earth Community culture within that space. As you draw others into the group, the liberated space expands. As your group connects with other groups engaged in similar processes, the liberated spaces begin to merge, further expanding the reach of the new culture and growing new potential for collaboration to shift the culture of the larger society.
Being in Communion
An Earth Community dialogue should be a spiritual experience as much as an intellectual experience. Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra suggests that such gatherings draw inspiration from the ancient wisdom of
1. Satsang: (To connect, to be in communion) The liberated space of an Earth Community dialogue creates a place to share wisdom and guidance. It calls us to experience and reflect on the oneness of all being, life and humanity and to open our minds to new possibilities.
2. Simran: (To Communicate, to share inspiration, to reflect on who we really are.) When we gather in communion to reflect on the true nature or essence of who we are we unleash the collective power of the essential connection we share. This opens us to inner transformation, a transformation of our outer relationships, and ultimately to global transformation.
3. Seva: (To support, to be in selfless service with devotion and compassion) When we experience the feeling of being one with life and humanity, the desire to serve flows spontaneously, not from any sense of duty, but purely out of love. We come to recognize that we feel most fulfilled and true to ourselves when we serve the greater good with devotion and service.
You might consider beginning the process by organizing a group to dialogue on The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community using the companion study guide. A less ambitious starting point would be a discussion of my lead article in the Summer 2006 issue of YES! magazine, which also comes with a companion discussion guide. You will find a host of ideas and resources for organizing an Earth Community dialogue on www.thegreatturning.net.