(Concluded from Part 1, above.)
Let me start with the basics.
The basis of the growth model of communication was the desirability of transparency.
Not carrying around withholds (secrets), getting something out constructively if it’s proving an obstacle (banging a pillow if we have to), trying on what other people feed back to us, calling ourselves on our own numbers, etc. We were whistle-clean.
Sharing our feelings, (1) sharing our secrets, confessing attraction, acknowledging another’s attraction, sharing our fantasies, pushing our edge, etc. We knew each other more deeply than most of our spouses did.
We explored communication up and down, inside and out. And we reached a point of such intimacy with each other that words need not be spoken. It was blissful for the density of those times.
Not only would I like to see our speaking go deeper and get more intimate; I’d also like to see us deepen our listening.
These days it’s often undeveloped, unsophisticated, and I wish it weren’t. Our attention span seems more limited than it was. Frequently we only allow the other person a sentence or two before interrupting.
Hearing each other is also a precious thing to me – as a communicator, as a person who follows a path of awareness and self-expression. (2) No advice, no distracting questions – just pure, bare listening.
Someone listened to me that way the other day and I was able to get everything that was bothering me out on the table. The puzzle became a picture.
My temperature went down. My feeling of ease returned. Good listening is a gift from heaven.
On the last day at Cold Mountain Institute, no one said a thing. We all sat on the steps of the Lodge eating our farewell lunch. There was nothing more to be said. What there was to say was said wordlessly.
I’m asserting my divine right to live the way I wish to live and to seek out others who also wish to live that way. And, communicationally, that’d be much different than the way we’re living at the moment – much deeper, much broader, much more intimate, with much fewer taboos.
I miss this communicational intimacy. I doubt there are many people in the world who remember it. Never mind keeping the memories of wars alive. Keep the memory of communicational breathroughs and workable technologies alive.
We could be in a place of completion and satisfaction as a society and deepening our communication is the way to do it.
(1) I’ve said this before but I’d like to say it again if you’d allow me: The most important thing for us to communicate – which starts the conversation moving deeper – is how we feel. It’s knowing how we feel that will cause people to decide to act or not act.
(2) As the runt of the litter, who was seldom listened to, getting a hearing became an important issue for me.