2010 #1 - The Art of Communication
With the rapid growth of global communication systems, social networking sites and the media in general, humanity finds itself with many new challenges. We live on a chattering planet, our senses constantly assailed by information, and much discrimination needs to be applied to the way in which we use our time and energy in communicating with one another. The art of communication is the means of spreading the energy of goodwill around the globe and the age old spiritual lesson of right speech is needed more than ever and applied equally to the keyboards of our computers and text messages as to our mobile phones. At the other end of the scale, international dialogue is taking place at world conferences to tackle the many crises that are arising due to humanity’s wrong interactions with one another and the planet. The Nations are going through a period of psychological rehabilitation, world conferences providing a platform for them to learn how to communicate and relate to one another in the spirit of the One Humanity.
This issue of the newsletter features articles connected to the theme of right communication, and how quality can be added to the sheer quantity of human discourse taking place all over the planet. The newsletter concludes with an article on the necessity of becoming a trained observer of human affairs, in order to see clearly through the outer world of events to the meaning that lies behind them. This bestows the power to communicate and bring to light “the love that underlies the happenings of the time”.
Most sensible people recognise that speech is a better way to resolve disagreements than war is. Yet, the war of words that passes for “civil discourse” these days is too often anything but civil. In a thriving, robust democracy the right to free speech is inviolable and a true necessity if there is to be a broad presentation of ideas and a free sharing of opinions. In such a society, how can speech become the vehicle for achieving understanding and the establishing of common ground, rather than a means to subdue one’s “opponents”—meaning, all those who think differently?
The purpose of speech to find common ground has been demonstrated throughout history by those gifted in communicating a vision through the power of oratory. The recent awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama is an example of humanity awakening to the vision that the art of communication relays.
While a world leader’s skill in the power of oratory can communicate a vision of unity, the hard, unglamorous work of international dialogue is required between all the nations of the world in order to make it a reality.
At this critical time, we see an increasing number of world conferences taking place. It would be easy to despair at the fact that the crises these conferences seek to address have been caused by the ingrained behaviour patterns of the nations who meet there. Yet despite this, the flame of hope still burns deep and bright within the psyche of humanity; it is as if the collective subconscious is aware of the prize that awaits at the end of the difficult road it has chosen – no less than world integration and the emergence of the One Humanity.
As suggested in the previous article, in the world today, there is a great need for trained observers of current affairs. This might seem a strange idea – most people probably think they are competent observers of world events. Yet, if we assume this, we ignore a number of factors that can distort our vision. These factors are the biases, prejudices and preconceptions (or glamours and illusions as they are known in the works of Alice Bailey) which we acquire as we grow up. They come from many sources – nationalist feelings, political ideologies, religious conditioning, and other social influences. Furthermore, such internal distorting filters are quite separate from any distortion due to the various agendas of the media. So, to be able to observe an event clearly, one must be aware of both these internal and external distorting factors, and able to detach oneself from them. In effect, the individual steps outside of his own distorting filters, his own personality, and sees life and events not as they affect him and those closest to him, but as they affect the world. And beyond that, he sees them not so much in terms of the outer forces at play, but in terms of the inner flow of consciousness. He then comes into touch with the world of meaning.
World Goodwill recently restarted its Interviews with servers. These are available to listen to online as MP3 files at http://www.worldgoodwill.org/meetings_interviews. We welcomed back one of our previous interviewees, John Bunzl, to remind us of the work of the Simultaneous Policy Organisation, and its relevance to global challenges.