Partnership is the Way of Dialogue
Readiness for dialogue is more than having read The Dialogues of A Course of Love. It’s more than having reviewed what’s said on dialogue. Readiness for dialogue is a yearning for it, a realization that there’s something that’s happened and is happening that is meant to be shared. It’s a realization that this desire you’re feeling is urging you beyond organized groups, beyond reading chapters or sharing quotes, beyond themes, agendas, and everyone going around in a circle sharing their voices for a minute or two. There’s a deep longing to know and be known that stands behind true dialogue and is the way of realizing our own newness.
Our dialogues with one another can be a naturalness returned and a way we begin to recognize our turn to who we truly are. In each other’s presence, dialogue is what bubbles up. It emerges. What is spoken of in Day 15 of The Dialogues, is the sense of this emergence and how essential it is.
Realizing this took me a while. Let me tell you how I’ve come to what I’m sharing here.
THE GRAND EXPERIMENT IN DIALOGUE
Ever since receiving The Dialogues I’ve been eager for this time of “joining” in dialogue to arrive. For me, I felt a definite sort of “sick and tiredness” with learning. The end of learning is one of the preludes to dialogue (see below). I was so ready for a new way! Sometimes I forget how early Jesus talks about this, and since I was remembering it, I’ll share it with you. From The Course, Chapter 26:
an explosion waiting to happen
“[H]ave you not become impatient with advice, with teachers and with courses of study? Have you not felt at the limit of your patience with instruction? Have you not felt the call to live growing stronger in you by the day?… Are you not simply ready to be done with the way things have been and to begin a new way? . . . All this frustration and impatience has been building. This buildup has been necessary. Now, like an explosion waiting to happen, it only needs a trigger to be released. With its release the new can begin. This Course is but a trigger. These words the prelude to the explosion. It is as if you have been waiting for someone to whisper: Now! The whisper has come. The time is now. “(C26:12-15)
The time is now.
A couple of years ago I had a big vision of being the flame to spark the explosion of Dialogue. I thought I could get it organized and let it flow from there. I prepared a bunch of written materials, and was aching to move forward with them…until something told me to stop.
That’s when I entered my two year “experiment in dialogue.”
Organized Dialogue?? No.
Having spent this time in dialogue was invaluable and led me to the conclusion that dialogue can’t be organized. It’s kind of like the end of learning—another explosion some of us are getting familiar with. Once you “get it” that learning is behind you, you can’t go back. That’s when you might realize how many of your relationships and activities are organized around some sort of social or spiritual, intellectual or instructional gatherings.
I’m not a joiner, but that’s how I felt about some of the dialogue experiments. The “organized” dialogues were just not the same as the more casual and smaller dialogues…the natural ones. The “organized dialogues” were as lovely as the Course of Love sharing groups…but they weren’t dialogues. There were “moments” of dialogue, and I’m thankful for everyone who willingly experimented with me, but, being organized, they weren’t organic. They weren’t real enough. They weren’t spontaneous and unpremeditated. The focus was often on A Course of Love, which you might think would be fine, but dialogue is not about A Course of Love directly at this point. Dialogue is about you being who you are.
Dialogue is about you being you.
Dialogue is inherently personal. We speak…as individuals. As who we are. As unique…people! Dialogue requires vulnerability. The way Jesus puts it, at least for the “engaging” type of dialogue that I most desire, dialogue comes of us becoming clear pools flowing into each other, creating movement in unforeseen directions. There is a combining and a coming to know “together,” and a wild rapids that take you into places you might not have ever imagined going. And all of that is the beauty of it.
For me this connects back to my favorite quote of The Course, to the start of my spiritual journey and time as a dialogue and creative partner with Mary Love.
Here’s the quote from ACOL chapter 31:17
You can only be who you are
by sharing who you are.(C:31.17)
Here’s a similar amazing quote from ACIM:
The atonement is a lesson in sharing, which is
given you because you have forgotten how to do it.(T:9,III.11)
Let’s face it: We’ve been living in a structured world.
Have you ever called someone to get together to talk and had them ask you, What about?
Have you ever sat in meetings of great people that were so excruciatingly dull you’d have rather been doing the crossword puzzle?
Have you longed for the energy and excitement you remember from the one or two greatest conversations of your life? Maybe in college when the whole world was opening up to you and you were full of ideas?
Or have you had dialogues in spiritual circles that just about blew your mind?
Mary and I have been experiencing dialogue in a natural way for 25 years. We’ve had hiccups here and there that mainly came from busyness. You’ve got to have some room in you for dialogue.
What Mary and I found over the years is that you’ve got to share the present moment stuff going on in your life—whether its trouble talk, or “too busy” talk, or “family” talk or the joys and stuckness of creativity talk. You spend a little time letting it out and then you’re suddenly spacious again and there is a sort of communion of sharing going on that combines the human and divine, the ordinary and the extraordinary. When you look back and see your greatest revelations taking place from within these dialogues, and that theycan spark areas that you may not even have in common with your friend, you’re hooked.
This is the thing. No matter what one’s personal interest is, or one person’s “need to share” feelings that start you off, a common thread begins to weave you together, and knowing and being known takes place.
Knowing and being Known
Despite the little you may have heard of “knowing and being known” over the years, it’s the real deal. It’s the spark of God’s creation. Moving out of oneness so that the splendor of each one can know and be known.
Everything you’ve ever read that sparked your enthusiastic interest is something, I guarantee you, that you already knew. It grabbed you because you knew it was truth. It stimulated you because you felt a sense of excitement as it touched an idea that was already in you. It warmed you because the soul of the person sharing touched your soul. There is a “touch of knowing” already there in every true encounter, and you can trust that when you feel no energy or sensation in what you’re reading or hearing or being invited into—it’s not for you. We are returned to our uniqueness in A Course of Love, and our dialogues are to move us to greater knowing of who we are both as people, and as beings with a consciousness far more vast than we’ve yet realized. What we love, and long to know and express, brings forth our being and our realization … even revelation … of who we are.
You know the special “click” when trust and undefined possibilities await. Dialogue is partnership. Dialogue is an invitation to create, explore, and discover; to reveal your true self . . .together.
Dialogue is union experienced in relationship.
I invite you to search within yourself for your response to what I’ve written and to see if there’s anyone in your life you’d like to share with in this way I’m speaking of, especially anyone you’ve met through A Course of Love with whom you feel an energy, a resonance, as if, were you to talk regularly you’d feel like you hit the celestial jack pot. Maybe there’s a couple of people in a Course of Love group whom you feel really drawn to. These natural ways are your best resource.
Are you not simply ready
to be done with the way things have been
and to begin a new way?
Be willing to be vulnerable, to reach out, and to begin your own experiments.
Take a look at the “Preludes” to Dialogue and Creation of the New provided below, and assess your own readiness, but don’t let them discourage or overwhelm you. They are drawn from within A Course of Love and hung together under the theme of dialogue. They may paint an idealistic picture when seen in such a way, and dialogue can be messy, and your start, like mine, may need to be experimental. It doesn’t matter because it’s all discovery.
If you were forming a musical group, wouldn’t you have to find the right people to make beautiful music with?
I call you particularly to note the permission giving of Day 15. Remember, Dialogue is For You, and that “Creation is a Dialogue.”
Click here to download the PDF of Preludes to Dialogue and Creation of the New