Speaking in Four Directions at once?

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Doug Floyd

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Nov 9, 2010, 5:03:19 PM11/9/10
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I've been working on some ideas about speech and echo in the context of an organization. It seems to me that true speech addresses four directions at once. 

Am I characterizing this correctly or not? 

Somewhere ERH mentioned that speech in both inward as breath moves across vocal chords and outward as breath carries sound waves into the outer world. 

Somewhere else he said that the past and the future create the present. 
 
When I speak, I do not invent language (thought I may create new patterns). I speak from the past using language, ideas, metaphors, epochs. Yet true speech if future-oriented with the power of naming, calling forth, commanding.

Thus true speech addresses four directions at once. And as he says about the Word made Flesh, Jesus fulfills the four worlds and opens movement between them.

I am thinking about this in relation to organizations (business, churches, etc) that tend to have "factions" moving in four directions. The energy of each faction is vital to the life of the greater organization, yet that same energy can threaten to divide and even disable the organization. 
 
The great leader can speak the word that addresses four directions and frees the factions to move. 

Did someone like Abraham Lincoln address four directions in creating a new America? 

If you have any thoughts, suggestions or corrections, I'd appreciate. 

Grace and Peace,

Doug Floyd
http://dougfloyd.wordpress.com
http://www.douglasfloyd.com/about-2

I am unable, even at the worst hours, to abdicate from the belief that the two validating wonders of mortal existence are love and the invention of the future tense. - George Steiner

Myers, Paul

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Nov 9, 2010, 6:38:20 PM11/9/10
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I  have given some organizational communication conference presentations on this exact point. I still have the PowerPoint kicking around here. I put it into the context of Ethical Leadership.

 

I attached one of the presentations geared for a national meeting of student affairs leaders from Catholic colleges and universities.

 

I have taken the four directions and found everyday examples and language to help make the cross of reality a bit more accessible to student affairs professionals in higher education, but you could take the constructs to any group. I also shared an early version of this approach at the Illinois EHR meeting in 2002.

 

I have been working on a book proposal based on this PowerPoint (in all of my free time…  J).

 

Paul

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ASACCU presentation on language.ppt

Robert Pollard

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Nov 9, 2010, 6:57:33 PM11/9/10
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Doug Floyd
 
Right on . You have reality nailed. You are hearing ERH loudly and clearly. Seems to me this thinking is able to set us on our true foundations as we create the future, ERH's new millennium, the age of the spirit, the new axial age. Your closing words on Abraham Lincoln pick up on the one ERH calls "a new kind of man."  Lincoln is to my mind more than any other the true Mr. America.  
 
Bob Pollard
----- Original Message -----
From: Doug Floyd
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 5:03 PM
Subject: Speaking in Four Directions at once?

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Doug Floyd

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Nov 9, 2010, 10:56:51 PM11/9/10
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Thanks Paul. I previewed this but will spend more time with it tomorrow. I am glad to hear about other folks thinking about the cross of reality in living situations. Look forward to your book! :)

Grace and Peace,

Doug Floyd
http://dougfloyd.wordpress.com
http://www.douglasfloyd.com/about-2

I am unable, even at the worst hours, to abdicate from the belief that the two validating wonders of mortal existence are love and the invention of the future tense. - George Steiner


Doug Floyd

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Nov 9, 2010, 11:13:03 PM11/9/10
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Thank you Robert. Very helpful.

As I think about your comment concerning Lincoln another question comes to mind that I hope you or others might be willing to discuss. 

When Lincoln speaks he unites factions but not every person in the factions are satisfied. Some refused to hear. I assume this refusal of some will always be present but I would hope not.

Did Lincoln issue a command that created a time span that is still being answered?

And one third question. While we can study true speech, we may miss the command and "experience" the "power" of the speech aesthetically (feeling emotional) but incompletely (hearing no command to act). Thus reading true speech from a previous generation is different from hearing speech now. There may still be some resonance, but there may just as likely be something for study instead of obedience. 

Grace and Peace,

Doug Floyd
http://dougfloyd.wordpress.com
http://www.douglasfloyd.com/about-2

I am unable, even at the worst hours, to abdicate from the belief that the two validating wonders of mortal existence are love and the invention of the future tense. - George Steiner


Peyton Craighill

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Nov 11, 2010, 11:34:45 AM11/11/10
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----- Original Message -----
From: Doug Floyd
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 5:03 PM
Subject: Speaking in Four Directions at once?

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Peyton Craighill

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Nov 11, 2010, 11:48:25 AM11/11/10
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Dear Doug - What I hear you referring to in your message is what ERH calls the Cross of Reality. As a liturgical specialist, I've used his concept to explain what happens when we worship. God speaks to us out of the future, calling us to him and to his mission for the world. We respond both corporately as an objective congregation and  individually out of the subjectivity of each of us who are members. We use the symbols, narratives, music, actions, etc. handed down to us from the past to respond to God and to each other.  This is what worship is all about. I find this concept exceedingly helpful in explaining to people the dynamics of worship. I hope it's helpful to you too. Peyton Craighill 
From: Doug Floyd
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 5:03 PM
Subject: Speaking in Four Directions at once?

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Robert Pollard

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Nov 11, 2010, 2:39:35 PM11/11/10
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Doug Floyd
 
I must admit I have not trained myself sufficiently to think consciously in the four directions. I think I tend to do it because ERH is tuning us in to what is real.
 
Back to Abraham Lincoln, his command definitely did create  a time span that is still being answered. To end slavery and call us into a new time is to start a process that takes generations for a new reality to build, for lives to develop, for hearts to change. A century later Martin Luther King created one of the high points of what is still being answered. I was there that day in Washington in 1963 to hear "I have a dream."  That day was a high point in my life, and I believe a high point in the life of this nation.  I can say nothing less than that the Holy Spirit of God swept in power through a crowd of 200,000 that day.  Without that speech I do not think Obama could be president today. A time span is still being answered, and still has a long way to go.
 
Your third question:  Concerning "study instead of obedience" and action: I am a thinker, a seeker, a searcher for meaning.  I had lunch Tuesday with a retired very activist and outspoken Episcopal priest friend. I was talking about ERH's proposals for three sciences instead of just natural science, for sociological science based on the "experience of peace." I add, I think consistently with ERH's thinking, love and the presence of the Christ-love, as part of the package of the experience of peace. Speaking of your mention of study as well as obedience, an e-mail from my friend the activist this morning points out to me that unless I am very specific about what I am saying I won't accomplish anything. What do I mean by the experience of peace?  Actually ERH has more to say about what peace and the experience of peace are. Part of the

dream that I now see as closer to the possibility of realization thanks to ERH's insights, his command, is the winding down of warfare as our means of dealing with differences, of dealing with the power thrusts that are part of the human story. 
 
This is enough for now, probably already too much.  I'm sorry I cannot be at the conference Friday and Saturday, but look forward to seeing the papers it produces.  
 
Best to you, hoping we can continue,   Bob Pollard 

Doug Floyd

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Nov 11, 2010, 10:33:44 PM11/11/10
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Thanks Peyton. It's exciting to me to see someone thinking/speaking/acting ERH in a liturgical setting. As you make discoveries in application, I hope you will share them. I did not grow up in a formal liturgical setting but as an adult I have come to believe it models/speaks/rehearses regular rhythms that can help us move in space and time.

Grace and Peace,

Doug Floyd
http://dougfloyd.wordpress.com
http://www.douglasfloyd.com/about-2

I am unable, even at the worst hours, to abdicate from the belief that the two validating wonders of mortal existence are love and the invention of the future tense. - George Steiner


Doug Floyd

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Nov 11, 2010, 10:56:35 PM11/11/10
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Thanks Robert for those living memories and challenging words via your Episcopal friend. Very helpful for me.

Grace and Peace,

Doug Floyd
http://dougfloyd.wordpress.com
http://www.douglasfloyd.com/about-2

I am unable, even at the worst hours, to abdicate from the belief that the two validating wonders of mortal existence are love and the invention of the future tense. - George Steiner


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