Hi Conal, this is Craig:
I am both puzzled and amused by your response to my posts,
particularly to Angela. I am excited about getting some feedback,
because I truly want to learn about how to communicate better and more
connectingly in writing. I have need for clarity, autonomy, and well-
being that are very alive for me. I hope we can make a connection on
that and gain better empathy with each other. Some of my response
below is intended to clarify but may also be defensive. I will not
worry to much about which is which right now and warn anyone who does
not want to read outside of the context of OFNR or its cousins to be
warned that I may slip into jackal.
Angela wrote about Marshall’s social change preferences that almost
seemed to move to an agenda. I responded to her with what to me was
empathy for her disquiet and concern for Marshall taking a position on
abortion. My position on abortion may appear to you to be pro-life,
but in sum it is not. I am appalled by late term abortion as are all
EU nations I know about, but see early term abortion as a necessary
stage in our evolution to empower women. I am in sum basically pro-
choice. However, I used to be a free speech attorney and had as a
client group anti-choice advocates. In the interests of transparency
at that time I probably was anti-abortion. I still deeply appreciate
their position that babies are being killed. I think that this
position is one of passionate belief and is not entirely illegitimate.
It is exactly the kind of opinion that principle of free speech are
designed to protect. We do not need a First amendment to protect
speech that makes everyone happy. I so long for my anti-abortion
friends and former clients (I am no longer practicing law) to have NVC
or something like it as their operating principle when making contact
with those seeking abortion using empathy and compassion rather than
harassment and intimidation. Actually, many “sidewalk counselors” are
passionately connecting. In another post, if I want to, I may describe
their poignant attempts to offer help, connection, and love to those
often in a panic about their unwanted pregnancy. I would hate to see
someone seeking NVC skill and that perspective to be turned away
because our beloved MBR is taking a substantive position on abortion.
If his position were that we need to help passionate believers on both
sides of the issue gain clarity and acceptance of those of the other
sides feelings and needs, the I would be all for it. But it causes me
great pain to think that Marshall’s taking sides publicly would make
this difficult if not impossible for either side to seek NVC as a way
to make their lives more connecting. I regret that I have not made
this more clear, but I also did not want to take sides on the issue
when I pondered and wrote about what was a part of Angela’s post. It
was not and never has been a part of my agenda to hijack any posts and
support any agenda except my understanding of NVC. .
As to Eckhart and Marshall, I am laughing out loud. I really
appreciate and resonate with Eckhar’s theoretical perspective. His
models are mind expanding to me and my wife and the subject of many
profound and deeply evolutionary aspects of our conversation and
consciousness. My frustration with Tolle is that by not offering many
concrete tools for how one reaches a state above thought and judgment—
outside of ego—he has created a very painful cycle of almost despair
amongst many of my dear friends. Even though Tolle sites many times
that judgment and self-judgment are ego, these people have a devil of
a time not self-jackaling that they are in ego. Tolle lacks something
like self-empathy to deal with being in, above, and bellow ego.
Eckhart’s admonition to observe, breath, and meditate are not enough
to help people out of the “am I in ego” cycle of self-judgment. Hope
is a very tentative thing when it is not coupled with the tools to
manifest that which is hoped for. It leads to suicide, violence, and a
whole host of non-life serving aspects. At least that is my opinion.
Anyone in NVC who wants to make a connection with Tolle, NLP, or
anything else that is useful and coherent to them is welcome to do
that in my perspective. That is inherently connecting and
evolutionary. Not that anyone needs to follow my opinion. However,
there are many who would benefit from NVC who may not resonate with
these other perspectives and I do not want to turn them off and
therefore turn them away from NVC because of these other theories. I
passionately believe I am actually quite concerned with all of the
talk from Marshall and many others about the spirituality of NVC and
needs. I am pretty certain if this perspective were more than
mentioned in passing by the trainers that turned me on to NVC that I
would have balked and run from another new age, bullshit attempt to
convert me to a new religion that is just as confining in many ways as
the old ones I am still untangling in my being. I to this day find
myself triggered by the God and spirit talk at NVC conferences. It
makes me feel disconnected and alienated. I make it a habit to request
that when people talk in hushed, reverent tones about the many faces
of God moving through us as we hold hands in a circle that the
experiences be more explicitly connected with needs. I really resonate
with the meaning of God and spirit and religion when it is connected
with my sense of what needs are alive for people around such things.
In the presence of giraffe’s I prefer not to have to guess. I want to
hear it as a connecting and inviting part of the experience. Otherwise
it triggers me with a reaction something similar to what many in NVC
might experience in the presence of many who ground their reality and
experience of religious doctrine or particular beliefs in God. In the
interests of transparency, I am on a hiatus from God and spirit and
the like. For me NVC is connected with the matrix of every human being
and is part of our DNA heritage. A great blessing but inherently from
US in the core of our beings, not he/she or us as a part of
disembodied spirit. Empathy, not compassion, is the key to the
connection of the deep matrix of one of us to another or others. This
meets needs for inclusiveness, evolution, and space and space for me
and way to have a deep, universal connection with what I see and hope
is really at the heart of NVC.
The whole idea of key distinctions is to me just a thinly disguised
form of categorical thinking in the mouths of many who espouse NVC. It
leads to exclusivist us/them, good/bad, labeling tendencies in us all.
It forms a platform from which we are visited by the giraffe police.
I guess what I really long for is an NVC that is inclusive and
inviting to everyone, no matter where they are in this mortal travail
of ours. I want the atheist, the contemplative, celibate Roman
Catholic monk who believes in the infallibility of the Pope, the
Vegan, the anti-abortionist, the psychiatrist, the AA group leader,
the teacher who believes in grades or at least sees no practical
alternative, the corporate CEO who wants greater effectiveness and
connection in her organization and is not attracted to having to
reform the whole thing into a sociocratic model. I want the cop and
the murderer to adopt NVC without sensing judgment and exclusion. I
want the soldier and the general to be included. I want the democrat,
the republican, the establishmentarian and the libertarian, the
structuralist and the anarchist all to be included and invited. If NVC
ever becomes an advocacy or exclusivist, I will flee and create my own
thing that is different.
I am and always have been very eclectic in my processing of reality.
Even before NVC and its profound perspective on needs and core values
as transcending, uniting human realities, I saw the integrity of most
positions that people hold, the positive motivations behind them. I
also really revel in making connections between apparently disparate
aspects and perspectives. It makes life so much fuller, more
inclusive, richer for me. What to you may seem like hijacking a
discussion or thread is my apparently fallible attempt to bring in a
different way of looking at what has been brought up.
I guess, at bottom I am really exploring profoundly to challenge and
expand all of my capacities to experience and process what comes my
way. Before going into what I hope would be an evolutionary
exploration or challenge to the postings of others, I try to make
connecting statements and guesses. I guess though that my challenges
and eclectic thinking and perspective may be off putting. If the
general tone of the posts and the intention of NVC Evolves is to
foment a forum for agreement and accord, I am in the wrong place. I
will never be capable of sacrifice being nice for being real anymore.
Though I have always had a people pleasing tendency. However, I am
truly desirous of being authentic here. I hope that such is invited
and embraced here.
Conal, I really appreciate your expressing yourself and what sounds to
me like some pent up emotion and perspective. I most certainly do not
want to be an exclusivist trigger point for you or anyone else, but
rather an inviting but challenging inclusivist. I want my personal
tent to include as many as possible. I am eager to learn from you.
However, I am not willing to personally go back and rehash all of my
past posts to get to what you are trying to communicate. If it helps
you to bring up specific examples from the past, I am willing to
consider them and am hoping they will bring greater openness and
process. But I would much prefer that we had an open channel for the
expression of such discontents and feedback as we go forward. I would
much prefer to connect with you and everyone else in empathy.
Conal, I am much appreciative of you bringing into the picture some of
the connecting posts that I have made that were obviously successful.
I am really open to and invite you Conal and all others on this group
to help me grow and expand my skills by giving me feedback in giraffe,
jackal, or anyway else. But I would like it to be in the flow of the
context and intentions of NVC. Although I guess I would accept an
occasional fuck you fat boy.
All the best, Craig.
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