Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Shining Spark of Truth

Uploaded on May 12, 2006by SCholewiak licensed under Creative Commons

I like to read books from a wide variety of sources: psychology, spirituality, philosophy, science, culture, travel, fiction, adventure.... Many of the books I read have widely varying opinions, I read books about diverse religions and philosophies and even atheism. There is such a debate in our society now on the role of identity and religion that many books are coming out with completely different viewpoints. Depending on which side of the debate one is on, some people may even find these ideas personally hurtful.

Because of this, I wanted to post a comment on the spirit in which I read these books and in which I post to my blog. Many times I agree with many of the ideas, and many times I disagree yet I find points of agreement or bits of wisdom or a new way of looking at things. I am a firm believer in these words of Abdu'l-Baha: "The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions." I also found a very helpful concept in the book "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High". The concept is "filling the pool of shared meaning". We all enter conversations with our own history, opinions, thoughts, and feelings. When entering into dialogue, it is critical for all participants to feel safe adding their meaning to the "shared pool", even ideas that are controversial. When all ideas are exposed and in the open, wiser and more informed decisions can be made. To me, this is also very similar to the Baha'i concept of consultation, in which we all freely share our ideas and opinions, and, once shared, the ideas no longer have to be personally defended but belong to the group to discuss on their own merits. Sometimes one idea can spark an idea in another person.

It is in this spirit that I enter into dialogue and I offer my opinions and I seek the opinions of others. I also believe it is in this spirit that we can learn to value each other's ideas, contributions, and unique perspectives and cultivate the beauty of our diversity.

2 Comments:

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Mysitc said...

I am sitting my here with my friend Damien... and we happened to stumble upon your blog because the we were doing a search for "The Shining Spark of Truth" for a bio that we are doing for our band Mystic Tongues. I like what your doing here. I hope you can pick it back up. Check out our music if you get a chance www.reverbnation.com/mystictongues
Much love,

Zahyia

 
At 12:09 AM, Blogger Anne said...

Hi Zahyia and Damien, Thanks so much! I can't wait to hear your music, love your ideas!

 

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