Successful group contemplation leads to genuine discovery, and a greater understanding based upon a higher comprehension of Truth. This discovery may come as a flash of intuition, an experience of clarity, or even as a fusion of thought in which pieces of information, originally separate, are seen to illuminate and explain each other.
The Art Of Goethean Conversation
We have found Goethe depicting conversation as the art of arts. If it is indeed such, and we aspire to it, what does its practice require of us? Surely no amount of inspired groping will suffice; techniques of a very special order must be cultivated.
• Understanding others view: Something can be learned by maintaining a condition of open-mindedness and seeking the truth-value of another view.
• Silence: The occurrence of group silence can be a useful tool when it is used as an opportunity to reflect and digest. There is no need to be afraid of it.
• Retrospection: Retrospection occurs when, in monitoring your own self and the way you react or respond to the others, you observe yourself and, quite objectively, make the adjustments necessary to establish harmony with the basic guidelines and attitudes of the group conversation.
• Attitude: An attitude of acceptance and acknowledgment that truth may speak through anyone at any time.
• Attention: Place full attention and support with those who are speaking. Is not thinking about what to say while another is speaking.
• Hear: It is more important to hear out the other person than to agree with him, questioning rather than disputing will clear up disagreements.
• Be brief: Keeps statements to the point (brief and concise), both out of respect for the other members, and also in recognition that your idea needs no defending or justifying. Avoid monopolizing the conversation.
• Continuity: Keep the continuity alive by referring to points already made and asking the group how a current point relates to those expressed earlier.
• Thought Sequence: Try to relate your new comment out of the preceding comments if possible.