If you are to see deeper beneath the Logjam of difference. If you are to ask the question that unlocks the Unspoken. Then you have to sense the hidden meaning. You have to have all your listening faculties available. Your ears are only a tiny part of these faculties. You have to be able to listen to all the channels in the Field.
A reason why we seem to fail both as individuals and as organizations to make any headway right now is that we have cut ourselves off from the innate tools we need to guide us through the social complexity that is all about being human. We rely almost completely on our rational mind that uses only the surface to see and to process and so miss the meaning that is always there. We are like the 3 Apes who miss it all. Would you like to see more? If so read on..
For words and the surface literal observations are only a small part of how we communicate. Look at the couple below. Do they need to talk? Words fail this couple. Most of what is being communicated is within the "Field". Each of them is filled with feelings so powerful that they hurt. The air between them crackles. Words are in fact useless. I hope that you have felt this.
How about this? How can you console with words? Words are useless in these situations.
Love and grief demand Deeper Conversations - they rely on us reactivating the tuner deep within us that connects us to the "Field".
In this the third part of our 4 part series on Deeper Conversations, where I synthesize our conversation about Deeper Conversation. (Part 1 here - Part 2 here), we talk about the larger context for a conversation - the Energy Field that embodies us and that is where we find the truth for ourselves in the surface and rational world.
The Field is real.
Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? Have you met a person and felt revulsion? Have you been in a situation where on the surface it looked OK but you just "Knew" that you must leave immediately? Have you been in a meeting and felt something in your body that told you that this was bullshit or that the other person was lying? Have you entered a room where your parents were arguing and felt the tension. Have you been in a theatre and felt swept up by the performance? Have you been in a mob and done things that you would never have done alone?
If you had shown the iPhone to someone 100 years ago they would have thought it was magic. You know it is not. It is based on our growing understanding of the electro magnetic field. We live in one too. This field is real and is no more a New Age Fantasy that say the field that runs this device.
Like the iPhone, The Field, connects us to many things and also even over long distance. Like the iPhone it has things that you need to know how to tune into. If you don't have a tuner, all you get is noise or nothing. But you have a tuner and deep down you know how to use it. You just may have had the kind of habits that have switched it off. So let us remind you of the amazing tools that you have to tap into this field. "This is an innate ability that we all have in us".
Here is Johnnie facilitating an Open Space meeting in DC back in 2006 for NPR and the leaders of Pub Radio. The structure of the room is designed to tune the people into the group energy. For all of human existence, we have communicated best in a circle. It surely came from our early use of fire. We all face each other. The power moves to the centre. The maximum bandwidth is available.
Eye contact is very important. We are able to look many people in the eye. In open space eye contact is a hugely powerful tool for opening. You recall the picture of Johnnie staring at a participant. He also scans the room to find out who is staring at him - they have energy to use. A sign that even the most shut down of us can read well is when the person we are talking with averts their eyes.
One of the powerful tools that Johnnie also uses to bring the energy into being is SILENCE! Yes silence speaks volumes. As we move into an topic, Johnnie will sometimes just stop. Seconds, minutes go by. Each later minute can feel like an hour. It hurts after a while until someone speaks and what they say tends to be real - it has come from the energy in the room. Some one has been compelled to speak. They speak from the feeling they have and not as a skilled retort in an argument. Because they speak from the heart, others can then follow up the same way- the room tunes into the channel.
For in most meetings - even between just 2 people - we are more focused on the point that we want to make. We are so focused on our next sally that we are not listening. Not listening to the words or to the energy of the other. We are stuck in us alone. Masturbating in public! It's all about me and not about us. There is very little conversation. Talking too much is as much of a sign as averting the eye. Too much talk is hiding something important.
Talking about silence, Johnnie mentioned how nice it was to sit in a room on Sunday with a few pals and just read the papers. Done that? Stuff is going on all the time. Feels very cosy. Small grunts can say a lot. Look across a restaurant and a couple that have been with each other a long time. They are tuned in so much that most of what gets said is in the silence.
What makes up this field? Well some of it is pure electrical energy.
If you had no electrical field, you would be dead. Try this. Hold your hand up in front of another person. Gradually push them closer. You will feel the field kick in. Try this with your body. When you feel odd - you have found the boundaries of your personal space - your field at rest. What happens when you make love? Part of it is physical, but it is also a blending of two fields - two fields become one especially at orgasm when the conscious mind shuts off completely.
When we travel in a confined space like a plane or a bus with a lot of people - it is tiring. Part of the experience is Field Overload. In defence, we often shut down our tuner. The more we do that the less good our tuner gets at picking up faint signals. We miss important meaning because we have broken the aerial. This is a reason why I live in a small community.
I suspect that much of the field is electrical. But there are other parts to the field and several ways of tuning in.
A lot of it is smell! Most of our partner selection comes down to finding the right smell in your partner. This is not just about smelling nice but smelling RIGHT.
Huge amounts of information are transmitted by smells we can't consciously smell. Makes me question deodorants. We might be picking the wrong partner! Smell also tells us about fear and nerves. A lot of what is below the surface is discovered in smell. This is not a channel that is connected to our conscious brain at all. But it helps to know it is there. For you will react to the unknown smell. You will sense Attraction; Repulsion; Fear; Lying; Truth. If you tune into how you are feeling - you will be processing this channel.
Eye dilation sends equally powerful signals. What is on her mind?
Police use eyes a lot in their work. Is he going to pull a gun? Is she lying? Good cops get good at this. Blink. Will she sleep with me? Again, like smell, this channel does not access your conscious mind. But it will activate a feeling in your body. You will sense real danger. Lying. Attraction. Love even. Not understanding. The information is there is you can be sensitive to feeling it.
Ever wondered why babies sleep so much? One of the reasons is that they are learning so much. Our wiring for life is set in the first 3 years. This uses a huge amount of energy and also the brain needs to proces what is going on. Ever gone to bed with a problem and woke up the next day with the solution? Our unconscious mind is able to process vast amounts of meaning and is much better at coping with complexity that our conscious brain. But of course this is heresy to the Corporate Mind that is overwhelmingly rational.
But to use this tool you need to sleep a lot. How much sleep do you get? The average is very small. Remember when you were a teen and you slept a lot? Remember that place between sleep and awake? Find it again - it is where so much shit gets worked out.
If you have tough problems, sleep on them. If you have an idea that you can't see though, sleep on it.
Touch is a modern no no. But touch is one of the most powerful channels that we have in the field. I don't exaggerate. You surely know the story about the Romanian Orphanages? Babies that had been fed and cleaned but not touched enough died from lack of touch. We don't use touch enough as adults.
Touch is the best way to tune into another person. They can tell so much. When a friend is dying what can you say? But if you hold their hand, all will be said. But in the corporate world we don't touch. And we NEVER touch at school! We have sexualized touch too much and so cut ourselves off from its power to communicate. Its power to help us tune into an other person.
Want to know where a person is in themselves when they are with you? Touch them. Have a tough thing to say to another - touch them and see if that is enough.
"I never said that!" is something we all hear spoken back when we get angry at another. What we are reacting to is usually their tone of voice.
Tone says so much more than the words. Here is Marie Therese Keller singing the Pie Jesu from Duruffle's Requiem - It's all about tone - she is more that performing she lets us into her soul and the deep grief of loss - you don't have to know Latin to get the meaning.
Tone says everything really in interpersonal terms. Ever been with people who don't speak your language? I have found if alcohol is present, that after an hour or so, it is possible to make a connection - by tone!
Most of us in the corporate world have a Corporate Tone Voice. can you hear it? If you can't it is because you are so in it that you can't. I assure you that it is real and distinct.
It's a voice that has most emotion stripped out of it. It's that "I'm clever, on the ball, in charge, confident" Voice that has no doubt and so invites no attraction. It pushes away. It prevents listening. It's usually lying too because deep inside we are all filled with doubt and fear. The lie is embedded in the Corporate Voice and so it cannot be trusted. This is why when I first started blogging I wrote crap - because I only knew that voice. This is the lie of so many so called social media experts. The only way to be heard is to get rid of that tone. Many now use this voice all the time - even with their mates and kids.
What might that mean?
Try your office voice on your dog! He won't be able to hear you. For him it's all tone and touch and smell. He is real, you may not be.
This dog is doing it all - using his sense of smell, taste, touch and eyes.
Industrial Man is Emotionless - Literal - Fact Based - Surface Confined. When we are this way we are Zombies.
Slow - stupid - focused only on brains - unaware - easy to kill.
I say all of this having been a Zombie myself for most of my adult life. The great news is that you can come back to life - if you want to.
In the last post Johnnie and I will share some exercises that we have used on ourselves to help us come back to life.
We will also talk about a few personal and organizational situations that will help you see some practical steps you can take to change your habits so that the tuner that you have can be switched back on again and you as a human can tap into the field again.
In the meantime "Brains... Brains...."