Recorded Conversations started out as a vision on a sketch pad. The idea was to create space for connection—authentic connection—through conversation. I was inspired by a talk Theodore Zeldin gave. His vision for the future involved inventing a new civilization—a conversational civilization that bettered the lives of all humanity. He said, “The only way we can think about the future, and have a new vision of the future, is to have a new vision of the past. We must look at the past in a new way.” This remarkably mirrors a little something Carl G. Jung wrote in The Red Book: Liber Novus. Peter Kingsley quotes Jung during an interview with Murray Stein: “The task is to give birth to the old in a new time.” This, Kingsley adds, is what “true creation” is.
The conversation is an ancient practice of relating to another. We communicate our needs, our desires, our fears through conversation. Most importantly, we use conversation to connect which ultimately leads to love. Conversation is intercourse.
Zeldin holds to the idea that you cannot truly know yourself. To attempt to know the self, we must include the views of others. He said, “The only way to fully know yourself is in part by discovering what other people think of you. And, then you discover that you’re not what you appear to be.”
We are never what we appear to be. There’s beauty in that. We are unfinished puzzles. It is other people that can provide the missing pieces. They continue to add to our depiction of life. To me, that just further qualifies my understanding of why human connection is so essential to a full, meaningful life. People are purpose. The purpose is to reveal people.
Conversation is an old way to create new connections. And come to think of it, what could be more fruitful and fulfilling than spending time with another human that makes you feel alive?
Since the debut of the podcast, July 17, 2019, I have invited a variety of people to present their perspectives vulnerably. My goal is about compassionate consideration for all views, even the views I disagree with. It is because there is a disagreement that I not only understand another layer of humanity, but I see a reflection of myself in the guest. Even in disagreement.
This year called for a restructuring of how I engage in conversation. This new way of interacting is designed to help me better benefit from views that I don’t always want to consider. It is by way of my own error and coming to terms with my blind spots and areas that require further development, that I decided on 4 dimensions of a dialogue that I found benefit me the most. If I can strip down a few layers and weave through the dimensions of inspiration, intrigue, healing, and hope, surely, I can come to see the depth and integrity behind the body of everyone I converse with. It is with great optimism that presents a new blueprint for bodacious banter.
With each new conversation on the podcast, I will open each episode by asking the conversation partner what their current inspiration is. Often, no one even asks us that, but we do present it for consumption and consideration, don’t we? We post and tweet our inspirations in a variety of ways. We are all inspired. I’d like to know what inspires others. Perhaps it will inspire me? When we share our inspirations with others, it reveals a layer of love and optimism. If I can start a conversation with this as my first puzzle piece of that person, it helps me understand what matters to them.
The next dimension includes intrigue. More specifically, the intrigue that conjures critical thought and activates our values and beliefs. This comes by way of headlines. Current events are interesting because we can see how what is taking place in the whole world reflects what is taking place in our own little worlds. More than that, it helps reveal more about humanity in general. This is the dimension where you can take the activation from what is taking place in our society and really process it in a way that we come to gain more clarity about how we relate in the world.
The third dimension is about healing. When we share our stories of healing, that in itself can be an inspiration to another. The question that I often wonder about people is, “What brought you out of pain so that you could know pleasure?” The guest then has the space to share their story of growth and transformation.
Finally, a good conversation concludes with a hope for harmony. “What is the change in the world you want to see to bring about peace and unity?” Our vision for change sets the stage for how we operate in life. Whatever the vision is, whenever it arises, and no matter how many times we change our mind about how to do it, it reveals a trait of universal consideration.
My goal is simply to get people talking, consider new perspectives, and compassionately welcome the opportunity to learn something new, even if at first, you don’t want to.
The first podcast of 2021 was released this week. Glenn Klein of the Sex in the Pews podcast joined me and helped me present this model to listeners. The episode not only covered the 4 dimensions of a conversation but so much more.
I hope you’ll consider listening yourself. And if you’d like to join me for an episode of Recorded Conversations to share your story, please contact me.
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