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The question "What can we learn from India?" was a question that I brought back from my stay in India in 2004. Soon after, the little sister question was born: "What can we learn from Africa?"

Last week-end, I had the opportunity to learn from the Deep Democracy (DD) training that developed in South Africa based on Arnold Mindell's work.

In this DD training we were prepared for failure as a precondition for growth and learning in a group. We practiced to listen to the needs of the group by turning into a neutral and compessionate facilitator. We were encouraged to merge, mix, and fuse the DD toolbox with our own facilitation toolbox. DD can be used at all levels: for yourself, in families, with friends, at work and in education. It has been introduced as a decions-making tool and it is also used to learn from conflict.

DD is looking for the wisdom in the minority. DD makes the emotional issues that are blocking a group process visible - or in DD terms it lowers the waterline around the iceberg to surface unconscious issues. And we had two deep fishing experiences during this training: being introduced to Amplifying as a listening tool based on our own group process of four training participants and the experience of a DD Argument (see as an example)

Some of my insights from this DD training:
- The problem of majority democracy is that it is starting the terrorist line and sabotage activities of the minority.
- Confusion while being in the water of unconsciousness is learning to find the fish that is blocking a group process.
- Beyond system theory: Arnold Mindell has brought quantum physisc into psychology - Role Theory
- I also have to take responsibility for my shadow side in the unconsciousness.
- DD is the art of lowering the water-line to go fishing in the unconsciousness.
- We have the tendency to keep people stuck in a role. How do we get roles more fluid?
- The power of polarizing in a conflict (e.g. by using the Neutrality Excercise).
- Argument and conflict is used in DD for growth/learning.

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Comment by Frauke Godat on September 17, 2010 at 6:47am
Thank you Rosa and Ria for reading and appreciating...
Comment by Rosa Zubizarreta on September 8, 2010 at 12:15pm
Very inspiring to see more and more approaches that tap into the immensely creative power of diverse perspectives, rather than settling for a simple (and ultimately unstable) "majority"...
Comment by Ria Baeck on September 6, 2010 at 2:15pm
Thanks a lot for this harvest Frauke! You are a real harvester! So good to make these kind of learnings available for others to learn from...

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