#DeepDemocracy, Rank & #Diversity -ideas from #ProcessOrientedPsychology (June 2014)

There are a wide range of beliefs about the nature of #diversity and best ways to approach or work with diversity issues. In 1988 Dr Arnold Mindell developed the idea of Deep Democracy, which he describes as a “feeling attitude towards life… which recognizes the basically equal importance of: consensus reality[1] issues and concerns… dreamland figures… and the essence (common ground) that connects everyone.”[2] Mindell suggests that:

“If a group succeeds at diversity, it is a successful community and will work. If it cannot do this, it fails at the deepest spiritual level of community, becomes unsustainable within itself and does little good for the world around it.”[3]

With children in families, schools and other groups and systems an attitude and atmosphere which welcomes and values diversity is needed for the young person's wellbeing. Parents, carers and teachers can create welcoming community through getting to know and appreciating aspects of themselves and others which are further from their awareness or identity. The rank of the general consensus (or Consensus Reality) in families and schools can directly or indirectly put down the experience of young people. A good rule of thumb may be that when a child is seen as a 'disturber' or 'disturbance' that we can take this as an opportunity to become curious about what they are bringing into the school or family setting. The dreaming and essence levels of disturbing behaviours can have rich offerings for the whole system. 

[1] Consensus reality is a term used to describe a reality that we adopt by general consensus

[2] Amy and Arnold Mindell’s Website http://www.aamindell.net/worldwork_terms...

[3] Dr Arnold Mindell – Sitting in the Fire. P20