People do not have dialogues, they exchange turns (if they do) in speaking, and that’s all.
It is like the difference between brushing stains of paint on canvas, and painting a picture.
A dialogue is an art and an unused high skill.
Without a dialogue in conversation, the speaking is static, flat, it is lacking direction, depth, dynamic, electricity in the air, and an inner meaning. It is speaking for the speaking’s sake. Leading nowhere.
People are locked in that level of talking, which is leading nowhere.
The dialogue is also a gate, mostly closed (‘I admit that I don’t know’). When, and if, the gate is open – it is not open into a road leading somewhere. It is opened into a void, a nothingness, followed by a feeling of total disorientation and confusion, it is actually the unknown; (Like a door of an airplane opened in mid-flight into the nothing outside).
But what we don’t know is that beyond this void there is the other dimension (of depth, meaning and even enlightenment).
And the great paradox is: how can one reach another dimension when all which is there is an endless abyss and void? (And the function of real dialogue is to reach to this other dimension despite (and through) the void and the unknown, and only there and then to find the core, the essence, the message, the meaning, and the truth of what is being talked about). But how could it be done without a straight, logical, linear line leading there?
In general conversations, the partners get stuck in the circular, one dimensional, empty, and flat regular talk that has no leading road anywhere, no message.
So a conversation that wishes to break out of the flat, routine, and one dimensional, ongoing in self-repeating circles – has to use Socratic questions * that will lead to penetration into the unknown, it has to go through paradoxes, contradictions, and dissonances. Working through them – the dialogue has a chance to break through the void.
The revitalizing element of a dialogue is only in, and through, the unknown. Finding the way there and back – is a kind of a mystical-shamanic journey and a mastery.
Without the Socratic-penetration*, through the unknown into the core and essence of the conversation, and back- we will continue to be stuck in what is obvious, what we take for granted, what we already know.
Without mastering the art of penetrating questions, through ‘Socratic questioning’* and making sure that the affinity and the atmosphere would be like what is described in “I and Thou” of Martin Buber, where he says the unforgettable pearl about real dialogue:
“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”Martin Buber
And there is another practical method developed by me: “Detective analysis” (or: “The detective method”) – Without this at least most of the methods, we will be afraid to jump into the dark.
All the purposes of such: Buberian, detective, or Socratic questions*, is to sail through the unknown till the hidden truth pops out. With it, one can get lost in the unknown. Therefore doing it, in the beginning, needs the help of an experienced ‘void traveler’.
Without being able to jump into the unknown and back, with the truth in our hands, we would always remain stuck in the circle repeating our level of understanding.
The moment we master that art of crossing the unknown and back, (Quantum leap) through dialogue – we are now back with a treasure of wisdom about the real hidden worlds.
(In using an analogy of free parachute jumping – You jump into nothing, but your technological training allows you to reach the dimension of the earth with no problem).
*Socratic questioning is a form of disciplined questioning that can be used to pursue thought in many directions and for many purposes, including: to explore complex ideas, to get to the truth of things, to open up issues and problems, to uncover assumptions, to analyze concepts, to distinguish what we know from what we do not know, to follow out logical consequences of thought or to control discussions. Socratic questioning is based on the foundation that thinking has structured logic, and allows underlying thoughts to be questioned. The key to distinguishing Socratic questioning from questioning per se is that the former is systematic, disciplined, deep and usually focuses on fundamental concepts, principles, theories, issues or problems. (Wikipedia)