Levels of Intimacy in Communication LO18639

Roxanne Abbas (rabbas@comp-web.com)
Wed, 15 Jul 1998 17:14:07 -0500

Dear Loers,

I've recently returned from an outstanding week long conference at Ghost
Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. The conference, led by Dr. Guilford Dudley,
a Jungian wilderness therapist and former Presbyterian minister, was on
learning to communicate with non-human life, i.e., animals, plants and the
earth, itself. I found myself relating our learning about to
communication among human animals and especially those confined to
corporate zoos.

One of our class members talked of being "starved" for a deeper level of
communication. I didn't go to Ghost Ranch feeling this void, but the
experience there, connecting at an emotional level and dealing with some
gut-wrenching issues, forced me to admit that most of the relationships
and conversations in my day-to-day life are very superficial. We talk
about the weather a lot in Minnesota, and sports, and people and news.
Sometimes even ideas. We maintain a pleasant and polite veneer, but
seldom let anyone really get to know us. Perhaps this is true most

Yesterday I read a description of a communication model in Alan Cohen's "A
Deep Breath of Life":

"The quality of communication may be mapped out on a diagram similar to an
archery target. The most shallow level, indicated by the outer-most ring,
is news and gossip, which requires no personal disclosure or investment
and moves attention away from the speaker. The next level is my opinions
and judgements, in which we reveal a little bit of ourselves but restrict
our communication to intellectual chatter. A deeper and more rewarding
level embraces my feelings; at this level we begin to bring into the light
what is going on unseen within us. The next ring is my most vulnerable
feelings and experiences, which are the most difficult (and most
rewarding) to share, as we make ourselves naked in our pain and ecstasy.
At the bull's eye, we enter into un speakable unity. At this level, we
feel so joined with our partner that words would only detract from the
golden beauty of the moment."

I find myself wanting to build and maintain communication with others at
deeper levels and want to learn more about how to make this a regular part
of my daily inter-actions. I'm interesting in your thoughts, ideas, other
communication models that explain levels of depth or intimacy and any
suggested references. Thanks for helping me find my way along this new
leg of my journey.

Best regards,



Roxanne Abbas mailto:rabbas@comp-web.com http://www.comp-web.com

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