A “Deep Democracy”

I love America James B

“Deep Democracy” is a philosophy developed by Dr. Arnold Mindell. In brief it means:

“ALL people, parts, and feelings are needed. Deep democracy appreciates present democratic forms but adds to them the need for ‘awareness’ of feelings and atmosphere in moment-to-moment interactions and institutional practices….”

I’ve been thinking and learning about democracy in this way and it has helped me to step into more controversial group discussions. To listen and follow the subtle changes, favoritism, the scapegoat, and the all-knowing, those that push and taunt and demand – We all need to be heard and felt and seen. Chaos and conflict (so uncomfortable) often leads to better understanding.

Deep democracy, also includes my inner work. Which is my thoughts, prejudices and hot spots that trigger me. If I’m not aware of these (always, always learning) I am blind to my own biases. It is such a deep, deep concept to see the multitude of layers touching, rippling, lifting, pushing, silencing, carrying and crying, shouting and rejoicing – Phew!

However, this to me is the essence of democracy; to be aware and listen, hear, understand, and respect: “ALL people, parts, and feelings…”

I welcome this philosophy and its challenges. I am excited and inspired to continue learning and being a part of a growing wave of Deeper Democracy. I stand side-by-side, especially with my brown and black sisters and brothers who have been marginalized for centuries. Native Americans whose ‘land of the free’ was stolen from them. For those whose religious beliefs have been hated and I also very much welcome and join hands with the LGBTQ communities.

This is my declaration on the 4th of July and always.

Further reading suggestion:

The Deep Democracy of Open Forums by Arnold Mindell, PH.D.


About Carolyn Riker

A creative explorer using the magic of imagination, surfing the sea of understanding and finding bridges to connect it all.
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