TruthSpeak Live! An Interface Community Open Dialogue

December 21st, 2005Rev. David W. Kenney, M.A., M.Div.Director of Pastoral Care, Boulder Community HospitalHost: Barry Erdman

About the Presentation

“…it is proposed that a form of free dialogue may well be one of the most effective ways of investigating the crisis which faces society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness today. Moreover, it may turn out that such a form of free exchange of ideas and information is of fundamental relevance for transforming culture and freeing it of destructive misinformation, so that creativity can be liberated.”

–David Bohm

Often at Interface, we are left at the end of a presentation wishing there was more opportunity to get acquainted and further discuss matters of importance amongst ourselves. Afterall, our Interface membership is made up of a very interesting array of experienced clergy and psychotherapy professionals. This session is intended to give ourselves a change to speak and voice our personal interests, commentaries and passions aloud.

David Kenney gratiously agreed to facilitate our discussions and keep us on track. As you may recall, He did an outstanding job presenting to us on March 16th, 2005. His topic, “Facing Our Fallacies: An exploration of what happens when good people allow fallacious thinking to bias their reasoning, coarsen their conversations, and otherwise deprive them of good humor” was all about pointing to how we so easily drift in our conversations away from sensibility, honesty, logical truth and clarity. With his help, each of us will have ample opportunity in this format to speak to that which comes truely from our hearts and minds.

About the Presenter

Fr. David Kenney, M.A. Systematic Theology; Master of Divinity; Current Doctoral work Clinical Ethics. Board Certified Chaplain, APC. Ordained Priest of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion.

He currently is Director of Pastoral Care, Boulder Community Hospital. Also Chair, Clinical Ethics Committee and Chair, Palliative Care Service. Rector, St. Augustine’s New Catholic Community (Denver).

He is a chaplain, ethicist, teacher and ordained minister. He has long been deeply involved in the interfaith movement. His scholarly interests outside systematic theology and clinical pastoral care include the possibilities for ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, the study of contemporary rhetoric, and “the art of the conversation.”

David is completing two works: One is an introduction to the principles and practice of pastoral care in a pluralistic environment.  The other addresses the subject of  “medical futility” and the ethical challenge it presents to health care professionals.

Additional Resources

More information about David Bohm Dialogue groups:

Quotes from David Bohm in “On Dialogue”:

“….during the past few decades, modern technology, with radio, tv, air travel, and satellites, has woven a network of communication which puts each part of the world in to almost instant contact with all the other parts. yet, in spite of this world-wide system of linkages, there is, at this very moment, a general feeling that communication is breaking down everywhere, on an unparalleled scale….”

…” dialogue is really aimed at going into the whole thought process and changing the way the thought process occurs collectively. we havent really paid much attention to thought as a process. we have ENGAGED in thoughts, but we have only paid attention to the content, not to the process. why does thought require attention. every thing requires attention, really. if we ran machines without paying attention to them, they would break down. our thought, too, is a process, and it requires attention, otherwise its going to go wrong right”….

References from — Richard Kinane:

Here are the specifics on the two references that I mentioned at the end of this morning’s conversation,
and the book by Robert Roberts mentioned by Gretchen:

Ram Dass and Paul Gorman:  How Can I Help?
Paperback, 256pp     Publisher: Knopf Alfred A
Pub. Date: March 1985

From the Publisher:

Not a day goes by without our being called upon to help one another—at home, at work, on the street, on the phone. . . . We do what we can. Yet so much comes up to complicate this natural response: “Will I have what it takes?” “How much is enough?” “How can I deal with suffering?” “And what really helps, anyway?”

In this practical helper’s companion, the authors explore a path through these confusions, and provide support and inspiration fo us in our efforts as members of the helping professions, as volunteers, as community activists, or simply as friends and family trying to meet each other’s needs. Here too are deeply moving personal accounts: A housewife brings zoo animals to lift the spirits of nursing home residents; a nun tends the wounded on the first night of the Nicaraguan revolution; a police officer talks a desperate father out of leaping from a roof with his child; a nurse allows an infant to spend its last moments of life in her arms rather than on a hospital machine. From many such stories and the authors’ reflections, we can find strength, clarity, and wisdom for those times when we are called on to care for one another. How Can I Help? reminds us just how much we have to give and how doing so can lead to some of the most joyous moments of our lives.

Parker Palmer:  Leading from Within

We share responsibility for creating the external world by projecting either a spirit of light or a spirit of shadow on that which is “other” than us. Either a spirit of hope or a spirit of despair. Either an inner confidence in wholeness and integration, or an inner terror about life being diseased and ultimately terminal. We have a choice about what we are going to project, and in that choice we help create the world that is. “Consciousness precedes being.” I want to look at the shadow side of leadership. I suggest that the challenge is to examine our consciousness for those ways in which we project more shadow than light.

Robert E. Roberts
An Unlikely Journey Behind the Walls of Justice
(Health Communications, $12.95, 2003)

Spiritual journeys sometimes take us in a direction we never considered. Bob Roberts’ led him downward, to shovel ashes from the smoldering fires of hatred and racism in a Louisiana prison, in a circle of fifty angry men.

Roberts had everything—a successful dental practice, a wife and children, and a comfortable, affluent lifestyle. He was a thrill-seeker who sought the adrenaline rush of stunt flying and racecar driving. Then something happened. He was asked by a lawyer/friend to fly him down to Angola State Penitentiary to interview a witness. While there he was horrified by the senseless and unimaginable cruelty he saw. This brief journey behind the walls of justice grew to be his wake-up call to leave his career of 20 years and begin a new life of struggle, sorrow, and passion. Then, much as the death-spiral moves he executed in his plane, his life spun out of control. He sought counseling to repair his failing marriage, sending him along a completely different path. While in therapy, Roberts became intrigued by the human psyche and its capacity for healing and went back to school to earn a masters degree in clinical social work and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. Here he became connected with the community-building work of renowned psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck. Peck mentored Roberts and encouraged him to begin his spiritual journey through exploring a different path. Roberts decided to try the community-building process out in the unlikeliest of places: a corporate board room, the Soviet Union, and then, a prison in Louisiana. Here his life was forever transformed, as would be the lives of hundreds of inmates and former offenders.

In this compelling memoir, you will be propelled with Roberts into an unforgettable journey behind prison walls. It is an astonishing voyage into Roberts’ heart and his conscience through the experiences of society’s forgotten people—repeat offenders who had lost all hope of making a life for themselves outside of jail. What began as a literacy program evolves into sessions of shared soul-searching, grief work, and a celebration of prisoners’ ancient cultural roots through drumming and traditional African storytelling. Set amidst the brutality and humiliation of prison, together they find a haven for healing and transformation; to the rhythm of the collective drumbeat they discover the unique song within themselves that had been silenced by years of abuse, addiction, self-hatred and hostility.

Exploring the darkest terrain of violence and human suffering, and the brightest regions of deliverance, human dignity and hope, My Soul Said to Me will change forever your view of criminal justice, your appreciation of deep relationships and freedom, and your ability to determine your own future. It is a story of deceit and honesty, cowardice and courage, prejudice and acceptance. Most importantly, it is the story of the power of friendship and the ability that lies within each of us to create a better world through commitment, determination, and the understanding that all of our souls came here with a purpose to fulfill.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *