Summer 2001 Archive
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Re: Douglas A Clarification Please Posted by Douglas on August 22, 2001 at 09:26:40:
In Reply to: Douglas A Clarification Please posted by Deirdre on August 20, 2001 at 21:05:59:
It is good to hear your voice again even if I if I am not endeared with the tone of this piece. The following sentence comes
particularly to mind:
“It strikes me that you wish to change a structure that you came here wanting but have never really tried to work within. Your
mode has been curiosity but with no intent to change and so now you are not satisfied and wish to change the structure.”
I beg to differ. My reluctance to change, as you would have it, is based in skepticism for oftentimes it seems to me that I am not
being encouraged “to change” but “to convert”. This is in the territory of Sociological Conversion therapy.
That theory would have it that this is not a Class but an organization that has as its implicit or sometimes explicit goal the
transformation of the personal identities of its members. Typically, such “identity transformation organizations” encourage their
members to reorganize their behaviour, offer them new social roles to play, socialize them to new values, and foster in them new
modes of self conception.
This is an extreme interpretation admittedly of the Class operation, nevertheless an interpretation that causes me considerable
In regards to your other major theme, control, let me state that: “Control is an illusion.” That I am often so self-deluded is
another matter. It is a hard lesson to learn.
As for your comment: “perhaps you need to be in another environment” that is an issue that I have wrestled with for a long time
and was half way out the door last week when John called me back in. That my indecisiveness is neither serving the Class or my self
well is an ongoing internal debate, particularly since you are not the first — nor I take it the last — to be showing me to the door.
In conclusion, I should like to retract my “Open Letter” — save for my admiration for Lou and Eon’s budding relationship. It was
only a suggestion for one’s consideration at best (or should that be “at worst”) and the interpretation of the Class dynamic is
seriously flawed. Given the exchange on the Blackboard thus far this term, there is little evidence to support the following
“Quite possibly we have just achieved a mature, civilized level in our relationships, relationships characterized by mutuality,
spontaneity, co-operation, preservation of individual and valuable differences, and by stability — the relationship of mature
dependence in equal partnership and friendship;”
My own hypocrisy in this respect would suggest that I was describing an ideal rather than the actual state of affairs.
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