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Dialogue #12

Stagnation (Pi)

Metaphors: Obstruction / Standstill

Social Disharmony prevailing in a dialogue and in its relationships with society ensures an uncreative period of confusion and disorder. As the exertion of effective influence is impossible, a dialogue can best remain faithful to its principles by withdrawing into seclusion rather than by accepting the temptation of public action.


1. Under such unfavourable circumstances, the dialogue may best protect its values by retiring into seclusion with other of similar preoccupation. (Resulting in: Spontaneity).

2. The dialogue should not interact with those of inferior values, even though they might welcome such action as a way of reducing their disorder, any consequent suffering to the dialogue is a guarantee of its ultimate success. (Resulting in: Conflict).

3. Those of inferior values, who have illegitimately acquired power within the dialogue or in society, eventually recognize their lack of ability. (Resulting in: Withdrawal).

4. Those seeking to restore order within the dialogue or in society should feel capable of responding to the challenge in collaboration with others rather than risk acting in the light of their own limited perceptions. (Resulting in: Recognition).

5. Once the dialogue has emerged into a position from which order can be restored, success is only assured through the greatest attention to the possibilities of failure. (Resulting in: Progress).

6. The dialogue must act deliberately and creatively to end the condition of stagnation and disintegration. (Resulting in: Congregation).

Transformation sequence Stagnation cannot persist indefinitely and therefore fellowship finally emerges. (Resulting in: Fellowship).

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Earlier version in 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986).

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