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Dialogue #48

Basic need (Ching)

Metaphors: Well / Upwelling

Social In order to engender appropriate order in society, a dialogue must ensure that this fulfils the basic needs of humanity, rather than those defined by convention. In doing so care is required and excesses should be avoided.


1. If the dialogue dissipates its energies on trivia, it loses all significance for others and will be ignored. (Resulting in: Waiting).

2. If the dialogue neglects to make use of its positive qualities and associates with those of inferior values, it will deteriorate and be unable to accomplish anything of significance. (Resulting in: Obstruction).

3. Under unfortunate circumstances, the dialogue of superior quality may not be known to those in power nor made use of by others. (Resulting in: Persistence).

4. It may be of greater long-term benefit for the dialogue to reorganize itself, even though it is temporarily unable to act. (Resulting in: Importance).

5. Despite the value of the dialogue as a catalyst for social renewal, it is useless unless this potential is translated into practice. (Resulting in: Advancement).

6. The dialogue is of greatest value when as a result of the demands made upon it, it becomes a self-renewing source of inspiration and assistance to all in need. (Resulting in: Penetrating clarity).

Transformation sequence Persisting inequalities in access to basic needs eventually engender revolution. (Resulting in: Revolution).

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

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