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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.

Sub-conditions:

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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