Visionary Society
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Visionary Society Topics
 
 
Topics are the Process of Understanding & Action
 
What are Visionary Society Topics?
“That people can no longer carry on authentic dialogue with one another is not only the most acute symptom of the pathology of our time, it is also that which most urgently makes a demand of us. I believe, despite all, that the peoples in this hour can enter into dialogue, into a genuine dialogue with one another. In a genuine dialogue each of the partners, even when he stands in opposition to the other, heeds, affirms, and confirms his opponent as an existing other." Martin Buber

Understanding is a beautiful mystery. It breaks down illusion. It resolves perplexities. It puts an end to the misery of isolation. It is the deepest prayer, the ultimate happiness.
It is simple, yet elusive. Unrecognized assumptions, entrenched biases, mindless reflexes, make it impossible to see what lies just in front of our eyes. It is as if a heavy gauze covered our eyes, and we are able to see only vague shapes and shadows.
To penetrate the simulacrum we must somehow put an end to the process of self-justification. Any issue can be presented as a Topic, as long as it invites us to engage in this process. A Topic can be thought of as a personal or social problem to be resolved by finding its origin in a worldview that has been misunderstood.
Topics is based on what we call Perspectives. Perspectives are opinions or points of view about what is important about the issue. Each perspective has a separate popup page, to enter into and experience it in its entirety. Grasping the value of an perspective is the heart of understanding. It makes little difference which side is right. What matters is how you approach it. If you enter it with good will, with willingness to change, with love for truth, you will succeed. 
Before voting on a Perspective, you must listen carefully and with compassion to those with whom you disagree. What is the story or narrative that the perspective represents? What assumptions does it make? What world does it assume and produce? Opposing points of view are not to be feared. It is always possible to see the truth in another side – taking its flaws into account, of course, but focusing on the good. This is a sea change in dealing with difficult issues. It introduces understanding as an art form. 
You enter a still, silent space. Simply seeing a point of view that is not your own is already most of the way toward understanding.
After voting on Perspectives we face a challenge. The way things are at present is not exactly what they should be. The disjunction between the existing situation and our vision for the future demands a resolution. It is the challenge of resolving the problem before it is formed. It is the challenge to integrate inner and outer, self and society.
Topics demonstrate that every significant question is a unitary, curative process. We may feel powerless, but that is because we have ceded our power to psychic and social structures. Reclaiming our native abilities – our own personal resources such as intelligence, heart, time, skill, and passion – we can follow through a problem to a principle to a vision to a plan – an Action Plan that engages us directly in every dimension of our life to live into being our higher nature and the world we are envisioning. Visionary Society presents the 'Process of Understanding and Action,' a holistic approach that brings together thought and action at one and the same time.