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Listening for Context: Discovering the Unexamined

The nature of being human shifts when we listen for context rather than for mere content. In our last blog post on the Importance of Context, I distinguished between the significance and decisiveness of context. We saw that listening, more than any other human faculty, is our access to context. This blog post explores several ways that listening is decisive.

Listening and Meaning-Making

Humans make sense of life in the meaning we assign to events. In a sense, we are literary beings. Things matter to us because they bring meaning to our existence. By DOWNLOAD PDF

By |2020-06-10T17:24:40-04:00June 8th, 2020|Blog|0 Comments

The Importance of Context in Listening and Life

“Information is now both content and context.” A passing comment made by my mentor in 1999, has since stuck with me and changed the way I think and listen. It was as prescient as Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 comment, “the medium is the message.”

To date, the importance and pervasiveness of context remains a mystery. What is it? How can we discern and create it? The subject of context—defining, distinguishing, and examining its application—is worth exploring.

Defining Context  

A good way to start is to differentiate content from context.

  1. Content, from the Latin contensum (“held together”), is the DOWNLOAD PDF
By |2020-05-22T14:22:00-04:00May 19th, 2020|Blog|0 Comments

COVID-19 Reveals the Nature of Uncertainty

Uncertainty causes panic.

This seems to be the mantra right now. It makes sense and also reveals a hidden truth: that we expect certainty. That without it, panic arises.

A challenging truth to absorb is that the very certainty we expect or need may also be a source of our suffering. The issue here is not certainty itself, but the need for certainty.

Our attachment to needs—growing to expect them—can find us lost in their absence.

Rather than continuing to fill these needs, how might we dissolve them? What would evolving beyond them make possible?

Certainty, Uncertainty, and Information

In the DOWNLOAD PDF

By |2020-04-06T14:46:24-04:00April 6th, 2020|Blog|0 Comments