Notes On Organic Conversations
I am shamelessly borrowing heavily from the late, great Susan Sontag’s Notes On Camp.
Organic Conversations are more of a sensibility than a finite definition; and, as Sontag says: “a sensibility is one of the hardest things to talk about”. Unlike camp, Organic-ness is natural mode of sensibility that human beings have trained themselves to abandon in order to survive as the world has become increasingly inorganic.
There are inherent difficulties in explaining the non-linear to a linear world, mainly because output is not necessarily proportional to input. Non-linear concepts like elements of the Organic Conversation are easily identified, but difficult to reproduce.
There are also inherent difficulties in explaining non-binary concepts to a world built on binary concepts. While a major time-saver, most things cannot be pegged down to being one way or another, and live within the “shades of gray”. This is why most every definition that does not describe a finite physical form is merely a guideline, not a gospel. What is written here is a guideline, not a gospel.
1. To start very generally: Organic Conversations represent a certain mode of communicating. They are more than just authentic. Embracing the natural and instinctive and shunning scripted formulas, Organic Conversations have a tendency to produce specific, measurable and, most importantly, sustainable results.
2. To emphasize the Organic is to slight the Inorganic, or to introduce an attitude in which Inorganic modes of communication are not embraced. Therefore, it goes without saying that the sensibility of Organic Conversation does not force outcomes, but generates outcomes and sustains outcomes.
3. Not only are there in Organic Conversations an Organic way of communicating. Organic-ness is also a quality discoverable in objects and the behavior of persons. There are organic foods, organic clothes, organic household products, organic works of art…This distinction is important, and pertains to anything that creates a natural, sustainable experience.
4. Random examples of conversations and conversationalists that are seen as Organic:
Improvisational Comedy, in its purest form
Celtic and other “folk” music in their purest forms
Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Most traditions and rituals.
5. More often than not, Inorganic Conversations are the result of a forced outcome and are the result of an “act” or “schtick”. There are many slick techniques, such as charisma, name-dropping and dog-and-pony shows that inorganically force outcomes. While these techniques do produce specific and measurable results, Inorganic Conversationalists cannot expect sustainable results. Inorganic Conversationalists expend far more energy than Organic Conversationalists, especially when the “act” or “schtick” inevitably becomes apparent to everyone. Every Inorganic Conversationalist faces a pending slump.
6. Organic Conversations are not easy to have:
- Human beings are drawn to the quick, yet unsustainable, results of Inorganic Conversations just as we are drawn to the quick, yet unsustainable, results of modern machinery.
- Human beings have contexts in which they are more and less comfortable. The more comfortable the context, the easier it is for a human being to have an Organic Conversation.
- Therefore, a person’s ability to have Organic Conversations is a direct correlation with a person’s ability to be comfortable and accepting of the world and its people for what it and they are and are not. Being comfortable and being accepting of the world and its people is not the same thing as approving and endorsing the world and its people.
- Love is being comfortable and accepting of people for what they are and are not. This includes one’s self.
7. It could be said that Organic Conversations are love, but they are not. Gossip, complaining and flaming often, but not always, produce specific and measurable results, and are (sadly) sustainable.
8. We can say, however, that a person’s ability to have Organic Conversations is directly correlated to a persons ability to love.
9. None of us are perfect at loving, so none of us will be perfect at having Organic Conversations.
10. Perfection and power are not mutually exclusive.