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Attitude to information,
to listening, to hearing.
Biggest block to learning -
about Islam, about anything.
Information may be useless.
First: change attitude.

I read something fascinating today on ATTITUDE TO INFORMATION. It came from an expert couple therapist who noted that before she could get helpful interventions to couples resistant to taking in anything, she needed to change their ATTITUDE to INFORMATION, ATTITUDE to CHANGE.

Aha!! Eureka!! I went.  In general people tend to go for the direct route with information - and it often splats against a wall. For instance, so many people aware of the threat of Islam do their best to spread the information, and come up against a wall. Frustration, confrontation. Not listening. Not hearing. Not exchange. Not change.

That's very like the therapist who could not help people with a closed attitude.

Anyway, I took her words, and applied them to reaching out to people who are generally closed to learning about Islam. It’s their attitude, most likely, that needs to be addressed first.

So, here are the words, modified:

Helping these people change and grow does not start with teaching them to see new information.

It starts with changing their attitude about the information.

Their attitude to information is a bigger impediment to listening than the size of the non-listening they have. The attitude that’s such a killer is, "You are the problem." (In other words, you racist, you bigot, you whatever.)

That attitude is the first thing to tackle, because what I discovered over working with so many highly blocked people is that my best information too often fell on deaf ears.

The real problem was, they weren't ready to hear!


The question then, is how do we change the attitude to listening? My general approach is to address things, for instance to say: "I have the feeling you are not ready to listen to me, that your attitude is, that I'm the problem." I also think of telling them that I have the sense of inhabiting an alternate universe, and being unable to let them know what I perceive, while I'm aware of what they perceive.

By the way, the source for these thoughts: Ellen Bader from https://www.couplesinstitute.com/ Couples Institute - Ellen Bader


All the best to all who care and dare,

Elsa



PS. Here's my frequent experience of living in an alternate universe:

I live in an alternate universe. I see your universe. I walk in it. But everything there is kind of not quite solid. And you, when you see me, see me either as one of yours, if you don't know I'm from an alternate universe, or you tend to brush away what I say. You may get angry. Most, you keep out what I say. For me, it's like I'm behind a glass wall.

I used to live in your universe. One day a doorway opened up - an opening. I went through. At first, I just went a small distance in, looked around a bit. Everything was solid in this alternate universe. I could touch things, turn them over - except what rotten things came out when I did that.

More and more, the 2 universes came together. The new universe, and at the same time, the one I had lived in. But the old one was no longer solid. There were openings everywhere to the new one, the solid one.

Sometimes I try to reach you. I often feel like a ghost must feel, when it tries to reach the people it once knew. See me, see what I'm seeing. Look.

My thought: maybe I'll try talking of this experience with people who don't see Islam as dangerous.


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posted March 23, 2018


Attitude to listening, to hearing.
The biggest block to learning -
about Islam, about anything.
Information may be useless.
First: change attitude to listening.



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