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Definition of Deep Democracy
The concept of Deep Democracy was developed by Arnold Mindell in the 1980s, having first demonstrated its use in integrative psychotherapy. Unlike Classical representational and Direct Democracy, which focuses on majority rule, Deep Democracy suggests that all voices, states of awareness, and frameworks of reality are important, and are all needed to understand a more complete process of the political or any group system.
It is defined as an attitude and a principle.
Attitude: Deep Democracy is an attitude that focuses on the awareness of voices that are both central and marginal. This type of awareness can be focused on groups, organizations, one’s own inner experiences, people in conflict, etc. Allowing oneself to take seriously seemingly unimportant events and feelings can often bring unexpected solutions to both group and inner conflicts.
Principle: Unlike “classical” democracy, which focuses on majority rule, Deep Democracy suggests that all voices, states of awareness, and frameworks of reality are important. Deep Democracy also suggests that the information carried within these voices, awarenesses, and frameworks are all needed to understand the complete process of the system. The meaning of this information appears, when the various frameworks and voices are relating to each other. Deep Democracy is a process of relationship, not a state-oriented still picture, or a set of policies.
Numerous attempts to implement Deep Democracy are occurring simultaneously throughout the world. Just as conventional democracy strives to include all people in a political process, Deep Democracy furthers this by striving to foster a deeper level of dialogue and inclusivity that is open to including not only all people in the sense of the right to vote but is also open to allowing space for various and competing views, tensions, feelings, and styles of communication in a way that supports awareness of relative rank, power, and privilege and the ways in which these tend to marginalize various views, individuals, and groups.
Deep Democracy is our sense that the world is here to help us to become our entire selves, and that we are here to help the world to become whole (Mindell, 1992).
from (and more): http://www.iapop.com/deepdemocracy.html
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