Going Somewhere New Together

A post from Lois Holzman’s BLOG

07 Jun 2018 Going Somewhere New Together

Posted at 17:27h in Human DevelopmentPhilosophyPsychology of BecomingPublications by loisholzman

The Overweight Brain: How our obsession with knowing keeps us from getting smart enough to make a better world shows the ways psychology, education and science are permeated with the conceptions that shape how we see, experience and relate in the world as knowers. In the book I try to show how operating as knowers keeps all of us stuck, and suggest ways to get unstuck by “creating the unknown.” In terms of the kinds of everyday conversations we have, creating rather than doing knowing just might add some spark to our relationships, the spark that comes from going somewhere new together. Here’s what I mean:

From Chapter 4. The What and How of Knowing

“Most of us think, see, feel, talk and relate in dualistic, either-or ways many times a day! You wake up with a headache and lie in bed not wanting to get up. You must, though, so you say to yourself, “Mind over matter” or whatever your version of that maxim (which separates mind and body) is. You turn on the TV and hear that scientists claim to have discovered that shyness is genetic, not environmental. You take your child to school and learn that recess is cancelled because the children need to learn to read, not play. At work you and your office mate get into a fight about whether Israel has a right to defend itself or the Palestinians have a right to a state of their own.”

From Chapter 8: We Can’t Know But We Can Grow

“You can learn to hear offers, instead of hearing opinions or truths or falsehoods. What’s even better is you can actually learn to hear both at the same time! In improv as a performance technique done by actors and comedians, it’s often said that you have to accept what someone says as “true” in order for the scene to work. I’ve never been comfortable with that formulation or that rule. I believe you can accept it without the truth part. IF you accept that something doesn’t have to be either “this” or “that”but that it can be both what it is and also something else. In other words, if you reject the dualism of the knowing paradigm. For, off the theatrical stage in life’s activities, including most importantly in the conversations we create, what someone says might well be “false” or abhorrent to you and be an offer at the same time. One doesn’t preclude the other, since everything is what it “is” and other than what it “is.” It’s the primacy of knowing and its pillars of dualism and dichotomy that keep us from “yes, and-ing” throughout our lifetimes.”

The Overwieght Brain is available on Amazon

Lois Holzman is a cofounder with Fred Newman of the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy and the Institute’s current director. She is a leading proponent of cultural approaches to learning, development and psychotherapy.


Politics for the People

Conference Call

With Author Dr. Lois Holzman


The Overweight Brain

How our obsession with knowing keeps us from getting smart enough to make a better world

Sunday, December 8th, 7pm EST

Call in number: 605-313-5156

Passcode 767775#


Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

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