From the ‘I’ to ‘we’ to ‘all of us’
In the last 35 years we have seen an increasing concern with the relational dimensions of humanistic practice: from the ‘I – you’ of the first phase (with its emphasis upon individual learning within a group setting) to the ‘I – we’ dimension of inter-subjective understanding with its particular contribution to transpersonal (spiritual) exploration.
We have also seen major growth in and development of humanistic ideas in relation to creativity, the emergence of new forms of practice, organisational questions, and the application of humanistic principles to organisational structures in rapidly changing times.
As the pace of change has increased, the critique of current norms that humanistic practice offers to the basic elements of human interaction have all deepened through practice, including for example:
- Its questioning of race, gender and class inequalities
- Its questioning of power relations and the promotion of conjoint decision-making in complex endeavours
- Its critique of hierarchical forms of authority.
If we are to learn together and if we are to learn different things in different ways – because the situation demands we look, we think, we approach our situation in a new light – then we need to have new ways of coming together. We should set about finding out what they are.