Arnold Mindell – Deep Democracy

Deep Democracy is a natural process that occurs in all community building processes, but often goes unnoticed or un-used. Just as conventional democracy strives to include all individuals involved in the political process, Deep Democracy goes a step further in the effort towards fostering a deeper level of dialogue and inclusiveness that makes space for all people (with the individual right to vote) as well as all various and competing views, tensions, feelings, and styles of communication – in a way that supports awareness of relative rank, power, and privilege, and the potential of these forces to marginalize other views, individuals, and groups.

Mindell coined the term Deep Democracy to describe the importance of developing awareness of and appreciation for all levels of experience. Deep Democracy further formulates quantum mechanics in terms of the relationship between the observer, the event, and the method of observation.  It is a radical new way to think about reality, and shines a new light on the relative value of scientific and philosophical approaches that try to explain reality by focusing on single-dimensional aspects, but fall short of addressing the phenomena of all dimensions.

Mindell formulates the process of observation on three separate awareness levels: the measurable, objective, and readily expressible aspects of our experience; the non-measurable, subjective, and expressible aspects; and the deepest, inexpressible ones. Deep Democracy recognizes the equal importance of consensus reality issues and concerns (measurable objective descriptions of problems and people), dreamland figures (roles, ghosts, directions), and essence experiences (common ground) that connect everyone. It shows how we can experience the universe more fully by valuing equally all of the various aspects of our awareness.


Arnold Mindell speaks about Worldwork, London 2008
Part 2: Deep Democracy and Worldwork

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