I want just to begin a thought about "participant observation". I thought more would come, but it hasn't, so this is it!

I'm playing with a rough classification:-

1againsting(roughly, dialogue)
2besiding(roughly, listening or empathy)
3insiding(roughly, participant observation)

It seems to me that each of these modes carries forward understanding and living in its own way. The practice of Focusing is heavily aligned with the practice of "besiding".

Should it be?

Maybe you can understand a person by "besiding". But understanding a human community seems to me to be (in principle, and necessarily) impossible, without "insiding".

Is that right?

22nd April 2003

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