Dialogical Dialogue

By Thich nu Minh Tam

Along with the jump of modern technical civilization that has more and more developed around the world, cross-cultural nature has also become more specify and necessary of our present-day human situation.

Because of human communities no longer live in isolation, we all need to understand to each other, to communicate to each other, and so is our faith of religion, it needs a dialogical dialogue to answer the problem of the “one and the many.”No religion, system, or tradition is totally self-sufficient.We need each other and yet find our ideas and attitudes mutually incompatible and ourselves often incapable of bridging the gulf between different world views and different basic human attitudes to reality.A Christian has to open his perspective to a field of Hinduism, an Islam has to understand more deeply about Buddisht doctrine, to come to the point that: all religions encounter to each other by the means of dialogical dialogue.

The dialogical dialogue is not a merely modification of the dialectical method or a substitution for it.It is a method that both limits the field of dialectics and complements it.It limits dialectics, insofar as it prevents dialectics form becoming logical monism, by putting forward another method that does not assume the exclusively dialectical nature of reality.It complements dialectics by the same token.It is not a direct critique of dialectics, but only a guard against dialectical totalitarianism.Therefore, dialogical dialogue is the method for the encounters of individuals, and on the other hand, of mere doctrines of religions in the world. But also unlike other dialogues, dialogical dialogue is a dialogue among subjects aiming at being a dialogue about subjects.They want to dialogue not about something, but about themselves: they dialogue themselves.In the dialogical dialogue, the partner is not an object or a subject merely putting forth some objective thoughts to be discussed, but a you, a real you, and not an it.I must deal with you and not merely with your thought, and vice versa, You yourself are a source of understanding (Panikkar, The Intra Religious Dialogue, p. 29).If two persons want to understand to each other, they have to talk to each other.They need the mediation of language.They need some dialogue to link themselves together.Similarly, there isno dialogical dialogue alone.Two subjects can only enter into dialogue if they talk about something, even if they are interested in knowing each other in wanting to know themselves better by means of the mirror-effect on the other. The dialogical dialogue is not a mute act of love.It is a total human encounter, and thus it has an important intellectual component.It is the importance of the very subject matter of the dialogue that unveils the depths of the respective personalities and leads to the dialogical dialogue proper.

Nowadays, people cannot trust to each other anymore, so much doubt, so much fear, so much oppositions have been created into human world.Therefore, we very need the justification of the dialogical dialogue to link people together, to erase the distance between peoples and peoples, nations and nations, religions and religions in order to rebuild the model of One God, One Church, One Empire, One Religion, One Civilization, and now One Technology (Panikkar, p. 30).