Friday, October 30, 2009


Consensus. It seems to have a magic of its own, but even if we don't discuss that right now, the minimum that humanity needs today, especially Pakistan for its survival, is that everyone should be willing to modify their views in order to accomodate others'.

We might be amazed to see that none of the so-called progressive ideologies and so-called perfect democracies have this on their agenda. They have created myths of "commitment", "conviction", etc, all nice words to hide the fact that no political party, ideology or "ism" today is willing to say, "I may be wrong as well, and I will know this from your response."

This is what we need to change. What do u think?


  1. Shafique Sahib

    As usuall you are absolutely right !

    Consensus also depend on our listening. First we need to start carefull listening. Unless we listen we cant understand what the other part has to say.

    Listening affects the quality of the relationships we have with people, whether they are friends, co-workers or family members. Ineffective listening can damage relationships as well as deteriorate the level of trust between the two parties.

    And we should be honest with our ears and mind. As whenever we listen our mind starts working and making sense of those words coming into us from our ears.

    hmm...quite an easy to understand theory you present....for which I must say....keep up the good work !

  2. I would define Consensus as "showing trust on something collectively" (Muttafiqa Aetimaad ka izhaar)

    ...and that consensus would be on Collective Good of the society.. like you criticize anything which you consider not good for society, society may oppose you in the beginning but gradually – since it would be a matter of collective good – they would support you, show trust on you and hence Consensus building would start.

    This consensus is really needed in our society.

    Is that what you mean by Consensus??

  3. This post interests from several angles:
    1) In the search of actual tools to learn which don't require gimmicks nor expensive training - simply the desire to practice with patience and sometimes with intuition and creative spirituality across trains of thought and cultural predisposition.

    2)Tried and true methods which promise more peace both personally and communally, nationally and globally IF trusted and used...

    May I add a few possible demonstrations of consensus -- On a personal &/or small group level: find some common ground - even if this takes time back and forth and even if the ground is especially small - trusting that both parties can find this IF the ground rules are to do so.

    Larger level: several people and/or a group agree to only practice community life or a campaign out of consensus and to WAIT for the next decision to come this way...building on this approach little-by-little no matter the emergencies at hand. Thereby something solid IS achieved for the present and often for the future AND this group role-models for others that this is & can be achieved and HOW to do so.

    Is this perhaps one of humanities rarely tried (and even more rarely practiced for long) principles which can be both pragmatic and deeply spiritual without unnecessary compromising on private beliefs. Nor is there thus the necesssity of "making" anything at all into a rigid, inhumane dogma practical and possible for only the "select few elite".
    Thus Consensus might also often be a cure for dangerous unitary leaders within any sect, religion, political or or other movements.

    Herein find the truly blessed, beloved community which can take many forms...

  4. one more suggestion: look up consensus in wikipedia...and then look up pragmatic and other sub-types...the Iroqois before occupation had some wonderful peace leaders and found that consensus worked phenomenally with a large collection of groups. We can learn from their demonstrations of peace as well as their equality for women...where there was virtually NO rape known among these people among many other benefits...

    Although due to occupations and also perhaps to lack of similarly strong peace leadership, such efforts collapsed, the fact they existed at all and for so long is worth emulating...

    Why can't we do this now...and learn from other such years of grace and leaders of peace in various pockets of history - especially and including Iqbal and Rumi now?

  5. hmm..this is to everyone who had replied....

    Does consensus means that anyway we have to agree on one cetain point. What if I found some statement false or perhaps someone did something wrong and I found myself alone complaining about him? Should even than I have to agree with other people?

    How we define personal perspective/feeling/view of an individual?


  6. Each individual’s individuality is a God’s miracle; we don’t have to agree on everything. Consensus does not mean agreeing on everything. Consensus is a choice, agreeing and agreeing to disagree. The agreeing part is foremost and simple, to have CONSENSUS on Co-existence, rest are details.

  7. hmm...Dar Sahib...thanks.

    How can we promote CONSENSUS ?

    Is it a policy ? To live together is it the adhesive we use?

  8. @Thinking
    Well said, yes consensus is a policy and also an adhesive. It’s like a currency in which we can trade with various commodities…

    The need for a Higher all powerful Being, the blazing desire to be loved and to love by the multitudes points out that we humans have a very strong inbuilt mechanism for fostering collectivism.

  9. Thank you very much for this post! It has put us to deep thinking.

    I was listening to a qawwali by Nusrat Fateh Ali and observed something amazing. The way a qawwali group performs is a magnificent practical example of "Consensus"!

    If one observes them closely, they do everything in a harmony. When the lead vocalist (for e.g. Nusrat Fateh) sings others just clap or play instruments. When he stops, "any one" person in the group starts singing from there in his "own" style. The lead vocalist doesn't start again unless the other member has completed singing a stanza/line in his style! Moreover, the rest of the team (while being of the same level and power) keenly listens to the singing member and supports him completely. Each person in the team in this fashion gets a chance to perform in his "own unique" way while the rest of the team supports him fully, even the lead vocalist supports, and more than that he encourages and teaches them during their performance.

    That's the reason a good qawwali is so harmonious and well organized. Everyone in the group "respects and supports" his fellow member's effort, style, and uniqueness. Thus, it creates an effect of "Unity in Diversity".

  10. How refreshed I am by each and every part of this discussion - especially after much less sublime focus these days. The noting of the qawwali and musical analogies, the aspects of policy and adhesive both, the reminders of Allah's miracle earlier that leads to this last "unity in diversity" - and the implication of the patience, time, special work that allows people to come together without persuasion against will. This discussion is so true, so exciting, so healing. Thank you, each one here...