As an introduction to this list, here is my contribution.
It was discussed shortly on this list what it is actually for, if there are any "rules" etc...
From time to time this list suffers kind of identity crisis. Some want to talk with others about their experiences with "face to face" dialogue groups. Others want to dialogue about theoretical aspects of David Bohm's ideas about dialogue. Some just write for the sake-and-joy of writing, or promote a theory of ones own making, or just listen rather then participate actively. All these differences in motivation, interest and writing styles have now and then led to some frustration among the participants. But, it has turned out, all can be part of the process of dialogue. Frustration included.
So the rule is, there are no rules, as there is also no list-moderator. It's a free and public list. This also means imo that all topics are allowed. I tend to see this list as a room with many tables, where different things can be discussed, explored simultaneously.
Since the medium is e-mail here, it is different from face-to-face dialogue -- I'm dialogueing with other people, but maybe even more with myself ! But above all, I like the writing and the mutually inspiring effect of e-mail exchanges.
Pat Styer wrote lately how I also like to see e-mail dialogue:
My interest in dialogue is purely as an art form, an art form that takes place in the verbal sphere, not alone, as in poetry or literature, but in a social, cultural arena. It is a painting we do together, but it is a sand painting... it is washed away daily . We are, on the same beach; we 'share the same sandbox.' Every grain of sand is available to each hand equally. What we 'end up' with is a culture, and this time, because we can play together in the verbal sphere, it is a culture whose 'end' is "constantly open to creative determination." We haven't been able to play verbally together; we haven't learned the counter-productivity of the defense of our verbal sand-paintings. We've wanted to turn them into cement, even grave markers, rather than letting them be washed away for something new, and then something new again.
Jan Pieter Verhey