Okay, we bring something from a creativity list on complex systems, a little from poetics, a little from mysticism. I have to step back now, especially in the face of the admonition to respect introspection, and ask myself, "What was I talking about?" It's the effect of internet communication on the field.
A case study to reflect what I mean could be this very forum. Here we have had people from a variety of positions in the field, from an established editor of a hard copy Gestalt journal with many years of experince to a trainee, from someone in Australia to someone in Austria, from someone of the Fritz Perls school of Gestalt therapy to someone of the Wertheimer school of applied Gestalt psychology, from a philosophical approach to Gestalt to a mystical appreciation for Gestalt. This grouping has even exchanged views with folks outside the Gestalt "corral."
Now, ask yourself the effect of this on some young psychology student sitting at the terminal of a computer hooked up to the net, in the library of some university, who decides to check out Gestalt therapy on the BOL forum. Have we not effected the field? I think we have. We have not only effected one another by coming "face to face" and being challenged or stimulated in some fashion, being made aware of another's experience, but we have also laid down a record of that meeting, which in turn fosters still more ripples of experience. To me, this is not so much the disocciating as the pinching of flesh that grounds one in the midst of disocciation. We have not become awash in chaos and overwhelmed with one another, confused by waves of new messages. We have focused on figures, some threads developing a depth to their structure. This is an example, I believe, of what the people on the creativity list were saying when they alluded to points of focus emerging out of increased flow. The structure, the "form" of these figures, is evident in the trees, the tiered strings of responses to these various posts. If we could put them all down on one graph, you'd see it.
In the same way, the larger field, taking into consideration the various electronic venues these days for Gestalt therapy, is experiencing this same interaction, this same meeting of Gestalt people from a wide variety of positions in the field. Just because we cannot see the form that this takes, because we're in the midst of it, doesn't mean that it's not there. We, caught in the exchanges, are in the tall grass, so to speak, moving from one figure of interest to another, from one venue to another. The field is the larger picture, and I maintain it is coallescing, condensing, and that this will change the face of Gestalt therapy in a few years.
The internet is not merely a matter of rate of flow, a matter of quantity. It fosters contact, and contact brings people into awareness of difference. The field is becoming much more rich with difference, which provides a fertile ground. All of this contact and fertilization in the field of Gestalt therapy, is itself occuring within a larger field in which the zeitgeist of postmodernism changes the way people think about life.
It is, for me, an exciting time in which to live and to be a Gestalt therapist.