One of my favorite books in college was called the Mystical Languages of Unsaying. But this is not about unsaying. It is about a giant elephant in the room.
Conversation. Conversations can be about growing an idea or growing a connection. They can be about refining and becoming more rigorous. Whatever the subject and aim of the conversation, we focus on what is present there. My words responding to your words, and vice versa.
Keep in mind, this, yes, and also, what is absent from that. We are often pulling from the realm of what has not yet been said, obviously, as otherwise the conversation would stagnate in the same statements recirculating. No, we pull in from what has yet to be said.
That is not necessarily the elephant in the room though. The elephant in the room is what has not yet been stated AND isn’t being stated for political or emotional reasons. But that very things is what the conversation is navigating around. It is silently acknowledged by not given space to be reviewed or responded to. Bring it to light. Bring the unsaid into the open.
Ask, “What are we not saying here?” which has an infinity of answers in truth. However, what will come up is what is not being said because it is dangerous. Excellent! Be real. Face the danger. Unearth the unsaid.
What will this get for you? The safety of the space often deepens because the work has touched something sacred and dangerous…and it bonds the conversationalists together in the common space of the real (and not just the plastic soft niceties). What else will it get for you? Well, the unsaid is often something that has this taste of the sacred…and we must be able to touch and handle even sacred ideas and make choices about them. It allows you to go deeper into a situation, acknowledge what is really involved, and open more choices about where you want to go next.
So, try it, ask what is not being said.