Voice Dialogue: Hal and Sidra Stone



“Voice Dialogue” is a self-aspect interviewing process developed by Hal and Sidra Stone in the 1980’s and ’90’s.   It received wide renown in integral circles through Wilber’s praise of Dennis Genpo Roshi’s “Big Mind” adaptation of the process in the late 1990’s. Here are some statements from the Stones describing their work:

“When we use the word “I” we are referring to the primary selves or self-system.” “Primary selves are those selves that emerged in our maturation process to protect the inner child and allow us to meet our goals.”  The “primary selves” are the selves that we identify with and that define who we are, how we think, and how we behave in our lives. They are also the way we define ourselves to the world.”

The “ego” is in fact the group of primary selves that we develop in the growing up process that rules us in an unconscious way.

The Operating Ego is the group of primary selves that runs our personality. We are constantly refining this system as the Aware Ego steps in to separate us and allow us to embrace the two sides of the opposites. As the Aware Ego grows stronger, the authority and power of the Operating Ego is reduced and choice making moves increasingly into the hands of the Aware Ego Process.”

“The disowned selves are the selves that are pushed down or repressed by the primary system. “Disowned Selves” is a term first used by Nathaniel Brandon who was, at that time, referring to what we see as one group of disowned selves, those that carried the rejected emotional lives of people.”

“The Aware Ego is not a thing; it is a process. It is an energy in the psyche that moves us towards change. It is constantly requiring of us that we separate from these unconscious selves and learn to use them in new ways. It gets stronger as we separate from more of our primary systems and learn to become aware of and experience our disowned self systems. It ultimately gives us the ability to stand between opposites and live with this tension so that new possibilities can begin to emerge from the deeper – and wiser – parts of our psyche.”

(Stone, H., Stone, S., Embracing Our Selves: The Voice Dialogue Manual. Nataraj Publishing, 1993.)



Posted in Philosophical Perspectives

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