Change by contract should be about as far from forced change as you can get. Both parties, helper and helpee should agree that the change is useful and possible. The helpee should be the one asking for the change, not some third party. The change must be of a legal nature; that is, any contracts for theft, murder, fraud or things that are against the law are excluded. The parties must be un-coerced in entering into the contract; no, if you don't do this, you'll be fired, your wife will leave you, and your puppy will be shot pressures are to be applied. And both parties must be capable of entering into a contract; that is, one of them can't be unconscious or too confused to make a binding decision.
Elements outside the contract, if they come up during the course of the contract, need to be negotiated with the same factors in mind if they are to be dealt with at all. Compensation, if there is to be compensation, needs to be negotiated, as well as other terms at the beginning of the contract. Violations of the contract on the part of one or the other party are to be discussed.
That's it in a nutshell. The power arrangements are laid out very clearly at the beginning. The business of the relationship is laid out as well. What's to b e done and how should—I think—be part of the negotiations, so everything is clear and up front. I'm adapting this, by the way, from Claude Steiner, should you wish to look at him in more depth. I don't want to steal credit. He's a Transactional Analyst, not to be remotely confused with Freudian analysis. They'd have hernias on both sides, I think.
I found your other stuff interesting. Yours also, Stephanos. I think you were justified in giving me the sharp rap for my foolish use of Hindu theology. I'm not as up on it as I should be, and I'm not as clear as I'd like to be about how Ghandi fits into the mainstream with his non-violent activism, his march to the sea to dispute the British salt tax, and the land-reform movement— Satyagraha I think they called it, though my spelling is off, I'm sure. You know, when he was shot, in the instant he was dying, his last word was the Hindi name of God "Ram." The truth is, he was not a very nice man to his wife or daughter, even if he seemed a saint to everybody else. At least that's what I hear.
As predicted, it proved impossible for either of you to resist trying to redefine the word "concrete." QED, folks.
And the "better" I was talking about that got Stephanos into such a snit was his attempt to equate "better" with some sort of theological condition. If it hasn't come yet, I am reasonably certain it will.
Once again, God, even a Christian God, is a wonderful thing. Christianity in its permutations is generally fine by me; often, in fact, better by me than one variety is to another. I think Islam is mostly a pretty nice religion with some large problems with its extremities right now. I happen to think the Buddhists are good too, with four noble truths that are a little lower on the abstraction scale than the ones we've been talking about, and easier to check out without dying. I think agnostics are the cat's pyjamas and I've had some scientist friends who were athiests who were a bit dogmatic and hard to take, but generally swell people. Was it you, Stephanos, who called athiesm "sterile?" Not cool, Stephanos, not cool, coming from a Christian. These are the people who made athiesm a burning offense. The Auto-de-fe from the folks who'd like to convince you of their compassion, and just accidently manage to think today that a little harmless linguistic smearing is fine. "Sterile, Huh?"
Stephanos, if I understand you correctly, you're telling me that you understand the rules of the universe, those of us who don't agree with you don't understand them, and that you are a simple, humble man. I have no problem with this last part at least. This is fine with me. I do believe you are a simple humble man of great sincerity and that you have a core of deeply meaningful spiritual experience that sustains you. I think of Kierkegaard's Knight of Faith.
But I don't know if anybody other than you, yourself, and your personal relationship with God that can help you define how you need deal with the faith of others. You seem comfortable instructing and correcting. Joining, understanding, learning, synthesizing and growing are surely there someplace; you couldn't have come this far without them. At this point, though, I suspect it's you and God around this issue of interfaith dialogue. I don't see that I'm any help at all.
Nothing I say seems to register. You seem to be interested in correcting my errors without even understanding my point of view. The thought that I may not consider my thinking erroneous doesn't seem to cross your mind. The possibility it may not be erroneous is outside your universe. I've tried to be clear that your religion is fine with me. Apparently the reverse is not true, though you don't know what my religion is. Puzzled but Affectionately, BobK