Healing Friction is a method of designing conflict facilitation archetypally ("there will always be ______") by presupposing a world-view that is metashamanic, that imagines the tangible and intangible aspects of life as alive, independently powerful, and inextricable. This involves practicing an altered consciousness based in imagination in order to work with conflict authentically and shape both concrete and invisible forces (like belief) in service to both individual and community needs. The Healing Friction (HF) facilitator designs an emergent and co-creative process to balance conflict such that the fact of human beings wanting different things and being different in many ways can work well in service to life and the building of community rather than poorly in service to domination and needless suffering.
By this route a group begins to teach itself Associative Inquiry, how ideas and their consequences are related, but does so through conflict in order to look through systems and for ways through systems, especially those designed to make either victims or victors of everyone involved. “Healing Friction” is entitled as an homage to James Hillman’s Healing Fiction which works the way psychology works—by way of fictions which both contribute to the healing of the psyche and heal our ideas about fiction being essentially false rather than the fundament of creative imagination and thereby thinking itself.
Healing Friction imagines conflict as a defining characteristic of systemic cultural inquiry not because there is no other way of approaching culture but because conflict is one of culture’s most accessible, universal, and inescapable realities. The way conflict is processed is a key, if not the key factor, in discerning the nature of a given culture in its sphere of influence. Building community in a world struggling with estrangement from what it is to be human requires the redefinition of peace not as avoiding struggle but as conflict done well. This is Healing Friction operating as a design methodology and peace-practice which presupposes conflict and applies the themes of archetypal mytho-psychologizing to group process design in order to do conflict well. Arnold Mindell puts this in cultural context:
Many people in groups or businesses are afraid to express themselves because they do not feel at home, fear being disliked, fear losing their jobs, or even fear being physically attacked for their feelings. Probably most people, including so-called bosses, repress themselves in order to secure success. Everyone in the system contributes to the difficult atmosphere by being addicted to security and support. Such group fields breed dependency, belligerence, stasis, and eventually revolution. (Leader as Martial Artist 43)