Home Societal / Political Community The Wonder of Interpersonal Relationships V: Coherence

The Wonder of Interpersonal Relationships V: Coherence

117 min read

Habits of the Heart

We can now address a fundamental question regarding interpersonal relationships given this brief (and perhaps biased) foray through the history of American communities. The question to be posed concerns the dynamics operating in what Rober Sommer called a “socio-petal” pull toward relationships. What is it that makes us want to relate to other people—especially in a mid-21st Century world that is “filled” with virtual rather than physical space? I turn to Robert Bellah and his associates (1985) for their perspectives on this question. Having been the ones who identified the presence (and challenge) of life-style enclaves, it is appropriate that they also have considered the ways in which these “new” life-style communities as well as the many other communities that I have identified tend to form and be maintained.

Robert Bellah and his colleagues propose that there is “glue” that holds a community together and provides support for the nurturing of interpersonal relationships. They base this proposition on their exploration of communities where “habits of the heart” prevails. There is a glue of coherence that pulls for sewing circles, parlors, sports car clubs, and shared on-line fantasy games. I would expand on their “secular analysis” regarding coherence and the socio-petal glue. I propose that coherence is created and maintained in what Eliade (1959) identified many years ago as both the sacred and profane domains of life. The profane is to be found in the secular institutions of a community, while the sacred is to be found in its spiritual institutions. I suggest that coherence requires that we attend to both the secular and sacred visions held by members of a community.

What then are the ingredient required to creates a culture of coherence? What would the secular and sacred visions look like and how do they help to create a culture in the community that enhances interpersonal relationships for all of its members—be they Extraverts or Introverts?  I propose that there are three C’s (container, connection and community) that come together to create the fourth C: coherence. I begin by considering each of the three Cs and then turn my attention to the fourth C and reflect on both the secular and sacred nature of coherence.

Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Load More Related Articles
Load More By William Bergquist
Load More In Community

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Snuggling In: What Makes Us Comfortable When We Sleep?

What makes us feel comfortable when we snuggle in for a good night of sleep? …