The Green Lamp conversation meeting in Nössemark became a conversation about truth, and thus a different adventure compared with previous meetings.The discussion in Dals Långed was a matter of faith and knowledge. In Kungälv, the conversation included the choices made in life. In both of these conversations, the participants invited each other to very personal stories. Questions were asked and there was time to reflect together on how faith and past choices affect one’s life today.
In Nössemark there was confrontation. The Green Lamp is not a debate forum where you argue for and against. Instead, the idea is to jointly examine one another’s positions, and if necessary make clear what you have in common and where important dividing lines are going. Often it has been a dialogue, and that’s what the Green Lamp seeks.
The confrontation in Nössemark was about a a controversial question that was raised. There are established truths that the community stands for. Can you question those truths without being considered a crazy conspiracy theorist? And the example was the Holocaust. Can you question the Holocaust and its story about the bestial persecution of Jews during World War II?
It was like a graduation test for th Gröna Lampan idea of the open dialogue, where all questions and topics are allowed. David Dickson, who was the conversation leader for the meeting, is unambiguous: ”The fact that an opinion is allowed does not mean that it is left unchallenged. Listening and asking questions is a prerequisite for finding out where the main dividing lines go. ”
In the conversation in Nössemark there was an obvious risk that silence would be the answer to the provocative thought of the Holocaust as a story based on lies. At a previous meeting – a book circle – the answer had been a disturbing silence. ”I know,” says David Dickson, ”that silence is sometimes an effective response.”
But today there was curiosity about what makes you want to deny such a truth. So there was a dialogue. One participant took up the thread of truth about the Holocaust, and it was clear that she saw the truth from another side. Her story was about meetings she’d had, both with survivors from the Holocaust, and with her elderly relatives who during the Second World War had helped the resistance movement on the other side of the Norwegian border – which in Nössemark is very close. She tmade it clear how she herself loved finding her own understanding of life, and she said that one should absolutely be able to critically review details, for example, in the accepted story of the Holocaust. At the same time, she would allow herself to trust the first-hand stories she had heard of Nazi hatred against all those who did not fit their ideals – including the Jews.
Another of the participants returned to the question of truth telling about trips she’d made in the world, including Kosovo, about two years after the war there. Kosovo Albanians, with which she spoke, had a very well-founded view of truth about the war, war crimes, heroism, guilt and causes. Serbians who she spoke with had an equally well-founded truth about the same things, but that truth was quite different.
The participant who raised the question of the Holocaust had made the qushe’d been served in school and by the media. This, for her, becomes a quest for light in a controlling darkness – to see another truth.
”From this,” says David, ”I briefly told about my research, where I’ve experienced that when I really understand an area of knowledge, I also see how much more there is to discover. How much I will never be able to grasp.” David says it was interesting that there were two different ways to relate to the truth at the meeting: ”One way was to question truths and ideas in order to find a definite truth. And then there was the idea that the questioning of received truths is crucial, and that this also applies to the truths you yourself come up with. ”
The conversation in Nössemark stopped there. Some important dividing lines were made visible. ”The questions of truth, questioning and conspiracy theories that came up were far from being answered,” says David. ”The Green Lamp was put to the test, and we learned some things for future conversations.” On the question of the lessons learned, he answers that he and Tatiana Pismenskaya will formulate some simple rules. ”Everyone should have a lamp when to attend. It is a symbol of the call as an opportunity to highlight all questions. To highlight means to ask and let others even question one’s own beliefs and beliefs. ”
”Follow those rules and it’s the Green Lamp, otherwise not,” concludes David.