Hi, everybody. Oddly enough, I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled onto the ship. My hunch is that somehow a search of “Deluze” snagged me into your waters, but I’m not sure how.
Regardless, I’m extremely grateful that I found this place because I am blown away by the quality of the explorations and the kind, encouraging and creative way in which people interact here. The questions and quotations and discussion are wonderful! It wasn’t until a couple weeks into reading the FB page that I realized this was just the offshoot of an actual study program (i’m sure that isn’t the correct term, but you all are very flexible with language
I’m a therapist, trained in an existential-phenomenological aspect of practice, but very much flying by the seat of my pants, trying to let honest forms of practice emerge freshly from each encounter.
The first time I came across Eugene Gendlin’s work it was his book Focusing and hardly focused on it, dismissing it out of hand. Too simple, not deep, etc,….I look back in shame! It wasn’t until I randomly came across his Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning that I began to read him. And have never stopped since. I’ve been fortunate to have a sustained correspondence with Gene in relation to my most passionate interest in his works.
With the help of some of his friends and students, Gene has created a powerfull, detailed, and very playful model called Thinking At The Edge (TAE). It’s one of the first explicit practices of a philosophy that I know of. I mean that literally: it is a doing of the details of Gene’s philosophy of the implicit. One of the things I really love about it is that you begin with a field/topic/expertise in which you have much experience and passion. It could be teaching, gardening, playing the flute, leading group meetings, meditating, stand up comedy, ect.,
We begin by locating an aspect of this field in which we know something that we can’t really say. We don’t have the right words to say what this knowing is about. A stand up comedian might realize that there is a certain kind of apathetic audience that she can really work well with…….a gardener may realize that he makes certain solid deisions that don’t follow the rules, yet he can’t quiet say how he knows…..a teacher is incredible at resolving conflicts amongst his young students, but can’t really say why…
If it is a field we have much experience within, there will be those fuzzy aspects that hold so much more than any extant conceptual frameworks have to offer.
TAE moves through 14 gestures/steps. But I’m interested in playing with the first 5. People might choose to go on from there and I’d even go with you if we can work it out. The point of TAE is not to end up with a whole bunch of words to talk about this inexplicable knowing. The point is to carry forward this intricate implying that is already very active in your being. Carrying forward is not an intellectual killing of a felt sense but an enlivening that allows it to change and open in a living and fresh way.
One of Gendlin’s primary insights has been to show how what gets explicated is not equal to the implying from which it came. The poem that you MUST soon write is an intricate implying, not the beautiful poem that it will soon help explicate. The poem will come from a very careful attention to the intricate implying you are holding. That intricacy will grow the poem. And that intricacy is also what will have Christopher Alexander say, “oh no…wait…….the way I wrote that somehow excludes so much of such and such…hmmm….” It is a place of great intelligence and place that needs to make new forms in order to come into being. It wants that! Mostly.
The people in this group seem to all be very capable of forming and staying with a felt sense. So much of your language is proof of this. Attending to a felt sense is the only requirement of doing TAE. It is born within that intricacy and grows by only dipping into and carrying that intricacy forward by using naked phrases and new terms. Down the road the power of logic can be added, but that’s another great story.
I would love to work with 5 people this first time out. All of you have huge brains and the capacity to cultivate a felt-sense it seems. I would request that you think of a field or topic that is not explicitly philosophical. It’s more than okay if that is where you are pulled. Of course. However, there is something very deep that also happens when we start from a situation that isn’t explicitly philosophic. Full disclosure: I think a healthy future will be one in which integral understanding begins and ends in the unique fields of knowing that hold our active passions.
If you are interested in exploring these first five gestures of TAE with me, please send me a message in my inbox and let me know if you have a hunch of the field you might want to explore. I think it’s best to find out the level of interest and topics and then let that help shape the next step of structure.
I will function as a friendly and safe boundary for you. I’ll introduce each TAE step/gesture and work with you to play and explore the dynamics there. You won’t be rushed and there will be a context for meta-comments and such. I look forward to hearing from you.