“And Maybe in the End Our Intuition Does Not Even Belong to Us”
This piece is an exploration of intuition and the **Enactive Approach through words and improvisatory dance. Apx 25 min.
Trailer. Video CLIP 1
CLIP 2 (with text in notes.)
** the enactive approach “aims to capture the underlying relations between the rational, the emotional, the self, the relational, the mind, the body, and experience” (De Jaegher 2013b, 22)
Group-Research – Social/Situated Cognition.
“… cognition is something that you bring forth by … doing it actively … affect or emotion is at the very foundation of what we do … reasoning is almost like the icing on the cake. Reason is what occurs at the very last stage of the moment-to-moment emergence …the early stages are rooted in the sensory motor surfaces … you can [feel] the emergence … as it happens. It starts out from this soup, the entire organism in situation” – Francisco Varela
I hold somatic movement research sessions with small groups. Then I interview participants individually, about their sensation-based experience during interaction with another.
Open Source Research – Interviews can be foundhere.(My work is based on Neurophenomenology – Three Gestures – Varela; On Becoming Aware; Elicitation; -Varela Vermusch, Depraz; Micro-Phenomenology; Eugen Gendlin; and my own experience as a practitioner working with implicit knowledge forms. My primary bibliography can be found here. More on this research coming soon.)
WHAT’S THE BRIDGE BETWEEN COGNITIVE SCIENCE, MOVEMENT, SENSATIONS, INTERVIEWS?!
About 4E cognition
The science of cognition studies the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through the senses, thought, and experience. Traditional cognitive science has proposed an internal, information-processing account of how knowing and understanding work: we have the data coming in through our senses, and from there, we deduce/calculate/infer models of our self, the environment, interaction partners etc., and these in turn animate our experience and inform our thoughts and actions.
‘4E cognition’, the enactive approach, situated cognition, embodied cognition… are some of the names given to approaches that view knowledge and understanding as a relational process, one that is Embodied (taking place in and through the body), Embedded (within the physical environment), Extended (through tools and concepts) and Enacted (in continuous process/movement). cannot be reduced to the internal workings of a mind or brain in isolation. (Concepts such as intercorporeality (Merleau-Ponty, Fuchs) or participatory sense making (De Jaegher, Di Paolo) emphasize the relational character of sense-making (aka cognition) in the social domain.
What does somatic/mindful practice have to do with cognitive science?!
Where 4E cognition seeks to widen the range of processes considered relevant for understanding and knowing, somatic practices could be seen as having long understood and already busy working to improve the functioning and effectivity of the ongoing chit-chat of feedback loop happening between our levels of organization.
They could also be seen as sister efforts: 4E cognition intuits that the body/environment/etc is very important in knowing/understanding, and is out and about to test and show this in controlled experiments or field studies. Somatic practice seeks to tap into the ability of the body and our awareness of its ongoing activity to facilitate more effective or wholesome regulation and integration.
What is somatics?!
The term somatics was coined in 1979. It refers to a way of being-doing, any activity. It is exploring what being alive feels like. What are the sensations you notice as you sit here, have a thought, experience an emotion, smell this room… Much like sitting meditation comes in many varieties, the exact exercise or mode of exploring what it feels like is limitless in possible variations (such as narrow or broad focus, interosception or proprioception, etc.) Many activities, such as meditation, yoga or chi gong, are much older than the term somatics, yet fall under the umbrella of the term’s meaning. More on somatics. – -Annika Lübbert + erinbell
About Sensation-Based Interviews
Through a dedicated practicing of noticing what it feels like to be alive, practitioners can FEEL a lot of the on-going process occurring in-with-and-around themselves. That is, more nuances of experience come into conscious awareness through dedicated practice.
This interview style is able to support both expert and non-expert practitioners alike – to find detailed, nuanced descriptions of sensations (which are often only possible to describe after many years of practice.)
This interview style deals with how it feels to be in interaction – rather than dealing with meaning-narrative or habitual thinking/analysis.
Interviewees regularly report gaining insight into their whole lives simply by exploring one brief moment in depth.
I find this interview style fascinating and important-feeling because it seems to reveal the “moment-to-moment emergence…as it happens” (Varela); it highlights the sensory motor system (and the entire body) in ACTION, continuously; it highlights the idea that cognition/sense making/thinking is a relational process – and not just a feedback loop within one’s own body – but it even highlights the idea that each of us are in a feedback loop, in relation to our entire environment. It is a narrative of the soup of experience.
“It starts out from this soup, the entire organism in situation” – Varela
*Please feel welcome to use any of this research for personal learning! If you share with others, include a reference of me – this helps keep my work sustainable. To support this work being in the world you can always Paypal economic support to eenaction AT gmail.com.
Be ethical, considerate, if you plan to use my work to teach, earn money, etc. Thanks!