Marc's Reflection on Aikido & True Play

De-reification of Opposites

January 21st, 2013 · No Comments

In my jigsaw puzzle life it feels like whole sections are falling together. At least in the parts of the puzzle that I can see. I am sure there will be an even bigger puzzle under the tree next Christmas.

Here is another area of the picture that is made easier to piece together as the other edges of the puzzle have come together.


I have also imagined and reified opposites where none actually existed. And now I sense and acknowledge the effort that I have been applying to hold things apart that are truly always together and interpenetrating. This sounds overly conceptual, and maybe nuts. The felt experience is like physically extending my arms and legs to hold large magnets apart. This gigantic background effort, this persistent psychological, emotional, muscular effort has been my experience of living. What a relief to see this insanity of missed meaning coming loose, being freed from effort.

Here are some of the interpenetrations that I have strived to keep apart, unnecessarily:

Joy Sadness

Longing Relaxation

Freedom Solidarity

Power Weakness

Love Frustration

Balance Frozen

Talking Silence

Needy Satisfied

Wanting Being

Fear Ground

Past Present

Future Moment

Alone Together

Running Staying

Fighting Accepting

Contact Isolation

Violence Love

Tenderness Violence

Sex Friendship

Need Curiosity

Opposites Wholes

Separate Together

Tender Direct

Acceptance Ambivalence-Apathy-Pity

Learning Action

Action Learning

“Horizontal” “Vertical”

Danger Danger

Desire Desire


I have stripped down my life to bare purpose.

Holding apart

That which is one


I have stripped bare a life

Holding apart


Held apart

Barely a life


Holding apart

Barely living


One held apart.


Where none…


No longer.


De-riefication of my Future

January 21st, 2013 · No Comments


It is odd to recognize this and even more odd to share it:

Until last week the future was felt to be situated in space ahead of my present position. Future had been reified into a one (not two nor three much less four) dimensional world. Front and back; future and past conflated, concentrated onto a line in front of me and extending behind me. My emotional intentional world was really experienced/interpreted as one dimensional, without up and down, not side to side, only forward—future and backward—past. My intentions and aspirations were reified onto a geographic-spatial line, a self defined chalk line with objects (objectives) sitting on it. I bound myself to use all manner of effort, persuasion, force, and resistance to stay on the line and reach the object of my intent. This approach can work to some extent so long as the object can be reached by one person alone. Problems arise when collaboration, coordination, cooperation or co-design are required to reach an objective or intention.

What I am saying is not metaphorical. Or if it has been metaphorical I have been really living in the metaphor. I really behaved like things were on a line in physical space. Time was not really a part of this odd construct of the future. Very weird to experience, to recognize and particularly weird to express.

I now recognize (sense) my mistake.

The future is now sensed (understood) to be an abstraction. Future is only a way of imaging intent emerging. The use of force, the need for force dissolves within this understanding. Emergence toward shared intent (care) occurs only in the present moments based upon shared trust, harmony, declarations, and attention. Leaning on people, including myself is counterproductive of emergence. I no longer need to keep everyone and everything on the line to the intended future. It is all happening in this moment, together, or it is not happening.

I have no idea whether or not this is understandable or useful to others, but it is cathartic to say it. At least one of us feels better for having put this on “paper”.




Joy and Sadness

January 21st, 2013 · No Comments

Another Paradox Resolved (integrated).

Joy and Sadness.

My (never exposed to the light of day) theory-in-use has been that joy and sorrow/sadness are opposites and certainly not of the same stuff. I have been refusing joy because it would, in my life, necessarily have had to include saddness, necessarily because that is my lived reality. The assumed hidden rule has been if saddness is alive then joy cannot possibly (must not) be present (allowed) in the room. It dawned on Thursday that joy and happiness coexist, interpenetrating, in this my life. It immediately felt as a whole, natural, tensionless, effortless, rich and refined experience–joy-sorrow (“soy”?). Maybe the German language has a name for this form of affective experience.
What a relief! Smiling and crying, laughing with tears. Authentically. 🙂 ;-(

Sadness of/in joy. Joy of/in sadness. No separation.


I now recognize that my joy vs sadness perspective felt like trying to hold two large magnets apart. And in noticing that they actually are just fine together the effort is gone. I am beginning to sense that I have similarly been holding lots of things apart that are actually quite happy together. I had imagined this as some kind of effortful “integrating”. Now I experience it as relaxing from the unwarranted effort applied to keep apart that which was one.

For me the applied effort has been huge, everyday every moment. Joy used to be a big part of my life and then…this way of being showed up!

The whole deal with opposites and paradoxes kind of dissolves. Unexpected. This effortlessness dissolving (reintegration) or just plain relaxing into the living of life is nice.


Living “OF”ness

January 21st, 2013 · No Comments

Mechanical or Emergent Perspective

Mechanical or Emergent Perspective

Integration as recognition that each body is an embodiment emerging from the cosmos, this solar system, and this earth.


A body which is OF the (cosmos, mood and emotions)

OF the body which is of the cosmos,

mind which is OF the emoting moods

which are OF the body of the cosmos.

Stories OF the minds… Meanings OF the stories OF… Actions OF the meanings…

Not interacting “with” but emerging from or “OF”. Nothing dominating another foundational part. No force, effort, doing, putting etc.



For going on 30 years Bob Dunham with colleagues and predecessors have been developing a useful approach to human ontology, and ontological reconstruction of any domain of interest.

They typically illustration the “integration” or overlap of three aspects of being human: language (cognition), mood (emotion, limbic system) and body (breathing, moving, sensing, blending) as three overlapping circles (Venn diagrams).

For this overly intellectual person it has been the greatest gift to become reacquainted with mood/emotion and body—other than as problems and conveyances for my head.

While the overlapping of circles is better than having separate disconnected circles, I feel that this representation may unnecessarily mislead. Certain ways of approaching the “situation of imbalance” can arise when one “attempts” to get the circles to overlap. The partially overlapping circles are perhaps just a first metaphorical step toward a more coherent metaphor. It has a Humpty Dumpty aspect to it and Humpty Dumptys indeed cannot be put back together. I begin to sense or imagine that there was no Humpty Dumpty here at all. No work may be needed to fix anything or put any puzzle back together. Perhaps when viewed differently, the truth of the very present wholeness that is an individual’s life emerges from the shadows.

It has dawned on me ever so gradually that there is are two kinds of hierarchy among these aspects of being human. One of the hierarchies tends strongly toward imbalance: the mind is very loud, moods and emotions are very persuasive, and the body is very quiet but with vast capacity for sensing and moving. The two unruly children have taken all the attention away from what is likely the most capable one–the body that they are of.

Another thought I share is that the limbic system and the thinking mind may usefully be viewed as fancy sensory organs of the body. Loud attention getting sensory organs that work almost exclusively from and on narrative or cognitive snippets. Unfortunately these snippets are often only very loosely connected to the present moment opportunities or threats or complexities.

I suggest that a better way to represent the fact of integration is a picture of completely nested circles, which suggest the second hierarchy–the phylogeny, the direction of emergence and the direction of scale. Bodies came first, limbic systems next, and languaging cognition next.

Oversimplifying considerably: So first there is the cosmos, the galaxies emerge, the solar system emerges, the earth emerges with its particular physics and chemistry, biologic life emerges, emotional neural endocrinological control systems emerge, … humanoids emerge, tools, symbols, and social language emerge. All kind of a wonderful flowering, emergence, unfolding of the cosmos. The Russian Dolls again.

Nesting Dolls Small

I am simply playing with the feeling of the nestingness of this. It ain’t Humpty Dumpty. It is a flower at cosmic scale. It has a different feeling. A feeling of acceptance and being “of” or “from” or “with” or “in”. Not so much a feeling of parts or ideas or problems to solve. It’s LOVE man.


That is what these arrangements of little circles point toward for me. To me it seems interesting and possibly important.


I must say that over the last three years sensi Bert Bennett has begun to help me awaken to the central role of the body in sensing as well as in living with others.