Marc's Reflection on Aikido & True Play

Living “OF”ness

January 21, 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.


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