#2A & #2B Reciprocity: Coherency and Organizing Principle

Anavami Center

Anavami CenterIn February we are exploring Reciprocity, the exchanging things with others. It is fundamental to the Marking practice and allows us to acknowledge the field as the collaborator in all our markings. We are inviting relationship with an animistic universe. The core of this point of view is contrary to René Descartes philosophy where he maintained that the only exchange is between humans as dualism of two finite substances, mind and matter. Many now in distinct fields like David Abram, ecologist and philosopher, Merlin Sheldrake, microbiologist and writer of history and philosophy of science and Arnold Mindell’s transpersonal psychologist, process therapist and writer for social change disagree with that limited view. Many other fields are expressing that the interconnection with our environment is already in place and instrumental to personal and planetary well-being. Our practice in marking is to perceive an open system where we can exchange energy or material with all life and objects in our environment.

Anavami CenterIn David Abram’s chapter on reciprocity in Becoming Animal he sets the stage for a different organizing principle where we cannot always apply logic perceiving, as nature is mysteriously interrelated. There are various ways to understand this greater connection. Heart Math Institute Research Director Dr. Rollin Mc Craty speaks of “an energetic alignment and cooperation, to manifest intentions and harmonious outcomes.” Through biofeedback research Heart Math suggests an organizing principle, which brings the brain, mind, body and emotions into balanced alignment and changes our relationship to everything. He calls this state as coherence.

This week for home-reflection we played with the Sun as orientation of directionality. It is metaphor for knowing where we are in a more expansive way than the binary left/right or back/front. We also used the Polyvagal theory as a metaphor. It points out that the vagus nerve running through the autonomic nervous system is the internal control center. It is the orientation of the critical functions of human physiology determining our reactions creating the difference in how our brain receives and responds to information. It is the guide to whether we are centered, connected and feeling safe or go into flight, fight or freeze. The polyvagal exercises help to keep us in that safe center so we can respond appropriately when necessary. It is a metaphor for our planetary sun as the central component of life. It is understandable how the myth narrative of our planetary people points to creation myths of the Sun-God from Egypt, Norse, Hindu, Mayan and the central figure in Christianity of Jesus Christ.

Anavami CenterCoherency, although often defined with logical interconnection or sense of understandability has a greater context. An aspect beyond this is the meaning of coherent as closely attached or connected, which is not always logical. The stories by which we make sense of the world, formed by inherited beliefs, are not always congruent with a greater perception, connection and exchange within the biosphere. Sometimes these are not brought to full consciousness until a great tragedy or decision must be faced. These beliefs are most often expressed symbolically in our creation myth. In our work this week we incorporated those myth stories as we explored our relationship with animism and allowed us to expand our reciprocity beyond just the mind matter approach to interactions.




In-Bodying the Field Blog #1C: Slowing Down, No Inside/Outside & Life-force & Bear of Gravité Poem, Cup of Tea

Anavami Center

Slowing Down is the over-arching theme this week and we explore how it relates to inside/outside and KI life-force. Slowing down is accessing deep primordial space that is ever present with no inside or outside

Anavami Center“The innerness of the so-called world is nowhere so evident as in the life of our body. The air we breathe one moment will be breathed by someone else the next and has been breathed by someone else before. We exist as respiring, pulsating organisms within a sea of life-serving beings. As we become able to hold this more and more steadily in our consciousness, we experience relatedness at an elemental level. We see that it is not a matter of trying to be related, but rather of living consciously into the actuality of being related. As we yield ourselves to the living presence of this relatedness, we find that life begins to possess an ease and a freedom and a naturalness that fill our hearts with joy.”

M.C. Richards from Centering

Inside/outside is an expedient labeling that is useful but can also distort understanding of the whole. This is demonstrated in the concept of notan, where any mark is integral to the space around it, not separate but instead informing each other. We can easily see how locking into place as subject/background or object/space distorts the whole. This week in our marking endeavors we are exploring inside/outside in relation to body and like notan we are interested in the wholeness of container/contained and place in the field.

Anavami CenterAnother point in our context with marking this week is how life-force or ki or chi relates to this wholeness.  David Abram, in Becoming Animal, describes the shadow as not just a flat stain on the cement but really the volume of lightlessness. In the same way our markings, whether actual physical, material or in metaphor, are not simply residue.  A meager delineation of inside/outside or object/background would stunt the information that is held in the whole constellation.  We are seeking a volume that connects mark to history, place, event and context and is graphically evident in drawing where we see how the non-linear time of the psyche interacts and constitutes that volume.

In the imaginal field consider that there is no outside/inside but as you breathe there is a constant flow of contraction/expansion. Just at last we felt the constant give in our relationship to the substrate of our marking and marking implements, we considered the requisite yielding.

Cup of Tea
By Majio

dropping down into the arm chair
           into the lap of the blue-winged bear
                   cup of tea in hand rises and falls
                            with the lever of my arm
                                   to absorb the sudden change
                                           of altitude, without spill

steam streaming upward
liquid surface flattens,
brought to my lips—which open
to admit… pool in my mouth
shooting like a shot
down my throat—chest
into the center of gravityMajio