Saturday, October 29, 2016

More Than Just a Rock

I have a keen interest in the subjects of somatics, somaesthetics, lived experience, sensations and perception, and consciousness.  The psychology and philosophy of these subject has stimulated my thinking and understanding for decades.  My practices of body-mind arts such as Tai Chi Chuan, Qigiong, walking, yoga, and gardening have provided insights and profound experiences related to these subjects.  


The Five Senses

I am now reading the following two books on the subject of how our experience is generated by our sensory relationship, interrelation, and participation with the manifold objects, beings and processes of the precious world.  

Phenomenology of Perception.  By Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961).  Translated by Donald Landes.  Foreword by Taylor Carman.  Routledge, 1st Edition, 2013.  Originally published in French in 1945.  696 pages.  ISBN: 978-0415834339.  VSCL.  

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World.  By David Abram.  New York, Vintage, 1996.  Index, bibliography, notes, 326 pages.  ISBN: 978-0679776390.  VSCL. 


In our sacred circle garden, the outer edge of the circle is lined with stones we have collected from the mountains, canyons, rivers and sea shore of Northern California.  These stones are markers, signs, energies of our interactions with places that define and have enhanced our experiences.  I like to rest and reflect in their midst.  The are more than just rocks.  

David Abram (p.71) quotes a Lakota medicine person who addressed a stone  as "Tunkashila" - "Grandfather."

from time without
you rest
there in the midst of the paths
in the midst of the winds
you rest
covered with the droppings of birds
grass growing from you feet
you head decked with the down of birds
you rest
in the midst of the winds
you wait
Aged one." 

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