Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Self-Organizing Awareness

“Proprioception is, literally, how we “sense ourselves.”  There are three main sources of input into our proprioceptive system.  One of them, kinesthesia, is the feeling of movement derived from all skeletal and muscular structures.  Kinesthesia also includes the feeling of pain, our orientations in space, the passage of time, and rhythm.  A second source, visceral feedback, consists of the miscellaneous impressions from our internal organ.  Labyrinthine or vestibular feedback?  The feeling of balance as related to our position in space is provided by the chochlea, and organ of the inner ear.  The physiological term “proprioception” refers to the ability to evaluate, and respond to stimuli sensed by the proprioceptives, actual nerves imbedded in our tissues (muscles, joints and tendons).  These cells constantly communicate with the brain, orienting the body to its movement, position, and tone.  It is our sixth sense.  The other five senses provide information about the outer world.  Proprioception provides information about the inner world, which we alone inhabit.  Physicist David Bohm used the term “proprioceptive intelligence” to describe an optimal state of self-sensing, self-correcting, and self-organizing awareness? allowing for coherent participation in life through the integral functioning of all modes of intelligence.”
- Risa Kaparo, Awakening Somatic Intelligence, 2012, p.25

"Awareness is the function of isolating "new" sensory-motor phenomena in order to learn to recognize and control them.  It is only through the exclusionary function of awareness that the involuntary is made voluntary, the unknown made known, and the never-done the doable.  Awareness serves as a probe, recruiting new material for the repertoire of voluntary consciousness.  The upshot of this is somatic learning begins by focusing awareness of the unknown.  This active functioning identifies traits of the unknown that can be associated with traits already known in one's conscious repertoire.  Through the process the unknown becomes known by the voluntary consciousness.  In a word, the unlearned becomes learned."
-  Thomas Hanna  

Body-Mind, Somaesthetics, Somatics: Quotations, Bibliography, Resources    


  1. Anonymous12:17 PM PDT

    Hello there. I've been practising Ba Duan Jinn almost 3 years now. At 50 it keeps my core supple and energy flowing. Last few months I've been doing calisthenics, and this proprioception certainly helps evaluate how exhausted one is after a workout!

  2. Qigong is good for many benefits, including the one's you mentioned.
    I find it low in aerobic impact, compared with calisthenics. You will feel the "burn" more from the latter. Best wishes!