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Experiential Philosophy ~ A Gendlin Reading Group!
CEC’s available upon request

Descriptions and links for our individual series are below  ~  Welcoming your comments and wishes!

The fact that concepts change does not mean that they are arbitrary; concepts can be formulated in many diverse and incompatible ways, but to the extent that they are rooted in experience, each formulation has its own precise relationship to experience.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Gendlin#Philosophy)

5 replies
  1. happybones
    happybones says:

    “Carefully defined, internally clearly structured concepts are a further development, on a new level. Here we are still trying to understand how words form–and as we will see, each word is a GIGANTIC SYSTEM system of implicit sequences and contexts–and not like a technical concept. But for us too, our new concepts first emerge as an unclarified family of uses. Only after we use it a while, are we able to take the further step of structuring a concept internally. (See Theory Construction for an articulation of how we have been doing this, and how it is possible.)
    Certainly we will not confuse ourselves by asserting that some formal system of internally clarified technical concepts is the structure of nature or of experience. Rather, we want to see what the power of such concepts is, how they arise and remain related to experience, and what they do. Their “truth” lies not in a photographic relationship or equation.
    The function of past experience does not involve kinds. When an animal runs, this does not bring along with it all the other instances when it has run. (As we saw earlier, one wouldn’t know which of very many such similarities to invoke . . . it is running, it is breathing, it is running away from . . ., toward . . . , with . . . in the sun, and so on.) The animal runs in behavior-space, and not in a kind-structure. For the observer “running” may be a kind. The observing ethologist creates many new and odd kinds in observing each specie of animal. Behavior does not collect, it is not made of similarity-units, not made of “a” running and “a” breathing. It is not kinded.
    But human action is only kinded in just a very few respects, compared to the vast multiplicity of how past experience functions.
    The kinded respects which first formed us as humans, which first constituted culture, are very powerful.
    In the section on pyramiding (in VI) and on meshing (VII-A) we saw that the original sequences are always still capable of occurring, if later developed ones cannot. The inherited body implies all these sequences.
    These basic culture-forming kinds are not commonalities, as though everything else were “only” detail. I mean, for example, that “cat” is a common structure, and Siamese versus Abyssinian are additional details that do not, in any way, alter the shared catness. What a cat is can be known independently of these additional details.
    Instead, every new formation is a crossing, so that the original culture-forming kinds are organically elaborated and altered, as well as continuing to function in their original meshed way.
    The elaboration of interaction-contexts and the elaboration of gestures and sound-patterns are one development. There is no separated word-system even though, as we saw, language has its own contexts and its own interrelations among words.
    Every human action and experience is kinded, it is “a” such. But this is so, not at all only along those kinds that we can verbalize in existing words and phrases. There are always vastly many kinds, that we can verbalize, of which a given experience can be made to be an instance. Then we say it “was” an instance of that kind, or that similarity. We can say it “was,” after we explicate. This time relation is inherent in explication.” (emphasis added)
    from Appendix to f) Details do not drop out; universals are not empty commonalities CHAPTER VII: CULTURE, SYMBOL AND LANGUAGE CHAPTER VII-B: PROTOLANGUAGE
    A PROCESS MODEL
    Eugene T. Gendlin
    University of Chicago
    1997

    Reply
  2. happybones
    happybones says:

    “When I use the word ‘body’ I mean more than the physical machine. Not only do you physically live the circumstances around you, but also those you only think of in your mind.  Your physically felt body is in fact part of a GIGANTIC SYSTEM of here and other places, now and other times, you and other people.  In fact, the whole universe.  This sense of being bodily alive in a vast system is the body as it is felt from inside.” ” (emphasis added)
    Focusing (book)
    Eugene T. Gendlin
    University of Chicago
    1981 (second edition)

    Reply

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“May your body always be 
 a beloved space for revelations”  
–– Alejandra Pizarnik
from “Extracting the Stone of Madness”

http://www.rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/2017/04/16/extracting-the-stone-of-madness-by-alejandra-pizarnik-why-this-book-should-win/

1: Introduction Gendlin, E.T. (1993). Three assertions about the body 200912 Alfo, Shoshanna, Katarina reading (text)

Gendlin, E.T. (1993). Three assertions about the body.The Folio, 12(1), 21-33. From http://www.focusing.org/gendlin/docs/gol_2064.html

~ READING PROJECT  SPANISH & ENGLISH

[Page 21]

Three Assertions About the Body

by Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Introduction

How is Focusing theoretically possible? In this paper I will discuss how we can think about the living body in such a way that Focusing becomes understandable. I will discuss the body in relation to certain experiences that are more common than a felt sense.

A felt sense comes. It isn’t just there waiting. We have to let it form and come. That takes at least a few moments, sometimes longer. So we understand that a felt sense is a certain development, a certain bit of further life-process. What does it stem from? How can we think about ordinary events and experience in such a way that we could understand what a felt sense is and how it forms?

A felt sense is distinctly something there, something with a life of its own, that we attend to directly. If we attend to our bodies, in the middle of the body it comes, and then it is in an odd sort of space of its own. It brings its own space. In that space the felt sense is a direct object, that, there.

Let me discuss some experiences that are like a felt sense except that they have not yet formed into such a distinct, direct object. Most people don’t know to turn their attention to their bodies so that these experiences could form and come as a felt sense. Or, sometimes they do become a distinct felt sense, but not because the person deliberately lets it come. Such experiences are, therefore, spread out along a continuum from being hardly noticed all the way to coming as a felt sense.

That kind of experience is known by everyone in a way, yet hardly anyone knows it, as one simply knows other things. Everyone has at times had it, and yet–isn’t this odd?–hardly anyone talks about it. Our language has no name for it.

I often use this example because everyone recognizes it: Waking in the morning, sometimes you know you had a dream, although you don’t remember the dream. You know because the dream has left a certain odd feeling, a unique quality. If you try to verbalize it, you might say: “It feels ….., well ….., not exactly scary, not happy either, not guilty, not sad ….., uhm …..” It is a nameless feeling that belongs just to that dream. If you tap and touch and taste that nameless feeling, the whole dream may suddenly pop out of it. All those many events of the dream were somehow compressed into that small, nameless feeling. (See Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams.)

Gendlin, E.T. (1993). Three assertions about the body.The Folio, 12(1), 21-33. From http://www.focusing.org/gendlin/docs/gol_2064.html

~ READING PROJECT  SPANISH & ENGLISH

[Page 21]

Three Assertions About the Body

by Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Study page with Gendlin 1964

Syllabus at the top

1/ ……………. (page 100)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/217ke8pu1llwjy9/1%3A%201964%20A%20THEORY%20OF%20PERSONALITY%20CHANGE%20page%20100.MP3?dl=0

––
A Theory of Personality Change
Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Chapter four in: Personality Change,
Philip Worchel & Donn Byrne (Eds.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964

2/ ……………. (page 101)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ahf7xzqobf8p5q5/2%3A%201964%20A%20THEORY%20OF%20PERSONALITY%20CHANGE%20page%20101.MP3?dl=0

––
A Theory of Personality Change
Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Chapter four in: Personality Change,
Philip Worchel & Donn Byrne (Eds.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964

3/ 1964 Gendlin A THEORY OF PERSONALITY CHANGE page 102 (informal reading Katarina Halm

LAST PARAGRAPH PAGE 101 through PAGE 102:

Quite paradoxically, as personality change occurs before their eyes and with their participation, therapists find their minds formulating what has been wrong. Even the individual, himself, as he searches into his feelings and expresses these, speaks as if the whole endeavor were to investigate what has been wrong–what has constituted the aspects of his personality which have prevented ordinary adaption and change. And, usually, such an individual becomes aware of much which, he then says, has been true all along but of which he has not been aware.

PAGE 102:
Thus, psychotherapy regularly gives us this observation of an individual “uncovering” or “becoming aware” of these stubborn contents and his previous inability to be aware of them. So we’ll have the various personality theories formulated these contents and this self-maintaining and censoring structure that, while we have concepts to explain what makes an individual as he is, we cannot formulate how he can change. Yet all the time the individual has been changing just these “uncovered” factors which we formulate in terms of static explanatory contents.[1]

I will now present in more detail the two main ways in which much current formulation of personality makes change appear theoretically impossible. I call these two impossibilities “the repression paradigm,” and “the content paradigm.”[2]

Since these theories, nevertheless, also assert that change does occur, I will then take up the two main ways in which theories attempt to account for change. I will try to show that theories usually cite two observations: a feeling process; and a certain personal relationship.

Two Problems

THE “REPRESSION PARADIGM.”

Most personality theories (in different words and with somewhat different meanings) share what I call the “repression paradigm.” They agree that in an individual’s early family relations he introjected certain values, according to which he was loved only if he felt and behaved in certain ways. Experiences which contradicted these demands on him came to be “repressed” (Freud), or “denied to awareness” (Rogers), or “not me” (Sullivan). Later, when the individual encounters experiences of this contradicting sort, he must either distort them or remain totally unaware of them.

––
A Theory of Personality Change
Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Chapter four in: Personality Change,
Philip Worchel & Donn Byrne (Eds.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964

4/ ……………. (page 103)

––
A Theory of Personality Change
Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Chapter four in: Personality Change,
Philip Worchel & Donn Byrne (Eds.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964

Sat July 11, 2020 Step One:
Problems and Observations pages 1-8

July 25 Step Two:
The Theory, 1 thru 6, pages 8-11

Aug 1 Step Three:
The Feeling Process, 7 thru 12, pages 11-20

Aug 8 Step Four:
The Role of the Personal Relationship Part One pages 20-25

Aug 15 Step Five:
The Role of the Personal Relationship Part Two pages 25-29

Aug 22 Step Six:
Repression and Content Definitions Reformulated, pages 29 to end

Sat July 11, 2020 Step One:
Problems and Observations pages 1-8

The full article is at http://previous.focusing.org/pdf/personality_change.pdf

July 25 Step Two:
The Theory, 1 thru 6, pages 8-11

The full article is at http://previous.focusing.org/pdf/personality_change.pdf


Aug 1, 2020 Step Three:
The Feeling Process, 7 thru 12, pages 11-20

The full article is at http://previous.focusing.org/pdf/personality_change.pdf

We are having a bird’s eye view for these weeks to Aug 22, 2020, and then to study each section more closely during the following weeks.

HERE are section headings with a few quotes to ponder

The Feeling Process-How Change Takes Place in the Individual

Page 11 ~ 7. FOCUSING. “Focusing” (or, more exactly, “continuous focusing”) will be defined in terms of four more specific definitions (8-11) below. “Focusing” is the whole process which ensues when the individual attends to the direct referent of experiencing. 
Page 12 ~ 8. DIRECT REFERENCE IN PSYCHOTHERAPY (PHASE ONE OF FOCUSING). A definitely felt, but conceptually vague referent is directly referred to by the individual. Let us say he has been discussing some troublesome situation or personal trait. He has described various events, emotions, opinions, and interpretations
Page 11 ~ 9. UNFOLDING (PHASE TWO OF FOCUSING). Sometimes, in focusing on a directly felt referent, there is a gradual step-by-step process of coming to know explicitly what it is. Yet, it may “open up” in one dramatic instant. Most often there is both a gradual coming to know it better and some instants during which there is a very noticeable “opening up.” With a great physical relief and sudden dawning, the individual suddenly knows

Page 14 ~ 9. UNFOLDING (PHASE TWO OF FOCUSING). Sometimes, in focusing on a directly felt referent, there is a gradual step-by-step process of coming to know explicitly what it is. Yet, it may “open up” in one dramatic instant. Most often there is both a gradual coming to know it better and some instants during which there is a very noticeable “opening up.” With a great physical relief and sudden dawning, the individual suddenly knows.

Page 16 ~ 10. GLOBAL APPLICATION (PHASE THREE OF FOCUSING). This global way in which the process of direct reference and unfolding affects many aspects of the person is noticeable not only in his later reports of the resulting difference, but also in the moments which immediately follow the unfolding of a felt referent. The individual is flooded by many different associations, memories, situations, and circumstances, all in relation to the felt referent. Although conceptually they can be very different, they share the same felt meaning with which he has been dealing. Except for this they may concern quite different and unrelated matters .

Page 16 ~ 11. REFERENT MOVEMENT (PHASE FOUR OF FOCUSING). A definite alteration or movement in the direct referent is felt. This “referent movement” often occurs after the three phases just described. When there has been direct reference, dramatic unfolding occurs, and when the flood of global application subsides, the individual finds that he now refers to a direct referent which feels different. The implicit meanings which he can symbolize from this direct reference are now quite different ones. It is a new direct reference: and so the fourphase process begins again.

Page 20 ~ 12. THE SELF-PROPELLED FEELING PROCESS. As the individual engages in focusing, and as referent movement occurs, he finds himself pulled along in a direction he neither chose nor predicted. There is a very strong impelling force exerted by the direct referent just then felt. The individual may “get off the track,” “talk about something else,” or put up with considerable distracting comments and useless deductions by his listener; and still the given felt, direct referent remains strikingly as the “next thing” with which he must deal.

Aug 8, 2020 Step Four:
The Role of the Personal Relationship Part One pages 20-25

The full article is at http://previous.focusing.org/pdf/personality_change.pdf

Aug 15. 2020 Step Five:
The Role of the Personal Relationship Part Two pages 25-29

The full article is at http://previous.focusing.org/pdf/personality_change.pdf

 Aug 22, 2020 Step Six:
Repression and Content Definitions Reformulated, pages 29 to the end of the article

The full article is at http://previous.focusing.org/pdf/personality_change.pdf

Ginsburg 2007, 2011

SUMMER 2020 ~ we explore the following in light of our practice:

* Ginsburg, Carl, “The Inner and Outer: Phenomenology, Science and the Feldenkrais Method”, The Feldenkrais Journal, Volume 24, GENERAL Issue, 2011, pages, 53-63. https://www.feldenkraisguild.com/Files/Feldenkrais_Journals/2011_Journal_24.pdf

* Ginsburg, Carl,  “The necessity of dynamics and its relevance to the Feldenkrais Method” The Feldenkrais Journal, Volume 20, AWARENESS  2007.
https://www.feldenkraisguild.com/files/Feldenkrais_Journals/Journal%2020_%20Awareness%20(2007).pdf

* Gendlin, Eugene. “A Theory of Personality Change.” In P. Worchel and D. Byrne (eds) Personality Change (pp.100–148). New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1964.
http://previous.focusing.org/pdf/personality_change.pdf

STUDY PAGES
https://thinkinginmovement.ca/focusing-2/experiential-philosophy/

https://thinkinginmovement.ca/ginsburg-study/

https://thinkinginmovement.ca/focusing-2/wholebody-focusing/

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