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Re: [xmca] sensorymotor reguires gaps... especially for the worms


I've noticed that Mike has this ability to offer "openings" into very deep
questions which leaves others "wondering". This is an amazing gift that I'm
guessing is an expression of his own deep wondering about mind, self, world
and the gaps that are continually opening into new vistas and horizons.

I appreciate your and others participating in the dancing which seems to be
roving all over the countryside. Monica, your big question in attempting to
understand the role of mental imagery in the process of reflective
functioning and more specifically in the construction of writing seems  to
be a particular focus which leads back to the shared participation in mind
as both internal and external [in Bateson's terms] but as you mention this
boundary is always fluid and we are always problematizing "internal &
external" and the boundary which differentiates the difference.

Monica, you mentioned the "ravine" of phenomenology, but I understand
phenomenology as not merely 1st person subjective idealizations but also as
an approach which is centered on "expression" as movement within the world.

 I'm offering another perspective which Sara Heinamaa articulates
as Merleau-Ponty's way of exploring gaps and gap filling.  Sara Heinamaa
wrote an article "Merleau-Ponty's Modification of Phenomenology: Cognition,
Passion, and Philosophy" [Synthese, Volume 118, pages 49-68, 1999.]

Sara is interpreting Merleau-Ponty's perspective on our capacity to ARREST
ONE'S ACTIVITY in order to learn something new about the world, about
oneself, and about the elation of self and world.  The same topic Mike and
Etienne were exploring. [Also Bateson and Greg in an earlier post]  M-P
suggests we cannot "suspend" or "bracket" our passions or "reduce" them in
the sense of suspending our beliefs or thesis we entertain about the world.
[this is a response to Husserl's notion of transcending thesis into pure
consciousness]  BUT M-P does suggest wecan take a new stance towards our
beliefs by "arresting one's activity" In M-P's thinking WONDER refers to
this possibility of arresting one's activity in order to learn something
new.  In Sara Heinamaa's words "wonder" is the first passion in the sense
that it precedes categorizations and evaluations.  Wonder is the state in
which something has AWAKENED the mind-body's attention, but this something
has not yet been measured against EARLIER experience and knowledge.

This idea of "awakening" in M-P's phenomenological exploration of wonder is
interpreted as the state when

"our natural and habitual OPERATIONS of adoption and rejection are
arrested. It is NOT a reflection on passions or emotions, but rather like a
PAUSE, a BREAK, or an INTERRUPTION, in which the world APPEARS ANEW, as
UN-usual, or extraordinary, as strange and paradoxical.
Thus understood, REDUCTION is not a deliberate step or decision, but
involves a passion that one falls into. It cannot be planned in advance but
happens unexpectably." [page 62]

Monica, I read Merleau-Ponty, Bateson, and Mike& Etienne as exploring
differences which make a difference.  Arresting one's activity [forming
gaps] seems central to "awakening" and "responding" [answering] the
differences which make a difference. Writing, from this perspective, is a
central "way" or "path" for arresting activity and forming gaps.

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