the future is a manner of living in the present

In our Western culture we value the notion of a goal, as a result towards which we orient our present behaviour.  This is useful in short and medium term collaborations, it enables us to organize our work together so that we are indeed working on the same project.   For a longer term collaboration, as for example the work of a corporation, the notion of a vision, something more distant, more abstract, helps people determine which individual choices along the way remain coherent with others in the same organization.

What we generally don’t realize is that those notions, the goal and the vision, don’t exist as entities in a future world that we may or may attain.  They are, as the second image shows, notions in our imagination.  They are stories we tell that enable doing things together coherently in the present. 

What I find missing, and most relevant, is that few organizations or collaborations discuss the “manner of walking” - for example the emotions that will be conserved that in fact determine the path that does arise as our present, and as a story of our past.  Given that we cannot imagine how the goals and visions will materialize in a world that will be inevitably be different than our current world, I think it is far more relevant that we conserve our preferred manner of being such that the world that does arise is coherent with that, rather than perhaps achieving a result that may correspond to the description of our goal, while we sacrifice a world that has the qualities that matter to us.

our path arises in the walking

“We create the world that we live as we live it, and we do so moment after moment according to how we are at that moment as a result of how we have lived until that moment.  The world that living beings in general, and human beings in particular, live, arises in their living.  The world that a human being lives is a network of processes which only exists as those processes take place.  Accordingly, it is because of this that in the living of living systems that which is not lived does not exist.  Thus, by consciously or unconsciously choosing how to educate, educators determine the process through which the children that they educate will become co-creators through their living together of the world they will live.  No doubt teachers know this, but what we are adding here is that this is a biological process in which the world that children live arises as an expansion of their bodyhoods as in their growth they become humans.  Therefore, as we as parents and educators chose to educate in the biology of love we  chose to live and for our children a world centered in the emotioning of ethics and not of morals.”

Maturana, H.R.  1997 Morals and Ethics in Education

Traveler, the path is your footprints

and nothing more;

traveler, there is no path

but what you make by walking.

Your footsteps create the path,

and looking back

you see the track

where you won’t pass again.

Traveler, there is no path,

but only wakes on the sea.

Antonio Machado, 1912. Cantares
Translated by Robert Kull, 2005

photo James Jordan, Creative Commons

photo Andrei!, Creative Commons

“And, perhaps a final reflection on the the ultimate significance of education in our times:  Education defines the culture our children and their children will live, and as such defines in the course of few or many successive generations the channeling of the genetic drift of the human lineage, making it genetically more easy or more difficult the epigenic conservation of the biology of love as the fundament of our human biological and cultural condition as Homo sapiens amans.”

Maturana, H.R.  1997 Morals and Ethics in Education



It feels right to take this moment, as we consider laying down our paths in awareness of the implications of our manner of walking, to express my appreciation and gratitude for your reflections and engagement, however you have reflected and engaged, as that is what I desire.  

I desire to evoke reflection and a sense of adequacy and trust along with a stance of non-arrogance.  That is, I do not desire to evoke or generate new versions of being “right,” but rather I wish to contribute to a manner of living together in care for all, in co-inspiration and collaboration, in a joy of creating beauty and evoking love - all through our living.  

Indeed this is the motive that led to the generation of this website, and to any part I play as “a teacher” and friend. 
The depth and complexity entailed in this desire is also what lay behind me of expressing the idea of a tangible evolution through our behaviour by naming our present and our possibility as the species Homo sapiens amans.

I desire a world of autonomous caring people living as indigenous to this living world.