the role of love, trust and intimacy in learning


how to tie shoelaces

This is intended as a demonstration of teaching someone how to do a simple activity. It is really difficult to separate out the correcting the being from being critical; I’m not sure I was wholly successful.  I didn’t really explain to David what I was asking him to help with in this video, so I was rather pleased to see how the two scenarios developed, spontaneously. (When you work with a partner you will have to explain, or s/he won’t be able to try it on you, an that is part of where your insights are likely to happen.)

A fair bit of this unit is based on a keynote that I was invited to give at the Heinz von Foerster Kongress in Vienna, 2009.

I had always intended to produce a paper based on the material in the keynote, and I finished a draft last year.  Maturana reviewed it and declared “beautiful”... but I have not continued through the final steps.  More urgent things seem to have intervened.   Furthermore, it became too long; so I separated it into two parts.  The first part is included here for you.  
(It is not required reading for the course.)




The above set of poems have to do with the pain that can also arise when someone with whom we have developed a loving, trusting, relationships dies... and how this also brings to light awareness of our own mortality.

I like to remember Maturana’s childhood discovery that “only living things die.”

Life is a gift of the cosmos, the goddess, the unknowable.  The way I see it, life is a gift we can only give thanks for by living it in as much beauty and gratitude that we possibly can, given where we find ourselves.