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Paul Grobstein's picture

Noticing "beleagured knowing" and moving beyond?

Let's add this to a growing catalogue of evidence for the generative value of "againstness," interpersonal and otherwise, where "againstness" is understood as the sharing/exploring of difference rather than the hiding of it, and in the context not of winning/losing but rather of valuing difference as the grist from which new things emerge.  "Beleagured knowing" is a wonderful concept to have come out of this particular rubbing against.  My guess is that "beleagured knowing" is a significant part of how we all make sense of the world, and that we could all usefully examine our ways of doing so with the objective of freeing our thinking by identifying and ridding ourselves of instances of it.

Maybe that's actually closely related to the continuing effort to accomodate "synchronicity" and "love" in these conversations?  "Beleaguered knowing" is defensive and, as Alice says, the upshot is that "opportunities for exchange and growth are stunted."  Perhaps synchronicity, resonance, and love are the state of openness that exists when one has successfully achieved "a refusal of beleagured knowing"? 

Among the intriguing notions this opens up is a difference between trees (or frogs) and people.  My guess is that trees and frog don't experience "beleagured knowing."  They act based on internal models of their surroundings and change those models based on experience, but don't "defend" them.  And probably also don't experience "love" when there is a "fit" between those models and things outside themselves?  We, on the other hand, experience the fit or lack thereof between our models and things outside of us that we are modelling, and that might give us both the capacity to pursue promising alliances as well as resistance associated with feelings of needing to defend our models?  Perhaps, once noticed, we could learn to cultivate the openness as a source of new things and treat the defensiveness as a barrier to them?  


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