to close the perceived gap between people and nature, body and language, structure and possibility
Read Gendlin’s A Process Model With Me
A Process Model - An Introduction
Each philosophy in some way uniquely undercuts and re-positions extant terms. Eugene Gendlin’s philosophy of the implicit does this in a very noticeable way. A Process Model (Gendlin, 1997) cuts deeply, seemingly comprehensively, into the very ground of thinking, creating an effective new ground, a second alternative basis, from which anything might be differently and fruitfully thought, known, had, understood.
Gendlin’s model is understandable in what his concepts freshly do. A paper describing an experiential approach to reading Gendlin’s text is available. (Dunaetz, 2006) To understand Gendlin’s model one must directly engage the text, and more than once.
In A Process Model, Gendlin is thinking before the deep assumptions underlying the extant language-kind-structure. The text shows how he does this, as the conceptual development itself reflexively instances what it is “about.”
Some old and stubborn problems in philosophy (e.g., body/mind, free will/determinism, nature/nurture) do not even arise in Gendlin’s model. When one understands Gendlin, one sees that these classical problems were rooted in the deepest assumptions of earlier thinking, and one wonders whether they could ever be solved within the very conceptual frame which produces them as problems in the first place.
Gendlin’s Process Model is wider. It encompasses more than the usual “everything.” What it does, what it makes newly possible, is not already-in the extant system of kinds and categories. How it does this is also not already-in. Gendlin’s work is not metaphysics.
Gendlin’s process-concepts are implicit in each other and, together, they have something of the organization of the body. Using a phenomenological attention to the body’s implicit functioning, Gendlin fashions concepts which bring along with them the vast complexity that any living already always is. Gendlin derives and fundamentally reconceives our human capacities without unbridgeable gaps in thinking, without reliance on terms that are only opaque and without leaving us feeling like alien-others on this robustly-living planet.
My Approach to Reading aPM
My approach to working with Gendlin’s philosophy is “to care for it.” By this I mean both that I care for the integrity of the philosophy (correcting misunderstandings—my own and other’s—and wanting to help bring it into the world whole, with as little distortion as possible), and also that I personally feel a deep caring attraction for it. I think that you will find me to be an active and passionate teacher who is always ready to have some fun along the way.
15 Month Reading Program
I am happy to again be able to offer several study courses in Gendlin’s philosophy. One of the approaches I use is to form study groups which meet weekly. These groups start from the beginning and read the entire text of aPM. Meeting weekly (pausing for holidays) it takes about 15 months to read and discuss the complete text.
Here is a sample syllabus for the first 14 week module of a complete course:
Introductory Note and Chapter I: Body-Environment, pages 1 through 6
Chapter II: Functional Cycle, pages 7 through 11
Chapter III: An Object, pages 12 through 17
Chapter IV: The Body and Time Chapter IV-A: A Different Concept of the Body
Section a), pages 18 through 22
Sections b) and c), bottom of page 22 to bottom of page 27
Section d-1) and starting section d-2), bottom of 27 through 32 (bottom)
Continuing section d-2), top of page 33 to middle of 38
Section e), middle of page 38 to middle of page 44
Continuing section e), through g-1), middle of page 44 through 49
Sections g-2) and h-1), top of page 50 through page 54
Sections h-2) through h-4), top of page 55 through page 59
Chapter IV-B: Time: En#2 and En#3, Occurring & Implying
Chapter IV-B, pages 60 to middle of 66
Chapter IV-B cont., middle of page 66 through page 73
Review of Chapters I through IV-B, pages 1-73
8 Week Special Selected Topics
In addition to reading the entire text in the long course. I also offer a short 8-week course which goes deeply into the meaning in a few key places in A Process Model. This may be better for those who cannot undertake a longer course at this time, but want some understanding of Gendlin’s Process Model.
Short Course APM Outline: Deep Entry in Few Key Places:
Ch I–Body-en#2 &En#3
IV-AcBody-en#2 and #3 All The Way In
Chapters II & III, Functional Cycle and Stoppage
IV-Aa Carried Stoppage & Schema
V-A & V-B Leafing & Open Cycle
IV-Ab Only the Whole Implying
IV-Ae Everything Interaffected by Everything
p. 62 on Time
VI-B 1. Motivation, 2. Cross Contextual Formation,
3. Derivation of Behavior Space