Coherent Action, from unintended consequences to catalytic response.


We struggle with unintended consequences. In frustration we turn to chasing after power to force our will to prevail. We enter a spiral of increasing suffering and greater dislocation as the violence this process unleashes destroys every remaining scrap of coherent life. Blinded to our delusion by delusion, we increase our efforts. We twist andContinue reading “Coherent Action, from unintended consequences to catalytic response.”

Meaning & Action


” … minor twists of fate and individual decisions very often have much more dramatic consequences in dark ages than they do when the settled habits of a mature civilization constrain the impact of single events.” JMG “Failure provides clarity. We perceive that our knowledge is incoherent.” David Bohm Two comments that circle each otherContinue reading “Meaning & Action”

Algorithms and Intention


Algorithms. While teaching a week-long course in half-model making and marine drafting I came across a tangible definition of an algorithm. In drafting we use splines, long, thin wooden battens that we bend around control points held by lead weights called ducks or whales. The shape, density and grain of the wood influences how itContinue reading “Algorithms and Intention”

from Intention to Attention


Intention gets in the way of attention. It begins an inexorable drift from what is, and finding ways to engage what is, towards building an edifice of will and illusion upon what is desired. There is a push to give intention primacy, “We intend, therefore we are!” Yet, before we have any intention, we attend.Continue reading “from Intention to Attention”

On Intention, Stumbling towards a Loose Rigor


Here’s a series of statements, let’s see where they lead. My intention is to be effective. To be effective is to avoid futility. Intentional striving is futile. To be effective requires letting go of intention. * Is this squaring the circle? Or describing a paradox?

Probing Intention


Intention, Will… How do we untangle intention from willfulness? How do we untangle will from the desire to control? How do we avoid hubris while promoting an active humility that searches out ways and means to embody intention? And so it goes, around and around.

Stop Counting


In dreams we approach a form of knowing that we find difficult to access while awake. We tend to discount the sensation that there was “something to it.” Or, we displace our fascination within the dream in a vain attempt to narrate its dramatic particulars. As this fails to match our original wonder, as weContinue reading “Stop Counting”

Anxiety, Trying, and Other Alarms We Might Learn to Heed


What if we saw anxiety not as a condition, but as a useful alarm? First, we would invest less energy in striving to quash it. We would heed its warnings, but then, equally importantly, we would turn it off. Why is this such a hard thing to imagine? When an alarm goes off, it isContinue reading “Anxiety, Trying, and Other Alarms We Might Learn to Heed”

It’s All Holographic, Stupid!


This phrase just popped into my head after reading Alex Fradera’s post on an event he led at Atlantic College recently. To be clear, and fair to Alex, it’s not directed at him! I’m not even quite sure what it means, that’s what sitting down to write this is for. It just seemed a niceContinue reading “It’s All Holographic, Stupid!”

“I never thought of that!”


How unintended consequences wreak havoc on our expectations concerning the connection between intention and responsibility. I’ve been looking for ways to illuminate the space hidden behind our expectation that the only way to be responsible is to plan and then act out our intentions. Everyone I know, including myself, has had a hard time dealingContinue reading ““I never thought of that!””

Sowing Doubt…


I’m not sure what this post will be about. Trying to avoid predictions, and all that. There’s something about intention that’s been lost in my focus on finding a way to look at action without intention, putting will into the background. We have wills. The will-to-live, for instance, is universally lauded. It’s only problematic whenContinue reading “Sowing Doubt…”

Investing in Trust


Investment is generally taken to mean following a strategy that allows us to siphon off value. A way of taking value from a living system and turning it into a quantity of abstract financial counters that we can then hold so as to use these at will to gain advantage. We strip a living webContinue reading “Investing in Trust”