Over the weekend of the 1-3 November 2012 I had the great good fortune to travel to Rochester, NY for the annual meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (SPHS).
It was a fascinating meeting in terms of the people, subjects and perspectives, but also in terms of the warmth and friendliness of the environment. Speakers were encouraged to present their ideas in a non-combative – though frequently pressed-for-time – environment, criticism was made openly and constructively, and suggestions for opening up the breadth and depth of the work were explored. There wasn’t a complete absence of militaristic metaphor, but it was far from predominant.
Thinking enkinaesthetically the conversation was characterised by resonance, with very little fragmentation and still less talking past one-another in the manner of point-scoring. One might think of the affective dynamics of the interaction in terms of radiating and inviting, where, and this is only a surface unpacking of this idea, there is a reciprocity of openness and good-will in presenter and audience.
Radiating has a sense of spreading out around and before, but in radiating the action is of drawing people (and other agents) to you; it is an openness and to the other. Radiating is an invitation. Inviting seems also to move in one way, to draw inwards or bring towards. It is an invitation to trust but an invitation can only be taken up in good heart by those who are also open to those who radiate and, in that openness, they themselves radiate an invitation to draw in to the conversation, to the felt co-affective engagement. In short, radiating and inviting are ways in which we might characterise dynamic aspects of the enkinaesthetic field.