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Here, you can explore ways to think that value our lived experience.

Embodied Thinking is inhabiting this body, knowing; and in the midst of this knowing, not-knowing; and in not-knowing, questioning; and in questioning, following, and in following, answering this question; and in answering this question, articulating a new theory (because a theory is an answer to what-is-that? and how-come? which lets us move further just here).
  • THAT rabbit: how I came to be thinking about 'this' and 'that', anyway.
  • What's that?... about how infants define, and defining as a continuing process,
  • Questionable Squares: a dialogue starting from Plato's Meno, which explores dialogue, questions and questioning, and defining.
Thinking At the Edge (TAE) is a process of entering the implicit, evoking our experiencing with language that “brings” someone here, abstracting patterns from the intricacy, deriving a core structure, and developing implications. It moves in a "zigzag" between felt sense and logic so that the logical structures being formed stay closely connected to experiencing.

  • An Introduction to Thinking At the Edge (TAE): Words standing alone do trap us within a mesh of cultural and historical assumptions, but it is possible to make phrases and sentences such that these words can say something in direct reference to that where before there were no words, only something bodily-felt.
  • Thinking Fundamentally: Kye Nelson's formulation of in-depth, 14-step TAE, includes instructions for "step 0", which helps to position a thinker where they are likely to have a fundamental contribution to make in their field. This formulation of TAE centers on practical knowhow that ordinary people can use to create theories with "magnetism",
  • Using TAE to think about something: an example of making a theory while following the TAE steps,
  • What is a theory anyway? some rough notes and questions about theorizing as a certain kind of defining-process.
A note about the history of TAE, from Kye Nelson:

TAE's roots are in University of Chicago philosopher and psychologist Eugene Gendlin's Philosophy of the Implicit. Gendlin taught theory construction at the University of Chicago for many decades, and formal TAE practice began from that body of practical experience.

In TAE's first incarnation as a formal practice, nine steps were laid out by Gendlin. Shortly after these nine steps were first taught, Gendlin and I began to collaborate in teaching and developing the process further, I added the five steps of the theory-building phase of the process, and it became a fourteen-step process. These next five steps included material from Gendlin's notes about theory construction so are closely related to his prior work in the area.

In succeeding years of the collaboration we have been working out, together and separately, what we mean in the specific context of TAE practice by key terms such as "thinking", "edge", "pattern", "crossing", "nucleus", "deriving", "logic", and "theory". TAE as a practice has continually changed alongside this exploration, influenced by this theorizing as well as by what we were discovering in the course of teaching the process.

At times our individual formulations of the steps have diverged somewhat as we have worked on these questions, but always the two streams have stayed close together, and continue to cross and influence one another.

I have been influenced by a variety of other theory and practice about thinking and theorizing, and by a variety of embodiment practices and theories of the body and embodiment. If you are interested in exploring some of these other influences and how they have affected TAE, there is a list at the end of the Thinking Fundamentally paper found above.

Gendlin's introduction to TAE is an engaging look at the historical and philosophical roots of the practice, from the perspective of the philosopher whose work is its foundation.

If you would like a firsthand taste of TAE there are several possibilities:
  • Periodically, Kye offers a few free introductory half hour sessions by phone, for people who have never had a direct experience of TAE. Write if you would like to arrange for a free session next time they are offered.
  • Or, attend a conference presentation (see the calendar),
  • Or, come to the Friday night opening of a TAE workshop.
If you would like to go into TAE more deeply, Kye offers workshops in the US and Canada, Europe, and soon in Japan as well. You can also arrange to do ongoing TAE work with her by phone, individually or in a partnership with another person who is learning the process.

Another valuable support in learning TAE are the videotapes produced by Nada Lou. There are two different sets of tapes; one set is of the nine-step version as taught at the first TAE workshop; the other set is of the fourteen-step version. Both show Gendlin describing the process and working with people who are learning it, and are excellent ways to begin to experience the process. Nada has also written an article which is a "bird's eye view" of the TAE process.

Another teacher of the process is Teresa Dawson in Switzerland, who offers TAE in the German language.

For those who are interested in becoming certified teachers of the TAE process themselves, a training program leading to certification can be arranged with Kye.

Check out these links for more thinking on thinking that happens from in here:

This material © 2000, 2003 by Kye Nelson. All rights reserved.