Aikido and Psychotherapy 2010 at ITP

From Old Norse blanda: “to blend, mix” two or more things. (linguistics) A word formed by combining two other words; a grammatical contamination, portmanteau word.


Blending presupposes mutual influence, a literally resonant or "sympathetic" response (potentially involving but not guaranteeing emotional sympathy) that will exist both in and out of one's control. If "blend," then at least two actors in relationship are presupposed. There is always impact of either on each as two cannot exist in the same frame of reference without effecting each other. If one or both are not conscious of their effect the relationship may seem less explicit but, even without resorting to particle physics, good evidence exists (Mindell) to suggest that in any system of at least two variables A and B effect each other no matter what.

Blending, then is a proposal that one presuppose connection as given, a narrative or myth of relationship with certain inextricable and specific themes through which a situation, in this case conflictual and psychological, may be imagined.

So blending is for us a lens, a hermenutic or interpretive strategy by which we imagine, and the conscious and unconscious adoption of a lens is the first kind of blending which makes later blending possible.

Blending is also a physical process, or series of literal movements which may be talked about in behavioral terms.

Put another way, rather than "am I blending or not?" (on or off the mat) the questions might be (in order) what/how is s already blending, what would less/different blending be like, and what would more/different blending be like?




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