What is Thinking at the Edge?
Thinking at the Edge brings change. It shows you how to “mine” the gold from your experience, so that you can learn from it, think from it, act from it and express it to others. Essential to this process is learning Focusing.
Thinking at the Edge (TAE) was developed by the philosopher Eugene Gendlin to show how we can think beyond our usual conceptual structures. We start from the intricacy of what we know from having lived. Many of us have not learned to pay attention to the felt sense of experiencing that is present every moment of our lives. The bodily felt sense gives us access to our experiencing, and thus to the “feel” of our situations.
Thinking at the Edge can help us meet the challenging situations of the world today, situations that are totally new to us and therefore demand to be met in new ways.
We don’t speak of a situation unless it is difficult to meet. Otherwise we have already acted and events flow on. But when there is a situation to be met, we don’t immediately know “the right” action. That action is, in one way, indicated by the situation…and in another way not indicated, since we are puzzled. The situation may be new and unusual, yet it implies the action needed to meet it….The implicit action is that one which will change the situation as the situation demands to be met. And a situation IS the demand for some action. The two are reciprocal: the situation is the implying of a change-in-situation. A situation IS an implying of a change in itself.
Eugene Gendlin, PhD
The first step of TAE is to let yourself get a felt sense––the unclear feeling of something you want to do, a problem you want to solve, a place where you feel stressed or stuck, or a creative endeavor.
Since we are not used to pausing and sensing inside, it helps to have an experienced person there to accompany you as you explore this inner space.
Online group classes in TAE are for people familiar with Focusing and Listening partnerships. Learning TAE with others can be a wonderfully supportive experience.
Here is one person’s attempt to describe how Thinking at the Edge helped her find her own way of addressing climate change.
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