Windows of Knowing

Thinking, feeling, sensing and imagining

Whilst thinking and cognition tend to be the most valued ways of knowing in  Western culture, inner practices draw on the interrelationship between all our ways of knowing and intuiting - thinking, feeling, sensing and imagining. This requires developing our awareness of how we know what we know, and the influence that our different ways of knowing have on our actions, narratives and beliefs.

How do we recognise or experience our emotions, and how do they influence our thoughts and actions? Which senses do we mostly rely on, and how can we widen our sensory feedback loops? How can we develop our imaginative capacities, what constrains them, and what happens when we are given the creative opportunities to imagine?

Using all our senses enhances our capacity to challenge dominant narratives that have foreclosed and colonised our past, present and future - enabling us to imagine the potential for transformative change.

The only war is the war against the imagination.
All other wars are subsumed in it.
The ultimate famine
is the starvation of the imagination
it is death to be sure

diane di prima

For example the thought-based belief that ‘there is no alternative’ to neo-liberal capitalism shuts down our capacity to imagine regenerative and more life-affirming cultures.

What’s more, it is only when we are in relation with all our ways of knowing and intuiting - thinking, feeling, sensing and imagining, that we can begin to access the deep imagination - that which emanates from beyond the individual self/ego, and which connects us with an intelligence and wisdom commensurate with the scale of crises we now face.

“... emotions have been a ‘sticking point’ for philosophers, cultural theorists, psychologists, sociologists… this is not surprising: what is relegated to the margins is often, as we know from deconstruction, right at the centre of thought itself"

SARA AHMED

Image credits

Mick Haupt on Unsplash