Keywords:embodied understanding, kinaesthetic orientation, sensory-based question-action-observation-processes, political potentiality
The word understanding indicates a bodily connection to being upright. The prefix here under does not have the common meaning of beneath but derives from the old English meaning between or among. The old English word understandan could be transcribed as standing in the midst of and shows enactive relationality: how we are and how we bring ourselves in relation to our environment creates our understanding and forms our experiences and conceptions of the world. It is an active, sensory-motor-process borrowed in the act of understanding that carries action-potentialities. From the encounters of many individual action-potentialities rises a cultural and political potentiality in which we form our social reality. This potentiality makes it necessary for us to be able to practice conscious, responsible decision-making. The range and the freedom of choices demand to take responsibility for actions and their consequences, which means that where we have the choice we have to make a choice.
In social spaces we are making our choices always in collective structures which involve us and others. Within these collective structures our choices show impact in many directions. To build conductive conditions for individual and collective unfolding, the social space requires a compassionate, appreciative way of understanding which leads beyond the cognitive aspect of understanding. Compassion creates a wider space which not only depends on cognitive understanding. The awareness for the always already shared space allows to develop self-care into community-care.