My friend (and co-founder of the World Cafe) Juanita Brown has long espoused the extraordinary wisdom of Chilean biologist/philosopher Humberto Maturana.
She recently attended one of his symposiums, and wrote up her notes in Conversation as a Co-Evolutionary Force.
I was very struck by
her post; these excerpts in particular – about what it is to be human and what the capacity to language makes possible – feel full of power & potential:
"As humans we are born in the trust of loving and in being loved–within
an ecology of the natural world and within the larger living cosmos."
Love is the legitimate co-arising of the other in the relational space
between us. What we understand as humanness are relations conserved on
and in love over many generations of our co-existence."
"We live in the braiding of emotions and languaging in our manner of
living together. In this coordination through language, certain
consensus or agreements appear as"reality" and the objects we understand as "real" appear.
Words are not trivial – words are the nodes or elements of networks of
conversation. Language is the coordination of doings, not a symbolic
act as we commonly understand it. With one word I can follow one path
and with another a different path. Our languaging distinguishes a way
of inhabiting a human community and culture."
"A person who reflects creates new worlds. All distinctions are made by
an observer. Our capacity for reflection in language is one essence of
our humanness. We are human beings that emerged with the capacity to
reflect in language and conversations and in that we generate worlds."