Interoceptive-Affective Complexity as the Limit on Sensemaking

embodied wisdom
METTA IS AN ANCIENT PALI WORD that means something like goodwill, compassion or loving-kindness.  It is famously associated with contemplative strategies for virtue-development in Buddhism.  It is also a good way to critique the overly cognitive and often ethically indifferent uses of the prefix Meta-.

Can we put non-naive care at the center of our next-level projects for human development and systemic transformation?  Will such efforts ultimately fail unless we do this?

Important questions for all of us to ponder.

The article MettaModernity:  Solving our Multi-Crises by Sourcing Intelligence in "Embodied Wisdom" addresses itself directly to this query.  The proposal is that we need to move from the implicit modern logic of linear, abstracting & extracting strategies to a more rhizomatic, vulnerable and collaborative mode of transformational leadership.

Othwerwise, we run the risk that using tactics sourced in cognitive-behavioral complexity -- no matter how "meta" or "integrative" or "liminal" -- might secretly smuggle Game A instincts into our Game B projects. 

So this rather inspiring article argues that the limit on our collective sensemaking resides in our capacity to access the feeling-intelligence in the somatic body -- especially when it is engaged in relational exchanges.

Here's a great sentence from the piece: Relational ruptures causal social, systemic & ecological crises.  

The article is by transformational coach Nick Jankel based on work with his partner Alison McAulay.  And despite the fact that jankel sounds like a difficult-to-identify noise that your car makes after someone has surreptitiously slipped a live haddock into the tank, this kind of approach seems necessary and timely.  In fact, if you told most people in the Emerge field that we should reframe development as a series of nested scales of relational engagement, each with unique shadow traps, which are best navigated by increasing our embodied, affective intelligence -- nine out of ten would nod sagely.

The question is how to do that.

Jankel & McAulay have decades of experience codified into a neatly packaged set of coaching practices called Bio-Transformation (or Bio-T).  Although that does sound like an overbranded packaging label on a high-nutrient power drink at a corporate health food store -- which might be perfectly appropriate for their target audience -- this is a very confident, well-informed presentation of something that is sorely needed.

How does that feel in your body?

* Bonus *

Check out Jankel's article on leadership styles in the Ukraine War.