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OPINES and CARJ - A response

This entry was written by Maggi Adamek

Craig makes some very interesting points here. If you go back and read the Gilden article on Burrows and Behnke, he describes a similar phenomenon. Rather than using the CARJ/OPINES rubric, he describes these styles of embodied awareness as 'ditentive' and 'cotentive'.

A ditentive style of awareness describes Craig's CARJ stance and includes that stance of separation and detachment - a form of consciousness that leads the knower to experience and make conclusions about a phenomenon in a particular way.

Ditention privileges vision and audition over the other senses, which do not really play a relevant role (taste, touch...). Another author - I have to go back and find out whom - describes this as 'rational consciousness.' It can also be understood as a separative style of knowing.

Likewise, a cotentive stance - the OPINES corollary - relies on a receptive, pan-sensory (all senses engaged at a relatively equal rate), kinesthetically involved stance. This style of awareness is deemed by the as yet unknown author as 'perceptual consciousness' - a style of relational noticing that fully, explicitly and relationally engages the bodymind of the knower in the investigation. It can also be known as a relational style of knowing.

Primary reliance on a rigorous subjectivity = OPINES/Cotentive. Primary reliance on a rigorous objectivity = CARJ/Ditentive.

What is your style of awareness? What are you learning from the style of awareness we use in our embodiment workshops? How does it affect your experience? What types of questions arise as a result of locating your awareness in this more sensually-oriented, perceptually-based stance?


Have I already shared this with the group? If so, disregard it!

One research activity I repeated was doing phenomenological interviews with research participants. Part of the interviews had some commonalities with cotentive stance/OPINES. Before the interview would begin and in the first 5 minutes of the interview, I expended a lot of energy on getting everything right, getting the interview started with all the human subjects details, putting the interviewee at ease, stating the first interview question just right, etc. With more skill I got so I could quickly slip into the flow of the interview, forget myself and focus very intently on what the interviewee was saying. I cannot not explain what perceptual capacities I used, but I would know when some of the interviewees (not all did this) made a certain turn to describe experience as it was lived (not conceptualized or theorized). I would sense it before a certain sentence was finished. At other times, I would hear a phrase or sentence that I knew was key and needed unpacking--either the interviewee would explicate it naturally or I would come back and ask more questions.

Others have experienced this or something like it. What I cannot explain is the speed with which I latched on to these points during the interview. It happened more quickly and with deeper insight than my mind usually worked. While I focused and was in control of the way I wanted to guide the interview, I was in a flow that I came to trust and to follow with something akin to intuition. There was a click or locking onto the idea that happened by itself. It seemed like my perception was amplified and the flow of the interview was effortless.

Analytic thinking seemed more methodical and usually slower, though flashes of insight came with analytic thought.