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Experience and design : refined experience of natural context and the architectural design process Hager, MaryAnn 1989

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EXPERIENCE A N D DESIGN Refined Experience of Natural Context and the Architectural Design Process By MARYANN HAGER B.A., University of British Columbia, 1977 B.Arch., University of British Columbia, 1987 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE O F MASTER OF A D V A N C E D STUDIES IN ARCHITECTURE in THE FACULTY O F GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Architecture) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1989 © M a r y A n n Hager, 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of A#PJtl7 The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date oinoem /B / f ^ f DE-6 (2/88) ii ABSTRACT This inquiry explores the experience of natural context, and the implications of refined awareness for the architectural design process. Firstly, it consists of the Theoria; a description of experience as generic. Secondly, it consists of the Praxis; my own experiential descriptions of natural context with concomitant design explorations. Thirdly, it consists of the Thesis; a description of design experience as generated by the refined experience of natural context. The Thesis describes the following intrinsic traits of design experience: a poignant design trigger (punctum); the inextricable co-presence of actual with potential experience; the subtle rhythm of focus with emanation; and spontaneous continuity. These traits are distinctive to a design process tempered by refined experience. This inquiry is written by a designer for the designer. The research method is direct experience, both of the natural context and of the design process. The discourse is first person descriptive. The inquiry adopts the premise that direct experience and personal discourse are valid bases fo r communication o n an essential level . The in ten t ion is to speak to the designer through vicarious experience rather than through the acceptance of a hypothetical argument. This inquiry focusses o n the early stages of design experience. In te rms of the traditional design process, I have focussed on the pre-design stage, design inception and early sketch development. Further stages of the process, including the act of building, remain for further study. / iii TABLE O F CONTENTS Abstract ii Acknowledgements iv PROLOGUE 1 INTRODUCTION 2 PART O N E : THE THEORIA OF EXPERIENCE CHAPTER O N E : Experience of Connection 9 CHAPTER T W O : Experience of the Intertwined 17 CHAPTER THREE: Experience of the Interwoven 25 CHAPTER FOUR: Experience of Fine Resonance 34 Subchapter: Four Qualities of Experience 40 PART T W O : THE PRAXIS A N D THESIS OF DESIGN EXPERIENCE THE PRAXIS 53 The Design Experience of Afternoon Sill 54 The Design Experience of Latemorning Shadows 55 The Design Experience of Sunrise Lightpatterns 56 The Design Experience of Sunrise Circle 57 The Design Experience of Sunrise Sound 58 THE THESIS CHAPTER FIVE: Experiential Description and the Design Punctum 61 CHAPTER SIX: The Actual and Potential Facets of the Design Punctum 71 CHAPTER SEVEN: The Experiences of Focus and'Emanation 81 CHAPTER EIGHT: The Continuity of Design Experience 91 Subchapter: Four Qualities of Design Experience 93 RE-VISION 100 Glossary • 108 Notes 110 References 120 iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my gratitude to the following: Patrick Mooney for his willing support; Rol Fieldwalker for his sensitivity and understanding; Shelagh Lindsey for her contribution and support; and Bud W o o d for caring. I would like to give special thanks to Kim Barker for her Japanese tutoring. I would most sincerely like to express my appreciation for Ron Walkey and his insight. He has been my mentor not only for this work but for a long time. 1 PROLOGUE This inquiry is written by a designer for designers. It speaks to a specific readership rather than assuming the generalized academic audience. Based on the assumption that the designer listens with a different ear than the academic, the following is written in first person descriptive discourse. It is not a thesis report in the traditional objective style. The designer is comfortable with personal interpretation as well as objectified knowledge. The personal nature of the discourse is legitimized by the phenomenological premise of intersubjectivity. The premise states that the individual is both personal subject and generic subject. It is only through the personal that a valid common ground can be reached. This approach is valid according to the intersubjective ground, and not according to objective proof. It is the intention of this inquiry to speak through personal experience in order to reveal generic experience for the designer. The designer is accustomed to insightful knowing as well as logical knowing. For this reason, the discourse is a description rather than a hypothetical argument. Similarily in phenomenology, there is a premise which emphasizes the validity of watching experience as it happens. Only through descriptive discourse can the reader go through experience himself. He is invited to engage more than his logical faculties and realize knowledge which is insightful. This inquiry intends to speak to the designer through vicarious experience with the expectation of eliciting insightful knowing. Because this inquiry is written by a designer for the designer, the literature has been absorbed and interpreted with the designer in mind. For instance, the writer has not approached the philosophy with philosopher's eyes, but with designer's eyes in order to translate it into the designer's language. Even though this inquiry is based on an intensive reading of philosophical sources, especially phenomenological, it assumes an interpretative role. The strictly philosophical issues have been considered, but are transparent in the discourse. This inquiry intends to render the philosophy accessible and relevant for the design process. The designer should not require a knowledge of phenomenology in order to grasp this work. 2 INTRODUCTION How does architecture find a vital connection with the light, air, sound, sky, horizon, ground and seasonal change of a particular natural context? How do I connect with my natural surroundings? What does connection mean? These questions are the basis for the following inquiry. The focus of the inquiry is architecture's relationship with specific natural context. 1 write as an architectural designer who finds profound delight in the process of design, especially exploration with built form which is relevant and sensitive to natural context. I also write as a person who finds that the standardized, generalized and dislocated experience of built form is the usual order in which I live. I see attempts being made in architectural circles to soften the dislocation. There are attempts to achieve 'regional identity,' to establish 'roots' and to develop 'sense of place. ' 1 The attempts disregard the need to see and sense the subtleties of specific context in detail. They attempt to heal missing connections with superficial and temporary cures such as generality and style. They fail to address the deep underlying condition of de-sensitized experience. The windows in my wall are uniform. They cut the colour of the sky with hard edges and block it at the most subtle moment. My room admits natural light by default and fails to recognize the exquisite glow in the light of a late afternoon in autumn or fails to bring a certain wall to life on a spring morning with sharp and fine shadows. The path to my threshold is barren and estranged having missed connections with the colour on the distant horizon, to the sound of the rain in the nearby branches or to the flickering shadows of the leaves and the warm light cast upon the door. For any given context, experience can be sensitized to the particular natural cycles and motions of air and light, sun and sky, ground and texture, colour and sound. When the experience of natural context is finely tuned, from it springs a design process full of respect for the specifics of natural context. The 'regional identity,' 'roots' and 'sense of place' follow spontaneously. I begin to envision an architecture of vital and resilient connections. 3 I began my inquiry by setting out to understand my experience of my natural context. I began by describing what I 'saw' daily in a journal. I focussed on the natural context of my life which centres upon a street in the Westside of Vancouver with a small yard surrounded by houses with a brief view of the mountains to the north and no visible link with the sea except for the occasional call of gulls overhead. In this way, the description speaks of the natural as it is relevant to urban living; the light, air and sound right here impinging on me. It does not speak of the distant regional concepts of forest and sea.^ After many months of description 1 realized that I was not only describing whaf I saw, but how I was seeing it. Slowly I began to focus on the workings of experience and what it means to connect with natural context. The following inquiry is simply a description of my experience of connection and its relevance for architectural design. Concurrently with direct experience, 1 explored the philosophy and poetry of experience, place, time and body. I have chosen to translate the philosophy into everyday experiential meaning rather than present an overt discourse of philosophical issues. 3 The insights of the philosophers, poets and physicists are cited merely to reinforce my descriptions. My intention is to speak, not exclusively to the architect-philosopher, but to the designer in everyman. With this intention in mind, it must be overtly stated that 1 adopted, from the outset, one of the basic premises of experiential philosophy; intersubjectivity. The premise is that personal experience, when it approaches precision and refinement, reaches beyond the personal to a neutral and fundamental level which finds a resonance in others. 4 In this way, it is intended that my design experience is relevant for other designers. My inquiry, therefore, stands as a search for personal clarity. I have relied on what is certain; the evidence of my own experience. I am not speculating about the general structure of the perception of nature or about the basic characteristics of the natural surroundings of Westside Vancouver. I am describing the evidence of incisive experience, the only seed of clarity in 4 "the muddle felt as a problem" (Wittgenstein 1958, 6). In this way, my inquiry is descriptive and evocative, not hypothetical. I am not applying the pressure of intellectual conviction and logical disputation toward the acceptance of an 'idea.' What l have found is not a definitive answer or a conclusion, but a process which seems inexhaustible. As the philosopher Erazim Kohak says, "an argument can lead to a conclusion; an evening does not" (Kohak 1985, 179). My inquiry is a spiral, rather than a linear argument. It is based on the intuited conviction that some things are discovered, not through the intellect alone, but when a whole self is involved. With this conviction in mind, it must be overtly stated that I have adopted a second premise from experiential philosophy; the descriptive orientation. The premise is that description which involves exactitude elicits experience in others vicariously; you experience it as I describe it. The premise holds that, unlike logical disputation, vicarious experience invites insight by speaking to others as more-than-logical beings.^ To look for a definitive answer in my inquiry would be to assume that there is a definitive world and an 'objective reality.' O n the contrary, my inquiry is based on a third premise; I cannot observe my world as a 'reality' out there separate from my participation in it. I follow the words of the physicist Heisenberg when he says, "what we observe is not nature, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" (Heisenberg 1963, 58). My inquiry does not attempt to observe nature as an objectified reality. Being a description of genuine experiential evidence, it is neither objective nor subjective.^ I cannot pretend to see my world except through the filter of my own experience. Yet the clearer the experience, the more transparent is the filter. It is intended that clarity will echo and elicit experience in you, the reader. In this way, what I call 'personal' clarity is neither a 'subjective' kind of idiosyncratic interpretation nor an attempt to construct an objective reality. My inquiry is based on "the data of primary awareness" (Kohak 1978, 154). I have merely followed what Husserl calls "simple devotion to the (living) evidence"' 7 (Husserl 1973, 29). 5 Being neither subjective nor objective, this inquiry is neither a personal exploration relevant for one, nor a how-to list of guidelines relevant for a generalized many. This inquiry offers something in between the two extremes. It travels with care along the fine line which is both personal and essential, poetic and analytical, subjective and objective. As such, this inquiry speaks to the same fine line of clarity and integration in the listener. This inquiry respects the personal traits of each individual experience (what is not shared) and therefore, does not offer the 'how-to' of experience. At the same time, this inquiry strives to bring into relief the shadows of the essential traits of experience (what is shared) and therefore, offers a means for recognizing it. It is hoped that when the traits of refined experience and design experience are recognized, they will become the basis for an architecture of connection. What does this inquiry offer? The answer is an elusive one. I have not found a name for it. * * * Part One is the Theoria of the experience of connection. The root meaning of the Greek word theoria concerns the theatre and the act of viewing. It refers to 'a way of seeing' not only with the eyes, but with insight. In this way, my Theoria is not focussed upon fixed knowledge of an objective reality. It does not speak of what is, but how I 'see' it. The philosopher and physicist David Bohm describes Theoria as an insight into "something which can never actually be touched" (Bohm 1980, 17). As such, the Theoria of Part One is how I see it; an everchanging insight into the experience of connection. It consists of four chapters which act as a cumulative progression toward an explicit and detailed description in the fourth chapter. They are merely four increasingly refined descriptions of the same experience. The progression does not describe a chronology of how the sensitization of experience actually happens. The fine tuning of experience does not seem to be a linear progression. It is a highly intricate and personal process. I am not presenting a method for the cultivation of fine experience. I am describing what it feels like to take an experiential stance. Part One is a description of connection as a generic experience embracing all the facets of living. Part Two focusses more specifically on the connection with natural context as it relates to 6 architectural design. Part One pursues the question, What does connection mean? Part Two pursues the question, How can architecture find a vital connection with natural context? Part Two begins with the Praxis of the experience of connection in terms of natural context and architectural design. According to the Creek meaning, praxis is the doing of experience as opposed to the theorizing about it. My Praxis is a series of examples in practice consisting of five experiential descriptions based on journal entries recorded over a period of two years. Each description is followed by an unedited design exploration in annotated sketch form. The experiential descriptions and design explorations spring from my immediate environment and my own particular momentum of living. The Praxis focusses on the early stages of the design process. In terms of the traditional process, it reaches from pre-design through design inception into early sketch development. Further stages of the process, including the act of building itself, remain for further inquiry. Part Two continues with the Thesis of the experience of connection in terms of architectural design process. The Greek root of thesis means 'to place.' With the Thesis, the Theoria is given a place and a focus in terms of natural context and the design experience. The Thesis describes how the refined experience of specific natural context transforms the architectural 'design process' into one which includes: a poignant design trigger (punctum); the inextricable co-presence of actual with potential experience; the subtle rhythm of focus with emanation; and spontaneous continuity. The Thesis essentially speaks of a design process generated by precise experience which is inherently and strongly connected with the fineness of natural context. My inquiry begins with questions and ends with questions. It is merely testimony to a seeking process. I have found that when I begin to approach the answer to a question it transforms into more questions. The Thesis is followed by a collection of rhetorical questions which stand as a Re-vision of the usual order in which I live and design. They are neither conclusions nor axioms, but merely the beginnings of an architectural design stance based on precise and sensitive experience. My intention is not to force a closure on the seeking process, but to strike a tone of the unlimited in the refinement of experience. 7 PART O N E THE THEORIA OF EXPERIENCE C H A P T E R O N E EXPERIENCE O F C O N N E C T I O N 9 Sometimes at the end of the day I think back and often I am haunted by a sharp sense of 'something missed'. I realize I did not see the colour of the sky this morning. I remembei passing by the window arbitrarily many times and looking through the glass at the eastern sky, but my pulse did not quicken, my eyes did not glow with the subtle colour of the morning horizon. I think back to the poetry I read this afternoon. I realize the words passed right through me. I can recall what they said, but the words had no indelible effect on my body and mind. The world held by the words did not fill me. I think back and see my hands all day continually quick and machine-like. They touch, manipulate and negotiate things and yet, they remain an appendage more related to the things than to myself. Not once did the muscle, blood, bone and nerve of my hands feel integrated with my whole body. Not once did they fill with the warmth of myself. Even though I lived within reach of that warmth all day, it remained unkindled. I think back and realize I ate an orange this morning, but did not taste it. I chewed and swallowed it, but the sting of its juice did not pierce my dull tongue. Its cool sweetness did not permeate the cells of my body. I think back and realize that I did not feel the light rain as I walked home today. It fell on my face and hands, but without that minute quiver, that quick and tiny thrill of a raindrop falling on skin. Am I living disengaged from the sky, the window, my hands, the orange, the rain and my world? If I examine the sharp sense which haunts me, I find that it is not the pain of disconnection 10 or disengagement. Disconnection is the absence of connection and I very sharply sense the presence of potential connection. It is a fine distinction but a crucial one. II is the difference between the non-existence of connection and the non-experience of connection (nonconnection).^ It is the difference between a severed connection and the shadow of a connection. What is at the root of my dis-ease is not the absence but the presence of something. I am accustomed to nonconnection. The sky is there and I am here. Caught in the momentum of living, I am not communing with the sky all day. However, my relationship with the sky on an April morning in particular holds the potential for connection. I remember the faint pink glow of another sky at sunrise which filled my eyes and quickened my pulse. I hold that moment of communion in body and mind. I realize there is a potential connection unfulfilled. It is not a vague longing for something which is missing. It is a very pointed sense of dis-ease with an unfulfilled presence. It is the presence of the pulse once quickened, the eyes once glowing, the body once filled, the warmth once kindled and the skin once thrilled. The power of the presence of connection is like a punctum^ or puncture which haunts me. Wherein lies its power? * * * Tuesday, February 28 at 2 p.m. I am reading a poem. Black words on a white page, it lies under my eyes on the table. Beside the book is an orange, the two objects stark under a glaring light bulb. Outside it is snowing and I can hear vaguely a foghorn in the distance and a bird just outside the window. I pick up the orange and faintly notice its fragrance as I break open the peel. I begin to eat and my eyes follow the words absently "...grazing the ice that sea-rose under the sunset and sea-green and sea-deep under the snows' froth under the still white water the sudden fissure in the wave..." Out of the absent-mindedness I notice a heightened taste simultaneously connect with the words and the sounds and the light. My world coalesces as if crystallized. The tang of the orange on my tongue, the cool smooth 11 liquid texture in my mouth, my teeth on the tiny tight skins breaking open, the subtle warmth of the sea-rose just grazing the acute cold of the ice, the sea-green depth, the fissure, the.white snow light entering the room merging with the light of the bulb, white with yellow, cool with warm, and the muffled distant world like a soft surround broken by the clear close notes of the bird, just iwo...^® The experience of PoemOrange is evidence to me of the potential for connection. Looking in fine at the experience, I can begin to describe its qualities and realize its power. Before the instant when things connect or coalesce, my world consists of vague sounds and objects under harsh light. It is a scene outside me, a distant world. With the experience of connection, I lose my estrangement from things and I seem to belong within a world that makes sense. The sharp sensuality of the words fit with the taste of the orange, sharply cool and smooth, which inextricably fits with the heightened softness of the sound which surrounds me and which in turn fits with the snow light and the notes of the bird. The experience of PoemOrange is Elusive. Its inception eludes me. Does it begin with the taste of the orange, a certain word, the notes of the bird or a chemical reaction in the brain celis? I do not will the experience. Coming from somewhere beyond my will, its source cannot be identified. It cannot be reproduced or planned. The experience of connection is elusive, too, because it ends without my will. I cannot control its duration. It is like a brief glimpse which too quickly passes. Kenneth Shapiro describes, in his article "The Elusive in Experience," the sense of something incomplete and always "beyond reach" (Shapiro 1976, 135). It instantly fades before I can fully grasp it. The Elusive has a tantalizing power. The experience of PoemOrange involves a heightened sense of BodyMind. The taste, the texture, the smell of the orange, the sounds, the visual clarity and the sharp sensuality of the words, like a bite, are all present bodily. Beyond the five senses, there is a whole-body sense that here in this room surrounded by soft, close sound and white light at this point in time, my bodily weight and 12 centre is clear and certain. The poet Jorge Luis Borges speaks of an integration of the many senses of the body when he describes his experience of beauty. He says it is a "physical sensation, something we feel with our.whole body" (Borges 1984, 93). Yet the experience is not merely physical, but brings into play my mental and psychic faculties. All that is 'me' beyond the physical I 12 can only describe as the non-physical 'mind.' The experience seems to heighten my non-physical workings as they relate to my physical workings. The poet Paul Valery has described the poetic experience as one which involves "inner disposition physical and psychical...intimately related to the whole of our sensibility" (Valery 1960, 24). The experience of connection involves my whole BodyMind and in this I find its power. The experience of PoemOrange is Synchronistic. It is an instant very subtly distinct from the sequential stream of time. In it I find a close parallel to James Joyce's experience of "epiphany." He describes it as "the most delicate and evanescent of moments" (Joyce 1956, xii). I cannot measure the moment in clock time. Like the sense of time in a dream, I cannot say what comes first and what follows. The connection is an instant when many things come together synchronistically. Such seemingly disparate things as the words of the poem, the taste of the orange, the sounds, the light and the bird connect and fuse simultaneously. The briefness of the experience gives it a delicate quality. The simultaneity gives it a quality of fullness. Its power lies in the coincidence of evanescence with fullness. The experience of PoemOrange is exceptional in its Clarity. It is a crystalline clarity of sharpness and sparkling vividness. Yet it is not only a visual clarity, but a sense of concreteness which has a certainty beyond the senses. At the same time, the experience has the crystalline quality of transparence. Before the instant of connection, the words seem opaque. The orange is an object under harsh light. It is a stark scene outside me. With the experience of connection, the stark scene loses its opaque quality. I seem to enter it and it fills me. The words are no longer hard black marks, but seem transparent so that I enter them and experience everything they hold. Susan Sontag has identified transparency as "the highest most liberating value in art." She describes it as an "experiencing of the luminosity of the thing itself" (Sontag 1964, 13). The words, objects and 13 sounds are both sharply concrete and rarefied. The power of the certain exquisiteness is profound. 1 -* * * * Though brief, the experience of PoemOrange has the power to last. The instant remains with me in all its clarity months later. I have borrowed two words from Roland Barthes to emphasize the power and pointed strength of the experience of Connection; punctum and studium. The punctum describes the sharpness and indelible puncturing quality of the instant. The studium describes the state of nonconnection which surrounds the punctum. The studium represents the slack kind of awareness which feels like l am disengaged from my world. They are days of "no special acuity...vaguely slippery, irresponsible." The punctum has the power to break through the studium and "shoot out of it like an arrow and pierce m e " 1 4 (Barthes 1981, 26). The punctum is unforgettable. It remains a presence. It haunts. The punctum is instantaneous and elusive. It cannot be willfully sustained and very quickly I return to the state of studium. I am caught up once more in the momentum of nonconnection to which I am accustomed. I can accept the studium as a point of view, even a necessary one, for only when I am nonconnected can I describe the instant of connection. Yet the haunting power of .the punctum fills me with certainty that the accustomed studium of nonconnection is not my fundamental, or as Husserl says primordial, point of view. The philosopher Edmund Husserl opens his work Ideas with a discussion of the "primordial standpoint" (der ursprunglichen Einstellung). 1^ He says that knowledge of the world, especially scientific, is inevitably based on the prevailing standpoint of "external perception" (ausseren wahrnehmung) or "seeing things out there." The prevailing or natural standpoint, according to Husserl, is one of nonconnection. He describes such a perspective as "a theoretical standpoint that 1 ft seems to come naturally, but can only tell us things about the world out there" (Kohak 1978, 10). Firstly, he emphasizes that my nonconnected standpoint is merely a theoretical standpoint. Secondly, he emphasizes that it seems to come naturally, not because it is primordial, but because I am caught in the grip of a circular habit. A nonconnected standpoint can only tell me about a 14 nonconnected world. Eugene Fink, a colleague of Husserl's, describes the natural standpoint as an "entanglement in the world" (Cairns 1976, 95). The natural standpoint entangles me in a world of nonconnection and slowly-obscures the presence and power of the experienceof Connection. For Husserl therefore, the natural standpoint is not the primordial standpoint. In a later work, Cartesian Meditations, Husserl specifically describes the primordial standpoint. Under the heading "Potentialities of the Primordial Sphere," he speaks of "the interconnections (Zusammenhange) and the instances of belonging together which are involved in the primordial constitution of my nature" 1 ' 7 (Husserl 1973, 117). According to Husserl the experience of Connection is fundamental to a genuine knowledge of the world. The philosopher Merleau-Ponty describes the "cohesion" of things as the fundamental experience. He speaks of "the pell-mell ensemble of bodies and minds, promiscuity of visages, words, actions and between them all that cohesion which cannot be denied them since they are all 1 ft different extreme divergences of one same something" (Merleau-Ponty 1968, 84). Throughout his work, Merleau-Ponty describes the experience of an intimately connected and cohesive world. Like Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, the philosopher and physicist David Bohm challenges the nonconnected standpoint or the "fragmentary self-worid view." He describes the fundamental experience as "immediate connection, in which the dynamic relationships [of parts] depend, in an irreducible way, on the state of the whole system" (Zukav 1979, 297). Bohm emphasizes that the connected world is one of permeating wholeness (Bohm 1980). Quantum physicists have identified subatomic phenomena which describe a fundamentally connected world. Bell's Theorem of 1964, commonly known as the "Interconnectedness" Theorem, implies that "at a deep and fundamental level, the 'separate parts' of the universe are connected in an intimate and immediate way" (Zukav 1979, 282). John Bell first proved, so far irrefutably, the existence of invisible non-local connections at the level of the photon. A non-local connection is like an interaction across distance which is unmediated, immediate and instantaneous. The theorem has been expanded and accepted as a description of "the reality underlying everything" (Herbert 1985, 222). The phenomena which support a cohesive world view describe the vastriess and the subtlety of the experience of Connection. Much of Non-Western philosophy speaks of the fundamental nature of the experience of Connection. For instance, Lao Tzu in Chapter XVI of the Tao Te Ching says that "the myriad of things grow in unison." Lao Tzu describes the cyclic and rhythmic connections of motion and change shared by things. Through the connected unison "the myriad of things in all their profusion each again returns to its root" (Ch'en 1981, 110). According to Lao Tzu the "root" or fundamental state is the experience of unison and connection. The powerful presence of Connection is an experience identified widely by poets, philosophers and physicists. They describe an experience of interconnection which is an intimate cohesion, a pervasive wholeness, an invisible vastness and a rhythmic unison. The next chapter focusses more precisely on the nature of the connection itself. C H A P T E R T W O EXPERIENCE O F T H E I N T E R T W I N E D 17 As I write with my right hand, I look at my left hand lying dormant and motionless under the constant light bulb. I realize what a strange object my hand is. It is a surface covered by an intricate web of tiny intersecting lines. Where they cross are fine hairs, almost invisible, except where they catch the light like vanishing gold filaments. The surface has a transparent pallor except at the joints where the colour is almost pink. It casts a still and unfamiliar shadow of hills and hollows, crevices and cleavages... When I examine closely my view of Left Hand, I find it is imbued with a sharp sense of dis-ease. Yet it is not the strange and alien details of my hand which disquiet me. I feel fascinated by the tiny heightened patterns and filaments. The sharp sense of dis-ease is the feeling that this 'object' should be related to me. Like the colour of the sky on an April morning, I feel there is a potential connection missing. I feel the sharp presence of an unfulfilled relationship. With the view of Left Hand, a hair is a gold filament. It is only half seen. I do not 'see' beyond to its roots in the larger system of my body. The pallor is merely a surface. I do not feel its living, breathing continuity with my whole body of skin. The static shadow is not my own. It does not belong to the shadow of a iiving body. Hair, skin and shadow are missing their relationship with something beyond themselves. The relationship is unrealized. It haunts me. It is the presence of the fundamental experience of connection. * * * Sunday, May 22 at 11 a.m. As I write with my right hand I feel the skin touching the page. There is a slight warmth in the smooth paper surface as it pauses. Now it moves again and the skin feels a brief coolness. The light bulb casts a hard shadow which slides across the white page and yet, consists of tiny precise motions which remind me of the exactitude of an insect. The sounds which hang in the air are 18 the short and uneven rhythms of skin brushing across paper and the pressing of the pen. The formation of each letter consists of the finely tuned tightening and relaxing of muscles as remote as the shoulder, the elbow, the arm and finally where the fingers meet the pen. Somewhere the thought 'comes to mind' and so quick, it culminates in the muscle, bone, blood, skin and nerve of my hand and now is indelibly held in ink and paper. Where the view of Left Hand is of an object unto itself without relationship, the experience of my Right Hand is of an intimate relationship. Left Hand is like the poem and the orange before the instant of connection. Right Hand is like the experience of connection when estrangement from things falls away. My hand and I unquestionably belong. It is the sense of things working together and connecting with the finest cohesion. The workings of blood, muscle, bone, nerve and thought, realized to a height of fine rhythms and tensions, intimately fit with the heightened sensations of skin on cool paper, which also fit with the sound hanging in the air, which fit with the tiny motions of hand and shadow. Pervasive in the experience of Right Hand is the tantalizing quality of the Elusive. With quickness and fineness everything moves too minutely for my awareness to fully grasp. As with the experience of PoemOrange, there is always something beyond reach. From the tiny tensions of muscle to the play of a thought, it is a stream of motion and change which never subsides long enough for more than a brief glimpse. Yet it is not the same kind of instant which eludes my will in PoemOrange. The experience of Right Hand does not catch me by surprise. It has a duration which I am able to turn on and off. I am willfully tuning-in my awareness to the minute changes in temperature under my skin and the brushing sound of skin across paper. There seems to be a dimension of the experience of Connection which can be willed and consciously cult ivated.^ The experience of Right Hand involves the fine interplay of the senses, the whole body and the mind (BodyMind). My view of Left Hand is of an object half seen (partial awareness). The 19 external qualities are heightened in the visual sense only. With my experience of Right Hand, the nerve endings of my skin come into play and I feel the paper smooth and cool. My hand is no longer an object because it engages me with my world in terms of a fine mix of senses; sight, touch, sound. I sense the cohesion of the motions of muscle and nerve involved in the translation of a thought into pen and ink. The play of my whole BodyMind has entered into the relationship (full awareness or Awareness). The experience of Right Hand involves Synchronicity. It is the sense of fullness when many things briefly come into unison. There is a stream of fine motions and heightened sensations which is highly concentrated and full as opposed to diluted and vague. With PoemOrange the qualities of fullness and evanescence flash in one overpowering synchronistic instant. With Right Hand there is a stream full of such synchronistic instants. The more I tune into the concentrated stream I find it consists of highly delicate instants. They transform one into the next and my Awareness becomes a string of very brief evanescent glimpses, interrupted before I can grasp the fullness of each. The experience of Right Hand has the Clarity of crystal. The clarity comes from sensations which are sharply vivid, certain and concrete. There is also a transparency to the clarity. The opaque surface which I see in the Left Hand has dissolved .away with the experience of my Right Hand. I see' beyond the visible surface and begin to fathom its inner workings. I 'watch' my thoughts being translated into muscle and nerve. My Awareness of Right Hand has both the rarefied and the concrete qualities of crystal. * * * The qualities of Elusiveness, BodyMind, Synchronicity and Clarity are common both to PoemOrange and Right Hand. In this way, the experience of Right Hand can be seen as an experience of Connection. In order to further clarify and refine what I have called the experience of Connection, I will examine the connection itself. It involves a focus on the interplay between my Awareness (me) and its Focus (other). 2 1 The Focus, in this case, is my Right Hand. In the view of Left Hand, the relationship between my awareness and my hand is limited and weak. It consists of the visual dimension of my awareness and the static surface qualities of the 20 object only. There is no experience of Connection. With the experience of my Right Hand, the relationship between my Awareness and my hand is full and strong. It consists of an integrated kind of Awareness. My full Awareness is tuned in and I experience Connection. It seems that the experience of Connection depends on my Awareness and its tuning capabilities. The relationship also depends on certain qualities of the hand or Focus. The Left Hand is dormant and motionless and contributes to the limited, one-dimensional extent of my awareness. My Right Hand is busy and involved in the process of writing and contributes toward my senses and BodyMind coming into play. My Right Hand is turned on and has the potential ability to tune in my Awareness. The orange sitting as an object under the harsh light has much less potential than the orange peeled and tasted. The gray sky at sunrise has much less potential than the glowing peach horizon. The Focus possesses the potential to tune in Awareness. What if the Focus is full of potential but my Awareness is not tuned in? My hands are busy all day, turned-on and dynamic, and yet my awareness is rarely tuned into that strong and certain experience of connection with them. Similarily, I can peel and eat an orange but not taste it because my awareness is scattered. The Focus might have the potential to tune in Awareness, but the connection will be weak if my Awareness does not focus upon it. The Focus which is full of potential is like an invitation, but an invitation does not constitute a strong connection until it is received, read and accepted. I begin to see that Awareness can be turned on but not tuned in. Awareness is always turned on, but it is the degree of tuning into the Focus that affects the power of the experience of Connection. I find that the experience of Connection depends both on my Awareness and on the potential of the Focus. It is an intimate interdependency. The potential of the connection is fulfilled according to the intricate mutual tuning capabilities of both. As I find in PoemOrange, the interdependency between my Awareness and the Focus is so fine that 1 can not distinguish which player sparks the experience. My Awareness is heightened unexpectedly and it seems that the experience involves more than me, poem or orange. The connection itself, that highly subtle interdependency, seems to come to light between my Awareness and the Focus. 21 * * * The experience of Connection does not rest solely with my Awareness or solely with the Focus. The experience is more than both. The fine tuning of my Awareness is like a participation with the Focus. The Focus is not an object 'out there' passive and unrelated, but itself mutually participates with my Awareness. The acute mutuality means that the experience of Connection is not in me or in the object. It is something between. I borrow Merleau-Ponty's term Intertwining to describe the experience more precisely. Throughout his work, Merleau-Ponty refers to something between 'me' and the 'other.' In the working notes of his last work The Visible and the Invisible, he identifies the something-in-between as a " c h i a s m . " 2 4 He describes the chiasm as a crossing-over, like an intertwining. He says, 25 "there is a reciprocal insertion and intertwining (I'entrelacs) of one in the other" (Merleau-Ponty 1968, 138). Yet, the intertwining in-between tends to imply a spatial separation. Merleau-Ponty emphasizes by his word 'insertion' that the relationship is one in the other like "two concentric spheres." The sense of Intertwining does not necessarily imply a distance between my Awareness and the Focus, but necessarily emphasizes an intimacy and closeness. The-probability wave theory of quantum physics echoes Merieau-Ponty's experience of Intertwining. At the atomic level, the physicists have found neither particles nor waves, but probability patterns. It means that a 'particle' can never be said to exist (or not exist) in a certain location. The atomic stuff consists of tendencies to exist or potentials. Werner Heisenberg emphasizes the significance of the probability wave theory because "it introduces something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between probability and reality" (Heisenberg 1958, 42). I find that the physicists' description of the atomic relationship as "a kind of physical reality just in the middle" is much like the chiasm Merleau-Ponty has described between things. The probability wave theory also emphasizes that the Intertwining in-between does not actually and permanently exist, but is present as a potential. It is an echo of the potentiality which stands between my Awareness and the Focus because of their intricate interdependencies. 22 * * * The experience of Intertwining has strong implications for my sense of body and my stance in a world of things. I find I have a reach extending beyond my body. With a nonconnected point of view, in a world of objects out there, my body feels like an object. Kitaro Nishida is a contemporary Japanese philosopher with a Zen background who sees from the connected standpoint. He says, "the Self...is not a point, but a circle; not a thing, but a place" (Dilworth 1970, 204). Merleau-Ponty similarity emphasizes that I have a reach which is not the same as my body. He says that my body is not in space like things; "it inhabits or haunts space" (Merleau-Ponty 1964a, 5). Both Nishida and Merleau-Ponty describe the experience of reach which is beyond the body like an emanation. The experience of Intertwining has strong implications for my sense of things and how they inhabit space. Objects are not passive and remote, out there, but potentially have a living role in my experience. According to quantum physics, elementary particles are relationships which actively inhabit space. Henry Stapp sees the elementary particle as "a set of relationships that reach outward to other things" (Zukav 1979, 71). In atomic relationships, I find an echo of the experience of potential relationships. The object has a reach which is close and in mutual participation with my reach. The coloured sky, as an 'object' of Focus, is not out there on the distant horizon, but reaches me right here. It belongs to my reach as does my hand. It is a potential Intertwining. Just as my Awareness is constantly transforming, so too is the reach of the Focus. The sky has a powerful reach at sunrise when it is glowing with peach light, but much less an hour later when the colour has faded. The experience of Intertwining finally says much about a world in which my reach interpenetrates the reach of the Focus. Like the 'strange physical reality in the middle' which both Merleau-Ponty and the physicists have described, it is a binding together which occurs between things. The binding phenomenon is present in the Japanese experience of Ma. Ma is "the natural pause or interval between two or more phenomena occuring continuously" (Isozaki 1980, 1). Ma fills the intervals between things, sounds or events and holds them together. The full meaning of Ma 23 is embodied in its Kanji character.^ It shows the sun shining into a space between double panelled, swinging doors. As exemplified by the sunlight, the 'stuff in between things is always present to some degree, but it is always changing and transforming. As exemplified by the swinging doors, the 'things' themselves are not fixed, but are responsive to those changes. The character also says that the stuff which holds things together (sunlight) is vast and continuous. In the Japanese experience of Ma, I find the sense of a streaming and shifting continuum which binds things together. The experience of Connection involves the Intertwining between things. The experience of Intertwining emphasizes the mutual participation between things and the binding power Connection. The next chapter begins to describe a network of Intertwinings beyond the Awareness-Focus Connection. C H A P T E R T H R E E E X P E R I E N C E O F T H E I N T E R W O V E N 25 Wednesday, March 8 at 9 a.m. I am walking without a shadow on a long sidewalk under a white sky. The light around me is luminous but slightly dim. It begins to rain. Invisible transparent drops are falling one by one, each distinct. There are perfect intervals between them so that as each one touches my skin, I can recognize just that one. It is a kind of restrained rhythm of sensations, but accidental, each one slightly unexpected. One alights on my upper left forehead, brief and cool. The next on my upper cheek, is a different point of skin and a minutely different sensation, a quick and tiny thrill. Now one touches my lower forehead as if poised in the centre. The symmetry' and precision of the touch is like a soft surprise. In an instant of alertness, everything comes to clarity. Simultaneously, I feel the air on my body as I move through it, and the hard, moist ground under my shoes. I hear the soft grit and the steady rhythm of my steps, merging with the slightly syncopated, almost regular, rhythm of the raindrops. The hush of the distant rain surrounds me and fills the soft air interrupted by each singular muted touch of a drop on leaf, on hair, on grass, on jacket, on moist concrete. The scent of newly moist things is faintly rising in this March air. My eye catches a droplet silently entering the water of a shallow puddle. It has the right weight and speed to make a perfect, quietly widening circle. With next drop, I feel the same silent emanations outward in the nerves of my skin. The luminosity in the air is growing and my shadow reappears faintly sliding across the ground... With the experience of Light Rain, I am not only in relationship with the ephemeral raindrop, but also in relationship with our context. Everything with which the raindrop is related seems to 26 enter my Awareness. The raindrop creates for me a great surround within which we are embedded. The raindrop, the leaf, the ground, the air, the sky, the light, the sounds, the motions of my body, the sensations of my skin and the play of my thoughts are ali intimately interwoven. In the experience of Light Rain emerge the four qualities of Elusiveness, BodyMind, Synchronicity and Clarity which have run like a thread through PoemOrange and Right Hand. * The experience of Light Rain involves the quality of Elusiveness. With the raindrop on my central forehead, there is a powerful but highly elusive instant of vast connection and heightened clarity like the experience of PoemOrange. It is unexpected and unwilled. I cannot identify when it begins or ends, but its power seems to reverberate throughout the experience. Surrounding the instant is a stream of heightened and clarified Awareness, like the experience of Right Hand, in which I am willfully focussing upon skin sensations and sounds. The elusive instant of surprise seems to fit, very quietly and easily, amidst the willed stream of Awareness. The stream itself is so quick it seems to be potentially full of elusive instants of the unwilled kind. With Light Rain I find a fine line between the willed and the unwilled in exper ience.^ Pervasive in Light Rain is the experience of BodyMind. The fine interplay of sensation, body and thought includes the subtle distinctions between the touch of raindrops on skin and the nuances of their sounds on leaf, grass or sidewalk. The acute sensations participate in the sense of my whole body-embedded-in-context, surrounded by the hush and the luminosity of the air. The play of the physical senses are so finely integrated with the workings of mind that it is difficult to distinguish between a sensation and a thought. Everything I am, both physical and non-physical, is finely integrated. The experience of Light Rain involves the mysterious Synchronistic instant and the powerful coincidence of evanescence and fullness. The instant of surprise when a myriad of things come together in unison is highly delicate and brief. It has no duration. It seems to interrupt the stream of vivid sensation with its reverberating power and clarity. It is distinct from the flow of the stream. Yet the stream consists of many instants which are full to the point of saturation, not only in terms of a 27 multitude of simultaneous sensations but in terms of vastness, like the instant of surprise. They merge together so quickly and so subtley, they elude me. Both the instant and the stream involve quickness and fineness which is highly evanescent. With the experience of Light Rain the synchronistic instant is strongly present whether interrupting the stream or very finely constituting the stream of Awareness. The experience of Light Rain is one of crystalline Clarity, even though it does not centre around something I can see like a poem, an orange or a hand. The ephemeral raindrop, invisible and brief, is a Focus of potential connection which can open up a world of extreme clarity. Light Rain emphasizes that the clarity of concreteness and transparency is not exclusively a visual sense. The concrete quality is like the certainty of an integrated Awareness rather than the sharpness of the merely visual. There is no doubt that the instant is highly vivid, but it is vivid for the whole BodyMind. The experience of Light Rain also has a special transparency. It does not involve seeing beyond the visible as does PoemOrange or Right Hand. It consists of a myriad of invisible connections; sound, thought, motion, touch. It points to the fine mix of the visual sense with the other senses of the body. Transparency means entering into things and being filled by them, more than seeing beyond surfaces. Perhaps it is the feeling of an interpenetration or interweaving of my reach with the reach of things. In its exquisite clarity, the experience of Light Rain is simultaneously concrete and transparent. The experience of Light Rain, like PoemOrange and Right Hand, is full of Elusiveness, BodyMind Integration, Synchronicity and Clarity. Yet it brings to light something beyond the sense of Connection and Intertwining between Awareness and Focus. I am not only Intertwined with the raindrop, but through it I am Intern/oven with leaf, air, light, body, ground and sky. The experience of being Interwoven with context is a further dimension of the experience of Connection and Intertwining. It is more than a dialogue. To see beyond the two-dimensional relationship means taking a quantum leap into multi-dimensions. 28 I begin to see a third variable in the Awareness-Focus relationship. To the intimate interdependency of Awareness-Focus I can add the multiple variable of Context. Experience depends not only on the interplay of Awareness and Focus, but on the mutual participation of the Context in which they are embedded. For instance, what if the context does not interweave with Awareness-Focus, but weakens the connection? With Light Rain, I might have been walking down a noisy street and would not have heard the raindrops. I might have been walking through a concrete parking lot where they all sounded the same. I might have been under a covered walkway and would not have felt the raindrops on my skin. The contexts in these cases do not have the potential to bring the Awareness of Light Rain to a height. In Context lies the subtle potential for heightening experience. If a shaft of light had fallen upon my dormant Left Hand or a cool breeze had blown across it, the motions of Context might have sparked an interplay between Focus and Awareness and a heightened experience. Conversely, a Focus might be inherently turned-on but its potential is not completely fulfilled without the mutual support of Context. For instance, when looking at the soft peach glow on the morning horizon, the height of my Awareness depends on the size, shape and details of the window, my position in the room, the sounds and activity at that moment. For each sunrise there is a certain coincidence in the Context which will enhance and potentially heighten Awareness. Context has the capacity to heighten or hinder my Awareness and the experience of Connection. It is a potential capacity because it so intimately depends on the other two players. I now find three dependencies in the experience of Connection. First, my Awareness has the potential for tuning in. Second, the Focus has the potential for heightening Awareness and Context. Third, Context has the potential for heightening Awareness and the Focus. I recall the inextricable Intertwining of the relationship between Awareness and Focus and now multiply the effect by embedding it in a Context of multiple relationships. Experience is not fulfilled without the interdependence and reach of all three players. When Awareness, Focus and Context are supporting and mutually heightening each other there is a highly elusive and integrated instant of clarity. * * * 29 I cannot identify the constituents of such a multifarious and complex tissue as Context. I might point to the tangible qualities such as colour, form, texture or the intangible qualities such as light, sound or air. It is relevant instead, to describe the experience of Context. Beyond Connection and Intertwining there is the experience of Interwovenness. How can I describe the experience of Interwovenness? In PoemOrange I have the very certain sense that a myriad of things; poem, orange, light, birdsong, foghorn are connected for an instant. In Right Hand, 1 have the sense that every minute motion and nerve impulse somehow contributes in concert to a total motion of thought and body. In Light Rain when the raindrop falls on my forehead, I have the sense of a vast context. Something triggers the sensation of a whole interconnected network of sensations. I feel embedded, surrounded and interwoven with context. The experience of Interwovenness is the sudden sense of a field of connections or a web of relationships. The metaphors of field and web are prevalent in the work of recent philosophers and physicists. In Investigation III entitled " O n the Theory of Wholes and Parts" in Logical Investigations, Husserl develops his theory of "sense field." The field comes into relief when there is a "fusion of different moments of sensuous intuition." He describes the fusion as "a peculiarly intimate interconnection which with one stroke brings the whole complex of interpenetrating moments in relief (Abhebung)"^ (Husserl 1970, 452). In his later work Cartesian Meditations, Husserl describes once more the moment when the whole complex emerges in relief. He speaks of particular forms "intertwined with one another and through their universal intertwining tissue, a total effect 29 (Gesamtleistung) is produced" (Husserl 1973, 29). As the word "Gesamtleistung" suggests, the total effect is like a whole interwoven musical "performance." It is more than a sum total of the parts. The experience of field depends on the continuous intertwining of the parts, not on the parts themselves. According to Husserl, the experience of Context and Interwovenness is a total and simultaneous effect "with one stroke." In Field of Consciousness, Aron Gurwitsch develops his field theory of consciousness. He describes the field as a "balanced co-existence of its functional parts in their thoroughgoing 30 interdependence" (Curwitsch 1964, 149). The "functional parts" are more specifically called themes and the "interdependence" is like a figure-ground relationship. He says, "the appearance of a theme must be described as emergence from a f i e l d . ( G u r w i t s c h 1964, 319). The word theme is a good one. As Gurwitsch intends, the theme is not an object and the field does not consist of 31 objects connected. The theme is the theme-of-my-Awareness or Awareness and its Focus. The relationship between the theme (Awareness-Focus) and field (Context) is like a figure emerging from a background. In this way, the theme is not what-it-is without the field and so too the field depends on the nature of the theme. Yet Awareness is continually shifting and streaming and so is Context. I begin to see a dependency which is, not like a fixed figure lodged in a ground, but like a streaming Awareness-Focus interwoven with a streaming Context. To round out the metaphor of field, Gurwitsch says that the themes themselves are fields (Gurwitsch 1964, 320). I begin to see a vast texture like an interwoven field of fields interdependently in motion. With the experience of Light Rain, the raindrop is the theme interwoven with a field of air, sound, leaf, ground, sky, light and sensations of skin. Quantum mechanics emphasizes that the parts are never independent of the whole. The physicist Stapp sees the constitution of the physical world, both at the subatomic and 'visible' levels, not made up of parts but of the relationships between them. He says the physical world is "not a structure built out of independently existing unanalyzable entities, but rather a web of relationships between elements whose meanings arise wholly from their relationships to the whole" (Zukav 1979, 72). Stapp's "web of relationships" echoes the field of vast texture described by Husserl and Gurwitsch. I recall PoemOrange and Light Rain, both experiences of a web, in which the relationships between things seem clearer than the things themselves.-* 2 Mircea Eliade has identified, in Non-Western cultures, numerous descriptions of the web as a binding and integrating force. For example, a passage in the Upanishads says that the world consists of many interpenetrating webs. It proceeds from the question, "If the Waters are a web on which all is woven, on what web are the Waters themselves woven?" The answer is, " O n the air," which in turn is woven on the sky, which in turn is woven on the sun and so on (Eliade 1965, 173). The old 31 Vedic words not only echo Stapp's description of a "web of relationships," but emphasize that a web implies a relationship to something 'more whole,' something beyond. The quantum field theory adopts the word "field" to describe the web of relationships. The field theory physicists see a particle as nothing but an interaction between fields. With this realization, matter itself seems to dissolve away and the field or web of connections becomes the substance of the world. The quantum field theory implies that matter is merely "momentary manifestations of interacting fields which, intangible and insubstantial as they are, are the only real things in the universe" (Zukav 1979, 200). The physicists describe a world consisting of momentary and elusive interactions. A thing has no meaning other than how it is connected momentarily with other things and how it contributes to the field of connections. The physicists emphasize the intangible and momentary nature of the experience of field. The philosophers Merleau-Ponty and Minkowski both echo the certain elusiveness. Merleau-Ponty 3 3 describes his experience of an invisible filigree which disappears when he tries to 'see' it. In his working notes for The Visible and the Invisible he says, "the visible itself has an invisible inner framework (membrure) - one cannot see it there and every effort to see it there makes it disappear. But it is in the line of the visible, it is its virtual focus, it is inscribed within it (a filigree)..." 3 4 (Merleau-Ponty 1966, 215). For Merleau-Ponty, the experience of a field or web of connection is not a matter of will. Like an atmosphere, it is pervasive and present, inscribed between things, but it eludes conscious confrontation. It requires a kind of seeing which is not direct and intense, but indirect and relaxed. Minkowski also describes the fleeting nature of the invisible filigree. When he discusses the connection and penetration of time (becoming) with the ego, he describes something in motion, palpitating in its depth. He sees "something elusive which always escapes the curious looks of knowledge; like a fine spider web, it is reduced to dust as soon as we think we have it between our fingers...yet we feel it to be the true source of our life" (Minkowski 1970, 52). Both Merleau-Ponty and Minkowski emphasize that the experience of Interwovenness may be of the utmost certainty but 32 it is neither stable nor static, neither fixed nor coarse. It is as fine as a filigree and as fleeting as a spider web. * * * The experience of Interwovenness might seem far removed from the 'ordinary' 3^ experience of everyday living. It might seem like a poetic experience, extraordinary and esoteric, rather than ordinary and accessible. Yet I remind myself that I am a field. The experience of my own body is the experience of a field. In the Bhagavad Cita, the ancient text of Hinduism, Chapter XIII holds the words; "This body is called the Field, and he who knows it is called the Knower of the Field" (Feuerstein 1980, 128). The passage goes on to explain that the body-field is really the BodyMind or complex. It supports Curwitsch's claim that consciousness itself is a field. The complex Interwovenness of the BodyMind field is described by the poet Denise Levertov. She sees "the human being as one in which all the parts are so related that none completely fulfills its function unless all are active" (Levertov 1960, 6). I experience the inter-relationships of the parts when I have a surge of emotional or mental energy and I feel a total effect like an emanation at all levels of myself, even at the cellular level. I find that I am living intimately close with the sense of field. The web of connections is an immediate and familiar experience. The experience of Intertwining and the sense of reach can now be multiplied to become the total field effect. My reach is like a field which overlaps and intertwines with the reach-field of a vast context of things. With the experience of Connection, for an instant, the whole interwoven texture comes into relief. It is an experience of Interwovenness which involves the simultaneous total effect and the shifting and elusive theme. It involves a web of relationships consisting of fleeting threads and momentary f ields. 3 ^ The next chapter begins to describe the fleeting and subtle nature of the experience of Interwovenness. C H A P T E R F O U R EXPERIENCE O F FINE R E S O N A N C E 34 Thursday, September 8, 1988, 2 p.m. I sit in the sun reading, and pause at the end of a chapter where the page is half words and half white glaring in the brilliant light. Just when my thoughts are turning over in the hot air, I come to the blank of the page. I look down and see a tiny fly in the middle of the blankness surrounded by blaring white. So quick did it alight that I did not see it happen. The great expanse of white light around the tiny form sharpens its exquisiteness. Its diaphanous wings are almost transparent except, on the very edge of visibility, I see a few fine silver veins like fine filaments catching the sunlight. The angle of the sun is just right to cast on the page between the fly and my body a shadow of wings, a web of filaments of the utmost fineness. I realize that the same clear light which is casting this exquisite shadow is also surrounding me. This utterly accurate light and fine air is touching the skin of my face, my body. The fly very very slightly quivers in the air and I wonder if it is the motions from my breathing but I realize I am holding my breath. As quick as he came, he is gone. I am face to face with an empty white page. The experience of the Fly for me exemplifies something beyond the experience of Interwovenness. It is more than a spatially conceived interweaving of my Awareness with fly (Focus) and field (Context). The fly signifies an interweaving in time. The power of the experience depends on my sitting in this particular chair in this particular frame of mind on this particular page of the book at this particular instant. It depends on the clarity of the air, the strength of the light, the position of the sun and the whole context being just-so at this particular instant. Lastly, it depends on the fly appearing just at this same particular instant. The experience involves synchronicity. The 35 next instant my frame of mind and my Awareness may be out-of-synch with the other factors, the context may be shifted slightly and the fly gone altogether. What I have described as a coming together in 'time' requires a finer examination. 1 will first set aside the word 'time' as a concept which tends to connote the regular tick-tock of measured time. As I live, I do not watch time ticking or flowing past separate from myself. I seem to be in the flow. When I reach the end of the chapter on this September afternoon I experience a change of pace in the stream of my Awareness, but the stream does not stop. The words have ceased to shape my thoughts, but I am now looking at the white page and feeling the sun in my eyes. When I watch the motions of my Awareness, I find it is continuous and never still. There is no break in the flow to allow me to 'see time' from a distance. I realize I do not experience 'time' as I think of it conceptually outside me. I experience a stream of rhythms, pulses or instants of change and transformation which is the motion of my Awareness. Yet, my Awareness does not 'create' the stream. My Awareness is highly interdependent and interwoven with the stream of the Focus and the stream of the Context. I begin to see a complex and intricate interweaving which is temporally most fragile. The experience of Interwovenness is more than.a fixed and durable web. It is dynamic. The experience so far called Connection, Intertwining, and Interwoven now gains a further dimension. It is the experience of the quick, fine shifts and rhythms of the web. Where the experience of Intertwining is a two-dimensional discussion (Awareness-Focus), the experience of Interwovenness gains multidimensions with the introduction of Context (Awareness-Focus-Context). Unfortunately the metaphor of interwoven web tends to imply connections which are merely spatial. The web will now take a leap into the realm of temporal connections. It is a difficult leap. I leave the safety of my habitually spatial conceptions and begin to see connections in terms of the motions and rhythms of change. In this light they are highly intangible and fleeting. Within the continual stream of transformation, the visitation of the fly is experienced as an instant of incredible synchronicity. 3® The pulse of my Awareness, the pulse of the fly and the pulse of the context come into unison for one instant. Minkowski, in his work Lived Time, describes the 36 instant as a "vital contact with reality." His experience of the unison of pulses and transformations he calls "lived synchronism" or "the faculty of advancing harmoniously with ambient becoming" (Minkowski 1970, 65). When I see the interwoven web as an ambience and its continuous shifting as "ambient becoming," then Minkowski's description gains a height of meaning. The experience of synchronicity-^ involves advancing harmoniously with a continually moving web of connections. It is durations of things, rather than merely spatial connections, which become harmonious. They gain a mutual rhythm or resonance. This I will call the experience of Fine Resonance. * * * When the fly alights on the white page there is a sense of the 'coming into unison' of heights of things and that each height is a height because of the others. The poised suspension of my Awareness at the end of the page is a height which connects with the heightened presence of the tiny fly which depends upon the exact position of the sun and the clarity of the air which in turn heightens my Awareness. The interdependency which I have called the experience of Intertwining does not have a continuous hold. When the sun moves slightly, the air shifts, my Awareness moves to another page and the intertwining changes in an instant to another interdependency. I begin to realize that connections and intertwinings exist only as interdependent transformations. Any transformation in one thing affects any number of transformations in a simultaneous kind of total effect, a resonance. The experience of the rise-and-fall, the on-and-off, the in-and-out rhythms of the interdependences between things is recognized in Buddhist philosophy. In the Shurangama Sutra, the Buddha speaks of the mixing and uniting of the elements. Firstly, he says that the transformations of mixing necessarily involve interdependency. It involves "a process of transformation in which they depend on one another for existence from beginning to end." Secondly, he describes the continual flux of the interdependency; "in the course of the transformation they are produced and extinguished, being born and then dying and then being born...The process is like water becoming ice and ice becoming water" (Hua 1980, 135). I begin to 37 see connections as instantaneous crystallizations which only tooquickly melt away. Connections become rarefied and the web becomes diaphanous and lively. When the raindrops create instantaneous sensations on my skin, it is much like the quick presence of the tiny fly. Each raindrop, like the fly, creates an instant full of very subtle Awareness. Each height or brief alertness disappears in a blink like the fly. Between the raindrops a soft and restrained rhythm emerges. My context has a pulse of its own. The height-and-interval-and-height rhythm begins to fit with the pulse and rhythms of my own body, skin, motion and sound. An interwoven web of rhythms begins to emerge as a connected unison. It is an experience of interwovenness by virtue of rhythms and transformations. The experience of Fine Resonance sees the interwoven field, which surrounds and includes me, as variable, pulsing and flickering. The new physics sees the basic stuff of the physical world in the same light. According to particle physics, I am embedded in "a world of sparkling energy forever dancing with itself in the form of its particles as they twinkle in and out of existence, collide, transmute and disappear again" (Zukav 1979, 194). The sparkling world view challenges the view of a static and visible world and supports an experience of transforming connections, diaphanous and lively, twinkling and sparkling. At the very instant when the fly alights between the sun and my body, my thoughts are suspended at the end of a chapter, between thoughts. The fly also seems suspended in the middle of the blazing white page. The sun casts an exquisite shadow between my body and the body of the fly. My breath is between breaths, my body rhythms between pulses. The quivering air and the quivering shadow are suspended. The instant has an atmosphere of suspension. I can identify a feeling or atmosphere which holds the experience together like a thread which runs through it. The experience of Light Rain has a different kind of atmosphere or thread which I might describe as soft rhythms. Even in highly elusive and delicate instants there are certain qualities (surely more than one) which are in unison, not like things but like motions in unison. The total effect of the field is vast but 'everything' does not enter into the experience. The experience of the fly does not involve my 38 toenails, the cat next door or the pot on the stove. It involves similar transformations coming into resonance like vibrations of the same shape coming into relief for an instant. The sense of resonance might be compared to the behaviour of sound waves. Two waves of similar frequencies will vibrate in unison. The more similar the frequencies, the more perfect is the unison or resonance. However, the metaphor of sound resonance does not satisfy the instantaneous and ephemeral in the experience of fine resonances. Quantum physicists have identified resonances infinitely finer than vibrations at the gross level of sound. They describe the interactions of subatomic particles as the flow of energy in a specific pattern or channel. In the midst of the reaction, or flow, there is an intermediate state which makes the channel of energy vibrate and resonate when it reaches a certain level. The intermediate state is not so much a particle as particle-in-transformation. It is "extremely short lived and so ephemeral it is called a resonance" (Capra 1983, 291). In the midst of transformation there is a resonance. Quantum physicists have described the crystallization and integration which, like a resonance, comes into clarity and fullness for an elusive and evanescent instant.4*' * * * Like the quivering of the fly, the interplay of Awareness, Focus and Context is continually in flux even in the most subtle and invisible ways. I find neither stability, coarseness nor completeness, but only fineness. What does the experience of the fineness mean for the cultivation of Awareness? It means that Awareness is meticulous enough to detect subtle transformations and rhythms. It does not mean that the physical sensory mechanisms are hypersensitized. It means that the complex and highly integrated process of Awareness is sensitive and finely tuned. In Right Hand when I detect the subtle differences in temperature of the paper under my hand, it is not because my skin has hypersensitive nerve endings. My sense mechanisms are roughly constant (within reason) with anyone else's. It is my Awareness which keenly detects and measures the fine changes of temperature, subtle textures and tiny motions. It involves a relaxed kind of precision, a lightness, which I have found in Italo Calvino's sense of "exactitude." Calvino opens the third memo of his Six  Memos for the Next Milennium with the ancient Egyptian goddess of the scales, Maat (Calvino 1988, 39 54). The hieroglyph for Maat stands for feather which is the increment of measurement used when weighing souls. The experience of fineness involves an Awareness which has the lightness, quickness and exactitude of the incremental feather. The experience of fineness involves a specific scale of focus. It is a focus on the small scale details of things, sensations or sounds. The experience of Right Hand involves the tiniest motions of shadow, of finger on pen and muscle at the shoulder. The experience of Tiny Fly involves the barely visible silver veins of the wings. Gaston Bachelard realizes the power of minute detail. In his chapter on "Miniature" in The Poetics of Space, he discusses how "the miniscule, a narrow gate, opens up an entire w o r l d " 4 1 (Bachelard 1958, 155). An experience of fineness involves a detailed microscopic focus which acts as a key to a world beyond. The key to the experience of a vast field, is something very close, very fine and small enough for my sense of certainty. Perhaps I feel at home with the small detail because it corresponds to the scale of my body with which I am familiar. Yet the experience of Fine Resonance does not only describe a world of detailed 'objects.' It describes the Focus of Awareness which is not necessarily an object, but might be a rhythm or a pulse. With the finely scaled, I might see the 'passing of time' in terms of a stream of continual tiny transformations. As Bachelard says, the experience of miniature requires "ears subtle enough to hear the flow (coule) of t i m e " 4 2 (Bachelard 1958, 167). I begin to see, and hear, the subtle transformations of my Awareness as they coalesce briefly with the myriad motions and fragile rhythms of my context. * * * What I have described first as the experience of Connection has been clarified and refined to become the experience of Intertwining which in turn has been clarified to become the experience of Interwovenness which has been further clarified to become the experience of Fine Resonance. It is a cumulative progression for the sake of clarity. The fourth experience is the first, but in terms of a more explicit and detailed description. When I experience Connection, I am experiencing Fine Resonance. They are merely two names for the same experience. I will adopt the name Experience to emphasize that it includes all four descriptions. 40 Four Qualities of Experience I will close the Theoria of Experience with a description of the four recurring qualities; Elusiveness, BodyMind Integration, Synchronicity and Clarity, as they have cumulated through the previous chapters. 4 '* Because the qualities emerge from the experiential descriptions of PoemOrange, Right Hand and Light Rain, they are not conceptual properties or analytical characteristics. Each quality is an experience itself. For example, with Light Rain 1 experience Bodymind Integration which itself is a quality of the greater experience of Interwovenness. Each quality can be seen as the experience of Experience. The experience of the Elusive is strongly pervasive in Experience. Like the fly alighting for an instant on my page, it is gone before I have fully realized it. I feel that, beyond my reach, there is something 'more complete.' Husserl explains that I can never completely grasp Experience because I am in its flow. He says that, "the whole stream of my experience is a unity of experiences of which it is in principle impossible 'swimming with it' to obtain a complete perceptual grasp (erfassung)" 4 4 (Husserl 1962, 127). Any 'grasp' of experience is a glance back (ruckblick) while it flows onward. The sense of incompleteness comes from things flowing t o o quickly and minutely for Awareness to grasp. Husserl's word "erfassung," translated as grasp, means first "to understand" and second "to seize." There is a tension and anxiety involved in grasping. The seizing action comes from an unbalanced mental effort to understand or to analyze (limited awareness). When I relax the natural tendency to grasp, there is an acquiescence which seems to bring me closer to the unwilled in Experience. I am not trying to understand. I am not trying to seize. I am allowing the Experience to present itself to my integrated Bodymind (full Awareness). Finding an integrated Awareness means relaxing the grasping action and suspending much of my mental faculties. It does not mean I deny the play of logic, speculation, anticipation, analysis, presupposition, judgement or recollection, but merely relax what habitually dominates my awareness of things. In Chapter XVI of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu speaks of a mind vacuous and tranquil when it is free of the tangle of the biased and unbalanced. 4 ^ Ku-Ying Ch'en, an interpreter of the Tao, 41 emphasizes that vacuity is "not an empty mind, but rather a mind wholly free from prejudice" (Ch'en 1981, 111). It means I find a balance and fine blend of physical sensation with mental mechanism. With an integrated Awareness in place of a biased awareness, I can begin to relax with the incomplete and accept it as inherent to Experience. The Elusive in Experience involves a mysterious and tantalizing sense of something beyond my will. Like the raindrop on my forehead, it catches me by surprise. I feel a lack of control over its source and its duration. I cannot willfully turn it on or turn it off. I do not intend the fly to alight on my page. The raindrop and the fly are objects of Focus which inherently are beyond my control. So too, I am at the mercy of many qualities of the Context. The position of the sun and the motions of the sky are beyond my control. Of the Awareness-Focus-Context interdependency, there is only one player which I can willfully regulate; my Awareness. Bodily and mindfully, my own Awareness is something I can actively and consciously tune-in. Because of the intimate interdependency of the three players, willful Awareness is never an isolated activity, but is mutually active with the unwilled Focus and Context. In Experience there is both the sense of the willed and the unwilled. It is like a close coincidence between the intended sensitivity of Awareness and the soft surprise of the unexpected. The confluence of the willed and the unwilled has been described by Dogen, founder of the Japanese Soto Zen Buddhist sect, in one of the central concepts of his philosophy; "shusho." Shu means discipline, study and cultivation (Shaner 1985, 136). Shu is the assiduous tuning-in involved in the cultivation of Awareness. It is the minute detections of transformation in sight, sound and touch. It is the intense focus on small detail like isolating out one instrument out of an entire symphony. If shu stood alone, it would mean merely training toward a goal. Yet Dogen emphasizes that shu does not stand alone, but exists in combination with sho. Sho means proof, evidence and authentication. 4* 1 Sho is the unwilled instant of Experience. It is the powerful and synchronistic instant which, without a doubt, is a validation and confirmation of something extraordinary. Shusho means the close coincidence of cultivation and authentication. 42 Shusho tells me that there is a subtle distinction between willed 'training' and the unwilled, unexpected instant. The fine tuning of my Awareness is not a preparation for something beyond or a means toward a goal. How do shu and sho live together within Experience? Is it possible that the unwilled and the willed are much more closely and finely related than I have habitually grown to think? Perhaps the unwilled instant catches me by surprise because I am habitually unfamiliar with it. I am more acquainted with being in control of my situation and grasping for understanding. What if the unwilled instant of connection becomes a 'natural' activity of everyday mind? The finely tuned willed detections of Awareness might become a familiar 'skill.' Just as the discipline involved in learning to play the violin at some point falls away, so too the fine tuning of Awareness might become subconscious or more accurately, "sedimented" 4 ' 7 (Shaner 1985, 62). Then the diligent and keenly focussed tuning of Awareness might approach a more relaxed and unwilled 'activity.' Then the distinction between the unwilled and the willed might begin to dissolve. Experience might become integrated with everyday living. The instant might be less of a surprise and more of a familiar alertness. The ordinary might approach the extraordinary. The merging of the willed with the unwilled is best recognized in the state of play. The Soto Master Yasutani compares play to "samadhi." He says samadhi means "to live with the spontaneity and joy of children at play. This is what is meant by a samadhi of innocent delight. Samadhi is complete absorption" (Kapleau 1965, 82). The powerful coincidence of spontaneity with intense absorption results in effortless concentration. In Experience there is a fine interplay of 'grasping' with 'relaxation' and of cultivation with authentication. It is a subtle acquiescence with the Elusive. 4® * * * Pervasive in Experience is a heightened integration of BodyMind. The experience of PoemOrange involves acute taste, touch, sight and sound. The experience of Light Rain involves acute skin sensations, hearing, bodily motions, sight and smell. My Awareness of the physical senses becomes sharp and vivid, highly sensitive and delicate. Paul Shepard describes the experience of sensitized Awareness when he says the epidermis is "ecologically like a pond surface or a forest soil, not a shell so much as a delicate interpenetration. It reveals the self as ennobled and extended" 43 (Shepard 1969, 2). It seems that all my senses, not any one over another, gain this kind of subtlety and ennoblement. The sense of vision is important, but unlike my natural (habitual) negotiations with things, it is not the primary one. In fact the visual sense takes on a strange kind of seeing beyond the visible; transparency. Furthermore, it is not only the five external senses which come into play. Experience includes the internal sensations of pulse, breath, body temperature, nerve and muscle. Beyond the body and its sensing mechanisms is the experience of body-as-a-whole. The fly on the page heightens my sense of body in chair, facing south, in relation to shadow, sun and ground. The sense of body-as-a-whole includes, but is beyond, sensual awareness. It is the sense of bodily centre. Bollnow speaks of the natural zero-point of lived-space (Bollnow 1967, 179). I experience the world from my zero-point as it surrounds me, emanating outward, as if I am the centre of the web. My body gains a kind of weight like being held on the ground, under the sky, in relation to the sun, surrounded by Context. Beyond the sensing mechanisms and the bodily centre is the experience of an equilibrium of body with mind. It is the sense that everything, not only physical, but more-than-physical, has come into play in a finely integrated way. In my natural (habitual) state, one faculty dominates over others. The balance is skewed. The interplay is coarse. When I see Left Hand as a visible object, my awareness is biased. It is primarily visual at the expense of the other senses. When I label a sunrise as 'beautiful,' my awareness is coarse. It involves the mental faculties of generalization and classification at the expense of a more subtle and integrated experience. The unbiased Awareness involves an equilibrium of physical senses with the relaxed play of thought, judgement, speculation. A balance is reached. The interplay is fine. When the fly alights on my white page, I feel highly present bodily and equally present mindfully. With exquisite integration there is a sense that Awareness is more than my Self, physical plus non-physical. Awareness seems to gain a reach or emanating effect which interweaves with Focus and Context. When discussing the punctum, which has all the qualities of Experience, Barthes describes an expanding effect and the sense of a field beyond. For him, it is "a kind of subtle beyond-field (hors-champ) toward the absolute excellence of 44 being, body and soul together (mele)" 4 9 (Barthes 1981, 59). Barthes' use of the word "mele" is finely appropriate. He speaks of the mingling and blending of the corporeal and the psychic. I find a strong parallel between the experience of Bodymind and the experience of "abhishyandita-kaya-citta" which is central to Mahayana Buddhism. "Abhishyandita" means dissolution, "kaya" means body and "citta" means mind. D.T.Suzuki describes the experience as one in which "we are no more conscious of the distinction between mind and body" (Suzuki 1959, xxxi). He goes on to say that "it is the natural state in which we were born." Having been a child once, I feel the presence of Bodymind experience. It is when I can no longer distinguish a thought from a sensation and a sensation from a thought. A thought becomes more like a sensation when it is unwilled. The sensation of touch, like the raindrop on my skin, is not willed or imposed upon my Awareness. It comes to my Awareness. So too, a thought can be allowed to just present itself, like the raindrop, rather than be imposed upon Awareness. Conversely, a sensation becomes more like a thought when it involves a willed focus. Thoughts are habitually the focus of my awareness. Yet, a sensation can be allowed to enter the highly focussed centre of Awareness. The relaxed thoughts seem to gain the multidimensions of texture, colour, temperature of sensation. The focussed sensations seem to gain an exactitude and streaming quality of thought. The utter complexity and expansiveness of my thought processes seem to interweave with the highly specific and located mechanisms of my bodily sensations. * * * Experience involves a sense of Synchronicity. It is the feeling of many motions 'coming into unison' and connecting at once, instantaneously. The fly may have touched the white page for a few seconds, but the experience of connection itself is immeasurable in terms of the clock's motions. It is immeasurable in its utter briefness and its suspended, timeless quality. It is also immeasurable in its utter fullness and its intimation of an overflowing, streaming context. Roland Barthes identifies the coincidence of both qualities, brief and full, in the punctum which he describes as "at the same time brief and active, like a wild beast he ld"^ 1 (Barthes 1981, 49). He speaks of a contained wildness in a tiny stillpoint and thus identifies the two qualities of briefness and fullness in 45 simultaneity. The experience of Synchronicity involves both the sense of a delicate instant and the sense of a rushing stream. The delicate and evanescent instant seems to be accidental. Paul Valery describes the poetic state as "completely irregular, inconsistent, involuntary and fragile, and we lose it, as we find it, by accident" (Valery 1958, 60). Perhaps it feels accidental because the causal and successive properties of time have fallen away. The unpredictable and unexpected instant is outside my habitual insecurity which likes to know that 'this is because of this is because of this...' Jung emphasizes that synchronicity is the dissolution of causal relationships and involves meaningful coincidences which are acausal (Jung 1960, 426). The instant of synchronicity is fragile and precarious. The delicate instant seems to be suspended. Like the brief alertness of raindrop on skin, at first it is a cool and clear sensation. It lingers for an instant then it is gone. The clarity quickly slips away. Yet, it is precisely the power of the clarity which suspends and isolates it from the stream of my Awareness and my Context. The synchronistic instant is a stillpoint in the motions of things. Yet the instant seems to bring into presence a stream potentially full of other instants of power. The stream is a metaphor used widely to describe the continuous flow of Awareness.^ 2 The instant in its stream emphasizes that Experience is dynamic and fluid and seems to move so quickly and deeply that it eludes me except by accident. Through the instant, I catch a glimpse of the quickness and depth of the stream and in that instant, there is an experience of fullness. It is much like the visitation of the fly when, around one tiny thing there gathers the integration and resonance of a myriad of things. It is the sense of something vast and overflowing like a streaming web. When Kukai, founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism, describes his experience of something "in toto," he likens it to the feeling of "water overflowing" (Shaner 1985, 124). Similarily, Mircea Eliade describes the state of samadhi, or the one-pointedness of effortless concentration, as a paradoxical state which "empties being and thought and at the same time fills both to sateity" (Eliade 1969, 118). Eliade emphasizes that the feeling of over-fullness is coincident with the precarious quality of emptiness. The experience of Synchronicity involves both the evanescent and the full. 46 Pervasive in Experience is the sense of heightened Clarity. It is more than sharpness in the visual sense. It seems to be a clarity of Awareness in the integrated sense. With the experience of PoemOrange, the clarity seems crystalline. It is very sharp, vivid and certain at the same time it has a rarefied atmosphere like a transparency. Husserl implies the same coincidence of certainty and transparency when he describes "intuition," a faculty similar to the experience of Bodymind. In Ideas, he says that "intuition is endowed with a feeling of clearness (Klarheitsgefuhl)"^ (Husserl 1962, 79). A more precise translation of "Klarheitsgefuhl" is revealing. "Klarheit" means clearness in the sense of lucidity or unmediated seeing. "Gefuhl" means feeling in the sense of touch or concrete feeling. In the experience of Clarity, there is a powerful coincidence of both concrete certainty and lucid transparency. The experience of certainty involves a vividness which is highly concrete. With heightened bodily Awareness there is a physical sense of an utterly concrete world. Yet it is more than a physical kind of certainty. It is a hardness or concreteness beyond the senses. Wittgenstein in Tractatus  Logico-Philosophicus describes the "a priori order of the world" as something utterly concrete. He speaks of "the purest crystal, something concrete as the most concrete, as it were the hardest thing there is" (Weitz 1977, 36). Wittgenstein describes an inner or mindful certainty. There is no doubt in the power of the Experience. With the experience of transparency l seem to see through things. I find an intangible world of fine resonances which cannot be exclusively seen, touched, heard or tasted except by all in concert. In my experience of Right Hand, there is a fine interplay of senses, motions and thoughts. The hardness of the left hand view seems to dissolve away to reveal the inner or non-visible workings of things. There is a dissolution of visible surfaces so that things seem to be more rarefied and luminous. The luminosity already described by Sontag is strongly present in Buddhist experience. Tibetan Buddhists describe an experience in which "all that appears to exist...is nothing but the luminosity of the sems (mind)" (Tucci 1980, 65). The luminosity is not of the light of the sun, for 47 that merely illuminates the surface of things. The Buddhists describe a light which is not visual and not even physical, but they emphasize that the things themselves do not lose their physicality. Just as my Right Hand itself is not detecting subtle changes in temperature, so too it does not itself dissolve into transparency. The fineness and the luminosity is a quality of my Awareness, not of the Focus. Yet it is coincident with highly tuned physicality that there is a dissolution of substance and Awareness becomes clear. The Clarity of Experience is a coincidence of the rarefied with the concrete. Like Minkowski's spider web, it is transparent but made out of the strongest substance imaginable. Perhaps the clarity itself comes from an Awareness which is clean like an immaculate mirror. Dogen, Soto Master, describes awareness which is habitual and limited as one which is concerned with "the dusty world" (Shaner 1985, 137). With the experience of Clarity I can begin to see beyond the dust and obscurity to a world as fine as the transparent filaments of the fly's quivering wings. * * * I have noticed again and again in working with the qualities of Experience a special kind of behaviour. Each quality does not stand alone, but merges so inseparably with the other qualities, it becomes difficult to isolate each. For example, the experience of Bodymind strongly includes Elusiveness, Synchronicity and Clarity. There is an interdependence between the qualities which is surprisingly analogous to the whole Experience they describe. I call it the phenomenon of Indra's Net. A Buddhist Sutra describes "an exquisite spiral shaped net suspended over Indra's palace...on each hole of the net is a bright pearl and all the pearls inter-reflect" (Hua 1982, 195). Each pearl or part-of-the-whole manifests the whole. Christopher Alexander has found the phenomenon of Indra's Net in the fifteen fundamental properties he uses to describe "the field of centres"^ 4 (Alexander 1988). Italo Calvino's six memos show the same phenomenon. Although he silently implies that the six qualities describe one single quality, he does not give it a n a m e ^ (Calvino 1988). What is central to all the descriptors cannot be broken down into isolated qualities. The qualities themselves inherently contain the whole and therefore, all the other qualities. 48 The dissolution of categories emerges as a theme throughout the experience of Experience. For instance, there is a recurring coincidence of opposites. 1 find the coincidence of the willed and the unwilled, the grasping and the relaxed, the physical and the nonphysical, the stream and the instant, the delicate and the full, the concrete and the transparent. The presence of extremes and tensions is habitually considered to be paradoxical and contradictory. Yet the extremes are not concepts opposing one another like clashing forces. The 'extremes' are experiences and their motions are part of the dynamics of Experience. There is an oscillation between opposites which is like a fine vibration so that the limits between them dissolve and they merge. Mircea Eliade describes the phenomenon of the union of opposites or "coincidentia oppositorium" as a hint of primordial totality which is "a plenitude containing all potentialities" (Eliade 1965, 115). It is like the emotion I feel sometimes which is most acute and fine; one of simultaneous delight and sadness. The experience of the fine motions of extremes is not one of paradox or tension. It comes from briefly touching my whole Awareness. Experience may be brief, acute and fine but it is not necessarily extraordinary. The Latin root for extraordinary is "extra ordinem; outside the usual order." Experience is extraordinary only if ordinary living is the "usual order" of habits and limited awareness. As shusho emphasizes, Experience is not outside the ordinary if the motions of living are considered to be potentially full of the brief, acute and fine. Experience might become integrated with everyday living. Yet I cannot willfully try to change my usual order. The punctum of Connection cannot be applied, contrived or fabricated. It can only be spontaneously lived. When I begin to live spontaneously with an experiential stance, the ordinary approaches the extraordinary. Living (and designing) change shape on deep and reverberating levels. I begin to find puncta in an orange or a fly, in the spoon with which I eat my soup, in the baskets on the window shelf and in the broom with which I sweep up the crumbs, in the simple action of turning on the light switch, opening the window and hanging up the laundry... PART T W O THE PRAXIS A N D THESIS OF DESIGN EXPERIENCE 50 Part Two is the Praxis and the Thesis of Design Experience. Where Part One is the Theoria of Experience as generic, embracing all facets of living, Part Two focusses specifically on one facet of Experience; the Design Experience. Where the Theoria of Experience is about oranges, poems, hands, rain and flies, the Praxis and the Thesis of Design Experience are about window sills, chairs, thresholds, rooms and walls. The change of focus is directed toward the built environment. As I will discuss in the Thesis, the difference between Experience and Design Experience springs from the instant of connection. With Experience the instant or punctum is powerful, but it is not necessarily an impulse toward making manifest built form. With PoemOrange, the punctum stays with me but it does not motivate me to design a room. Design Experience, on the other hand, involves an instant of connection (design punctum) which is highly, motivating and propels me to manifest the experience in the form of a sill, wall or room.-' ' 3 Design Experience involves a vast context with social, cultural, material and functional facets. I have chosen to focus on one facet of that context; the natural context?7 What distinguishes natural context from other facets of architectural context? 1 am not focussing on the facet of context which consists of the people, family and community around me ('social'). I am not focussing on the facet of context which consists of the flux of societal habits which shape my thought and action ('cultural'). The facet of context which I am calling natural is my relationship with the grain of the air, the flux of the sky or the colour of the horizon. I am focussing on the natural facet, but I am not excluding the other facets. The experience of a vast web of context means I can focus on one facet and still see the others in the margins of my Awareness.^® I might define natural context as that which is of-nature which surrounds me and interweaves with my experience of built form. The word 'nature' itself does not describe this facet of context. Nature is an abstract term which usually connotes visible things such as vegetation and land forms. It omits that which is non-visual and disregards the play of all my bodily senses. The facet of context which I am calling natural is best described by the Japanese word "Fudo." It literally means 'wind-earth,' but connotatively means "the natural ambience of place" (Liman 1988, 3). The natural ambience includes the play of sky, earth, light, air, wind, sound, smell, texture, form and colour all 5 1 interwoven in concert. The natural ambience does not necessarily exclude what is man-made. Because light and sound cannot be experienced except through what they touch, I cannot extricate the man-made totally from the natural. The experience of natural context will include, for instance, the light which falls on the wall of my neighbour's house and the rooflines, poles and wires on the horizon. My definition of natural context is therefore, the natural ambience which interweaves with the built form and my Awareness. When the Experience of natural context is finely tuned, l find that from it springs a Design Experience full of respect for the specifics of context. It is a Design Experience embedded in the subtlety and richness of a fading peach glow on the horizon just after sunrise, the dynamic oscillations from sharp to soft shadow on a wall in the late morning, or a white sky casting an exquisite sheen in the early afternoon in autumn. The following five examples are my documentation of the Praxis of Design Experience as generated by fine experience of natural context. According to the Greek meaning of the word, "praxis" is the doing of experience as opposed to theorizing about it. The Praxis consists of a series of five examples in practice; Afternoon Sill, Latemorning Shadows, Sunrise Lightpatterns, Sunrise Circle and Sunrise Sounds. Each begins with an experiential-description in words. The experiences are based upon the journal entries which I recorded daily over a period of two years .^ They are highly specific to my daily life, home and workplace. The design explorations specific to each experiential description therefore, involve my immediate environment as I have come to know it deeply through the process of learning about Experience and fine tuning Awareness. The design explorations appear in sketch form as they happened spontaneously (unedited) alongside each experiential descr ipt ion.^ What I am calling Design Experience does not begin with the sketch. It begins with Experience as recorded in the initial experiential description. In this way, finely tuned Experience is the ground for Design Experience. 52 THE PRAXIS 53 The Praxis stands as a record of Design Experience in its early stages. The Design Experience does not begin with the sketch, but with Experience as evident in the experiential description. Afternoon Sill, Latemorning Shadows, Sunrise Lightpatterns, Sunrise Circle, Sunrise Sound are all Design Experiences which involve finely tuned Awareness and are consistent with Experience as described in the Theoria. Each Design Experience is testimony to the transformation which takes place in the design process when it begins with refined Experience of natural context. The following Thesis is generated both by the Theoria and the Praxis. The Theoria provides the generic experiential ground for the Thesis. Where the Theoria is a progression from the experience of connection to the experience of fine resonance, so too the Thesis runs parallel in order to emphasize the intimate association between Design Experience and Experience. The Thesis is a description of Design Experience. It is not an argument or a proposal. It is merely a discourse on the role of the Experience of Connection in design. When I use the word 'design' I mean the creative and exploratory process by which the built form is manifested. When finely tuned Experience plays a part in the process, it becomes what I am calling Design Experience. I will describe Design Experience according to the following qualities: a poignant design trigger (punctum); a mutual co-presence of actual with potential experience, a subtle rhythm of focus with emanation; and spontaneous continuity. The Keys to the Sketches Each Design Experience of the Praxis is keyed like a map so that any piece of a sketch exploration can be located in terms of coordinates (vertical axis = letters and horizontal axis = numbers). For instance, in the Thesis when I am discussing the Design Experience of Sunrise Circle, I use the reference (C/12) to point to a specific sketch within the design exploration of Sunrise Circle. The sketch can be found at the intersection of the vertical axis at C with the horizontal axis at 12. A 3 1 XT ; OA P 5 Friday February 26 1988, noon: There is a hush of siow and gentle rain on the soft earth below the window. It is a single tall window in the corner of this small office. Midday in late winter I sit writing at my table. I look up from my paper. My face is held by the lower pane of the window My eyes rest on the west horizon. There is a thin slice of air just above the sill and I can hear now and then the clarity of single raindrops against the distant hush. The full branches of a pine tree reach across the light of the window. The closest needles almost touch the glass. The-rain is just now fading into a new afternoon stillness. Slowly the great dense cloud is lifting, the dimness dissolving. Here, the light cast on my paper is brightening, but so subtly the room hardly notices. I look up to the sky and see the gray turning pale almost to the verge of white. Gradually and evenly the sky is holding more light almost to the verge of luminosity. The air is clearer and finer but in the refinement there Is still a thickness. The pace of things is restrained. There is a dull edge to this light and this moment. 5 b 1 4 My eyes penetrate beyond frame and glass\ ^ to the tangle of sky, branches, needles. In this pale gray atmosphere the green needles are deep green. Along each is a fine line of white sky. The last drops of rain hang like tiny pieces of sky, holding light The needles, the raindrops, the sill, hold a sheen of soft clarity. It is not the hard shine I have seen on clear days hitting and bouncing off things. This white light here seems to sink into surfaces, absorbed. It emanates gently. It curves around edges and softens the line between light and shadow. But now I sense the grain of the air coming heavier and closer around the walls of the building. The smell of the moist earth faintly fills the room and mingles here with the must of old books and paper. The light is growing too weak to penetrate the glass as it touches my pale face, hands, paper. The room is somber and half-dark. I look up to see the sky close, thick and lead-gray, losing its luminosity. The sheen has lost its clarity now. / WWlNtrtilfM' Xif>. 5" 7 i urn. li- ft U<"K j ' • ' w dtftir wfa ton} jintj Ifa sty , ' If tin/1 X v X , X Y tow*1 one. i -.t PL-i i: V. 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V ' ' ' V p | ' - r - T ; ai t ; A T 11 . . . j -f l 4f- 4 5 -0 s 2S a: 4- 3 t 8t ?0> Friday, September 16, 11 a.m. Here at my table in the heart of the house' I look through to the northeast corner of the quiet morning room. Great clouds must be racing across the sky as one minute the sunlight is bare and the next shrouded. The unseen sun is rising to its height. It is in a place quintessential for the white wall of that far northeast corner in this midmorning's motions of light. Now I see a clear full light strike the wall and etch mullions, shelf, and old baskets sharp and dark. Quick, the light begins to pale and the hard shadows dissolve to wash the wall, soft. , Now the vague light (orjs it shadow?) is solidifying again. The bright light and the dark structure appears concisely. Now, as my eyes expect, the wall transforms into faded light and amorphous soft grays. I enter the rhythms of the fluctuating morning. Now, the sun is bare, the light direct and full. The dust on the sills cast shadows. Every fine grain in the air is present. An oblique shadow cuts across the window jamb, sharp and dark. The white wall is a hard surface. The sunlight hits it and bounces off, leaving stark pieces, highly white, between shadows. A pattern of baskets is etched with utter clarity in a precise spectrum of darks. They seem almost round on the flat wall. Like a pulse subsiding, I sense the distant motion of clouds gathering again to overshadow the sun. Before my eyes, the light softens and the room begins to accept a gentle window light. 4 The wall is of an entirely new fabric. No longer white, it is a mysterious and shapeless pattern of soft grays. The shadow is absorbed into the very fabric of the wall. Again the pulse quickens. The diffuse light begins to concentrate once more and shift the balance of things. Now insistent, the light pierces the glass and fragments the air of the room in a slice across the corner, the jamb, the floor. Now the wall is pale again. Beyond the glass, the green leaves hold a cool white sheen. Inside, the space is whole and full of faintly green light cast off the leaves. Quiet and cool, the room is intimate in its coherence. Here in the core of the house t am sensing the unseen motions of the sky. Many days and seasons I have sat at the window in the sudden skin-warmth of the air, the hard eye-glare and the close hush of the wind. In this hour I feel removed like hearing music in a distant room. Yet, from a distance somethings reach a height of clarity. Today summer is wavering. The doors and windows are closed against the gathering coolness of the air. The wavering light fits the fulcrum of this day, this week and this season. This is not a languid hour, but one of extremes and rhythms of e-motion framed and held in a distant wall. Now I hear letters in the box and rise to go to the edge, open the door and feel the motion of cold air on my face and hands. 7 '/A ^ ( - - / ~ ^ ^ 4 . 7 M wttm mil is ,tM/zP P/ti&S, Tfifift* I! fflfrwi/, %#P* y &4 # f ^  ^1 1 / a-if* sty a •TII n^^- * 4 rwlmi^^^' 15 15 J * 17 ti-es-I I -(/ Ttti to%mM0fiqt nc0 Ml/M 7H\ ^mk^i^^MmS PARK srdew^AffMm / \$icm$ tint/ 1 i f i & J f r - , \ {7& _ Q 4 1 7 6 -10 4-X... 13 H 1 1 JU/^yfM/iM 17 ON I E I 4 £ r 17 4 /ra/ay Apr/7 B, 7 a.m. My s/eep is broken by the ring of the dock. I stay in the darkness behind my eyelids until I have passed from the place of dream to the place of my horizontal body. Now it is quiet and I look up vaguely to a dim white ceiling. The paper blinds on the windows are soft white filters which allow the early light to slowly fill the room with weakly cool air. The light is growing and my slow awakening eyes turn to the little room whose windows, uncovered, are facing east There, the palest yellow light fills the space and washes the small white waits. The windows begin to casta pattern of frail shadow and light • across the walls. .. Just as my vision is becoming stronger and warmer so too, the pattern is hesitantly becoming more accurate and more yellow, faintly orange. Suddenly my dull eyes quicken. In a burst the little room fills with a strong mellow light On the walls, the light patterns are the orange of canteloupe, the shadows dark. Here where I lie, the space also takes a leap in light. i look through my cool white air now brightly toward the fullness and warmth of the little roam. The same moment has come within my body and I rise. b 1 V 1 V : i IH 4 mi  1 17 ' [ A f l A A i t -C^#A **- '-^<iAA \ 3 + 4 T ^ , r . : i - i I Vn t A A- 4 ( A A - \ —I 1? w \Mf. ; : f ; 6 H ~S8 It.al-Sfcli- . .-fix-: ' • • \' -+f ' ' X T N ; ,L„i,.v-™r.i A"' 7 + k 5 14 19 11 V FT-4^ ftC •' 2 1 . / iiiitfim- • tLi'rrf^:,"1' l= r*" IU fa-fa 4o w'fi v / 1 — "•VI S 9 - 1 ^ =1 1 rs -X A X-8J7 -v — ~ . 14 15 M J t S / ^ ' .... W 4*00-, ikt , 1 Cr:"}. w"" x 21? 5'S •31 55 if.. - /I .4u#m&Jw'M@eey& ' - 7 • •iJHIjI^ I'.'l-.—•-J A W " ft. 7 "T" •A fi - > , "l • ' f t : * !' ;f: I f ^ '4 ^ / A -I,, ! 7' ^  .^/""' A:/ / 4m , '!!l;>'i ,f''i , 'W'lV';'. ''••'c « / * J y <r's s y row* tiff. 51 ' ipf til ofttt — i 5 4 -A 9 -I + 3 + 1 Saturday /\pr// 9, 6:45 a.m. / stand vague/y at the kitchen sink looking out a wide window between the quiet dark forms of houses and trees to the eastern and distant horizon. A thick cloud infused with Indigo leaves clear along the line of the horizon a strip of intense ripe yellow glow. The air still holds a cool and lingering darkness. With dazed expectancy I watch the air slowly warm with pale Tight I turn to begin the breakfast motions. There are pieces of pink light tinged orange on the white walls. The kitchen air feels coloured and warm on my skin. In the windows looking west, ;a faint haze full of dusty pink . permeates the distant trees, houses, hills and sky. The upstairs windows of two houses glint orange in the distant haze like brief fires. With my back to the strength of the ascending sun I watch the blush along the soft horizon stain upward into the faded blue glow of the answering sky. •$7 - 1 5 Now working with my face to the hidden sun my eyes focus on the strip of horizon sky as it loses intensity and turns slowly and faintly peach. The indigo cloud has become a soft violet glow and the sky now seems weightless. The light on the walls answers by fading to pale yellow. The air around me is losing warmth at a pace palpable to my skin and the colour is dying before my eyes. Now the pieces of light are white on cool white walls. i j / cast my eyes around the circle of the horizon as it appears in intermittent windows. The faint peach glow is now rimming the whole round horizon. I stand in the centre of this complete aura with care. I know it will be as quickly broken as the cool silence of this morning. My gaze rests on the nebulous violet mountains rimmed by fading peach. Now the peach becomes a clear white.glow and the mountains transform from violet mist to blue. The circle is broken. This breakfast light is now clear and cool and I begin the motions of the material day. 4 b 7 v v 1V V " it—4r P j * irr-i.-ir' It: '1 y-L-.J - A 4-_i I A-vs U •ii' T ff' fm i— , MUM MO, 1 it - ih — 14-ill mi-. mmhmwmj www- T r1-i - I - - - -1-.. 7 } . 'BSa'f?!;'.~'??! 7 \ > N mil Jirt*/s<sff ... ^ • I F 4 r^0^'\ ^ 1fe:,vWA--.-.--4i7fl™ L. T7 -rl^"" ^ ll -A -J-I-•inni]ji.;.„-.„_gr . — / km mi <-i s - r .... -L. •3-4-tola 51 1 x i ^ ^ -15 1 & it 14 2!J ten JT 72^' ^  sqww ffififtffir trfflfflS, Mepytf/s. ffie&af/wfi t/fff? fife? MMf£_M_m m/£ wtts,.. 9tf — 21 33 — ll i—I 33 • H v 54 • L 3 : «-.-::-.:.: Airestr-i f " A Ok 'vis. 17 Tuesday /\pr/7 27, 7:75 a.m. 77?e sun is on the horizon. I set my breakfast dish on the table and sit before it My head turns slightly to fee! the great and orange fire faintly on my face. I eat absently yet my gaze is rivetted_ to the far wall of windows which hold the distant colour silken and strong. A glowing yellow, almost orange, is focussed on the dark horizon edge of leafed trees and lines of roofs. The smooth clarity of this light seems to lift things here to fullness. The sounds of spoon on dish and the close echo of the voice of this child hang in the air ripe and clear. Between eating motions my eyes are caught by the corner of the window where a tree of white blossom is full of the colours of that risen sun. Deep pink, the tree holds the low rich light and the ripe flavour of the air. 1 11 15 -/ return my face to the sun now quickly leaving the warm colours of the horizon. It is white hot and insistent yet it casts a light on my skin which is cooler. The morning colour is lingering in a pale rose stain narrowly ringing round the gently violet horizon edge. Above, the sky is vaguely clear and white, faintly blue. I sense the beginnings of a white thickness in the air. The day is emerging in a subdued softened tone. My eyes scan the fading ring of pale rose and rest on the violet-hazed mountains. I watch the warmth of the last colour die away. The violet in the mountains has lost pink and is now faintly blue, distant, flat and thin. The white sky of palest blue haze is reaching down to the ground. The great ghostly forms of the mountains are almost imperceptible. A subdued luminous light begins to fill the cool morning room. The breakfast motions gain haste. The sound of spoon on dish is muted now. • k . . . 2 - 5 7 <-> J O . 6 1 59 THE THESIS C H A P T E R FIVE EXPERIENTIAL D E S C R I P T I O N A N D T H E D E S I C N P U N C T U M 61 Experiential Description O n February 26 in the early afternoon I describe my experience of natural context as I work in my office (Afternoon Sill). The description is a stream of Awareness which includes the motions of the sky, the shifts in atmosphere, the smell of the earth, the sound of the rain, the light on sill, paper and skin, the colour and texture of things. It speaks of a great context interweaving with my work, giving it a pulse and a pace. This stream I will call the experiential description. I will begin the Thesis of Design Experience by making explicit three traits of the act of description itself. Firstly, experiential description is highly specific to my situation in terms of location and change. In terms of location, the experience of Afternoon Sill is specific to how I am sitting facing the window writing at my desk. The description records the interweaving of natural context with my Awareness right here. It does not describe the 'context' out there beyond the walls of the building as if 'seen' from an imagined perspective. A description of context out there would be mainly a visual impression with no relevance for my body and its location. The experiential description of context right here, on the other hand, involves the smell of the earth just outside the window mingling with the smell of the papers and books on my desk where I sit. It involves the light held by the sky as it falls on the skin of my face. If I had been sitting reading by the window or standing talking at the door, the experience of natural context would have been a different experience. In terms of change, the experience of Afternoon Sill is specific to the motions of natural context on that particular early afternoon on February 26. It involves a precise sense of right now as each change in the afternoon air, light and sky unfolds. It means that I remain in the stream of my Awareness as it interweaves with the shifting context. If I step out of the stream, I disconnect myself from change as-it-happens and I begin to describe a static context. A description which is static would see the afternoon as 'overcast.' The experiential description involves the sense of a dense cloud slowly drifting and lightening, of dimness dissolving and the light subtly brightening in the room and on my paper. When I am both right here and right now, the experiential description gives me a precise sense of the life of a specific natural context. The two components, right here and right now, are 62 interdependent. When I am seeing from my precise location, Awareness becomes keenly tuned to the motions of my context and vice versa. Experiential description emphasizes the intermingling of specific spatiality and precise temporality. In English, it is difficult to conceive of the intermingling of space and time. Most English words are either spatial or temporal but not both simultaneously.^ 1 The Japanese word for place, "basho," holds both the sense of specific location and the flux of change. The character for 'basho' shows the sun, the earth and a chameleon. The epitome of change, the chameleon is known to choose a specific location to bask under the moving sun. Secondly, experiential description involves sharp realization that the act of experience is distinct from the act of description. The experience of Afternoon Sill is full of the quick motions and subtleties of a complex context. My description of that complexity is a mere shadow of experience. I find myself perplexed*^ and speechless^ 4 when trying to describe, with accuracy, such a subtle phenomenon as light. Most of the words to which I am accustomed are experientially weak and I tend to use them uncritically driven by the force of habit. In order to be specific about my situation, I am constantly questioning the meaning of words in experiential terms. I might say that the sky is beginning to 'glow' white, but what precisely do I mean when I say that the light 'glows?' I look again and see that gradually and evenly the sky is holding more light almost to the point of luminosity and it casts an even sheen on the sill and my table. There is a descriptive feedbackto be gained from the rigour of striving for the right words to fit experience. Sharpening my description helps my Awareness to become more finely tuned. The act of experience and the act of description may be two distinct processes, but when both are finely tuned, they mutually cultivate each other. Yet in the early stages of refinement especially, I feel an 'in-out' tension between experience and descr ipt ion.^ Experience of natural context means being in situation, but in order to describe it, I need to pull out of situation and reflect upon it. I find that the tension gains a certain ease when the shifts in and out are as quick and as light as possible. When I sit and experience a changing light for a long stretch of time and then sit down to describe it, the description loses its precision because it is largely based on memory. When I quickly and almost simultaneously shift back and forth between experience and description, the description approaches a fine precision. 63 The quickness means that I do not 'pull out' of experience too far into reflection. When I begin to reflect too heavily, I drift out of situation and become removed from Experience. Husserl describes a kind of reflection which is one small step removed from the act of experience. He describes "reflexion" as the instant when experience presents itself to awareness. I might have my eyes open facing a light pattern on a wall, but it is only through reflexion that I become aware that I see it. Reflexion is nothing more than that awareness. It does not include judgement, anticipation or any other more complex reflective process. It involves only presentation to awareness like a quick glimpse, a "Blick"*^ (Husserl 1962, 199). I find myself adopting a specific kind of descriptive stance which consists of quick shifts from experience to reflexion. In this way, the distinction between experience and description becomes fine rather than coarse. Thirdly, experiential description involves a suspension of the habit which ignores the obvious and the mundane. When I label any portion of experience, I am clouding awareness and eliminating much of everyday experience. In the experience of Afternoon Sill, I might have ignored the great dense cloud casting a 'dull' light because it was mundane. When I suspend the judgement, I begin to look closely at the seemingly static quality of 'dullness' and find much subtlety and richness in the dimness slowly dissolving and in the soft sheen shifting on my paper and the window sill. I resist the strong tendency to bypass the obvious and discover something new. Everyday experience is full of the mundane, obvious and ordinary. When I ignore it I am disconnecting my description from the everyday momentum of living. With an openness to the obvious, I find that something new comes to experience without 'looking' for it. Reflexion which is free of judgement and preconception brings an experiential description of natural context full of discovery. The Design Punctum Within the experiential description of Afternoon Sill, I begin to notice that the stream of Awareness contains certain instants which are more powerful than others. They are heights of Awareness which seem to be more precise, more integrated, more full and more concrete than the rest of the stream. The heights are reflected by the motions of the Focus, Context and my own 64 Awareness drifting in and out of fineness. The series of heights, removed from the stream of Experience, are the following: I feel a strange poignancy for the restrained light as it gives a restrained sense to the room. I find a sharp concreteness in the light brightening on the table and the paper. The soft sheen of the white sky in a fine line along the pine needles gives me a very precise kind of whole bodymind sensation. There is something highly fulfilling in the way the window and its light hold my face and seem to direct the motions of my eyes and head. The earth just below the sill has a tangible presence, yet utterly elusive as it mingles with the smell of books and paper right here. The poignancy of the above heights in the stream of experience give them the power "to shoot out of it like an arrow." The heightened instant echoes Barthes' punctum which I use as a metaphor for the experience of connection. Each height is a punctum. Each height is a microcosm of the experience of connection. There is a tantalizing precision which is never precise enough (Elusive). There is a pungency which is almost physical (Bodymind). There is a briefness to the fullness which is almost disturbing (Synchronicity). There is a sharp concreteness which is almost painful (Clarity). When I experience the above series of puncta, i begin to realize that some heights are more powerful than other heights. In Afternoon Sill, the instant of soft sheen on needle, raindrop and window sill is the punctum which pierces me most indel ibly.^ It touches me the most deeply and pervasively. It is not a matter of analytical or logical choice. It is a matter of experiential power. A highly precise and specific stream of experiential description generates a punctum which is concrete, haunting, motivating and full of potential. The punctum with extraordinary experiential power I will call the design punctum. In this way, the design punctum is a punctum. It is generic to the finely tuned Experience of connection. Yet it also has certain qualities which are specific to Design Experience. The key quality is the impetus toward expression in built f o r m A I will identify and describe other design puncta from the Praxis in order to reveal further specific qualities of the most enigmatic and powerful event of Design Experience; the design punctum. 65 * * * In the Design Experience of Latemorning Shadows, the design punctum is the sense of sharpness witnessed in the shadow patterns. O n that September morning as I sit in the heart of the house looking toward the shadows on the northeast wall, there is an instant of Awareness when the dust on the sills and the grain in the air are visible in the microscopic light. Baskets are etched on the wall in fine filigreed detail. Yet it is not the visual sharpness of the light which alone constitutes the power of the design punctum. There is a precise sense of the 'heightness' of the sharp light like a turning point or fulcrum. Even though the experiential description speaks of the swing of extremes from hard to soft and sharp to vague, the design punctum is not the swing itself, but the turning point. Being the stillpoint of motion, like the ball at the height of its trajectory, the design punctum is an instant of potential because the whole oscillation is immanent in it, suspended. In the Design Experience of Sunrise Lightpatterns, the design punctum involves the sense of wakening as embodied in the light patterns. O n April 8 at the moment of sunrise from my bed in the vague zone between sleep and rising, I am watching the patterns of coloured light on the east facing walls. It is the growing precision of the colour and form of the light patterns which seems to resonate with the growing.accuracy in my body and mind. As my vision becomes stronger and warmer, so too the light patterns are becoming sharper and more orange. Unlike Latemorning Shadows, which is a design punctum of instantaneous height, this design punctum is motion and change. It is one of warming, sharpening and coming into fullness. It has a gentle quality, yet none the less concrete and indelible to my bodymind. In the Design Experience of Sunrise Circle, the design punctum is the sense of being encircled by the soft horizon colour. O n April 9 1 watch the progress of the sunrise as I work in the kitchen. The experiential description speaks of the brief height of sun on horizon, but is primarily about the waning of colour, warmth and clarity which follows. The punctum is the specific instant during the waning process which is just before the final fading of colour. It is when the faint fading peach glow rims the entire round horizon and I feel myself encircled by it. The waning of warmth, ripeness and fullness is briefly arrested just as the progress of my work and my momentum of living 66 is suspended for an instant. It includes the strong bodily sense of being the centre of a world at the same time it includes the fragility of the instant and its expected passing. In the Design Experience of Sunrise Sound, the design punctum is the sense of things lifted to ripeness. O n April 21 as I eat breakfast, the sun is on the horizon. Even though I am well inside the house, the power of the sun reaches where I sit, touching my skin and the walls close by me. The smooth silken quality of the light seems to resonate with the sounds and actions of the morning. The punctum is the height of ripeness in the sunrise light as it brings the situation to the same ripeness and fullness. The punctum finds an indelible concreteness in the sound of spoon on dish and the child's voice. The sounds seem to be lifted to fullness by the light. It includes the lifting action, but also the subdued fading action which seems immanent in that ripeness. * * * The above descriptions reveal certain intrinsic qualities of the design punctum. Firstly, there is an enigmatic coincidence within the design punctum event of both the utterly concrete and the suspended. O n one hand, the design punctum has a concrete quality which endures. It is unforgettable. It remains a presence. It haunts me. It is a presence for me years later without losing its clarity or precision. The design punctum, when it pierces me, leaves an indelible mark which I carry with me thereafter. Perhaps the concreteness comes from the tangible participation of the body . ' 7 1 There is the the wakening process filling my body, the sense of body encircled or the vivid sound sensations and skin warmth. Yet beyond bodily sensation, the design punctum is a sensation-thought. The concrete and lasting presence comes from the participation of total bodymind. Perhaps the concreteness comes from a bodymind Awareness embedded in the intimate details of a specific location and time. The design punctum of Afternoon Sill for example, recalls the exact position of my chair in the little room, the exact height of the window sill in relation to my eyes and the branches of the tree touching the glass. The design punctum is not a vague memory which fades away. It is a past-Experience which remains acutely concrete and present. O n the other hand, the design punctum seems to hang suspended, despite the concreteness of located bodymind,. There is a stillness about the design punctum which Barthes calls an "intense 67 immobility" (Barthes 1981, 49). Perhaps it feels immobile because it is an instant which has shot out of a highly mobile and active stream of Awareness. The design punctum of Afternoon Sill is the instant of Awareness when I briefly grasp the exquisitely soft sheen on a pine needle. Before and after that quick glimpse my Awareness is streaming with the changing light. Perhaps the design punctum feels suspended because it is a height like the fulcrum point of motion in Latemorning Shadows. The rest of the stream seems to revolve around that one height like the still point of a vortex. The design punctum arrests the continuity of Awareness with its quick surprise and awe. The coincidence of the concrete with the suspended and the located with the hanging imbues the design punctum with an enigmatic and unsettled atmosphere. Barthes has precisely identified the coincidence. He says the punctum is "sharp and yet lands in a vague zone of myself; it is acute yet muffled, it cries out in silence. O d d contradiction: a floating f l a s h " ^ (Barthes 1981, 53). In this light, Barthes likens the punctum to the Buddhist state of Satori. D.T.Suzuki describes Satori as the experience of opening the Mind's eye and says it involves an "upheaval which destroys old accumulations of intellection" (Suzuki 1949, 95). Yet Suzuki emphasizes that Satori is not extraordinary, but comes from the situation of everyday living. The design punctum is embedded in the experience of waking, eating, writing, sitting before a window, washing the dishes, or opening the door. It is both as enigmatic as a floating flash and as simple as waking. In this way, the design punctum lifts the 'ordinary' to a height of extraordinary power. Another intrinsic quality of the design punctum is a powerful coincidence of vastness and latency which is highly motivating. O n one hand, the design punctum has the power to reach beyond itself. The exquisitely small instant seems to contain something vast. Barthes describes the phenomenon when he says that, like a flash, the punctum has "more or less virtually, the power of expansion"^ 4 (Barthes 1981, 45). The expansion effect is like a far-reaching resonance. In Latemorning Shadows, the still point of sharp shadow seems to contain the whole flux from sharp to soft. So too, the still point resonates with the feeling of being poised when the season is, just that day, suspended before it turns to winter. The design punctum of sharp shadow resonates with the 68 gathering coolness of the air and with my state of mind. It contains much more than the shadow I see on the wall. Very still and sharp, it brings into relief the vast web in which it is embedded. Yet the expansive effect is latent and unmanifested. The design punctum intimates its connections within a vast web, but it exists before the connections have come to form, even before they have come to 'visual' form. The design punctum is not a visual image. I cannot draw the design punctum. In Sunrise Lightpatterns, the wakening process warming my body is not something for which I can draw an image on paper or find adequate words, in Sunrise Sounds, there is no visual form for the utterly silken and clear sound and touch of things in the orange light. The design punctum is highly concrete and precise, but at its first inception it is formless. Yet even though it is formless, it is begging to take form. The design punctum is the seed for manifestation and the rest of Design Experience. The intimating power of the design punctum imbues it with a motivating force, an impetus. It brings not only the tantalizing and disturbing arousal of a surface puncture, but also the deep and pervasive effect of the sense of awe. The utterly precise line of soft sheen along the pine needle involves an instant of utterly clear Awareness which is not only a piquant feeling, but also a feeling of awe for its exquisiteness. The design punctum involves, at risk of a worn-out word, wonder. Yet according to Suzuki's description of Satori, the wonder and awe of the design punctum is not a quieting of the mind. There is a sharp experience of wonder which is an active and powerful impetus. It propels me, as a designer, to give form to the brief and precise instant of Awareness whether it be as a window sill, a screen, a doorway, a corner, a seat or a wall. Buddhist philosophy recognizes the motivating force of experience as a threefold effect; "the living trinity of experience." D.T.Suzuki describes the three bodies of the Buddha as Dharmakaya or the body of true seeing, Sambhogakaya or the body of bliss and Nirmanakaya or the body of manifestation (Aitken 1978, 77). The body of true seeing is equivalent to what I have called experiential description. The middle body, bliss, is equivalent to the design p u n c t u m / ^ It hangs between true seeing and manifestation providing the spark which leads from one to the other. Yet even though the three bodies are given in the above sequence, they are not necessarily sequential. 69 They are intimately and simultaneously linked. The third body, manifestation, means that 1 not only see and feel a deep effect, but that I gain the desire and motivation to share it and to express it in built form. I will begin to describe the third body in the next chapter. The intimate relationship between the experiential description and the design punctum emphasizes that Design Experience begins with and depends upon Experience. The stream of finely tuned Experience is the ground in which the design punctum is embedded so that Design Experience is connected with natural context throughout. The finer the Experience, the more strongly is the manifested form connected with specific natural context. Fine Experience is also the ground which generates the instant of the design punctum and imbues it with impetus. The finer the Experience, the more impetus has the design punctum to inspire manifestation. It stays with me almost tangibly throughout the Design Experience as a concrete, haunting, expansive and motivating presence. Design Experience therefore, begins with the fineness of experiential description which generates the design punctum which sparks the manifestation process. The next chapter closely examines the role of the design punctum as a middle body. C H A P T E R SIX T H E A C T U A L A N D P O T E N T I A L F A C E T S O F T H E D E S I G N P U N C T U M 71 In the Design Experience of Sunrise Lightpatterns, I describe the wakening process of my natural context on April 8 before rising from my bed as I leave the sleep state and enter consciousness. I describe the growing accuracy of coloured light patterns on the wall as they gradually and gently gain sharpness and warmth. As I have identified it, the design punctum is the sense of growing accuracy or wakening. The design punctum is also the light patterns and the wall. The light patterns as they change and move constitute the stream of experience. In contrast, the fine sense of growing accuracy is distinct from the stream. It seems to be more than the light patterns. The relationship between the design punctum and the stream of experience is an enigmatic one. O n the one hand, the design punctum is embedded in the stream of natural context. O n the other hand, it is distinct from the stream. The design punctum seems to be partially engaged with the experiential stream and partially disengaged from it. The Actual Facet of the Design Punctum The engaged facet of the design punctum carries along with it the actual and specifically situated experience from which it is generated. In Sunrise Lightpatterns, it is the actual experience of the coloured light patterns as, from my bed, I vaguely watch the colour gain strength on the wall. Firstly, the design punctum has a locus. The experience is acutely focussed upon a particular location of my context. It involves the specific light patterns cast-uponthe small east facing wall. It does not involve a south, north or west facing wall. Neither is it a large wall in the heart of the house. It is a small wall near the edge which catches the window patterns. The wall and the window patterns are the localized focus of actual experience. Around the locus revolves the experience of white cool light, the burst of mellow colour and the rest of the stream of experience. With that concrete focus, my wakening bodymind finds a resonance. Secondly, the actual facet of the design punctum is acutely focussed upon a specific piece of change in the natural context .^ Sunrise Lightpatterns is focussed upon one specific phase of the sunrise process, just before the sun appears above the horizon when the soft colour which rims the horizon line is rising in warmth and strength. It is not at the time of sunup when there is a burst of fullness or after sunup when the warmth begins to fade. It is very specifically before sun up when 72 the coloured light is slowly and hesitantly rising. The light patterns on that particular wall are also specific to a certain time of year. According to the neighbouring houses and trees, the horizon light is cast on the east facing wall most fully in spring, fall and early summer. The low horizon light does not reach the wall in winter when it is behind a neighbouring house or late summer when it is blocked by a t r e e A The wakening experience of the design punctum is highly specific to the piece of change of the day and the year. Thirdly, the actual facet of the design punctum is acutely focussed upon a specific piece of living. It involves one aspect of the continuum of my everyday routines. For Sunrise Lightpatterns, it is the process of coming into focus just after sleep and before rising. It is not the moment after my consciousness has reached fullness. It is the approach to fullness when consciousness is half-vague and half-accurate. The focussed piece of my everyday experience coincides with the locus of the wall and the piece of change of the context. O n many days of the year my wakening process does not coincide with the pre-sunup process on the wall. I am normally out of bed and fully conscious 78 when the sun rises in winter and still asleep when the sun rises in summer. The engaged facet of the design punctum is the highly focussed piece of actual experience when the rising coloured light touches the east facing wall and also touches my wakening process. The three actual foci of the design punctum are mutually interdependent. The locus is contingent upon the piece of change which in turn is contingent upon the piece of living. The first focus gives a decisive answer to the question 'where?' It might be a certain orientation of wall, corner, window sill or mullion. The second focus gives a decisive answer to the question 'when?' It might be the moment just before sunrise, at the height of sunrise fullness or the precarious instant when the last colour fades away. The third focus gives a decisive answer to the question 'what am I doing?' It might be a certain phase of wakening, eating breakfast, writing at a table or in between things. The design punctum involves the synchronistic coincidence of all three foci of actual experience. 73 The Potential Facet of the Design Punctum The other facet of the design punctum is disengaged from the stream of situated experience. It points to something more than the actual. The design punctum is not only how I experience natural context now (actual), but also how I might experience natural context if experience was more precise, more fine and more integrated (potential). The design punctum is a glimpse of the potential in the actual of Experience. Springing from the focussed actual experience of Sunrise Lightpatterns there is a glimpse of an extremely precise and fine sense of wakening. It is different from the foci of actual experience. It is neither material, as in wall and window patterns, nor psychophysical, as in the motions of my bodily senses. What I call a fine s e n s e ^ of wakening seems disengaged and suspended compared to actual experience. It is a quick glimpse of potential experience. Yet it is a 'glimpse,' not in terms of sight, but of insight. In a brief instant, the actual wall and window patterns become transparent and I 'see' through them toward a fine but formless sense of how the actual might be. Through the transparency I begin to 'see' the size, shape, configuration, location, colour and texture of the light patterns which might become a finer sense of wakening. It is a brief but enduring glimpse, so quick on it is formless. Yet it intimates its potential form. It is the spark of the Design Experience and the impetus for form giving. The Co-presence of Actual and Potential The design punctum is the combination of the two facets; the foci of the actual and the potential beyond. The copresence of the two facets tells me that within my experience as it actually is there is a seed of what might be. The crucial realization is that the fine and motivating sense of potential is dependent upon its copresence with actual experience. The following three descriptions distinguish between the actual and the potential in the design punctum but also emphasize their copresence. In Latemorning Shadows the actual facet of the design punctum involves the sharp shadow patterns of a fluctuating sky. The locus is the northeast corner of my room where the shadows strike the wall just in the corner and on the south faces of the window jambs. The piece of change of the 74 design punctum is the specific time of day when the fast rising sun, almost at its apex, is exclusive to the corner of the room and casts shadows which hit the wall at a sharply acute angle. It is not the earlier shadows of the morning which are spread out across the whole wall. It is the brief piece of the sun's motions when it approaches due south just before its direct rays leave the wall altogether. It is a late morning phenomenon which is most pronounced in spring, summer and autumn but less pronounced in winter when the sun angle is lower and the sky is generally softer.**1 Coincident with the two foci of locus and piece of change, my routine reaches an apex at just that almost-midday moment. It is the experience of the suspended apex of the day. In this way, the focussed corner, the almost-apex of the sun and the almost-apex of my day are three foci which mutually heighten 09 each other. The potential facet of the design punctum for Latemorning Shadows, is the fine sense of the sharp fulcrum of the shadows. It intimates how the shadows might cut across the jamb and the wall even sharper and finer than they are actually (B/8). It intimates the width of the jamb and the size of the corner wall zone to give the fineness a presence (A-B/11). It intimates the colour and texture of the surfaces to heighten the fineness (C-D/8). It intimates the patterns cast by finely detailed objects such as plants, baskets and window mullions to make manifest the fulcrum of sharpness (A/15). Again, in Sunrise Circle the actual facet of the design punctum finds a locus in the circle of horizon colour, the circle of windows and my position as the centre-point. The windows hold the specific pieces of the horizon where the low colour is present. It is not about sunrise in general, but about a certain phase of the subtle and precise sequence of sunrise. It is the phase when the colour fades after sunup, as opposed to the phase when the colour rises before sunup. It is after the sun has risen and the last pale colour is clinging to the horizon line when there is sometimes a 360 degree encircling effect. At the end of the sunrise sequence, the colour fades at a stepped-up pace, rather than a slow leisurely pace, and its presence is precarious.^ The design punctum also focusses on a piece of living which is in-between things. It is poised between the end of the morning routine and the beginning of the 'material' day and the gathering momentum of travel, school and work. In this way, it resonates with the light poised between the end of sunrise and the 75 beginning of full daylight. It is a resonance between the 'where/ the 'when' and the 'what am I doing.' The potential facet of the design punctum on the other hand, is the fine sense of being encircled and suspended by the horizon colour. It intimates how the light might be brought to the room by windows which subtly encircle me (A/8). It intimates the precise location of the windows and the connections between them (C-D/6-7). It points to the special qualities of each piece of horizon, such as the edges, textures, forms, colours and seasonal character, and intimates the special colour, mullions, depth and height of each window (A-D/12-26). Once more, in Sunrise Sound the actual locus of the design punctum is the space, the surrounding walls and the sound reverberating around me as I eat breakfast. It is specifically a small space which opens toward the east, with small walls and a low ceiling. The piece of change of the design punctum is the precise moment when the sun is on the horizon and the colour cast upon things is at its most saturated, warmest and fullest. It is not before sunup when the colour is gaining strength or after sunup when the warmth and colour begins to cool. It is a short span of the sunrise sequence; its unmistakable height or fulcrum. The design punctum also focusses on the piece of living which is specifically the part of breakfast when I am sitting held in place but in the midst of eating when there is the motion and the sound of dishes, spoons, forks and voices. The potential facet of the design punctum for Sunrise Sound is the fine sense of experience lifted to ripeness and fullness. The design punctum intimates how the space might be formed to bring the ripeness to a height (C/9-10). It intimates a space with a subtle balance; one which is small enough to concentrate the light and sound, but big enough to allow them to ring and fill the space (A/19). It intimates the faceting and the angling of walls so the space both surrounds me and fills with light (A/12). It intimates the details of a column to hold the light in a very precise focussed way (C-D/11). It intimates materials which allow the sound to ring clearly and fully rather than muted (A/18). 76 As described in the above series, Design Experience begins with actual foci and becomes directed and focussed potential. The actual provides the sense of lack from which the potential derives its impetus toward something finer. The actual also provides the focus (foci) for the manifestation process. The design punctum emphasizes that potential is specific, not general, transcendent or r a n d o m . ^ The potential is particular to actual experience. It is generated by fine experience but also points toward even finer experience. As such, the design punctum is the spark and the impetus in the middle between the stream of actual experience and fulfilled potential. It is the potential facet of the design punctum which knits together the initial fine experience with the manifestation process. The Manifestation of Potential What does the manifestation of potential mean in terms of design and the built form? What does it mean to fulfill potential? It means that I craft the built form so the precise glimpse of potential is allowed to be fully precise. It means that I find a form so the concrete presence of potential is allowed to be fully present. The manifestation phase of Design Experience involves o r finding form which fulfills the precision and presence of potential experience. It means crafting a window sill so it gently manifests the softness of a white sky. It means crafting a piece of wall so it meticulously reveals the sharply oblique and filigreed shadows of a fluctuating midday light. It means crafting window patterns so they keenly elicit the changes in the coloured pieces of light on an eastern wall just before sunrise. The actual provides the experiential ground and the focus for the crafting process. Unlike the potential glimpse, the actual shows me a manifestation which is unfulfilled. In Sunrise Circle, the actual is a circle of windows which does not allow the subtle circle of horizon colour to be fully complete, does not bring it to precision and does not bring it here, present. It is a circle of windows which ignores and blocks out the pieces of horizon colour. It is a circle of windows which crudely cuts and divides the colour with misplaced mullions. It is a circle of windows which merely points to the horizon with flat, thin windows, like framing a distant view, but does not bring experience here within reach of my body (A/6). The fine sense of being encircled and suspended by 77 the fading blush of horizon light is fulfilled when each window is precisely located to hold each piece of horizon where the soft fading colour appears according to the centre-point of the experience (A-B/29-30). It means finely crafting proportions and placing frames and mullions so that each window is specific to the character of its piece of horizon (C-D/18-19). It means bringing the powerful reach of the soft colour close and present within bodily reach by crafting the surfaces of the sill, jamb, muilion and wall to hold the colour right here (A-B/35-36). It means seeing the surfaces as receivers of light and faceting the forms so there are more surfaces to allow the light to come around corners where I can see and touch it (C/27). It means finding the precisely sized opening which will both hold the coloured horizon and hold my body so I am in relationship with it (A-B/35-36). Again as in Afternoon Sill, the difference between an unfulfilled and a fulfilled manifestation is the difference between a window sill which ignores the soft sheen of the white sky and a window sill which allows the soft sheen to be precise and present. The unfulfilled window has a glossy white surface and a narrow, sharp-edged sill which contrives a vague and hard shine across its surface. The window which makes manifest and fulfills potential has a sill with a slight matt texture to allow the sheen.to absorb into the surface. It has a dark but soft colour for the sheen to find its best contrast. It has enough depth to allow the sheen to gain presence. It has softened edges to allow the soft line between light and dark to become manifest (B-C/27). Design Experience which fulfills the potential of the design punctum brings it to precision and presence. The manifestation of potential is a process highly specific to each experience. The process of manifestation as an exploration in form is also highly complex and personal. With profound respect for that mystery and particularity I will not begin to suggest its general structure. However, I can begin to describe the experience of manifestation. I have chosen the word 'manifestation' to describe how the fine sense, the potential of the design punctum, finds its form. The root of 'manifestation' is the Latin word "manus," meaning hand (Bohm 1980, 185). Manifestation fundamentally means bringing things to hand and within reach. The manifestation of the design punctum involves bringing the experience of natural context 78 within reach, into the circle of the hand and the body. The natural context becomes, not a distant panorama, but a close context which I inhabit, like a coat drawn around me (Jager 1984, 156). In the Design Experience of Sunrise Lightpatterns, the pieces of light are brought close and crafted to the size of my hand (C/30). In Sunrise Circle, the distant coloured light is brought into and held by the window just as the window is related to my standing body (A-D/35). It is like an intertwining between the natural context and my bodymind Awareness. I recall the metaphor of chiasm which describes the relationship between Awareness and its Focus, not as a casual exchange, but as something binding. It is an intertwining when I am corporeally engaged with my natural context. The reach of the coloured light is brought right here and intertwines with my reach. I feel sensibly the presence of my natural context. I see the coloured light close and brought to bodily scale. I can touch it. It has an effect on my whole body. The intertwining between natural context and body calls for very precise and certain dimensions. In Afternoon Sill, the window sill which is precise for the soft sheen and also for the width of my forearm is with certainty 30 in (D/23). In Sunrise Lightpatterns, the size of the pieces of light which best concentrate the canteloupe glow of the sunrise light are the size of my hand with certainty 3 in x 4 in (C/30). In Sunrise Circle, the window which holds my body and the coloured horizon is with certainty 3 ft wide to a height of 7 ft ((A-B/36). In Sunrise Sound, the column which holds coloured light can be grasped by the hand and with certainty has a diameter of 5 in (D/16). In this way, there is a fit and a belonging between bodymind and context. The coming together of Awareness and the stream of natural context means not only considering bodily scale, but also listening to the rhythms and irregularities of the natural context. Design Experience means making manifest the specific rhythms and asymmetries of natural context. Yet my habits of symmetry and regularity are strong. In Sunrise Circle, I find myself placing a window mullion in the centre of the window by force of habit (C-D/20). However, when I am precise about the colour and form the specific piece of horizon, I find the symmetrical mullion is not heightening its special character, but slicing it in half. I then proceed to find the precise position for the mullion so it will invite Awareness to experience the horizon light wholly (C-D/18-19). Design 79 Experience calls for very precise and certain dimensions which may not be the regular and symmetrical dimensions of standard practice and habit. The manifestation process of Design Experience means bringing to form an invitation to experience. The precise qualities of a window, bringing the colour close, invites my participation and engages the play of my Awareness. Scale and detail which lacks bodily relevance fails to engage bodymind Awareness. Regularity and uniformity fails to focus Awareness and does not invite experience. With detail which has a focus, like a centre, Awareness is captured, engaged and enlivened. In Afternoon Sill, the room is focussed upon the window corner where a sill the length of a forearm full of soft light invites me to sit with my arm resting in the sill from elbow to fingers touched by the sheen of the white sky (A-D/26-27). In Latemorning Shadows, the northeast mullion is special and draws Awareness into the northeast corner where the shadows are made manifest precisely and sharply (A-B/15-16). In Sunrise Circle, the circle of windows has a focus in the eastern window which holds the soft horizon colour and holds my standing body, not too narrow to constrict my stance or too wide so I lose my limits, within which I am transfixed and connected bodily with the coloured light (A/29-30). However, an invitation is silent without a response. The intertwining requires the tuning-in of my Awareness. Only then is the potential experience fulfilled. As such, the built form can only offer the invitation of fine experience by manifesting the subtleties of natural context in a form which is inhabitable by the bodymind. * * * When Design Experience begins with finely tuned experiential description I come face to face with potentially powerful connections with my natural context. I have described the Design Experience, especially the design punctum in terms of intense focus. The next chapter will examine more finely the experience of manifestation and show that the fulfillment of potential involves more than the experience of focus. The focus of the potential turns into unlimited possibility. C H A P T E R S E V E N T H E EXPERIENCES O F F O C U S A N D E M A N A T I O N 8 1 In the Design Experience of Afternoon Sill, I describe a stream of experience which has as its design punctum a fine sense of soft sheen on pine needle and window sill. The fine sense of potential springs from an acute focus on the particular sill (locus), the particular midday whole-sky glow (piece of change) and the midday phase of my work (piece of living). When I begin to find a form for the potential of soft sheen, the experience of focus becomes the thread, strong and fine, which runs through the manifestation p r o c e s s . ^ The Experience of Focus From the design punctum I have gained a highly fine sense of the way the sheen sits with surfaces absorbing into them rather than reflecting harshly off them. The pine needles, which are non-glossy and deep green in colour, begin to tell me what kind of surface respects the gentleness of the sheen. The fine sense includes the way the sheen curves over the edges and turns comers like the fine line on the pine needle where there is no hard line of shadow. The sheen begins to tell me how the edges and corners of the sill and jamb are softened to allow the light to merge with the dark sides of things (B-C/11-12).^ 7 It tells me the precise depth of the sill and floor materials to give the sheen room to play over the surfaces and give it a presence (D/24). There are no hard dark shadows in this particular light and the softness of things tells me how the sheen cascades down from sill to second sill to floor without leaving any hard lines or deep dark shadow, filling the corner with a gentle light (A-B/18). The manifestation of potential involves the experience of intense focus on something highly specific, like "one-pointedness"®® (Kapleau 1965, 46). It might be as concentrated as the fine line of white sky on a pine needle. It might be as fleetingly focussed as the apex of sharpness in the shadows on a northeast wall in late morning (Latemorning Shadows). It might be as concretely focussed as the rising warmth and strength in the coloured light patterns on a pre-sunrise wall (Sunrise Lightpatterns). It might be as precariously focussed as the experience of my body encircled by the fading horizon colour just after sunrise (Sunrise Circle). It might be as clearly focussed as the sound of spoon on dish echoing the silken sunrise light (Sunrise Sound). Accordingly, the experience of focus involves something at a scale which relates concretely to the body; something 82 small enough to 'hold in the hand.' The manifestation process which springs from a fine design punctum involves a highly specific convergence of things in one instant at a scale which is inhabitable. As such the manifestation process has an acute focal point. Yet Design Experience does not exist solely of the experience of focus, but also involves the experience of emanation from the focus. The Experience of Emanation The one-pointedness of the experience of manifestation, as described above, seems to generate a "power of expansion" (Barthes 1981, 45). The experience of expansion or emanation from a focus is a familiar one. Often a dream will emanate into consciousness sparked by a tiny detail. A word, a face or a gesture can spark the emanation of a wealth of dream detail, events, people and an entire world, in Design Experience, the focus of manifestation acts as the centre from which a world emanates. From the three foci of actual experience, the manifestation process expands and emanates into other loci, pieces of change, and pieces of living. Firstly, there is an emanation from the original locus. In Afternoon Sill, the attention to sheen on sill and precise consideration of dimensions, materials, edges, details is originally in terms of one locus as I sit at my table looking squarely at the window. The experience of one locus from one zero-point becomes the thread which carries through other possible loci in relation to the sheen. The second sill becomes a locus where l might sit in the light with my arm on the sill (C-D/27). The sheen on the floor intimates a locus where l might stand in the corner of the room surrounded by soft light (A/32). The sheen cast along the wall intimates a locus where I might sit at my table (C/29). The faint sheen in the centre of the room intimates a locus where I might stand strongly oriented toward the corner filled with light (C/32). The threshold becomes a locus where I might feel strongly connected with the sheen on the sill (C/40). The corridor becomes a locus where I might catch a glimpse of the corner filled with sheen ((A-B/41). The focus of soft sheen involves connections from a distance and from other zero-points. I find that the fine sense of soft sheen has the power to emanate and reach as far as it will go.®^ 83 Secondly, my focus on a particular kind of light according to a particular time of day (piece of change) begins to connect with other possible kinds of light and motions of natural context. Even though the design punctum focusses on the sheen in the early afternoon of February 26, it is not exclusive to that one piece of change. A sill which finely manifests soft sheen also invites a sun which is low to the horizon when a soft coloured light might fill the soft edged window. Even in bright light when the sky is clear and the sun is seen in the west, there will be a softened sense to the window and corner where there are no hard-lined shadows. The experience of softened and gentle light remains a presence which carries through other times of the day and other motions of light. Thirdly, the fine sense of sheen, which originally involves my experience of sitting and working at my table, begins to connect with other possible pieces of living for that room. It includes resting, reading or meditating sitting with my arm in the light, the soft sheen across my body. It includes entering the room with keys, books, bags, papers and the emanations of the soft light across the room to where I stand. It includes waiting outside in the corridor, leaving a message, passing by the room, meeting or leave-taking at the door all with a glimpse through the corridor wall toward the corner filled with soft light. The original self-contained focus of soft sheen begins to inform all the possible experiences which gather around it. The three kinds of emanations described above radiate from one specific focus to other possibilities of experience. Where the experience of focus is intensely concrete and precise, the experience of emanation holds the precision more loosely. When I am considering the experience of waiting in the corridor, I am not willfully focussing on the sense of sheen on sill, but 1 am holding it loosely in my mind as I consider how I will connect with it. At such a moment in the Design Experience the sheen is present, but is in the margins of my Awareness. Rather than a focal point, it has become a diffused and transparent presence. The experience of emanation is like a relaxation of the intensity of the focal point so it becomes transparent, but no less precise. In this way, the experience of emanation is much less intense and much less willed than the experience of focus. When the various loci, pieces of change and pieces of living begin to gather 84 around the specific experience of sill and soft sheen, a web of connections begins to emerge with the soft sheen experience as the thread which holds them ail together. However, I cannot focus on the emanations. Merleau-Ponty and Minkowski have described a delicate web which disappears when I try to see i t . ^ The web is elusive and requires a different kind of Awareness. It involves an experience of the web of connections as a whole rather than in focussed pieces. I find that with a light touch and loosely focussed vision, a sense of the web emerges. The experience is subtle and seems to involve the emergence of connections (unwilled) rather than the making of connections (willed). The interweaving of emanations is not a willed process intensely focussed, but a process full of respect for the elusive and delicate in experience. The finely tuned process of manifestation therefore, is a fine and subtle interplay between intense focus and elusive emanation. The Rhythm of Focus with Manifestation According to the above distinctions between focus and emanation, the manifestation of potential involves two different kinds of experience.^ The experience of focus is different from the experience of emanation. The experience of focus involves an intensely willed convergence of Awareness upon something highly specific. The focus acts as the concrete and experiential nucleus for the emanations. The experience of emanation involves the relaxed, half-focussed emergence of a web of connections around the focus. For instance in Afternoon Sill, all the emanations from the particular sill; the patterns of the floor, the experience of waiting in the corridor, the softly coloured light at sundown, and the edges of the second sill, are all connected by the common focus. It is appropriate that the Latin source for the word 'focus' means hearth. Hearth signifies both the drawing inward and gathering close around it (focus), as well as the warmth which radiates outward and is present at a great distance (emanation). With a focus which is experientially strong, like a hearth, Design Experience is both a gathering and a radiating, a converging and an emanating. Even though I have described the two experiences successively, 1 am not implying that they occur as distinct phases of the manifestation process. There is no particular sequence to the process. It does not proceed in an ordered manner from the close to the distant. Together the experiences of converging and radiating become an integrated and mutual rhythm of the Design 85 Experience. The rhythm, however, seems to change as the manifestation process evolves. At first the mix is more focus than emanation. As the emanations begin to reach further and further outward, the focus seems to become more and more transparent so that the mix is more emanation than focus. In the middle of the process, it is difficult to differentiate between what is gathering and what is radiating in experience. There is a simultaneous sense of many dimensions converging and emanating; motions of the context, routines of life, concerns of body, materials, building techniques. There is a vascillation between the intensely willed and the relaxed unwilled, between the specific and the whole. The connections involved in Design Experience are not uni-directional. They are not only made but they are found. They not only radiate outward but they converge. Yet the converging action of the experience of focus implies a design manifestation which is highly specific, one dependent upon the fleeting, synchronistic and delicate coincidence of the original foci, is the manifested form limited and exclusive to the highly specific and fleeting? Does the window in Afternoon Sill exist only for soft sheen? Does the circle of windows in Sunrise Circle exist only for sunrise colour? It is the rhythm of both focus and emanation which ensures that the emanations reach beyond the original focus so the manifestation process is open to a web of connections and possibilities of experience. However, even though the emanations loosen their hold on the focus and reach beyond it, they carry with them remnants of the original height of experience. The presence of the original focus can be seen in the emanations of the Design Experience of Afternoon Sill. In the absence of the soft sheen, when the western sky is glowing peach in the late afternoon for instance, there remains a presence of the original softened light. The sill with" its curved edges and cascading surfaces has a continuous softening effect on the light. The actual experience involves integrated bodymind Awareness and that original concreteness remains a presence. The dimensions of sill invites my arm across it even without the soft sheen. The experience of waiting in the corridor still connects with a softened light in the corner of the room. However, it is no longer the experience of soft sheen, but a different experience of softened coloured light. It is another possibility and another invitation which carries with it the atmosphere of 86 the original f o c u s . ^ The legacy of the original highly specific design punctum is its experiential warmth and its ability to invite possibility. The process of manifesting potential does not mean only inviting focussed experience. When there is a rhythm of focus and emanation the manifested potential invites possible Experience. The following description illustrates how the original foci transform into possibility. * * * In Sunrise Circle, the height of the encircling experience depends upon the presence of the circle of soft pink light along the horizon line just after sunrise and my standing at the centre of the circle in between my morning motions. In the absence of the circle of pink light, what is left of the original height of experience? The legacy of the original focus is a circle of windows which holds pieces of the horizon circle completely and precisely. Even though the original height depends on my standing at one locus in the centre of the circle, my experience of the windows and horizon are not exclusive to that one perspective. In order to connect with each piece of horizon specifically and uniquely I not only see it from the centre-point, but also from other loci where I might stand, sit or pass by each window. It involves knowing the textures, forms and colours of each piece of horizon (A-D/12-26). A glimpse of the distant horizon might be framed by the hard edges of rooflines (A/17). It might be surrounded by and partially seen through the delicate branches of a birch tree or the sharp branches of a cedar tree (A/20). It might be a narrow and vertical slice or a wide and horizontal expanse of horizon. When all the windows of the circle respect the unique character of each piece of horizon, they create a circle which strongly connects with the horizon. I find that the experience of the horizon to the east has a special character and I know from living many mornings here that I am normally oriented strongly toward the eastern horizon (A-B/35-36). The eastern window strongly connects with the eastern horizon when it is placed so it holds the piece of horizon line in its entirety and responds to the trees and rooflines which border it. The window brings the strong eastern light of the height of sunrise here into the space of the window (A-C/37-38). The circle of windows is not only specific to the encircling experience at the end of sunrise, but includes an experience of focus on the eastern horizon. 87 Similarity, the circle of windows as it was generated by the original experience embraces other encircling conditions beyond the specific sunrise colour. The manifested form without its original foci invites an encircling experience because the windows are connected both to each other and to the horizon. In this way, the circle is complete at other pieces of change. When the sky is all blue, sometimes there is a circle of the palest white-blue around the horizon. Sometimes at sundown the circle of distant mountains is faint mauve. Sometimes there is no horizon line when the white sky comes down to the ground. Even though the circle of windows lacks its original focus, it is open to other possible encircling experiences. It might be a circle of the palest white-blue, a circle of mauve mountains or a circle of white cloud with no horizon at all. The original encircling experience of Sunrise Circle therefore, holds together a web of possible experiences. The web includes other localized experiences at other times of the day and other phases of living. Not only does the circle of windows and horizon as a whole invite an encircling experience, it also invites a specific experience of each piece of horizon at each window. Not only does the circle of windows invite a morning experience, but is open to possible experience at many other times of the day and motions of the natural context. Not only does the circle of windows include the morning experience of transition, but also includes the experience of conversation after dinner, sitting in a window or passing through the room. Design Experience which includes the emanation from an intense experiential focus involves the interweaving of possibility and invitation. * * * The above illustration emphasizes that Design Experience involves the presence of the focus, like an atmosphere, even in the emanations. Because the focus is inherently precise, the whole manifestation process carries an atmosphere of precision. Even though there are moments of loosened focus, the experiential precision of the original focus carries through. I can see at least two kinds of precision; past and present. Firstly, I find that the emanations call upon a precise kind of memory, or what I call 'past-experience.' Past-experience is not the kind of memory which is vaguely based on half-awareness and imprecise perceptions. Marcel Proust describes the vague kind 88 of memories as "false shadows" (Block 1960, 69). The emanations on the other hand, recall precise and concretely present past-experience. For instance, Sunrise Circle involves the precise experience i once had of narrow pieces of coloured horizon light framed between the vertical forms of my porch railing. I realized that narrow and small pieces of framed light concentrate the colour in strength and saturation. Even though it comes from another experience and another time, it enters the emanations of the encircling focus. When I am making manifest the experience of eastern horizon, I find that the wide expanse of the horizon needs to be focussed in such a way that the colour can be seen at full strength brought here narrowly between the vertical members of the window screen (A-B/36). It seems that with the emanation experience there is an emergence of many other less powerful but potentially present design puncta. They come from my background of precise experience. Secondly, I find that the emanations come from precise considerations of materials, building techniques and even the act of drawing itself. It seems that the original focus is an ambience of precision which brings to life a wealth of fine detail. For instance, in Latemorning Shadows I first focussed upon the shadows on the northeast wall surface. When I began to explore the forms of the windows to cast upon the wall, my attention to the sharpness of shadow opened my eyes to the shadows upon the sill and the jamb surfaces themselves (A-B/11). I saw that the shadows on the jamb were even sharper and proceeded to perforate the shelf above to cast a fine shadow across it (A/15). The jamb shadows are emanations from the original focus of wall shadows. Yet they are a discovery sparked by an attitude of precision with shadows which carries through the process. * * * This chapter concerning the rhythm between focus and emanation describes a manifestation process which is inherently continuous. The focus has no edges, but leads from one focus to other foci to other foci indefinitely. The web of connections seems to be continuous and without boundaries.^ 4 For instance, in Sunrise Sound the enclosed space looks not only east from which it receives the ripened light, but is connected with the stairway which connects it with the window in the north wall, the view to the north horizon, the porch with its post and its railing, the tree beyond, 89 the fence and the house across the street. The Design Experience of Sunrise Sound does not stop at the walis of the space, but emanates from the focussed space into a continuity of connections. Any focus is embedded in a continuous context. Design Experience begins with intense focus and without it the process lacks the experience of emanation. It follows that a design process which is lacking in focus will lack a continuity of connections. As such the unfocussed design process lacks strong and fine connections with the continuity of specific natural context. The next chapter will discuss the continuity of Design Experience and describe more finely how one focus interweaves with another. C H A P T E R E I G H T T H E C O N T I N U I T Y O F D E S I G N EXPERIENCE 91 The Continuity of Design Experience In the Design Experience of Latemorning Shadows l sit in the heart of the house on September 16 just before noon looking toward the fluctuating shadows on the northeast corner wall. From the stream of experience springs the design punctum; a fine sense of shadow at the fulcrum of sharpness. The process of making manifest the design punctum focusses on the actual experience of the shadows in the northeast corner and how they might potentially take form to satisfy the fine sense of sharpness. The experience of intense focus on the design punctum becomes also an experience of emanation from the focus. The process of finding form for the fulcrum of sharpness begins to include other experiences beyond the sense of sharpness. I find myself caring for the soft, amorphous shadows and notice that they have more subtle gradients of grays when cast by a variety of form and detail. I find myself placing finely leafed plants, finely filigreed to cast delicate shadow patterns in three dimensions and in layers (D/10). It means providing a shelf or sill for the objects to allow them to reflect upon the northeast corner in the late morning (C/8). I find myself puncturing and lightening the substance of the dark swathes of shadow cast by the mullion and the shelf (A/15). It means dissolving the inner edge of the mullion with fine wood detail and insetting the shelf with wire mesh (A/19). I find myself looking for a place to be very close to the shadows, to touch them as they touch me. It means placing a shelf-seat in the northeast corner where the shadows fall (A/11). I find myself standing in the room as a whole, surrounded by walls with special zones to catch specific light and shadow at different times of the day and the season (D/11). O n e zone in the middle of the north wall catches the early morning shadows at a wide angle across it (C/11). From the interplay of focus and emanation I find that different design puncta begin to emerge, sometimes one by one and sometimes (almost) simultaneously. From the focus of sharpness emerges a fine sense of soft shadow. Another design punctum is the fine sense of delicate shadow. There emerges the fine sense of substance punctured and lightened. There is the fine sense of a room which respects the shadows of other times of the day and year. Also beyond the first design punctum is the fine sense of standing close or touching the sharp and fine shadow. The emanating design puncta, as I have described but a few of a vast number, spring from the 92 original focus. Some are even finer in scale than the original design punctum and seem to be held within it. Others are of scales beyond the actual shadow in the northeast corner and include the experience of room and the experience of the'seasonsA Yet they are connected because they share the same source. From the experience of intense focus emanates a web of design puncta each as potentially present and immanently motivating as the first. In this way, the continuity of Design Experience is generated by a single design punctum. Just as Experience is a stream of Awareness, I find that Design Experience is a stream consisting of a myriad of potential points of power. When awareness is dull and lacks integration, the stream of the design process is vague and discontinuous. When Awareness is fine and integrated, Design Experience is precise and continuous, sparkling with points of power which continually shoot out of the stream. I take one of the puncta and, with intense focus, begin to manifest its fineness. It in turn sets off another array of design puncta. The experience of emanation is not one of dissipating warmth. The power of one design punctum does not fade away after which I look for another. One intense focus sets off many intense foci which in turn each have the potential to set off another explosion. There is something spontaneous, continuous and self-perpetuating about the process. The explosive effect is described by Barthes. He says the punctum is "linked to a detail (to a detonator) an e x p l o s i o n " ^ (Barthes 1981, 49). Where Barthes is describing a feeling of explosion and expansion, his experience seems to stop there. He describes the appearance of one "little star," but not the setting off of many stars. Barthes however, is describing the experience of looking at a photograph or reading a text which is different from the 'creative' experience. Perhaps the proliferating effect is peculiar to Design Experience and the motivated creative experience in general. Mallarme describes the explosive effect of the spontaneous experience of a powerful and delicately calculated poetry. He says "song bursts forth from its own natural spring - so immaculately that countless rhythmical groups of images are reflected in all directions" (Cook 1956, 105). What might be called Poetic Experience shares with Design Experience the quality of explosion, reverberation and 93 proliferation. Such a quality gives the manifestation process its spontaneity, continuity and self-perpetuating power. Design Experience is a stream full of design puncta which emerge, or explode, as a vast web of connected and sparkling experience. All the emanating stars, or puncta, are connected by their resonance with a common source, yet each is a source itself. The web of connections pulses and resonates according to the manifesting and extinguishing, the presencing and fading of potential experience. The Four Qualities of Design Experience The fine resonances of Design Experience can be described according to four pervasive qualities which echo those developed in the Theoria; elusive spontaneity, bodymind integration, synchronistic fullness and transparent clarity.^ 7 Each quality is an ambient kind of feeling which emerges during Design Experience. Each quality is not distinct, but is inseparable from the others like the pearls in Indra's Net. The qualities are not rules or conceptual properties which can be willfully applied to the design process. They come from the experiential fineness which is present throughout Design Experience. Each quality is an experience of Design Experience. * * * The experience of elusive spontaneity is pervasive in Design Experience. There is a continuity to the process. It seems to proceed according to its own self-perpetuating energy. When the initial QQ stance is experiential, I do not need to choose what to do next. 1 do not need to search for a design punctum or ponder what direction to follow. The design punctum springs spontaneously from experiential fineness. The process has its own momentum and 1 am carried along in a stream which is cont inuous .^ In Design Experience there is an element of the unwilled sense of 'no-choice.' The Japanese Tea Ceremony celebrates the moment of no-choice. The ceremony pivots around the moment 94 when the host pauses and knows without doubt that "there is only one need; to boil water, make tea and serve it" (Jordan-Smith 1979, 17). In the Design Experience, there is a moment of no-choice when I am faced with a powerful instant of synchronicity, the design punctum, and I know without doubt that there is only one need; to find a form for it. I feel I have no choice because in the spontaneity there is a quickness which is elusive. As the Tea Master, Yanagi says, "If the eye is clear, it functions promptly...there is no time to hesitate" (Yanagi 1972, 178). In the face of power and quickness, I have no choice but to acquiesce. There is an ambient feeling of no-choice when my stream of Awareness is interdependent with the Focus and the Context, each of which has its own directed stream. The sky, the light and the air have a continuity and rhythm of their own. When that fragile order is interwoven with my Awareness, l have no choice but to allow it to speak lest I break it. When awareness does not know how to acquiesce, the design process is directed by ego. The ego sees a wall full of intention so that its colour and texture overpowers the colour of the light. The motions of the natural context are ignored so that any change in light upon the wall is distorted or even nonexistent. O n the other hand, Design Experience which is acquiescent involves finding a colour and texture for the wall so it dissolves with context. It might have the subtlest ability to reflect the fine shifts and myriad hues of the changing light. It might be the palest green which turns almost white when the sky is thick white cloud, turns a pale yellow glow when the low western sun falls upon it or turns almost blue when the sky of an evening is indigo. Like the wall, Awareness which recognizes no-choice acts as an immaculate mirror. Yet conversely, in Design Experience there is an element of willful choice and intense precision. Design Experience involves a willful focus on the stream of Awareness. It involves a directed motivation to present experience genuinely. It involves an intended choice to protect the stream from the habits which forcefully try to distort it. The experience of precise choice is similarily reflected in the certainty of dimensions such as the width of sill, jamb or shelf, the placement of joints and the fineness of material, textures and colours. It might seem like a heavy-handed in-fense-ity. Yet the precision of Design Experience has a light touch. From the close coincidence between 95 willful choice and unwilled no-choice Design Experience finds an equilibrium which is both intense and relaxed. * * * The experience of bodymind integration is pervasive in Design Experience. It involves the close coincidence of thought and sensation. A design process which is unintegrated imposes a crude kind of order by using thought merely to judge, classify and label. For instance, a thought-biased approach classifies 'taking a shower' in terms of the concepts of washing and drying. It might involve a consideration of the dimensions of the shower and the minimum space required to get in and out. O n the other hand, the integrated experience of though-sensation allows the experience of 'taking a shower' to emerge as a stream of bodymind Awareness. The Design Experience of 'taking a shower' begins with the process of undoing clothes, laying them rumpled across a chair and taking off shoes and socks. There is the touch of air on bare skin and the touch of the floor under bare feet. There is the gesture of bending down to turn on the tap, test the water and the sudden rush of sound when the water bursts from the shower. Enclosed by the shower curtain, there is the first wash of water over dry skin in the dark, eyes closed. The curtain flung back, there is a rush of cool air followed by the touch of the dry towel on dripping skin, water on the floor and wet feet on the mat. Eyes now open, there is a glimpse through the open Window of the late evening colour on the west horizon, the sky above violet and dimming, the wall next door catching the low warm light and the sounds of the neighbourhood. 1 u u Design Experience sees how the chair might be placed on a cool tile floor so bare feet experience bareness. There might be a window beside the chair which can be half-opened, hidden from the neighbours, so the air of a warm evening can touch bare skin. The chair might be placed next to the shower taps so I might sit with my back to the air while getting the temperature of the water just right and listening to the rush of water before entering it. The light in the room might be the colour of twilight or early morning; dim and soft for a gentle transition from closed-eye darkness. The towel might have a place next to the window so that when it touches wet skin it is very cool and very dry. The window might be placed so that when I get out of the shower and open my wet eyes, 96 I can see the horizon where the sun lingers on certain days in summer or where a pale glow rests on an autumn evening. The window might allow a shaft of red-violet light on certain days to fall on the smooth wet tile of the shower walls. With precision, Design Experience focusses intently on Awareness as it streams through the motions and bodily senses involved from undressing to drying. The thought-biased approach lacks acute focus. Vague and dull, it sees 'taking a shower' as a concept rather than a concrete bodymind experience. By imposing a crude order on a precise stream the design process misses the corporeal connections with specific natural context. Design Experience finds an equilibrium which is both body and mind. * * * Design Experience involves an experience of synchronistic fullness. It is the sense of a streaming web full of design puncta all potentially exquisite and powerful. The ambient feeling of fullness is intimated by each synchronistic stillpoint, the design punctum. Each is but one instant in the stream of Design Experience, but each intimates that all the instants are potentially full. A design process without experiential fullness sees 'getting the mail' as a mundane concept empty of connection. The empty approach might habitually follow the design decision to locate the mailbox next to the front door. O n the other hand, the Design Experience of 'getting the mail' involves a stream potentially full of possibilities for fine experience and connection with natural context. The Design Experience begins with the experience of opening the door and the quick glance to the pale blue mountains, almost the colour of the white sky. Pulling hard on the door handle, there is a familiar sound of w o o d and hinges. Door only part way open, body is only partially touched by cool air. The bird sounds which were distant and muted are now close and clear. Yet, there is a distant hush in the air under the low white sky. Turning to open the box, one foot on the porch and one foot in the room, eyes swing around to rest in the green of a thick tree which almost touches the porch. The box is empty and the lid closes again with its familiar clack of wood on wood. Both feet inside now I push the door closed and shut out the clarity of sound. 97 Design Experience sees how the door might have a small window precisely placed to see mailbox against the blue mountains. The mailbox might be placed so the experience of approaching the box is held by the posts of the porch as they hold a subtle view of the distant horizon. The mailbox might also be placed so the return to the threshold is a different experience full of the close view of the leaves of the tree touching the porch. Closing the box might be a certain sound of wood on wood so it resonates both with a clear day when the sky is high but also with a white day when the sky is close. O n a summer morning the leaves might cast sharp shadows and warm pieces of light upon the door. O n a winter morning the there might be the soft filigreed shadows of bare branches cast by a pale sun or a white sky upon a white piece of wall near the door. The box might be placed so I am faced with the morning sun when I approach it and feel the warmth on my back and the warmth of the door handle in my hand when I return to the threshold. The above web of possibility is the beginning of the process of manifestation as it flows spontaneously from finely tuned experience. The empty approach lacks the interconnectedness of the web because it does not see the fullness of context. O n the other hand, Design Experience sees the continuous experience of 'getting the mail' interwoven with a streaming web of natural context. As such the Design Experience makes manifest the experience of fullness. * * * Pervasive in Design Experience is the experience of transparent clarity. It is the sense of 'seeing' the stream of Awareness unmediated, transparent and lucid. The experience of transparency is reflected in a certain respect for the insubstantial and invisible nature of connections. A view without transparency 'sees' the merely visible and crudely tangible. A design process based on the vague and opaque view might see seasonal change in terms of cold, wet, sunny or cloudy. The transparent vision 'sees' beyond the vagueness of habits and finds connections with natural context which are highly subtle. Design Experience recognizes the unexpected shift of mood and pulse in early November when the darkness of days begins to fall more abruptly and fully and the pace of the evening quickens. It recognizes the gradual lengthening of days in early June when the last coloured light 98 lingers into the night and the pace of living is drawn out and full. Such connections between the pace of the natural context and the pace of motion, mood and pulse are delicate and subtle. It recognizes the shift in sound when in February the air begins to fill with tiny bird noises, the sky fills with flocks flying in unison or sitting on roof ridges and wires. It recognizes the quieting of the air in December when there is the call, isolated, of a gull in the wind before sunrise. It recognizes when in early October the sound of wind in trees turns from a hush of many green leaves to a dry rustle of dry leaf against dry leaf. It recognizes the shift in the touch of the air, the scents, the moistness underfoot and the warmth of a stone bench at sundown. Where the opaque approach cannot see beyond a static conception of natural change, Design Experience sees into the stream of natural context as it perpetually transforms. How can Design Experience make manifest connections with something which is inherently incomplete and continually moving? The natural context moves in cycles but it never returns to the same day. How can Design Experience, which speaks with form and materials which are inherently hard and fixed, approach the reflectiveness of a mirror or a chameleon? A concrete bench might be placed in such a way that it captures and holds the changing warmth of the sun and the motions of the shadows of branches nearby. The walls of a room might reflect the stream of natural context if its colours, textures and details are subtle and precise enough to hold the changing coloured light of its context the way a cloud does. A path might be just long enough, made of a porous material of a certain colour and texture, and placed close enough to the trees and a small pool of water so that the motions of the context are made manifest. O n some days it might be covered with the moving shadows of leaves, the patterns of a fence and surrounded by the sparkling water-reflected sunlight. In the light rain the path might be just right to see, hear and feel each raindrop in the water, in the leaves and on the skin. O n other days it might be moist underfoot like the autumn air itself, covered with soft patterns of gray shadow with the still white sky in the water. The above web of potential 'mights' is generated by precise and sensitive experience, not arbitrary alternatives. Arbitrariness comes from vague experience as seen in the opaque approach stopped up with crude and habitual perceptions. The opaque view sees winter as wet and dull or 99 summer as hot and bright. In this way, opaque connections with the motions of the seasons can only be arbitrary and obscure. Design Experience on the other hand, is transparent and full of clarity. It reveals a web of experience which pulses with the fine rhythms of the blood and the nerves, the days and the seasons, the sky and the air. Unlike a finished conversation or conclusive statement, Design Experience is a responsive and open dialogue with the motions of natural context. 100 RE-VISION What if...I begin to find the experiential meaning of the architectural term 'context'? It means seeing the building as context rather than the building as object in context. The view of object-in-context sees the context outside the building's walls consisting of concrete and visible elements such as the street patterns, the surrounding built form, the vegetation and the view corridors all seen from an imagined bird's eye perspective. The experiential context, on the other hand, is that which interweaves with my Awareness (Awareness-Focus-Context) and does not begin with the buildings' walls. It begins with me. It is not seen from an imagined perspective. It is seen from my zero-point. In this way, there is an interpenetration and continuity between building and natural context. It involves the air as it lightens on my face, paper and window sill. It is the sound of the morning as it gathers momentum in my head and my room. The building is interwoven with an experiential context of which I am the centre, now. The question becomes more precisely, how do I begin to interweave the building, as context, with experience? What form, specifically, renders the building as context? * * * What if...I begin to refine my definition of 'natural context.' I find that responses to natural context are mainly in terms of the sun's motions (heliodon and sun path diagrams), vague climatic factors (wind and precipitation) and static perceptions of the seasons (sunny in summer and dull in winter). By seeing the actual stream of natural context as it interweaves with the stream of Awareness, I find that the motions of the sun are as fine as the motions of the shadows on my wall or on the floor at my feet. The wind is the experience of the sound of the leaves outside my window. Seasonal change is the faded mauve along the horizon on a morning in December or the white tree full of amber light on an evening in early May. The question becomes, how do I refine my Awareness of the stream of natural context? What form respects the fine motions of an everchanging context? * * * 101 What if...I begin to revise the stylistic concept of belonging with context? My habit is to fit a building into its context visually, formally and stylistically. The experiential meaning of context says however, that a building is interpenetrated by its surroundings with deeply submerged and invisible connections. A building with stylistic connections is tied to visible and static forms which tend to degenerate and pass away. The building connected with the specifics of context is subtly submerged in a stream which is living, growing and changing. The connections are ephemeral, rather than literal and loud. A building belongs with context the way a sound resonates with the clarity or thickness of the air, the light and the time of the day. A building fits with context the way a leaf tells the story of the changing air, light and warmth of the seasons. The question becomes more precisely, how do I begin to belong in the stream of natural context? How do I craft the form, specifically, so it is interwoven with context? * * * What if...I begin to find experiential meaning for the worn-out word 'place'? The accepted view has become "the concept of place" (Relph 1976, 1). As a concept, the street corner by my house is seen in terms of spatial 'enclosure' with fixed edges and boundaries. The fence to the south and the distant horizon become the concept of edges. O n the other hand, the experience of the street corner sees the 'edges' dissolve and transform. The sense of enclosure continually shifts just as the changing light on the fence fades with the evening or dissolves in shadow in the morning. The air, clear and cool or warm and close, affects the feeling of space as does the horizon when it is hard and close on a clear day or distant and thin on a white-hazed day in autumn. It is even affected by the sounds of the place; the cars on the street, people on porches and dogs in back yards. The concept of place sees the colour in the distant sky as a view to be 'viewed from a distance.' The experience of place sees the light on the horizon as part of the place, cast upon the sidewalk, the fence and my body in full orange or fading violet. The concept of place is static and silent. The experience of place is streaming and full. The question becomes, how can I begin to experience my zero-point in the stream of place? What form, specifically, respects experience in place? * * * 102 What if...I begin to soften my visual biases? I find myself habitually confronting visual 'scenes' and filling my eyes at the expense of my other senses. Rather than overpowering a room with a great panorama, I might selectively respond to special phenomena and heighten the pieces of the horizon which are sometimes black on a summer day of high cloud, sometimes pink on a winter's morning, sometimes blue-white in the haze, sometimes violet in the evening. Addressing my visual bias means re-sensitizing the sense of sight so it becomes more refined and integrated with the other senses. Rather than placing a chair to face the view and the sun, I might place it so the sun is on my back, the cool air from the window is on my neck and my eyes face the motions of my own shadow on the wall and floor. It might be in a corner of the room which is very quiet visually, close to a tree full of birds in February or a street full of peoples' voices or the smell of the earth in October or the sound of a piano across the lane or a low roof which catches the sound of the rain. The question becomes more precisely, how do I begin to integrate my senses? How do I craft a form which heightens the integrated experience? * * * What if...I begin to question the labels I use in architectural practice? I find they have become habits which tend to block out much emanating experience. Without the limits of labels, I might see the threshold, not as an 'entry,' but in terms of taking off boots, putting on shoes and coats, picking up the papers, getting the mail, standing on the porch talking to a neighbour, watering the flowers in the pots, letting out the dog, saying good-bye, watching a friend leave. It is not merely an 'entry.' It is a locus of possible experience. From that locus I can see a particular piece of sky which turns a peach colour on certain evenings in November when I let out the dog or get the mail. The question becomes more precisely, how can l begin to include the possibilities of experience? What form, specifically, is full of possibility? * * * 103 What if...I begin to relax my need for completion. Design Experience involves connections with a natural context of perpetual motion and transformation. Awareness itself is always changing and refining. In this way, the Design Experience can never achieve 'comple teness , ' 1 ^ but only carry a respect for the impermanent, unfinished and evanescent. The standard practice is to rush documents into a finalized form and to minimize the number of changes on site. Design Experience implies a softened sense of what is 'finished.' it involves a sense of compliancy until the time is right to satisfy fine experience. It takes time to live with the motions of natural context and reach the experiential familiarity necessary for the emanations of Design Experience. It takes time and experience in situ to fulfill a design punctum. A fine experience of the subtleties of a piece of horizon or the motions of living cannot be rushed or decided by conjecture. Sometimes the opportunity to experience in situ is not possible. For example, windows on a second storey cannot be extrapolated from experience on the ground. Drawings need not be finalized and 'finished' before the experience is completed, in this way, documents might involve clauses for certain portions of construction to be refined on site after the first storey is framed. It might involve temporary windows to lived with for a year or two before they are refined. The question becomes, how do I begin to respect the incompletion of my Awareness and the natural context? How do I craft a form which respects the impermanent and evanescent? * * * What if...I begin to revise the stylistic concept of form, detail and ornament? My habit is to apply detail for reasons which are aesthetic, formal and stylistic. In experiential terms, detail has one raison d'etre; to connect Awareness with context. Form and detail alone without basis in actual experience are empty of connection. The actual provides the experiential ground and the focus for the crafting process. The window without actuality disregards the motions of natural context. The window interwoven with actual experience recognizes the specific colours, textures and forms held by the piece of glass. The question becomes more precisely, how does the form and detail make manifest my connections with context? How do I craft form and detail which is anchored in the actual? 104 * * * What if...I begin to give the design process the experience of focus? The design process, as I have known it, is unfocussed, dim and vague because it listens to an averaged kind of experience. It misses the foci and heights of the stream of Awareness. A design process which lacks the experience of focus lacks emanation and therefore misses the web of connections which embeds experience in context. 1 u ^ A focus which is not focussed enough has weak emanations and weak connections with context. The experience of living itself involves moments of intensity and other slack times which feed off those moments. So too a window might have a certain time when it is potentially fulfilled surrounded by other times when that intensity permeates experience. O n the other hand, a window which is unresponsive to the heights and hollows of the stream of natural context can only offer experience which is flat and continuously dim. The question becomes more precisely, how can I begin to make connections with the innate heights and hollows, the foci and emanations of the context itself? What form makes manifest the fine motions of context? * * * What if...I begin to mend the discontinuous and fragmented experience which informs my habitual design process? The design process which is discontinous sees, not a stream, but static fragments of a 'context.' It sees, not the stream of living, but isolated activities. It sees, not a continuity of built form, but pieces attached together. The fragmented view comes from a fear of quickness, continuity and wholeness. I find myself avoiding the fleeing context because it slips from my grasp "like a rare bird which cannot be seen. What one sees is the trembling of the branch it has just left." Design Experience on the other hand, is a continuous stream because it is connected with the continuity of the web of Awareness-Focus-Context. The question becomes more precisely, how can I begin to respect and make manifest the continuity of experience? How do I craft form, specifically, which is finely continuous with experience? * * * 1 0 5 What if...I begin to expand the intimate scale of experience with window sill and wall to the urban scale of design? The experiential stance means that my window and I are the elements of design at the expanded scale. In Design Experience, design at the urban scale is not a different kind of design experience. It simply means more emanations, more connections and a bigger web. Design Experience of a street edge means seeing from Awareness in situ interwoven with context rather than seeing lines on a plan from a bird's eye perspective. It involves the experience of walking under the awning, walking alone or in a crowd, in a hurry or lingering, coming to the corner with a view to the distance and more light and more noise, in the rain, in the warm light of a summer evening or the delicate light of the morning or in the autumn when the white sky touches the ground. Design Experience implies that there is a continuity and a coherence, like a connected web, between Awareness and the facets and scales of context. The habitual mode is to see from outside experience so the field is fragmented. Walking under the awning does not connect with the light of the morning. Lingering does not connect with the noise and the rain. The actual experience of the sidewalk and the thresholds does not connect with the experience of street wall or the whole street. To repair the web, Design Experience begins from the focus of experiential scale and emanates into expanding scales preserving the continuity of the web. The question becomes more precisely, how do I begin to find an expanded continuity of experience? What form makes manifest the continuity of expanding, emanating experience? * * * What if...I begin to include the other facets of context in Design Experience? By focussing initially on the natural facet of context, I have not implied that it is more fundamental than the other facets; 'social,' 'cultural,' ' technological . ' 1 ^ 4 The experience of natural context merely helped me to realize that the fine experience of connection (Awareness-Focus-Conrexf) can be the basis for other facets of context. The experience of emanation in Design Experience begins to include the other facets of context despite the initial focus. A conversation with my neighbour on the front porch can be the focus of Design Experience. The way we both stand in relation to each other, our gestures and the tone of the words are full of design puncta which tell me how the conversation might be 1 0 6 heightened and shaped by the nature of the porch and threshold. It tells me how the door might be placed, how the porch might be oriented, how the railing might be crafted and how the roof might be formed. The question becomes more precisely, how do I begin to cultivate fine experience as a ground for other facets of the context of Design Experience? How do I craft a form, specifically, which integrates all the facets of context? * * * What if...I begin to loosen the intentional pressure of the architectural process? I find there is a pressure in the design process to make statements, to speak with my personal tastes and to strive for an image and a style which is different and 'original.' When I listen instead of speak however, I find there is a profound richness in the motions of the body and the stream of the natural context which has been silenced by the loudness of intention. When my intentions are quiet, I find that design is always new and genuinely original because it allows the specifics of an everchanging context to speak. The design process full of intention sees a stairway with very limited 'reasons' for its existence and its form. It speaks of one intention; to get from one level to another. A stairway with the relaxed intention of experience seems to involve a multiple convergence of 'reasons' for its , existence and form. In fact, a Design Experience which listens reaches beyond 'reason' because it includes much more than intention can handle of itself (explosion). It might include the experience of sitting on the bottom steps half in the room. It might include a visual connection from the room below to the space above. It might be full of a certain light at a certain time of the evening. It might have a landing with a window which holds a special view to the west... The question becomes more precisely, how do I begin to balance listening and speaking in Design Experience? What is form like which comes from both listening and speaking? * * * What if...I begin to dissolve the distinction between designing and living? When there is a schism between the act of design and the experience of living, the designer proceeds through the design process independent of the process of living. When there is an integration, the experience of design is almost simultaneous with the continuity of living in the stream of context. With Design 107 Experience, I am both designing and living, just as the poet is "both speaking and listening" in the same breath (Vernon 1979, 147). The designer who does not enter the continuity of living sees a porch merely as a form appended to the edge of the building acting as the landing for steps. The porch lacks connection and continuity with experiential context. The designer who listens, lives through the experience of taking off muddy shoes in winter on the porch mat, getting water from the sink to water the plants in summer, taking out the garbage bags placed just outside the door, talking across the back yard to a neighbour on her back porch in the evening, hanging the laundry in the morning air in July, looking onto the back lane just over the fence, finding keys and carrying bags of groceries. The integration of design and living means the porch is, not merely a form, but a locus of continuous experience. Design becomes an everyday activity as ordinary as opening the curtains to allow a certain light to wash the wall or placing objects on a shelf to cast a certain kind of shadow. The question becomes more precisely, how do I find a closeness between the design experience and the experience of living? How do I craft a form which nurtures both design and living? * * * What if...I begin to define the experiential role of architecture? Architecture cannot be expected to 'spark' experience or to be responsible for the cultivation of Awareness. The refinement of Awareness is a delicate matter. It cannot be planned, controlled or designed. Architecture is merely one player in the delicate mutuality of Awareness-Focus-Context. However, the context can be crafted so it is full of potential for heightened experience. It can invite experience by providing a rich context for the refinement of Awareness. The question becomes more precisely, how do I begin to see architecture as a built context full of potential for the experience of connection? What form, specifically, invites the possibilities of refined experience? 108 GLOSSARY Because I have adopted my own jargon for this inquiry, I have listed the key terms below with their adopted definitions. However, it must be emphasized that it is intended that a full understanding of the terms cumulate with the reading of the text and that the following brief definitions should not be a substitute for that experience. Actual Experience A facet of the Design Punctum which is specific to its locus, piece of change and piece of living. Actual Experience is inseparable from Potential Experience. Awareness One of the players of the Awareness-Focus-Context interdependency which constitutes Experience. Subject to the will, Awareness is a stream interwoven with its Focus and its Context. Context One of the players of the Awareness-Focus-Context interdependency which constitutes Experience. Context is the ambience of Awareness and its Focus and interweaves with both. Design Experience The design process founded upon refined Experience. Design Punctum The powerful instant peculiar to Design Experience. Compared to the Punctum, it has a powerful motivating vector which sparks the spontaneous continuity of Design Experience. 109 Experience The refined and precise instant and/or stream which involves Connection, Intertwining, Interweaving and Resonance. Experience consists of the interdependence of Awareness with Focus with Context. The qualities of Elusiveness, BodyMind Integration, Synchronicity and Clarity describe the power of Experience. Experiential Description The stream of Awareness which is the base of Design Experience and from which springs the Design Punctum. Focus One of the players of the Awareness-Focus-Context interdependency which constitutes Experience. The Focus is the object of Awareness as it is interwoven with Awareness and Context. Natural Context One kind of Context; the natural ambience which interweaves with Awareness and the built form. Potential Experience A facet of the Design Punctum which intimates how form might be manifested. Potential Experience is inseparable from Actual Experience. Punctum The powerful instant of Connection peculiar to Experience. 110 NOTES 1. I find that Regionalism is based in experientially weak theorizing. It lacks a fine and specific experiential base. 2. My inquiry follows on the heels of an undergraduate thesis entitled "Towards a Northwestcoast Architecture" which tended to see my natural context regionally as a dripping rainforest. I began this inquiry with a strong sense of the vagueness and distance of my previous standpoint. I wanted to find in my experience of natural context a certain relevance and followed my intimations that nature here in 1989 is more intricate and variable than any one set of regional characteristics. 3. This inquiry could have the subtitle "An Interpretation and Application of Pure Phenomenology (Husserlian) for Architectural Design." I have chosen however, to give the presence of phenomenology a certain transparency in the hope of speaking to more receptive readers. In this way, l have attempted to maintain a tacit respect for the philosophical context of each citation. 4. The premise of intersubjectivity is well documented in the literature. A thorough description is found in Erazim Kohak's Ideas and Experience, Chapter Five (Kohak 1978, 73-104). However, it is not within my means or the scope of this inquiry, to prove that the experience of connection is a 'universal' experience or that what might appear to be my own personal experience is 'intersubjectively' shared. (Nor would it be appropriate to prove this issue from a scientific objective stance.) I can only rely on the fact that my descriptions are echoed by many (not all) philosophers, physicists and poets. 5. The premise of the descriptive orientation is widely documented in the literature. I refer to Natanson (1985, 2-13), Sokolowski (1985, 14-24), Mohanty (1984, 35-55), Parker (1970, 3-18) and Geertz (1973, 3-30) to name but a few. Description is not 'subjective' as in uniquely personal, because it involves the suspension of personal judgements, moods, beliefs and assumptions. However, because the suspensions are never pure, my description is, not a subjective interpretation, but an 'interpretation' of another kind. It is one in which l am consciously recognizing my biases and suspending them rather than not recognizing them and allowing them to cloud and distort my vision. 6. Gary Zukav speaks of the failings of "the exact [objective] sciences" when he says, "the distinction between objective and subjective have vanished, and the portals through which the universe manifests itself are not, as we once knew them, those impotent, passive witnesses to its unfolding...The Cogs of the Machine have become the Creators of the Universe" (Zukav 1979, 114). 7. Husserl's words have been translated into English as "with simple devotion to the evidence inherent in the harmonious flow of such experience..." In German the passage reads "in blosser Hingabe (bare, exposed devotion) an die ihr im einstimmigen Verlauf innewohnende (within living) Evidenz..." (Husserl 1950, 74). 8. I have chosen to use the word 'nonconnection' specifically to signify the shadow of potential connection. I find that the word 'disconnection' implies a severed connection or no connection. 9. "Punctum" is the Latin word meaning "point" as in sharp object. 111 10. The experiences (in italics) described in each chapter of the Theoria (PoemOrange, Right Hand, Light Rain and Fly) have not been fabricated for this paper. They are spontaneous experiences which happened independent of this paper. With the exception of Light Rain, they happened before the inception of this topic. The poetry cited in PoemOrange is by Robert Bringhurst; "Hachadura" from his collection Bergschund, 1975. 11. The experience may go by different names, but I have been careful to ascertain that the experience described by the poets agrees with the kind of experience I am describing. Borges calls it "the experience of beauty." Joyce calls it "epiphany." Valery calls it "the poetic experience." Barthes describes it as a "punctum" in terms of looking at photographs and provides the most precise description of the experience of connection according to my experience. Husserl calls it "experience" (Erfahrung) and provides the most detailed and rigorous treatment. Others, such as Sontag and Wittgenstein describe one or two qualities of a bigger experience. 12. It is difficult to define the constituents of 'mind' precisely because body and mind are inextricable. If I say that Mind includes emotion I find that the pervasive physical effects of emotion make it half Body also. I use the term 'BodyMind' as David Shaner has used it to imply that the two are inseparable (Shaner 1985). 13. The previous four qualities; Elusiveness, Bodymind Integration, Synchronicity and Clarity, will be expanded and clarified further in subsequent chapters. This therefore, stands as a preliminary outline of some common qualities of experience. 14. "Le studium...une sorte d'invetissement general, empresse, certes mais sans acuite particulaire...C'est le meme sorte d'interet vague, lisse, irresponsible, qu'on a pour des gens, des spectacles, des vetements, des livres qu'on trouve 'bien'" (Barthes 1980, 48 and 50). "Le punctum...vient casser (ou scander) le studium...C'est lui qui part de la scene, comme une fleche, et vient me percer" (Barthes 1980, 49). 15. Husserl uses both "ursprunglich" and "primordinalen," both being translated as "primordial." I am assuming that he means primary, fundamental and original, as in source. Unfortunately the word "primordial" has a connotation of being in another time, then and not now. I have chosen to use the word fundamental in lieu of primordial. 16. The available English translation of Husserl's Ideas by Gibson (Husserl 1962), is not accurate according to Kohak's interpretations (Kohak 1978). Because of the confusion and because I am relying on the precise meaning of certain words, I will provide the German original in the notes and key words in the text. Husserl's German reads; "Naturaliche Erkenntnis habt an mit der Erfahrung und verbleibt in der Erfahrung. In der theoretischen Einstellung, die wir die 'naturliche' nennen, ist also der Gesamthorizont moglicher Forschungen mit einem Worte bezeichnet: es ist die Welt." Kohak's translation appears to be more precise about the terms as compared to Gibson. Kohak's translation reads; "Common-sense knowledge begins with the awareness of objects and never goes beyond it. Within the theoretical perspective of which we say that it 'comes naturally' to us, all that any inquiry can deal with may be summed up in a single word: it is the 'world' [the 'objective' or 'external' world]" (Kohak 1978, 9). 17. "Die Potentialitaten der primordinalen Sphare...Zusammengehorigkeiten der primordinalen Konstitution meiner Natur" (Husserl 1950, 146). 112 18. ". . .comme ensemble pele-mele des corps et des esprits, promiscuite des visages, des paroles, des actions, avec, entre eux tous, cette cohesion qu'on ne peut pas leur refuser puisqu'ils sont tous des differences, des ecarts extremes d'un meme quelque chose" (Merleau-Ponty 1964b, 116). 19. Some theorems of quantum physics have been extrapolated from a description of subatomic phenomena to a description of 'reality' at the gross level of matter. Bell's Theorem is one of them according to Zukav (1979, 282), Capra (1983, 346) and Herbert (1985, 222). However, all theorems do not stand up to such extrapolations. They remain merely as descriptions at the subatomic level and do not describe 'how the universe works.' This has been a strong consideration in all subsequent citations from quantum physics. 20. The absence and presence of will points to a difference between PoemOrange and Right Hand but does not imply that they are different kinds of experiences. It points to a difference in power or height of experience. The absence of will in PoemOrange renders it more intense, more full, more integrated and more clear than Right Hand. After the first I feel awe-struck. After the second I am awed. They are both experiences of Connection. The play of the will, together with other factors, means a difference in degree and not in kind. 21. My distinction between Awareness and Focus is the distinction made in philosophy between "noesis" and "noema." Noesis is the way I look, as subject. Noema is what appears, as object (not object as in thing, but object as opposed to subject). It might be more simply seen as the difference between 'me' and 'other.' 22. The difference between a tuned Awareness and an untuned awareness might be seen as the difference between focus and unfocus. An Awareness which keenly receives and accepts the invitation of the Focus has fulfilled that focus, whereas an awareness which ignores the invitation is merely scattered. 23. The continuity of the stream of Awareness will be more fully developed in Chapter Four. 24. "Chiasm" comes from the Greek "khiasmos" meaning a crosswise arrangement. 25. "Le chiasma n'est pas seulement echange moi autrui" (Merleau-Ponty 1964, 268). "II y a insertion reciproque at entrelacs de I'un dans Pautre...il y a deux circles, ou deux tourbillons, ou deux spheres, concentriques quand je vis naivement, et des que je m'interroge faiblement decentres Pun par rapport a Pautre" (Merleau-Ponty 1964, 182). 26. The Kanji character for Ma is , 27. I wonder if the ground is present for the unwilled instant of coalescence when the stream consists of the finely tuned detections of tiny coolnesses, subtle rhythms and explicit sounds. When the willed stream is a relaxed Awareness it can approach the unwilled. This will be discussed further in Chapter Four. 28. "...eine besonders inniger Zusammengehorigkeit, weiche mit einem chlage die Gesamtkomplexion, der sich durchdringenden Momente zur Abhebung bringt..." (Husserl 1950, 251). "Abhebung" means, not only to come into relief, but to rise up or take off, like a plane. 29. "...miteinander Verflechtenden (intertwined) einzelformen und ihrer durch die universall verflechtung sich vollziehenden Gesamtleistung" (Husserl 1950, 68). 113 30. The entire passage reads as follows: "The appearance of a theme must be described as emergence from a field in which the theme is located occupying the centre so that the field forms a background with respect to the theme. The theme carries a field along with it so as not to appear and be present to consciousness except in, and pointing to, the field" (Gurwitsch 1964, 319). 31. Gurwitsch says, "the theme in the phenomenological sense is that which engrosses the mind of the experiencing subject, that which stands in the 'focus of attention'" (Gurwitsch 1964, 320). 32. The words of Stapp are echoed by Capra when he describes physicist Geoffrey Chew's "bootstrap philosophy" of nature according to S-Matrix Theory; "The world is seen as a dynamic web of inter-related events. None of the properties of any part of this web is fundamental; they all follow from the properties of the other parts, and the overall consistency of their mutual inter-relations determines the structure of the entire web" (Capra 1983, 316). The bootstrap effect is also described by Christopher Alexander when he speaks of the "mutual intensification of centres" (Alexander 1988, Chapter 7, page 44). 33. Merleau-Ponty's basic acceptance of field theory is evident in his words; "...the perceptual something is always in the midst of other things. It is always part of a field" (Merleau-Ponty 1962, 10). 34. "...le visible a lui-meme une membrure d'invisible...on ne peut I'y voir at tout effort pour I'y voir, le fait disparaitre, mais il est dnas la ligne du visible, il en est le foyer (hearth) virtuel), il s'inscrit en lui (en filigrane) " (Merleau-Ponty 1964b, 269). 35. I equate 'ordinary' in this case with the natural standpoint. I am not apologizing for the extra-ordinary in experience. Instead I am implying that the ordinary is habitual, partial awareness and the extra-ordinary is total Awareness. The two may be closer than we think as discussed in Chapter Four. 36. Feuerstein differentiates the field from the Knower-of-the-field by equating the field with the non-self and the Knower with the Self. This emphasizes that a field is not a field without a centre: "the field itself is only one aspect of the entity called man. It is complemented and in a sense completed by the 'field-knower'; the transcendental subject which is pure Being-Awareness. Both together constitute man" (Feuerstein 1980, 27). 37. I have been using the terms 'web' over 'field' interchangeably. In subsequent chapters I will tend toward 'web' rather than 'field' The web I see is a multi-dimensional web whereas the word 'field' tends to remain in flatness and two-dimensionality. There are many more examples of field/web theories which I have not included in the text. Christopher Alexander has developed a theory of the "field of centre" (Alexander 1988). Calvin O.Schrag says "experience is a dynamic field" (Schrag 1969, 23). Kurt Lewin has developed a field theory in psychology. He describes "the essential here-and-now situation in which a person participates" as a Life Space and a field. 38. Unfortunately the word 'instant' implies measured time, but it is the closest to the sense of simultaneity. 39. Where 'synchronism' implies simultaneity, I will use 'synchronicity,' as Jung has defined it to mean more than mere simultaneity. It includes the sense of the acausal (Jung 1960, 426) or 'accidental' coming-together discussed later in the chapter. 114 40. I cannot imply that the resonances of particles has any connection with the experience of Fine Resonance. I can merely point to the physical evidence as a parallel phenomenon which allows me to describe experience. 41. "...le miniscule, porte etroite, s'il en est, ouvre un monde" (Bachelard 1957, 146). 42. "...l'oreille assez fine pour entendre le temps qui coule" (Bachelard 1957, 155) "Le temps qui coule" has been translated as 'the passage of time,' but it is closer to 'the flow of time.' 43. The four qualities are not the only qualities, but for me they best account for the power of Experience. 44. "...schiesslich ist mein ganzer Erlebnisstrom (stream of experience) einem Einheit des Erlebnisses, von der prinzipiell, eine vollstandig (completeness) "mitschwimmende" Wahrnehmungserfassung (perceptual grasp) unmoglich ist" (Husserl 1964, 103). 45. The opening line of Chapter XVI of the Tao Te Ching reads "Attain the highest level of vacuity/And preserve the profoundest depths of tranquility" (Ch'en 1981, 110). I have chosen Ch'en's translation and interpretation because I find it to be the most scholarly. 46. Sho refers to the Buddhist state of 'satori,' defined as the experience of enlightenment, Self-realization, opening the Mind's eye, awakening to one's True-nature (Kapleau 1966, 343) which shares many qualities with Experience as I have described it. 47. Shaner's term "sedimentation" describes the internalization of skills and the incorporation into one's subconscious. Because subconscious implies mind only, he uses "sedimentation" to infer Bodymind Awareness. 48. Chapter XIV of the Tao reads "We look for it but do not perceive it and call it 'elusive';AVe listen for it but do not hear it and call it 'rarefied';AVe grope about for it but do not grasp hold of it and call it 'subtle'./These three characteristics do not lend themselves to closer scrutiny;/Therefore, they blend together forming one entity" (Ch'en 1981, 100). The quality Lao Tzu speaks of is elusive because it does not lend itself to conceptual scrutiny. 49. "Le punctum est alors une sorte de hors-champ subtil...vers I'excellence absolue d'un etre, ame et corps meles" (Barthes 1980, 93). 50. The BodyMind equilibrium is never a stationary one. The relationship is continually in flux and requires a consant rebalancing process. It requires constant questioning; Am I allowing Mind or Body to dominate? 51. "...le punctum (de la photo pointee, si I'on peut dire) est a la fois courte et active, ramassee comme un fauve" (Barthes 1980, 81). The last phrase is ommitted in the English translation. According to "ramassee" it means the wild beast is picked up, held in the arms, with-held, suspended. 52. Some instances of the stream metaphor: "The whole stream of my experience is a unity of experience..." (Husserl 1962, 127). "The continuity to which consciousness owes its streamlike character...the phases and segments of conscious life as they succeed upon, are not disrupted from one another, but hang together" (Gurwitsch 1964, 346). "Experience is at once a stream and a figure-ground" (Schrag 1969, 23). "During our awareness of bodymind, there is a recognition of a dynamic fluidity" (Shaner 1985, 57). Yet keeping in mind the experience of Interwovenness, it is more appropriate to see the motions, not as one stream, but as a streaming web. 115 53. "Intuition...das erstere mit einem "Klarheitsgefuhl" begabt sei..." (Husserl 1964, 48). 54. Chapter 5 of the Nature of Order reads; "The more carefully we think about each property and try to define it exactly, the more we find out that each property is partly defined in terms of the other fourteen properties..." (Alexander 1988, 79). 55. Calvino's six qualities are Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Multiplicity, Visibility and Coherence. Repeatedly he describes the inter-relatedness of the qualities. For example, he emphasizes that the quality of Lightness is not the lightness of a feather, but of a bird because bird is all the qualities (Calvino 1988, 16). Calvino describes the one quality which is the inner energy for all his six memos in these words; "My work as a writer from the beginning has been aimed at tracing the lightening flashes of the mental circuits that capture and link points distant from each other in space and time" (Calvino 1988, 48). 56. When Experience is highly refined there seems to be a fine line between Experience and Design Experience or other creative experiences. Any highly refined Experience is motivating, but the expression takes many forms. It could take the form of a poem, a painting, a lecture, a smile or a gesture. 57. As explained in the Introduction, I chose initially to focus on natural context because it seemed to have the keys toward a vitally located and connected experience of specific context through the built form. 58. If I had chosen a different facet of context as my initial focus, for instance the social context, I speculate that the Praxis would have had a different focus, but the Thesis would not have been substantially different. At the base of all the facets of context is the refined experiential stance which itself generically determines the shape of Design Experience. Of course, within the scope of this inquiry ! can only speculate that refined experience of all architectural contexts generates Design Experience as l have described it. 59. There is a definite evolution to be seen in the journal entries. At first they are contrived experientially because they involve sitting down to do conscious description. Over the years the descriptions became more integrated with the momentum of living. 60. A 'finished' drawing for each sketch exploration is irrelevant at this point without a larger context with which to connect. As such, these are just beginnings and need more 'emanations' as will be described in Chapter Seven. 61. The English word 'place' lacks the dimension of change. 'Presence' comes closest to simultaneous space and time, but even though it is specific about right now (the present), it is vague about right here. 62. Kitaro Nishida has transformed the word 'basho' into a technical term of modern Japanese philosophy. In that context it means not only specific space-time, but also the field of a specific experience (Yuasa 1987, 38). The Japanese character Is^fjf. The 'sho' of 'basho' is an axe by a door. The door exemplifies passing through and change. The axe stands for the unit of measure of weight and exemplifies the gravity of the earth. 63. Herbert Spiegelberg, historian of the phenomenological movement, has described the same perplexity; "Only he who has experienced genuine perplexity and frustration in the face of the phenomena when trying to find the proper description for them knows what phenomenological seeing really means" (Spiegelberg 1971, 672). Experience is not devoid of perplexity and frustration, but it is also full of wonder. 116 64. The poet Francis Ponge in his piece "The Silent World is Our Only Homeland" speaks of "a poetry through which the world so invades the spirit of man that he becomes almost speechless, and later reinvents a language" (Ponge 1972, 109). 65. I have chosen words as my descriptive medium because I found drawing (graphics) to be an experientially weak medium. Drawing cannot convey the sense of my zero-point surrounded by Context. Drawing cannot describe the specific motions of the Context or my Awareness. Drawings have edges and cannot convey the expansiveness or the unlimited nature of Awareness. Words come closest to fulfilling my need for precision in experiential description which nevertheless may be a personal bias. 66. As described in Chapter Four, Experience seems to involve the fine integration of different forces. The 'tensions' felt when the integration is coarse and experiential description is unrefined, become an easy equilibrium when the integration is fine. 67. I have relied on Kohak's interpretation of Husserl's passage on reflection in Ideas #77-78 (Kohak 1978, 115). Husserl says in summary that reflexion "is an expression for acts in which the stream of experience (Erlebnis)...can be grasped and analyzed in the light of its own evidence. It is the name we give to consciousness' own method for the knowledge of consciousness generally" (Husserl 1962, 200). 68. It is probably a personal matter which instant of the stream is the most powerful. Given a series of instants, no two designers would pursue the same punctum. As will be seen, it does not matter to Design Experience which one is pursued as long as it has the power described. Yet, the issue is, in the end, irrelevant because no two designers would be on the same spot at the same time having the same experience. This emphasizes the genuine originality of Design Experience. 69. Experiential power seems valueless because there is no choice involved. It is not a matter of choosing between things better or worse, right or wrong. The question of more or less power is felt by degrees, but it is unquestionable. 70. The creative motivational power which differentiates the design punctum from the punctum will be developed further in subsequent chapters, i am not saying that the punctum has no motivational power, but that design punctum has motivational power specifically toward built form. A punctum might motivate me to smile, to write, to sing or to dance. The punctum of Poetic Experience suggests a poem. The musical punctum suggests a musical composition. The design punctum suggests a built form. This issue however, is not the major concern of my inquiry and requires further study. 71. Physical bodily tangibility may not necessarily be crucial to lastingness and power. A dream, which has no bodily senses, can be highly concrete and lasting. 72. "...une immobilite vive: liee a un detail (a un detonateur)..." (Barthes 1980, 81). 73. "...il est coupant et atterrit cependent dans une zone vague de moi-meme; il est aigu et etouffe, il crie en silence. Bizarre contradiction: c'est un eclair qui flotte" (Barthes 1980, 87). I have borrowed Barthes' description of the punctum to describe the design punctum. At this point, I am treating the design punctum as a type of punctum. I am not attempting to identify what is peculiar to the design punctum, but attempting to describe its power as Barthes does so precisely. 117 74. "Si fulgurant qu'il soit, le punctum a, plus ou moins virtuellement, une force d'expansion" (Barthes 1980, 74). 75. It is significant that Barthes has used the word 'bliss' in another context, The Pleasure of the Text, to describe an experience much like the punctum (Barthes 1975). The word 'kaya' means physical body and emphasizes that the trinity of experience is corporeal. It also suggests that the three bodies are really one body. 76. The focus on a precise piece of the flow of things is like the Japanese sense of "uji" which means "at a certain time." Dogen, the Japanese Soto Master, uses the term "uji" to signify "being-time" or the direct experience of time. It is like being in the flow of time when every instant is highly unique. He says "each particular blade of grass as well as each phenomenon is time. All being...is within time as specific times" (Shaner 1985, 150). 77. The seasonal change is from observation over time. It comes from living with the locus rather than imagining or speculating. In this way, Design Experience is not strictly now, but absorbs other precise experience. 78. I could intentionally change my routine. I could wake up earlier in order to see the sunrise. However, in ordinary living (the natural attitude) I flow with the seasons unintentionally. 79. My use of the term 'sense of...' is not strictly physical senses, but BodyMind sense as in integrated physical sense and 'sensibility.' This kind of sense has the precision of integrated bodymind Awareness. 80. I use the verb 'to intimate' with intention because its Latin root, 'intimus,' means 'inmost.' It implies that the design punctum holds within it potential form. 81. Of course across the seasons, the piece of change is never the same. One spring might have many white days and another may have very few. 82. The foci of locus and uji need not focus upon existing built form. As in Afternoon Sill, the locus is a pine needle. If the focus was exclusively built form, Design Experience as I describe it would be exclusive to renovation. Design Experience I believe embraces design from the ground up. The actual focus of experience could be a tree, the wall of a neighbouring house, a cloud or a fence. The only criteria is that the foci be actual experience and not imagined. This includes the focus of daily routine which comes from one's own actual experience or a description of one's client's own actual experience. 83. The circle of colour can be a sunset phenomenon also. In terms of the seasons, it seems to be a year-round phenomenon, but most precarious in winter when the colour is most soft and fragile. 84. The 'might be' of potential does not imply anything haphazard. The design punctum is always connected with and directed by the specific situation and as such is always highly relevant to the specific natural context and bodymind Awareness. 85. My use of the word 'form' here means coming into physical reality as opposed to the ephemeral potential of the design punctum. Herein lies the difference between the potential of the design punctum and the potential taken into the process of manifestation. The design punctum is unmanifested potential, before form. The manifestation process finds 'form' for potential as well as texture, colour, etc. The sketch explorations of the Praxis are the record of potential coming to form. 118 86. The experience of focus I am describing is part of the process of manifestation and needs to be differentiated from the focus of the design punctum which is focussed, but unmanifested as the previous note discusses. The seed of the focussing experience is present in the design punctum, but it does not become manifested until the exploration in form begins. 87. At this point of the process, when the potential begins to find form, the might of the design punctum becomes a-certainty (the potential tells me how...). If this is confusing I can only say that there is a fine line between the foci of actual experience (design punctum) and the manifestation process because the design punctum is always present. 88. "One-pointedness" is a term used by the Soto Zen Master, Yasutani. Similarily Dogen, also a Soto Master, describes the microcosmic effect of the focus of experience. He says, "both the whole moon and the sky in its entirety come to rest in a single dewdrop of grass" (Shaner 1985, 168). Like a bright pearl, he says the experience of focus involves the quantitatively small and the qualitatively valuable. An acute focus holds an entire world. 89. There seem to be natural limits to the emanations, but they do not stop at the walls of the room or the building. My experience reaches as far as the horizon. 90. I refer to their words as cited in Chapter Three. 91. I am not implying that these are the only kinds of experience within Design Experience. I am identifying this relationship as a crucial rhythm which distinguishes fine Design Experience. 92. When I say there is no particular sequence or order, I am not implying that it is chaotic or haphazard. It is much like Bachelard's description of the way the "intuitionist" works; he takes in "everything at one glance, while details reveal themselves and patiently take their places" (Bachelard 1964, 159). Bachelard describes a kind of sequence which is not predictable or preconceived, but reveals itself as if waiting patiently to be found. 93. just because I am describing focus/emanation as an experience of the designer, I am not implying that it is exclusive to the designer. As discussed in Chapter Six, the manifested form invites the experience of the specific focus and the associated emanations may it be the designer or anyone who tunes in his Awareness. 94. Again, the process seems limitless and endless, but usually it reaches only as far as experience reaches... 95. Some of the emanating design puncta are a circle back to the original experiential description where there is a series of heights, as described in Chapter 5. Others seem to be beyond the original experience. 96. "...liee a un detail (a un detonateur) une explosion fait une petite etoile a la vitre du texte ou de la photo: ni ie Haiku ni la Photo ne font "rever" (Bathes 1980, 82). 97. These are not the only qualities, but for me they reflect the power of Design Experience as do the four qualities of Experience (Chapter Four). 98. When is the 'first choice' made? When I make the choice to take an experiential stance. It is appropriate to the sense of no-choice that the word punctum also means "a cast of the dice" (Barthes 1981, 27). It should be emphasized that no-choice does not imply restriction or imprisonment (without choice), but the feeling of not needing to make choice because of inherent certainty. 119 99. Christopher Alexander describes the same momentum. He says the process "directs itself" (Chapter 15, page 3). Where the process he describes comes from an initial stance of wholeness, the initial stance I describe is one of experiential specificity. Yet the momentum quality is highly comparable. 100. For the sake of brevity I have not gone into the fineness of detail necessary for a full description of Design Experience. 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