Life is interaction. No organism exists in and of itself, or could survive without interaction with its environment. Human beings are, of course, no exception to this rule. In fact, as we are a social animal, we are more dependent on interaction than just for the basic necessities of survival. Much of this happens at an implicit level. This does not make it any less powerful, far from that.
This is a topic that therapists have been exploring for a long time. The phrase “implicit relational knowing” refers to the way babies “know” how to watch and respond to their mothers: this is an implicit learning process, as opposed to cognitive learning. By extension, the phrase also refers to the way human beings implicitly update their database of experience throughout life.
But the implicit relational knowing is not just what happens at the individual level, or in a dyad. Since it is such an important characteristic of how our mind functions, it also manifests in other interactions. At the level of society as a whole, it could be called the collective implicit.
Yuval Harari, the author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, describes the paradigm as follows: “Planet Earth was conquered by Homo sapiens rather than by chimpanzees or elephants, because we are the only mammals that can cooperate in very large numbers. And large-scale cooperation depends on believing common stories. But these stories need not be true. You can unite millions of people by making them believe in completely fictional stories about God, about race or about economics.” (Source: New York Times, 5/24/19)
This is a very powerful articulation of the crucial role that the belief in common stories plays in shaping civilization and history. An important consideration is that “these stories need not be true”. They have a deep emotional resonance, i.e. a kind of truth, but they need not be objectively true.
So this project is about exploring the relational implicit through the perspectives of relational psychotherapy and embodied attachment. See :
– The individual, embodied experience of the implicit: the relational implicit as an experience, not an abstraction. See also related conversations & articles.
– The “shared implicit“, i.e. how the felt sense experience unfolds in a shared field. See also related conversations & articles.
– The “collective implicit“, as it accretes from the many experience of shared implicit that occur in society. See also related conversations & articles.
– Knowing, and how we strive to make sense of experience: related conversations & articles.