An experiential, experimental approach to David Bohm’s holoflux: the flowing movement of all that is, the ground of our being, the mysterious domain in which mind, matter, and meaning are an organic whole.
Bohm proposed that human beings hold the potential to manifest the holoflux as living reality. What access points might we already have to this potential? What aspects of our personal and cultural lives thwart this access? Through presentation and extensive participant interaction, these questions will guide our inquiry.
Our contemporary identity—the self-image—follows a pattern of ‘enfolding’ and ‘unfolding’ that we find articulated throughout Bohm’s cosmos. But this self-image filters out the deep, living currents of the holoflux, in favour of enfolding recycled thought patterns, values, and images. Bohm often referred to the bright lights of Las Vegas, which blot out the light of the stars: ‘When you turn off the electric lights, then the universe comes through.’ Can we move through this analogy, and into the living cosmos it points to? This holds the key to what Bohm referred to as true individuality—the undivided human.
We will examine the manner in which awareness, thinking, and feeling deteriorate into ‘thoughting’ and ‘felting.’ This process permeates our individual lives, as well as collective global culture, and is at the root of reflexive defensiveness and isolation. The result is what has been called the ‘pain body,’ a uniquely apt term for our modern condition. We will inquire into the various manifestations of the pain body, and how this blockage to the deep currents of the holoflux might be undone. We will explore how interoception—our interpretation of the sensations within our bodies—can help us understand the grip and extent of the thoughting/felting vortex.
If we can release somewhat the impulses of thoughting, felting, and the pain body, we can begin to sense untapped aspects of consciousness that are innately in motion, rather than fixed and rigid. As inner rigidities dissolve, this is reflected in the ‘outer’ world. It is this affinity for movement that allows us to sense and engage in a new way with the explicate order—the world of cars, rivers, people, stars. Such ‘liberating’ of the explicate order is central to deep engagement in dialogue—when multiple participants allow the flux and flow of assumptions and presuppositions, we find the seeds of a new level of participatory consciousness.
For 40,000 years or more, indigenous people have been attuned to what David Bohm referred to as the holoflux, and its attendant implicate orders. Our guest Leroy Little Bear (Blackfoot) will discuss how these perceptions relate to the fixities and rigidities of the modern world. Can our categories of ‘reality’ become fluid? More deeply, can fluid, evolving categories—our framings of reality—help us align with the movements of the holoflux? Is such activity itself the expression of the holoflux, manifesting in human beings? Are we willing to entertain the prospect of perpetual transformations?
Lee Nichol, Bohm collaborator, editor, educator
Lee Nichol is the editor of David Bohm’s On Dialogue; On Creativity; and The Essential David Bohm. From 1980-1992 he collaborated with Bohm on various aspects of dialogue, consciousness, and education.
He has been on the faculty of the Arthur Morgan School in Celo, NC; of the Oak Grove School in Ojai, CA; of the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, CA; and of Denver University in Denver, CO.