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Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

On-line version ISSN 1445-7377
Print version ISSN 2079-7222

Indo-Pac. j. phenomenol. (Online) vol.12 n.2 Grahamstown Jul. 2012 

Peacebuilding from the inside



Kevin C. Krycka




A deeper understanding of the role embodied intelligence can play in social change is vitally important if we are to be successful in creating and maintaining a more just and sustainable world. A key component of any change process, peacebuilding being one example of such a process, is developing inwardly focused bodily intelligence. A phenomenologically oriented understanding of social change, and by extension peacebuilding, is one in which bodily felt recognition must take a special place. Change that is bodily recognized has a different character and functions distinctly from the change that is experienced during a change of mind. A change of mind may stem solely from assimilating new information, (e.g. reading the latest book or professional journal), while bodily experienced change registers along broader lines than cognition alone. Although both processes are kinds of change, the embodied change, which is felt from the inside, is far more generative than change that involves merely altering or shuffling around existing schema or concepts. To assist in further exploration of peacebuilding as inherently both a personal and social event, I have developed an approach based in part on Gendlin's philosophical works, in particular his Process Model (Gendlin, 1997). I refer to this approach as a process model for peacebuilding because this articulates how intrapersonal, interpersonal, and social agency can be framed as one movement, a single ongoing process of human life. However, it must be admitted that this approach with its emphasis on developing embodied knowledge and practices is not as yet readily associated with such externally focused work as that which is found in peace-building as an academic field or social action activity. Embodied interior intelligence as a theoretically rich concept, although known in phenomenology and recognized in emerging theories of cognition, is not as yet sensible to many of those working in the peace-building arena.



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About the Author



Dr Kevin Krycka is Director of the Master of Arts in Existential-Phenomenological Therapeutic Psychology at Seattle University. Since joining the faculty in 1989 he has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in the area of abnormal psychology and the preparation of psychotherapists. Dr Krycka's scholarship utilizes phenomenological research methods to develop a deep understanding of how human beings experience and respond to change. Dr Krycka has extensive experience teaching Focusing, a mind-body awareness process, to those in the medical and allied healthcare professions (therapists, body workers, acupuncturists, etc.) as well as with persons with serious and life threatening conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, EBV, MS and chronic pain conditions.

Currently, Kevin is developing a model for peacebuilding that helps bring the experiential order, found in moments of deep and lasting personal change, into public discourse and policy-making. E-mail address:

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