top of page
  • Writer's pictureIan

Cognition as Sense-making and Enactive Dao

Let's explore the relationship between Enactive Dao and the concept of Cognition as Sense-making.

The idea of Cognition as Sense-making is central to the enactive approach, as proposed by Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana. Rather than viewing cognition as a representation of an external reality, it is seen as an active, embodied process of making sense of the world based on the organism's interactions with its environment and its own internal states.


This perspective dovetails with several key principles of Enactive Dao. For instance, the principle of Engaged Practice underscores the idea that understanding Dao comes not from abstract theorizing, but from actively living in accordance with its principles. This aligns with the enactive view of cognition as sense-making through action, as it is through our actions in the world that we come to understand and embody Dao.


Additionally, the principle of Integration of Body and Mind aligns with the enactive perspective on cognition. The enactive approach emphasizes the embodied nature of cognition, suggesting that our bodies play a crucial role in how we make sense of the world. Likewise, Enactive Dao stresses the importance of integrating body and mind, indicating that our physical experiences are inseparable from our understanding of Dao.


The principle of Embrace of Change and Flow also resonates with the enactive view of cognition as sense-making. Just as our understanding of the world evolves through our ongoing interactions with it, so too does our alignment with Dao evolve as we flow with life's changing circumstances.


In essence, the concept of Cognition as Sense-making provides a theoretical underpinning for Enactive Dao, emphasizing the active, embodied, and dynamic nature of understanding. By recognizing cognition as a process of active engagement with the world, we can better appreciate the principles of Enactive Dao and cultivate a way of life that is attuned to the continuous unfolding of existence.

3 views0 comments
bottom of page