LIFE AND LOVE
Go away,' I say to you.
What do you feel when you hear these words? Where exactly in your body do you feel it? And what will you do after reading these words?
One person becomes angry and rigid, while another becomes anxious and meekly follows the instruction. Now you don't know who this 'I' is that is telling you to 'go away'. It matters whether that 'I' is the writer of this instruction, your supervisor, your teacher, or your father or mother. It also matters whether you are reading these words or someone is saying them to you while pointing a stern finger at the door.
The effect of the combination of sound waves (the words we hear) and light reflections reaching us (the image we see) depends on our internal structure. How we process the words and the image we create with them internally. The 'go away' trigger produces a visible or invisible change in you. If it does not produce a change, then there is no more 'life' and that is what you call 'dead' or 'dead away'.
Source: 'The Tree of Knowledge', Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, 01 January 1988.
Work in a group of at least four and no more than six people.
- How do the words 'go away' affect you? What do you feel and think? Where in your body do you feel it? Discuss this with each other. Write and draw together on an A2 sheet of paper words and drawings about what you 'hear' and 'see' during the conversation.
- What is 'life' according to Humberto Maturana and Fransico Varela? Discuss this with each other. Write and draw together on an A2 sheet of paper words and drawings about what you 'hear' and 'see' during the conversation.
- According to Maturana and Varela, 'life' is only possible if it allows every living being (in your group, community, habitat and/or on earth) to continue to realise itself. If not, we create a dead end for ourselves as a species, group and individual. Discuss this with each other. Write and draw together on an A2 sheet of paper words and drawings about what you 'hear' and 'see' during the discussion.
- Maturana and Varela argue that love, constructive communication, acceptance of and space for the other are the basis of our survival. Why do you think Maturana and Varela say this? Discuss this with each other. Write and draw together on an A2 sheet of paper words and drawings about what you 'hear' and 'see' during the conversation.
- Work together to create a performance about life and love. Include words and images that you have captured during the conversation.
- Perform your created performance about life and love for others. This could be the other groups you have worked with. And/or an audience you have invited.
To explore the nature of life and the importance of loving life.
You have explored the deep meaning/mission in your own life, e.g. using the 'hero's journey'.
1You have co-created and shared with others a story that reflects the future you want to live in.
SDG 16: Peace, Security and Strong Public Services
Pens, A2 paper, theatre space, cardboard, brushes, paint
Can you describe in your own words how important love is for life on earth?