Living Thinking

It's Appreciation Month at Elan Family Wellness.  I'm happy to have Scott Hutchison guest blog today - yes, Scott is my husband, a Massage Therapist and Allergy Sensitivity Testing and Treatment practitioner at Elan, and photographer with Stick Out Your Face Photography.  Enjoy his thoughts on a recent lecture about Living Thinking presented at the Calgary Waldorf School.  

I came across a new term called Living Thinking last week. Living Thinking was coined by an amazing teacher named Michael D'Aleo who is possibly one of the smartest people I have ever had the opportunity to hear lecture. If you want to learn more about Michael, his patents and where/what he teaches --drop me a line.
Living Thinking is this: A story -- either self generated or told by others -- that relates important information by way of a narrative that deep-roots it into a person's mind. This causes extrapolations to occur in a way that a person can then see a broader picture of their world and relate and use this new information in different ways.
So... here is a real story and great example.

It's my first year of Art History the teacher has just asked the class an interesting question. “Why do the clay pots of these ancient people have drawings, paintings and beautiful art on them?” Simple question, right? To a class of first year Art History students, it had the effect of a giant mute button. No one puts their hand up.
The teacher repeats the question. I start to imagine these people and their decorated pots... Images and thoughts start flowing through my mind's eye. 
Wehave just finished a unit on primitive cave paintings and we're now on to a slightly more modern society. This new group of people is agrarian and have the ability to use tools, make things, plant things, store things. I see them out in a field of grain, using simple hand made ploughs. I see bundles being staked by communities. I see the pots being pinched by hand and dried in the sun. I see the grain being poured in and the lids sealed with wax. Wow, they have really moved on from those cave painting, hunter gather people. 
I focus on the thought, 'They made pots and stored food'. If they store food, they don't always have to be out gathering food. That means... more leisure time. What do they fill that time with? I think... ART!
I raise my hand like a nail sticking up from a floor board. The teacher addresses me: “Yes, you?” 
I respond “They have time.” 
The teacher says, “Explain.” 
I say ”They don't have to devote as much time to gathering food, because they can store it. They now have more leisure time for other pursuits... like painting the pots.” 
Teacher: ”Good, good, gold star for you.”

He could have just told us the answer to his question after the long silence and blank stares. This would have made the class move along quicker, but I for sure would have missed avaluable lesson. But thankfully he didn't... He somehow inspired a story to be played out in my mind. Now, because I was given the opportunity to figure that one out on my own, I will never forget it and I appreciate that moment. That is my example of Living Thinking in action. And now, with my story, you have a base understanding of Michael's term: Living Thinking.


  1. What an interesting story. I love how the past blends with the future to get one thinking. Thanks for sharing this here, Josephene and Scott. ~ Nadine Nicholson

  2. I've had a day of learning (the brain melting computer IT variety). I sometimes am troubled how the very act of acquiring a new skill or perspective leaves me with a feeling of being relatively incapable; struggling with a problem for long periods of time tends to make me feel stupid. (Probably because people don't like giving you money until you are proficient) And yet, it's the saturating in the vacuum created by the absence of the solution I think that double and triple layer burns the answer(s) onto our hard drives once we obtain it. I can relate to this principle of "Living Thinking", or at least I think certain experiences in my past qualify; where Instructors, gifted in the art and science of inquiry, asked questions and patiently waited for a newly germinated answer top break through the soil of my mind and pop out of my mouth ... I heard myself answer the question and was witness to the first articulated version of a thought. I like that the patience of the Instructor allowed me to feel like the new seedling belonged to me, instead of belonging to ancient latin speaking dudes whose wisdom is owned exclusively by expensive textbooks.


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