Enaction is designed to make the world emerge through the concrete action of each one of us
The Global Enaction Manifesto aims to bring about an eco-systemic wisdom that transforms ourselves and the world of which we are part, through the concrete action of each of the subscribers.
Enaction is the term proposed by Francisco Varela together with other researchers to describe the ability of each living being to be ready for action in relation to the context it is perceiving, and how each living being, by interacting with this context, renders it a concrete reality. Enaction underlines this very possibility of ’emerging’, of making something active, something that before our concrete manipulation was not a given in itself and that only thanks to our actions becomes possible and manifest. Every action becomes a cognitive act, an experience that is embodied in the person and that, if repeated, becomes a deep part of the person’s consitution.
It is not a question of abstract and disembodied knowledge, but of the capacities strictly inherent to our being in the world, with our body and with our concrete possibilities of action. It is a form of ’embodied knowledge’ that finds its expression in the way in which each of us moves and interacts, participating directly in the creation of our own world with immediacy. This immediacy becomes possible only if the action is repeated so often that it does not require a deliberate analysis: there is no longer any need to reflect to decide what to do, since it has become knowledge incorporated into one’s own body, and which belongs to us deeply.
If this is true for habitual actions in which we develop specific skills that we unintentionally use – such as eating, talking, and walking – it is also true for ethical skills, such as knowing how to respond to the needs of others. A person can put into practice ethical behavior by incorporating wisdom into his or her actions, so that each of his or her actions becomes an authentic care taking that arises spontaneously.
For this to happen, it is necessary to acquire ethical behaviors by social imitation, as is the case for most of the learned behaviors. We are speaking of a form of ‘exemplary contagion’: to set an example with one’s own actions for others who will follow.