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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Ritter

Developing your Practice of Knowledge - Being a Good Scientist



When we look into the history of science, we see that it does not simply consist of facts and conclusions drawn from facts. We see that it contains ideas, perspectives, and tension created by different evidence and interpretations, mistakes, failed experiments, and so on.


When we look even closer, we find that science knows no “bare facts” at all but that the “facts” that enter our knowledge are already viewed in a certain way. 


In other words, they are put into perspective. And more than this, even the production of those facts can only be facilitated by putting on a certain lens. 


Science is a collaborative effort of individual people.  All with their personal life stories, experiences, and opinions. Overcoming particular biases is a big complexity in academia. 


What helps is getting evidence from different viewpoints. Contradicting opinions motivate us to scrutinize phenomena from different angles and will contribute to proving or disproving a fact. 


"There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. "


-Enrico Fermi


If we are trying to learn something about a field new to us, it is good practice to start by listening to the leading voices of that area. See what others have to say about them. Acknowledging their research from their discipline, their point of view and contrasting claimed facts with other evidence.  


If that science relates to us, we can maybe observe some things in our daily life that prove or disprove a fact for us. Though those observations might be very obvious and salient for us, they are still just one data point compared to a huge mass of collected evidence. 


When we examine something with a different analytical approach, we may gain a fresh perspective and new insights. For instance, in the act of knowing ourselves, we collect many data points over a long period of time. The observations across time make it possible for us to predict how we are going to behave in a certain situation. 


Psychology predicts the behavior of a certain population or group of participants, while medicine predicts the likelihood of successful treatment for a certain percentage of people. However, these sciences can only provide a tendency or probability of how you may react.


The Biologist and the Biotope


When biologists research a biotope to gain insights into its functioning, they focus on studying the unique characteristics of that specific ecosystem, the amalgamations, and the relations between its components. The biotope is not compared to other biotopes, its uniqueness is acknowledged. 

This approach can be applied to our personal lives as well. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, pondering the correct way, we can choose to stay with exploring our own movement, thought, feeling, and experience. 


Your Research Skill Toolbox - Becoming an Expert of Your Self


To start your own practice of knowing, you might want to try the tools that science provides you with and research an area in which you are already the most renowned expert: your self.


Here are some tools you can fill your toolbox with :) 


Formulate a Hypothesis: Ask yourself good Questions

Asking good questions is a powerful way to increase your awareness about a particular subject. It can help you to uncover new insights and understanding, and to focus your attention on specific areas and detail. When you ask a question, you are stepping into the unknown and opening yourself up to the possibility of learning something new. By approaching each moment with a fresh perspective and without preconceived answers, you can peel away layers of understanding and gain a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the world around you.


Calibrate Your Instrumentarium: Strengthen Awareness and Sharpen your Senses

Similar to scientists fine-tuning their instruments, cultivation of your observation skills is key. 

With a specific question in mind, your awareness for a certain movement, action or thought pattern will automatically be enhanced. 

Also, finding a point of reference is important - in Feldenkrais we often use the floor or a chair. Something stable enough in your environment that you can measure your experience against. This is important to facilitate recalibration of your internal instrumentarium and it helps you to perceive better and interpret the signals emanating from your inner world.


Data Collection

Find a way to track your observations. This can be done by journaling, through mental notes, even through expressing and sharing with others. See what works for you. Being able to look back on other aspects of yourself that were highlighted at different times and situations gives you a better understanding of our cyclical and dynamic nature. 

When you are aware of correlations between the ebb and flow of your good times and what happened around you, you can make informed decisions and keep trusting your abilities.


Side note here: Progress is not linear - and besides we do not need progress all the time. Change might be a better *goal*: doing something else is restful. Varying what we do, not necessarily stopping completely.


Experiment: 

Just as scientific experiments yield valuable insights, deliberately go into new experiences to understand how they influence your perspective. In the case of movement you can try out different variations of how you walk, sit or stand. Make small changes. Take the movement apart, put it back together, leave out a bit, add something. Then, observe the effect and feel what makes a movement more efficient, enjoyable and easy for you.


Peer Review - Seek Feedback: Seek feedback from trusted friends, family, or mentors. External perspectives can provide valuable insights and act as a form of peer review for you. They can also be the perfect inspiration, suggesting new rabbit holes and nourishing curiosity.


It is essential to acknowledge that simply amassing facts within a particular methodology is not the sole way to acquire knowledge. Instead, gaining knowledge should be viewed as an active and dynamic process that requires creativity, flexibility, and openness to various methods. Knowing is a verb. We have to hold the threads and dance with them.




If you would like guidance with sharpening your skill set or you just enjoy working on your self knowledge in a collaborative manner - with another perspective - I am here to assist you!


With 1:1 online Feldenkrais lessons with me you can dive deep into your own movement exploration.


Send me an email to hi@feldenkrais.wien to book your discovery call!


Best, Caroline



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