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Warp -

Four zones of proximal, evolutionary development

The space of commoning

As a language of practice - a frame for acting and enacting - a pattern language must carry some sense of space and place . . . I/we, here, in this material context, in this shared project, in this social order, in this community, in this time, in this biome, at this place in Deep Time FoP RoP does this with a fourfold basic framing of zones of proximity:

  • ¿1 In-here

  • ¿2 Here

  • ¿3 We

  • ¿4 Region

Note: Here and throughout the language, the symbol ¿ is pronounced zone.

The four zones constitute four framings of the situation of an activist (or any person) in relation to whatever is to-hand in the field of awareness, moment-to-moment; a framing of conditions for responding in the world, at a given time; some kind of sense of proximity, and availability of resources and challenges, affiliations and antagonisms, for mobilising and developing.



Figure 6 : Four zones of proximity & reach

The (contents of the) zones are understood as cycling necessarily in their turn to the top of the stack of awareness: four modes in which time and place may be present to the actor, four extents of ‘reach’ in action and intention. Awareness of all four is mobilised necessarily in skilful activist practice.

The zones may seem at first sight to differ in intrinsic scale. But all are ‘the same size’, in the sense that depth of discrimination within a zone and depth of participation in an action in a zone is the same for a person, in all zones; and that the ‘size’ of this is the ’size’ of the consciousness of the person. Thus all four zones potentially have parity as spaces within which an activist may act, with consequences out-there. At the same time, all actions are conducted in all zones: no actual action can be conducted in any zone without consequent and possibly consequential action occurring - knowingly or unknowingly - in another. Ripples are unavoidable.

An activist - or at least, a movement, a formation of activists - needs to be self-consciously at work, with appropriate skills and vision, across all of the reachable zones.

The zones differ, in the kinds of labour and skill, perception and attention, that are needed, to recognise and engage and develop and establish and police things in that zone. Weaving (§1) / dancing (§2) / surfing (§3) is the kind of relationship that's needed, to have them all in motion - a kind of movement that is very much in-the-body rather than in-the-head . . it’s important to have an aesthetic (kinaesthetic? an erotics of activism?) sense of how our capital-M movements actually move?

The zones are offered as a way of helping self-consciously engage the literacies that may be mobilised, at any location, at any time, in enjoying and curating and stewarding any of the commons, §1material, §2cultural, §3emotional . . . and beautifully making new FoPs and RoPs, in the distinctly different kinds of landscape in which any life is lived, with full awareness and regard for the ‘suchness’ and 'to-handness' of the stuff that the landscape and the situation are composed from.


Zen says: when cutting carrots - cut carrots. Also: when walking, walk; when standing, stand. Don't wobble. Be here now.

This is what the zone framing is for.

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