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Key Points

The proximity consists of elements related or potentially related to a situation, in physical, mental and other ways.

E = Element
R = Relationship
Green = Related to the Situation and Part of the Proximity
Blue = Potentially Related to the Situation and Part of the Proximity
Gray = Not Related to the Situation and Not Part of the Proximity
Note: As the green shows, elements don't need to be physically near each other to be related to a situation and therefore part of its proximity. There are many ways to be related.

Most simply, the proximity consists of elements and relationships. Perhaps more usefully, the proximity consists of elements related or potentially related to a situation, in physical, mental and other ways. The ways in which elements may be related include physical, mental, emotional, temporal, logical, intuitive, historical, social, and any others. Proximate elements may be known or unknown. Proximate elements may actually be close, like along dimensions of space or time. Or, proximate elements may seem close in some way, such as mentally, emotionally, logically, etc. So whether such elements are actually close, or only seem close, it makes sense to consider them as proximate since they make a difference in how we relate to our situation. The proximity is usually not completely fixed or given, so we can often choose some elements and relationships.

Why proximity?
Many of our personal and shared situations have a group of elements related to the situation, whether those elements are people, places, things, ideas, feelings, relationships, groups, times, processes, or whatever else seems related to the situation. But we don’t have a frequent way of talking about, and relating to, a group of elements related to a situation. This way of talking and relating needs to encompass general concepts like contexts and environments. Yet it also needs to be flexible enough to handle elements that are related to a situation but not part of the immediate context or environment. And, it needs to handle groups of elements related to situations as diverse as those involving regions, communities, neighborhoods, offices, projects and even parties and conversations. The word proximity, the meaning of which includes nearness in relationship, can help. As stated above, in proximity thinking, the proximity consists of elements related or potentially related to a situation, in physical, mental and other ways

Yes, the Proximity is Flexible
An important part of the definition above is our ability to choose some elements in the proximity. We can often make some choices about what to consider related to our situation.

Proximities (Plural)
Since the proximity is flexible (see above) for a situation, and there are many situations, there are many proximities.

Proximities Overlap
An element can be part of many different proximities. Due to this, a proximity may be considered to overlap other proximities, meaning multiple proximities may share one or more common elements.

Proximity Compared to Situation
You may think of the proximity when you talk about a situation, but they are not the same thing. One difference is how changing what you consider to be the proximity, can change how you deal with the situation. Another is that often a proximity can relate to many different situations.

Multiple Situations
Some proximities may relate to multiple situations.

Proximity to ProxSets
From the proximity, we create ProxSets.

Each Defined by Other Two
Elements, relationships and proximities are woven together. In a sense, each is defined by the other two, and all three relate to situations. More details here.

Advanced Points
A few advanced points about proximity follow on this page.

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One way to consider changes to your proximity, is to think about the proximities of related situations.


• What elements are related, seem related, or are potentially related, to your situation?
• What elements are related to your situation in space, energy or time?
• What elements are or seem related to the situation, in your mind, feelings, in other ways or in other dimensions?


What you consider the proximity in your home can vary related to different situations. The proximity might include different rooms and objects, memories, time of the day or week, family members, plans, projects, neighbors, ideas about what makes a home, and various decisions.

The proximity of a proposed project (situation) involving work might include alternative plans, potential tools, possible team members, various projected timelines, and other unknown but potential elements.

The proximity for different situations during a vacation might include potential activities, various logistics, people, transportation, maps, memories, flexibility, accomodations, a sense of adventure, possible locations and other elements to be discovered.

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