Thought as energy!


Recent work on the Involuntary Nervous System proves an explanation for this ideational part of this exercise and for the body/mind view generally. Miller (1969) says:

Cellular electric current can be made to occur in protoplasm by the very act of thinking. Thought alone can therefore, in and of itself, be the stimulus to induce an electric current to flow down any nerve to the affected tissue - demonstrating that thought is a source of energy...The Involuntary Nervous System is not necessarily is more under conscious control than previously believed.


Some recent research lead me to these links (thanks Tivo). They are a definite core trajectory of somatics off of phenomenology and hanna. As I track the evolution and progression of somatics, I find that multiple areas of focused attention via academia, dance, psychology, cultural practices (chi gong and yoga) and independent thinking humans have come to similar conclusions, but through different language and cultural lenses. This realization keeps coming up for me as I read a range of thinkers from Emilie Conrad, Bert Bennett, to Thomas Hanna. We each have a profound capacity to awaken to experiential realities based in our bodymind that lead to states of being and awareness that are birth rights and at the most fundamental direction of natural uninhibited biological development. Thus all of the variety of soma based creativity that turns into "modalities" seem to just mirror our inhibitions and thus create the need to cling to a self created form of embodied awareness. This form that has emerged out of natural biological trajectories then becomes an economic anchor. Why do somatic creators make modalities? This is a bigger question that has some obvious answers, like each system needs skin and boundaries and a shape to live, much like ourselves, yet some how each modality becomes rigid in time. This is one reason I am so drawn to this link:

"The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture is an interdisciplinary initiative dedicated to promoting research, programming, and teaching of topics concerning the body-mind-culture nexus. The Center’s motivating logic affirms that the three terms constituting its name are essentially interdependent rather than separate entities and that they therefore need to be studied in terms of their interrelations and through interdisciplinary research."

We somatically driven folks need to collaborate our efforts and focus our thoughts, maps, and modalities to support the natural and biological trajectory of embodied awakening for each human and for each human group. The collective illness and insanity of our time is greater than one modality, as it will take a collaborative effort to reawaken enough bio-energetic presence to care in the face of a dynamically changing world.

I had dinner last night with someone who manages portions of a state funded agency that provides psychological care for people in the lowest economic stratosphere of America. I have also worked with addicted teen women from this population. In our conversation last night, I was mentioning that I had the intuition that this population was exponentially growing due to greater and greater amounts of cultural illness swept under the large American rug. I track it as nervous system issues passed from ancestry to ancestry to ancestry, thus the ghosts of embodied agitation keep looping through the familial systems, supported by culture and then amplifies its agitation each generation in younger and younger off spring from the generation. His response was that he too was witnessing this and that the many agencies he works with have also seen waves of large spikes in highly traumatized beings that are fall out from the past generation's inability, biological inability, to parent or love their children. This leads me to think that love is not automatic even in the face of a lymbic system. As Joeseph Chilton Pearce points out a defended mother will produce a baby with a larger hine brain and thus will be more defended.

By bringing the vast somatic map into convergence we can track multiple streams of research, science, philosophy, and good old fashion intuition to understand how to help not just our own, and very needed healthy narcissism, but to actually create ways to aid our culture, our earth, and our future to............?????????????????????

A New Way to Fight Stress |

A New Way to Fight Stress |

The Parade is covering a Somatic modality! Wow perhaps we are seeing small ripples in the world that the body or rather the mind-body is the foundation of health and well being. Perhaps our collective suffering via the hyper addiction to mentalizing reality and the numbing effects of modern social life are reaching a point that we can no longer tolerate the stress loads we have taken on and we are making a sweet return to our most simple experience of our self. My one complaint about this article is the modality-centered approach. Its a mechanical approach to mind body integration. Meaning if I apply IBMT to me-or my body-as object then I will have stress relief, but really there are many diverse ways and modalities to meet the needs of a range of body's to integrate with mind's, there is not just one way, god forbid, but rather a plethora of creative approaches to this issue. Thoughts?

Layers of Intimate Proximity

Layers of Intimate Proximity

We are biologically self organized in nested layers of intimacy. Just note the 'felt sense' when you communicate with your children or your partner compared to talking to your neighbor, compared to going to a party, to a farmer's market and on. Consider these the necessary filters to protect infancy, childhood, and even our own personal interiority, the private experience of our self. Then consider this in terms of an ever increasing global society. Consider this in relation to news and information. Consider how we interact with these layers based upon our beliefs about the layers. For instance:
1. If I have had the continual experience through the layers of Intimate Proximity (IP) that people are untrustworthy, then I will interact with all realms in defensive postures, thoughts, and actions. Protecting my core through each layer.
2. If I have never had much contact in the variety of IP layers with diverse people then when I do meet them in the outer layers, I will respond defensively.
3. Say that I have been raised with a range of fluid experience across the IP layers, then I will be comfortable with a range of transitions within IP layers.

We transition in and out of these layers daily. The transition is filled with somatic information. This information is in the form of:

Shift in-breath
Unconscious disassociation
Loss of ground-shift in weight
Subtle or not so subtle contractions of expansions in musculature
Social Anxiety: Fear of contact or fear of being alone
and more

Because we generally move through these transitions quickly the information is lost in our pace to get to the next place. Our pace maintains the habituated interactions and relationships that we are patterned to. Unconscious relational patterns through the IP layers are collectively maintained by policy, schools, infrastructure, but more importantly by our own somatic life. When we slow our pace we slow our perception and can attune to nuanced experiences that are coursing through our entire nervous system. When we attune we begin to have more options, fluidity, and reflective power to interact in creative ways with the diverse layers of the IP.

When I teach I utilize IP layers to carry, contain, and exchange more ways of understanding the information that I am teaching. Much like an eco-system, students will each offer and exchange how they experience a particular concept, which focuses their own experience and yet expands their possibility and range of experience. I created a mid term based on this idea. The success of the mid term was astonishing to me. In fact the students through the exchange of knowledge, perspective, and experience created ways of understanding the subject that where new, novel, inventive, and revealed an emergent understanding beyond what I had presented.

I have also applied the IP layers to drug addicted teen women. The process that I facilitated, which is experiential, managed the group at a new level. Most of these women have been abused since birth and suffer from a life time of PTSD, thus managing reactive behavior was very challenging. Within a few weeks of my process, i was able to create a more supportive environment within the facility and create more group self regulation. Rather then having these highly abused women autonomously self regulating, which they cant, they were self regulated by the IP layers of the group. Thus free exchange of information and feeling is passed through the layers.

What I love about this work is that our 'felt sense' is naturally attuned to these IP layers, so with a little training these biological cues are exposed. Rather than the information being too ethereal or esoteric it is easily felt, tracked, and worked with.


Behavior and Thoughts as Biological Processes

We are each in a unique constellation, organization, and/or configuration in response to our environment. Our environment being the human and natural environment of our experience, so parents, siblings, family, friends, neighbors, city, culture, news, global moods, forests, buildings, and on and on. Our environment is richly complex, interdependent, and woven in feedback loops from the small intimate experience to the large global and social experience. Our experience is self-organized by layers of intimacy and layers of contact within different proximity's of intimacy. We cluster in small groups of intimate contact, be it partnership and love or friends and co-workers and thus navigate the world through small portals of those that know us and those that we pass by, environments that are familiar and environments that are not. We constantly transition these realms and layers, yet rarely notice the shifts in our Somatic life that cue us to these changes, aside from the shifts in our comfort and ability to tolerate change and to be flexible internally in the face of dynamic change. Anxiety would be an example of intolerance of change, expressed as not enough breath and an inability to move the upwelling of overwhelming sensations building up throughout one's body in the face of transitioning through the layers of intimate proximitys.

We are born into this layering structure and each respond to this richly complex environment in a multitude of ways, reactions, and responses. Some of us may be more comfortable in the outer layers of intimate proximity, preferring to be more social than intimate, helpers, hero's, and staying away from depth and contact. While others may prefer to stay in the inner intimate proximity and relating only with a few close and trusting others. Depression can be one form that prefers only the most interior intimate proximity of our self, thus creating alienation and isolation.

Our body/Somatic life contains the collection of familial responses, unconscious, and adaptive behaviors that have been successful to keep the family alive, the individuals alive, and each system has a point of tolerating stretching this adaptive behavior. This can be seen in our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). This is an ancient nervous system found throughout biology as the primary interface between our inner and outer world. This can be as simple as contracting, hardening, and mobilizing vital energy in the face of an attack (fight or flight) to the simple sounds our our intestines digesting food into usable energy(rest and restore). Each family system has a collection of family strategies that swirl through the family nervous systems over generations making small increment changes and subtle evolutions. Every member of the family may adapt a particular constellation of these strategies, thus each one is unique, yet we will all utilize the same pool of strategies and each tolerate a particular stretching of the system.

Our breath contains the subtle clues and cues of the thumbprint of our strategy. Our sensations are the language of our biological-familial-system and our personal narrative stories, our thought life are the ripples at the surface of embodied life. This Somatic life is, in my opinion, is the place that we can most grow, stretch, change, and transform our own personal experience within the thumb print of our familial nervous system.