Meyerhold – a Physical Theater Pioneer


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The “charge” on our thoughts and feelings


The objects and perceptions in our world have a different connotation, emotion. Like a battery or a gun they can become “charged”

from the source:

Demon (German and English)
From the Greek “Daimon” for a non-human power somewhere between people and gods, without any negative connotations. An example would be the daimon of Socrates. The daimon had a wisdom which has nothing to do with our modern conceptions of good or evil: it was a force of nature that could offer hints about fateful situations and actions.

The meaning of things gets a certain connotation and a certain “charge”. In my bodywork class one of the teachers called them “elementals”. It is the emotion that is charged, loaded on a word or a symbol or any kind of mental or perception entity.

another example: if you say the word cancer, it holds a certain emotion, a certain fear, that is present directly after the word is spoken.

The power of empathy and observation


If you truly learn to see how others experience the world it makes a lot of mental battles, a lot of judgment unnecessary. It opens up your understanding of what is really going on in the world.

People lacking empathy don’t realize what they are missing, so I see it as my challenge to make people aware about what really moves others.

There’s different layers in empathy. I have found these techniques most helpful to improve my empathic qualities:

“Focusing” developed by Eugene Gendlin
“Nonviolent Communication” developed by Marshall Rosenberg


The feeling and principle of resonance as a guideline


The snare of a violin gives resonance, sound waves that can be felt through the instrument and in our body. Some things resonate better with the other.

You can apply this to ideas as well. If information “resonates” with your feeling, this might be good information for you at this time. You can connect it to what is alive in your own perception. This doesn’t make this information is absolutely “right”, just the  kind of infomation that allows you to develop your awareness at the moment you encounter it.

Kidoma, resonance and divergent thinking.

I used to translate kidoma as “the right action on the right moment in the right place”. Better would be “a right action in a right moment in a right place”.  In order to have a positive effect on people or a situation you need to take into account the timing, the area where you will apply it, and which action is suitable action for this moment.


Structure vs Chaos and Complexity


The biggest problem in my life handling with the huge amount of information is finding a workable structure.

  • Any structure allows you to do certain things but limits certain possibilities. A structure bounds absolute freedom in order to build something.
  • setting a structure needs time and energy.
  • Structures cannot necessarily be combined. They often need different kinds of focus.
  • Dabrowski speaks about “positive desintegration”. If one level of functioning is not supporting your experience and perception of your own life, you disentegrate in order to find a higher level structure. This structural development is continual; it has no ending, it keeps evolving.

A real but disputed answer: there is a benevolent and intelligent force in the universe.


I think it is of the essence to be able to connect to the notion there is something essentially positive about the universe. Call it God, Allah, “something”, the universe, love or music, happiness, progress… we need a mental understanding that what we perceive as “good” exists on a universal scale.

For some life makes sense just to be able to percieve, it is great, it is wonder. Love makes sense because gives you a fuller experience, it opens your system to experience, to enjoy, to connect and it offers you a compass in life.

But for a lot of us value needs an bigger all encompassing mental structure and we fear despair if it’s not there. If the only truth would be emptiness then what is the sense in living? Not believing in the positive side of our universe means a life without true meaning.

Problem with the word God is that it has a lot of bad publicity. A lot of innocent people were killed in the name of God. Morality can be manipulation. To me the term “axis of evil” is a horrible example of this.

Pain and emptiness


We search for definite answers in order to avoid pain. Of course this avoidance in the long run doesn’t pay of, but here and right now it seems to be a good strategy to avoid pain by creating the illusion of a definite answer.

Take an addiction – the mind creates the illusion your addiction is going to get rid of the pain.

With emptiness I mean the fear that the most fundamental nature of the universe would be the fact there is no real meaning to it all. If we go deep enough into the emptiness and don’t have a strong spiritual, existential or motivational foundation, we start to believe there is nothing worth living for.

Optimism versus realism

There is a subtle fight between happy and unhappy people. Those unhappy struggle for recognition and those happy struggle to maintain there happiness.

And I believe this fight might be unnecessary. Unhappy people deserve recognition, but in order to give them they and you need understanding of where and the other really experiences. This understanding takes time, empathy and openness.

So what about the really big and horrible problems?

There is no God if he allows for such terror as war and rape. If he allows us to continually be afraid, angry, destructive, confused and in pain. So much horror.

I struggled with this realization a lot. Yet I notice their are ways of feeling better. There are solutions and if we don’t see them it is a good thing to realize there is something positive which is bigger then ourselves.

We are small and huge at the same time.

We need to realize we are only a very small part of the universe. I learned to look more positively at the word “humbleness”. To me it doesn’t mean following a spiritual leader and being humble to his principles, to me it means nobody on this earth is certain what our existence is about. We can stay open for answers, because nobody really knows. And then it helps to believe in a positive “force or intelligence” outside of ourselves. The moment I really started connecting to the bigger, an intelligence stronger than my mental (often habitually determined brain), my life changed fundamentally for the good.

Identification, emptiness and openness

One eastern concept is that of emptiness. If you peel the skins of an onion, what you will find is emptiness. It is a metaphor often used to  explain the fact that you cannot mentally understand what life is really about. Things are the way they are, you can only experience them. In a negative way it could mean life is just that “empty”. In a positive way it means that with an open mind change is almost always possible.

The feeling of emptiness can be dreary, can be hard, can be lonely, can be depressing. When depressed this emptiness seems to be “all there is”. There is no way around. The negative truths seem more true than anything else.

This is a limitied perception. The problem is you identify with what your mind tells you. You make it your ultimate truth. You are ultimately believing your experience is more true than anything else. Often the need behind this is recognition but a lot of other needs, which are real and fundamental needs are not being met.

Body intelligence vs mental knowledge – internal dynamics vs spoken language


I studied mime theatre, contemporary dance and bodywork. I encountered a lot of theories about the body which seem to overlap and contradict each other. I realized the body is a complex system.

  • There is conscious intelligence, the part of us that thinks and interprets our perception while we are awake. This information is only a small part of the information processed in our body.
  • The body itself is directed by other parts of the brain, the spinal cord, the rest of the nervous system and, if you are open to it, Qi or energy, another form of intelligence.
  • We perceive the body as one entity and yet know a lot of different processes happen. We see one, we tend to group and see a certain function or organ or system. We create a “oneness” a “solid” image in our mind of what we are and how we function.

The contradiction is:

  • >We need this oneness in our perception to judge reality, in order to know which choices to make. We need to label better or worse.
  • <In it’s function the body’s intelligence structures information in completely different ways. It is not thinking the way our neocortex is thinking. This “body intelligence” has a dynamic of it’s own.

For example your body’s balance – Could you exactly describe how the body keeps its balance? There are people researching the topic, but the mechanisms are only gradually showing itself.

Another example: do you know how you walk? What is happening on a muscular level? How does your body coordinate your actions?

As I imagine the mental brain evolved mainly because out of a practical advantage. It organised social structures in groups and actions of early humans in order to hunt and to survive. The mind started labeling information in order to get control.

But the mind needs a lot of time to mentally understand the different dynamics of the body. There is a huge amount of information going through the body and brains. It is infinitely complex.

Yet there are patterns and we learn to understand those patterns better and better.

The mind tries to “grasp” reality and doesn’t realize it’s impatience. You need to observe very long to notice what really goes on. Spoken language doesn’t really cover what happens on a subtle level. A lot of words don’t exist yet.

And people who do bodywork and develop spiritually train their minds.

Good teachers help, but abstract thinking takes time to get it right. A lot of time. A huge lot of time.

The illusion of clarity and the ideas of Carl Popper


Most thought systems that give guidance to the behavior of people, like psychotherapy, eastern philosophy or religion try to search and give clear answers to people. These clear answers can seem very real.

Think about the good advice you get from self help literature or people who don’t really know or understand you – how often the other treats their advice as “certain”, as truth, and how often do you really feel helped by what you hear?

There is a certain feeling of “being right” and following that a seeming certainty. It seems honest, complete, true. The clearest description of this phenomenon I read in the first book of Carlos Castaneda: the clarity of mind gives us a false certainty. In the books it is explained as “a point before your eyes”.

Here is a link to a clear description of this principle:

I think of it as more complex than a mere illusion. A lot of truths are sold together with nonsense.

An example: People teaching in a shiatsu school often see their acquired knowledge as absolute. They can make very certain statements about the reason why a person has a certain ilness.
The teacher has noticed that his way of treating can sometimes really helped some people, but doesn’t realize the limits of his knowledge. I personally know a teacher that tells his students that every organ in the body is connected to a country in the world. This to me is a preposterous idea, but I believe he can be good at shiatsu.

The teacher in the example interprets his thinking as clear enough, but in fact his thinking is to quick. He fools himself by a false feeling of “being right” Interpretations goes to fast.

The philosopher Carl Popper held similar ideas – he made up that falsification is the only way to search for truth. Thoroughly searching for a reason why a claim is false is the only way to know wether it is true.

In the last few years I have started to notice how fundamental this problem is. This false security of knowing is a difficult trap to overcome.

One of the causes of this problem I try do describe under the next part of this series.