I love words. I love the feel of words in my mouth, the sounds of some words. Say, for instance the word 'nippble.' Say it aloud and voluptuously a few times. I was talking about 'nipping something in the bud' and heard myself saying, "Because it is in the bud when a thing is most nippable." This is how I approach acting, building out from the way the words feel in my mouth, in my body.
I have a tendency to make up words, like 'dysvestibulation.' I don't like avoiding using the word I want or need because a certain big part of my audience will be lost. I see that happening when I speak sometimes. There is a look in the listener's eyes telling me she no longer has any idea what I am talking about. One word will do it. I don't want to convey a message that one is deficient in not knowing the word nor do I want to speak down (a thing I do quite naturally being taller than most. I find I hear better sitting down.
This is how I hope to solve the problem. Words I know we little encounter in our daily conversations link to this glossary.
There are also familar words I may be using in an unfamiliar or idiosyncratic way. These too will be linked when I catch myself at it.
If you find any I miss or you have questions about please feel free to send a Comment. It may take me a while to get to some of these as some are very complex, like what do we mean when we refer to 'nature?.
We need to go deeper in our daily conversations and different vocabularies come into play when the needs become greater.
This is not anti-medicine, it is the completion of medicine; not a deconstruction (which is mostly a critique, a kind of literature) nor even a reconstruction (with those connotations). Reconstituting, perhaps. We can go larger to apophatic sciences. The risk of the apophatic viewing of science is that it is often sensed by many of the scientists to be an attack and go on the defensive.
So life is studied as if it is a battlefield, an ever expanding arms race. The caterpillar attacks, the plant puts up a defense, the caterpillar counters. An unacknowledged assumption widespread in biology is that life is not all that welcome in the world.
I once asked Science, "What is the main thing you want?"
She considered for a bit then clearly decided declared, "Control."
Sure there's that pure hunger for knowledge, there are genuine humanitarian urges; control floats to the top.
It's a kind of pattern recognition, the more practiced you are at seeing it, the more it appears.
Apophatic is a strange word. It's quite an old concept but the word is seen by only that queer lot who study theology. There it is the finding of God in the negative. There are many threads and they go way back. It struck me when I encountered it, and has stuck with me because through orthobionomy I had been hosting apophatic ways but had not had that word. With me it was more about other things than god but various other domains of power and control.
One important name associated with the word at the dawning of modernity is Nicolas of Cusa. We are mid 1400s. Nicolas was many things, we could say he was a Rennaisance man. He was a priest––an important Cardinal––and a brilliant mathematician. It this latter area he was ahead of Copernicus and Newton. The title of one of his writings, Learned Ignorance. This caught by attention as it resonated with my practice of sitting with not knowing.
This is a text that is at the same time a text on number theory and theology. The two are inextricably wed and intertwined. Is the Holy Trinity but a metaphor of the triune nature of the Whole or does Mathematics flow out of the nature of God? I doubt Nicolus saw this as a pardox. Mathematics can make no clear claim to purity, bearing the stain of god.
Look at the dominant through where it isn't. Everything is defined by what it is not. This is the basis of cybernetics, the science of control in biological systems. The control lies within the absence. In a family system it is the secrets, the undiscussables. What can't be looked at determines the space and shape of a life.
Somewhere in this maze I tell a story about a laboratory monkey and a special relationship she has with a toy. See if you can find it (though I may have not written it yet).
Trauma has its apophatic aspect.
The body is the inscribed surface of events (traced by language and dissolved by ideas), the locus of a dissociated Self (adopting the illusion of a substantial unity), and a volume in perpetual disintegration.
There is much to be said about the Body Schema. One may start by clicking the kink above to the Wikipedia entry. We go much further with the concept until it's well over our heads. Go HERE for a more full account. I distinguish it from Body Image.
For Merleau-Ponty the body shcema is also the basis of "ntercorporeity," i.e., a prepersonal sphere of reciprical comportment and understanding prior to any explicity consensus and symbolic communication.
Relationship. Life happens in a boundary. We think of this side and that side and a line between. Go into the line. You are the boundary. One leg of the three-legged stool, the holy trinity.
Highly overrated in my opinion. More on this will be coming. Until recent times this has been a taboo topic of any research and any reputable scientist who ventured, however tentatively, into the forbidden land suffered professional consequences. The doors have been opened an so we will see where it goes.
A recently proposed hypothesis is forwarded by philosopher Riccardo Manzotti. Simply stated, "...the thing that is my conscious experience is not an inner ghost but the very object I am conscious of." This fits well with my orthobionomy experience and parallels Turner's extended organism.
Death is a culturally invented concept.
Default Mode Network (DMN)
Distal Attentional Network (DAN)
It's more likely a continuum, a range of a scale, a matter of degrees.
Most dichotomies turn out to be false dichotomies.
Dorothy Parker famously quipped of Doris Day, "I knew her before she was a virgin." The reason we find this funny is because we all have a sense of the arrow of time ths statement is jarring. This is what Dollo's law is about, the irreversibility of that arrow. Louis Dollo (1857 – 1931) was a Belgian paleontologist, noted for his work with dinosaurs. What his law asserts (really a hypothesis) is that a structure or organ lost during the course of evolution would not reappear. This "law" has had its ups and downs and usually is restricted to evolutionary theory. It has broader application in biology with its base in the theory of entropy and the irreversibility of the arrow of time. I consider some variation of Dollo's Law to make it on my ist of laws of life. We have our aphorisms: "You can't go home again," (stated in another way by Gertrude Stein when she revisited her hometown of Oakland CA, "When I got there there was no there there."); or Heraclitus's "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." There always seems to be a part of though that dreams of return and the myth of a golden age; "make America great again," return to some edenic time. Return to earlier functioning after trauma. Fantasies. Rather align with reality and work towrd acceptance and accommodation.
Escape Distance or Flight Zone
"A specific spatial computation that can proceed in the animal's head in the absence of any obvious fear or escape." See Graziano.
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If one concedes that one knows viirtually nothing about God then one can begin to recover the presence of holiness in the flesh of ordinary existence. ––RICHARD KEARNEY
If I said decisively: 'I have seen God,' that which I see woujld change. Instead of the onconceivable inknown––wildly free before me, leaving me wild and free before it––there would be a dead object and the thing of the theologian––to which the unknown would be subjugated. ––GEORGE BATAILLE
Monotheism––only one God–– contrary to what we are usually taught, is a modern concept, making its first appearance in 1698 (See Keller).
My question around this now: did the collapse of gods (polytheism) into one God have anything to do with the rise of reductionism, in the sense of the word as used by Mary Midgely? One world view (Science), one language (English) dominating and eliminating competing worlds and stories.
Biting off a big chunk here and probably out of my depth but...
Soon, I hope, there will be a pointer here to the theology (theopoetics) of orthobionomy and an explanation of why theology should be mentioned in connection.
Earth plus action with reflection gives us this word. Practices that consider place (placement, orientation, positioning) as important elements of health and well-being. Becoming aware of and responsive to the subtle interplays of Where You Are with Who You Are. Developed by Richard Valasek following principles of orthobionomy and interrogating certain practices of Ortho-Bionomy, e.g., Phase 6 and Phase 7. Various aspects of Geopractic are being included by a growing number of Ortho-Bionomy instructors.
Is hardly ever the right word but I have not found a better yet Every time I use the word it is somehow qualified. This word is a constant source of conversation in classes. People have strong reactions.
Advances the notion that you are sufficient to promote healing in the world. This is the basic teaching of orthobionomy. Involves a stripping away of technique; letting go, unlearning.
Verbs meaning beginning to do something, suggesting an ongoingness of a precess. Also called inceptive verbs. A state of always beginning.
Jesus, Trickster Jesus
Jesus has the remarkable ability to be whoever yoy think you want him to be. A lot of things are attributed to him but the biblical Jesus is already a committee, not just one person speaking, what others think he might have or should have said. Jesus in America is an interesting book. There are many traits that suggest Jesus's closest cronies are of the Trickster Clan. A good example of Jesus turning the trap was when he said to his inquisitors, pointing to a coin of the realm, "Render unto Caesar ... '
The interpretation of body motion communication such as faical expressions and gestures facial, nonverbal behavior related to movement of any part of the body or the body as a whole. The equivalent popular culture term is body language, a term Ray Birdwhistell, considered the founder of this area of study, neither used nor liked (on the grounds that what can be conveyed with the body does not meet the linguist's definition of language).
Of particular relevance for the Phase 5 focus. So much so Kinesics could be a replacement name for the confusing and idiosyncratic Phase 5.
By letting go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning. ––LAO TZU
One of the symbols of Phase 7 (see entry below) of Ortho-Bionomy represents the act of Letting Go. It looks like an inverted letter 'Y' and Pauls referred to it as the Releaser or sometimes the Volcano (as an expression of the release of built up tentsion. Opposite Letting Go in the dialectical field of Phase 7 is the symbol for Holding On. Pauls called this symbol the stabilizer or the mushroom. The symbol looks like the letter 'T' but with a downcurving cross bar,, like a mushroom in cross sectionl. This dynamic is equivalent to the Constraint––Freedom dialectic proposed by American pragmatic philosopher C.S. Pierce.
Neuroscience is suggesting that it is also the same as the two brain functions whose interplay is currently thought to be a possible source of Consciousness: the Deafult Mode Network (DMN) and the Dorsal Attentional Network (DAN). The latter is engaged under outer-focused, world-engged, problem-solving activity. The DMN gets active when the DAN is not and is inward,focused, having to do with the autobiographical self as well as (suggests Lieberman) social relationships.
Lieberman, Matthew D.
Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
The place of Play. How safe a space must it be? What do we trade for safety? Is there always danger inherent in play. How much falling down do we do to be able to walk without falling down? Is PTSD (qv) is a desparate fixation on safety?
Therapy applied to therapy itself. What does it mean to say a thing is therapeutic?How a person becomes a better therapist more through unlearning. Gardens require pruning, even my feral garden.
Minimalism (Less is More)
Robert Browing, in the dramatic monologue or 1855, "Andrea del Sarto" has Anrea say to his wife Lucrecia, "Well, less is more, I am judged." Further in the poem is the other famous line, A man's reach should exceed his grasp else what's a heave for?"
When asked the source of the phrase most people will think Mies van der Rohe. It was the summation of his architectural philosophy and he oft repeated the phrase. He, however, heard it for the first time in 1907, said to him by his master, Peter Behrens.
Exploration of this idea that less can be more is foundational to much of modernism and most especially in the various movements of minimalism.
Art historian and art critic, Michael Fried, has famously criticised minimalism (wrting about minimalis sculpture) as being "theatrical" and meaning this as a negative thing. It is interesting that the firts famous use of the phrase was in a dramatic monologu.
I don't get why Fried thinks theatricality wrong.
Minimalism, less-is-more, is a critical aspect of orthobionomy. being present more as a witness than an effector (and thus being more effective). Pauls liked to pare a move down to the merest gesture and then the thought or possibility of the gesture. He saw it as akin to the distillation of homeopathy. But that gets on to another topic, one I'd just as soon pass by.
There are many reasons to move toward an ever greater economy of effort. All this could be the basis of a book of ist own or at least (best) a workshop.
Not ambient movement. Mostly about walking across the room and picking up a pen kind of movement. Extrinsic more than intrinsic (but I hope to get to that intrinsic motility category of movement).
Extrinsic pusposeful movement is the kind I pay most attention to.
Major Premise: Movement is bidirectional.
It's important to spend a lot of time with the feel Iof movement, imagined movement. We play some games to get the feel of it. Like going back to childhood, learning the most complex and demanding things in your entire life while you were having too much fun to notice you were learning. Learning to walk, learning to talk. Movement is so much taken for granted that we don't notice it's the base of everything we hold to be important in being a living being.
Too much to say about this complex concept. One of our more curious fictions. Another one of those nonseparable differences Keller writes about. I have two entries for 'Nature' because there are two basic views of nature. One sees nature as separate from humans, something that we have negative effect on. This view puts emphasis on free will. The other is that we are an expression of nature and really had no choice in actions we take. We are Nature expressing herself.
Here is an article you can read or listen to from the online magazine, Aeon. It is a good summarizing of a view of 'nature' from the point of view of Spinoza, Lovelock, and Latour.
There are so many versions of 'natue.' I could not help but use this, one of my favorite poems, by a writer I'm not particularly fond of otherwise. If D.H. Lawrence had written only this one thing it would buy his admission into my pantheon. This poem will likely be glanced at a number of times throughout this opus.
When did you start your tricks
What do you stand on such high legs for?
Why this length of shredded shank
Is it so that you shall lift your centre of gravity upward
And weigh no more than air as you alight upon me,
Stand upon me weightless, you phantom?
I heard a woman call you the Winged Victory
In sluggish Venice.
You turn your head towards your tail, and smile.
How can you put so much devilry
Into that translucent phantom shred
Of a frail corpus?
Queer, with you thin wings and your streaming legs
How you sail like a heron, or a dull clot of air,
Yet what an aura surrounds you;
Your evil little aura, prowling, and casting a numbness on my mind.
That is your trick, you bit of filthy magic:
Invisibility, and the anæsthetic power
To deaden my attention in your direction.
But I know your game now, streaky sorcerer.
Queer, how you stalk and prowl the air
In circles and evasions, enveloping me,
Ghoul on wings
Settle, and stand on long thin shanks
Eyeing me sideways, and cunningly conscious that I am aware,
I hate the way you lurch off sideways into air
Having read my thoughts against you.
Come then, let us play at unawares,
And see who wins in this sly game of bluff.
Man or mosquito.
You don't know that I exist, and I don't know that you exist.
It is your trump
It is your hateful little trump
You pointed fiend,
Which shakes my sudden blood to hatred of you:
It is your small, high, hateful bugle in my ear.
Why do you do it?
Surely it is bad policy.
They say you can't help it.
If that is so, then I believe a little in Providence protecting the innocent.
But it sounds to amazingly like a slogan
A yell of triumph as you snatch my scalp.
Blood, red blood
I behold you stand
For a second enspasmed in oblivion
Sucking live blood
Such silence, such suspended transport,
Such obscenity of trespass.
As well as you may.
Only your accursed hairy frailty
You own imponderable weightlessness
Saves you, wafts you away on the draught my anger makes in its
Away with a pæan of derision
You winged blood-drop.
Can I not overtake you?
Are you one too many for me
Am I not mosquito enough to out-mosquito you?
Queer, what a big stain my sucked blood makes
Besides the infinitesimal faint smear of you!
Queer, what a dim dark smudge you have disappeared into!
Do I really have anything to say here? Orthobionomers like to say they do Nothing better. Is this true?
A surrender of agency.
Phase (a list of related words)
Zone, Scope, Sector, Scale [this list will grow when I get around to it.]
Phases (of Ortho-Bionomy)
See also Unphased below.
This is a jargon word, not even well understood by the initiated. Arthur Pauls, the founder of Ortho-Bionomy presented the work as having seven Phases, but really only four. And most confusingly it begins with Phase 4. As it often(though not accurately gets learned, Phase 4 is equivlent to what is widely known in physio fields is the same as positional release.
(To Be Continued)
The opposite of play is not work––the opposite of play is depression. ––Stuart Brown
Early feedback about this work, several reported being put off becuase they thought it looked too much like poetry. This is different from saying it was bad poetry but people simply put off by the fact of poetry. I will have a lot to say about this. I put this little bit here as a reminder to some day do that.
The last residential retreat I did, in Australia, I included a lot of poetry (not mine). I lead an exercise, reading a certain poem as people were paired, one on a massage table, receptive, the other sitting/standing, touching doing. The poem got several readings. The Poem we used, The Thing Is, by Ellen Bass.
Posttraaumatic Stres Disorder (PTSD)
A basket term invented by psychiatrists and psychologists to contain a set of behaviors and mental states. As many disorders invented by psychologists it has become a poplular thing to have. I do not dismiss the reality of suffering and how horrible life can be. We must respect that.
Ortho-Bionomy is a gentle, non-invasive, system of healing that reminds the body of its natural ability to restore balance. Its principles are based on a simple and profound philosophy: allow the body to correct itself. The hallmark of Ortho-Bionomy is pain relief.
The dictionary defines this as the branch of knowledge that deals with the amount of space that people feel it necessary to set between themselves and others. The concept was developed in the 1960s by American anthropologist Edward T. Hall. Ortho-Bionomy
Norse mythic Squirrel. A messenger and something of a trickster, joppling. Scurrying up and down the Yggrasil, Serpent to Eagle back and forth, cheek pouches swoll. People say he's a gossip.
The destruction of worlds comprising the multiverse. A concerted effort to turn the multiverse into a universe, in particualar a universe under control of one species; more particularly, a light-skinned, mostly male, English speaking subset of that species.
A tear in Connective Tissue. Where the gap has become to great.
Science, Scientific Method
There is only one Self, and you are it. But Trickster is at play here. Self is a plural noun and it's always a verb. Self as we usually think it is a fiction. This self verbalizes even in its doing nothing. Donna Haraway reminds us that we are each a "congeries of many species." A multitude of rivulets and streams are feeding that inside voice you identify as 'you.' (see Quorum Sensing).
I had no intention of going here then I read this, Robert Hass on Thomas Eagleton on Thomas Aquinas and I could not resist.
Aquinas believed in the soul, as Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins do not; but one reason he did so was because he thought it yielded the richest possible understanding of the lump of matter known as the body. As Wittgenstein once remarked: if you want an image of the soul, look at the body. The soul for Thomas is not some ghostly extra, as it was for the platonizing Christians of his time; it is not to be seen as a spiritual kidney or spectral pancreas. The question “Whereabouts in the body is the soul?” would to his mind involve a category mistake, as though one were to ask how close to the left armpit one’s envy was located. For Aquinas, the soul is everywhere in the body precisely because it is what he calls, after Aristotle, the “form” of it, meaning the way in which it is uniquely organized to be expressive of meaning. The soul is not some sort of thing, but the distinctive way in which a particular piece of matter is alive. It is quite as visible as a club foot. To claim that a spider has a different sort of soul from a human being is in Thomas’s view simply to say that it has a different form of life. What distinguishes an animal body from a hat or a hosepipe is the fact that it is signifying, communicative, self-transformative stuff, in contrast to the meaninglessly dumb matter of so much contemporary materialism. It is, in Turner’s phrase, “matter articulate.”
is that random reminder that death is at any moment a possibility and always a certainty. The Startle is a Trickster creature. Possibility and Certainty are different domains, though they keep in contact, they converse through correspondence.
"The Startle Reflex puts you into a generalized safety stance." (Graciano)
When I use this word it will always be in reference to open systems unless I indicate a closed system. In reality the closed system is an ideal, an abstraction, a phantom. I suppost the whole ball of wax could be a closed system. We'll never know. Go to Bertalanffy, General Systems Theory, in the bibliography and I hope I get it there before you go there.
"We can know more than we can tell."
A theory of knowledge. Paticulaly relevant to the study of Phase 6 and how much of Ortho-Bionomy is learned. Relevant to Body Schema.
See Polanyi in Sources.
Even though there is an enormous philosophical literature on the problems of teleology, those recent books and papers are quite useless which still treat teleology ia a unitary phenomenon. ––ERNEST MAYR
[I will need to read more Mayr to fully get what he'e getting at here. Mayr is a highly regarde philosophical biologist and this merits looking into.I]
The ability to attribute mental states –– beliefs, intents, desires, emotions, knowledge, etc. –– to oneself, and to others, and to understand that others have beliefs, desire, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one's own. Theory of Mind is crucial for everyday human social interactions and is used when analyzing, judging, and inferring other's behaviors. ––Wikipedia
Transition Zones (see Boundary)
A highly regarded value, similar to authenticity.
We'll get to you.
Dictionary says the word is archaic, which is to say the scraphill of words we'ved tossed or let slip away. It goes on to say it is
the quality or state of being in a place : such as : in a definite local relation : POSITION, LOCATION : the abstract quality of being in position : WHERENESS
That word postiton should prick up the ears of any orthobionomer.
We go deeper HERE and THERE.
Four advanced instructors of Ortho-Bionomy–– Richard Valasek, Alison Cherry Zuber, Baelaeay Callister, nd Rouel Cazanjian––got together and staged events. Amusingly the instigator of this was Allison Zuber, an Ortho-Bionomy Practitioner and student, thinking about which of all the instructors she has studied with, who she got the most from. The four spent well over a year holding weekly conference calls, dreaming aloud together. A common refrain all reported hearing from students was that there is too much of Caeser in the program. Too many constraints, a lack of freedom; too expensive, in time and money. All four also supported one of the visions of Arthur Pauls: an orthobionomer in avery household. The overaching theme was Generosity.
Two events were held: A weekend workship (a trial balloon) in a spacious home in Santa Barbara, and a five-day residential experience at Wonder Valley, CA. [Dates needed]
Based on feedback from attendees these were very successful on many levels. For the four instructors difficulties arose that would make another such event unlikely. In the opinion of this writer we got lured too much toward the freedom end of the continnum and did not spend enough time on structure. This makes a lot of sense as the design of it was intended to move the needle toward freedom. It also speaks well of the professionalism of the four instructors in containing the stress.
Is Unphased continuing? Most certainly though as any event with this original four, not likely, not impossible. I think all four continue to practice generosity in their teaching.
Why 'Unphased?' (a) Initially A play on words. To be unfazed is to be not perturbed, like St. Theresa of Avila (Nade de turbe). The reallhy significant task of orthobionomy is movement toward an unpertubed state. (b) To divide a whole thing into parts can't help but do it damage' it is a kind of vivisection. The phasing of Ortho-Bionomy creates an artificial anatomy. We are wanting to un-phase it, bring the 'parts' into a whole again.
A glaring irony is that in its linkage to osteopathy Ortho-Bionomy also embrases a holistic versus a reductionis philosophy and ends up simply shifting the reduction.
Unphased is an ongoing action of generosity and wholing.
[I have alerted those whos names are mentioned that this entry has been made and have invited their contributions.]
As used in Physics and Mathematics, a quantity haveing direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another. Has to do with aiming, targeting, orienting. If I use the word referring to a carrier of disease, e.g., a tick, I will specify.
This is a tricky word. Start by reading or listening to this article, Fuck Work, from Aeon zine.
As a culture we need to reorder our values, some big ehtical shifts. We need to revalue (and not commoditize) care, as a start.
Workshop (see also Ludic Space)
I would prefer to call them Playgrounds but that suggests frivolity. Remember some of the wisest words of Oscar Wilde, "Life is too important to be taken seriously." This is a crazy dichotomy. A space of learning and inventing and trying things out together. Typically two days, for some strange reason usually on a weekend but that need not be); some discreet amount of time of coming together. Feeling more play than work, more yes than no (radical affirmation, first rule of improvisation, positive feedback only accelerates learning. See Play.
Let me know of any words I need to add, any need further clarification.
The vision is for Ongoingness; Life continuing on . . . .
I am I and my circumstance; and, if I do not save it, I do not save myself.
—JOSÉ ORTEGA Y GASSET
Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be––this is the interrelated structure of reality.
—MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
At Play in the Field
Richard Valasek 1501 Kuloko St Pearl City HI 96782
+1 (808) 256-1646