Technologies for Intimacy without Proximity
"The correct application of the Laws of Life" is what the name was meant to mean but Ortho-Bionomy is more a searching for the Laws of Life and being guided by what we find. It’s hard to pin down what are the Laws of Life because we really can’t stick a pin in life and mount it with a sign saying “This is what Life Is.” There are few things I can comfortably say about Life and its Laws, if indeed it has any. Life often bears curious resemblance to the Wild West. Here is one thing I feel confident in, for now.
Life is a dynamic conversation between Freedom and Constraint. Years of practicing my life as an orthobionomer has brought me to this rest along the way (far from a conclusion). Conversation is a metaphor; we can call it an ongoing process of negotiation or mediation. At its best this relationship should not be a tug-of-war. Place yourself as near the middle as you can and then just look and see which side of the line you come to rest on. This is your bias; not right or wrong simply where your comfort is.
This is a basic method of Ortho-Bionomy, to inquire of the biases, whether tilt of head or torque of soul.
Constraint is absolutely necessary when the flesh is torn cut bruised broken. The freezing of the tissues is essential for healing. Hold the tissues still. The attention of the body gets concentrated there, staying with the trouble. We add to the support with sprints and casts, canes and crutches. The best support may be a firm and gentle hand, skin touching skin.
What to do when we can’t touch? No problem, we are orthobionomers. We have great technologies to lean into the bias, to cast support across a distance.
I think the secret goal of Arthur Pauls was to obliterate Time and Space, remove these factors from the equation of Healing. We are each demonstrate how successful he is being.
I have strong memories of hearing Arthur clearly say, “A person will not understand Ortho-Bionomy until they understand Phase 7.” It is clear he saw this seemingly mystical far end of the Ortho-Bionomy field (out in left field, some say) as base and core. So let’s understand Phase 7.
There are two ends of a line, one is Freedom (release, let go) the other is Constraint (hold on, stabilize). Too far along the line toward Constraint and you pass out of the range of meaning; too far along the line toward freedom and you fly away from meaning. Bounce back and forth between the two and let it come to rest and just at that point of rest there is a spark of ongoing action.
This is the goal of Life: ongoingness. Life cares about continuing on. Life cares for itself. Perhaps all the substance of the multiverse find valuing in continuing on. The fact there are things may be witness to a diffusion of Life throughout down to most micro and out to most macro.
The closest we can come to a picture of the path they dance along, if we were somehow to graph the movement, is versions of a spiral.
One thing we can understand about Phase 7 is its clear message to manage your reactivity. Move yourself, reposition yourself, in relation to the turmoil that’s caught your attention. Face it and feel it and find where Freedom is allowed.
Let’s say your heating bill is too high. You are sitting in your room, feeling a chill. One way to manage this is to go to the thermostat and turn up the heat. Alternately you can extend your range of tolerance to coolness. Then you can layer on some more “skin.” You may eventually need to put another log on the fire, open the dampers but you will only need a bit more. Now you like it cooler.
You can sit with a friend or stranger, safe-bubble distance away from one another. You can feel in yourself the ways in which you can feel this other person’s presence impresses in upon you. Don’t edit in advance, predetermine what you think you should be feeling. Obliterate the Shoulds. Now begin your Care of Self, in the presence of the Other. To Listen is to be available to be changed, to change yourself in response to the presence of another.
You don’t have to sit still. You can stand and walk about, you can turn and face in different directions (always staying connected). You can call upon your gods or hers. You can invite other beings in to play. Healing is a supreme act of Imagination. Support and hold, bless and thank, the necessary structures and sway out in as many directions as you can find to go.
We can call this Phase 6. We can call this Phase 7. You can do it skin to skin or at any further remove of Time and Space. You can call it something else and teach it to any who want to learn it. Ortho-Bionomy teaches us to find all the freedoms can be allowed. These freedoms are here to protect the structure. The structure is there to support the flying.
[Written and accepted for publication in SOBI Newsletter]
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.
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