IDEALISM AND ABSOLUTE TRUTHS IN BODY PSYCHOTHERAPY
Some people, to whom we always feel strangely attracted, seem to live out of a greater inner richness. Basically everyone has it; the problem is that most of us don’t know about it. The practical work of gradually discovering this inner richness is the substance of our teaching. (Charlotte Selver & Charles V. W. Brooks, 1980, Sensory Awareness,â p. 117)
The Neo-Reichian Idealism
One must note the widespread practice of interrupting children’s play as though it were of no importance. Through this, children come to feel that there is no natural rhythm in things, and that it is right for activities to be cut off in mid-air. . . . When children have been interrupted often enough, their innate sense of rhythm becomes confused; as well as their sense of the social value of their own experience. (Selver & Brooks, 1980, Sensory Awareness,â p. 117)
Idealism admits only one form of relativism: that an individual consciousness can be more or less intensely in contact with the truths of the soul, and consequently be more or less rational and have more or less good taste. The diverse forms of Idealism that we encounter in body psychotherapy are often related to diverse forms of spirituality. Biosynthesis, Biodynamic psychology, and Core energetics are influential examples.33 Their brand of Idealism leads them to propose expressions such as the unconscious knows,â the body never lies,â or the body knows.â The body, the organism, and the unconscious are then equivalent terms to designate the nonconscious dynamics that animate our thoughts.
These authors (notably David Boadella, Gerda Boyesen, and John Pierrakos) postulate that each organism contains a soul, defined here as a nucleus of natural forces, of cosmic vitality. According to them, there exists in everyone a part of their being that knows, that is true, that is good, that is incapable of lying, and that would allow an individual to act in harmony with his real and profound needs and with those in his intimate circle and of nature.34 The universe is conceived as a perfect entity, without any malice, seeking a coherence that harmonizes everything it contains. The soul is thus this part of nature that animates the organism These authors then develop their arguments to show that a being’s center is often inhibited by social factors that pervert the rapport that an individual entertains with the depth of his nature. Psychotherapy would then have the goal of restoring this profound link with the primary nature of the organism What is difficult to understand in the writings of these authors, as well as in Plato, is how this nature could have brought about this destructive influence of societies. We find, in this, the same questions that children ask themselves about why an all-powerful God authorized the existence of the devil and of so much pain.
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