Monday, September 17, 2007

On a Rolfing mailing list I blather at sometimes:
(I provided a) New Scientist quote:>> Researchers are working hard to harness the body's inner power - not
>> some mystical life force, but the chemical energy locked up in the
>> body's own food stores - and convert some of that into electricity.

Another wrote:
>"Rolfers work with the mystical life force - but instead of saying that
>we say "fascia".That we say we don't understand the mystical life force, makes us understandable to science. >When we say we understand the mystical life force, science can make no sense of us."

What I had to say was:
Well, more specifically, what I'm trying to wave at is...
It's NOT mystical. It's *right there*. We just haven't been measuring it. I believe Robert Schleip's research is getting into that area of measuring the conductivity of fascia, to begin to get a scientific, rational handle on what we have, so far had this very limited conceptual vocabulary to talk about. (, but I think you all know!)
Because we have been limited by our "scientifically tested" understanding, we sound vague, freaky, yes, "mystical" and we can't agree. This has held the SI discipline back for too many years.

Nice guy wrote:
> It is important to know that Science also believes in a mystical life force

Quote again:
>> "Researchers are working hard to harness the body's inner power - ***_not_ some mystical life force**, but the chemical energy locked up in the body's own food stores - and convert some of that into electricity. "

The point is that it's NOT mystical. It is measurable (chemical, mechanical), and therefore real. The job of science is to walk into mystery, and enjoy the view. To enter the world of science is to be an explorer of mystery, observing, measuring, and making what sense we can of this great, fascinating, challenging and ultimately real and beautiful world. Think Star Trek. Cue tricorders... ;-)

Smooth fascia will probably transmit energy better than tangled fascia. Certainly it works for mechanical energy! and who knows what we will discover on the way! what a wonderful experiment!

> We distance ourselves and our discipline from science, as Rolfers when we make a loud point of things that can't >be taken out of the bucket, for when we speak this way we are speaking against science... whose job is to take >things out of the bucket.

The job is to understand and measure what the behavior is of whatever we have in the bucket. Like Schroedinger's cat, it may or may not be alive, once you take it out of its environment.

> and some things can't be taken out of the bucket but we don't know what that is (at least insofar as we are being > >scientific).

We won't know that until we try. Fascia outside of its environment quickly loses its qualities, if you read Robert's reports:
Good ideas withstand testing, are worth testing, and are fun to test.
My idea in forwarding the article was not that Science understands Mystery, but that through Science everyone can understand what was, previously, mysterious.
It levels the playing ground, creates common ideas (mechanical or chemical energy understood) instead of speaking in overly general or limited terms. This scientific understanding of "energy" could move us from a "Middle Ages" terminology of "humours" into a real conversation and exploration of what happens when you lengthen the fascia of the soleus and get greater potential for mechanical energy. Or lengthen the fascia of the psoas, free the movement of the kidney, and create greater potential, through hydration, for greater chemical energy of that organ.
I think we should ask ourselves if we have to do anything "mystical" to play a symphony, perform good kata, or have a beautiful garden.

If you just did "mystical" things, what would happen?
If you worked hard and practiced, what would happen?

Like the man who asked the old guy on the corner "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"
"Practice, my son. Practice."

More specifically on Science:

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