Moving as Art. First Hand Knowledge is Direct Knowing

‘In a very real sense every individual experiences this process for himself as he comes to know life, himself, his aims. Of course, each person uses the sum of knowledge accumulated by humanity but all the same the experience of ethical, moral self-knowledge is the only aim in life for each person, and subjectively, it is experienced each time as something new. Again and again man correlates himself with the world, racked with longing to acquire, and become one with, the ideal which lies outside himself, which he apprehends as some kind of intuitively sensed first principle. The unattainability of that becoming one, the inadequacy of his own “I”, is the perpetual source of man’s dissatisfaction and pain.

‘And so art, like science, is a means of assimilating the world, an instrument for knowing it in the course of man’s journey towards what is called “absolute truth”…

‘Art is born and takes hold wherever there is a timeless and insatiable longing for the spiritual, for the ideal: that longing which draws people to art. Modern art has taken a wrong turn in abandoning the search for the meaning of existence in order to affirm the value of the individual for its own sake. What purports to be art begins to look like an eccentric occupation for suspect characters who maintain that any personalised action is of intrinsic value simply as a display of self-will. But in artistic creation the personality does not assert itself, it serves another, higher and communal idea. The artist is always a servant, and is perpetually trying to pay for the gift that has been given to him as if by a miracle.’
Andrei Tarkovsky (Writer, Soviet and Russian Film Maker)

The above quote is a beautiful analogy for where we find ourselves in the sphere of moving, function, exercise, and fitness as we consider the clarity of understanding in our own situation.

Image, appearance, results, mixed messages, commercialisation, confusion and fear are so common-place in todays society, in relation to exercise that we have forgotten the role of moving in our lives, being at ease in our bodies and considering moving well as a high art form.  I am not speaking of elite dancers, or acrobats, rather walking as gliding, feeling the length of your spine and breathing that oxygenates the cells, as well as stabilising the thoraco-lumbar junction.  The head balancing forward and up and the feeling of your feet articulating.

The intention of this blog is not to instruct, or describe moving in academic terms, rather to bring about reflection of what it is to move, breathe, and be at ease.

In the above quote, Tarkovsky states that our pain and suffering arises from ‘the unattainability of becoming one, the inadequacy of his own I.’  Everyone of us has experienced this, and in the vast majority of cases, this probably continues unquestioned.  However this experience requires the question; Is this sense of lack perceived or perceiving?  The answer from direct investigation is that the sense of lack is perceived and therefore cannot be our identity.  We now need to ask a second question; To who or what does this sense of lack appear?  This question is unanswerable in any objective sense, because the perceiving can never be known as an object.  This is what I call first hand knowledge.

Second hand knowledge therefore becomes the cultural conditioning and messages that we have heard from parents, teachers, and peers about the role of the body and moving, which is often no more than a set of preferences, an interpretation from an authority figure  or the wants of a narrow identification with an image basis.  Second hand knowledge remains second hand until it is brought into the the light of direct looking.

Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation is based on the intrinsic stability of developmental kinesiology that an infant uses in the first year of life to come to upright.  The basis of this knowledge is identical in all of us, and is in reality the only ‘true’ core stability, expressing in the multiplicity of individual forms.  There are not many ‘true core stabilities’, although there are hundreds to thousands of partial offerings that arise out of individual and collective experiments with training.

What is the common element that allows us to know when this intelligence is innate and that we are indeed moving in accordance with patterns of influence that have shaped life on this planet?  I am aware of two profound stories from the last century to this day, that share this common element and which also point to the most important practice or capacity to develop in ourselves.  Impersonal observation, or said another way, attention to living process.

The Prague School of Rehabilitation has observed infant development for the past 60 years in both healthy and pathological babies, and their pioneering body of work is the integration of four geniuses in their fields.  Vojta, Lewit, Janda and Kolar.  Professor Kolar currently travels the world teaching DNS, and I highly recommend attending one of the courses if you are seeking clarity in the way the body-brain develops and ideally stabilises through a life span..

The publicly listed company Solagran is the second example of this long process of observation.  In this case they became fascinated with the living elements of conifer trees, in particular the needles.  Their work in commercialising ‘bioeffectives’ is the product of 80 years and 3.5 million PHD hours of observation and experimentation in extracting and amplifying the living elements of pine for whole health.  The bioeffectives range of products is available in Australia from the team at Pine Needle Products.

I share these two case studies as examples of what Tarkovsky termed ‘serving higher and communal ideas.’

If you are interested in;

  • moving well
  • freeing the bodymind of dis-ease
  • learning to attend to inner process
  • understanding the integration of breathing and stability
  • learning how to ‘load’ using movement
  • or how to integrate regeneration into your current practice

please contact me through the website or check the events section of the website for weekly offerings.


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