Summary of The Approaches To Inner-Directed Movement

In summarising what has been said about the various approaches to inner-directed movement, I am brought back to the very first paragraph in the Introduction to this book. Inner-directed movement is about RELAXATION. By letting-go of physical tensions and rigid attitudes or anxieties, we free ourself to express more fully, more confidently. We allow what Jung calls the self liberating power. This process is already working in each of us as the self-regulating activity behind our own growth and present survival, behind our dreams. By opening more fully to its activity however, we allow aspects of it to express that were only potentials beforehand.

My own belief is that behind all the phenomena spoken of that arise from inner-directed movement, there lies a simple natural process. Just as self-regulation is the most likely force behind the movements and spontaneous experience, I see the potency of individuation behind the varied phenomena. By individuation I mean the action that moves us toward growing up physically and mentally. It is especially noticeable during our childhood and teenage, but we see it at work throughout our life in our maturing. ((1))

I am not, however, saying there is nothing extraordinary or magical about these forces in us. Of course they are natural and a vital part of everyone’s life, but the natural is not bounded by materialistic views. Our individual life is inextricably interwoven with our local environment, the world and the cosmos.

I do not believe this interior intuition or vision of nature’s secrets is a supernatural process. A very large part is due to the mind’s ability to scan huge amounts of small bits of information and experience and see them as a whole, as patterns or structures. Therefore, the very ordinary experiences and memories we have of walking down a street, of seeing our family and friends in their everyday experience of life, of witnessing the seasons, of being involved in change, are all crammed with information. When all the tiny pieces are put together we see certain cycles, certain processes working at all levels of existence. In this way we glimpse the powers of nature, of Life, touching the world and our personal existence.

While the older or God centred approaches to inner-directed movement deal mostly with the personal relationship of oneself with the whole and with society, the more modern approaches explain more about ones relationship with oneself. So Mesmer, Jung and Reich have a great deal to say about psychological processes that act as barriers to the person finding peace and satisfaction. They believe that by working with the natural in the person – the self-regulatory process – by stopping personal conscious effort and, as Jung put it, ‘letting things happen’ without interference, one can grow beyond previously insoluble problems.

Our awareness of being a separate individual rests upon an immense and ancient structure. Our being stretches right the way back from the conscious sense of self through the unconscious organ functions of our body, beyond the cells and molecules, into the atomic and sub-atomic to the mystery of what we have yet to find out about the foundations of life. Even if we never know all, there is certainly the possibility of meeting with that wonderful essence of life that is in every aspect of ourself. The essence that is totally ourself because it is in all, just as heat pervades all objects in a room no matter what their material shape or size.
The Simplicity Of Letting-Go Needs Working At

Profound subtleties lie behind the simplicity of letting-go and letting things happen. Many of the tensions or character attitudes that hold us back from liberation of body and mind are unconscious. A simple test on seven or eight people will demonstrate this. To see this for yourself have a friend sit in a chair with their hands relaxed on their lap, and tell them you are going to move their hands and arms. Tell them you are going to do the work, so there is no need for them to make any effort. Then gently take one of their hands and support the arm at the elbow with your other hand. Slowly move their hand and arm, noticing how much resistance there is in their arm, how much they unconsciously try to help you. You will find in some subjects an uncontrollable urge to do the movements themselves, creating resistances. In many people the tension in their arms will be sufficient, if you move the arm slowly, to take your hands away at some point, and their arm or arms will remain suspended in the air through unconscious tension.

The person whose arms you moved will feel quite relaxed, they will certainly not be aware that they had tensions sufficient to suspend an arm for quite a long period. These powerful tensions are throughout the body, and especially noticeable in the arms, legs, neck and jaw. Being unconscious they are not under the voluntary control of the person. They do not know they have them, so they do not know how to let go of them. If you have someone do the same test on yourself you will be helped to recognise the state of your own tensions. The same manner of working can be used on the legs and the neck. If the person has learnt inner-directed movement, and can allow spontaneous movement or response of feelings while the tension is in place, or being massaged, a melting of the tension can take place.

Having worked with people who have massive unconscious tensions in their muscles, I have found it is not simply a matter of pointing them out and the person relaxing them. This causes confusion because they are not available to conscious control. What Reich found was that such tensions only melted when the emotional or attitudinal energy involved in them is discharged through movement and expressed emotions. It may take years to melt such tension one by one from yourself through inner-directed movement. As each one is unlocked, so the energy used to hold the tension in place for years, and the energy it restrained from expression, is now available for your everyday use and enjoyment.
What Is Attainable?

To say what is realistically attainable is difficult because each person is unique. Some people never learn to swim, others swim the English Channel easily. The range of the possible is enormous.

However, a fuller maturity is attainable. In the Collins dictionary the word maturity is defined as ‘full development’. It means you can more fully develop those qualities and abilities that are innately yours, but may not have previously emerged.

Part of this maturity or full development is also self responsibility. People who are used to blaming God, their parents, the government, their spouse, for their misery or situation, gradually find their own power to change their life and their character. This is not always an easy transformation, because after all it is convenient to blame someone else.

Maturity may mean being capable of love or giving oneself to someone else. It may mean being easy and at peace with sex, or coming to terms with the world and people as they are instead of how our fear or prejudice might wish them. It can mean feeling okay with technology and religion, yet also wanting to produce positive change in the world.

In the end it is simply about being able to live your life as fully as you can.

(1) This growth expresses not only as powerful physiological processes but also as dynamic psychological forces. As such it links with the process behind dreaming and fantasy that is an intimate and important part of psychological growth and change. I believe this is why the apparently fantastic – deeply moving subjective experience and myth building – is so frequently a part of this process of maturing.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved