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Somatics

Somatics is a generative concept like “cognitive science," "ecology," or QiGong, names whose function is to create possibilities of collaboration among communities that otherwise stand isolated from each other, often in competition and conflict. For example, Reichian bioenergetics, Rolfing, and hatha yoga once seemed worlds apart. Now with the help of this new paradigm, we can now see how each can augment and make more effective the practice of the others. The elaboration of this idea has created a worldwide community whose members, remaining typically grounded in their own unique contexts of skill and service, profit from the contributions of the others. The word itself derives from the ancient Greek soma, once used to describe the whole person. In the last century, the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl envisioned a somatology, a science that would bring together empirical studies of the body (3rd-person science) with direct experiential studies (1st- & 2nd-person science). This site gives you a great deal of information about this field, its meaning, leading schools, a growing body of literature and research, its lines of affiliation with other fields. The ancient rocks that frame these pages, photographed by Andrea Young, are an appropriate metaphor for the body as I see it: the layers of histories captured in current time, some from the very beginning, hot lava, ice, violent upheavals, gentle weatherings, then the tiny organisms, and further. Finally, you will see if you look carefully, the intricate carvings of our ancestors, introducing imagination, craft, and thought.