By Charlotte Selver
The following text is an edited excerpt from Coming Back to Experiencing, an audio file of a class by Charlotte Selver which you can purchase in our store. Recorded in Santa Barbara, CA, on April 2, 2000.
I would like to speak about the main natural forces we are exposed to as we live on this planet. There is this force of gravity. Gravity is a very attractive force, and everybody is constantly exposed to its influence. The pull of this force makes us all stay on the ground. It even tries to pull us under the ground. But fortunately there is another force in us which does not permit that. That is energy. Each of us is able to allow energy to counteract the pull of gravity. So this would be the second very, very important force there is, to which we are constantly exposed. And then, of course, this energy manifests as breathing too. The possibility of constantly getting new air – can you feel it right now as you are reading? Are you open for this possibility of the energy source breathing to go through you or are you collapsing? Are you open to this coming and going of air and the possibility – whether we sit, or stand, or lie – to allow this exchange of air through us?
The third very important force, which we constantly are exposed to, is the support of the ground. That means, as you are sitting right now, there is something under you which supports you. Can you feel it? It is very solid and reliable; it is there at all times supporting us – the support underneath your feet, underneath your whole self, when you are lying, underneath your behind when you are sitting. You cannot go wrong trusting this support. Are you enjoying it? How wonderful that is!
Gravity, the support which the ground gives you, and energy – can you really experience these three forces?
- Can you feel that there is always something which invites you down?
- Can you feel something going through you which gives you the strength to stay upright?
- Is there really something which offers itself under you?
You may feel how easy it would be for gravity to become overwhelming, pulling you down to the ground and how the earth even wants to swallow you. But no, there is something under you which supports you – and something inside you which reconditions you from moment to moment.
Could you be open in your bones and other tissues for that which supports you? Be grateful for that support – grateful in every cell, grateful in your skin, and in your bones!
Can you feel the air which goes through you? Can you feel how it comes into you and how it goes out of you? Could you become sensitive in your muscles and skin and all tissues for the air which goes through you and leaves you? Are your tissues awake enough to let the air through and receive what is needed and let out what needs to go out? Can more and more of your inner be open for this wonderful process? We call it breathing.
To talk about these forces is quite dangerous. We have to be very careful not to follow ideas about gravity, energy, and the support of the floor. In German the word for ‘learning by heart’ is ‘auswendig lernen.’ The literal translation is something like ‘learning from the outside.’ But to learn by feeling from inside is completely different (Unlike the German, the English expression ‘learning by heart’ seems to encourage that. slg). It is important that we give this learning from inside a chance. When you feel what is, what occurs, what calls on you, your sensations, then you are in touch with life, which is always better, always deeper, always new. Wanting to know something is usually outside. Real experience is always surprising, is nothing which you know beforehand. And there is a difference between talking it – speaking from direct experience – and talking about it. When we speak about something we are not in it. It is important to feel what we say. Very much of our daily living is not experiencing, is not this warm-blooded being there for what we are doing.
As old as I am, all these moments of a new reality, of a new experiencing make everything so alive and full. I feel how it affects me when I’m only in my head, with my thoughts, and when I really feel in my tissues, in my nerves, in my bones. When I am really sensitive from moment to moment I live a completely different life.