Sensory Awareness Foundation


The Wonders of the Organism

The Wonders of the Organism

By Charlotte Selver

We don’t need to watch; we simply could be awake. The moment we watch ourselves, we split ourselves in two.

Editor’s note: This is a transcribed excerpt from one of Charlotte’s classes in which she speaks about the natural, spontaneous nature of change within ourselves.

The change from insensitive to becoming sensitized is one of the wonders of the organism. In the moment in which our sensory attention is aroused, changes happen in us. So that at the moment when one might feel, “1’m pressing here, ” it might change by itself, or when one might feel, “I’m too drowsy here”, it might wake up.

As students in Elsa Gindler’s classes we spent many months every day in allowing just that. She would ask, “Is there anything where you suppose your head is? Do you feel anything there?” Or, “Is there anything feel-able in the region of your pelvis? Is there anything going on there? ” And the question would sink in without that we had to make an effort to focus anywhere. We were just there and we could hear it. That means all our molecules can hear it. And when this happens then something begins to make itself on its way. That’s the riddle. That’s the mystery. That’s the possibility which everybody has. That’s, in other words, sensing. Now, when you have been Jumping {the class has recently spent many minutes exploring jumping}, I ask, “Can you feel how the impact of what you have been doing continues in you? In which way it continues, and what happened?” Who noticed that I didn’t ask you if the impact of your jumping continues in your arms or your legs or your other parts, but in you?

So what you are doing might influence you everywhere-not Just where you do it. When something opens somewhere, the need for opening in another area may be strong enough so that it also opens. If we are only sensitive in one area we could eternally work on opening here, opening there, opening another place. When I’m concentrated on one region instead of being both sensitized and changeable everywhere, the hunger for more freedom where it isn’t free is frustrated very much. (I like to say that when one child gets an apple the other children want also to get an apple, and they begin to complain when they don’t get one,) But in the moment in which permissiveness is allowed everywhere we feel something of the self-adjustment of the organism which we hinder when we are too much concentrated on one spot.

This whole question is very much bound with wishful thinking, You know, very often after we have felt an astonishing change, our imagination becomes active, and we begin to feel to think we feel reactions. We get our hopes up for more. “How is it here?” we ask ourselves. “‘How is it there?” When one isn’t quite innocent anymore, when the sensations don’t come by surprise, somehow watching comes in, wishes come in, and we distract ourselves with wanting more than nature offers us at that moment.

Now the art is not to watch it. Not to try to feel it but just to be there in it. You can’t be in a higher state of being than to be there for something. In other words you are not thinking about it, you are not watching it. You don’t even make an effort to feel it because every one of these things will diminish your possibility to sense, to get impressions.

Most of us are still under the influence of an education in which we were constantly watched, and watching, and judging was constantly asked from us. It was asked by our parents, and it was asked by our teachers, but they didn’t understand what the organism actually is.

We have very much more endowment for being aware, for being alert, than most people realize. I must admit it is not easy to know the difference between letting something be conscious and watching it. And it doesn’t come by trying to get it. It will only come if we are hungry for it. We don’t need to watch; we simply could be awake. The moment we watch ourselves, we split ourselves in two.

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