Magic or what? According to the Hindus everything is food, including sounds and visual vibrations – all kinds of impressions: stories, architectural proportions, union of forms and colours, harmonics and rhythms, dissonance, conflict and all the ideas with which we come in contact. All this, absorbed mechanically and mostly without awareness throughout the day, has made up our being and continues to do so, unless we wake up to this process and adjust our rituals.
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Psychological laws: excerpt from ‘The Act of Will’ by Roberto Assagioli M.D.
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1 Images or mental pictures and ideas tend to produce the physical conditions and the external acts that correspond to them. Every image has in itself a motor element.
2 Attitudes, movements, and actions tend to evoke corresponding images and ideas; these, in turn evoke or intensify corresponding emotions and feelings.
3 Ideas and images tend to awaken emotions and feelings that correspond to them.
4 Emotions and impressions tend to awaken and intensify ideas and images that correspond to or are associated with them.
5 Needs, urges, drives and desires tend to arouse corresponding images, ideas and emotions.
6 Attention, interest, affirmation, and repetitions reinforce the ideas, images and psychological formations on which they are centred.
7 Repetition of actions intensifies the urge to further reiteration and renders their execution easier and better, until they come to be performed unconsciously.
8 All the various functions, and their manifold combinations in complexes and sub-personalities, adopt means of achieving their aims without our awareness, and independently of, and even against, our conscious will.
9 Urges, drives, desires and emotions tend to and demand to be expressed.
10 The psychological energies can find expression: 1. directly, through discharge and catharsis, 2. indirectly, through symbolic action, 3. through a process of transmutation.
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After carefully contemplating these laws you will draw your own conclusions.
Here some practical examples: Having experienced Feldenkreis work, and practices deriving from it – after doing a gentle physical exercise and repeating it in my imagination only, with eyes closed, the same physical reactions happen in my body. This explains why active imagination can affect mind and body at a deep level and change physical symptoms as well as states of mind.
When I hit my toe, elbow or head on an object, I repeat the exact contact and, in my imagination, send the impact back. There remains hardly any pain and the usual swelling is mild or does not occur at all.
Therapeutically, if a tense or hurtful part of the body is listened to and allowed a voice, the result can be instantaneous, much like when you lower yourself at eye-level to a toddler who has a tantrum, and do nothing else but acknowledge the rage, surprise, surprise, the tantrum stops.
What seems like magic, is actually simple and applies both ways: physical activity influences mood and mind, active imagination influences mood and body. Many of our modern-day ailments derive from people not being able to listen to their bodies and/or not being able to use their imagination in a constructive way.
Reading and, even more deeply, writing, are indirect symbolic expressions of psychological energy, which explains the incredible power of stories 🙂