Posture & Morality: Part I

“The seventh circle of Hell is reserved for those who…slouch?”

It is so natural to moralise about posture that we often do it without even noticing. We often apply such terms as “bad” or “good” or “lousy” to our alignment & physiognomy without even pausing to consider the moral judgement implicit in such labels. I believe it is useful to recognise this tendency, and to appreciate that posture in itself is neither good nor evil, rather “’tis thinking makes it so”.

More helpful perhaps than moralising about alignment, we might simply appreciate that posture has consequences. If my head is not balanced above the spine, then I must employ a great deal of muscular effort to keep it from falling off—not evil, but exhausting. Furthermore, the physiognomy of such a gesture may communicate unintentional sentiments to those around me: I might look lackadaisical, desperate, or aggressive all without intending so. If, on the other hand, I strit about with my chest perpetually puffed-out like Popeye, then I communicate another message: “the lady doth protest too much, methinks,” people might begin to say. Carl Jung expressed it thus:

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

Our job through Rolfing® intervention is to make these choices conscious rather than habitual so that if my head falls off, it’s because I wanted it to.



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