Integration II: Relationship to the Environment

In the first post of this series, I introduced an aspect of integration that I described as “internal congruence.” We might also designate this condition as intra-structural integration. In this second post, we will hear the next blind man’s testimony about the elephant of integration: I will offer another interpretation of the fruitful & enigmatic term, describing an integration that is inter-structural. This is to say that it is not within, rather between subjects.

When I reach for my cup of Columbian coffee on the countertop at quarter till seven on Tuesday morning, am I relating to the peculiar confluence of conditions of this singular situs? Or is my gesture outdated? Is the kinetic expression of my will to imbibe this pleasant draught mitigated by some rusty remnants of an obsolete habit? I broke my ulna in the third grade. Though time has mended the bone, a pattern of latent tension endured through the decades, insidiously rearing it’s rigidity in the interosseous membrane with any pronation. It took a skillful elbow in my ninth Rolfing® session seventeen years later to reinvigorate the ossified fascia of my forearm. I cannot claim I flatter myself that I am unique in my erstwhile affliction by a superannuated habit.

Integration with the environment means that such habits do not prey on my present-time relationship to my surroundings. Integration with the environment means relating directly to my circumstances—to the precise context & conditions. Returning to the earlier example, when rigidity in my membranes stifles fluid apprehension of an half-empty/full coffee-mug, I touch the ceramic only indirectly. My relationship is mediated by my past; tension isolates me from my surroundings. I don’t really touch the cup; instead I never escape the mummifying layers of ancient tension that divorce me from the material world. Rolfing® SI strives to re-establish an original union so that I actually touch the true cup & feel it’s fired clay beneath my fingertips.

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