Jeanne Denney
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The Far Side of Human Development

What if we had not learned all we have from research, microscopes and probes about the human being? Blood, bone, biochemistry, heart as a pump, lungs exchanging oxygen for CO2, brains full of neurons, stomachs with acid. What if our self-concepts were not solely derived from processes of reduction, breaking what is whole, moving into static sub-elements, but instead moved in the opposite direction, and for a moment we allowed our direct perception to witness the broadest arc of our development? We might glimpse a grand macroscopic presentation, more as a streak of movement, a dance or gesture than a freezeframes of failing body parts. Over a lifetime it might look something like this video or this one. Life as breath rising and falling. Inhale and exhale as fluid continuum at its best, a gesture that can be trusted, studied and predicted much like a heart beating. Learning to perceive this arc, trust and live harmoniously within it is what I teach. This is not adherence to a rigid form, but respect of an innate patterning. Each one has a signature movement and way of being, a pattern that can be learned and worked with, and yet in pattern we follow very similar forms.

Studying the arc of the human life from with the broadest lens you can observe patterns of energy working through very observable physical forms. Careful attention to these forms teaches us not only about the physical, but also the energetic movement that is behind them which appears to animate the physical and the likely extension beyond physical form.


Each of these pictures gives a sense of the movement of energies within and around us.We tend not to see this slow inner movement of the life force as we are more or less trained to see ourselves and each other as static realities (a troubled 10 year old, a beautiful woman, a sick old man, a cute baby, etc.) We identify with these “freeze frames” thinking that this is what we are, depressed that we are not other or are no longer X. Yet we are not any fixed form but the life moving within form brilliantly crafting it. We are perhaps the movement within our life force itself, and more than that. This work helps identify with that movement itself so that we are not in a constant attempt to arrest the movement at a stage or state or an experience we particularly like (for example being the eternal 27 year old that the culture idolizes). To lean on this movement, allow it and dance it is to relax. To resist it is to be constrained, anxious, depressed and to resist our natural breath. To resist is to be stressed. This is true even and as this movement leads us through a dying process and beyond.

The microscopic, atomic and subatomic research has yielded and continues to yield much in knowledge, yet it does not help us with our inner experience or regulation with self and others. It is this larger dance that helps us regulate ourselves, relate well to others and ultimately gives meaning to our lives. It matters how we see things and whether we see patterns of life force coursing through the forms we see and inhabit. We have to back up to see not only the forest but also the wind moving through the forest which takes us back and forth from birth to death in a rhythm that can perhaps be trusted. Holding this view is the far side of human development.