"Autonomous people go beyond self-awareness, self-control, independence, and the balance of thinking and feeling. The autonomous person is purposive and independent, but something more. Fostering, facilitating, and furthering this growth and evolution has been my conscious objective in more than thirty years of learning and teaching personal growth..."
- Charles R. Kelley, Life Force, 2004
Purpose and the Evolution of Boundaries
Purpose is an outgrowth of the evolution of boundary formation. Perhaps it all started long ago as primary sources of the creative force in Nature encountered each other. That point of encounter itself became a new fact, a new source.
Throughout cosmic history to the beginnings of organic life, primitive life forms encountered surrounding realities, or blocks. We see them developing “survival” strategies: contending, avoiding, or (something that resembles) embracing.
Those who study the life force see that it curves in on itself when it encounters a block. This inward (spiral-like) curving is seen in all physical forms and assists the fluid flow in most living systems. The curve supports the containment of the system, thus creating a boundary. From the single cell up to a complete human being, this boundary formation is the first step toward autonomous living.
With growing brain capacity, advanced organisms cultivated a memory record and, in humans, reflective consciousness. Humans thus gained the potential to anticipate and manage by intention. They developed the potential to move with progressive efficiency and creativity toward goals. The possibility of civilization as we know it was born.
In personal growth work we seek to consciously improve the ability to build and maintain adaptive boundaries so a person can continue to evolve to higher levels of functioning.
We do this in several ways: by freeing the inhibited flow of the life force, and by improving body awareness and cultivating soft inward looking that leads to deeper reflective consciousness and an improved sense of self. Once a person has achieved an adequate sense of self, measured amounts of “force” (as in physics) can be applied to support purposeful skills. As examples: Externally generated force might be that of a good father firmly limiting his children’s narcissism, a policeman enforcing a speed limit, or the simple arrival of winter. Internally generated force might be purposely holding one’s breath, or re-directing one’s gaze, to block the experience of a primary feeling while engaging in a alternative, but freely chosen, activity.
In summary: A large part of Radix work is dedicated to liberating the flow of the radix (life force) from the unconscious character armoring. Once this flow is freed it is equally important to engage in purpose work, which is dedicated to consciously inhibiting the flow, spawning and supporting the previously described split in the radix process. Using the capacity for both distant vision and deep internal reflection, re-directing the flow supports the student’s goals and purposes. Students that are balanced in both feeling and purpose functions develop a deeper consciousness that supports them throughout their life. There is much debate on how a radix teacher best helps a student to grow purposive capacities. We would like to further that discussion through this website.
One of our goals at Kelley/Radix is to help secure the place of purpose work in our field and across the spectrum of bodywork.
*See articles: The conflict of feeling and purpose; and About Reich and Radix. Both are found in THE RADIX, pp. 179-192 and pp. 192-226 respectively, and are available on this site.