Touch and the Intelligence of the Heart

Everybody loves to get touched, but it’s more than a luxury. Touching is a basic need for survival and health, so to get touched is healing in itself. We need to be aware in each touch that something very basic is happening just through the gesture – something very subtle, something we often don’t recognize, but something that is of immense importance.

We can touch people in a very “knowledgeable” way, but what is needed is depth.

As Osho Rajneesh says: “Understanding is intelligence moving in depth... Knowledge is intelligence moving wider, it is quantitative.” ∗ We can measure knowledge, but we can’t measure understanding, or the depth of touch, because it’s a quality. Knowledge comes from the mind, knowing comes from the heart. And yet this knowing is often a space of absolute not knowing, of being present and being able to stay with it.
∗Osho, Tao: The Three Treasures, Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 411001, India, 1975, Page 126

This reminds me of two personal experiences. The first was a Acupressure session in which I suddenly got an incredible pain on the left side. I had been getting a strong headache three to four times a year, but until now I had no experience like this. It was becoming unbearable. It felt like my head was exploding. Neither the therapist or I knew what to do and how to deal with it, but we both stayed with the experience. I was just screaming something like, “what is it? what is it?” and then I felt what I had never felt before – the fear of death – and I remembered the car accident I had when I was ten years old. I had been unconscious and for two weeks in the hospital. As I remembered this experience, my body was trembling and I was soaking wet. I passed through the fear, and the pain eased suddenly. I have not had these headaches since.

The second experience was very beautiful and innocent, it came out of the same space of deep, refreshing relaxation. Right after the relaxation, I was supposed to write down whatever came. Though hesitating, I took the pen in the right hand. Then I had to change it from the right to the left and I started to write: “Giving birth and receiving... from the other side. effort... Giving back my left hand... it's so easy." Then the following poem came, as a witness of my own amazement and amusement.

Shoulders – and our ability to respond to life

Though several meridians travel through the shoulder segment, I think the Gall Bladder Meridian is of particular importance to the excessive responsibility we often take upon the shoulders. The Gall Bladder Meridian is part of the Wood element - the psychic domain of Hun. It has to do with our capacity to respond appropriately to the events life is bringing to us.

Tension in the shoulder area also arises when we try to stop the movement of life. When we do so, we lose our ability to respond to life's changes. This has much to do with conditionings and patterns of defence we learned in childhood, and with related tensions in the shoulder and neck area along the Large Intestine Meridian.

As Wilhelm Reich says, “...inhibited pleasures is transformed to rage and inhibited rage is transformed into muscle spasms.” * The life-force towards pleasure, towards the yes, is disconnected and replaced by the no-no attitude, which is reflected in muscular armoring. Reich says that “the elusive residue of the armor” is "psychic contactlessness.” Wilhelm Reich: Character Analysis, 1945, 1990 The Noonday Press, New York, pages 389, 311.

Letting come, letting go

In our lives we physically hold lots of things. A worker in a factory holds certain tools; a gardener holds a hoe; a tennis player holds a tennis racket. That's all okay as long as we don’t strain our muscles and we know when to let go. The Lung and Large Intestine Meridians, which represent the Metal element, have the very basic function of taking in the life giving forces, holding them, and letting go of what is not needed any more.

On some occasions, life asks or demands that we hold on longer than we would like to. But often we hold on out of ambition or pride. We exercise or work longer to have a new car, a better sound system, a faster this, a greater that. The Lung and Large Intestine Meridians (in the psychic land of P’O) have also to do with taking in, and with possessing things.

“Unfortunately this natural behaviour is distorted and has expanded the realm of desires beyond our self felt needs.” ∗
∗The Joy of Feeling: Bodymind Acupressure, by Iona Marsaa Teeguarden, Japan Publications, Inc., Tokyo and New York, page 60.