Alexander Lowen on being grounded and “earthy”

I am currently reading The Spirituality Of The Body, by Alexander Lowen and found his conclusion of the chapter on “grounding” exceptionally relevant in our world today.  Enjoy :)

Once he is grounded, a person no longer holds himself up but allows the ground to support him.  By coming down to earth, he finds that his blood pressure also drops.  But effecting that kind of change requires a commitment to the body and to a way of life that respects the body and it’s needs.

Unfortunately, our culture is moving away from the body as the source of feeling and spirituality.  Our fitness programs are not designed to enhance the sensitivity of the body but to hone it as if it were a machine.  In so doing, they produce people who are fit only to run the race of life.  I suppose that if reaching the top is one’s goal in life, our modern-day fitness programs may help.  But if one’s goal is to experience the joy of being fully alive, the excitement of feeling part of this pulsating universe, and the deep satisfaction of being a person who is both graceful and gracious, one must turn elsewhere.

When I was a young man, being “earthy” was regarded as a virtue.  I never hear anyone descibed that way anymore.  Has the quality of having one’s feet on the ground lost its meaning?  I believe it has.  The modern individual is more properly described as “flying high and fast”.  It is hard to slow down when the world is racing by.  It is difficult to be grounded when the culture itself is ungrounded, when it denies reality and promotes an illusion that success represents a higher state of being and successful people live richer and more fulfilling lives.  All the same, the real values of life are “earthy” values:  health, gracefulness, connectedness, pleasure and love.  But these values have meaning only if one’s feet are planted firmly on the ground.

-  Alexander Lowen

Alexander Lowen MD is a world renowned psychiatrist and the creator of Bioenergetic Analyis, the revolutionary therapy that uses the language of the body to heal the problems of the mind.  He has authored 14 books including Narcissism, Betrayal of the Body, Joy, Bioenergetics, The Way to Vibrant Health, Pleasure, Language of the Body and Honoring the Body.

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3 thoughts on “Alexander Lowen on being grounded and “earthy”

  1. Hi, Anshul, I hadn’t seen LU’s blog and wanted to tell you how much I like what you’ve done. Very nice. User friendly. Interesting. I like it! And I find the above quote from Lowen particularly timely. D.

  2. Pingback: Caring vs. Caretaking: session #3 this Sunday — Finding our ground amidst the incivility « Living Ubuntu Blog

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