e all know that the benefits of somatic exercises come from the development of the memory of movement patterns. That's the whole point of the repetitions - memory formation.
The memory of pattern is what underlies coordination; coordination is pattern in four dimensions: three dimensions of space and one of dimension of time - time being a measure of movement. Ready availability of such memory permits timely responses to changing environmental conditions. Without it, we have, 'oops."
An "oop" may be defined as the minimum unit of movement done without easy control, one that produces an unanticipated result and introduces uncertainty into the scenario.
As long as we're defining terms, we might as well define the "whoops," which is what you have when one or more "oops" sets off other "oops" in a kind of domino effect or chain reaction.
Now, we also know that any new movement we do starts out as a rote, mechanical action festooned with oops as a boat is festooned with barnacles. The number of oops decreases as we get a feel for the movement, develop a simple feeling-intention when performing it, and thus develop an integrated memory of that action.
For those who have mathematical minds or who enjoy being bewildered, the simple formula is:
The number of oops decreases
with the integration
of the elements of movement
in kinesthetic memory.
-- or --
As the integration of kinesthetic memory ====> INFINITY
Where "Noops" signifies any number of oops > 0
As somatic educators, it's our job to assist our clients in reducing the number of oops and of consequent whoops toward zero - an ideal, of course, since absolute zero is a theoretical limit never actually reached, but only approximated.
We must understand that any action involves, at minimum, two components: an objective dimension, which can be observed by a second (or even third) person, and a subjective dimension, which can be experienced only by the first person.
New actions done by rote exist primarily in the objective dimension, since little subjective awareness exists of them. However, with guidance and practice, the first-person, subjective awareness of it emerges into being, a case of "something coming from nothing." That, in fact, is how we experience learning something new: something emerges from nothing - like magic - and it is something of a miracle. They call those, "emergents", often precipitated by mutant- or proto-mutant human beings.
In the spectrum of experience, there is a continuum which corresponds to the relationship of particles (localized phenomena) to electromagnetic radiation (the field). The particles and the field, though appearing differently, are actually the same phenomenon experienced differently. A particle is a tangible, physical manifestation or expression of a subtle field. Don't worry; I clarify, below.
In the case of somatic events, the objective body is the "particle" (or arrangement of particles) and the subjective awareness is the "field". In that relationship, where control is concerned, the field (subjective awareness) is primary and the particle (objective body) is secondary. The behavior of the field determines the behavior of the particle, just as subjective awareness determines the behavior of the objective body. As Thomas Hanna put it, "Function determines structure."
Here's where it gets interesting. You were hoping, weren't you?
The development of somatic control involves, as I said earlier, the development of integrated kinesthetic awareness - the subjective, subtle field.
But the teaching of somatic exercises starts with rote, mechanical performance. In that sense, where learning is concerned, the particle is primary and the field is secondary - just the reverse of the logic of control. Rote, mechanical performance is the most rudimentary form of control, where the movement of particles creates a subtle field.
The development of memory (a field) proceeds by quantum jumps, where the starting or resting state is, "not knowing what the Hell you're doing." Here, the maximum amount of attention is available (as learning potential), while the minimum level of learning has occurred. Here, the potential for oops is at its highest.
Repetition of a movement at an adequate level of intensity or with adequate intensity of attention creates impressions in the field of memory that accumulate. Once that field reaches a sufficient level of stability and becomes free-standing, it becomes somatically accessible as a memory in the subtle field. Get it? I knew you would. If not, re-read this paragraph closely, a few times.
There's a point where a rote exercise has produced enough quantum jumps in kinesthetic awareness (a quantum is a minimum quantity of anything) that the feeling of the exercise can be remembered. This is the point at which the field begins to appear as a remembered experience - not seen, but felt. A critical mass of memory has been reached for a new experience to come into existence.
It is my observation that each time an oops is integrated into the subtle field of memory, the overall mass of the memory increases. The implication is that oops have mass. However, our goal is to increase the amount of order in memory, not just increase its mass.
This is how it works:
Since the subtle field is senior to and controls the physical expression, learning, and thus the increase of order, can be accelerated by deliberately resorting to the remembered feeling of the movement before doing the movement. It's a two-step process: (1) Remember the feeling of the movement, (2) Do the movement.
To do so has some benefits. For one thing, to remember a movement before doing it organizes it in a more efficient manner that reduces the number oops by organizing them into the desired pattern ahead of time by manipulating the force of probability through the subtle field as an act of will. Secondly, where multiple actions are done in coordination, to remember the coordinated action as a feeling progressively integrates its movement elements into a unified action, thereby reducing the number or likelihood of whoops. This is a case of mind over matter.
So, if you want to reduce the number of oops and the incidence of whoops rapidly and efficiently, and so increase the amount of order in your experience of the space-time continuum, remember the subtle feeling of the movement and move "into" it. You will find that the rise of intent needed to remember the feeling will produce a result superior to merely doing movements by rote (in a perfunctory way).
The Big Bang was a Big Whoops!
And It's Still Generating New Emergents.