Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Psychological Kinesphere

Psychological Kinesphere
Submitted by Adrienne Proctor et al. - February 17, 2004

[Following are comments originally posted on LabanTalk and/or CMAList January 27, 2004 - February 2, 2004.]

Posting 1, Adrienne Proctor, January 27, 2004

I have been searching for information about the psychological kinesphere, but I have not had much success. I am interested in any writings that pursue, incorporate, or apply the idea of the psychological kinesphere. Thus far I have only been able to locate brief definitions of the psychological kinesphere offered in contrast to the physical kinesphere. Any suggestions of where to look would be greatly appreciated.

Posting 2, Amy Matthews, January 27, 2004

You might look in Laban's writings about the Dynamosphere - Language of Movement Chapters 3 & 6, among others - and see if that is useful for your purposes.

Posting 3, Peggy Hackney, January 27, 2004

My feeling about Psychological Kinesphere is that it is "the space I feel is mine--that I inhabit with my energy." This is very important for performers, because I can feel that I inhabit the entire theater (in fact I used to warm up on stage with this as a sort of "mantra"--"This is my living room. I am glad to welcome all of you into it with me.") I could be using a large psychological Kinesphere such as this even if I am doing a tiny movement such as brushing an eyelash away. This is seen in theater all the time. I could also be using huge, full reach-space Physical Kinesphere movement while having a very tiny Psychological Kinesphere. My inner monologue might be, "all this movement is happening to me, and I am not really a part of it."

I believe I said something similar to this when I was interviewed by the LIMS Theory Project in 1990 for the Compendium Project chapter on "Kinesphere".

Posting 4, Joan Forest Mage, January 27, 2004

Also, what is the relation of the psychological kinesphere to the "energy kinesphere," or body's electromagnetic field or "aura," as it would be called in spiritual and metaphysical work?

Posting 5, Jeffrey Longstaff, January 29, 2004

Psychological kinesphere:

It is interesting that the language to describe the body-motor-kinesphere is often very very similar to the language to describe the psychological kinesphere, ... and I have noticed that often these two concepts are merged and blended.

Of course they are closely related, ... I usually think of the body-kinesphere as created by body movement, formed by anatomy and anatomical constraints, joint ranges of motion, ... actual movement..... whereas the psychological kinesphere is in the realm of what I “own”, ... for example, ... my entire apartment is part of my psychological kinesphere, ... even though I might be miles and miles away, ... but it is still “my space”, regardless if my body is there or not. This is identical with concepts such as ‘territory’ and also “personal space” etc. that are well developed in psychological studies, ... . . . The effort comes in, because it is often used to ‘claim’ the space, eg. by throwing the dynamics of effort outwards into a huge area, I can claim a vast expanse as “mine” even though I can’t actually reach it all with my limbs. . . . for example, I might do this just by yelling really loudly (making a huge psychological kinesphere), or my psychological kinesphere might be big just because of social status (famous public figures are allocated more space), or purely a big ego!

There is a long history of writing about these kinds of territoriality psycho spaces, ... eg. Hall “the hidden dimension” is an early classic. In contrast the body-motor-kinesphere is identical with concepts of the ‘reach space’ or motor space, or body-space in ergonomics or human factors.

This is the space actually created and moved in with my body... its structure is determined by actual movement and anatomical constraints, ... this is the principal topic of Laban’s choreutics.

I have noticed that in LMA training that these two types of kinesphere are typically blended, with “kinesphere” freely referring to both psychological space, ... and to motor space, ...

The two types of kinespheres are obviously related, ... but also distinct. I don’t believe that in LMA writing that the two concepts are clearly differentiated, ... but instead are often blended as if they were the same thing.

I’d look to psychological studies of territoriality and personal space to probe into the psychological kinesphere, ... ... and look to ergonomic and anatomical / kinesiology studies to probe into the motor-kinesphere. The two different types of “space” really do have distinct characteristics and operate by different laws.

Posting 6, Amy Matthrews, February 1, 2004

How is "psychological kinesphere" different than the "dynamosphere" that Laban talks about?

Posting 7, Bernard Weitzman, February 2, 2004

I'm a fly on the wall. Your postings were sent to me by my friend Gibby. I am very amateurish in my understanding of "kinesphere." I offer what follows as a psychologist (I'm long-term tenured on the clinical faculty of the New School University, trained as a Jungian analyst and in private practice since 1963) who is also a practicing Buddhist.

What is called in Buddhism "Mandala," is both a representation and an experience of synchronization of the body and mind kinespheres. What the Buddha called "Samsara," is a desynchronization of body and mind kinespheres. This desynchronization is accomplished by effort.

Synchronization is effortless. Effort engages the body kinesphere in such a way as to produce tensions and by invoking tension systems (which come to be known as the "character" of a person). This tension systems have the psychological effect of narrowing or otherwise constricting and limiting the mental kinesphere. Such effort is motivated, ultimately, to maintain ignorance of what would be known if synchronization were allowed.

The relationships involved (the structure and functioning of the body kinesphere, the structure and functioning of the mind kinesphere), how they interact and the outcomes of various forms of interaction are described in exhaustive detail in the Buddhist literature.
The difficulty in accessing this information is, as it also seems to me the case in studying the kinesphere in our tradition, is that personal experience is necessary for an "in depth" understanding.

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