EVY: An Odyssey into Bodymind by Will & Evelyn Turner Schutz

EVY: An Odyssey into Bodymind

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Will Schutz, author of Joy and Here Comes Everybody (1972), is one of the ebullient and contentious dons of Esalen and of the human potential movement. Here, he and a woman who took his ""Bodymind"" workshop at Esalen tell in alternating, rapturous voices of her personal ""rebirth"" through a new therapeutic technique. Schutz's ""Bodymind"" combines ""rolfing""--a form of deep massage said to realign the body by releasing chronic tensions--and ""guided fantasy,"" a working-through of difficult emotions in spontaneous, dreamlike imagery. The book opens with a schematic and simplistic explication of Bodymind theory, which is an unsurprising variation on Reichian, Gestalt, Primal tenets. Roughly: the human being, a unity of body, mind, and emotion, ideally completes free-flowing ""energy cycles,"" but may be chronically blocked in childhood by fear of pain or rejection. This block will be expressed in the body by a chronic muscle tension. Rolfing releases the tension; the blocked emotion then comes out and is dealt with in guided daydream. Evy's story of her ten sessions follows this theory with a radiant inevitability that's just too good to be true. About two-thirds of the way through it becomes involving, as any story of inner journey and self-liberation will; and Schutz's honesty, his care not to dominate or interfere, is admirable. But the book is much too hasty and sketchy to make Evy's resurrection anything but a revivalistic testimonial and a foregone conclusion. We need a much deeper account of the person and of the obstacles that made her triumph difficult and meaningful.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row