My work never has and still does not fit into any of the conventional fields of study one finds in higher education. I don’t feel like a physical education teacher, nor a psychologist, nor a philosopher, nor a theologian. I feel like I am either all of these or none of these. So what am I, professionally speaking?
For a while, I thought of myself as a “somasopher”. A person who studied the wisdom of the body or who possessed body wisdom. It was not quite right.
Recently, I found something quite accurate but, for me, too academic and complex. Perhaps I am a clinical eco-physio-psychologist. I define this as a person who helps other humans reconnect physically and sensorially to the animate and inanimate world in such a way as to promote personal and planetary well-being.
See, too academic. Too complex.
Then, I fell upon it. I knew what I was, what I had been for decades. I was a “Physiologian”.
Why am I a physiologian? What does it mean to be a physiologian? I know I am one, but what makes me a physiologian?
Here is my first attempt at articulating why I think I am a physiologian.
What Is a Physiologian?
A physiologian lives as if the following were true. (These statement may be or may not be true.)
1. I choose to live as if the Earth is a Great Mother. I live on her body. I live in her atmosphere. I live under her roof. She is my source of life. It is as if I live in her womb. She sustains me. She breathes me. She protects me. She shelters me.
2. I experience matter and spirit as one and the same.
3. Matter is holy. (Matter derives from the Latin, Matur, which means Mother.)
4.The elements found within the periodic table are miraculous.
5. My senses are miraculous.
6 I belong to the animal kingdom. I live within the animal kingdom and the animal kingdom lives within me.
7. I am devoted to living a life of physical contemplation. This means, I practice being physically cognizant that, at any given moment, I am on holy ground, in a holy space, in a holy moment, and that my body is holy.
8. I live as if everything that exists is a subject. That there are no objects. I choose to live as if everything has a nervous system. Not only does everything have a nervous system, but that it is one common nervous system. Just as we live on the same ground, on common ground, we share the same nervous system, one nervous system which connects everything to everything.
9. I live knowing that I can never act alone. Only interaction is possible. I cannot take one step by myself. I can only take a step if I am interacting with the ground. I experience existence as co-existence. I co-exist with myself, with other humans but I also co-exist with the more than human world which I perceive as alive.
10. I believe in the physiology of respect. That all life by nature has worth and dignity and deserves to be treated respectfully. I also believe in the physiology of self-respect because I believe that bodies are holy, that matter is holy, that we are, therefore, holy.
11. I do not believe in the super natural. I believe that the natural is super.