When they danced to a Mahler symphony

That photo shows the father of Gestalt therapy Fritz Perls. In the fascinating The Upstart Spring: Esalen and the Human Potential Movement it is recounted how after Fritz Perls' death in 1970 a memorial service organised by the Gestalt Therapy Institute of San Francisco was attended by more than five hundred people. Perls had requested that postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin, who had led workshops at Esalen, should dance at his funeral. She danced to a recording of Perls' favourite Mahler symphony; then Halprin instructed everyone to dance with her and they circulated around the hall with lighted candles. Fritz Perls wrote the statement of personal independence below known as the Gestalt Prayer. It was a favourite of the 1960s counterculture movement but still has powerful relevance in the era of the social media movement:
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.
New Overgrown Path posts are available via RSS/email by entering your email address in the right-hand sidebar. Any copyrighted material is included for critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).


Recent popular posts

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Towards infinite potential

When classical musicians fought against tuxedo fascism

I have seen the future and it is cardboard

Classical music must woke up and smell the coffee

Fruitcakes do provide food for thought

Virtue signalling does not sell concert tickets

Mystery of politically incorrect London Philharmonic violinist

All you need is loot

...and the musicians were paid £800