Archetypal atmospheres as balancing forces for our time
Looking at one of our human capacities: the ability to create atmosphere
檢視人類潛能之一 : 創造氛圍的能力
Atmosphere is the soul of a space 氛圍是空間的靈魂
A “sense” of atmosphere 氛圍的”感知”
Atmospheres for the actor 演員的氛圍
Personal Atmosphere 個人氛圍
Objective Atmosphere 客觀氛圍
Atmospheres create gestures in the space 氛圍創造空間的姿態
Co-creating atmospheres 共創氛圍
12 Action Steps toward creating a stable, supportive culture of nutritional atmospheres
7 Archetypal Atmospheres worth cultivating for nutrition and balance培植滋養與平衡的7大原型氛圍
“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”
– Henry David Thoreau
“Atmosphere is the soul of the theater.”
– Michael Chekhov
We live in an unique time where most of the world is united in an atmosphere or mood. In some parts of the world this atmosphere presence may be more colored in fear and anxiety, in other parts more strongly colored with uncertainty. But this collective experience works on all of us, even if we do not feel directly affected. We may wake up in the morning and feel a quality of uncertainty or anxiety in our bodies that does not belong to us personally but feels connected to what lives in the collective consciousness of the world just now.
Children pick up on the atmosphere in their community even if they never see an image or hear a word about what is happening. They absorb what is present in their space, in their community, in their world.
Because an atmosphere is invisible, it is easy to overlook its presence, and the impact of this presence – how it informs what we think, what we feel, and how we act. In turn, this thinking, these feelings, these actions empower the atmosphere, or they create a field of invitation for the highest possible future that wants to emerge (to borrow a phrase from Otto Scharmer). They can build an invisible garden bed for the seeds of the future.
因為氛圍是肉眼看不見的，其存在很容易被忽略，它的影響有: 知會我們該如何思考、如何感覺、如何行動。也就是說，這些思考、感覺、行動會增強氛圍，或是創造一個場域的邀請，邀請想要從中浮現未來更高的可能性(引用自奧圖.夏默Otto Scharmer)。它們可以為未來種子們搭建一個隱匿的花園溫床。
If we are in a smoke-filled room and we don’t like breathing in smoke, we might leave the room, open a window, or see where the smoke was coming from. An atmosphere can work just as deeply into us as smoke. We breathe it in through our senses. It can color our experience, obscure our vision, or be a holding space for incubating our vision. One aspect of atmosphere is its ability to unify all within it.
At this time, creating health-supporting atmospheres can help balance, harmonize, or mitigate the effects our current world situation is having on us and especially on our children. For a child, a healthy atmosphere can be as powerful and nutrition-giving as the food they eat. Forces work through the atmosphere and feed the child’s relationship to themselves and to the world. These forces can work like an antidote or remedy for an imbalance or sense of overwhelm. A healthy atmosphere can act like a second skin, a buffer or safe holding space for their learning and growing. Spending more time inside, we now have an opportunity to cultivate new life in our spaces (our inner space and the spaces we share). We might understand our current situation as inviting us to do this.
至此，創造一個支持健康的氛圍，可以幫助我們平衡、和諧、或緩和現今世界情勢對我們、尤其是孩童所造成的影響。對孩子來說，一個健康的氛圍，就等同於他們吃進有力量及滋養的食物。趨力的動能透過氛圍在工作，餵養著孩童與自己、與世界的關係，這趨力，扮演著失衡或全然不知所措的解毒劑或解藥。一個健康的氛圍就如同身體的第二層皮膚、一種緩衝、或一個安全的保護孩子學習與成長的空間。再更深入看，我們現在有機會在我們的空間 (內在的空間和共享的空間) 培養新生活，我們或可將我們的現狀理解為，它正在邀請我們做這樣的事。
The archetypal world, or the world of forces that work with the human being and into human experience, manifests or expresses itself in different ways. In drama we look at archetypal gestures, sounds, and colors, for example. We engage them in order to connect with universal creative forces, with a power that transcends the personal experience; to create a bridge to that divine world. Another way we can invite this world to stream its strength and support into our experience and into our spaces is through working with atmospheres.
The space between us can veil a sense of divine presence or can illuminate it. As human beings we have an unique power to create these possibilities through how we engage with atmosphere.
What are the archetypal atmospheres a developing human being is hungry for? How does my personal atmosphere contribute to the collective atmosphere and to a child’s experiences? How can we cultivate atmosphere?
發展中的人類渴求什麼樣的原型氛圍? 個人氛圍如何塑造集體氛圍，以及如何影響一個孩童的經驗? 我們要如何培植氛圍?
Atmosphere is the soul of a space or the enveloping mood garment of a person, space, or situation.
I once went to a performance of Twelfth Night on Broadway. Before the play the audience stood in line, joined the hustle and crunch to enter the theater, found our seats, and sat down. We were all strangers sitting together in a dark room facing the same direction. The curtains opened and light, warmth, sound, and energy filled the stage and poured over us and into our attending senses.
Hours later the last word was spoken, we sat in silence a moment, reluctant to move, as if to drink deep from this mysterious well of life, and then gradually began to applaud. We were all filled with a similar sensation that felt beyond words. I looked at the stranger next to me, who no longer felt like a stranger, and, though we did not say a word to each other, we knew: we are united in this shared experience. We were reminded of our shared humanity, on this earth, at this time. We have created a community together. As we all began to leave the theater, the tempo was different: slower, more solemn, digesting, as if after a large feast or a religious rite. Our eyes had a steadiness and stillness. I didn’t hear any of the chatting or commotion we entered with.
幾小時後，當最後一個字被說出口，我們安靜的坐了一會，還不想動，如同深醉於神秘的生命之泉，然後逐漸開始鼓掌。我們全都沉浸在語言無法表達、又相似的感知當中，我看了坐在我旁邊的陌生人，我不再感覺對他陌生，雖然我們彼此沒有交談，但我們都知道: 我們被這個共享的經驗結合在一起了。我們被提醒著此時、在地球上、我們共享的人性。我們已經一起創造了一個社群。當我們全部的人開始離開劇院，節奏變的不同了: 更緩慢、更莊重、仍沉殿中的，就如同剛結束一場盛宴或宗教性儀式般。我們的眼神有著穩定及靜定，我並未聽見任何談話聲、或任何剛進入劇院時的騷動。
As we slowly spilled back out into New York City, I could feel this invisible membrane that we had formed together stretch out over the city and get thinner and thinner as it began to weave the light of this community into the fabric of the city. On the subway, moments later, we could still recognize each other. Our luminosity was obvious to each other. We could even nod our heads in knowing.
Of course, we owe some of this mysterious and alchemical happening to the quality of the performance, the beauty of the language, the naked human speech, the live music, even the candlelight they used. But our attendance also contributed to what revealed itself in the space. The atmosphere we shared was beyond any one person’s personal contribution. It was born out of our collective attention.
A “sense” of atmosphere
If we look at our experience of atmosphere as a sense or sensation, where is its organ of perception? From where in us do we perceive it? When we open our eyes, we see, and the colors of the world appear to us. We touch something and the texture of the world touches us. Some of these experiences are archetypal. The color red or blue, for example, speaks to a part of us where that color lives. Though I may have a personal association with red or blue, they also have a universal, archetypal quality which has a counterpart in me. Beyond my likes and dislikes or any association of red as being connected to love or anger or passion, it has its own objective force. I can live in my experience of my projection upon red or I can also attune to its universal power. When I do, the archetypal force wakes up its counterpart within me and they resonate together. The archetypal world comes to consciousness within the human being and works into the world. We feel enlarged by this eternal presence.
如果我們以一種感知或感官的經驗去看待氛圍，那麼這接收的器官在哪裡? 是內在哪一部分在感知呢? 當我們睜開眼睛，我們就可以看，世界的顏色會呈現給我們。當我們碰觸某樣東西，世界也在碰觸我們。某些這類經驗是屬於原型經驗，例如紅色或藍色，與存在於我們之內的紅藍對話著。雖然我可能跟紅或藍有個人經驗的連結，但它們在我身上依舊會對應到共通性的、原型的品質。在喜歡與不喜歡背後，或是將紅色連結到愛或憤怒或熱情的背後，紅色仍舊有它自己的客觀力量。我可以依照自己對紅色的投射經驗活著，或是我也可以調合它的共通性力量。當我這麼做的時候，原型的力量會喚醒我內在所對應的，並產生共鳴。原型世界進入人類的意識並走進世界工作著，這個永恆的存在擴大了我們的感知。
With atmosphere, the organ of perception is harder to locate and the clarity of its experience may be harder to assess than with other senses. Yet we can recognize the presence of an atmosphere. When it is strong in a space, say in a place of grief, in a community living in fear, in a graveyard, or in the reverential wonder of a kindergarten, its presence is obvious and easy to feel. Other atmospheres may be more subtle.
An atmosphere can be seen as the enveloping soul or invisible garment of a space that our other senses grow and breathe within. Though its qualities resonate in our body and in our soul – they can induce sweating, agitate or calm our breathing, create a feeling of heaviness or lightness in the body – our senses perceive it around our body. It can appear to have a life of its own but, as it lives in the air around us, we are connected to it and it unites us within it.
Like all senses, the sense of atmosphere is a breathing organ. We breathe it in and enhance it with our out-breath. It may be possible to breathe in an atmosphere, especially if it is a destabilizing or shadow atmosphere, and begin a process of transforming it through what and how we breathe out into it; by how we move and speak and think within it (as forms of out-breath).
如同所有感官，氛圍的感官是個呼吸的器官，我們吸入，並透過呼出來增強它。吸入一種氛圍是有可能的，特別是不穩定或陰影氛圍，透過呼出的內容與方式進入該氛圍，即開始進行氛圍轉化的過程；藉由我們在其中移動、說話、跟思考的方式 (以呼氣的形式) 來進行。
Events can generate atmosphere. A wedding, a funeral, a birth, a death, an accident, a conflict, inspire atmospheres that have an infectious influence on our feelings and our perceptions. They can color how we perceive the world and our relationship with it.
Nature offers perhaps the most harmonizing atmospheres for feeding the soul, if we can open our senses to them. Its archetypal power can work on us only if we can enter its influence and breathe it in through our senses. Perhaps you have had the experience of walking into a forest and feeling as if the invisible hand of the atmosphere were reaching out to welcome you into it. “Let the healing begin.”
Different times of the day reveal different qualities or moods. Perhaps the most outspoken or profound “voices” of the day are at dawn and at sunset, two powerful transitions. When we turn our senses over to these presences, we can feel there is a quality of energy emanating through the play of color and light. We feel a corresponding movement in our soul.
When we offer our senses to an atmosphere, we can perceive tempo, thickness, weight, temperature, smell, tone, qualities of harmony or discord, of texture and light, and even taste. Every sense can tune into the unique expression of the atmosphere of a space. This perceiving awakens a sense for its qualities. These qualities create a kind of “voice” or presence, a sense of its wholeness.
All that we perceive through the senses is a kind of light. Our perception enlightens it. In experiencing atmosphere, we recognize qualities of light, even when the atmosphere is heavy or dark. A willingness to perceive it – not to resist it – allows qualities of its light to be revealed. These qualities have a corresponding force within us. We can move in harmony with that force, we can resist its presence, or we can bring a transforming gesture or intention to it.
Although children are remarkably vulnerable to experiences of atmosphere (our four-month-old will instantly reflect a new atmosphere with a body and soul response), adults, in moments of openness and attention, can also experience this soul language. But as adults, we can seek activities, filter, protect ourselves, or engage inwardly with balancing forces in order to navigate and make sense of what is happening to us and around us. Children are not able to filter out or buffer what their senses ingest. Like a sponge, everything goes directly into them. In times of intensity or confusion or sensory overload, it becomes more necessary than ever to create spaces where children can digest what they have taken in.
Babies are such powerful creators of atmosphere because they so purely reflect the atmosphere around them. As their consciousness is not completely in their body yet, we can experience this magical aura of light and warmth in the space around them. They highlight or awaken awareness for the presence of the divine in their space.
When we tune to or connect to the presence of a healthy atmosphere, our soul connects to an archetypal soul language. Connecting to a universal principle in this way unites the soul with forces beyond the personal. These forces expand a sense of who we are and what we are a part of. We transcend our personal experience and open ourselves for the enlivening presence of the archetypal world.
Atmospheres for the actor
Michael Chekhov, who created the Chekhov method of acting, describes two kinds of atmospheres: a character or personal atmosphere (with subjective individual feelings), which is particularly revealed in the space around a character, and an objective atmosphere (with objective feelings), which all characters live in. In drama we create atmospheres to enhance an artistic picture or experience. It adds dimension and depth to a character or a scene. Both kinds of atmospheres are sources of inspiration.
My character may have the personal atmosphere of a dark heavy cloud but then step into the objective atmosphere of a busy train station or a quiet library. Both have a presence with us. Their interplay can create dynamic and complexity. If we can radiate these sensations or reflect these presences through our sensing, then the audience wakes up to their presence. The archetypal power works into their experience as well.
Every play has an atmosphere and every scene has an atmosphere within a play’s larger atmosphere. Each scene layering atmosphere upon atmosphere until the larger feeling of the play’s atmosphere is created. Although objective atmosphere unites all within it, we all contribute to it, even adding dimension to it, consciously or unconsciously with our personal atmosphere.
Atmospheres can inspire feelings. We may all have a different personal feeling in a busy train station, but it doesn’t take away the reality of its atmosphere and the possibility of our experience of it. A character with a bright personal atmosphere may move into feelings that do not align with their personal atmosphere but still maintain a connection to their personal atmosphere.
Similar places can reveal different qualities of atmosphere. We have all seen a seedy mechanic’s shop and a mechanic’s shop that was meticulously clean, or the messy, full bookshop and the open-space socially-buzzing bookshop. Because atmospheres are space-derived, they have an objective power. They surround and inform us with qualities and, potentially, archetypal presence.
“But atmospheres are limitless and to be found everywhere. Every landscape, every street, house, room; a library, a hospital, a cathedral, a noisy restaurant, a museum; morning, noon, twilight, night; spring, summer, fall, winter – every phenomenon and event has its own particular atmosphere.”*
– Michael Chekhov
We are mostly unaware of our personal atmosphere. Although people who seem to live in a heavy, serious tone, for example, may be aware of how they impact others with their presence. A light or funny person may be aware of how others become brighter when they are around. It can feel like the air around them has a different color.
Artistically, this is fun to work with, as we can add imaginations to our personal atmosphere. We can imagine a sphere just around our body filled with dark clouds, full of effervescent little bubbles, or with little tickling feathers floating within it. This can engender a wonderful sensation that can enhance our experience of a character and our relationship to the scene.
In a busy and full life, we do not see our personal atmosphere as contributing to the life of a space. However, when we come home with a strong personal atmosphere, our children become aware of it right away. They immediately tune into what we bring into their environment. If this personal space is a deep habit or a fixed reflection of our personality, the children are already inwardly shaped by its presence and respond accordingly. If it is light-filled, they are attracted to it. If it has a more shadow-like quality, they learn how to protect, hide, negotiate or work with it. Some children seem to present a gesture of healing toward such personal atmospheres. Such children never tire to try and bring light into the presence of darkness.
This is not necessarily the same thing as a soul mood, although they can work together. My habit personal atmosphere may be humming with active, busy energy but on a day when I experience a serious conflict at work, my mood may change, though my personal atmosphere is still there.
Many factors contribute to our personal atmosphere. Parents, background, life circumstances, biography, attitude, the nature of our work all shape what we present to the world. Generally, a personal atmosphere tends toward a polarity or one-sidedness, as it is in this unique expression of our humanness that we can recognize the freedom to transform it out of ourselves – to bring it to balance. Artistically, we might call this striving toward neutrality, so we can be available to inspiration. A strong personal atmosphere, like a strong personality, can be an obstacle to new experiences.
If we can recognize what is our unique expression of personal atmosphere, we can already begin to sense what kind of balancing or harmonizing gesture we can bring to it. For the hustle and bustle atmosphere, perhaps doing things slowly and deliberately or consciously. Or introducing moments of physical stillness where I allow my “aura of busy-ness” to become still and quiet. Or it could be a soothing bath, a camomile compress, or applying a lavender massage oil. Any moment given to such home remedies contributes significantly to atmosphere.
If we can see this contribution we make to a space, it already begins to change. The light of our awareness acts like a yeast in the dough. If we take up working with it, a sense of freedom follows closely behind. We are not stuck in one expression but can create a context for something different.
Virtues create their own personal atmosphere and can influence the collective atmosphere. We all recognize the quality of kindness, humbleness, or generosity in the air around people who have developed these virtues.
It can be fun to go for a walk and, while strolling along, glimpse into the windows of houses – how different each living room seems to be! In our neighborhood here in Taiwan, the living rooms may all have similar kinds of furniture or wall decorations or a similar kind of shrine, but, often, there is a quality that can be very different. It could be a kind of darkness, or chaos, or luminosity, or warmth, or gentleness, or goodness. The objects may be similar but the space surrounding them is different.
We know archetypal atmospheres in a temple, an emergency room, a baby’s room, a restaurant’s kitchen, a meadow, a forest, a seaside. Even the mention of them may produce a little familiar movement in you – a sense memory. Even if you haven’t had a profound experience of these atmospheres, your body knows the experience. As with all archetypal experiences, they reflect a quality that exists in the human being. As every human being has all archetypal characters in them as potential, every objective atmosphere has a soul counterpart. This correspondence may light up as a feeling or a physical sensation. We all recognize the inner experience of a desert, even if we have never been in one.
At this moment in our time we can recognize a collective objective atmosphere in the world. It is fed by media reports, gossip, social network feeds, and all the little inner and outer movements we bring to it. The spaces we live in can be colored by this presence, as the collective environment can work into all spaces, like weather. And, like weather, we can receive it, move with it, react to it, or we can bring a counter gesture toward it. When it gets very cold, we can light a fire or turn on a heater. In the heat of the summer, we seek the comfort of shade.
Objective atmospheres affect our experience of the world, how we experience ourselves within it, and how we relate to it. An atmosphere full of chaos may close me off and I may be less likely to unfold myself within it. Whatever lives in me is held back and cannot come to expression. If it is an embracing, supportive atmosphere, filled with soul warmth and holding and care and attention, what lives in me is invited into it. Whatever gifts or contributions I have come with can work into the world.
For children, atmospheres create the environment not only for their learning but also for their growth and development. A child that lives in a chaotic atmosphere will often reflect the atmosphere in their movement, behavior, attitude, and even in the quality of their skin and the light in their eyes. An atmosphere with a lot of pressure, stress, or conflict can likewise impact how the child enters their body and trusts the world around them.
Atmospheres create gestures in the space
We have all been in atmospheres that seem to make a gesture toward us. Whether it suffocates, stifles, pushes, opens, lifts, or buoys us, we can feel this presence do something to us. We experience the will of an atmosphere – it wants to contract or expand us, lift or suppress us, for example. A reaction to this gesture can make the presence more intense and powerful. Our reaction and the atmosphere come into conflict. Like in any conflict, both sides step in more strongly when challenged. If we can meet an unpleasant atmosphere out of as much recognition, even appreciation, for it as possible, perceive its qualities, see the value in its presence and the lesson it is imparting, it can more easily come into movement and possibly move toward transformation.
We have all experienced how Feng Shui principles build powerful atmospheres. Every object carefully contributes a gesture or sense of movement or balance to the space. We may have also experienced an outwardly-perfect Feng Shui environment, like a business lobby, that was devoid of an atmosphere that should match its physical appearance. Because it is a used space – a space for passing through, not for filling with life – and other gestures have dominated the space, it feels soul-less. Its gesture feels empty.
In our striving to create atmospheres in our spaces, we are supporting a gesture of holding or embracing in the invisible field around the developing human being. This gesture enables the life and light that seeks that space more freely to enter.
What is the gesture your spaces are making toward you?
Cultivating nutritional, healthy atmospheres is not a matter of doing the right outer thing. A friend of mine was fighting with her husband in the kitchen when their child came home from school. Hearing the door open, although in the middle of the fight, they stopped talking and calmly went about their kitchen business. When the child walked in, he suddenly stopped. Sensing the atmosphere, even among the outwardly calm, welcoming, and well-mannered behavior, he said: “Stop it!”
培育滋養健康的氛圍不是做外在正確的事。我的一位朋友，孩子放學時剛好在廚房裡與她的先生爭論著。聽到大門一開，雖然是在爭論過程中，這對夫妻馬上停了下來，安靜的繼續廚房的事務。當他們的小孩走進來時，他也突然停了下來，感覺到之前的氛圍，即便當時外在環境是安靜、歡迎且好聲好氣的，這個孩子說道 : ”停”!
Cultivating atmospheres requires conscious intention and cannot be faked. A faked atmosphere is another form of hindrance for a child, creating a different kind of stress. It is its own kind of atmosphere. Creating healthy atmospheres takes effort but much less effort than we may think. As with any gesture toward health, it takes an application of will. As soon as our will shifts in alignment with a nutritional atmosphere, it begins to work with us, as if we stood a little closer under the star of it. What kind of shift of will invites a healthy atmosphere presence to work and fill the space with its substance? How do we engender a healthy atmosphere?
If we are interested in them and open enough, they can reveal themselves like Grace, suddenly filling the space by the virtue and alignment of inner and outer circumstances. For a regular visitation or for establishing a culture for an atmosphere, we can cultivate an invitational gesture through how we bring our senses and attention to the space, and how we organize the space. We have all felt how cleaning and reorganizing a space changed its atmosphere and at the same time shifted our inner experience. How we use our voice, how we listen, what colors and pictures are in the space, how the space is lit, how happenings are structured – if they have a clear beginning, middle, and end, if a strong rhythm shapes the day and the week, all contribute toward welcoming a nourishing atmosphere to work in a space.
In the theater, the set, positions of objects, lighting, costumes, music, tempo, quality of speaking and quality of movement all contribute to the atmosphere created in the space. We can begin to look at these contributors as we create spaces for the atmospheres we wish to work in our spaces. An early question may be, like in tidying a room: what do I need to remove from the space, what is in the way? Inwardly this translates as: what do I need to give up? As soon as we sincerely ask this question, we can feel a part of us respond. Somewhere in us we know what is in the way, and as we look toward the light of an atmosphere, it helps to show this to us.
在劇場，場景、物品的位置、燈光、服裝、音樂、速度、說話的品質、移動的品質，所有這些會一起營造出空間中的氛圍。當我們在空間中創造我們想要的工作氛圍時，我們可以開始去看這些要素。一個先前的問題是，例如在整理房間時: 我需要移開空間裡的什麼? 有什麼不恰當的地方? 在內在，這問題將被詮釋為: 我需要放棄什麼? 一旦我們真誠的提出這個問題，我們就會感覺自己的一部分作出回應。有一部分的我們知道是什麼不恰當，而當我們望向氛圍之光，將會幫助我們看得更清晰。
We cannot force or manipulate an atmosphere but we can coax or invite it to work. We don’t make it; we open a space for it; we create a context. The world evolves toward the archetypal. If we are present to the atmosphere we are in, if we yield to it, say “yes” to it, we open the door for the atmosphere needed. As soon as I am aware of an imbalance, the remedy presents itself.
Yielding to any atmosphere makes everything new. Familiar objects appear in a new light. Even our familiar sensation takes on new dimension and depth.
We can begin by sensing what atmosphere is currently present. What qualities or sensations can I discern? How am I contributing to these qualities through my inner tempo, my thoughts, my feelings, my voice and movement, by what I do in the space, and, especially, how I do it?
我們可以從感知現有的存在氛圍為何來開始，我可以辨別出何種品質或感知? 我如何以內在節奏、思想、感覺、聲音及移動投入到這些品質裡? 我在空間中做了什麼、尤其是如何做的?
It could be helpful to ask ourselves: which atmosphere do I have a strong relationship with or is easily accessible in my spaces? Which one could I grow or develop? What atmosphere is needed? What kind of outer step would growing that harmonizing atmosphere require?
自我探問或是有幫助的: 何種氛圍與我的連結性較強，或是在我所在的空間中更容易親近? 哪種氛圍我可以在其中成長或發展? 什麼樣的氛圍是需要的? 為了和諧氛圍所需，外在的何種步驟可以發展?
12 Action Steps for creating a stable, supportive culture of nutritional atmospheres
- Slowing down; doing any small or large action with deliberate slowness; slow meals, slow play, slow listening.
- Listening in a way that lets your listening breathe into the space, as if you were listening to music; sensing what is there (as Chekhov says: “sensation is the vessel into which your genuine artistic feelings pour easily and by themselves; it is a kind of magnet which draws to it feelings and emotions akin to whatever quality you have chosen…”**); yielding to it gives its presence a voice in the space and allows its will for transformation to be heard; if necessary, when breathing out, let your out breath fill with a more supporting or balancing quality.
用以下的方式聆聽；讓你的聆聽成為與空間共融的呼吸感，如同聆聽音樂一般，感知在那裏的有什麼 (如同契可夫所說: “感知是一種容器，你的真實藝術感受得以簡單並獨立的注入其中；感知就像是一種磁鐵，吸引了趨近於你所選擇的感覺與情緒…”**)；臣服於它便是給它的存在成為空間的一種聲音，並允許它轉化的意願得以被聽見；若有需要，當呼出時，讓你的吐氣充滿著更多的支持與平衡的品質。
- Adjusting or tuning your voice to the atmosphere you seek; using fewer words.
- Inviting a quality like calm or care (or any other desired quality) into a very simple movement, like lifting an arm, and then extending this quality into other movements.
- Changing or reorganizing the space, its lighting and color expressions, its warmth, reducing clutter and unnecessary things, to suit the atmosphere you wish to invite. Simple and quiet are atmosphere enhancers.
- Creating a ritual or conscious transition (before meals, before bedtime, before setting out into the day) for invoking a quality to join us.
- Speaking a verse or prayer conjures qualities into the space. Poems can also elicit atmosphere through language, rhythm, and image.
- Singing a song unites us in a common mood.
- Schooling your “sense of atmosphere”; going to places with different atmospheres, sensing their unique life qualities, to awaken creative feelings, expand and deepen your inner vocabulary and inner flexibility. Speak a poem into the atmosphere and notice how your voice will begin to tune into it.
- Avoiding or reducing atmosphere destroyers: gossipy energy, media, unnecessary activities, meaningless idleness or casual, loose attitudes (which is different to meaningful idleness, like day-dreaming, and moments of rest together).
- Doing something with a sense of beauty. Beauty is a best friend to atmosphere. Setting a table, making a bed, arranging flowers, watering a garden, cooking a meal can all deepen the art of creating atmosphere. They can also inspire a culture of appreciation.
- Going into nature gives an easy to access atmosphere that can work on us even if we have no energy for creating atmosphere; the soul readily sings in alignment with a nature environment.
7 Archetypal Atmosphere presences worth cultivating for nutrition and balance
- Reverence – an experience of the divine in all things, in all places, in all moments. A sense of holiness or of the presence of God. Temples and churches can give presence to it. Technically, it often starts with a change of tempo; slowing down, widening our sensing, and softening our attention. Exercising gratitude opens a door to it. Reverence could be seen as the inner gesture we bring to all atmospheres, the starting gesture toward any space and our relationship with it. If a child builds a relationship with reverence, it builds a fortifying foundation in their inner lives. This foundation, if established, will later bear fruit as a capacity to bless – to change the quality of a space or situation through the light of their presence. Reverence awakens an awareness for form. Our outer preparations, which could include other ritual-enhancing details like lighting a candle, preparing a child’s bed, adjusting our voice, create the invitation. Reverence, which can be experienced both as a feeling and a mood, may also inspire awe and wonder. It is a counterforce to indifference and carelessness. (See reverence exercises at the end of this essay.)
- Play – this can include free play on their own, which is a great resource for digesting and processing experiences, play-time with others, and wrestling and roughhousing with parents and siblings. It is the foundational atmosphere for developing imagination and connecting with the archetypal world through characters, images, and soul moods. A sense of ease and adaptability may also be discovered here. It is a counterforce to boredom, idleness, or fixed ness. “If a child has been able in his play to give up his whole loving being to the world around him, he will be able, in the serious tasks of later life, to devote himself with confidence and power to the service of the world.” – Rudolf Steiner
- Solemnity – certain events often call upon the presence of solemnity: visiting someone in the hospital, standing at the grave of a relative. But also the quietness of an evening spent reading a book, or a late afternoon spent sitting on a garden bench. Solemnity, like reverence, enlivens a sense of form. It helps to develop strength in the face of adversity, tragedy or hardship. It is a counterforce to overwhelming heaviness, insincerity, and dishonesty.
莊嚴—某些事件需要莊嚴的存在，如醫院探訪、站在墓園裡一位親戚的墓 旁，還有一個安靜看書的下午、或是傍晚時分坐在公園的椅凳上。莊嚴，如 同敬虔，使人充滿形式感，它有助於在逆境、悲劇、或困境中發展力量，它 是全面性的沉重感、不真誠及不老實的反作用力。
- Peace – comes through inner and outer quietness and inner and outer stillness. It is also a powerful soul force that we can experience inside us but also in the space between us. It can be potently felt after a battle, upheaval, or conflict. A certain quality of light between the eyes of people, between the bodies present. Tranquility and calm move into a space of peacefulness. “My peace I give to you,” Christ says to His disciples. It is a counterforce to agitation and anxiety.
和平—來自內外在的安靜與寂靜，它也是我們可以在內在、及彼此的空間中經驗到的一股強大的靈魂力量。它可以在一場戰役、動盪或衝突之後被強烈的感受，在眼神中、身體中存在著特定質地的光，寧靜與安定進入和平的空間， ”我給你我的平安” 基督向祂的弟子們說道。它是激動和焦慮的反作用力。
- Joy – often found at meal times, in community, and at moments of celebration. Joy gives us a relationship to levity, to a sense of beauty, lightness and freedom. The soul experiences a fullness but also a sense that this quality is not only felt in my soul but is a shared atmosphere. Generosity and gratitude and enthusiasm also open a path for joy. It is a counterforce to restlessness.
- Warmth – perhaps this could also be called an atmosphere of embracing community. If we understand it as a sensation of connection and interconnectedness, of being woven into the fabric of something, a feeling of belonging, of knowing my boundary among other boundaries, then we might approach a sense for it. It strengthens a sense of being held and supported. Love, security, contentment, and a sense of wholeness also cultivate in warmth and community. It is a counterforce to isolation and loneliness.
- Listening is the gate-keeper to all atmospheres. As soon as I engage listening, I open to a sensation for atmosphere. Although it sounds more like an activity than an atmosphere, when one person starts to listen intently, it can contagiously catch on and build a substance in the shared space. Just before a concert is a perfect moment to experience this atmosphere. It creates anticipation and a gesture of welcoming. It is a counterforce to chaos. If I can listen to chaos, I begin to see its outline and shape, and I sense its movement, direction, and potential for change.
聆聽是所有氛圍的守門員，當我開始聆聽，我便對氛圍打開了感知。雖然這 聽起來比氛圍更像是一種活動，當一個人開始專注聆聽時，即會在共享空間 中開始傳染並建立某種內涵。音樂會開始之前，就是一個完美的時刻體驗 這種氛圍。它創造了預期以及歡迎的姿態，它是混亂的反作用力。如果我能 聆聽混亂，就能開始看到它的輪廓和形狀，並感覺到它的移動、方向和變化 的潛力。
These atmospheres, and a sense of atmosphere, can be strengthened through external supports like nutritional baths (with milk, egg, and honey), lemon foot baths, chamomile or other compresses, and body oiling (with rose or other soothing oils). See the website DevelopingTheSelf.org on the page “The Care and Development of the Senses.”
這些氛圍，以及氛圍的感知，可透過外力支持來增強，如滋養性沐浴(含牛奶、蛋和蜂蜜)、檸檬足浴、洋甘菊或其它濃縮物、和身體用油(含玫瑰或其它舒緩油)。請參閱網站DevelopingTheSelf.org 中 ”感官的照護與發展” 。
This selection of suggested atmospheres is not a complete list of health-supporting or balancing atmospheres. It is a beginning; a starting point. Perhaps you can suggest others or you have other names for these. It is enough that we bring awareness to this realm of our creative presence that might be easy to overlook. One aspect of the presence of media and the time we give to it is that it is an atmosphere destroyer. We have all seen cellphone-touting tourists trample the atmosphere of an old village or a temple. We know what they can do.
This is not to demonize media and phones. They have a helpful role to play as a tool. But they are not the only voices. As technology is soulless, they can do nothing to support a living atmosphere. “What has no soul cannot create soul. Only soul can perceive soul.”^ This perceiving between us and a living atmosphere is a mutual exchange between souls. Giving ourselves media “downtime” gives space for the potent workings of this conversation.
Our attention to atmospheres may be a first line of protection for our spaces and for our children as we strive to invite archetypal nutrition and the sense of greater connection our health and evolution ask for.
Atmosphere is arguably the most important archetypal teacher in a child’s first seven years. Each atmosphere has a role to play for a child’s learning and contributes a gesture toward their development. Rich atmospheres during story time, family meal times, before bedtime, build the foundation and the invisible home or sheath for the life of their feelings, which will come into clearer and clearer expression. In later years, camaraderie, intimate love, and other nutritional atmospheres will enter their soul landscape.
Archetypal atmospheres create a protective membrane, a cocoon-like substance out of which feelings are born and an inner life is developed. Our capacity to pay attention to, to sense, to observe, and to affect atmospheres becomes a child’s greatest support in this development, as they naturally follow the movements of our soul. How we look at the butterfly, touch the petals of a flower, bend down to the fallen bird are huge little “lessons” we give them.
In the same way that adults need to cultivate the right mood for the wholeness giving pictures and experiences in meditation to work into the soul, a child needs the right atmospheres for cosmic nutrition and a sense of connection to feed its soul.
Reverence Exercises (inspired by Michael Chekhov exercises)
The exercise can be adapted to any atmosphere
- Slow your tempo; let your senses widen and begin to breathe. Let your attention soften.
- Notice what is in your environment: how the objects are organized, the distance between them; the quality of light, air, sound, temperature, the thickness and weight of the air. The tone of the space. Let your breath also breathe with these presences. Allow a poetic eye to see them. Yield yourself to their atmosphere. As you open to the space, the space opens up for reverence. You might begin to sense how generously this context has been given to you for your presence. You may have a feeling that it has been waiting for you.
留意你的環境 : 物品如何被擺設以及它們之間的距離；光的品質、空氣、聲音、溫度、空氣的厚度及重量、空間的調性。讓你的呼吸也把這些存在一起吸入。允許詩樣般的眼睛看見它們，臣服你自己在這個氛圍當中。當你對這個空間敞開，這空間即對敬虔打開。你或許會開始感知到這整個存在是如何因著你的存在而被給與，你或許會感覺到它一直在等你。
- Notice anything in your body or soul experience. If anything speaks up inwardly, notice it in relationship with what is present around you.
- Move a part of your body slowly in relationship with this constellation of presences. Observe what happens. You can do another simple movement of the body, inviting a quality to work with it. You can say: “I move my arm with… calm (or reverence or another balancing quality).” Sense the impact of this movement on the space. Allow your movements to be in harmony with the atmosphere surrounding you.
與存在星座連結，慢慢的移動你部分的身體，觀察看看會發生什麼。你可以另做一些簡單的動作，邀請一種品質進來一起工作。你可以說 : “我在安靜…中移動我的手臂(或敬虔、或其他平衡性的品質)”。感知到空間中這個移動的影響，允許你的移動與周遭的氛圍是和諧的。
- If necessary, you can softly but clearly speak the sentence sequence: “I. I want. I want to experience. I want to experience reverence.” Notice any after-movement in you or as a resonance in the space. Is a sense of reverence there?
若有需要，你可以緩和但清楚的說出下列句子 : “我。我要。我要經驗。我要經驗敬虔”。留意你內在之後的任何移動，或是空間的迴響。有感知到敬虔在那兒嗎?
- Notice how the body drinks this in; how this quality opens up an inner landscape in the soul.
- If desired, you can speak a text or verse. Allow your voice to tune to the atmosphere. Like with the movement, whether you find this alignment with the atmosphere, or not, either way you are in relationship with it.
This is the same sense of nourishment that children experience when we can invite this presence into their space.
Simpler versions: Yield, Imagine, Move, or Name.
簡易闡釋 : 臣服，想像，移動，或命名
Yield: Surrender to the atmosphere present in a space; submit to its qualities. A relationship begins.
臣服 : 屈服於空間中的氛圍；服從於它的品質。一種關係的開始。
Imagine: Imagine the feeling of the desired atmosphere spreading around you, enveloping you and all things in the space, filling the air with its qualities. Play with it.
想像 : 想像你想要某種氛圍的感覺就環繞在你周邊，攏罩著你和空間中所有的事物，空氣中也充滿著該品質。跟它一起玩。
Move: Lift your arm. Lower it. You have made a gesture. Now make the gesture but color it with a quality like carefully or calmly. Be careful not to act or perform the gesture. Repeat several times. The quality begins to permeate your arm and radiate into the space around you. Add other movements.
移動 : 抬起你的手臂，放下你的手臂，你已經做出一種姿態。現在做出某種姿態，呈現一種小心或安靜的品質。注意別落入刻意作為或表演的姿態，重覆做幾次。這品質會開始滲透你的手臂，並放射到你周圍的空間。再加入其他的移動。
Name: Speak out the atmosphere you wish to invite, conjuring its life through the power of your speaking and naming. The gesture of speaking is not demanding but invitational.
命名 : 說出你想要邀請的氛圍，透過你說話和命名的力量來施予它魔法般的生命。說出來的姿態並非是要求性的，而是邀請性的。
* and ** are quotes taken from Michael Chekhov’s book To The Actor
^ from Dawn Langman’s book The Art of Acting: BODY – SOUL – SPIRIT – WORD: A
Practical and Spiritual Guide