By Dr. Dany Lousky
In this chapter, I seek to describe my experiences during two years in the framework of group work. My personal experiences include struggle, deliberations, and hesitations and were for me the ‘motive for change’. The ability to change allowed me to ascend and descend on the ‘health ladder’, in myself and outside of myself, and at the end of the process I found the ability to train and practice my weak intelligences through ‘lousky medicines’ in order to achieve a better state of health. Through the personal experience I describe, it is possible to see that the model of integrated medicine represents ‘natural’ human behavior.
My personal experience moves through experiences that addressed and healed every one of the dimensions in me through different healing languages. My self-investigation begins with the basic understanding that people speak different languages. I understood that I can speak through words and speech like I know and I can speak through looks and feelings, through body movements, I can also speak through meditation, guided imagery, drawing, or writing, through recording, sculpting, poetry, or dance. The surprising thing for me was to discover that drawing, too, speaks to me. The sculpture wants to shape itself and the drawing wants to be drawn. The walls in the room want to be looked at or want pictures to be hung and the pages want to be written or drawn. The thought wants to be realized in reality and the lack of movement of meditation wants to be present and to take its place. I understood that I can speak with people as with objects and pictures, I can speak with thoughts and feelings, with my imagination and with figures that arise from my imagination. Every object, feeling, and thought in the universe express itself in its unique language. The picture speaks in its language, water and flowers speak in their languages, feelings, symbols, and images speak in their language – and all understand.
In the beginning, it appears strange and odd, but over time, I understood that there is a system of relations between the living and the silent, between the silent and the speaking with the growing and with mother earth. All is related in a wonderful way and everyone speaks his language – different and multiple languages. What is surprising is to see people speak a little and only the look and body movements betray the profound meaning of the things they wanted to say.
I understood that every human action is art, and all art is a healing action, and healing must be an acquired educational process. This process is life. Trust in the process, said Professor MacKniff in the Arts Integration course I took with him. I dedicated myself entirely to the process and understood that my feelings at this moment will not be my feelings in another five minutes and they will be different in another two days. Language is unique and it is said in a way that does not repeat itself. Every sentence said is one-time, whether it is said through words, drawing, dance, feelings, thoughts, images, or music. Wiping color on paper is a sentence said by the painter to the paper upon which he works and the painting answers him in a unique way that only the painter understands and feels.
I understood that the translation of human action from language to language is a creative act that brings the person closer to another person in a wonderful way. I understood that every object under the sky speaks in its own language and I understood that it is possible to translate from language to language. An article will be translated to a drawing and a drawing is translated to movement and movement becomes music, and music becomes a play, and the play is translated to a song, and the song is translated to words, and then to a sculpture, to a dance, to laughter, to yelling, to a look. Everyone speaks about the same thing in different languages and only the intention of the language is what connects. The multiple languages are what explain the multiplicity of the truths in every realm. Every person has a unique ‘truth’ and it is the unique language that he speaks. Even when the person’s speaking language is understood, he still speaks in his unique ‘language’ using familiar words. Teachers will speak in different languages on the same topic; drivers will come to the same place in different ways.
In one of the processes, before I began to draw, I felt a very strong feeling to create, I did not know what I am about to create and I trusted in the process that I was to experience. My feelings were strong and clearly expressed something that only feelings know to say in their unique language. I began to paint, I held the paintbrush, I did not lead the lines or the colors, we worked together, the paintbrush and I were two dancers on the dance floor. The paintbrush led me and I let it lead and then I led and it let me lead, it was clear to me that I am now speaking in the paintbrush’s language and it speaks to me in my language. The paintbrush causes me great enjoyment and I caused it a dizziness of feelings. I felt its desire to be expressed and to realize itself as a paintbrush and I colored with it as a violinist plays his violin, like two friends who are sitting and conversing between them. All I knew and all that I did not know on colors and paintbrushes, on canvas and paper, on the different techniques, vanished as if a void were created – nothing, lacking purpose and without meaning. I wielded the paintbrush up and down, I performed pirouettes on the canvas, I was ‘myself’ without knowing or not knowing. We were totally us, I and the paintbrush and the drawing in an intimate conversation, we danced and made love. The colors, too, were good friends and made their contribution to the conversation. The colors were there for us, they smeared where I and the paintbrush lead. They observed and whispered among themselves and created connections and relations of color and I felt that I am found in a strange world of speaking objects. They talk between them, I talk with them and they with me, and this was a natural action. This was the work of an artist, I felt like an artist in all respects. I felt the wonderful sense of creation that does not repeat itself. Art became the knowledge that indeed this is how things are and I am not hallucinating or delusional. In these moments I knew that I am returning to my sanity, to the feeling of unity with myself and with ‘mother Earth’.
I understand the feeling of the artist who dances and jumps and speaks of the painting that he is painting through the paintbrush and the colors and the canvas and the water and the lights, and the walls that watch. All are in the conversation and in the dance and in harmony, and only what is inside understands the act of the artist. Only in this way are the great works created, only when one language is created between the picture and the artist. When every person will speak in his unique language out of the knowledge that the entire universe is listening and cooperating, as in a dance, as in an orchestra that plays different instruments in different languages, only then is there the harmony that we so desire. One unity.
Before I began to paint, I was hesitant, as if I did not want to work with the drawing, and amazingly, the painting answered me in the same vein – it did not really want to work with me. Slowly, slowly I saw in my resistance and in the obstacles an opening and possibility and instead of giving myself to my doubts in my ability to draw, I began to rely on the process and be certain that no matter what the outcome would be, I will learn something from the process. Without understanding what I am doing, I simply did and saw where this took me. The moment I trusted in the process and in the activity of here and now, the objections became milestones and showed the way. In these moments, I began to respect my objections. I began to draw, the painting was a unique personal expression, my personal attitude, a conversation that I am holding with the paper upon which I am drawing, a unique language that I have created. In this way, my drawing began to assume flesh and the painting itself began to draw itself. I drew it and it drew me and thus the conversation between us was held, thus we made love for a long period of time.
I understood that as long as I allow the disorder to be, thus a new order is created. In the beginning, it appears coerced and artificial and not natural, but as long as I held the picture and grasped, it steadily became something real and true for me. I declared again and again the things I believed, I left the framework to my unlimited imagination and preserved who I am. I understood that as long as I am bringing myself and my uniqueness I touch more and more and create a special texture of relations with my painting. I saw that as long as I am ‘myself’, I can be anything. I could be the painting or the color; I could be the paper upon which I worked. I was the walls and the lights and even the air-conditioning unit the warmed the body. With a considerable amount of surprise, I could look at the people painting beside me and be perfectly any one of them and to be them and fit perfectly into the group with whom I worked.
The place where I could take myself was like a show of many figures on one stage. Every character kept its special place. I preserved the special person inside of me, the paintbrush kept its uniqueness, and every color expressed itself and its unique personality. The watching walls, each one of the members of the group and the devices with which he works – they all retained their uniqueness and their unique way of expressing themselves. We were all on one stage; every one of us was deep in his unique role. The unique place of each one of the participants created contradictions, a conflict, and different desires. This fact is what enabled the presence of harmony and unity. When every one is found with himself and with his uniqueness, the ability to include grows. Suddenly it appears like an orchestra that plays a wonderful harmony and a conductor of the orchestra was the presence of each and every one.
Multiple languages created one language. Words are a language that can be translated to painting, then the painting can be translated to dancing, and again the dancing can be translated to song and then it is possible to express it in words. However, a song is not words and words are not a drawing, a dance, eating, or contact. Every human action has a language that addresses another dimension in human nature. Every language addressed me in a unique manner and different dimension. I can translate one language into another language in a way that only I feel through the different languages the different possibilities that I include. But I never can express in words dance, and dance can never express what the drawing or sculpture can express. I understood that I can describe in words my feelings from the work I did when I painted the painting, but this will never be like painting. Words are words and a painting is a painting, and although I can translate one language to another language, there is no substitute for experience in all the languages that Creation has given us.
Healing is possible through every language in every one of the dimensions, from the work in different artistic languages I can say that every language heals in a different and unique manner. Every language has the special place where it can do what another language cannot. The multiplicity of artistic activity (every human action is art) in its many varieties will allow different and dormant dimensions to be touched and awakened and allow them to be expressed through the different arts for the purpose of healing.
Rogers (1988) in her book The Creative Connection says, “When the arts are practiced for the purpose of self-healing or for treatment goals, we do not need to be bothered by the lovely appearance of the arts, by the grammar and writing ability, or by the harmony obtained from the song. We use the arts to release, to express ourselves, and to calm ourselves. We can touch our inner nature through the learning of the symbols and metaphorical messages. Arts speak to us, if only we let the messages reach us”. The advice of Rogers guided me throughout all my work; it was clear to me that it is not the quality of the painting, the song, that does the work for me but the ability to express myself without fear and not how I look but that is the resultant ‘artistic’ outcome. Sometimes I have found liquid, myself sweating from every possible place and sometimes there were a number of people in the group who came really close and expressed their love in different ways, including close hugs.
‘Trust the process’ is wonderful advice that was repeated by Professor Sean McKniff, time after time. Had I not had faith in the process, I would not have been bale to integrate and understand the entire process. There were moments where there was the question ‘Where does it take us?’ and I heard it say, ‘Health is walking after the promise’.
Human information doubles itself every two years; only DNA includes everything. Most of the information that the person accumulates during his personal life is found in the subconscious. Processes with the arts can expose the information found in the subconscious. This information wants to get out. Sometimes it yells ‘let me out’. Holistic methods of treatment that incorporate the arts and experiences in the arts reveal what lies behind the behavior. They reveal the cause and what lies behind the thought. The arts do not engage in a symptom, which is, as known, seen here and now (physical dimension). Therefore, work in the arts does not always show results that can be brought to the consciousness here and now.
The subconscious is like a shadow, like the painting and the dance, the movement and the other arts (emotional dimension). They are willing to be revealed and discovered but only from their place of hiding. They play the game that life has promised. The subconscious is not willing to take life seriously but it is willing to play seriously. The subconscious wants to play, it hides behind the pictures, the sculptures, the dance, the movement, the writing, the drama. It wants to play. If you, as a therapist or teacher, like to play, it is possible that everything that you need to know on your patient will be revealed to you through the playing.
Before the beginning of the course in the arts directed by Professor Mitchell, he said with simplicity, “we go to play together”. I think that this is the most precise title that I have heard in relation to holistic health. In my opinion, too, therapy through the arts, therapy through guided imagery, acupuncture, and meditation should be played seriously. In this playing, the human consciousness can win. Professor Mitchell said a sentence that was inscribed deeply into my consciousness: “A teacher does not say what to do and what not to do; a teacher should show you how to be aware, the awareness will tell you what to do.”