We learn, we forget, we re-learn

Biodanza and the concept of Protovivencias

By Christos Daskalakos

 “The moment of conception is a unique moment for a unique being to be created like no other in the universe.”

 Biodanza has a strong theoretical model and methodology as the basis from which we practice.  This is supported by academically accredited research principally through the University of Leipzig, Department of Applied Psychology.  What may then appear as a simple fun class – which it is meant to be – is actually a well constructed vivencia* which has as one of its intentions to induce states of being connecting us to what we call protovivencias. 

 Protovivencias are those perinatal learning experiences.  They are powerful and decisive moments in our development – the first things we learn.  The learning that takes place at this time is what I would call, ‘innocent-learning.’  It is the development of our human potential based purely on instinct.  ‘Innocent’ because it is free of any judgement, consideration or expectation.  The foetus and baby are not able to filter out their needs which are primitive based on pure instinct.  For example a baby responds to hunger instinctively - it cries to have that need met.  It cannot and does not stop to wonder whether it inconveniences mother; or maybe it ate recently and might be considered greedy; or, set about calculating an exchange for the food it receives.  The smiles and gurgling are part of a purely instinctual self expression of pleasure.  Slowly as the baby grows it interacts with its environment and soon learns that certain behaviour will elicit certain responses from those around it.  And so the interaction with the outside world is slowly formed.

 If the outside world is supportive the baby will develop and express its instincts in a healthy manner which will lead to its development and give full expression to its identity.  However we live in an environment that places more emphasis on co-operation and soon we learn to compromise and even suppress aspects of ourselves in order to fit in and be accepted.  Sometimes this is so severe that it leads to complexes that shut down or distort our expression of our human identity.  We need only look around the cultural and religious taboos associated with sexuality and food and other human behaviour to see examples of the restrictions they place on basic instinct.  In some cultures dancing is forbidden, in others kissing in public is illegal, and so on.