On Verticality
Antero Alli

What is meant by "verticality"? The current of energy and information coming down from above through the top of the head, the crown, while simultaneously rising up from below, the earth, through the soles of the feet. The spine as the conduit of verticality. When experienced directly, this vertical current can activate and amplify the energetic body, or what Antonin Artaud calls "the double".

Engaging this verticality can occur in a state of deep internal receptivity such as through No-Form, the crux method of this Paratheatre medium. Without this preliminary state of internal receptivity, we may merely be sourcing our own images, ideas, and social constructs of verticality instead of the vertical source itself. Directly engaging this verticality can also agitate existing socially-conditioned habit patterns around ego-identification, of the desire to be somebody and the shame of being nothing, a nobody. This verticality experience may not be for everybody. Not everyone is ready to face this internal conflict and release their attachment to the constructs of conceptual mind or the moralities of religious and socially-accepted standards and norms. Who benefits from verticality? Whoever wants to experience their innate energy field more directly.

When we lose touch with our verticality, we lose perspective. Our lives become trivialized in a tangle of meaningless pursuits. We do things without knowing why. We lose track of what is essential to our nature, what matters and what doesn’t; all symptoms of power loss. In an attempt to regain lost ground, we may try and assert control over our environment or try to control others by imposing rigid rules and structures over the spontaneous fluidity of life -- a vain and vicious cycle! Loss of vertical context can also result from over-identification with ideas and images disconnected from the realities those concepts supposedly represent; we mistake the map for the territory. The point of verticality is not to turn away from the world or our relationships with others. The point is to return to the world and relate with others from more vertical integrity.

abridged and edited from an excerpt of
A Paratheatre Workbook by Antero Alli
(Vertical Pool Publishing, 2003)

Jerzy Grotowski on Verticality