By: Ray Castellino, DC, BCPP, RPE, RCST
The purpose of this article is to support those interested in Polarity Therapy to have a way into reading Dr. Stone’s books with regards to the topics of “involution” and “evolution,” to apply his teachings to life and to the practice of Polarity Therapy.
This article will primarily refer to Dr. Stone’s Books: Energy, Book I, Chart 5 and Vitality Balance, Book V, Charts 1 and 6.
One of the primary assumptions that Dr. Stone makes is that consciousness, the soul, the life energy precedes conception in a human body and other life forms, and that the consciousness continues after the body dies. According to Dr. Stone, the body is formed and shaped based on the energetic blueprint that exists before conception.
Dr. Stone consistently saw how the creation itself gives us reflections of the Creator and how energy steps down into and manifests the creation and life in the creation. He studied how life energy returns back to the source from which it came.
Dr. Stone masterfully takes macrocosmic concepts and applies them to microcosmic practical application in his Polarity Therapy. Moreover, he looked at how energy moves, not only from a conceptual point of view but also from sensate perception and direct experience. He repeatedly enjoined us to read the books, practice the art of Polarity Therapy and come to greater understanding.
The concepts of “involution” and “evolution” are two such macrocosmic ideas that Dr. Stone applies directly to his healing practices.
Dr. Stone uses the terms “involution” and “evolution” in a very different way than in the Darwinian context where “Evolution” describes the advancement of the species over time. Rather, Dr. Stone uses the terms “involution” and “evolution” to describe the direction of energy flow, and energy patterns that are expressed by that flow, as consciousness descends into the creation and returns back to the source from which it came.
To define the two terms “involution” and “evolution” Dr. Stone describes:
• “involution” as the decent of the soul or consciousness into the creation;
• “evolution” as the ascent of the soul or consciousness back to the creator.
These two directions of energy, from the source into the creation and from the creation back to the source, complete the journey of the soul.
In Vitality Balance, Book V, Chart 1 Dr. Stone presents the images of the downward and upward flames, and what he refers to as the “diamond soul,” with the interlacing of the two flames. The downward flame expresses “vita” or life. It brings all the components necessary for life from the source into the creation. The upward flame carries the reflection from the creation back to the
This downward flame carries the very energy that is the source of all vitality in the expression of life.
It is on this flame that Dr. Stone describes the soul’s descent into the creation: the zygote is conceived, the embryo forms, then a fetus, and finally a baby who eventually grows into an adult.
In the “involution” direction, consciousness moves from the source towards and to the creation. He says, “Energy impulses flow downward and outward.”
It is on the upward flame that consciousness ascends and evolves back to the source. In this “evolutionary” upward flame the direction is “inward and upward.”
In the body, energetically, both flames or directions function simultaneously. It is within the polarity of the two directions that a naturally occurring tension field emerges between these two directions. It is within the tension field of these two directions that the “diamond soul”
experiences the creation. It is within this tension field that our consciousness has to negotiate the creation. It is in the polarity of this tension field that we are challenged to live, to find our purpose and to balance our lives.
Dr. Stone refers us to his Vitality Balance, Book V, Chart 6, p 45, where he refers us back to his Energy, Book 1, Charts 4 and 5, pp. 48 and 49. He explains how the process of involution is manifest in the expression of the embryo as it grows into a fetus whose body is primarily in the
position of flexion. The “babe” is bending forward with arms crossed over the chest and feet in an upward position. Flexion or the forward bend is the “involution” position. Here he notes the squatting posture as one of his “Easy Stretching Postures.” He also looks at the “triad nature in function” as he shows how energy lines correspond with different parts of the body, the elements of air, fire, water and earth, the signs of the zodiac and the developing fetus.
Continuing with Book V, Chart 6, Dr. Stone shows the Evolution Position and corresponding energy relationships between the extremities and the trunk of the body. In Dr. Stone’s concept the backward arch is the manifest movement of consciousness toward the creator. Extension or the back bend is the “Evolution Position.” He points out how the hard surfaces of the body-‐-‐the back of
the arms, the front of legs, and the back of the trunk of the body are all related to motor function and how the soft surfaces of the front of the arms and back of the legs relate to the front of the trunk of the body are all related to sensory function. In back bending postures, the
sensory function of the soft parts of the body are open, and the motor expressions are limited because the action-‐oriented muscles are contained.
When I first looked at what Dr. Stone said about these two positions, it was a bit of a stretch to really get what he was saying. In order for me to make sense out of Dr. Stone, I had to find a way to experience and feel what he was saying. In the next few paragraphs I’m going to describe an exercise that I’ve done countless times with myself and with hundreds of adults and children. As you read this description, please know that I am describing my own personal experience. If you choose to try the exercise, please to not try to reproduce what you are reading.
Go into the experiment with the intention to discover what it is for you and what you learn from your own awareness.
While it is possible to do this experiment by one’s self, this exercise is really designed and most optimal to do with the facilitation of an experienced practitioner.
The way I experiment with these movements is, in and of itself, unique. This experience is best done when I am in a very quiet, internal, relaxed, alert, mindful state. My internal rhythm or tempo must be very slow. It is important to move very slowly. If I move too fast, I will not
perceive the sensations of the energy movement in my body. The impulses for these movements come from the inside out. I am not trying to move. I simply set an intention to discover movement. When my system gets slow enough, my body will manifest movements so that I feel like I’m not doing it, like the movement is happening to or through me. Then, I add an additional layer to this process. I sit in the wonderment of baby consciousness. I wonder what it is like for an infant or what this experience was like for me as an infant. It is from this place that I discover the felt sense of my body moving itself. I am not moving out of conscious volition. I imagine that this may be similar
to what I experienced when I was a newborn. It’s really a very beautiful state to explore.
In this exercise my body moves very gently. I wait to discover what movements my body will show me. The movements themselves emerge. Some movements may take me toward forward bending, some toward back bending. The movements may also include rotation. These movements may be in the head and neck or through the trunk of the body and axial spine.
As I move and experience myself in the movement, I have an opportunity to discover the sensations of very subtle physical movement and felt sense of energy movement through the body and within the body. Different aspects of forward bending, back bending, side bending and rotation may emerge.
I relax and stay mindful at the same time. I follow myself in the movement. I slow down more and more like gear-‐shifting downward. As I do this, my awareness of energy and the energy flowing through my body increases and I can feel the movement and sensation of the energy in my body.
It is from this place that, when I experience forward bending, flexion—what Dr. Stone called an “involution” movement—I can feel energetic impulses move from the top down, inside out. The relaxation I feel and the movement both support me to be in relationship with another person.
Conversely, when my body moves into an extension/arching state and I sustain myself in the awareness of that position, I can feel my body get quiet and the energy gather and move toward the midline or center of my body, my head and forehead. The energy moves from the outside in. It is as if my energy is being pulled from the inside. This experience can be very uplifting.
It was by experimenting with my own experience in this mindful way that I developed what I think to be a direct perceptual experience of what Dr. Stone taught us in his workshops and books. This experience really helped me make experiential sense of Dr. Stone’s teaching.
These two body positions of forward bending (flexion) and back bending (extension) are evident in many different aspects of life. The movements often follow each other in sequence.
Look at the process of vertex, head first, vaginal birth for example. In order for the baby to negotiate the birth canal in the most efficient way, the baby’s neck will go into flexion with his/her chin to chest to engage into the mother’s pelvic inlet. Then the baby will rotate and extend his/her neck in order to emerge out of the birth canal. Flexion and forward bending are used to enter the pelvis and extension or back bending are used to emerge through the birth canal.
After birth, in order for the baby to attach to his/her mother, the baby’s body flexes into his/her mother. My observation is that if the baby is not able to fully relax and let down into his/her mother, the baby will not securely or fully attach. there are sure to be challenges with nursing. When the baby is able to fully let down, relax, fold into and securely attach with his/her mother, I observe much more ease in
Dr. Stone correlates several concepts with “involution” and “evolution” as he describes the forces of energy in motion.
Dr. Stone enjoined us to pay attention to what we are doing with our attention. He was a great
student of the evolutionary process and spent much of his life dedicated
tion of his own soul and consciousness.
Ray Castellino, DC, BCPP, RPE, RCST