What do you desire from life? 5 lines of human potential

Rolando Toro’s creation of the 5 lines of human potential

Rolando Toro asked this questions to hundreds of Chilean university students and Biodanza groups in his extensive research to develop the viviensias. (http://issuu.com/consciousdancer/, 19)

He studied and researched the answers from his research group and was able to divide the answers in five desires or potentials. These five desires became his five lines of human potential in biodanza and could also be seen as five ways to feel alive. Biodanza is a method to stimulate these five lines.

1 – I want to feel healthy – Vitality

Rolando Toro’s research showed him that one desire for human beings is to feel healthy and have the energy available to live. He calls this the line of vitality. He claims that part of our society obliques us to live in a false way. And by that we lose sight of our real identity and also our vitality.

In Rolando Toros book about Vitality he defines vitality as

“…characterised, in general terms, as a good level of health and organic harmony. From the existential point of view, “vitality” means having a strong will to live and possessing energy available for action (“vital impulse”).” (Rolando Tora Araneda, 6)

This definition is both similar and different to the definition of the word we find in a modern dictionary online:

“Vitality is having the capacity to live and grow, or physical or mental energy or strength.” (www.yourdictionary.com)

In biodanza there are several dances of vitality. These dances stimulate the autonomic nervous system, homeostasis, the instinct of conservation, and the energy for action and immune resistance. Basically the vitality dances mobilise the vital unconscious, which constitutes the endothymic base, and moods.

Vitality is a word that is lesser used that the word health. A search in google would give around 46 million hits on vitality as opposed to the word health that would give 3 billion hits. Rolando choose to use the word vitality. Maybe it is a word for the future? That brings together the traditionally view of health that has to do with the absence of disease and be physically and mentally strong on one side and then live in harmony with your environment on the other side. Rolando Toro has a broader definition of vitality than http://www.yourdictionary.com and by using the word “organic harmony” he also might cower the aspect of living in harmony with your self, other people and the environment, deepening on the meaning of organic. Rolando mention also that vitality is both having a strong will to live and possessing energy available for action. This means that a person can have the will to live, but not the energy available and visa versa. According to Rolando Toro, you need both to be vital.


Vitality is living in organic harmony


Vitality develops from the protovivencia of movement, from the functions of activity and rest. (Rolando Toro, 65). Rolando connects vitality to movement and rest. Our capasity to move developed millions of years ago when one-celled animals in the ocean started to move. The movement increased their possibility to find food and to reproduce. And now we live as a result of these first movements. This is how vitality is linked to movement. Movement is connected to our inheritance. The animals and later humans that survived and reproduced were the once that moved in a way that supported them. In this way we can say that vitality is in our genes.

2 – I want to enjoy pleasure – Sexuality

Biodanza stimulates natural sexuality through contact and caress. The “exercises stimulate movements and sensations related to eroticism, sexual identity and the function of orgasm. These exercises allow the awakening of the sources of desire and the overcoming of sexual repression”. (Rolando Toro Araneda, 34)

In the book about Sexuality Rolando Toro defines sexuality as follows:

In its widest meaning, sexuality is the set of particular characteristics distinguishing males from females physically and emotionally, in both animal and plant life. This means that different genetic components participate in sexuality (except for hermaphrodite plants).

Sexuality has a determining role in the reproduction of the species and in the perpetuation of life. Sexual difference enables the process of fertilisation.

In human beings sexuality is associated with pleasure as a means nature has, possibly, to safeguard the continuity of the species.

Sexuality and life are absolutely linked. Sexual desire represents a strong motivation to live.

Human sexuality is a way of being and growing. Our whole life unfolds according to our sexual connections. Human identity is organised in the natural flow of erotic energy.

Erotic energy is the cosmic energy that generates life. (Rolando Toro Araneda, 7)

In Biodanza sexuality has many aspects, from reproduction, via pleasure, to ensure that our species exist, via identity and the desire to live, to eroticism. It differs quite a lot from the definition from an online dictionary:

Sexuality is defined as your sexual orientation, your sexual activity and your capacity for sexual feelings.(www.yourdictionary.com).

Where as the online dictionary has a definition of sexuality where all the aspects are related to the individual, Rolandos definition of sexuality is a lot broader. He brings in the existence of species and that the erotic energy is part of the cosmic energy that generates life. These aspects are in coherence with his life centered philosophy: The universe is organized around life itself:

“The Biocentric Principle is inspired by the intuition of a universe organised as a function of life and consists of a proposed reformulation of our cultural values that takes respect for life as given.” (Rolando Toro Araneda, 39).

The exercises in the life of sexuality stimulate movements and sensations related to eroticism, sexual identity and the function of orgasm. These exercises allow the awakening of the sources of desire and the overcoming of sexual repression.

Sexuality plays an important role in our society both because its such a strong drive in us as human beings, but also because historically it has been suppressed from the norms of the society. The christian church cultivates purity and that sexuality belongs to marriage. At the same time the church has cultivated a splitted view on the body and soul. Where the soul has a higher value that the body. The echo of these norms are still quite present the society and can be seen in the stereotype roles of a woman, where they tries to adapt the pure look like madonna. At the same time the commercial industry has taken sex into their business. It’s clear that sex sells and very often a person that wears a product has sexual look in advertising. Sexuality in society is complex. There is some awareness that suppressed sexuality can cause big trauma for people and that it can also be related to violence and lack of personal development. Rolando Toro want to help people to develop a healthy and natural sexuality. He does that by creating a good environment for contact and caress. In biodanza we don’t work with the sexual act itself, but we want to develop people’s ability to feel pleasure and good about them selves together with other people.

Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” Winnie the Pooh.

3 – I want to create – Creativity

Creativity is an integral part of the cosmic transformation, the path from chaos to order. (Rolando Toro Arenada, Creativity , 6)

Rolando defines creativity in relation to cosmic transformation. It suggest that he sees creativity as part of the biocentric priciple that supports life. The creation of life, objects, universe is the path from chaos to order. When he talks about creativity in The definition & the theoretical model it suggest the same:

Creativity is linked to the expressive functions of well-being and discomfort, to curiosity, and to changes of position relative to the environment, to language and to art. Rolando Toro Arenada, The definition & the theoretical model, 65)

Rolando relates creativity to the art of living. This is a lot wider that what dictionary.com comes up with:

The definition of creativity is the ability to come up with new and exciting ideas. ( http://www.yourdictionary.com, 2015)

Yourdictionary.com defines creativity as something that is related to ideas. Rolando Toro talks about living it. He wants us to be creative and change position according to the environment. He wants us to create our life, relationships and every action. It’s not enough to have an idea. You must live it!

The dances of creativity in biodanza stimulate the impulses of expression and innovation, the capacity to create dances, and existential and artistic creativity.

4 – I want to love and to be loved – Affectivity

Affectivity is the capacity to love. It is not only personal love, but the ability to love all living beings – plants – animals – even the universe.

Affectivity is indiscriminate love for human beings and for life in general. It is the “affective uterus” that each of us has to contain others. (Rolando Toro Arenada, The definition & Theoretical model, 66)

Affectivity is a word that many people use different than Rolando Toro. That is also reflected by yourdictionary.com and their definition:

“Ability to experience affects: feelings, emotions, judgement, motivations, etc. “(Yourdictionary.com, 2015)

Where as Rolando Toro relate affectivity to the ability to experience love and express it. It is common to relate it to the ability to experience feelings and emotions, like the definition in Yourdictionary.com. Rolando relate the word affectivity to the biocentric principle. It has to do with the love of all living beings and to put life in the center.

Ethical conscience is not an intellectual manifestation or logical function; affectivity is our biocosmic intelligence. The ethical conscience has its roots in the way we affectively structure the world and our relationship with other human beings. Rolando Toro Arenada, Affectivity, 36)
All though he define it as love, he also mentions that affectivity can involve other feelings:
Affectivity is a state of deep affinity toward other beings, capable of originating feelings of love, friendship, altruism, maternity, paternity, and companionship. However, opposing feelings such as anger, jealousy, insecurity, and envy can also be considered components of the complex phenomenon of affectivity. (Rolando Toro, Affectivity)
The dances in biodanza that stimulates the line of affectivity are ceremonies of encounter, rituals of connection and dances of solidarity allow an affective re-education and access to friendship and love.

5 – I want to connect to the essence of life – Transcendence

Transcendence is to experience our personal relationship with the totality. Transcendence is the capacity to go beyond the ego and integrate greater unities each time; it implies the expansion of consciousness and mystical ecstasy.

The yourdicitonary.com the definition of transcendent is extraordinary or beyond human experience.

This definition from yourdictionary.com is wide, and maybe that is why it’s not so different from Rolando Toro’s definition.

The dances in nature, exercises in water, and dances of the four elements link participants with universal harmony, awakening the ecological attitude and access to cosmic consciousness are all dances that Rolando Toro made to stimulate the line of transcendence.

Broadly speaking, the vivencia of transcendence is one of the natural functions of the human being: the most suppressed of all, the most important and the most blocked by religions. (Rolando Toro Arenada, Transcendence, 22)

The protovivencia of transcendence is related to sensations of harmony and well-being, particularly in relation to the mother and the child’s environment. (Rolando Toro Arenada, Transcendence, 9)

The definition & Theoretical Model, Rolando Toro Arenada
Sexuality, Rolando Toro Arenada
Affectivity, Rolando Toro Arenada
Vitality, Rolando Toro Arenada
Transcendence, Rolando Toro Arenada
Creativity, Rolando Toro Arenada
http:// issuu.com/consciousdancer/docs/issue_10/
Yourdictionary.com, 2015