Emotional Anatomy: Stunning Vintage Illustrations of Somatic Consci...

by Maria Popova

Dissecting the pulsating accordion of existence.

What would happen if you combined phrenology, sentics, and Benjamin Betts’s geometrical psychology? You might get something like Emotional Anatomy: The Structure of Experience (public library) — a curious vintage tome originally published in 1985 by Stanley Keleman, director of Berkeley’s Center for Energetic Studies, who sets out to map “the geometry of somatic consciousness” based on the idea that physical human shape is interrelated with one’s emotional and psychological reality — a questionable pseudoscientific model akin to a kind of psychological phrenology. But what makes the book remarkable is the stunning black-white-and-red artwork by illustrator, fine artist and anatomist Vincent Perez, depicting Keleman’s various conceptions of somatic functions.


From "Brain Pickings" - read the rest of the (amply illustrated) piece here.

Views: 327

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

This looks interesting, Lol.  Phrenology obviously doesn't have much support these days, but Kelemen's work is quite good, so it's interesting to see him attempt a modern somatic reframing of it.  This looks personally worthwhile for me to explore, since I consistently have pain in my side (but doctors haven't turned up anything that could be causing it), so I'm wondering if it could be related to a postural imbalance or somatic "collapsing" issue.

Do you use this text in your own work?

Given my exercise obsession, from gross to very subtle exercises, and my several years previous experience as a pro massage therapist, I am intimately familiar with the structural layers and relations in my and other bodies. Hence I appreciated the diagrams and the general ideas.

I have to confess that I'm so used to the free sharing of things on Fb (where I came across this) that I simply wanted to share it here, to add it to the reference library so to speak.

I too appreciated the drawings and the general ideas. I don't use the text's ideas in my work, though I might explore them further since they could be useful to have 'implicit' in the relational field that's set up with a client.

I'd be happy to give some non-local/long-distance cranio a try with you, Bruce, if you were up for it. I've never attempted it before but would be interested to see what, if anything, could happen.

I was just thinking about how our bodies are also shaped by environmental forces. Gravity is an obvious one but the coriolis effect is another. Of course we don't notice the adjustments we have to make to counter the spin of the earth but we do and it affects our structure. One anecdotal effect is that penises in the northern hemisphere tend to slant to the left whereas they do so to the right in the southern hemisphere. Only if you live at the equator does yours go straight.

Lol: I'd be happy to give some non-local/long-distance cranio a try with you, Bruce, if you were up for it. I've never attempted it before but would be interested to see what, if anything, could happen.


Interesting idea!  Thank you.  Yes, I'd be open to trying that, if you would like to do so...

Bruce, I'm on the road for a few days, will msg you beginning of next week. Lol

Reply to Discussion


What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2023   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service