Finding your own rhythm

By Mathias Maurer, January 2013

Dear Reader,

Rhythm supports life, rhythm saves and gives strength. Our whole human organisation is built on rhythmical processes which influence one another physically, psychologically and spiritually. Small children love rhythm; it gives them orientation, space for growth and development. When they start school, at the latest, they start to act out variations of the “eternal recurrence” of the same thing, cautiously at first, then with intent. In adolescence all the familiar things are turned on their head, mostly with a great deal of stress. Night is turned into day, food is eaten at any time except meal times, homework is done late at night or just before the lesson.

For medicine, therapy and education, rhythm is indispensible and an indicator of health and illness. As adults we consider a balanced and regulated lifestyle to be reasonable – but what we mean by reasonable is up to each person individually. Because adults can escape from a rhythmical order with increasing freedom. Mostly that will make us ill in the long term, but not necessarily. We know from salutogenetic research that there is nothing wrong with getting out of rhythm if there is meaning and reason behind what we do, even if it is not in harmony with physical or psychological, day or seasonal or, indeed, planetary rhythms.

Rhythm contains the tendency to fall asleep, relax, dreaminess, of routine and getting into a rut. In contrast, everything that gets us out of rhythm makes us alert. We can think of anyone who walks and stumbles, whose circulation no longer flows “smoothly”, who falls into a psychological crisis or notices how feelings are blocking something, whose intellectual framework no longer gives satisfactory answers. Here adults can deliberately create a balance, in contrast to children. The more deliberately an adult does something, the more he or she can emancipate himself or herself from his or her vegetative animal elements which are much more strongly subject to rhythmical processes. There is less need for sleep, for example. Losing our rhythm occasionally helps us to find it again.

Mathias Maurer


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