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Tanatoterapia - Artykuły

"Po obu stronach życia" Sebastian Minor
"Jak przyspieszyć realizację marzeń dzięki śmierci?" Tomasz Kaczmarzyk
"Tanatoterapia" (Thanatotherapy) Vladimir Baskakov


The specific help is the main goal of Thanatotherapy (therapia, the Greece word, literally — is a taking care of and a healing) in establishing the contact or reestablishing the one of the individual with the processes of the Death and a dying (Baskakov V., 1995). The actuality of this help is based on the impossibility the full-range contact of the modern or — as perfectly said the famous Russian actor and director Rolan Bykov, —schizophrenized human being with his strong feelings, which he has during the experience of the reality of the Death (the problem of so-called “grounding of the feelings”. As result the real Death are oppressed from the life of modern individual, becomes forbidden and consequently is penetrating in our Life as the Death-surrogate, the simulyakr (неизвестный мне термин) because of the balance/duality of the life-keeping. cosmic purposes (Bodryar J., 2000).
That is why we have too much episodes of Death-surrogate in modern movies and romans, which are compensating the quality of the real Death. Because of the human being have been schizophrenized, the primal balance of three areas of his existence — «intellect»-«feelings»-«body sensitivity and body impulses» (Boadella D.,1987, Uspensky P., 1994) with the strong emphasis/domination of the «mind» (intellect, awareness, control). It is easy to track the future prognosis of this disbalance on the example of the newcomers from the future — the big (as to be buffed) and the dystrophic extremities. In the process of the swiftly development of the mind of the human man — the more actual sounds the Shakespeare’s words «I call the Death!) Death play Her specific and positive role and function of the stirring up the strong feelings (including throughout the terror!) of the modern individual, who is re-integrating three his spheres.
Thanatotherapy is modeling (but not imitating) the real Death throughout Her symbolic representation. In Thanatotherapy such symbols of Death are: the total relaxation, dream,
any completion of the process as orgasm, madness and the object characteristics of the body (Baskakov V., 2000)

The Total Relaxation as Death

The human body fully relaxed only in the first minutes of Death [for ex. The «calmed» (dead) — in Russian the derivative from the «calm»]; the overcontrol of the consciousness leaves the body and
it becomes just as an object/thing (for ex. «deadly drunk, so can stay straight and falls as the sack»). That is why the many techniques of the relaxation use as the ideal (i.e. fully relaxed object) the dead human body (compare “the pose of the dead man” from yoga). The dead body spread in very important position for the total relaxation: the low jaw falls off, the eyes slightly open. It is interesting that after the death the dead body often is executed according the certain order to make these fully spread parts of the dead body “to be in order”: the low jaw is bundled by the (hand)kerchief, the handles and legs bundle together. All this is done instead of to support the characteristics of the fully outstretched body. For example, slightly open mouth, which our parents make us to close (shut up the mouth or the fly come up into!), and becoming older we open our mouth when we are becoming very surprised.
It is important to note that the fully relaxed body becomes colder, and this cooling, for example, cooling of the extremities, is the reliable sign of the movement to the total relaxation. This is in contradiction of the way of the autogenous training where “my arm is warm” is followed by the autosuggestion “my arm is heavy” (very fairly: see below — the “objectiveness of parts of the body”). The relaxation and the warmth are incompatible things.

The Dream As the Death

This kind of the death is better seen in the fairy-tail tradition (the enliven figures traditionally say:
“O how long I have slept”). The old Russian expression “close eyes” in the same time signs “to be
in the sleeping state” and “to die” (Russian Рhraseological Dictionary, 2001).

Many litanies «vespers» and the «matins» in the essence describe the act of the leaving the body
by the soul (Death) and the returning of the soul (Resurrection).

In the mythology Hypnosis, the God of the Sleep is the brother of the God of the Death Thanatos.
So the mechanics of the dreams and Thanatotherapy are analogous: in the moment of the relaxation there is activation of the healing structures, activation of the energy, which does not lead to its habitual suppression and holding (for example, the holding of the feelings in “Russian body” V. Baskakov, 1998), or vice versa — does not lead to abreaction or acting out but can accept it in the full scale (“ground it”). It helps it to be block out and to be in harmony. The beautiful metaphor of such
a balance can be the famous picture of Henry Rousseau, where the sleeping singer and lion up to him are portrayed. In this picture there are some crucial points we want to underline, which help us to distinguish the sleeping state and the Thanatotherapy from the other kinds of therapy. These crucial points are: the maximum security and the very specific balance of the processes of activation (“the lion” — dream) and the relaxation (“sleeping traveler”) and also rather specific body logic:
the terrible lion comes precisely in that moment, when the traveler comes to sleep.

Any Final or Completion as Death

It concerns also the deadline of requests for the participation in the conferences (where does this “dead” come from in this “line”?), and the lines from the song: “parting is the small Death”.
Any age-specific stage in the archaic and some modern cultures (the growing up of the boys and the girls, the changes of the hormone cycles) their successes and faults as the adults as a rule is initiated throughout the model of the Death, which makes this transitions more mild and eliminate the time gap (Talalag J., Talalag S, 1998). The absence of the initiation through for example through changing the living place, the native country gives born to the terrified feeling of the nostalgia. In some sense it is mess. All of us are the residents of the one country — the Earth! But the divisions on the states, politic and religious systems makes the “transitions” to be born and the problem connected with them.
The connection the completion, the final to the Death is very well reveals itself in the language, in particular in Russian language. It is hard to find more sounded then the expression “stop any motion” which directly concerns the “mortality” of this area! In the movie ”Mask” the hero is stopped by the exclamation «freeze!» which also means «stand motionless». Pitkis do not only freezes in the air during his leap, but — and it is important for the underlining of the coldness of this reality — the hero body is covered by an ice. Also we point out that the verb “to finish” — is not only the reality of our modern life full of the criminal events, but also it relates to the area of the sexual life, which has been under taboo in the history of our country for the very long time.

Orgasm As a Small Death

At the East orgasm traditionally is regarded as a “small Death”. In the moment of orgasm the human being is experienced by the high-grade feelings, and this event is rather specific explosion (as if at the time of formation zygote in the process of conception and is the same as in the moment of Death when the soul and the body are separated). It is possible only owing to loosing the conscious control which is accompanied by the loosing Self by the human personality (and this event is an almost madness; refer to the chapter “Madness as a Type of Death”). Only in this case the human being can release the high-energetic body impulses (which very often by unknown to me reason are called “animalistic”).
Here it is important to express (other then animals have) the maximum of the body contact among the sexual partners; in this contact the mechanism of the “grounding” feelings described above are revealed. Let us point out the well-known body paradoxes. The beloved persons (not nominally but being at the high-top falling in love) ‘coming into hugs” (lasting expression) do this not only drawing
a deep breath (from here there is the well-known derivative — to “the sucking kiss”) but they also tightly closed to each other in the embrace. Where is the “paradox” here? Please, bubble two balloons and connect them. Easy to observe that the more these balloons are bubbled the less the are the area of their contact (and this is insecure from the standpoint of that mechanism of the strong feelings!). Probably more correctly (out of position of that mechanism of the “grounding”)
to do this during the outward breath increasing the area of the body contact. But this attempt to squeeze each other in embrace in our case — is probably the attempt to increase the area of the mutual contact?

In the connection with the release of the body pulses it is interesting to point out the female problem of the interruption of the pregnancy or the problem of the impossibility of the conception. According the practical experience of the Thanatotherapeutic help of such women including our own (V. Baskakov, 2002), such women have very strong conscious control. And this control blocks the original “biological automatism” of the childbirth (according the terminology of Wilhelm Reich — the “orgiastic convulsion”). So the ideal of the parturient woman from the standpoint of Igor Charkovsky, the famous Russian specialist and the pioneer in providing of the water childbirth, is the well-known sculpture of the beheaded goddess Nike.

Madness As the Death

This kind of Death is the consequence of the transition of the mentally healthy personality to the mentally unhealthy personality (we call such people “abnormal”, and this in the essence the Death
of past personality (of the substance, Self, ego etc.) This is directly connected with the loosing of the conscious control and the expression of the fear (one Russian poet said “O God, go not permit us
to go crazy!”) The feelings and the control are connected with each other. We lose control (stop be tolerant to), when we “are getting”, or by another words when the feelings are overpowered. It is interesting to observe the following “body mise en scene” when the football defender scores a goal
to his own team — and all the stadium, all the fans grip heads by their hands. If it would be possible they will just simply behead themselves! Such a behavior becomes the source of the well-known expression “without a muster in one’s head”, which means that the person without of the control his on activity can not be totally conscious.
In Russian the expression “to go crazy” means not only directly “to became mad”, but also “do not be responsible for one’s behavior: doing silly things, making senseless acts, saying senseless words and fraises etc” and even “demonstrate extreme admiration, delight, ecstasy being too attractive to smb. or smth. (Fraseological Russian Dictionary, 2001, p. 433).

Objectivity and Materialistic Subjectivity Of the Body and Its Parts

I would like to point out in particular such characteristics of the body, which are connected to Death directly, as the objectivity (the materialistic subjectivity) of our body and with the characteristics, connected to our passivity during the of the manipulation of somebody with our body and its parts.
If we are lie relaxed on the floor and somebody begins to work with the parts of our body, then our whole body and its particular parts participate in the specific situation of interaction in the specific context which can be described as the subject (the person who is working) and the object (our whole body and its particular parts). But we become the object/subject only after the Death! This is the reason of the tension which reveals itself in the body and its different parts. We just direct our control in that parts of the body! This is why these parts of the body became active in that moment when somebody begin to work with them We can not be passive. The passivity is the characteristics of the dead body! Probably this is why the audience of the movie “The Circle Two” by Alexander Sokurov are terrified at the moments when the protagonist manipulates with the body of his dead father or when this body lies on the table full of delicious food, and owing the professional skill of the director and the operator who choose such position of the camera that that we see the body lies just among this food (in sense of its is part of that food).

Absolutely unpredictably this aspect of the objectivity/subjectivity reveals itself on one of the Thatatotherapy seminars where one of participants professional sexopatologist exclaimed:
“O, now I understand why my women clients with false frigidity escape of the image of their bodies as (attention!) the object of somebody passion”. Here it is appropriate to regard the meanings of such expressions as “to have somebody” and to “fuck”. In the first case the verb “to have” clearly points out the aspect of the property, the ownership, the lose of freedom. As concerns the verb to fuck, in Russian language (see for example) the book “Russian mat” (1997) it has also meanings “to hit” and “to strike” (please, compare “to hit the finger by the hammer” or to hit of the bottle to the wall”). All this points out on the direction and the strength of the applied body impulse. Substantially orgasm is characterized by the activity of the strong body pulses. This is why children is not recommended to observe what is going on “in adult’s bed”.

Using the models of Death mentioned above the Thanatotherapy achieves the main thing: in this unrecognized reality of Death for the human being (client, patient) is the guarantee of the security of his contact with this reality.
The accent in Thanatotherapy is making on the bodywork of the human being and throughout of such bodywork. In this work we see the special «mission» of Thanatotherapy in reestablishing the particular justice to the human body. As a rule the human body is regarded (using the specific language of Gestalt-therapy, — the specific “background”, it is using for…) We often can hear: “show us how good is you master of your body”. In such a case it is hard to claim the relationships of the “owner” and “his property” as the real partnerships. Even for women, who are more embellish the body then men, we can hardly apply this aspect of partnerships. We think that one of the main reasons of this “muster” relationship to one’s body is rooted in the past history of our civilization, when the body reactions and processes, being out of the control from the human being, brought and resulted only to Death. Here we talk first of all of the big epidemic (for example the epidemic of plague), which were devastated of the Medieval Europe, and such high speed of the body processes which accompanied this decease and in fact are the guarantees of the fatal final.

By the way the language very well fixes the duality of the body reality. The General Slavonic expression «tъlo» means “matrix”, “ground” (compare with Latin Tellus — earth, land — and the Goddess of the Earth — Gazarova, 2002). As concerns the Greek «Telos», it means “goal”, “deadline”, “end”, “limit” (see Gazarova, the emphasis in text is ours, V.B.). Perhaps the derivation “the connection with the majority” is from this expression also as the famous expression of Faina Ranevskaya “the life — is the falling from the woman’s genitals into the Earth” (we are changing one word).

The majority of the systems of the personal growth using the body on the first stages of the process, then relates to it as some kind of the burden (the triangle of the ascent in the classic yoga, core-energetic of J. Pirracos, based on the corpo — body and rised to the spirit — spirituale). In such a case the justice is established only to the end of the life, at the elderness, before the Death. The body is transformed from the “background” to the “figure” and loudly exclaimed about his rights — by the pain, insomnia, shortness of breath and so on. He person returns to the awareness and sensation of the value of the simplest physical and physiological acts. That is why it is appropriate to compare the childish and the senile body — it is the original circle-formed structure, where the ends of this broken ring become close to each other (the lack of child’s consciousness — the marasmus of the elders, the absence of the feelings — the primary emotions of the small children and also of the deep elders, the separation/overcoming of the one’s own body of the both categories). Even nickname “the old discharger” is the exact characteristics of the specifics of the body’s expressions — the senile body (as the body of newborn baby) can not hold tensed and closed anal sphincters.

In Thanatotherapy the “yin”-principle plays the key role — the total relaxation other then “yang”-principle, which habitually is used in psychotherapy.

For the language of the description of reality of the Thanatotherapy the language of “yin-yang” relationships is consciously chosen. In Russian there are many traditional expressions, for example, proverbs and sayings, such as “longer (slowly) moving — more fare will be”, “the worse — the better”, “a long time harnessing — high speed racing”; all these sayings and proverbs are demonstrating how one of these polarities completes another one and that the minimization of one of the polarities certainly leads to forming another one. From the New Testament it is well known the expression “…to win the Death by His Own Death (Jesus Christ}”. But the Chinese philosophy, phraseology and, the main thing, the consequent symbolism are applied here as bright, very capacious and understandable, visually expressed the embodiment of the meaning of the relationships of polarities.

The “yang”-approach means that the hope in therapy or psychotherapy is connected with the influence for some changes (the good example can be term “intervention”). The “yin”-approach means the formation of the conditions, when the body of the client (patient) is coming towards the specific conditions of the contact which is establishing between the contacting sides (for example between the Thanatotherapist and the client). Here the law of the contact reveals itself ideally: do not give the other person more then he can take and vice versa: the other person can take more then he is given. In this sense the influence in Thanatotherapy is the result of the interaction between the client and the Thanatotherapist.

The presence of the activity of the “yang”-principle is very well seen in traditional (in particular Russian) health care. We can convince about it at least because of the presence the stable language expressions which seems rather militaristic: (“the decease attack”, “the struggle with decease” the ‘struggle for life”, “to stop the accretion of cancer” etc.). By the way he term “health care” in our country is formed only after October revolution in 1917. Before the Ministry of the Health Care was called as the “Department of the Health of the Population”. Until now the expression The World Health Organization is incorrectly translated as World Health Care Organization (please find the word “care” in the English expression!”)

The excess of “yin”-component is traditionally regarded as specific collapse, coma. The compliance, passivity in most cases (in politics, economics, medical service etc.) also has the negative trace. In Thanatotherapy the main strategy of therapy (i.e. help) is connected with the moving the “yin”-component to the center, to the source of the “yang”-activity, which is disposed in that center, and so leads to the balance of “yin”-“yang”-components, and establishing of this balance is provided by the body itself. This powerful and concentrated source of “yang”-activity is circled by the “ocean” of the “yin”-serenity and the peace. In this specific “golden section” of the combination of the processes of the “activation” and the “grounding” we can find the guarantee of the expression of this activity. The activity does not lead to such, as to say, “abreaction”. This process we have described earlier as the mechanism of the dreaming.

The same processes (which are the consequences of the same “logic” were first found in the Chinese thinking: “the maximization of one polarity leads to forming another polarity) are also proceeded in the center of the “yang”-component. These processes are very well described by the pioneer of the investigation of the changed states of mind John Lylly; it becomes clear throughout of the his own image and the titles of his books: “The Center of the Cyclone” the “Paired Cyclone”. As a rule the mechanism of the abreaction (“catharsis”) is based on the maximization of the “yang”-component and this maximization certainly leads to forming of the “yin”-component (the liberation, the rescue, the soothing or calming). This habitual in the culture and society kind of the “struggle with sleeplessness (the reading an interesting book before the sleeping or watching of all the TV-programs). The civilization (generally Western went by the “yang”-way, i.e. the way of the high temp of life, the receiving of powerful impressions and so on. The habitual way of struggle with the stress — the grounding through the gluttony leads to the problem of overweighing. In which connection the paradox is that the number of the persons with the overweight (over-weight to what?!) especially big in the countries with the well-developed economics (for example in United States). Remember also that the Goddess of the Sliminess (Russian words “slim” and “bad” have the same root) Persefona — is the Queen of the Underworld: it means that the stress contains the fear (or is the consequence of such a fear).

The infatuation of the “yin”-component of our life stimulates people to achieve the pungent and even extreme senses. “Shock — is the our real” — is not the motto only of the chocolate with the same “shocky” name but the motto of all our life. All our planet becomes “the hot spot”.

It is rather demonstrative the in our days appear the publications which see the strategy of the maximization of the “yin”-component more effective then the “yang”-component. For example it concerns the coma-state, which in such a case is regarded as the necessary (to the organism itself) process of the restoration of the vital activity of the organism (Lynks N., 2001). In this case the procedures of reanimation and activation (“yang”-procedures in this case) sometimes can regarded as non-adequate situations of the organism itself.

As a way of the formation (or reestablishing the lost contact) with the process of Death and dying in Thanatoterapy is taken the modeling of the Death mentioned above, to be more accurate its rare case — so called ”correct Death”. The base of this model has the model of the total relaxation. The body of the human being who is dying by the “correct death” is characterized by the number of specific parameters. He is owning by calm feelings, sometimes one even feel enjoinment (see the fragment of the text below). His body is maximally relaxed; his body becomes superficial and slowed-down, his foots expose oneselves, his low jaw falls off, his eyes partly open (can you see in this description of newborn child can’t you?). The famous Russian historian J. P. Miroljubov describes of such way of the Death by the following way (Miroljubov J. P., 1996):

«Suddenly some noise is heard in the hall. “Daddy, our great-grandfather is dying. He needs to be administered!” The father stands up and immediately, silently, do not paying attention on the mother’s admonitions goes to the yard and quits. Duty is on the first place! We, who have stayed at home, are disappointed, but then forget about it. Hour later my father is already at home again. He tell us: “The oldest elder! When I am coming into he lies on the bench, his head is on the straw pillow, he is in the clean shirt with the burning candle in his hands, he himself is very light and glad. He say: «Please forgive me all that I am going to dye in such a day! God calls me!» — «Be glad Godslave, — I tell him — to appear before Christ in such a day is a great honor» — «I am glad but am very disappointed about the Svyatky Holiday, which I sadden to all my relatives.» — «Do not think about it.» I administered and confessed him, made communion on him, and he say: «Please, sit down my dear for one minute and spell me the expiring litany». I spell and suddenly look at him and see: Grandfather is slept. Then the candle falls out from his hands. Obviously he was dyed». In this simple description of the death of the elders of that time is concentrated all the Sacred Russia. The human being just lived, worked according God’s Laws, gave birth to his children, grew them up, got them married, has seen his grandchildren and grandgrandchildren, and finally was dyed. It was the simple life and the same beautiful simple death, without any tricks, without any turmoil. The people who was dying by such a death were people with clean conscience. As genuine first Christians — in white shirt with a candle in hands! And how many people who dye with the damnation!.. But in this case — the purity, the spiritual simplicity, the tranquillity… We remember as in Antonovka old man Minay was dying: he came home and said to his wife: “Ah, old woman, make the hot water, I need to wash to be clean”. She did this. The old man washed himself, combed his hair, trim his beard and moustaches and asked: “Do we have a candle?” — “And why do you need a candle?” — she asked him, frightened. “But you, old woman, do not be so reasonable: give me the candle!” She gave him the candle. “Do we have some incense?” — asked Minay.— “We do…” And she gave him incense. The old man fired the censer in the clay pot and says: “Please go to the priest and ask him to come here. I need to confess and to be administered”. “Are you going to dye, old man?” — she cries. — “But do not object me, the old woman! Go to the priest as I asked. Do this work for me. I also worked for you all my life”. She went to the priest and they came back together. The old man already lies on the branch himself with a candle in his hand. “Please be quick, Father, otherwise my soul come out”. The priest confessed and administered him, and the old woman stands nearby crying and asks the old man: “For whom you leave me now?” — “For God and God Mother, — he answered, — and do not cry, because everybody must dye in one’s time”. Then, when the priest went out, the old man asked to adjust the pillow, to drink water, then once say “Oh” and the candle fall out from his hands. The old woman cried loudly. The old man did not hear anything more. His soul flew away to the Almighty God.

Our Russian people are astonishing! No people dye with such grandiose simplicity and with such a spirit. Every old man has in his reserve the clean sox with the white heels and white toes, the clean underwear, the suit, the shoes — all what is necessary. Nobody could put on these things, wash them, iron them: they must lie in the trunk from the time when they were bought. These thing are put on the dead body after wash it. But this two above mentioned old men have the moral strength to wash themselves, prepared to Death, to lie and dye. But how many people become pale, shake, complain to priest having only thought about Death — in oppose to such old men who behave very simple, very clear, without any noise and cry, the human being prepares to transit to the Underworld».

The principally important characteristics, which distinguish the body of the client passing throughout the process of Thanatotherapy from any other paths and instruments of the relaxation, is the fact that the extremities and the body of the client become cold (see before the comparison with authogenic training). The relaxation — “yin”-component, which is characterized by the cold only. That is why so difficult to come to center of the total relaxation (the “yin”-component) using some other technologies: it is impossible to pass through so called “cold zone” (the fear of Death) and it is impossible to sense oneself just as a thing (an object). Thanatotherapy which is the special technology (the sum of the principals, techniques, exercises) permits do this.

The basic rule for the making techniques and the basic characteristics for the work serves specific “body homeopathy”, which being applying to the Thanatotherapy process is formulated by such a way: “the impacts with minimal strength and amplitude lead to the feelings of maximum strength and experience”. Thus expressed feelings do not lead (they can not lead!) to the abreaction because the source of this “yang”-activity is circled by the ocean of the “yin”-component see before). According this basic rule the technique “body homeopathy”, which is well enough described in the literature (see Baskakov V., 2000, p. 264-276, Baskakov V., 2001, p. 108-125, Baskakov V., 2002, p. 18-21, and some others), but is hardly fulfilled in practice because of the complexity of the complexity of the such regime of the fulfillment, — permits maximally “ground” the client’s body, to make the conditions for the secure activation of his feelings and for the expressing of his thoughts. It is supposed the Thanatotherapist is skilful enough to fulfill this complex technique.

Only in this case (the combination of the special type of the contact “Thanatotherapist-client”, the specific regime of the techniques — “body homeopathy”, intention on the “yin”-approach (when session begins with “total grounding”) the specific result is achieved at the Thanatotherapy session: the body releases such amount of energy (in the moment so called “activation”) that immediately is absorbed by the body itself (in the moment so-called “absorption”). Thus body becomes the specific guarantor of the security, the measure and the regulator of the balance of the processes activation-absorption of the energy. These are the specific “programs” of the body itself, their work depends on only the conditions, which help to the switching on these “programs”.

The area of Thanatoterapy is disposed between the specific navigation “gates” or, mythologically speaking, in between Stcilla (“abreaction”, catharsis) and Kharibda (dream, coma, deep trance). In both cases the bond between Thanatoterapist and the client is splitting which is dangerous for it is not clear where the inner process of the client go to. The contact is lost. But in the same time this moment gives the possibility to qualify the Thanatoterapeutic process: if the client comes to sleep or if he, paying no attention on the Thanatoterapist, begins to abreact — this process certainly is not Thanatoterapy. In this case we can apply all the range of the techniques of other types of therapy (to activate the control, to open breath, to ask questions and so on). In some sense the Thanatoterapeutic process can remind “the flying” of shaman with the guarantee of the returning and non-splitting bond between shaman and ill human being.

In Thanatoterapy the process of dying is regarded as the process consisting of two stages: the specific “subacute” stage and the stage of “active dying”, consequently — “sanation” and “termination”. During helping the dying person it is important to be oriented in these stages and to chose the techniques and measures which are adequate to the stage itself. For stage of “sanation” — the sanating techniques, for the stage of “termination” — the terminating techniques. If the applied technique is non-adequate to the stage of “sanation” or itself. For stage of “sanation” — the sanating techniques, for the stage of “termination”, it can not help the person and leads to abuse on him, that undermining his resources. Often the dying person asks do not apply to him the “sanating” techniques as, for example, in this fragment from the Russian literature:

“We are terrified reading how absurdly and violently treated the medics with pitiful powerless body of Gogol, while he begged only about one thing — he asked them to let him alone. Absolutely not understanding the symptoms of the illness and for sure forestalling the techniques of Sharko, doctor Ouvert put the ill writer in the warm bath, where he pours the cold water over his head, then they put him into the bed and stick to his nose half a dozen of fat leeches. The ill writer moaned, cried, weakly resisted, when his withered body (through his belly one can touch the spinal column) was pulled to the wooden bathtub; undressed he lies in the bad, thrilled and asked to take out the leeches — they hang from his nose and put into his mouth. “Take them out, take them off”, — he moaned, doing broken attempts to sweep them out, so the fat assistant of doctor Ouvert had to held tightly the hands of the writer. (V. Nabokov, 1993).

Returning back to medicine, we point out that many factors (the clinical model of the illness, the Hippocratic vow, which obligates doctor to save his patient as much and as long as he can, the problems of the doctors of their own) — do not permit the doctors to change their behavior stereotypes as concerns their relation to the help and to the idea of the processes of “sanation”/“termination”.

The peculiarity of the application of some techniques of Thanatotherapy (such as dropout of lower jaw, the different ways of “grounding” on the different parts of the body; in some cases — the application of four basic techniques of Thanatotherapy) is that themselves “tune” the stage of the dying and in this sense always adequate to these stages (“sanation” and “termination”). If the dying person is on the stage of “sanation”, he recovers with the help of these techniques, if he is on the stage of “termination”, he dies. In the last case his death is correct and easy. And this is the real help of such dying human beings.

In the foundation of all human problems and illnesses according Thanatotherapy there are four basic problems (V. Baskakov, 1998) and corresponding to them the parts of the body (the specific “problematic anatomy”): control/overcontrol of the consciousness (the head), the feelings/contacts (hands, thorax), strong feelings/sexual relationships (the groin area), props (foots). The fleshiness in Thanatotherapy is regarded both as opposition/interaction “social”-“biological” body and as representation on the level of the five physical bodies: one individualistic and some groups (family, organization, state, civilization) (V. Baskakov, 1998). In principle the character of the treatment in Thanatotherapy reminds the specific “body optics”: the skilful bodywork is changing the orientation of the specific “mirrors” in body (so called body tuning). The body is totally “grounding” and releasing feelings. The feelings (the power of feelings) switch on the mechanism of the “absorption” of energy. The absorption leads to the following “grounding” and so on. The habitual patterns, blocks and defenses becomes needless and lose their meaning and sense.

The initiating component of Thanatoterapeutic process consists in the junction (Latin initiatio, Italian innesco, English initiate — means accustom to, introduce to, to be associate with) of the Thanatotherapist working with the client to the reality life/death. The theme of the modern popular American long-run TV-movie “Emergency” also is the introduction and the initiation, where the top of professionalism of the medical doctors is the “over-embodiment” of them i.e. the mixture the everyday and professional morals and manners. Doing the complicate surgery they often discuss their everyday squabbling.

The absolutely another case — the story described by the Italian journalist. On the building the Milan Cathedral the journalist stopped the worker, who wheelbarrows the sand and asked what is he doing. This worker wheelbarrows the sand to that worker, who mix this sand with the cement and transmit this mixture to that worker, who adds the water making from this mixture the mortar to transmit this mortar to that worker who lifts up to the building Cathedral for the ultimately transmission this mortar to that worker who puts the brick in the wall of the Cathedral. So the worker who wheelbarrows the sand answers the question of the journalist the following way: “I am building the Cathedral.” In this sense he was initiated, introduced to the common doing, introduced to the great goal of the architecture.

Thanatotherapy: the Practical Results

Thanatotherapy powerfully influences on the human being, touching and correcting all his psychological problems and becomes the effective tool of the relaxation (the total weakening).

The application of Thanatotherapy by the experienced specialists gives it the possibility to help the ill persons not only with psychosomatic disorders (Gazarova E., Trushkin A., Kukulieva M., Moscow), but receive the meaningful results healing many other illnesses: intervertebral osteochondrosis (Gayvanenko, Odessa), depression and asthenia (Barannikov K., Ekaterinburg), drag abuse (Ponomarev A., Kishinevskaya K., Saratov), schizophrenia (Barannikov K., Ekaterinburg), working with pains, (Kosyreva E., Minsk., Alzoba E., Minsk.), during the preparation to the childbirth (Postnova J., Moscow) and the treatment of the sterility (Guseva N., Moscow), work with fears in particular with fear of death (Zamaraeva E., Moscow, Voronkina C., Krasnodar, Voskresenskaya I., Petrozavodsk, Belaya I., Vladivostok).

We received the positive results of the application method of Thanatotherapy in the treatment of sterility and habitual noncarrying of pregnancy on the base of Medical Women Center of the International Foundation of the Maternity Protection (Moscow, Novy Arbat, 7) (Baskakov V., Moscow).

The investigation of the efficacy of the method Thanatotherapy with the usage of the projective drawing test made by Shubina E.V., (S.-Petersburg) results to many differences in the relation the human beings to their own death, which were expressed in the drawing test, and demonstrated the powerful dynamic effect of the Thanatotherapeutic influence, which became apparent in the ability to change the psychic abreaction such a deep fear as fear of death.

In the investigations of S. I. Voronkina and A. E. Agurina (Krasnodar) as a result of the seances of Thanatotherapy, which provided the experience of modeled experience of dying, the participants of such seances expressed the tendency of the increasing of the value of the being as such, their own unique life and their own participation in their life. Those who passed through the process of Thanatotherapy felt increasing tendency to autonomy, self-assertion, overcoming of the limitations, and the much more certainty of the willing and goals was appeared. Also the group dynamics was changed in the direction of increasing of cohesiveness and overstructuring. The decreasing of the amount of negative feelings and their transformation was pointed out. For instance, the level of anxiety and stress was decreased, the fear and the hate were transformed into the patience, tension and so on. The tendency to active live, without fears and anxieties was actualized. Thus if the Death was mentioned for the first time (before Thanatotherapy) the participants wanted “do not think about It”, “to close eyes” and “do nothing”, then after Thanatotherapy the willing “to have time to do something”, “to do as much as possible”, “to do something in general”.

We would like to describe the case of the application of Thanatotherapy in the case of psyche-emotional trauma (with the danger of Death) with the total alopecia. The boy P. ten years old had psyche-emotional trauma; during one month the total alopecia was ensued. He was treated in different psychoneurology departments during six moths without any effect. After 6 seances of Thanatotherapy the total reestablishing of the hair and reestablishing of the social adaptation was observed. We point out that in many languages there are the proverbs and sayings which connect “hair” and “fear”. Please compare: “one's hair stands on end”, “be on the verge (with- in a hair’s breadth or ace) of death” and so on.

Translation into English V. Mershavka

Baskakov Vladimir (1954)
a Russian psychologist, body oriented psychotherapist;
developed the body oriented method in psychotherapy (thanatotherapy),
co-ordinator of International (Russia, Germany, the U.K.) program
«Body Culture», founder and the president of Association
of body-oriented psychotherapists of Russia (RABOP).
The existing member of EABP. Trainer in long-term courses in thanatotherapy
and body-oriented psychotherapy in Russia, the UK, Germany, Italy,
Israel, Check Republic; co-editor of the the Russian edition of the
«Energy and Character», Director of the Institute of Thanatotherapy.

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