On Verticality
Antero Alli

What is meant by "verticality" ? The innate stream of energy and information coming down from above through the top of the head, the crown, while simultaneously rising up from below, the earth, up through the soles of our feet. The spinal cord. When experienced directly, this vertical current can activate the Central Nervous System and the energetic body, what Antonin Artaud calls "the double".

Before engaging Verticality, a deep internal receptivity must first be established. This can be accomplished with No-Form, the crux method of this Paratheatre medium. Without this preminary state of internal receptivity, we risk sourcing our images, ideas, and social constructs instead of the source of energy itself; we eat the menu instead of the meal. Directly enaging our verticality can also conflict and agitation with our socially-conditioned, externally-directed habit patterns. This is why vertical integrity may not be t for everybody. Not everyone is ready to manage or transform this internal conflict; not everyone wants liberation from the constructs of conceptual mind or the morals of socially-accepted norms to experience their own energy, their own truth, more directly.

When we lose touch with our verticality, we lose perspective. Our lives become trivialized in a tangle of meaningless pursuits. We do things without knowing why. We lose track of what is essential to our nature, what matters and what doesn’t; all symptoms of power loss. In an attempt to regain lost ground, we may try and assert control over our environment or try to control others by imposing rigid rules and structures over the spontaneous fluidity of life; a vain and vicious cycle! Loss of vertical context can also result from over-identification with ideas and images disconnected from the realities those concepts supposedly represent; we mistake the map for the territory.


abridged and edited from an excerpt of
A Paratheatre Workbook by Antero Alli
(Vertical Pool Publishing, 2003)

Jerzy Grotowski on Verticality