Gestalt or contextual constellation is …

… the simple and tranquil acknowledgment of the existence of our contextual constellation or gestalt and sensing our relatedness with it.

Gestalt in psychology is originally a German word and was introduced by German psychologists such as Wolfgang Köhler and Max Wertheimer. The term stands for “an overall picture”, in which the whole is more or even different than the sum of the constituent parts.

The term “Family Constellations” was first used by Alfred Adler to refer to the phenomenon that each individual belongs to and is bonded in relationship to other members of his or her family system.

Systemic Constellations or Systemic Family Constellations, is an alternative therapeutic method which draws on elements of existential phenomenology family, systems therapy, and elements of indigenous spiritual mysticism.

I borrow the words gestalt and constellation to name the 7th element of the IP practice which is developing a field perspective of our present moment contextual situation. This field perspective starts with developing a conscious awareness of the contextual larger-then-one-person elements or groups in which we live, to which we belong, on which we depend, to which we relate, in which we operate, and that have an impact on us. This first level of awareness consists of acquiring a sentience of their reality on an experiential level and probing a guesstimate of their level of importance and impact in true perspective/proportion. The next level of awareness is examined in element 9 of IP.

Exemples of gestalt or contextual constellation are our family of origin, friends, social groups, school we go to, company we work for, the community we live in, our village or city of residence, our ethnic heritage, the nation we live in, the group of like minded people and souls, all people with a similar belief/mission/project/passion/…, humanity, our species, all species, all sentient beings, … anything we can identify with or belong to can be part of our gestalt.

In step 7 of IP it solely consists of acknowledging their existence and sensing our relatedness with them. Element 9 of IP is one step further where we refine a sentience for the dynamics of the relatedness with relevant aspect of our gestalt.

The simple and tranquil acknowledgment of our contextual constellation or gestalt is a sound fulcrum for exploring the subsequent relational stage (9) Group dynamics, for at least 2 reasons.

  1. When the existential reality is realized, a certain friction between our environment and our individuality is appeased. The subsequent calm is a keystone for further and wider insight.
  2. By honoring the existential reality, a mechanism of resistance and opposition comes gradually to rest. We have therefor less interference, less confusion, and thus more space for the objective discernment of our Neutral Observer which will help our prehension of group dynamics.