Harmony has two aspects, each necessary, 1) differentiation of parts and 2) mutual responsiveness of those parts to each other. One can speak of harmony in nature, families, groups, music, couples, minds, and even brains. An important place for harmony is mother with infant. Harmony is a natural phenomenon, not a mental product.

Harmony implies unity, but unity is not uniformity. Differentiation is always hampered if responsiveness is lost as a result. Responsiveness is just narcissism if there is no differentiation. Merely sharing a goal is not harmony because there will be resistance to influence. Attempting to please another will never result in harmony because it is both a denial of differentiation and an attempt to control the response of another.

Harmony may seem to be inefficient because, unlike conformity, it cannot be mandated or put in place quickly. Harmony however, allows for synergy and creativity. Undertakings are enhanced by a feeling of belonging. Power is always disharmonizing because it limits freedom of response.

Bodywork is intended to improve the unity first of the body and as a consequence, unity of the person. Alignment speaks to harmony, but harmony is really a dynamic quality. Grace describes an harmonious quality in the person.


Alexander Lowen titled his final self-initiated book Joy. He seemed to be trying to find a single unifying goal of living and of therapy. Harmony is necessary but probably not sufficient for joy. Joy is not a frequent experience even in health. Joy is the basis for spirituality, because it connects a person to the larger fabric of life. Joy cannot be forced. rather one is in 'harm's way' of joy by being fully alive and fully human.