The Ezekiel Code: A Vision of Living Bones is a labour of love, with a certain readership in mind, namely, those who work and play in the field of body/mind/spirituality.
The Ezekiel Code emerged from a long-held question: what is the bridge between Jung’s work on the inner life and Feldenkrais’s work on learning and self-organization? The answer gradually came into view through the contemplation of images and motifs which express themselves in both psyche and soma.
Author and Feldenkrais practitioner David Kaetz (who also wrote Making Connections, about Moshe’s cultural background and its resonances in his work) studied Religion and Near Eastern Languages at Yale. He often teaches together with his wife, who is a Jungian analyst. With every seminar they experience a practical synergy between soul work and somatic education. That these two realms manifest the same living process in different ways is obvious, yet it is hard to speak of their synchrony without stumbling into a terminological hall of mirrors. Another way to approach the question is through the imaginal world (a term used by Henri Corbin and James Hillman), which speaks through both soma and psyche.
The prophet Ezekiel, who was somewhere between the Rudolf Steiner and the Bob Marley of the exile community in Babylon (some 2500 years ago), was entirely at home in the imaginal world. Unpacking just one of his visions, the valley of the dry bones, is the work of this little book.
Thank you for this astonishing book, The Ezekiel Code. I think my jaw was dropped the whole time I was reading it (it’s a good thing for my temporomandibular joint that it’s a slim book, though one that demands many stops to absorb the impact, and that will demand lots of revisiting). I can’t quite begin to express the revelatory density of the experience of reading it … the overlaying and stripping away of so many experiences/ideas/expressions revealed to have the same skeletal form. It really is a sort of Talmudic text for somatic students and practitioners, one you could study over and over, and that would inform and unify so many aspects of life.
A review by practitioner Matthew McNatt, posted on the Facebook group “Jewish, Sacred, and Spiritual Resonance in the Feldenkrais Method®”:
I just finished reading David Kaetz’ The Ezekiel Code: A Vision of Living Bones. It’s short and, thus, was easily readable in one sitting — if you don’t count all the times I put the book down to savor, then savor again, what I had just read.
Any synopsis of what David has done in this book wouldn’t do this work justice. I’ll just say that it’s easily among the top 50 books I’ve ever read (and I read a lot). If you haven’t read this work yet, I encourage you to order a copy from David and enjoy the guided exploration that he provides, for yourself.
The Ezekiel Code is a cross between poetry, somatics, religious philosophy, and existential-personalist psychology. David explores Ezekiel’s “Dry Bones” as a Feldenkrais practitioner who is deeply familiar with the Hasidic tradition.
… and that’s about as accurate as my describing Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables as a long novel about a man who stole bread, the limits of justice, and the power of love—or Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities as a story of a drunk man, the French Revolution, and the power and tragedy of love.
Seriously, David has written a masterpiece. I will probably read The Ezekiel Code another three or four times before the end of this year — and I won’t be surprised if I’m re-reading this book every year for the rest of my life.
I came to Feldenkrais Professional training with the two primary intentions — to work through my own tardive dystonia (so I wouldn’t keep facing bouts of not being able to move), and to complete a “personal prerequisite” to graduate school in philosophy (so whatever philosophizing I ended up doing professionally would be grounded in a reality deeper than my own thoughts). While my first intention was realized, by the time I was completing training under Paul and Julie Casson Rubin, I discovered that I had found what I had not intended to find: a life path, a calling, a deeply meaningful interpretive framework — all rolled into one.
To the degree that one can succeed in “capturing spirit,” David has captured the spirit, in The Ezekiel Code, of what continues to draw me so fully into Feldenkrais work, and into writing children’s stories and courses for families built, freely yet for me inescapably, upon the powerful way of learning that is somatic education. There are parts of The Ezekiel Codethat don’t align with my thinking — yet even in these parts, I find myself appreciating David’s writing as an intensely personal, hallowed offering to our community. It’s not my book; I couldn’t have written this one. This is David’s book. All I’m interested in doing here is recommending it… highly.
Lavinia Plonka –
I am reading David Kaetz’s The Ezekiel Code for the second time. This is remarkable for me since I have a pile of books on my reading waiting list, and I generally tear through literature quickly and voraciously, devouring what seems worthwhile, digesting what I need, spitting out the rest and moving on.
But The Ezekiel Code has me in its thrall. When I first received it, I felt cheated. $18 plus shipping for this tiny volume? Don’t be put off. This gem of a book is worth every penny. As Kaetz says in his forward, the book is “both thin and dense.” And for anyone who has felt the spirit move in them after a Feldenkrais
lesson, it is a hymn to re-membering who we are.
Kaetz’s prose often reads like poetry, it seems as if every word in the book was carefully crafted, meditated upon and maybe even sung before reaching the page. Tying a biblical passage of Ezekiel to the study of the self (Kaetz points out that the word bone in the King James Bible is the Hebrew word etzem which signifies self) he takes us on a mystical journey from the dryness of unconsciousness to remembering our dignity, from the effect of gravity to being upright and human.
There was a passage that brought me to tears, reminding me of why I chose this profession, as well as connecting our work to being something beyond simply moving bones:
“When brokenness is replaced by wholeness, at that moment, in that sweet spot of connectedness, the feeling of being in exile is replaced by the feeling of being at home in oneself. The holy land is when you feel whole.
When your student stands up after a lesson, feeling taller and stronger, with his or her original face shining, the worry gone from the eyes, home again, alive again, ready to return to the world with a new perspective, you are a making Ezekiel a happy prophet.”
This book is an inspiration that both practitioners and students can return to again and again to remind themselves of the poetry in Awareness Through Movement®.
Anonymous (verified owner) –
Diane (verified owner) –
Unlike anything I’ve ever read – visionary.
Marilyn Hardy (verified owner) –
I loved this brilliant book so much I ordered one for a friend.
Anonymous (verified owner) –
Betsy Craig Cooke (verified owner) –
Thank you David Kaetz for The Ezekial Code. A book that immediately befriended me. And like a promising friendship, I am letting it unfold without crushing its beauty and sensitivity and gift with demands. And like a truly great friendship, it shows me my struggles, my incompleteness, my hopes and puts all this into the laughter filled place of learning WITH and TOGETHER. Here’s a quote from page 27 of the book: “To remember oneself would be to put one’s members back into relationship with one another.” This is what I hope to learn and teach.
Ruth D. (verified owner) –
Fascinating, different, fun. Definitely worth a try.