Accepted Paper:

Revealing the concealed: mainstreaming the teachings of Source Breathwork community  
Katre Koppel (University of Tartu)

Paper short abstract:

The paper concentrates on the unconcealment of basic ideas which are common to a New Age community called Source Breathwork community.

Paper long abstract:

This paper concentrates on beliefs of a specific New Age community - the Source Breathwork community in Estonia. The basic ideas of Source community are formed by different religious and esoteric traditions, and modern sciences like psychology and biology. On the one hand, Source Breathwork is a breathing technique and method that aims to heal a person as a whole, and, thus, focuses mainly on spiritual self-development. On the other hand, the emphasis of the teachings is on birth. According to Source Breathwork teachings, birth is seen as one of the most fundamental experiences, the 'source experience' that creates the basic patterns in person's consequent life. Since birth can be a traumatic experience for both mother and new-born high attention to pregnancy and childbirth practices is paid in the community. Moreover, it is believed that giving birth accordingly to the teachings helps to change the world, improve the well-being of subsequent generations, and offers women an opportunity to experience birth in an 'alternative', 'ecstatic' and 'gentle way'. However, this knowledge and way of giving birth is often marginalised by orthodox medicine and state policy, i.e. the access to the knowledge is limited and hence, concealed. The paper attempts to give answers to the questions: Which strategies are used by the community members to make the teachings more visible and wide-spread? What kind of rhetoric and authorities are used to explain the principles of the teachings to outsiders? The paper is based on fieldwork data collected since 2011 in Estonia.

Panel P003
In search of concealed truth: revealing, unraveling and debunking