Archives for September 2009

Nurturing Darkness

(An interlude before we go on discussing constant change):

One of my readers commented on the use of the term “dark” to describe “dark energy” in my last blog.

The term “dark energy” is a scientific one, not my own term.  We can see “light energy” so the energy we cannot see must be “dark energy”.  Scientists’ mathematical calculations say it’s there even though we can’t see it.  There is nothing negative about dark energy.  It is neither good nor bad.  It just is.

However, I am disturbed at the suggestion that darkness might imply evil.  Darkness as a symbol of evil has been used allegorically a lot, but this use has had some very bad consequences.  Much of the racism in this country is enhanced by this false allegory.  Are dark people evil?  No.  Is night evil?  Is winter evil?  No.  These are very important parts of the natural cycle of life on this earth.

I once wrote a song on this subject.  The words are:

In the dark of winter
the bulbs and the seeds
lay deep in the nurturing earth.
It’s a time of renewal,
a time of sleep
awaiting the promise of birth.

In the dark of night
we go to our beds
gather new strength in our dreams.
Its a time of rest,
a time to sleep
awaiting the sun’s morning gleam.

In the dark of her womb
she carries her babe
who grows in life every day.
It’s a time of growth,
of nurturing hope
for our children will show us the way.

Come new life
come out of the dark
rise to the promise of spring.
Come new life
come out of the warmth
see what the new life will bring.

Awaken my soul
rise up from your rest
rise to the promise of  dawn.
Awaken my soul
come out of the warmth
see how the day is reborn.

Nurturing darkness is where we are renewed.  It is the silence, where, if we listen, new ideas, “aha” moments come dropping in.  It seems to me, if  “dark energy” is indeed the connecting force between us (and, again, I leave this idea to my Don’t Know Mind), it is well named.

Next week:  Back to finding an anchor in this constant change!  Or “Don’t fence me in!”

My book, Dancing the Deep Hum, touches on this concept of nurturing darkness as well as many other things.  You can learn more about the book and my other writings at www.deephum.com.  You can purchase Dancing the Deep Hum online at Lulu.com, Amazon, or Powells, or order it from your local bookstore.

Dark Energy? What’s that? Yikes!

Remember the third principle of the Deep Hum Dancers?  Life is constant change, both externally and internally, … bits and pieces of the rest of the universe are constantly moving in and out of our “selves” bringing new information and insight and helping us grow into more connected beings.”

 

Last week I talked about exchanges of information through conversation, radio, television, reading books, etc. and how these exchanges change us. I talked about physical changes that come through eating, breathing, etc.

This week I want to go a little farther out into space, both literally, and fancifully!

In my book, Dancing the Deep Hum (DDH), I talk about our skin cells constantly sloughing off, becoming the dirt that grows our food, changing and becoming a part of the food we eat.  I say, “If I believe in loving kindness in every cell of my being, will those cells spread the idea of loving kindness to the other beings they join up with?” (DDH 82)

In John Gribbin’s Companion to the Universe we learn that there is, as he says, “more to the Universe than meets the eye.” (104)  That extra stuff out there is referred to as “dark matter” and “dark energy”.   It appears to be flowing through everything!

So here it is, folks, my most way out theory of all!  What if that dark energy is the connecting piece between us – that sense of hum – perhaps even ‘love’?  That feeling we have that there is something more, something we can’t see or touch?  Could information travel from one person or thing to the next through dark energy? (DDH 83)

I’m not alone in this kind of speculation about dark energy.  Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series (recently made into a less than satisfactory film) has some similar speculation.

Could this explain how “prayer” works?  Or unexplainable psychic experiences?  How about when information seems to just drop into our silences, as I spoke about in an earlier blog?  Does this explain why, when a friend of mine desperately needed a pair of sandals, a used pair just the right size showed up in the clothing exchange box in her dorm? (DDH 94)  Is this how another friend of mine always knew who was calling her before her phone rang – years ago, before caller ID?  Once, when another friend handed me a pair of boots, I saw an image of an old fashioned train, seemingly from the low to the ground point of view of a boot.  Afterwards she told me these were the boots she wore on her trip on the Orient Express, a trip I hadn’t known she had taken. (DDH 21)  Was that dark energy at work?

Who knows?  I plan to keep this idea in my “Don’t Know Mind.”  (More about the Don’t Know Mind in later blogs)

Next week:  Trying to find an anchor in this constant change!  Or “Don’t fence me in!”

My book, Dancing the Deep Hum, goes into this concept of the ever-changing self in much more detail.  You can learn more about the book and my other writings at www.deephum.com.  You can purchase Dancing the Deep Hum online at Lulu.com, Amazon, or Powells, or order it from your local bookstore.

Life is Change and Exchange!

The 3rd principle of the Deep Hum Dancers: To understand that life is constant change, both externally and internally, that bits and pieces of the rest of the universe are constantly moving in and out of our “selves” bringing new information and insight and helping us grow into more connected beings.”

 

In Dancing the Deep Hum, I say:  All the cells in my body have changed several times.  Every time I breathe in, I take in air that has been exhaled from someone else.  When I move, heat energy leaves my body and warms another person.  And that person’s energy is heating me!  My skin is sloughing off.  New skin is growing.  I’m taking in food, water, and eliminating wastes.  The average human body is 70 percent water, but not the same water.  Water is constantly flowing from me, from every person, to every person all over the world…..  In The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene says, “Two electrically charged particles influence each other by exchanging [small bundles] of light.”(p 124)  So this exchange is happening on the smallest of levels with all of us, with everything. (pp 82-84)

Not just my physical self is changing and exchanging.  As I read, listen to the radio, talk to my friends, etc., I am taking in new ideas and dispersing my thoughts to others.  My beliefs, concepts, and ideas change, and so do theirs!

To be open to this kind of exchange of ideas can be quite distressing.  I can easily go into a kind of overload state after a morning of listening to KPFA commentators interviewing experts on health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, water rights being trampled on in India, etc. (KPFA was founded in 1948 as the first listener owned, public radio station in the country.  You can listen to it online at www.kpfa.org)

If we understand that we are part of the whole of the universe, we understand that what hurts someone in India hurts us.  We understand that even though we personally did not do the “bad” things, knowledge of it gives us a responsibility to try and stop the “bad” things.

Whew!  So many “bad” things!  How can I stop them?  No wonder so many people want to be like the three monkeys and see no evil, hear no evil and tell no one else about the evil.  Actually, the rules of etiquette that I grew up with told me to do exactly that.  Close my eyes and my ears, and above all, don’t talk about it.  Doesn’t seem like a good recipe for change!

And maybe that’s the source of the anxiety.  If we allowed the information to move freely through us, like breathing in and breathing out, we might be able to think more clearly about what actions we can take to alleviate the “bad”.  The trick is not to let them get stuck.  We can’t solve all the problems, but we can be aware of them.

So take a deep breath.  Let it out with a sigh! (See InterPlay for more about sighing!)

Next week:  You say “dark matter” is flowing right through me all the time?  Yikes!  What’s that?

My book, Dancing the Deep Hum, goes into this concept of the ever changing self in much more detail.  You can learn more about the book and my other writings at www.deephum.com.  You can purchase Dancing the Deep Hum online at Lulu.com, Amazon, or Powells, or order it from your local bookstore.

Improvisational song and dance? Oh, my!

I am surrounded by a dome of sound; eleven voices bounce off of each other, some matching, some blending, some wildly dissonant, and yet, breathtakingly awesome.  My voice moves off the basic pitch up a third, still feeling a rumbling attachment to the center, and rests there.  Suddenly it moves upward in melodic minors soaring over the top and then tumbling back down into the center.   Resting, soaring, resting, it hears another voice and follows, moves a third and imitates, moving here and there within that dome of sound.  The world is gone, fears, distresses, plans for the day, are gone.  And yet, the world is imminently there, I am fully connected, I feel the pain, I feel the joy.  I am.

More – we are.

But this soaring voice, is it me?

Yes, but somehow I have released it and it is free to go where it will without conscious thought directing it.  It is more than me.

This is improvisational “toning”.

The same thing happens with improvisational movement.  Thought disappears.  My body flows where it will, stretches, contracts, balances, and whirls and whirls.  Sometimes I find contact with the dancing bodies around me, and together we are one body, or together we are two bodies striving against each other as we pull and push – and yet still one body.

Improvisational dancers and singers are not the only ones seeking this state where we are free of conscious thought.  People doing sitting meditation strive to “empty” their minds.  Religious traditions ask us to clear our minds and “listen”.

Why do we want to achieve this state?

Because into the emptiness, into the silence, come new ideas, new solutions, new ways to approach the world.  It is from silence that we get our “Ah ha!” moments.

When I sing and dance I feel like I’m emptying myself of all the distress, the confusion, the hurt and pain, of the world I live in, freeing myself for clarity, for action, for the ability to do what I can to make the world a better place to live in.  (InterPlayers would call this “exformation”.)  I have allowed the joy, strength, and wisdom of the universe to enter me.  I leave empowered.

Wouldn’t it be great if this kind of improvisational singing and dancing could just happen spontaneously wherever and whenever we needed it?  On the street, in the coffee shop, at work, in church, wherever we are, alone or with others, when we need clarity and connection?

Next week, the 3rd principle of the Deep Hum Dancers: To understand that life is constant change, both externally and internally, that bits and pieces of the rest of the universe are constantly moving in and out of our “selves” bringing new information and insight and helping us grow into more connected beings.”

My book, Dancing the Deep Hum, is both the story of how I came to my present understanding of the world and ideas on how to implement this understanding.  You can learn more about the book and my other writings at www.deephum.com.  You can purchase Dancing the Deep Hum online at Lulu.com, Amazon, or Powells, or order it from your local bookstore.