April 7, 2022 at 2:46 pm #74894Stephen GerringerKeymaster
Dr. Monica Martinez is joining us from São Paulo, Brazil, where she holds a PhD in Communication with a specialization in Jungian Psychology, to discuss her MythBlast essay, “When Psychology Meets Dance and Sounds” (click on title to read).
Please note that this is a conversation and not an interview. I’ll get us started, but this thread is your space – your opportunity to directly engage Dr. Martinez, asking questions and sharing your comments and observations with her, and with each other.
Monica – Two subjects of discussion come to mind as I read your essay. One revolves around the “union of opposites” that Campbell indicates the Shiva Natarãja image signifies – a reference that recurs throughout the mythological imagery of a variety of cultures, such as the “Yin-Yang” symbol in Taoism:
That’s a rich and endlessly fascinating topic. I hope in the course of our conversation we can discuss this further.
But for now, I’d also like to draw attention to the other thought that occurred to me as I read your essay: the mythological image as a personal totem object.
Clearly, this figurine of the “dancing god” is more than just a souvenir to you. But what is the value of a physical, three-dimensional mythological object, whether a Crucifix hanging on the wall of a devout Catholic, the representation of the 25,000 year old “Venus of Willendorf” that sits on my altar, or the image of Shiva Natarãja at the entrance to your home?
Is this just an affectation? After all, we can read Campbell’s and Jung’s remarks about pairs-of-opposites and arrive at an intellectual understanding. Isn’t that enough?
Or is there something deeper at work here, something triggered in the psyche when we step outside our heads and experience a mythological image in the world around us?April 10, 2022 at 12:24 pm #74909
Thank you, Stephen. You are right: it’s a rich and endlessly fascinating topic!
After reading your comment, I thought that there are more than affectations. Actually, for me, your Venus of Willendorf (by the way, I saw it twice in Wien, remarkable experience) and my dancing Shíva would work for us like portals to archetypes, the connection to the “original” powers that they have been planned to imitate.
Therefore, they connect us to the bigger spheres of our own psyches. And as Campbell would say, I suppose, to the mysteries of life.
Looking forward to exchange ideas and experiences here with all of you,
MonicaApril 11, 2022 at 2:56 am #74908
Hello Dr. Martinez., I’m so very looking forward to this discussion. Especially since it gives me an opportunity to ask you about something concerning the dance, music, myth, of Brazil. Every year just before the Catholic celebration of Lent people come from around the world for Carnival, and celebrated all over the Caribbean, New Orleans and especially in Brazil. The combinations of cultures, religions, dance, (i.e. Samba), costumes and floats all combine for the world’s biggest street party as a kind of Bacchanal celebration just before the Catholic celebration of Ash Wednesday and the starting of Lent. As some people may already know the African religions were suppressed in the US, but both the Portuguese and the Spanish slave trade landowners let the slaves keep their religions such as: Santeria, (known as the Way of the Saints), and the Afro-Brazilian version called Candomble’, which are displayed through the elaborate costumes and floats and Samba percussion groups that parade down the boulevards and city streets enticing people to dance. The Favelas and the Barrios all have their floats, dancers, themed costumes competing for each city’s grand prize, and many of the communities prepare for this competition all year long. The symbolisms and mythic themes are chosen by each group and it is a source of great pride.
In 1959 a movie was made called: “Black Orpheus“, named after the Greek Myth of: “Orpheus and Euridice” and is played out against the backdrop of Carnival and the film not only won the Academy Award for best Foreign Film, but was responsible for introducing Brazilian music, (especially the Bossa Nova), to the world through composers like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, and Luis Bonfa’ which changed what we might now call Latin or Brazilian Jazz forever. It is also said that the Samba and Soccer are the two most important or favorite past times in the country, but you would probably know more about this than I would.
As a percussionist for many years my interest in this music and background were passionate and I was fortunate enough to participate in a Samba Jazz band as well as a few Latin Jazz ensembles here in the US for many years and this music has blessed my life beyond measure. The dances and cultures that they are connected to draw heavily from mythic forms because of both the European as well as the African cultures; so I wonder if you might share some of your thoughts in these areas if you feel they connect to your topic. (I have provided only a link to a very short clip about the film which may provide some background so as not to distract from the discussion.)
Again, a very warm welcome and so glad to have you here.April 11, 2022 at 8:26 pm #74907
Dr. Martinez, since part of your theme suggests something to do with the dance; (perhaps the dance of life) or perhaps the muses, I want to add an addendum that may open up a bit more what I was attempting to get at which is something Joseph Campbell said at the bottom of page 264 of Diane Osbon’s: “Reflections on the Art of Living – A Joseph Campbell Companion” when discussing what drives a dancer even in retirement when he said:
“The big shift that the dancer has to make in later years is that the dance is no longer to be thought of as something in the way of a performance or an exhibition, but rather. like a bird singing, just for itself, and only to the distance that the body feels it would be lovely to go. Out of that will come a life, because you are in the center of action of your psyche’s need and joy, and that will radiate into the rest of what you are doing. The whole world will join the dance. ” “All we really want to do is dance”.
Now this understanding raises these questions of: “What is it that is attempting to express itself, and why is this so? And what do we share with other human beings that establishes this common bond of (self-expression) throughout all the arts and indeed within all individuals? Is it a longing to connect with the human heart? Or is it a desire to reach something that cannot be put into words? Or is it a psychic reaction to a stimulus or all of the above?
In other words when we dance or create are we re-creating the world or our life in such a way as to complete ourselves, (as in Jungian parlance or the artists inspiration?). Or answering the call of the human heart to know itself? Perhaps in some cases cupids’ bow has launched its’ arrow into the air; or perhaps in the larger sense the muses are having a bit of fun?
There are several versions of this song, but I like this one because it expresses a certain emotional sentiment in such a way that crosses cultural boundaries and touches on the human dilemma of loneliness and the desire and longing of the human heart to find meaning and human companionship. Manha de CarnivalApril 12, 2022 at 1:33 am #74906
Thank you for your message. Yes, we are blessed in Brazil for having in our day to day many strong influences of Afro and native people. It is present in the names of streets and places, in the cuisine, in the myths, in religious traditions such as Candomblé and Umbanda and in our music. As you are a percussionist, perhaps you know that in São Paulo there is a wonderful mass that welcomes the tradition of African peoples inside the Catholic Church, devoted to the great black mother, celebrating with drums and the wonderful white clothes of the “baianas” the Mother’s Day. The patron saint of Brazil herself, Nossa Senhora Aparecida (“aparecida” — emerged — is a reference to the story that she was rescued from the river bed by fishermen) is black, like many traditional black madonnas, as the French one at the Chartres cathedral Campbell loved so much. Another example is that the beginning of the year is traditionnaly celebrated with offerings of white flowers for Iemanjá, the great mother of the sea (2022 is dedicated to her), so that she can open the paths of a prosperous year. It is a mixed culture indeed, the Brazilian, in which various beliefs interrelate in a more or less harmonious way. In this sense, these various traditions usually “dance” along more or less in harmony. More recently, with the rise of neo-evangelists, there is a certain part of the population that tends to see this mixture in a more fundamentalist way. It is a shame, because a typical Brazilian person can go on a weekend to pay her/his respect to an Afro-Brazilian service and on the following to a Catholic church mass and even on a third to an Ayasca ceremony, take a pass at a spiritist center or be blessed by a “benzedeira” and all these cultural layers intertwine in his/her life in a very ecletic and without conflicts way.
About Carnival, the pandemic messed up the calendar a little bit and this year it will be celebrated at the end of April. But it will be a celebration after two years without parades, probably still shy, but enough for many Brazilians to return to singing and dancing in small carnival blocks in the streets – a tradition that restarted about five years ago that is simple, costless and charming.
Thank you for the very warm welcome and so glad to engage on this conversation!April 12, 2022 at 6:21 am #74905
Monica, thank you for your very kind and thoughtful answers to my questions. Although I am now retired as a musician, race as well as religion always has an important backstory that should be explored in many cultures, and as an Afro-Latin/Brazilian percussionist that “weave” of the different cultural mosaics has always been a fascinating topic for me. The “Quilombos” for instance, most notably the legendary one in Palmaris, which was wiped out by the Portuguese military because they became such an embarrassment to the King back during the days of slavery was as a stark example of this evil that hopefully the human race will someday overcome. The favelas whose themes are so beautifully displayed in the yearly celebration of Carnival are a testament to this rich heritage, and indeed the Capoeira Dance as martial art as well as self-defense that was used by the slaves to defend themselves had a deep spiritual connection with this heritage as well.
The Candomble’/ Santeria – Orixas/Orishas or deities through which the spirits manifest themselves is a very different relationship to the devote or worshiper than the Catholic Christian, and as you mentioned the ceremonial and the cultural context is very different as well since much of it is West and Central African by heritage and indeed throughout much of its’ history in the Southern Hemisphere and Caribbean has been a source of spiritual refuge and nourishment as well as identity; often masked behind the Catholic Saints but celebrated and worshipped with the spiritual “shrines” embedded in many of the homes, each with a patron god or saint assigned to an individual through which one’s path and protection and spiritual divination is received or revealed. The spiritual ceremonies sometimes involved possession of the deity by the individual where the god being summoned actually becomes present within the individual consciousness. But this ceremonial aspect is often hidden in secret from public view.
The “folkloric rhythm systems” from these different African Tribes that have come down through this transatlantic crossing have had a deep impact and relationship to musical art-forms, one of the most notable here in the US are examples of American Jazz, Blues, Soul and Gospel music, as well as the Dance; and whose heritage can be traced all the way back to the slave trade especially visible in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Here in Nashville a new African American Museum of Music has just opened in the last year or so, but the pandemic has been a hurdle to overcome in seeing it and I’m very much looking forward to visiting it when the danger of the Covid protocols eases a bit more.
I’m so very sorry that the pandemic has wrecked such havoc in your country; I saw today in the news that the government in Shanghai, China has completely put the entire city on lockdown. Many of us here in the states are now getting our second booster because the new variant “ba.2” is starting to surge. These are difficult times to navigate for us all, and I hope your covid travail there will end soon.
As to my modest background as a Nashville percussionist this music was always an inspiration and I hope others will come to appreciate and know it better. Thank you again for your very kind reply and I hope your upcoming Carnival will be a joyful one.April 12, 2022 at 1:03 pm #74904
Monica what a lovely essay!
I also have a dancing Shiva statuette.
Found him at a NY street festival after a dance class.
My Mother loved buying things at the Street Festivals to support the artists.
And what many and marvelous cultural backgrounds!
Joe Campbell’s photo of Shiva and the whole concept entranced me…
As a dancer, seeing myth and dance combined in metaphor…
Yes! I understand exactly how you feel!
And there, the title “The Lord of the Dance.”
It is interesting there is the Scottish Hymn of the same name, though some say it comes from an earlier song.
I’ve heard both versions. The Scottish hymn was played when my tap mentor, Beale Fletcher passed. His wife Peggy (also a dancer/ballerina), who was from Scotland chose it.
Really beautiful! Made me cry.
But it’s interesting to see the same translation of “Lord of the Dance,” from two different places…India and Scotland.
I cannot help but love the synchronicity of that!
Campbell’s description of that statue, which you also describe so well…still fascinates me, the balance between the temporal and the eternal, the drum and the flame.
The rhythm and movement potential kinetic and still all at the same time?
You quote Campbell and say:
“And what comes to my mind is that, as Campbell used to say, mythology is the “song of the universe,” the whispered tune underneath the dance. The point where mythology meets both the dance and the music of the spheres.”
I love this!
And I love the way you say the whispered tune underneath the dance. You have me right there! Yes Yes Yes!
(My mother, an astronomer often referenced the music of the spheres:-)
I know about creation tales that begin with the word of God. But I asked once what about “the Song of God?”
JRR Tolkien creates a myth where the world is created by “song,” the “song of the Ainur,” (high universal or angelic powers.)
But that reminds me of the Song Lines of the Aboriginal people of Australia, the bards of the Gaelic/Briton isles…and so many more…
Stephen mentioned the psalms from the Bible as well.
And I’m also reminded how stories are passed down through song in cultures around the world.
You say Brazil and if I hear that music I want to dance!
I know a minimum of “Spanish dance,” but I don’t mind “playing the fool,” and just moving with those rhythms!
I loved the African Djembe drums at Ailey too and steel drums.
So a combination of all those cultural music traditions whispers come join the dance!
(Which is also what the Scottish hymn asks as well as its earthier bonfire predecessor. *Grin*)
Thank you for an awesome essay!April 12, 2022 at 10:57 pm #74903
Thank you so much for your lovely comment!
It made me ponder that maybe we’re spending too much time honoring small and large screens (I probably am…).
That maybe (just maybe) for the sake of our mental health we should consider paying more attention to deep listening, to the “whisper tune underneath the dance”.
And perhaps let our body dances more.
After all, we were “grounded” (for necessary sanitary measures) for more than two years due to the pandemic.
So let us listen to the tune of our true nature and dance and sing more. Even if it is in a silent way, even if when we just walk by the streets.
Thank you again,
MonicaApril 16, 2022 at 7:16 pm #74902Stephen GerringerKeymaster
No surprise to see the power of rhythm and the magic of dance front and center in this conversation, considering the image of “the Dancing God” that’s the focus of this week’s MythBlast. I would, though, like to step away from that theme for a moment to highlight this other significant observation from Monica’s essay:
Campbell recalls that the dancing god is a symbol of the union of time and eternity.”
As noted in the initial comment above, this motif pops up in the mythological imagery of multiple cultures (such as the Yin-Yang image I posted there).
But in Western culture, there is another potent image conveying the same message, one of particular relevance this weekend:
(Gerardo Dotteri’s Crocifissione, created in 1927, hanging in the Vatican Museum)
What the figure on a cross represents is the zeal of eternity to partake of the sufferings of time. According to the metaphor, Christ gave up the idea of God. Again, this is in Saint Paul, in Philippians: And he came down and took the form of a servant, even to death on the cross. This is a zealous yearning for participation in the sorrows of the world.” (Joseph Campbell, in conversation with John Lobell)
“In this beautiful passage Paul gives an interpretation of the Savior as the one uniting, as True God and True Man, encompassing eternal and temporal terms, transcending (not ‘grasping”’), yet to be known as both: as Christ, Second Person of the Trinity, and as Jesus, a once-living man, who was born and died in Palestine. Nailed to the cross as a living historical man being put to death, He transcends death as He transcends life. The symbolism is obvious: To His left and right are the opposed thieves, and He himself, in the middle, will descend with one and with the other ascend to that height from which He has already come down. Thus Christ is bound to neither of the opposed terms, neither to the vertical nor to the horizontal beam of His cross, though historically he is indeed bound, even crucified, as we all are in our lives . . .
If we read this metaphor of crucifixion in the psychological terms suggested by Jung’s designation of sensation and intuition, feeling and thinking, we may recognize that in our living, in our temporal, historical living, we are bound either to one or the other of the opposed terms of each pair, and hence to a knowledge or idea of good and evil that commits us to living as partial human beings. It follows that to be released from this limitation one must in some sense die to the laws of virtue and sin under which one lives in this world, opening oneself to a circulation of energy and light through all four of the functions, while remaining centered in the middle, so to say, like the Tree of Life in the garden, where the rivers flow in four directions; or like the point of intersection of the two beams of the cross, behind the head of the Savior, crowned with thorns.” (Thou Art That, 81-82)
In this image of Christ on the Cross Campbell emphasizes that same union of opposites, of time and eternity, that he finds in the image of Shiva Natarãja.
As I type, today is “Holy Saturday” – sandwiched between the Crucifixion, commemorated on Good Friday, and the Resurrection, celebrated at sunrise tomorrow, on Easter Sunday.
Personally, it’s the image of the Dancing God that most speaks to me, no doubt in large part because of the baggage attached to my strict, Christian fundamentalist upbringing, where only the most literal interpretation was allowed. The figure of Shiva Natarãja, on the other hand, carries no such baggage for me, allowing for a deeper understanding of the mythological dynamic conveyed in this image. (And then, I love to dance – that, for me, is where Time intersects Eternity as ego concerns dissolve in the experience of a timeless moment.)
But I did want to take a moment to draw attention to the same motif embedded in the Crucifixion, which is central to the Christian mythos. As Joseph Campbell observes, “we must take a fresh look at this event if its symbolism is to be sensed.” It’s the same myth – ever the same myth, though depicted differently, as inflected through different cultures.
This weekend I am thinking on both images, Shiva as well as Christ, reveling in the resonance between them.April 16, 2022 at 9:14 pm #74901
A good point indeed, Stephen! Thank you!
I grew up Catholic, but I was lucky not to have a fundamentalist family. As we are descendants of Italians, it was a way of being in the Catholic context, disagreeing a lot with it, but getting very upset if someone dared to speak bad things about the Pope (by the way, long live to the, to some extent, progressive and extremely human Francis! ).
Over time, I learned mythology and saw that they are metaphors that connect us to very deep contents. I particularly like Campbell’s phrase that mythology is the religion of others.
Even so, this Saturday night touches me particularly, when there is for me the most beautiful and profound mass of the year. From cathedrals to tiny churches, the lights are turned off. The fire is lit outside, and it enters the nave with the procession preceded by the priest, whereupon the new paschal candle is lit with the new fire. A ritual of renewal of belief and faith in something greater that comes alive in each of us by the reenactment of Christ’s death and resurrection.
This week I was reading an excerpt from a book by the Jungian analyst Bárbara Hanna, and she remembered that the cross would represent differentiation through consciousness. It contains, as you perfectly said, the basic four elements of the whole quaternity. I particularly like this jungian notion, for it includes the feminine that is out of the cristian trinity (included, therefore, in the images of Maria). According to Hannah, the cross’ pole represents the act of taking a definite conscious line, of going straight toward a goal. However, it is only by the corporation of the unconscious, irresolute and undecided — in other terms, its opposite — that nature is united as we may become who we are truly meant to be. The individuation process.
That this Easter we can take the masks off our eyes and see that deep down, as you say, Christ and Shiva are in dialogue. But also Buddha, Mohammed and so many others. That we may realize that the fundamental thing is to become human, individuals, that is, without letting ourselves be divided.
Happy Easter for those who celebrate it, and a good holiday for those who are connected to other traditions.
The important thing, at this time when we are fortunate to be able to make religious choices and spiritual paths, is to allow ourselves to follow and therefore experience something that makes sense to us.April 16, 2022 at 10:59 pm #74900
Indeed, Monica and Stephen, I think Easter with the Crucifixion as a symbol of human suffering, but also of a psychological crisis, you now have evoked the: (transcendent function), the “tertium non datur”, the “Axium of Maria” or third reconciling thing that resolves the internal conflict and brings about a new state of consciousness or way of looking at or experiencing something which before had blocked or had prevented you from moving forward.
From Daryl Sharps lexicon:
“Axiom of Maria. A precept in alchemy: “One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth.”Jung used the axiom of Maria as a metaphor for the whole process of individuation. One is the original state of unconscious wholeness; two signifies the conflict between opposites; three points to a potential resolution; the third is the transcendent function; and the one as the fourth is a transformed state of consciousness, relatively whole and at peace.”
“Tertium non datur. The reconciling “third,” not logically foreseeable, characteristic of a resolution in a conflict situation when the tension between opposites has been held in consciousness. (See also transcendent function.) As a rule it occurs when the analysis has constellated the opposites so powerfully that a union or synthesis of the personality becomes an imperative necessity. . . . [This situation] requires a real solution and necessitates a third thing in which the opposites can unite. Here the logic of the intellect usually fails, for in a logical antithesis there is no third. The “solvent” can only be of an irrational nature. In nature the resolution of opposites is always an energic process: she acts symbolically in the truest sense of the word, doing something that expresses both sides, just as a waterfall visibly mediates between above and below.[The Conjunction,” CW 14, par. 705.]”
Transcendent function: “A psychic function that arises from the tension between consciousness and the unconscious and supports their union. (See also opposites and tertium non datur.) When there is full parity of the opposites, attested by the ego’s absolute participation in both, this necessarily leads to a suspension of the will, for the will can no longer operate when every motive has an equally strong countermotive. Since life cannot tolerate a standstill, a damming up of vital energy results, and this would lead to an insupportable condition did not the tension of opposites produce a new, uniting function that transcends them. This function arises quite naturally from the regression of libido caused by the blockage.[Ibid., par. 824.]
The tendencies of the conscious and the unconscious are the two factors that together make up the transcendent function. It is called “transcendent” because it makes the transition from one attitude to another organically possible. [The Transcendent Function,” CW 8, par. 145.]
In a conflict situation, or a state of depression for which there is no apparent reason, the development of the transcendent function depends on becoming aware of unconscious material. This is most readily available in dreams, but because they are so difficult to understand Jung considered the method of active imagination-giving “form” to dreams, fantasies, etc.–to be more useful.
Once the unconscious content has been given form and the meaning of the formulation is understood, the question arises as to how the ego will relate to this position, and how the ego and the unconscious are to come to terms. This is the second and more important stage of the procedure, the bringing together of opposites for the production of a third: the transcendent function. At this stage it is no longer the unconscious that takes the lead, but the ego.[Ibid., par. 181.]
This process requires an ego that can maintain its standpoint in face of the counterposition of the unconscious. Both are of equal value. The confrontation between the two generates a tension charged with energy and creates a living, third essence.
From the activity of the unconscious there now emerges a new content, constellated by thesis and antithesis in equal measure and standing in a compensatory relation to both. It thus forms the middle ground on which the opposites can be united. If, for instance, we conceive the opposition to be sensuality versus spirituality, then the mediatory content born out of the unconscious provides a welcome means of expression for the spiritual thesis, because of its rich spiritual associations, and also for the sensual antithesis, because of its sensuous imagery. The ego, however, torn between thesis and antithesis, finds in the middle ground its own counterpart, its sole and unique means of expression, and it eagerly seizes on this in order to be delivered from its division. [“Definitions,” CW 6, par. 825.]
The transcendent function is essentially an aspect of the self-regulation of the psyche. It typically manifests symbolically and is experienced as a new attitude toward oneself and life. If the mediatory product remains intact, it forms the raw material for a process not of dissolution but of construction, in which thesis and antithesis both play their part. In this way it becomes a new content that governs the whole attitude, putting an end to the division and forcing the energy of the opposites into a common channel. The standstill is overcome and life can flow on with renewed power towards new goals.[Ibid., par. 827.]
Daryl Sharp throughout a number of his books uses the “Crucifixion” as a symbol of the psychological; (i.e. conflict and transformation process); of the Libido through the use of the transcendent function by resolving or (holding the tension) between the two opposites that are tearing the individual apart emotionally “until a reconciling symbol or third thing emerges” that helps to resolve the conflict, crisis, or blockage that is suspending the movement or the flow of psychic energy.
One of the things that helped me so very much when I discovered Joseph Campbell when Bill Moyer’s: “The Power of Myth” appeared on PBS: (Public Television): was that I was having just such a crisis; and Joseph’s insights took the Christian mythos out of the strict concretized interpretation you both had mentioned and showed how a much larger and more symbolic realization was not only possible but preferable because it addressed a much wider range of spiritual and psychological themes and concerns. It removed so much of the guilt and strict: (either/or – “thou shalt”) interpretations of Christian doctrine and instead revealed much of their potential symbolic possibilities. Christ was not “out there somewhere” but “in you” as a spiritual dimension or aspect of the human psyche. That compassion and heart inspired connection of: “participating with joy in helping to address the suffering of others” was a major breakthrough as opposed to the guilt directed: “Mea Culpa”; (which he said in one interview turns an individual into a kind of: “suppliant worm”); now becomes an inspired reference for meaning, purpose and fulfilment. (Although this interpretation is probably a bit different than the Eastern concept of: Yin/Yang in Taoism that Stephen may have been referring to.)
At any rate this is how what you were referencing caught my attention and spoke to how I understand it from what seems to be a Jungian perspective.April 17, 2022 at 1:27 am #74899
Since we were discussing Easter and one of the connections between Eastern and Western ideas of God and Religion and symbols and how they are interpreted; (say the difference between a concretized and a metaphoric or symbolic reference); Joseph gets into some of the finer points in this short clip.April 20, 2022 at 1:15 am #74898
What an interesting message you wrote, it gives a lot to think about. And thanks for the clip you posted. I was particularly touched by its title, The radiance behind all things. So appropriate to talk about symbolism and the psychic processes, uniting conscious and unconscious in such a creative way. It gives rise to something new from a psychological point of view. The image that came to my mind was that of making butter. An exercise that is so interesting to do with children, because the result is fast and surprising. It causes that “wow” of amazement that should permeate everything we do, but that in adult life is not quite easy to get. Well… When we put a little ammount of milk cream in a container and beat it for several minutes. At a certain point, the whey separates from the cream and we have a third product, which is neither whey nor cream, but which at the same time has echoes of both. And it’s original. As the French would say, voilà! We have butter, fresh and new, where there was none of it before. Thanks again for the message, which triggers so many insights!
MonicaApril 20, 2022 at 4:20 am #74897
Monica, what a wonderful response you sent. I’ll put something up tomorrow as it’s late here; but in the meantime, I sent you a “private message” about something which you may find of interest. In case you are not familiar with this feature look at the left top corner of this page and you should see the message box. Just click on the particular private message and it should open that page for you. You can send a return message through that feature if you like. Again, what a great response you sent; thank you.April 22, 2022 at 5:22 pm #74896
James, I just played the clip of Joe Campbell you posted. ( And again sorry to be late in responding.)
Love this! “The function of Art is to Reveal the Radiance!” Yes Yes Yes.
It is so beautifully simple and profound that logic cannot help but jump in and make it’s own complicated distractions.
But Art brings the balance, sometimes a different or New view.
I wanted to go back to the “suffering” as represented in Easter and the passion of the Christ.
I mentioned “suffering” and dance and no not referring to blisters from point shoes…
You mentioned going beyond the pairs of opposites into the third part which gives birth to the fourth.
I was thinking of the Pueblo Musician and artist, Robert Mirabal because one of his songs is The Dance.
But the words also mirror Ecclesiastes …Robert sings: Where there is doubt, there is hope, Where there is fear, there is love, Where there is hate, there is peace, Where there is suffering there is the Dance.
Now I find that to be very beautiful and poignant.
It is through the movement of the dance to give voice and maybe even a type of healing to the Pain and stillness.
Maybe this also is a way beyond the pair of opposites into the fourth birth?
But it is expressed in movement not words. I really wanted to post this video but seem to have trouble on my phone pulling up the blue button from bottom of screen. So maybe when another device is charged later.
I also wanted to respond to your earlier post of Campbell’s quote about a dancer later in life only going as far as they feel comfortable down to the line of “the whole world will want to join the dance.” It’s one of my favorite quotes of All time from Campbell! Though I only stumbled across it I think in the compilation Reflections on Living.
It’s true both at a literal level and a transcendent level.
Pushing one’s body beyond certain physical limits can shorten the dance and or athletic life of a person.
I knew at a certain age in performance, that limiting “tricks” was fine by me…
Maybe a few turns was okay…but began to choreograph dances without as much showy stuff. That was not the reason I enjoyed dancing. And besides there can be longevity in dance when one takes care…let others be the most flexible.
I had a tap mentor teaching in his seventies. I would still like to dance at seventy as well.
And it’s funny how it starts out logical as the left brain learns or makes steps…but at some point there is the trust of the creative function…trusting the body-mind to remember the steps…or even going beyond to simply move to the music and free form on the spot…risky but fun.
Wasn’t there someone else who said all the world really wants to do is dance?
Since it’s earth day, wish Stephen could post that beginning clip of Allison talking about how dance began On the Earth on the ground…not On the stage.
When I take my trained dance skills and apply them back on the ground or in response to live bands (respectfully) yes it makes people wonder. Some of my dance friends too…(grin)
But I have had some lovely adventures that way (including dancing with a busking Beatles band in the tree greened sunshine of Central Park and Strawberry fields. Or at gigs of a cool Beatles (and other artist) inspired rock band The Weeklings. This to me was just as wonderful as professional performances! Though I still love all the other dance experiences I’ve had in my life: training with various teachers, dancing solo and with friends in groups and duets, trios. Being an assistant teacher and teaching/coaching/choreographing. And other “professional performances.”(in different forms of dance and in theater)
But at some point it just becomes: The Dance. And that’s why I love that whole Campbell quote!
But now I have wandered far astray.
Hope that I have responded to what you wanted me to see James.:-)
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