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Learning How to Dance


Learning How to Dance

Robert C. Koehler

“Native Americans have to concede that rain dances don’t work.”


"Maybe a rain dance isn’t meant to be an action as linear as turning on a faucet, but rather a joyous, intense means of participation with the universe."

Beautiful thought.


I think about the premises of modern medicine. What does the practice of medicine find to be of such commonality that entire industries ride these to make their products to sell. Blood components, temperature, pulse rates, electrical and magnetic resonances/chemical composition - the list of commonalities far outweigh differences. All present a profile of a living organism within an equally common carbon based planet that is at the same time in constant flux and dynamic equilibrium. That is, not just static balance, but in turn part of a scale of equilibrium of which humans are not not the 'center' (implying everything else as 'peripheral'). Its a poor joke arising from a dissociative tunnel vision that generates fear, scrambling to compensate the commensurate sense of insecurity and consequently exponentially compounding all of the detrimental aspects to the point of being deadly.

99.9% of the living world is a complexity of scale so exceeding human constructs that it must be 'externalized' by the dissociative construct so that it can compensate for not living in alignment with the sheer scope of it all. Does the percentage rate ring a bell? Think there might be a reflection of oligarchic/inverted totalitarian conceptual model failings? On the othr hand, 99.9% of the rest of reality certainly represents a healthy horizon to consider.


Mr. Koehler here is addressing something that's become part of my thinking and wondering every day, so I especially appreciated this column. I had a powerful experience recently regarding "the dance." I attended a two-hour InterPlay event -- something of which I knew little except that somehow in dancing, improv, and singing with a group of people, internal blocks can be displaced, relinquished, moved to a part of the brain where they don't block any more. At the beginning of the program, after a few loosening-up exercises, we were invited to move about the room freely as our feet and spirit moved us, while Sweet Honey in the Rock's "We Are" was playing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po6Lxqu_GSQ). This song is about the individuality and oneness of humanity. Our movements became a dance in and out of each others' paths, swinging our arms, moving towards the light beyond the windows, or down towards the floor, out toward each other, inward toward our selves. I found myself aware of the others' energy as I'd move through their field, touching it lightly, then back to myself, In and out, a drop of water with consciousness in the ocean of the whole. I wonder if Native Americans experience some of that power with each other and with the universal spirit as they dance -- I would imagine so. I'm definitely looking forward to doing more of it.


Or even something as simple as putting on a backpack and going deep into the woods for a day or so....


Yes, a beautiful thought. My spouse who is Native American, agrees with that quote.


Once again Robert Koehler, you have touched that place in my solar plexus I call soul.

Quantum Physics has indeed proven that the universe is energy and spirit. Wholeness/holiness, abides within and without and surrounds every single particle, atom, etc. Language has forced us to label every phenomenon we witness. Language has prevented our spirit's from soaring to unknown heights.

If we let go of the finite, we may experience the infinite.

An exercise I have been meditating on: Breathe a deep breath. Close eyes. Imagine a spirit cloud dropping pure, crystal rain--washing away every speck of dirt from the entire universe. Every illusion created in the mind of every human soul--erased. All that's left is pure light. Inhale it. Let go.


— and watching instead the first beginnings of a sunrise over that same ocean, but from flat on your
belly on a wet surfboard three hundred miles out from shore, as the ocean beneath you awakens.

On one's belly 300 miles out from shore on a surf board is no place to be unless one has one's 60 foot cruiser with diesel engine and nice warm cabin standing by as back-up.


I applaud Koehler for stepping outside of the "white boy" paradigm with its twin pillars of patriarchal religion and science defining the allowable discourse and field of the perceived-of-as possible. However, I do object to his reliance on the same deadening WE-frame since is posits that ALL Americans are stuck inside a particular paradigm. That is not the case. Millions of citizens practice spiritual rituals that are not those endorsed by patriarchy's top-down god-as-punishing-father-figure hierarchy, or limited to science's planet-as (dead)-object span of conjecture.

When will Koehler open his mind to the reality that all Americans are not suburban Christians who ALL occupy the same mind-set? Lumping ALL into a limited category is a way of wiping out alternatives, dissent, diversity, and the wingspan of the possible!

"We’ve forgotten how to live with helpless awe, how to subordinate our knowing to our awareness of the unfathomable. Most of all, we’ve forgotten how to dance with it."

We... or YOU?

How hard would it be to say that "Some modern persons have forgotten..." or use the frame that "Society's constructs incline many to believe thus and so..." etc.

WE are not a uniform team of shock jocks who all view the world in the same linear, closeted, unimaginative manner.

MILLIONS believe in all of the following:

  1. Astrology--linking our planet and its events with cosmic clockworks
  2. Reincarnation--showing that the body is not the limit of existence
  3. UFOS--showing that science is not the "last word" on what's possible in this cosmos
  4. Mysticism: Recognizing the ONENESS principle through soul-transforming ritual
  5. Indigenous teachings that honor the Earth as Mother and participation in ritual practices that express due awe and reverence