Thursday, June 30, 2016

Everyone Becomes Pulled Into “The Dance,” but the Key Question Is: “How Are You Dancing?” Part Three

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During her teen years, my daughter once asked out of frustration after a series of challenging events happened one after another, “What the heck is this all about anyway?” At the time, I offered words which tried to console but would share the actual answer with her another day. 

So what the heck is this all about? The Advaitin poet William Shakespeare made clear that - in the end - it really is all “much ado about nothing.” But until the nothingness is understood and relished, there are all of the daily "somethings" to be dealt with. So what the heck is this all about, if the relative existence is being marked and marred by "one something after another"? 

It is about finding some way to get into the flow, to get into some kind of rhythm beyond an arrhythmic home and and irregular city and a chaotic state and nation and the unbalanced people living on an erratic planet in a tiny parcel of an erratic universe marked not by synchronous patterns but by the most changeable and variable and inconsistent events and happenings imaginable. 

One man years ago tried to convince me to believe in his concept of god. He explained: "If I’m walking down the road and find a rock, a scientist might be able to explain how that rock just ended up being there, but if I’m walking down the road and find a watch, he cannot tell me that something as orderly and fine-tuned as a watch 'just happened to be there.’ This universe is orderly and fine-tuned, so there has to be something / Someone who created it and set up its order.” 

F.: “Nonsense. Time for you to enroll in a fourth grade science class and to listen this time around so you will understand the true nature of this planet and the universe it is in. There is no order at all.” 

The planet is marked by disharmony, not harmony, ravaged daily by floods, flash floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes and typhoons, earthquakes, heat waves, cold waves, thunderstorms, hail, waterspouts, blizzards, ice storms, avalanches, dust storms, landslides, mudslides, wildfires, firestorms, lightning strikes, ad infinitum. And all of that is insignificant when compared to what is happening overall in this universe. 

Yes, some might identify what they call “orderly patterns,” but those too will all eventually be interrupted by chaos. The Second Law of Thermodynamics makes clear that everything which comes together will eventually come apart.

That involves all of the man-made, mind-generated chaos which comes as humans build pipelines which explode or crack open and spew out their contaminating contents at the rate of one each day in the U.S.; which comes as humans build nuclear weapons which can incinerate cities and their occupants; which comes as humans start families that often end with the killing of mates or children or each other; which comes as humans rob, steal, beat, attack, and shoot other humans; which comes as humans engage in mass murders; which comes as humans invade nations and murder thousands and hundreds of thousands and even millions of humans; which comes as humans engage in genocide; etc., etc., etc. 

Orderly? Harmonious? In accord? Congruous? Well-balanced? Hardly. This universe started with an explosion and has been exploding and expanding ever since and has seen trillions and trillions of things come together and come apart constantly. 

So what is this all about . . . this existence and these non-dual teachings and the invitation to enter into the dance but to dance lightly when you do so? 

If you own a car and have driven along an interstate highway system or along the autobahn or along an autoroute, then you have likely at some point come upon an accident which is blocking the road. Sometimes on those byways, one can zip along at 70 miles per hour or faster, but at others times, traffic slows or comes to a stop. 

There is usually an ebb and flow - on highways as well as throughout the relative existence - and what this is all about is blending in, going with the flow, moving along at a pace that is sane, being willing to move at the only pace which is possible at times, and being willing to forfeit the desire to move at a pace which is different from what circumstances allow. 

That is, to find the beat, to move along harmoniously to that beat, to enjoy whatever rhythm might be set at any given moment, even though it is not the rhythm you would like to set and although the only rhythm available at a given moment may well differ from the rhythm you might like to set and might not be the exact rhythm at which you might like to move. 

A man shared this story when I asked what the heck had happened to his face which had a huge knot above his right eye (which was swollen shut): 

He said, “I crossed paths with a total asshole is what happened.” He explained: “I was traveling in Houston on Westheimer Road which, as you know, has center medians with breaks all along the street.” 

“I needed to turn to the left by using one of the openings in the median which can accommodate one car at a time. When I reached the median where I needed to turn, a car was already there. I turned on my signal and slowed to move into the median as soon as he made his turn, but the jerk sat there time and again without going when he had one chance after another. 

"I was blocking one lane of the road and the cars behind me began to honk their horns at me. I pulled up closer to the guy’s rear bumper but I could not get out of the way of the cars behind me. They started honking their horns even more. The guy in the median continued to sit there, ignoring every chance he had to move on, so finally, I snapped. 

"I was so angry at him and so frustrated by the drivers behind me and in such a panic over the stress that I started easing forward and touched my front bumper against his back bumper and began trying to push him out of the way. He hit his brakes and also panicked. Then I honked at him and shot him the finger and motioned for him to move on. 

"He put his car in park and opened the door and began walking back toward me. I rolled my window down and stuck my head out of my car and yelled, “What the hell is wrong with you, asshole?! Get your damn car out of our way!” By then he was at my window. He drew back his fist and knocked the hell out me. Then, he turned and walked away, yelling, “I’m the asshole? No! You’re the asshole!” And then the asshole got in his car and drove away.” 

I explained to the man that he did not have a knot on his forehead and an eye which he could not see out of because he had an encounter with an asshole. I said, “You have a knot on your head and a swollen eye because you brought an asshole to an encounter.” I also explained to the man sitting across from me that he was definitely not in harmony with his environment, but more to the point, he was not in harmony with himself. 

Whether persons understand it or not, all with any remaining modicum of “normalcy” are seeking harmony, equilibrium, balance, and symmetry. What of those who have no modicum of normalcy remaining? At some level, there can still be a subliminal urge for stability, yet some have been so bizarrely conditioned and programmed and have become so bored that they actually seek chaos. 

Others who are racing about rather than going with the flow, such as those who perceive their morning commute as a “me vs. them” war, are also being driven by an internal but subconscious desire for harmony, equilibrium, balance, and symmetry. What’s the problem? 

Their minds are racing a hundred miles an hour, so they try to push their body to that same speed in an attempt to generate a sense of body-mind equilibrium. That, of course, is impossible, yet it does not stop - or even slow down - those who are in a go-do-zoom mode. 

In his play entitled The Merchant of Venice, the Advaitin Shakespeare has Lorenzo say to his wife:

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! 
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music 
Creep in our ears. Soft stillness and the night 
Become the touches of sweet harmony. 

Lorenzo then discusses the stars, each in its separate orb or sphere with each sphere contributing to the heavenly music – contributing to what Shakespeare referred to as “the music of the spheres – which, Lorenzo says, ordinary humans (clothed as they are in their earthly, decaying bodies) cannot hear. 

So what other evidence is there that many persons really want subconsciously to be at one with the music of the spheres, that is, want to be able to enjoy the peace which come with the sense of being in harmony with all? What evidence is there of humanity’s innate attraction to rhythm and music and dance which can sometimes align their pulse with the surrounding pulsations all about them? This:

Persons on planet earth spend $130 billion annually on music. They spend billions more going to dances and concerts where they can join with others and move as one or where they can feel at one with the performers on stage and move to the beat of the music being produced. How in tune with all they feel when they align with the same throbbing and thumping and drumming and strumming and pounding sounds around them!

So what is this all about? 

It is not about mirroring the insanity all around one, but it is about being in tune with one's environment; about being in touch with the music of the spheres; about allowing yourself to feel the beat and to move along with the flow rather than constantly trying to fight the seemingly-overwhelming vicissitudes of this existence (though that does not imply that one should accept the unacceptable or align with the widespread ignorance and pervasive insanity); 

about enjoying the comfort of moving in sync with nature's rhythm; about being in harmony (not with the masses but with oneself); about not missing out on the dance; and about dancing lightly when you do enter into the dance. 

One professor said in a lecture that understanding the rhythm of things could allow the rhythm to serve “as a master-key to innumerable locks.” He said that understanding could allow persons to “bridge the rhythm of marching feet and cross the span to the rhythm of the universe.” 

Now the rhythm of the universe is never guaranteed to be smooth and consistent; rather, it is guaranteed to be violent and inconsistent at times because all things which come together will inevitably come apart; yet on the universal scale, the periods between any instances of violent happenings and peace, and between things coming together and coming apart, are not measured in earth time involving seconds and minutes and hours and days and months and years. 

Instead, the time in the universe is measured in epochs and eons and ages and in millions and billions of years. (Not 6000 years total, as some preach? Nope. Not even close. We’re talking epochs and eons and billions of years.) 

If one is moving in tune with the music of the spheres, then there will be no rush. There will be calmness. There will be no panic or anxiety. There will be plenty of time for dancing plenty of slow dances. There will be time to dance lightly. 

And that is what this is all about.

To be continued. 

 Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

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