Gurdjieff Movements: a tool for Self control and harmony, becoming archetypical and … attaining your cosmic soul! 

Most people think that they are in control of their body. If you want to stand up, you stand up without problems, right? However, in fact, most people are grossly overestimating their control of their body. And as a consequence they overstate the control of their Self. The ultimate price for this lack of control is the loss of your sacred potential. And the possibility to attain your soul.

I can hear you think: ‘WTF! What do you mean that I need to earn my soul?! And how would a stupid dance solve this?’. But please hear me out and allow me to explain in less than a 1000 words.

Let’s start with body control. For example, everyone is able to lift his right arm horizontal sideways. But are you also able to do this when moving other parts of your body as well? And if yes, to which degree? With this I mean: are you also able to lift your arm horizontal sideways on the 2nd measure of a total of 7 measures? Next, are you still able to do it when you also do a step sequence backward? Finally, are you also able to do the same when including a sequence of six different alternating head positions?

Some time ago, I had an interesting realization about the nature of the Gurdjieff Movements which is exactly about this: the degree to which you are able to control your body in action.

Gurdjieff Movements are a type of dance meditation where different parts of the body move on the music in different tempos. One can only master the Movements by a technique called divided attention. This means that you are both aware of your inner centre (body, emotions and mind) and your surroundings at the same moment. The different tempos of the different parts of the body give a glimpse of and a chance to connect with a higher cosmic reality.  

I got my realisation when I recorded a Gurdjieff Movement practice and I noticed that I made the similar mistakes in different configurations (combinations of feet, arm and head positions) of the Movement. I was surprised of this, because I felt that I was able to take the correct positions. I started making mistakes when adding the head sequence. This sequence consists of six measures with four different positions: up, down, left and right. When you look at the short clip of this practice below, you see that my right arm is too far back when looking left and down. Also my arm is too low when looking up and right. Although in rest mode I am perfectly able to put my right arm horizontal sideways, in action (the dance), I have difficulty with the proper execution of the movement.

This experience made me realize that although I think that I master the ability to put my right arm horizontal sideways, it differs of the context to which degree I am able to do so. When I only need to lift my arm, I manage perfectly. However when other elements are added, I start to struggle and make mistakes.

Why is it important to be in control of your Self? Many spiritual practices argue that the goal of mankind is to be free. Freedom comes with the ability of choice. And in order to be able to choose according to your Will, you should be able to be in control of your Self (roughly consisting of body, emotions and mind). This is the reason why many spiritual practices advocate some form of discipline in one way or the other. Gurdjieff Movements are designed to achieve complete total control and harmony over body, emotions and mind.

  • Remove the unnecessary and the archetypical appears

The idea of the Gurdjieff Movements is that by practicing them you will gradually achieve control of your Self. As a consequence you will exterminate all unnecessary activities in your Self (body, emotions and mind).  Removing unnecessary movements are a result of a clear sense of will and the outcome of this is that the movements become archetypical. By practising the Gurdjieff Movements you more and more align yourself with archetypical positions and energies and it is exactly because of this that Gurdjieff called them objective art. Archetypical movements raise your energy frequency and allow to tapping into cosmic energies. There are many different Gurdjieff Movements in order to be able to align to many different cosmic energies. Attaining your soul is then the successful and sustainable connecting your Self to these cosmic forces.  It is like achieving the alchemical stone of the wise.

This brings us to another quality of the Gurdjieff movements: its configurational and integrative approach. Many Movements consist of multiple elements (arms, legs, head, torso, etc.) which (can) have their own count, rhythm, energy and archetypical qualities. However, they all coexist at the same time in the Movement. They can be seen as planetary influences and because of this the Movements are also called cosmic dance. The combinations of the different elements have their own astrological quality.

  • Cosmic dance: as above, so below

And this is the final revelation of the Gurdjieff Movements: they are in fact astrological dances. The different rhythms of the different parts of the body represent astrological energies of the classical 7 planets of our solar system. This does not mean that in each Movement always all planetary energies are represented. Sometimes 3 elements of the body represent the sun and a 4th element represents Venus. But every planet has its own rhythm and movement and together they move in orbit around the sun. When planets meet or come in aspect different energy combinations are raised. And although some energies are more pleasant than others, there is always order. And this is what the Gurdjieff Movements teach us. First, as above, so below, our hearts are like suns with our limbs as planets dancing around us. Secondly, although there are many different energy configurations, there is always order. You only need to be atuned to these energies in order to be able to experience the order. Otherwise you perceive chaos.

With help of the Movements you learn the cosmic dance by aligning yourself with cosmic energies. By disciplining the movements of your Self, you train away your inefficiencies, become archetypical and slowly attune yourself to the energies of the universe. You experience the mystical experience of being a part of the cosmic soul. And because as above is so below, as a consequence you will have attained your soul.

Ecstatic dancing tower exchange

Waarom ik zo hard dans?

Ik put mijn ego uit: mijn lijf, mijn emoties, mijn gedachten.

Zoals de Toren uit de Tarot.

Springend afbrekend, steen voor steen.

Daarna bouw ik de toren weer op en herstel ik de toren van Babel in ere.

De Watcher kijkt uit over het land.

Amen

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Note to self love – erken je negativiteit

Gisteravond was ik om iets kleins gefrustreerd. Een vriendin van me zei: ‘frustratie sta je zelf toe, toch?’. ‘Yep’, kon ik alleen maar reageren.

Vanochtend dacht ik daaraan terug. Ik moest ook terug denken aan toen ik 20 was en ik kort anti-depressiva nodig had. Ja, ik was van mijn negatieve gedachten af. En op dat moment was dat belangrijk. Maar tegelijkertijd was ik ook van mijn positieve gedachten af. Ik voelde mij net een zombie. Intuïtief wilde ik dit niet. Niet lang daarna ben ik naar een hobbywinkel gegaan en heb schildersspullen gekocht. Ik ben gaan schilderen en heb mijn negatieve gedachten en gevoelens aan het papier toevertrouwd. Leuk of mooi was het zeker niet! Maar ik gaf wel erkenning en ruimte aan wat er was. Jaren later heb ik terug gekeken naar die schilderijen en gezien dat onder de lelijkheid, grote schoonheid verborgen zat. Vandaag de dag uit ik mij door middel van dans, maar het principe is hetzelfde gebleven: maak contact met wat er is en transformeer het door middel van creativiteit.

Als ik iets ‘verkeerd’ heb gedaan gisteren, was het dit: ik had mijzelf ruimhartig toe moeten staan gefrustreerd te zijn. Want ja, als het moet kan ik mijn frustratie onderdrukken. En als het te lang duurt (zelfmedelijden) moet je ook ingrijpen. Maar je negativiteit de facto onderdrukken is uiteindelijk geen heilzame weg. Want negatieve emoties blokkeren kost je uiteindelijk, linksom of rechtsom, ook je positieve emoties.

Laat dit nu ook de reden zijn van mijn frustratie van gisteren: ik had heel hard gewerkt gisteren en een dansfeestje waar ik mij op verheugd had ging niet door. Een kans om mij te uiten ging verloren en daardoor had ik een baalavond. Maar vanochtend, door mijn frustratie te ervaren  en te erkennen heb ik wel deze note to self love kunnen schrijven.

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Our tragedic misconception of threesomes

Lately I have been intrigued by threesomes. Maybe it has to do with my curious nature, the period of the year (spring, Gemini), but most notably by the Interpol song ‘No I in threesome’. On the first outset this song is a superficial and dark love song about a guy who tries to convince his girlfriend to have a threesome. But there is something more to the song. It intuitively fascinated me and after listening to the song 10+ times the image of The Lovers appeared. It changed the perspective of the song 180 degrees: now, still being in a relationship crisis, he suggests letting their separate two egos’ go and unite to realize the ultimate connection: the alchemical marriage.

Literally the song is about a relationship in demise. He thanks her for her support in the past and he describes their deadlock. As a result of the crisis they fight a lot. So what do couples do when they are in a relationship crisis? They take the risk and make a jump forward in the deep. Some couples make a third by getting children. Or more superficially in this song, they include someone else to spice things up sexually. It is a new, exiting, but often disastrous final chapter in relationships.
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Seen from a spiritual perspective, however, the current roles in the relationship are finished, but not necessarily the relationship itself. The singer sees this clearly. He sings:

‘You feel the sweet breath of time
It’s whispering, its truth not mine
There’s no I in threesome’

Intuitively he knows that they need to make a jump in the abyss if they want to continue their joint spiritual development (they could stay together but then they would stop developing themselves). He knows that they need to give themselves up in order to truly become one: 1 + 1 = 3. He hints at a profound spiritual truth.
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The singer seems to refer at the alchemical marriage of the king and queen as described for example in the Rosary of the Philosophers.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosary_of_the_Philosophers ). This is a pictorial alchemical process consisting of 20 steps (which are depicted here between the text blocks). In it a king and queen give themselves up in various stages only in order to recombine again on a higher arc. They depict the alchemical hieros gamos. This is the magical 1 + 1 = 3! Usually this is to symbolize an internal path of development, but it can also be extrapolated to relationships as well.

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The song is tragic, however. Because, although the singer feels that something must be done in their relationship, but he doesn’t know how. He is no alchemist. The cost of raising the issue and failing the challenge is tremendously high: it will cost them their relationship. The singer of the song seems to know subconsciously that he will fail: if he was optimistic he would have called the song ‘No I in three’. Now it is threesome. It is the tragic ‘No’ of I in three.

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This song describes a sad reality of relationships in our society: we don’t know how to realize the fabled alchemical marriages. As a result many relationships are ‘stable’, create 3’s by means of offspring, have superficial sexual encounters instead of spiritual unification. As a result most lovers don’t realize their higher potential in the relationship by losing their I but gaining a three.

Pentecost – the time to receive the Holy Ghost and to become a Christ on earth

At Pentacost we celebrate the indwelling of the Holy Ghost and the receiving of the Fiery Tongues from Christ to the 12 disciples representing humanity. From this moment on every human has personally received the Word of God and as a consequence was no longer dependent of a spiritual intermediates: every one could personally commune with God. But this gift also gave us the personal responsibility to act upon the Word of God by respecting and upholding the 10 commandments.

At the time of Pentecost the connection between the Holy Ghost and ourselves is strong. We get inspiration from our higher self and as a result our ego becomes purified and cleansed. When speaking in tongues we also realize again Gods wises. Pentecost is a wakeup for us call to stop being hypocritical.

This message is represented in the video clip of the song Rabbit in your Headlights by UNKLE. An immigrant is walking on the busy car lane towards the light at the end of the tunnel. He is speaking in tongues and is neglected and run over by passing cars. He seems to shout ‘Saint Christopher’ and ‘Shemesh!’ being Hebrew for sun. Surprisingly, although hit by cars, the immigrant is able to keep getting up. In these cars are Christian suburbian eyes: people assumed to church every Sunday, but failing to empathically respond to the needy and homeless.

The end of the clip is messianistic. It is unclear to me if he is Christ returned or that he received the Holy Ghost. Either way, the statement is clear: the cross is stronger than matter.

And with this he hints to the sacred potential that we have: when at Pentecost we internalize the Holy Ghost, we are able to shed off our hypocriticism like a worn out jacket. Then we are able to realize our sacred potential and become Christ on earth.

What makes Hermetic Flow Dance such a magical dance?

Yesterday, I danced on a song [1] and the practice of this dance gave me profound insights on the deeper meaning of the song. I was deeply touched by it, but when looking back at it today, I also was surprised that technically the dance was not my greatest achievement. The question is: what made this ‘simple dance’ so magical?

As said, technically, there seems to be not much to the dance. The feet and leg pattern are not very exciting. The head movements are also basic. I notice that I make these type of movements a lot and that they become a regular part of my repertoire. And even the main drivers of this dance (left and right arm) are not shocking. And yet, an enormous amount of intensity and energy was raised. In the climaxes of the song a Tipharetic smile breaks through on my face. It is a face of pure joy. And it was so easily attained by a ‘simple’ dance. How it this possible?

It comes back to the basics of Hermetic Flow Dance. The bottom of the body is the main driver to raise the energy and the top body is the part which creates energy. Further, the magical experience is enhanced by the Gurdjieff Movement technique of divided attention where different parts of the body have their own rhythms. This technique is very intense and it raises a lot of energy. The dance breaks down in 3 different parts. The first part is the mechanical part. Here the head, arms and feet move staccato and are used to identify with the sorrowful part of the song. Energy is generated here, but not much energy is created. In this phase it is important to note that the staccato movements of head and arms (and later legs) have their own rhythms. In the second part of the song there is a sort of musical climax. Here the two arms start with the second phase of Hermetic Flow Dance: creating energy. There is divided attention here as well because both arms make their own movements and rhythms, but the lower body keeps on raising energy to the mix. As a result the intensity is higher than in the first phase.

At the final part of the song the energy becomes so intense, that the structure of divided intensity starts to collapse. Instead of this being a failure to hold the structure of the dance, it is in fact the natural and essential result of the process. As the structure imploded, joy and ecstasy were able to arise.

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The mystery of Hermetic Flow Dance is represented in its logo. First, you raise the energy by climbing an energetic stairway as high as possible. And then, when you reached your highest possible peak of energy, the structure and discipline can be let go into Flow.

After the dance I feel that my body has been realigned with my soul. Hermetic Flow Dance allowed me to deeper experience the mysteries of the universe. At the start of the dance, I just had a lovely feeling and an interest in the song. But at the end of the dance, I received profound insights deep into my core. Later when making my notes, I realized that I had touched upon the mystery of the Lovers in the dance (currently we are in Gemini of which the tarot card Lovers is attributed).

All and all Hermetic Flow Dance is a magical dance technique which has the alchemistic quality to solva et coagulate. The first two parts of this dance were about divided attention which is the solva phase. The last part where the structure of the dance imploded is the coagulate phase. This dance enables to experience deep insights and this is why Hermetic Flow Dance is so magical and powerful: it is alchemical dance.

[1] https://irkodel.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/true-love-waits-or-the-marriage-with-your-holy-guardian-angel/

True love waits – or the marriage with your Holy Guardian Angel

Today I came across a version of Radiohead’s ‘True love waits’ which I had never heard before. What I really love about this version of the song is that the original always seemed a bit sad to me (which I like being a bit of a sentimental person 🙂 ). Basically it is about this guy putting all his pride away and begging to his love: Don’t leave! But this version has two additional musical elements to it, which make the sound tremendously comforting and uplifting to me. And which add an almost mystical dimension to the song. 

Musically, it starts with Thom on a classical guitar. This is more or less the original version of the song and it is a bit sad indeed. I tried to capture the desperate and stuck in time energy by dancing mechanically and looking around for my loved one. 

Around the two minute mark, the two additional sounds slowly start to appear. On one side there is a catchy repetitive keyboard riff. And on the other side there is this high dreamy sound. Somewhere it sounds like the distant calling of a magical bird. A Phoenix perhaps? Only after a couple of times listening, I realized that this magical sound is produced by Johnny Greenwood on his guitar. Also, only after a couple of times I realized that this sound is in the song from the very start! Although very distant at first and only to really appear at the musical climaxes of the song. I tried to dance on the sound of the Phoenix by letting my left hand fly freely with its ancient cries for love. With my right hand I tried to catch sound of the repetitive keyboard riff. It felt like a straight circular movement but also with an acceleration at the end. As a result the circles which I tried to make with my right hand were 11/12th instead of full circle resulting in a retrograde movement. 

Yes, this version of True love waits gives a magical addition to the original version. With this version it is not only the desperate desire for a loved one on earth. This version conveys the spiritual longing to reunite with your Holy Guardian Angel (represented by the calling of the Phoenix) as well. However, when hearing the magical call of the Phoenix it becomes apparent that it longs to be with us just as much or maybe even more than us!  This is a duet between Thom and the Phoenix. But how come when both parties are longing so much, that the song is so uplifting? 

This is the magical ingredient of the repetitive piano. There is such a positive vibe to it. The force of the keyboard brings both Thom and the magical flute together and bonds them. The piano riff is like the hierophant from the Thoth tarot card. It unites and blesses the Lovers in a heavenly hieros gamos. 

And when they finally are married with their true love, the waiting is over. Finally, both vow and say to each other at the altar: won’t leave!

 

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The mystery of go with the flow

Go with the flow is not a laid back approach. Go with the flow is the intuitive decoding and tuning into the different elements of the flow.

For example, when you are skilled surfer, you are able to handle all waves. But when you are not skilled, your go with the flow might become a not so pleasant experience! You don’t become a skilled surfer by looking at other surfers or read manuals: you need to practice, practice and practice!

Go with the flow allows to discover the multilayered order of the universe. What initially looks like chaos reveals itself as a complicated order. Go with the flow consists of all different energies of the Now and there is no pick and choose.

In order to discover this complicated order, you need to learn to dance to as many melodies at the same time as possible. When your body becomes an agile and competent vessel, you are able to dance the Now.

Dancing the Now is then creating your Self in the Flow. You add your flow to the Flow. And you realize your Self in the Flow of the Moment.

Go with the flow then becomes the ability to realize your Self in the Now.Go_With_the_Flow.png

De tragische invocatie van Thé Lau’s ‘Open’

Voor mij gaat Thé Lau’s ‘Open’ over de mislukte invocatie van de maangodin om haar sluiers te openen en de zanger te ontvangen. Het lijkt te gaan over een man die zijn Dark night of the soul beleeft. Hij is op een dusdanig dieptepunt gekomen dat alcohol geen uitvlucht meer biedt en zijn vrienden hem niet meer kunnen helpen. Vanuit het diepst van zijn hart richt de hoofdpersoon zich omhoog naar boven. Maar ook al branden de lichten van de hemel, toch wacht zij af of de omstandigheden juist zijn. En helaas: er is teveel verlangen en te weinig tijd. De sluier blijft gesloten en de man blijft achter met een gevoel van onrecht. Hier is een mysterieuze zin: de lafaard krijgt nooit iets. Een waarheid als een koe. Maar deze man was niet laf: hij heeft zich vanuit de grond van zijn hart zich geopend naar de Godin. En toch heeft ze hem afgewezen. Volgens mij zit de ‘afwijzing’ niet in laf of durf, maar in onkunde. Het staat ook zo in de tekst: de hemel kijkt of er iets veranderd. De godin is in stasis tot de tijd rijp is voor haar terugkeer. Hierbij moet de intentie juist zijn. De sluiers van de hemel gaan niet aan de kant zolang men ‘Open’ schreeuwt met zelfmedelijden. De sluiers openen zich alleen wanneer men zijn ego overstijgt en zich opoffert aan de Godin. Bij de versie met Tom Barman bij het afscheidsconcert van Thé Lau in de HMH op 17 juni 2014 zie ik iets bijzonders gebeuren. De zaal schreeuwt zich schor met: ‘Open je voor mij’. Maar eigenlijk zongen ze: ‘Open je voor Thé’. En in mijn fantasie, bij dat concert, op dat moment, zag de Godin dat de tijd rijp was en maakte ze een plekje vrij voor Thé achter haar sluier.

 

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Dancing the bitter joy

This is my dance interpretation of Paul Simon’s Diamonds at the soles of her feet. A tragi-comic song about a poor boy who loves a rich girl. It is a classic recipe for disaster. But the music is so joyful, comforting and uplifting! It was a great joy to dance on it.