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.

Passie vol paal staan

Twee keer in de week sta ik voor paal. Beter gezegd: ik dans voor paal. Vol passie. Als ik de kans krijg, ga ik naar Ecstatic Dance om te dansen. En dan ga ik voor deze paal staan. Terwijl de DJ de muziek start, tune ik in op de magische flow. En ik begin te dansen met de paal. Eigenlijk, met een beetje fantasie, ben ik een paaldanser. Maar wel een fatsoenlijke: ik raak de paal immers niet aan en houd al mijn kleren aan. Maar aan de andere kant deel ik wel alles met deze paal. Tijdens twee uur dansen komen vele verschillende emoties naar boven in een ecstatische passievolle dans. En de paal? Die geeft geen krimp. Onverstoorbaar. En toch houdt zij al mijn tempo’s en ritmes met groot gemak bij. Voor mij verslaat deze paal alle andere dansers en is zij de enige bij wie ik het maximale uit mijn dansavond kan halen. En dat wil ik. Want dansen is voor mij bidden. En daarbij is iedere druppel zweet is een klein gebed.

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Vanavond realiseerde ik mij waarom ik zo graag voor paal dans. Zo’n twee en een half jaar geleden heb ik een project gedaan genaamd Dance of the Passion. Als een kruising tussen Jesus / Dionysos heb ik een middag om een twee meter hoog eiken kruis gedanst. Al met al was het grof samengevat een zeer bevrijdende ervaring.Toen ervaarde ik voor het eerst: in welke staat ik mij ook bevond, het houten kruis gaf geen krimp.

En dat is voor mij juist de magie van het kruis en de paal: doordat zij geen krimp geeft, stelt het mij in staat om mijn dans energie te beheersen en die energie te gebruiken om het kruis en de paal energetisch te beklimmen. Zij wordt een soort van Merkaba: een Goddelijk voertuig naar hogere sferen. Met hoe meer passie ik dans in des te hogere staten kan ik komen.

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Dus vanavond realiseerde ik mij dat ik na 2.5 jaar nog steeds, twee keer per week, mijn Dance of the Passion doe. Met iets meer kleren dan destijds, maar regelmatig nog met even veel passie.

How Ecstatic Ironing is an example of Hermetic Flow Dance

I think, I am not the only one who is not particularly fond of ironing shirts. For this reason I am always listening to music when ironing and eventually I started dancing along the tunes. Sometimes the music would really hit me and I would dance ecstatically. And to my surprise I was still able to iron the shirts! Now, obviously ironing is not the most difficult activities in life, but at least you do need to have some sense of coordination and a steady hand. And this is not an easy feat when dancing ecstatically.

Now, a couple of years (and a lot of laundry!) later, I realise that Ecstatic Ironing is in fact an example of Hermetic Flow Dance. I connect with the flow, I contain the energy and I create with the raised energy. In this case, rather than flapping my arms around all over the place, I produce nice and wrinkless shirts! What makes Ecstatic Ironing Hermetic Flow Dance is the paradox of ecstatic movement (flow) on one side and Hermetic contained movement (ironing) on the other integrated into one and the same dance. To be able to integrate both together at the same time is a very intense dancing meditation.

About why I am a free dancing Hermetist

Recently, in a discussion, I compared my spirituality with my profession as a business analyst. I wrote: ‘There are many ways to Rome, but some are faster than others. The Hermetic tradition studies the Laws of the Universe. And as such it explains the above and the below. In my work as a business analyst, I also study processes: business processes. In this role I am able to find root causes much faster than others who look at events. In the end our time and resources are limited and I like to be as efficient as possible.’

Although there are many similarities between a Hermetist and a business analyst, it led me to ask the following question to myself: why is dancing so important for me as a Hermetist?

Again, I will make an analogy with my work as a business analyst. Dance for me as Hermetist has the same importance as the accounting journal and recorded data as business analyst. I can have beautiful spiritual visions, but the devil lies in the details and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Only when I am able to fully integrate my visions, thoughts and emotions all the way through into my body, my spiritual growth is complete. Only when my body recognizes energy intuitively, then it becomes real for me. In this sense my body is the grail who receives and integrates spiritual impulses by means of a ritual.

As a business analyst, when implementing a new project (which can be compared to a ritual), I encounter all the relevant existing data at the lowest level. This is organizational Know Thyself. I become aware of what actually is and often it is less pretty as what I initially thought! This data was previously not structured, misused or not used at all. I ‘dance’ through the data and restructure it for the correct purpose. Only when the data on the lowest level is correct, the goal of a project (ritual) can be fulfilled and the project is successful.

Dance is activating a ritual similar as implementing a project and it has similar characteristics. When I want to connect to a high energy, I need to integrate it into my body. In the dance all existing energies which reside within me and which are linked to the ritual become activated and must be structured. This structuring occurs in the dance: by connecting intensely with the flow, gradually the energies in my body become aligned with the energy of the spiritual impulse.
There is one more thing which is interesting: my dancing consists of both structured and free dance. Over the years I realized that free dance is very important for me as well. Why would a Hermetist also use free dancing?

As a business analyst, I test if implementations are successful in two ways: positive testing (processes according to the design) and negative testing (processes against the design). With positive testing I follow steps and procedures to see if the design works according to plan. With negative testing I try to break the system and find any loopholes around the new development.

With hermetic flow dance, I follow the same pattern. First, I connect with the energy, integrate it and raise the energy as much as possible in a stable form. But then I let go of the structure and form changes into chaos (free dance). When I am able to dance in all directions on a high level of energy, then I know that I have successfully integrated this energy in my body and the ritual has succeeded.

This is the mission of Hermetic Flow Dance: to truly integrate Hermetism with the body and to connect flow with the soul.

Example worshop Hermetic Flow Dance

This video is a try-out of how an half hour workshop of Hermetic Flow Dance would look like. It describes the three phases of the dance: contacting flow; containing flow hermetically; and their synthesis into hermetic flow dance. The latter shows how energy builds into ever higher frequencies until it becomes a transformative experience.

What is Hermetic Flow Dance?

Hermetic Flow Dance is a unique dance technique which aims to release and increase the full potential of your body. The goal is to increases the vibration of your body to match with your spirit. The idea is that true spiritual development includes your body: as above, so below.

 

Characteristics of Hermetic Flow Dance

  • In flow: it is very energy efficient as it connects with the flow of the cosmos.
  • Contains energy: the energy raised is kept within the hermetic space of the body.
  • Transforms energy: it transforms static energy (low vibration) in your body and being into flow of the moment (high vibration).
  • Works with polarity: it combines flow and form movements in order to raise and transform energy.
  • Consists of two phases: the letting go of old and heavy energy and creating new and lighter energy.
    • 1st phase – death of the Phoenix
      • Form – Staccato movements – emphasis on legs and pumping movements
      • Characteristics: effort / pain / letting go / connecting with Kundalini energy / reviving old energy
    • 2nd phase – rebirth of the Phoenix
      • Force – Legato movements – emphasis on arms and round movements
      • Characteristics: effortless / joy / creation / jumping movement / create with new energy
    • Increasing vibration in steps: each step has its own frequency. You increase the vibration of the dance like raising steps on a ladder.
    • Passionate: you dance with high intension as you try to take as many steps on the stairs as possible.
    • Spiritual: the high intensity and frequency destroy old structures such as tensions, stress, emotions, and thoughts. The dance changes your state as it awakens your soul resulting in a twinkle in your eye in the Now.
    • Based on Hermetic principles such as Law of Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm.
    • Unique dance as it combines aspects of different types of dance such as salsa, Ecstatic Dance, Gurdfjieff Movements and Sufi dance.