Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Two Articles About Dancing

From my old blog http://ljtsg.blogspot.com

On Theology, Dancing & Teaching

My wife and I once performed a waltz to the theme song from THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.

It is such a powerful song, it was impossible to do this dance without thinking about the meaning behind it all: Christ's death, the sadness it represented but the joy it brought for all believers. I also gave my dance instructor Karina a note to give to her mother (who was visiting from Denmark) regarding all she has meant to my wife and I. Teaching is almost a spiritual communion isn't it? Not almost, it is a spiritual communion. You are giving someone else a part of yourself. Great teachers truly elevate their students. You have to love what you are teaching, love your students and have a very rare and powerful skill, which is the act of teaching itself. Great teachers are rare. You are lucky if you can count the number of truly great teachers you have on one hand. Karina is one of those for me.

It was all so perfect. The fact that I was doing this with my wife, who is so beautiful and means so much to me. Angelic is truly evidence of God's love for me. There was this moment when we were dancing together, with all I had been taught coming together, her next to me and the music touching my soul and it was like time stopped, and I stood on a mountain in the heights of eternity. I could literally stop that moment on the video and show you where it was, it is that clear to me. That is really what it was: a moment of clarity.

Transcendence, man, transcendence. Those 'signals' that Peter Berger talks about and that I wrote about in my apologetics project. It really is miraculous. A miracle is, in the end, simply a moment that brings you to faith.

I commend dancing to all my Christian brothers and sisters. It has a lot to commend it. I've certainly deepened my relationship with Jesus Christ through it. And it has helped my marriage, and it just is amazing.

On Dancing, Mind & The Universe

There is something truly significant about dancing. There is a cosmic lesson in it. For one thing, when you dance it is all about moving negative space, about moving the nothingness that exists between the two partners. The follower's main job is to 'get out of the way' to create space within which the leader can move. There is something very Taoist about that, but very Christian, too. Anyone who knows me or my theology well, or who has read the book MYSTERY WITHOUT MAGIC by Russell Pregeant knows about the overlaps between the two. I believe that Christianity is best understood through a Taoist philosophical framework, rather than the Greek philosophical lens through which it is usually refracted.

I've said before that God is the Everything that makes of itself nothing, whereas satan is the nothing that pretends it is everything. In dance, domination and control is a quick way to fail. Overpowering by either leader or follower ends in total disaster. There is also the vitality of vulnerability. Dancing with someone is to truly make yourself vulnerable to them. The creation of beauty through the manipulation of emptiness and the power of vulnerability...yea there is something truly cosmic in all of that.

Then there is the music. The sense of the music moving through you. Great dancing is about the step, but is also about the feeling. When you dance the music moves around you and through you. And if you get off time, you can really feel the whole reality of the thing fall apart around you. Dancing is the creation of an entire reality, inclusive of the physical, athletic act of the movement of the body and of the music itself, but beyond both.

Man, my friends, the older I get the more of the whole I seem to be experiencing and the more I both do and don't understand. I know that makes no sense, my philosopher friends should have a big problem with it, but it is the truth. Or at least I think it is. I see in the Cross and the Resurrection, the key to absolutely everything, and those reality are refracted back through various parts of my life, through art and beauty and nature and on and on.

There are times when so many questions weigh me down I can barely breathe. Determinism verses indeterminism, atheism vs theism, relativism vs objectivity and it all weighs me down. And then I get over it all and it is all so clear. It's like the song CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON or something. I just have faith, I just trust the immediate fact of my own soul and God's presence within it. And it all makes so much sense. It won't last forever, it never does. But it becomes more and more dominant over time. Maybe that is the road to freedom.