The Revolution Issue

If I Can’t Dance It’s Not My Revolution

Shake yourself into ecstatic truth!
Push and Pull by Janine Gordon
Push and Pull by Janine Gordon

IN THE BEGINNING OF HUMAN CULTURE, PEOPLE KNEW HOW TO SHAKE THEIR BOOTIES AND IN DOING SO, THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE WERE REVEALED.

Then along came language, social hierarchy, overinflated beliefs and the mirages of under-standing. Whereas human beings embodied the most important truths in the beginning, it all went to hell when we stilled our bodies and fed too many words to our minds.

Look at the oldest library in the world – the rock art of southern Africa. What we see are images of people dancing themselves into ecstasy. Many generations later the elders of the oldest living culture on Earth today, the Kalahari Bushmen, still know that the electrified body inspired by heightened feelings – rather than anything remotely related to a calm and still presence – is the master key to being fully alive.

What is most important has little or nothing to do with words and linguistic understanding. As the Bushmen say, words can trick us into believing anything. With word trickery we may end up worshipping a pile of elephant dung or a heap of metal. Somewhere between the early cradle of civilization and the internet, our species made the colossal mistake of proclaiming that words, theories and understandings are the roads to salvation and happiness. If this is true or even partially true, it means we have been misled for over a thousand years. The word games have led us to posit one form of gender, race, culture, nation, or religion as superior to others – thereby justifying any and all acts of arrogant greed, war and destruction of life and planet.

Religions and philosophies can never deliver the truth we most deeply desire. Our born destiny is the same as the first humans – to release our bodies, our whole beings, into feeling and expressing the deepest joy and ecstasy. In other words, dancing ourselves into heaven, enlightenment, peace and love. If there is anything history teaches, it is that words and understandings aren’t giving us anything but more of the same bullshit. We need to start up the wild drumming and shake off the words and stuck thoughts.

Push and Pull by Janine Gordon

If we don’t free ourselves to be ecstatically tuned and happy, we may continue going to hell while taking the planet down with us.

What does it mean to sound the revolution? Here’s a few teasers that provide some hints – remember, it can’t be said in words:

  • You gotta go beyond dance: no choreography, let the body be free to move without purpose.
  • Recognize that whatever the great mystery or god is, it hates all reasonable and tamed definitions.
  • Meditation without wild ecstasy is a dead end.
  • Don’t sit still when you are excited. Get up and move!
  • The wisdom of the East is as ignorant as the wisdom of the West. Look where both have gotten us. Let’s consider the wisdom of Mother Africa, the ancestral culture that honored rhythms more than words.
  • The revolution is through sounding it and allowing yourself to be fully shaken.
  • The trouble with gurus is that they don’t have a rhythm, they don’t shake and they don’t wiggle their ass.

This is the revolution: Shake everything up – your body, mind, heart, ideas, understandings and everyday routines. Shake yourself into ecstatic truth.

Bradford Keeney, PhD, chronicles the world’s healing practices in his 11-volume encyclopedia, Profiles of Healing. To learn more about the old ways of ecstatic shaking, visit shakingmedicine.com

141 comments on the article “If I Can’t Dance It’s Not My Revolution”

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Ulises Sorel

A call for wild ecstatic experience

"Shaking medicine is the trembling, shaking, and quaking associated with the experience of ecstatic bliss. This major transformative experience is an entry into the numinous – the mysterium tremendum et fascinans. Arguably all religions and pre-religions initially felt this ecstasy and regarded it as an awakening of the original mysteries, the most extraordinary experiences possible for a human being.

The emergence of social institutions to house ecstatic rapture - whether as temples, ashrams, churches, synagogues, medicine societies, shaman guilds, or pagan societies - resulted in the quieting of the originating experience in exchange for uniform narrative understanding and maintenance of social hierarchy. The ecstatic experience was sacrificed for normalized belief and group conformity. This was true for shamanism as well as the major world religions.

In the sociology of religion this social process is called the “routinization” of the founding charismatic experience. Wild ecstatic experience is replaced by standardized ritual that overturns spontaneous play and improvisation. Guided imagery, clichéd patter, and loyalty oaths overtake raw unadulterated creativity, free expression, and heightened emotions.

The shaking traditions propose that we most deeply thirst and hunger for an ongoing immersion in ecstatic experience. The source of this shaking bliss is what the Ju/'hoan Bushmen call n/om. They wisely never give a totalizing definition of n/om, but respectfully allude to it being a mystery responsible for bringing forth life’s vitality and acknowledge that its root is open-ended limitless love. When you have n/om, it makes you shake with ecstatic delight. For members of textually constrained cultures, it is often difficult to loosen the cognitive habits and tightly constructed belief systems that inhibit fully awakened feelings.

We rarely are encouraged to stand under the sky with raw and naked presence, available to be hit by ecstatic lightning. Even most shamanic cultures, old and new, became “tamed” and conducted in a calm routinized manner. The shamans of old were wild, unpredictable, and appeared out of control. No one, including the shaman, knew what would happen in a ceremony. The so-called “spirits” took over. The same is true of early religious ceremonies. Then Buddhism chased out the Bon shamans, Christians went after their ecstatics, and shamans became reduced to hereditary entitlement or homogenized, standardized training.

Shaking medicine is a call for wild ecstatic experience. The deep wild involves hyper-complexity, the greater mind of nature that holds our psyche as a small part of a more encompassing interdependent though always-changing network of relations.

We can choose to move toward the unpredictable, unknowable, and untamable wild. The problem began when someone said that words and meanings must explain, domesticate, and cover up wild experience. Within this hegemony of words, we demystified whatever was mysterious and walked away from the wild in order to become semantically tamed. We sacrificed our link-to-the-universe-heart for a delusional body-less-head-trip that has imprisoned us far too long.

Consider a re-entry into the wild. Become a wild whatever you want to call it because the name is less important than the experience of being wild in this natural though always uncommon way of giving priority to mystery over mastery.

In these challenging and complex postmodern times, shaking medicine is arguably best held by the aesthetic freedom granted by the performing arts. Some explorers of the human spirit are walking away from overly rigid institutions, explanatory frameworks, and reductionist training (whether spiritual, therapeutic, or educational) in order to invent a shape-shifting stage and ceremonial ground for the liberating performance of wild ecstatic transformation."
b.k.

Ulises Sorel

A call for wild ecstatic experience

"Shaking medicine is the trembling, shaking, and quaking associated with the experience of ecstatic bliss. This major transformative experience is an entry into the numinous – the mysterium tremendum et fascinans. Arguably all religions and pre-religions initially felt this ecstasy and regarded it as an awakening of the original mysteries, the most extraordinary experiences possible for a human being.

The emergence of social institutions to house ecstatic rapture - whether as temples, ashrams, churches, synagogues, medicine societies, shaman guilds, or pagan societies - resulted in the quieting of the originating experience in exchange for uniform narrative understanding and maintenance of social hierarchy. The ecstatic experience was sacrificed for normalized belief and group conformity. This was true for shamanism as well as the major world religions.

In the sociology of religion this social process is called the “routinization” of the founding charismatic experience. Wild ecstatic experience is replaced by standardized ritual that overturns spontaneous play and improvisation. Guided imagery, clichéd patter, and loyalty oaths overtake raw unadulterated creativity, free expression, and heightened emotions.

The shaking traditions propose that we most deeply thirst and hunger for an ongoing immersion in ecstatic experience. The source of this shaking bliss is what the Ju/'hoan Bushmen call n/om. They wisely never give a totalizing definition of n/om, but respectfully allude to it being a mystery responsible for bringing forth life’s vitality and acknowledge that its root is open-ended limitless love. When you have n/om, it makes you shake with ecstatic delight. For members of textually constrained cultures, it is often difficult to loosen the cognitive habits and tightly constructed belief systems that inhibit fully awakened feelings.

We rarely are encouraged to stand under the sky with raw and naked presence, available to be hit by ecstatic lightning. Even most shamanic cultures, old and new, became “tamed” and conducted in a calm routinized manner. The shamans of old were wild, unpredictable, and appeared out of control. No one, including the shaman, knew what would happen in a ceremony. The so-called “spirits” took over. The same is true of early religious ceremonies. Then Buddhism chased out the Bon shamans, Christians went after their ecstatics, and shamans became reduced to hereditary entitlement or homogenized, standardized training.

Shaking medicine is a call for wild ecstatic experience. The deep wild involves hyper-complexity, the greater mind of nature that holds our psyche as a small part of a more encompassing interdependent though always-changing network of relations.

We can choose to move toward the unpredictable, unknowable, and untamable wild. The problem began when someone said that words and meanings must explain, domesticate, and cover up wild experience. Within this hegemony of words, we demystified whatever was mysterious and walked away from the wild in order to become semantically tamed. We sacrificed our link-to-the-universe-heart for a delusional body-less-head-trip that has imprisoned us far too long.

Consider a re-entry into the wild. Become a wild whatever you want to call it because the name is less important than the experience of being wild in this natural though always uncommon way of giving priority to mystery over mastery.

In these challenging and complex postmodern times, shaking medicine is arguably best held by the aesthetic freedom granted by the performing arts. Some explorers of the human spirit are walking away from overly rigid institutions, explanatory frameworks, and reductionist training (whether spiritual, therapeutic, or educational) in order to invent a shape-shifting stage and ceremonial ground for the liberating performance of wild ecstatic transformation."
b.k.

Ulises Sorel

"...we should be embracing and nurturing the modern forms which are translating the ancient rite into structures that will support us in the future. We should seek to nurture the emerging cross-cultural fusions of art, music and personal exploration into ever wider and more inclusive forms. For it is these that in the decades to come will continue to enlighten,, into a state that can rightly be called “civilization”.

http://tetrahension.com/eleusis/

Ulises Sorel

"...we should be embracing and nurturing the modern forms which are translating the ancient rite into structures that will support us in the future. We should seek to nurture the emerging cross-cultural fusions of art, music and personal exploration into ever wider and more inclusive forms. For it is these that in the decades to come will continue to enlighten,, into a state that can rightly be called “civilization”.

http://tetrahension.com/eleusis/

Matthew D Herrmann

I appreciate the replies but forgive me if I don't understand where you're trying to go with them...

Matthew D Herrmann

I appreciate the replies but forgive me if I don't understand where you're trying to go with them...

Ulises Sorel

I see you, Matthew...

Again:
"Let's stop the wording game. Turn words inside out. Give them less power to hypnotically induct habituated understandings. ACT RADICALLY DIFFERENT IN ORDER TO SEED AN UNEXPECTED EXPERIENCE: HATCH A SURPRISING OUTCOME."

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