Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dancing the Body (repost)

¡Hola! Everybody,
I could get used to walking to work, y’all! LOL today, I get my mattress and my cable hooked up. I’ve been spending money like it’s going out of style! I have to get a computer desk and I’ll be set. Hopefully, I’ll inherit a couch by the end of the month...

Because of transition, it’s extremely difficult for me to post new material...

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-=[ Dancing the Body ]=-

"Let’s get retarded/ Let’s get retarded in here... ”
-- Black-Eyed Peas

[Note: before pressure from forces of political correctness, the song Let’s Get it Started was titled Let’s Get Retarded]

Popular music is deeply informed by the African worldview. From this perspective, the body is not separate from the brain. From the point of view of the holistic the body is the “large” brain.

When Black-Eyed Peas incite you to “get retarded,” they are not referring to an intellectual capacity. They are inciting you toward an experience of the totality of yourself. They are challenging you to entertain the idea that your body is a fit focus for artistic and spiritual attention.

In our culture, we tend to live inside of our heads all the time. It’s as if we live from the “neck up,” as a friend of mine likes to say. In living in this overly analytical and brain-focused manner, we lose sight of our intuitive bodies -- of the power of our bodies to enlighten and guide us. In fact, current research on brain function shows that what we call our “brains” aren’t really in our heads. There’s a historical Christian foundation for this disgust with the body in puritanical societies.

You think I’m crazy? Well, next time you go out dancing watch an accomplished salsa dancer, or any other dancer, for that matter. A good salsa dancer, for example, is beyond technique. In abandoning herself to the ancient rhythms of the Orishas, she enters a flow state of bliss. In those peak moments, she experiences a oneness, a creative and spiritual union. That’s the brain/ mind/ body at work.

That’s why we all love the dance. It’s a metaphor and tool for engaging the spiritual within us -- to “get retarded” means to stop chasing our thoughts around like so many tails. It means to get out of our heads and down into the grounded reality of our bodies.

And you know what? The ancient West Africans (and many other ancient cultures) got it right! The mind/ brain is not solely the province of the “head.” There is brain tissue in the gut area, for example (behind the stomach -- ever had a “gut feeling”?), chemical reactions throughout the body are constantly occurring, informing the mind/ brain and vice versa. Therefore, the “brain” is not something inside of our head, rather our brain/ mind is part of a process of our whole – our consciousness -- our “felt sense.

So, here we are finding out the body is the brain and that we forsake the body at peril of losing touch with the intuition and eternal wisdom of the body.


“Let’s get retarded

Let’s get retarded, in here... ”



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