“You can only dance to the music you hear.”
That thought would not leave me alone! By 3:00 am, I had lost count of nagging reverberations in my mind, ensuring the desire to sleep was surrendered to a greater curiosity about my own internal workings. The relentless pursuit of my attention – like a message seeking some sign of its having been received – was evidence enough for me to follow its lead to the next layer.
“Reality’ is a dance.”
It occurs to me, as I look around at the many people who have moved through my life; or as I watch the evening news or follow many and varied blogs on a wide range of topics, I notice their reality – their dance of life – is no more or less ‘real’ than mine. The dances are varied, often unique, and yet all unfolding on the same dance floor of our shared existence. As much as we may want to believe that ‘reality’ is real and all else is illusion, I’m not so sure about that. I’m coming to conclude that the illusion is our certainty about ‘reality’, itself.
“What creates the music? And from where does it emerge?”
The music I hear determines the way my body moves. Where does the music come from?
I don’t think we consciously write the music – I think we listen for the music and in the listening, it finds us. In our mindful choice to surrender, the empty space that we become clears a path for us to listen…. and in that, we make way for the music to emerge. Often times, in its emergence, it does not come in what feels like a completed creation. It has moments and snippets and undertones and undulations…. and as we keep expanding the space making room for all of them to present, we are drawn to reach for some and allow others to simply drift by. One selection at a time, the music comes together in a new sound of Life… and our reality is redesigned. We do not do it – we watch and wait. In that trusting, it comes.
Having spent most of my adult life in provocative conversations with thousands of people, it never ceases to amaze me how – in one room – ten people could have such varying interpretations of a seemingly apparent ’truth’. I learned a very long time ago that ’truth’ is highly subjective as it moves through the perceptual filters of the human body and mind. There is no greater evidence of this than PTSD: such is not a terror remembered – it is a terror lived in the unfolding moment…. over and over again.
Reality is a dance. That dance unfurls itself as an expression of an internal music that leads the way. The dance follows the music – just like reality follows that inner truth. It is not an objective after-thought of our perception – it is a highly subjective projection of that perception. Indeed, perception is reality.
I think there comes a time in our life when we become conscious of the possibility that life can be different. And after we have actively struggled and failed to find that difference, we begin to wonder if it is even to be found. Perhaps, the outcome of our search is discovering that it will not be found but must be created. We surrender to the ‘not knowing’… and that ‘not knowing’ becomes the fertile ground from which new music begins to rise up from the deeper soils of our own Being. It’s in that emptiness and that stillness and that mindful choice for there to be absence of movement of any kind, that the invitation is sent… and something begins to stir. It does not usually – but can – explode into a full and complete new reality. More often than not, it just simply begins to waft through consciousness and we reach for pieces of it as it’s going by… putting one aside and then another and another…and we discover they have formed something unique. In that formation, we awaken to a meaning. And in that meaning, we are both motivated and inspired to bring its expression to life. In that moment, we feel the urge to dance!
Whatever that reality, any change to/of it can only come from, first, changing the music. Without that, any new dance to old music remains too great a challenge to sustain… and we quickly fall back into old patterns of expression. The yoke of our own habits of body, behaviour and mind is too great to sustain us through transition.
As the music forms, I can tell if it’s the music that I’m seeking – not because others are dancing to it or because I hold it as better than other music but because once again, I know and am enlivened by joy and kindness and compassion. This new music allows me to connect to my Self and to reach out and connect with others. This new dance is one that brings Life; that creates space into which new music can emerge. Thoughts of fear and struggle and anxiety leave me and I trust: it just ‘is’.
There is a ‘reality’ at every logical level of thinking; and each one of these is contained in the higher-order context of the level above it. That dance of Life is boundless, perpetual and in constant emergence… if we allow it to be so.