When I first began to project myself into the world, my “anthem” (in the sense that it confronted others most directly with my nature) was “Revelation Song.” When played at the local mega-church, as I closed my eyes in meditation, the struggle of the cross arose within me. When I opened my eyes, I witnessed those around me huddling together, staring at me in frightened awe.
Today, the song that builds most immediately into sacred fugue is “King of Kings,” a succinct summation of Jesus’ ministry. The official Hillside Worship video brings the familiar tingle that comes with others “tuning in,” and continues to expand as I raise the volume.
Tuesday night, I followed this with Bethel’s “King of My Heart,” the extended video with spontaneous worship by Steffany Gratzinger. Having accepted that humanity is yet unwilling to follow where my heart leads, I have turned my attention to the natural world. The visions unlocked by the words took a corresponding turn. Rather than boats and meditative retreats, I was drawn into muffled ocean waters and a brook burbling through an ancient grove.
Still, those primal natural energies remained suspicious until the break. “You’re never going to let me down” Followed by “You are good.” Reversing the focus, I projected those out into the natural world, reviving the witness of Genesis 1: “It is good.” The imagery received from the future encouraged them. Yes, humanity is hurting you, but you will survive that exile from love.
The capstone species tumbled into awareness. Whales, dolphins, petrels, and kelp. Conifers, bears, and raptors. Wolves, felines, and cycads. Worms, voles, and grasses.
Abandoning my chair, I turn the lights off and laid down in bed. Awareness shifted. The Earth from a great distance. My heart opening and the deeper frequencies of the sun’s emanations pouring through. The encounter was resisted, and an irreconcilable pain arose within its chambers. Pulsing, massaging, pushing through – the pain built until I cried out aloud. And then a retreat, allowing the energies that had been projected to find a home within receptive life.
It doesn’t happen all at once.
Sunday brought a choice. The Super Bowl represented a global distraction that allowed me to integrate progress in dance. Again, Ecstatic Dance LA’s nature experience at Venice Beach seemed opportune. My desire was cemented by a frustration at church. Considering the opening verses of Jonah 4, the pastor provided an exhaustive summation of human wisdom – all of them in error. I built a wall around my frustration, but could not escape the response “Why am I not honored? I do the best that I can.”
No, you do not. I am here among you. All you need do is pick up the phone and ask.
Enough of people, their privilege and ritual delusions.
Venice was sunny, but blustery and cool. I followed the meditative piping on the headphones down to the waves, mimicking the terns hunting along the surf line. Dissolving into the elements, expanding into a space beyond words, free from order or dependency, simply witnessing the moment as it was.
Gathering that into the opening ceremony, I presented the elements to the community. Many were first-time attendees, not expecting experience that I generated. We made our way down to the shore, and it began. Clouds gradually blew across the sky, their progression impeded by the sun, which continued to peek through the verge throughout the dance. Temperatures dropped, but the women disrobed, sheer fabrics revealing more than seemed prudent. Many more of them than men, they danced together playfully. Navigating through the space, awareness of the signals sent was unavoidable, and reciprocated by sideways glances. Regretfully, desire is my point of entry.
Resonating with that vibration, I paused, raising arms, and projected heart-energy upwards and outwards. “You and your sisters need more power.”
Descending back into the dance, I followed the resonance to individual women. Refocusing their intentions, pouring energy into hearts, damming the overflow up into the crown chakra. The engagement was unfamiliar, many drifting away uncertainly.
Underneath, however, was a claim of primacy from a woman that I had encountered in Santa Monica. Sexual politics invaded my dance. The higher perspective allowed me to evade it. A flight of pelicans, rays of sun through the clouds contrasting with the sparkle on the waves and the orange flame on the horizon, sage-covered hills to the right arguing with construction behind and to the left, surging surf that pushed the dance up the shore. These resonated, in moments, with specific women, and the dissonance of primacy reentered the engagement.
Finally, I made my way up the shore, escaping the confusion of human desire, and danced with the elements.
Leaving early, the claims followed me. Prior to COVID, such had forced me out of the dance community. My immediate concern is to restore the biosphere that has been raped by human greed. Accepting sexual interest corrupts that goal. It serves, I have discovered, to validate greed’s primary justification: protection for mate and children. This was the thrust of the negotiation, focused on my trustworthiness. I countered, again and again, “I accomplished today what I set out to do.”
Still, it would not let me go, and so the verbalization became more precise, focusing on a woman who ventured out into the surf to immerse her bare legs. My interlocutor’s concerns were sexual, mine more abstract, concerning extension to her heart of the opening of the wader’s womb to the ocean. Visualizations followed detailing my participation in deepening that relationship, always impeded by suspicion. Brushing that aside, I testified, “I am the mechanism by which these energies adapt themselves to human limitations.”
Where does that end, though? This woman, having been given the sea off Venice Beach, does she receive the oceans? Recalling the message sent to their sisters, I explained that the ocean chooses its representatives. Each teaches the next, and in their glory the call to them men that will commit to the work of healing the world.
Yet, still more suspicion regarding my integrity, until I reached a point of judgment. “You are only proving your unsuitability to participate in the task set before me. My service is to Life itself, and the role that any woman plays will be determined by the degree of her commitment to that end. I must empower the virtue of your sisters, free from the pollution of thoughts that impugn our integrity.”