Posts Tagged ‘fear’

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Freedom: Enter at Your Own Risk!

July 14, 2010

I’ve been contemplating the fear of freedom  lately. That seems to be the prImary stumbling block for people who have never attended an ecstatic dance. When I’ve attempted to explain the nature of the dance, and it’s challenging, I’ve had quite a number of responses like “I need to be drunk to dance,” “That’s scary,” “ There are no steps to learn?!” or silent looks of mistrust that say, “Danger… keep away!” It’s as if I am trying to seduce people with poison apples…not dance for heaven’s sake!

Has the world always been so frightened to step outside the box or is this a current issue? It deserves some exploration. Having grown up in California in the Sixties perhaps has warped my sense of the global Big Picture. Sausalito was full of artists, barefooted musicians hitchhiking, women rejecting their bras including my mom! The Seventies, coming into puberty, I witnessed crazy stories of swinging couples, wife-swapping and all manner of spiritual experimentation. Nude beaches were plentiful and have since disappeared. All this felt “normal” as I had nothing to compare it to as a youth. At the risk of sounding like an old fogie reminiscing about “the good ol’ days,” it felt like there was a more fertile atmosphere for encouraging risk-taking and freedom than I come across today.Especially in light of having encountered so many people terrorized by the idea of non-structured dance, yoga devotees in particular… go figure! After deeper analysis, it makes sense as yoga is linear, controlled, structured and ecstatic dance is non-linear, an open field, the chaos of creativity….hmmm…a wee epiphany… freedom = chaos or the possibility of it and that is part of the fear factor…. out of control. That belies a belief in a personal Pandora’s Box that would surely engulf one so better just keep a lid on it. How little we trust ourselves.

Having recently DJed a clothing optional dance journey for women, the revelation that it was a first-time experience for many to be even topless in public astonished me. Tears of gratitude poured down young faces. It was a totally healing and liberating event for all involved. Women of all ages and shapes celebrated themselves without inhibition, shedding clothing and self-repression. “Self” is the key word here. As adults, we can no longer blame family, religion, teachers or society for repression; it has been internalized and we are now our own jailers and judges.  Much easier to blame and not take responsibility for our liberation because that entails some deep soul-searching and work. And it might not feel great grappling with our self limiting behavior…I’ll deal with it next New Year’s resolution… yeah, right…

Who is afraid of freedom? The ego. The ego is afraid of looking like a fool, being shamed, embarrassed, not knowing, others’ opinions, being exposed. It is the internalized judge and jailer. The sad part is that the ego structure is a fiction and yet we constantly fall for it’s horse manure. It keeps us small. Tenderly bring awareness to judgement of self and others and investigate the truth of your beliefs. The Pandora’s Box is a mirage of our own making and we therefore also have the power to un-make it.

I write this to encourage us all to take the loving risk to question our own authority and be free. It doesn’t mean having to get naked necessarily but on a spiritual level it does… what have you got to lose? Only the ego that operates on fear. Burn the bra that binds you!

“You cannot control an ecstatic man; it is impossible. You can only control a miserable man. An ecstatic man is bound to be free. Ecstasy is freedom. He cannot be reduced to being a slave. You cannot destroy him so easily; you cannot persuade him to live in a prison. He would like to dance under the stars and he would like to walk with the wind and he would like to talk with the sun and the moon. He will need the vast, the infinite, the huge, the enormous. He cannot be seduced into living in a dark cell. You cannot make a slave out of him. He will live his own life and he will do his thing. This is very difficult for the society. If there are many ecstatic people, the society will feel it is falling apart, its structure will not hold anymore.” ~ Osho

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