Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Creation-Destruction Story

As exhausted and humorous as it might sound, I had a revelation on the dance floor.

Recently, I've been doing research into different religions, as I'm sometimes apt to do. I had done a study on Buddhism and was looking for the next thing I wanted to explore. I was about to open the books on Islam when I ran across something that sparked my interest even more.

The article was about the Natraja, the dancing Shiva. The icon is highly recognizable, though I had never actually stopped to explore its meaning.

Shiva is one of, if not the, primary figure in Hinduism. Shiva represents one element of a divine trinity. This aspect symbolizes destruction, but not in a bad way. A useful way of thinking about this destruction is that he destroys evil, or destroys during the act of creation. This concept of destruction as the act of creation is quite interesting, and we'll come back to it. The figure of Shiva supposedly dances the world into and out of existence, while standing upon the vanquished demon of ignorance. He holds each of his hands in a gesture that exclaims a message to the universe. I totally recommend researching the hand gestures.

Anyway, I was speaking of destruction as being the act of creation... while it might seem counter-intuitive, when I read about this, I recognized why this action is represented by dance. While engaged with the music, I feel this spiritual connection with something larger than myself. This musical force fills the room, and literally moves within the air as the beat sounds. This beat represents a form of message from the musician... unless it's Puff Daddy, in which it then represents a message that some other musician created.

However, a dancer creates a message through her movements by using the music created by the musician. In this sense, with only one movement, the dancer destroys the original message and creates her own. The new message can be similar to the intended message from the musician, but it is now colored, or completely altered, by the dancers interpretation. One instance of this is taking a song about purity or abstinence and dancing in a very sexual way. The song suddenly resembles something totally unintended by the musician.

All this is done within one movement and is actually two aspects of the same action. Creation as destruction. Dancing the world into, and out of, existence.

Probably dancing to Brittany Spears

This duality is common in many Eastern spiritual systems, such as the ying-yang in Taoism. Personally, I think that this thread of thought leads down some very insightful paths. One of which, funny enough, has lead me to a decorating idea for my new apartment.

How gay is that?!?

I've decided to take my hard-learned insights to the working of reality and use them to coordinate my bedroom. I've decided to go with an 'origins of inspiration' theme for the bedroom, which takes a tropical-colonial style. The artwork is all inspiration themed, and I have a few artifacts from my travels to various ruins plus France (which I consider a ruin... but in a different context.)

All these put together, I hope to create a new sort of space. I hope that I can really use this space to reflect and recuperate from the stresses of the world... and maybe I'll get into meditation... and maybe start eating more humus... or join Earth-First and raise organic crops...


At 8:38 PM, Blogger David said...

you should check out my blog It's pretty depressing but I think you'll see where I've been in last 2 years. I haven't talked to you in forever and it's because I was addicted to drugs. so ... write something on my blog or write me at

David Presberry


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