If an issue becomes polarized into good vs bad, then real communication is lost. If identifying a block becomes merely the mapping out of judgement, instead of releasing the block, then the 'understandings' reinforce the conditioning that constitutes a block to the natural flow of our being.
Perhaps this is why so many no longer meet in the dancing? - because of a history of (and thus an anticipation of), blame and judgement?
There are a number of indicators for health that are not a matter of the absence of symptoms, but a tangible presence; the qualities of Life.
I am aware there are different 'gazes' that are natural and appropriate for their respective occasions. There are dances that are not social and which call forth a centred interior awareness.
But even so, I stand by my observations (of an avoidance of relationship in the dance). In part I feel a pervading culture of fear and blame that is like a gestalt of our times, and I see it affecting almost everyone either to reinforce fear and control ... or to force its abandonment.
There are a number of ways in which so many dance so much less than their actual presence - presenting an acceptable 'joining' in terms of form but not really joining in Spirit - in living and present movement of inspiration and purpose.
And I feel that there are many who have settled for cherrypicking the 'bits that they like' and are willing to go through the motions of what they don't care for. This being a mentality of separation, comparisons and judgements - and not a circle of joining through music and dance at all.
In this sense I feel that what once was a ritual space in which to take off our ego's along with our worldly habits and tensions, so as to be renewed in Spirit - has become somewhat absorbed or subverted to being a sophisticated presentation. I'm not 'picking' on the dance in this. I see it happen to every new movement or inspiration.
Is it 'good or bad'? - Or is it an opportunity for growth and awakening? We each make our choices - and live by them.
And the reason I raise the issue is simply to invite more conscious attention and appreciation of the power of the dance when we join through it rather than get something for ourselves each.
Being someone who is generally open, receptive and appreciative, in the dance, I enjoy the oneness of purpose that I can feel with others, and I enjoy noticing and joining with the joy, shine or radiance of anyone who brings their presence into the circle in any degree, and I appreciate the moments of spontaneous shared welcome that for me are not merely personal, but the moments of the touch of an unselfconscious quality of being.
In the last post I called them 'darshan' moments - but namaste moment is also apt. To not only enjoy, but to be known in our joy - without inhibition of denial, recoil or avoidance. This is never a matter of will so much as willingness; to let the movement of our being be a fullness of experience that is never altogether private of subjective - but always has a quality of shared or unified being.
At some of Friedel's dancing, I noticed the cultural focus discouraged social connection and focused toward a centredness that was transpersonal. I found it excellent for bringing forth the 'inner dancer' into embodiment - as a serious undertaking of willingness to work!
Yet without grounding in the heart, this could become a culture of personal achievement; self-serious, special and aloof. At the last such occasion, a few of us sang one of the songs live for a dance she had choreographed (Raglan Road) and the heart quality in the singing enabled the witnessing or sharing of the transpersonal through the personal. Such indeed is truly a moment of fulfilment!
Ritual dance sessions can be a vehicle of sharing depth - but can also remain on the surface in somewhat self serious compliance.
Social dances can be deep fun, but they can also be a sort of conditional high without much grounded connection - such as to lose the shared attention of a circle into an immediate chatting in energy overflowing.
Consciousness either tends to use the form or stop at the form.
Transcendence or gratification.
When we stop at the form we have - in my terms at least - fallen asleep in distraction.
The distracted busy or mesmerized mind is 'elsewhere' and unavailable. It does not even realize it is 'engaged' until an awareness rises from a fresh perspective. I don't say this as a 'bad' - but simply to remind us that the human consciousness is expert at forgetting its true nature in the world of its own conditioning.
Anything that serves to re-mind and re-member us in Life, as conscious appreciation and gratitude, is part of our healing - that then extends in our lives to others. Because that's the way life works unless we break or block communication.
When there is a block, energy builds up as part of the healing or unblocking, and if denied, generates crises toward healing - yet humankind tends to dig ever deeper into a personal wilfulness or obstinacy in trying to overcome an adversity, rather than pausing reaction in order to look or listen more honestly.
Where there is a block there is the 'poor in Spirit' - but where the block is undone or passed through is the blessing of the 'Kingdom of Heaven' (I know you and others don't personally lean to such a term Laura - but it points originally to our essential and shared divinity, Now... and not to a Christian commentary).