Dance as if Possessed
International Dance Day
Today is the international dance day, a global celebration of dance created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). 29th of April is also the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, who was the French dancer and ballet master. International theatre institute invites its members along with dancers, choreographers, dance students and enthusiasts to join them in a Gala Celebration. This Gala celebration happens in different cities every year. Just imagine the whole world dancing along, at the same time on this international day.
Dance, a key to merge into existence and that is why Osho says “By your dance, by your laughter, by your joy, you come close to me — because in dance you relax, the doer disappears. In singing you are lost. Whenever you are lost I can penetrate your being; whenever you are there then it is difficult, because you are closed.”
Osho defines the real dance and says “Dance, and don’t bother whether somebody likes your dance or not — that is not the question. If you can get dissolved into it, you are a dancer.”
Osho says “If people can dance a little more, sing a little more, be a little more crazy, their energy will be flowing more, and their problems will by and by disappear. Hence I insist so much on dance. Dance to orgasm; let the whole energy become dance, and suddenly you will see that you don’t have any head — the stuck energy in the head is moving all around, creating beautiful patterns, pictures, movement. And when you dance there comes a moment when your body is no longer a rigid thing, it becomes flexible, flowing. When you dance there comes a moment when your boundary is no longer so clear; you melt and merge with the cosmos, the boundaries are mixing. Watch a dancer — you will see that he has become an energy phenomenon, no longer in a fixed form, no longer in a frame. He is flowing out of his frame, out of his form, and becoming more alive, more and more alive. But only if you dance yourself will you know what really happens. The head inside disappears; again you are a child. Then you don’t create any problems.”
I’M NOT SKILLED IN ANY ART. POETRY SOMETIMES HAPPENS. DANCE HAPPENS THROUGH ME. I FEEL NOW THERE IS SUCH A THING AS THE ART OF LIVING, OF LIFE. HAVE YOU A COMMENT?
Amrita, that is the right way. Poetry cannot be done, it can only be allowed. Poetry is not a technique, you cannot learn it. It is a happening — so is all art. Skill is not the central core of any art. Skill is of course needed, but that is secondary. And if the essential is there, one learns the skill easily, it comes. If the essential is not there, then you can become very skillful, you can know all the technique of it, and still you will never become an artist, you will remain a technician.
And there is NO need to become a technician. Poetry should not be there as a performance — it should be a sheer joy, a celebration of life. You need not bother whether somebody comes to know about your poetry or not. The wild flower — nobody may come to know about it — still blooms! Be a wild flower. And don’t think of exhibitions. Dance as the dance comes to you. There is NO need to be skillful about it. If the skill starts coming to you slowly, slowly, without any effort on your part, that’s good; but there is no need to go in search of it.
You say: I AM NOT SKILLED IN ANY ART.
Then art is possible. The skilled person is a closed person. Have you ever heard of anybody becoming a poet by learning the art of poetry? In fact, the universities and the colleges put people off poetry. The more they teach, the more it becomes impossible for anybody to become a poet. They destroy something rather than create something.
The moment you start thinking about poetry as a craft, as skill, as technique, you have missed the point. Poetry is like love: you need not learn it. It is LOVE of life! When you are happy, it flows. When you are overflowing, it flows in many ways. Sometimes in colour — painting is poetry in colour. Sometimes in dance — dance is poetry in movement. Sometimes in song… and then by and by it starts transforming your whole life. Then your whole life becomes poetry. Buddha is poetry lived, so is Jesus.
You say: POETRY SOMETIMES HAPPENS.
Don’t hanker and don’t desire that it should happen at other times too. If you try for other times too, you will destroy the spontaneity of it. One has to wait. One has to be patient. One has to remain open… just like you wait for a guest: your doors open, you stand on the threshold and you go on looking down the road. Your heart is throbbing. But what else can you do? When the guest comes, the guest comes.
Poetry is a guest — become a host! But don’t try to pull, don’t try to manipulate — poetry cannot be manufactured. It is not man-made: it is God-made. All poetry has the signature of God; if it is true poetry then it is always God-made.
Yes, you can compose, you can manage to create an appearance of poetry, but it will be false, it will not have life in it, it will not have spirit in it. It will be dead, it will be soul-less.
Wait for those moments… they will be rare, once in a while. But it is good! Poetry is a rare phenomenon; it is not the ordinary rut. The dance will be rare, once in a while, but it HAS to be so! Allow it. When it comes, go totally into it. When it is not coming, don’t try to manage it. If you try to manage, you will start creating false things, pseudo things. And not only that: if you manage, those real moments of happening will stop. You will become closed to them. All desiring is destructive.
And you say: DANCE HAPPENS THROUGH ME.
Right, you are on exactly the right track, Amrita.
When dance happens through you, it is divine dance. When you dance, it is very ordinary, mundane; it has not the touch of the unknown in it; it has no inspiration. It is just gymnastics, a body exercise you have learnt a few steps and movements and you are twisting your body. You are not possessed by God! When a dance comes to you, you are possessed, you are no more yourself. God has penetrated you. Then there is a totally different quality to it. Then you are not the dancer: you are being danced. And the difference is immense. There is no effort on your part. You are simply taken over. You don’t know what is happening. You are neither the doer nor the knower, and then something great happens — something which is not of this earth. Those are the religious moments. A dancer can know God more easily than a thinker. And a painter can know God more easily than a businessman. And a poet is certainly closer to God than any politician. These are the people of God! The artist comes closest.
In a better world, with better understanding, the poet should be the only priest. Only he can be the priest — not the theologian, nor the trained priest, but a wild poet. That used to be so in primitive societies. It is still so in primitive societies. The madman is the priest, the poet is the priest — the inspired is the priest. He does not preach on his own; he simply lets himself go into the unknown. He becomes possessed. He dances a wild dance, he sings a wild song — for hours — he goes on dancing and dancing. And then there comes a moment when the man disappears and God takes possession. Then his eyes change — they roll upwards. Then his body has a totally different energy. It is felt by the people who are present there — the presence is felt, the transformation is felt. The man is meta-morphosed, the man is drunk with the divine, then he speaks — sometimes in a language that cannot be understood, sometimes in words which are not together, with no grammar, with no rules, he utters. But those few words that he utters can become the keys to the unknown, to God.
That’s how the Vedas were uttered. That’s how the Upanishads were uttered. That’s how Jesus is so beautiful!
I have never come across a greater poet than Jesus, although nobody thinks about him as a poet — but he is one of the greatest poets that has ever walked on the earth. Just see the poetry of his sayings — the Sermon on the Mount. Each single word is so full of poetry. He must have been possessed in that moment when he delivered that sermon; God must have spoken through him. He must have been one with God in those moments. It is not HE who is speaking; he is just a vehicle, a passage, a medium, a messenger. And that is the meaning of the word ‘Christ’, ‘Messiah’ — he brings the message. He allows the message to come to you; he becomes a bridge.
So when the poetry comes, let it come. Be thankful. When the dance comes, let it come. Be grateful. But never try to bring it. And I know — the human mind is greedy; it continuously wants more and more. Once something has happened, you want it to be repeated again and again. You will destroy it — don’t be greedy! With greed, God disappears. God is possible only with a non-greedy mind. Hope and wait and pray, but don’t be greedy.
And you ask: I FEEL NOW THERE IS SUCH A THING AS THE ART OF LIVING, OF LIFE TOO.
There is no separate art of life. If you know how to allow poetry, if you know how to allow dance, if you know how to allow love — if you know how to ALLOW, then you know the art of life. In the allowing, in the let-go, in the surrender, is the art of life. How not to be and to let God be — that is the only art of life. And one has to learn through many many ways. Poetry is one way, song is another, dance still another. Learn allowing. Learn receptivity. Learn becoming a womb. Learn to be feminine. Don’t be masculine. Don’t be aggressive. Don’t try to conquer God, life, love, truth! Don’t go like a soldier: go like a beloved, a woman.
Science is masculine, religion is feminine. That’s why science has destroyed the whole earth — the technology of it has been destructive. The ecology has been disrupted so badly that there seems to be no possibility of putting it right again. The circuit is broken everywhere. And the reason is that science became too much and lost track of the feminine qualities in human consciousness. Man became un-balanced, lopsided. Religion has to be brought back. And by ‘religion’ I mean the feminine; by ‘religion’ I mean receptivity — -not going to conquer, but waiting for the guest to come; not doing, but happening.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind
Chapter title: You Can’t Win ’em All
10 January 1978 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Dance, poetry, art, love, life, god’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4
- The Secret
- The Beloved
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1
- Om Mani Padme Hum
- The Messiah
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Come Follow To You, Vol 1
- Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
- The Transmission of the Lamp
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3
- The Razor’s Edge