“The Divine Dance sketches a beautiful choreography for a life well lived. In our joy or our pain, true life is always relational, a flow, a dance.” — Bono
What I call a dance, Florence Shinn, artist, author, metaphysical teacher, calls a game. In her book The Game of Life and How to Play It, she writes that most people consider life a battle, but it is not, it is a game.
Whether you call it a game or a dance please know that in this post I’m using the terms interchangeably. I’m speaking to the principle that in all creation there is a divine pattern, sometimes called God’s perfect idea, perfect pattern or blueprint.
When you think of the acorn that grows into an oak tree, or a seed that grows into a watermelon, or bulb that grows into a tulip or rose, It becomes easy to recognize and accept that there is a divine pattern in all creation, including in you and me.
Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity in his book, Keep a True Lent also asserts this idea, he writes, “…I am one with the principle of never-ceasing growth and development toward the fulfillment of God’s perfect idea that is firmly fixed in all creation.”
Perfect and Evolving
At the same time that this perfect pattern is within us, we are evolving or growing into the perfect expression of it. Yes, and the journey of growth is a dance of being in the world and yet not of it.
Let me ask you:
Do you feel there is a place in the universe that you are called to fill but you’re not sure what it is?
Do you believe the universe is for you and always has your best interest at heart?
Do you long for more ease and flow and less efforting and struggle in your life?
Do you believe that all things ultimately work for good?
If you said yes to more than one of these questions, Shinn offers this powerful insight for consideration, “There is a perfect picture of this [divine pattern] in the superconscious (Source, Divine Mind, Spirit, Kingdom, God) mind. It usually flashes across the conscious as an unattainable ideal – ‘something too good to be true.'”
“In reality, it is man’s true destiny (or destination) flashed to him from the Infinite Intelligence which is within himself.
She echoes the classic example of the person who climbs up their career ladder only to find when they get to the top, the latter is leaning against the wrong wall.
My Imaginary Playground
There are many forms of dance. Dance can be used as therapy as a means to celebrate joy or as a support to move through grief. When I think about dance as it relates to the spiritual journey and balance, it reminds me of square dancing where someone is appointed to call the steps that are to be taken by the dancers.
In most American forms of square dance, the dancers are prompted or cued through a sequence of steps by a caller. Here is what I find interesting and would like to loosely correlate to the divine pattern within each of us.
I invite you to join me in my imaginary playground to play with the idea of the Universal Divine Perfection within as the “Caller in your life. This Caller nudges you with aspiration, desires, and guidance to help you get to and through the next stage of your own personal evolution and growth.
Most of you are familiar with the phrase, it takes two to tango, often use in reference to a conflict situation. I am using it in reference to the concept that we are co-creators with the perfect idea that is within, and in the dance of life, there is a call and a response desired to the call.
Kensho and Satori – Two Paths To Life Growth
Satori on the other hand, is growth by awakening; referred to by some as the illumination that might happen at any moment in time.
Isn’t that what we all want, growth by illumination? Since for me that happens only occasionally, I prefer to listen and respond to the gentle nudges of the Universe for growth. As you might imagine this requires quieting the mind and listening.
In my endeavor to be in that space of listening, I have found it helpful to frequently affirm that I am open, receptive, and responsive to the activity of the Holy Spirit in my life. And yet I still have those moments when I forget. Again I refer to it as a dance.
The Call and Your Response
As in square dancing, we learn the spiritual principles (basic steps). But we don’t always clearly know the choreography that the divine pattern
within is pulsating (calling) — as our deep desires — wanting to express through us. If we’re willing we get to create the mental, emotional and motivational environment through which that which is potent and possible and latent within us can come forward and express in our life as our life.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t help that our brains have evolved to hold onto negative thoughts like Velcro and let the positive thoughts slip off like Teflon. The good news is, the kingdom of the realm of right ideas or the divine pattern patiently waits for our response to Its call.
Beckwith reminds us that real thinking is about paying attention. He writes, “The idea of turning within is not really a technique, it is the idea of losing interest in the thoughts that are passing through our awareness and the world and the experiences they reflect. It is beginning to hear and to be captured and fall in love with the transcendent of what is possible in our life as our life.”
Jesus said it this way, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any person will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and will sup [dance] with him/her and he/she with me. (Bracketed word added.) Rev 3:20
Are you still playing with me in my imaginary playground?
Wikipedia offers this excerpt regarding dances: “Dances are designed by applying one or both of these fundamental choreographic methods:
Improvisation, in which a choreographer provides dancers with a score that serves as guidelines for improvised movement and form . . . Improvisational scores typically offer wide latitude for personal interpretation by the dancer.
Planned choreography, in which a choreographer dictates motion and form in detail, leaving little or no opportunity for the dancer to exercise personal interpretation.”
Do you believe there is an overall arcing divine plan for our lives, as I do, and yet because of free will we have choice to improvise. As partners with the divine pattern (Caller) within, we have latitude in how we choose to respond to the call. It could be as slow as a waltz, as fast as a salsa or anywhere in-between.
The Divine Dance
I love the thought of a divine dance. In Father Richard’s new book, The Divine Dance, he writes, “Spirituality is whatever it takes to keep your heart space open. That is daily, constant work because your ego and the events of life want to close it down. You have to work to live in love, to develop a generosity of spirit, a readiness to smile, a willingness to serve instead of to take…”
I do believe it’s possible to enter the divine dance and stay in the music of the dance longer whether it’s joyful or painful with our spiritual practices. That can happen when we choose to dance with the intention to respond to the call.
In order to hear the call, Father Richard makes this suggestion, “Each morning you take your inner temperature, observing if your energy
is loving and flowing outward or negative and sucking in. Contemp-lative prayer helps us witness and recognize these outer flows and inner suckings.”
Ask and Receive
If you’re asking how can I be more sensitive and receptive to the Divine Pattern that is within me, here are some recommendations:
Practice asking. The scripture tells us to ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened. When we ask, we become available to hear. When we seek we become available to find. When we knock the door is opened because it is always open.
Practice mindfulness. Pay attention. Journal your dreams, listen to the music that’s humming in your mind and heart or on the radio, notice what books attract your attention or may fall off the shelf in front of you, practice meditation, get out in nature, be in a spiritual community, etc.
Practice being in the space of openness, allowing, receiving, and surrendering.
I love hearing from you. At what stage of call and response are you?
Would you comment in the comment box on your practice of responding to the inner call of your divine pattern? There are many more practices that can evoke an inner and outer response and I would love to hear yours.
As we know, we are what we think all day long. Let’s align ourselves with the Infinite Source of Life and let Life flow through us as right action and true expression.
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