“As we see the joy being expressed in others we realize it is safe to let our guards down and let that same joy which animates us come out and this gives us the strength, the juice, to go back into our lives into the struggles of living in this world with our cores nurtured and restored.”
I am a huge fan of TED talks – which is basically a forum for all sorts of people to come together to share ideas. On that note, a friend of mine stumbled upon a TED talks that goes in depth about transitional festivals and rave culture. It is an absolutely incredible talk that hypothesizes that the ritual of dancing outside until dawn actually is a process of healing, a spiritual and community endeavor and something absolutely en-grained in our history and essential for today’s population. So with that I will leave you with the video and below I will post a chunk of Jeet Kei Leung’s talk….
“The power of music….which we typically classify as entertainment or leisure activity in our society, but the power of music to consistently create new culture where there was none before. New forms of music emerge, they articulate, evoke something essential about the human experience and around that humans cluster and form culture or more properly subculture with shared values, practices, codes, aesthetics, identity, world-view and story. In this way music continues to speak to the deepest spirit of what it is to be human. That insistent thirst for more freedom, more expression to push against the boundaries. So in the example we are talking about today this first started with the tools for the new music. These were samplers, synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines, digital effects. While initially dismissed as passing fads, as pale replicas of the real thing, in fact these were new models of working with frequencies, intended to be transmitted through a new breed of full spectrum sound systems, in the hands of humans these tools birthed electronic dance music. Where layers of hypnotic and funky rhythm and bass and melody and effects were woven to induce an ecstatic state that is less about the human stories sung of love and loss and more about some shared psychic space, some primordial remembrance, perhaps, of the telepathy we experienced back when we were all fish swimming in unison and now the music is our ocean. So for the post war generations it was rock and roll that burst forth with spontaneous wildness and possibility and broke the choke-hold of Puritan, Protestant paradigm on Western culture, but when rave culture birthed out of electronic dance music, what this represented through a new generation, first in the UK, and the east coast of America and then the world was nothing less than the full return of the ecstatic tradition into Western culture, and where as rock had retained the idolatry of the band as quasi religious spectacle, rave tended to emphasize the communal and participatory nature of the dance, trance ritual. And when we take a look, do a little research, we find out that in fact, this is the oldest way of being….used for spiritual and shamanic practices among countless cultures for time immemorial, some suggest perhaps the roots of religion itself. An ethnographic study conducted in 1962, found that 92% of small-scale societies encouraged some kind of ecstatic trance, most often through prolonged dancing or chanting.