October 14, 2014 by synapticwolf
Many of us are used to inhabiting our bodies like a human riding a horse. The
rider – although ultimately at the mercy of the horse – tells the animal what to do. The animal usually obeys, but when the communication breaks down, there can be horrific results. In the meanwhile, the more the rider trusts the horse, the less control is needed and the more the horse can exercise its natural wisdom.
Some of us, however, spend more time in what Ken Wilber calls Centauric Consciousness. In a centaur, horse and rider are thoroughly integrated. There’s no “telling” the horse what to do. No disconnect between the two beings. A person experiencing this level of consciousness submits themself fully to the involuntary aspects of being human.
From the man himself:
To accept the involuntary as yourself does not mean you can control the involuntary. You will not be able to make your hair grow faster or your stomach stop grumbling or your blood flow backwards. Rather, by realizing these processes are just as much you as the voluntary ones, you give up that chronic but fruitless program and take charge of creation, to obsessively manipulate and compulsively control yourself and your world. Paradoxically, this realization brings about an expanded sense of freedom.
Your willful ego can consciously deal with perhaps two or three things at anyone time. Yet your total organism, without any help from the ego, is at this moment coordinating literally millions of processes at once, from the intricacies of digestion to the complexities of neurotransmission to the coordination of conceptual information.
This requires wisdom infinitely greater than the superficial tricks of which the ego is so proud. The more we are capable of resting the centaur, the more we are capable of founding our lives on and giving our lives over to, this wider state of natural wisdom and freedom.
Ken Wilber, No Boundaries
As a dancer, I’ve noticed that the most compelling performers are those who thoroughly amalgamate their bodies – each toe knows exactly what each shoulder is doing – not because they are communicating at lightning speed, but because they are part of the same being. And I’ve further noticed that the only way to bring myself to that state is to merge body and mind into a single, cohesive unit. Mind is no longer centered in the brain, but diffused equally throughout the biological matrix in which *I* exist.
As a flow artist, I have an additional tool in reaching that psycho spiritual space of total fusion. My props are both a point of focus in achieving integration and a yardstick for determining how complete that integration is.
In order for props to be incorporated into body – flow state achieved – the mind and body first have to be seamlessly combined. Check out this picture and notice that the very fact that the rider is focused on his archery is bringing him into – as opposed to onto – his horse in a way that makes him look an awful lot like a centaur.
Focus, relax, release control.