In many primitive societies...
The San or Bushmen of southern Africa still dance themselves into ecstasy.
The Masai of Kenya,the Bwiti of Gabon, the Gnawa of Morocco and the Sangomas (traditional healers) of South Africa all practice ritualistic trance dance.
Today I was in a trace. I felt one side of me pulling me to reality screaming "come on you've got so many things to do!" And another part of me begging "Stay here! its so comfortable!"
Curious about the feeling, I started looking up, What is a state of trance? Why must we feel caught between this world and the next? Are we just existing? Where am I?
I read about trance and one mans philosophy which I loved it explained as when you become a part of everything. How wonderful to be a part of everything. Also that there is such thing as trance dancing! Theres actually work shops for it. Its supposedly very healing.
"My boundaries dissolve and I lose my sense of self – a drop of water falling into the ocean, becoming part of everything. “I” am no longer there; my tiny, separate self melts into the infinite, all-embracing “WE”. Time becomes elastic to the point of timelessness. This is sometimes blissful, even ecstatic; sometimes meditative and tranquil. Dancing is my meditation, my gateway to an altered state of consciousness which I need just as much as I need to think and function as an individual in society.
I read that we fall into trances because our brain is a very large muscle and just like any muscle it needs time to rest, sleep isn't enough. So sometimes when we fall into a trance its just like our brain taking a miniature little nap only where awake.
There are many shades of trance experience, varying from light to very deep. People can fall into a light trance while doing things like washing our hands– we watching our hands work away, seemingly by themselves.
When people dance together in trance, we experience a sense of community. This is a celebration of life! It strengthens our bonds and we become not only more accepting of others, but also of ourselves.
Dancing is like coming home to a wonderland where we all belong – one infinite, shared consciousness.