This simple yet profound question, “Who Am I?” can then reveal one’s self not to be the endless tyranny of the ego-personality, but objectless Freedom of Being- Primordial Consciousness in which all states and all objects come and go as manifestatons of the Eternal Unborn Self that YOU ARE. Adyashanti
Thorsen’s“Higher Ground” takes a penetrating look at mental illness in contemporary society. This work is a butoh performance for 5 dancers. the dance explores the struggle to maintain control in the face of madness, and the humanness and vulnerability of a soul coming to grips with their own unraveling. The inspiration for the work comes from the documentary “The Library of Dust” based on photographer David Masiel’s photos of the Oregon State Mental Hospital. Masiel’s photos document the decay of the hospital and the 3500 copper canisters which hold the remains of residents of the mental hospital who were unwanted in life and in death. The dance honors the journey for wholeness, and explores the interior life of our most vulnerable, the people on our streets, the resilience of our human spirit, and the courage to go on in the face of adversity.
“…where a woman’s deep life funds her mundane life. This old woman stands between the worlds of rationality and mythos. She is the knuckle bone on which these two worlds turn. This land between the worlds is that inexplicable place we all recognize once we experience it, but it’s nuances slip away and shape-change if one tries to pin them down, except when we use poetry, music, dance…or story.
There is speculation that the immune system of he body is rooted in this mysterious psychic land, and also the mystical, as well as all archetypal images and urges including our God-hunger, our yearning for all mysteries, and all the sacred instincts as well as those which are mundane. Some would say the records of humankind, the root of light and dark are also here. It is not a void, but rather the place of the Mist Beings where things are and also are not yet, where shadows have substace and substance is sheer.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It is important to see that the main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of ego’s constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgement, comfort or whatever it is that the particular ego is seeking.
“Beside the river was a grove of tall naked cotton woods- trees of great antiquity and enormous size- so large that they seemed to belong to a bygone age. They grew far apart, and their strange twisted shapes must have come about from the ceaseless winds that bent them to the east and scoured them with sand, and from the fact that they lived with very little water,- the river was nearly dry here for most of the year. The trees rose off of the ground at a slant, and forty or fifty feet above the earth all these white, dry trunks changed their direction, grew back over ther base line, Some split into great forks which arched down almost to the ground; some did notipped downward fork at all, but the main trunk d in a strong curve, as if drawn by a bowstring: and some terminated in a thick coruscation of growth, like a crooked palm tree. They were all living trees and yet they seemed to be of old, dead, dry wood, and had very scant foliage. High up in the forks, or at the end of a preposterous length of twisted bough, would burst a faint bouquet of delicate green leaves- out of all keeping with the lengths of seasoned white trunk and branches. The grove looked like a winter wood of giant trees, with clusters of mistletow growing among the bare boughs.”
Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather 1927