Poem by Jody Levy

March 26, 2011

She calls to the wild man
dancing naked by the shores
of the ocean that she is,
He who speaks with tigers,
whose muscles move with
slow liquid grace.
He who no longer fears
his darkness, or
the stillness of the earth, or
the sometimes suffocating pull
of her relentless rhythms,
gravities and tides,
He who has made his peace
with Kali and the void,
he who no longer needs
to run or hide
from the sweet source of power
calling him from deep


When Jesus said, “Enter ye as a child into the kingdom of heaven,” I’m sure he didn’t mean for us to imitate children but to be naked as a child.  To throw down our masks and find our real face, a face that knows no shame, a fearless face.  To retrieve our original innocence with no pretensions or plans, no past or future, just a fiery spirit.

This is soul retrieval, something we all need to do in order to heal an ancient and universal wound.  Thousands of years ago, some men got together and, in the name of God, separated all matters having to do with the spirit from the flesh.  Flesh was denigrated and the body became the enemy, its energies, passions, instincts, whims, and impulses suddenly suspect.

This was a tragic event in the history of western civilization.  In the divorce of spirit from flesh, we lost respect for the body and eventually we forgot that it was part of our sacredness.  In the process, we also lost repect for all things feminine, which previously had been our metaphor for all things of the earth.  And, because the feminine was associated wtih darkness, we lost repect for the shadow side of ourselves, the part of us that lives in the deepest recesses of our psyches.

This dismemberment is our major wound.  This divorce of spirit from flesh, masculine from feminine, light from dark, is the loss of soul.  The soul can only be present when body and spirit are one; it cannot breathe, exist, or move disconnected from the body.  Your parents gave birth to your body, and your body is the womb of your soul.  The birth of your soul is a virgin birth, one you must do on your own.  It’s a labor of love, adn we all know labor ain’t easy.  If you want to give birth to your true self, you are going to have to dig deep down into that body of yours and let your soul howl.

Rhythm is our mother tongue.  As I have surrendered to the wild, ecstatic embrace of the dance, I’ve found a language of patterns I can trust to deliver us into universal truths, truths older than time.  In the rhythm of the body we can trace our holiness, roots that go all the way back to zero.  States of being where all identities dissolve into an eternal flow of energy.

Energy moves in waves.  Waves move in patterns.  Patterns move in rhythms.  A human being is just that, energy, waves, patterns, rhythms.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  A dance.

There is an old Sanskrit word, lila, which means play.  Richer than our word, it means divine play, the play of creation, destruction, and re-creation, the folding and unfolding of the cosmos.  Lila, free and deep, is both the delight and enjoyment of this moment, and the play of God.  It also means love.

Lila may be the simplest thing there is – spontaneous, childish, disarming.  But as we grow and experience the complexities of life, it may also be the most difficult and hard-won achievement imaginable, and its coming to fruition is a kind of homecoming to our true selves.

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