The whole universe is indeed a chaos to the senses, but a cosmos to the enlightened reason. In the Hindu depictions of Shiva as Lord of the Dance, his movements in one sense represent the constant cycle of creation, maintenance, destruction, regeneration and ultimately the conquering of illusions. At the beginning of time the sacred Om was sounded, the resonance of which set all the sleeping atoms into motion and the Universe awoke from its long sleep. Everything started to dance. This sound echoes down through all the planes of being and is manifested in Nature and in us, as we are an integral part of its unfolding.
Theosophical teaching informs us that we are as much a part of nature as a tree or a flower and that whatever we do or think has an affect on the whole. Francis Thompson writes: “Thou canst not stir a flower, Without troubling of a star. “
One definition of the word dance is “to perform a specialized set of movements to communicate chiefly with other members of the same species. Another is: “To bob up and down or move about rapidly”, as when leaves ‘dance’ in the wind. Is this why we find so much joy in watching the movement of the waves, in the ocean or the clouds in the sky or the wind in the trees and countless other sounds and movements in nature? Our minds seem to dance in harmony with the natural world.
Nature dances to the music of the spheres, created by the primal vibration playing through the planets and constellations and creating a variety of sounds according to the qualities of the vehicle through which it manifests.
HP Blavatsky wrote that all of nature has a keynote, which corresponds to the middle F on the piano. The ancient Indians and Chinese knew this, as well as many other enlightened civilisations. Each one of us has his or her own keynote and if we live harmoniously, we become part of this Universal music and we move in tune with the rest of nature in this Divine Dance.
Inspired musicians hear the music of the spheres and translate it into beautiful sounds that have a positive and healing effect on the consciousness of the listener, as we are reminded of our Divinity and our Oneness with everything else in the Universe.
In this world people from every known culture express themselves in their own particular dance and in many of the ancient civilisations the movements had deep symbolic meanings, conveying or expressing Spiritual truths that words cannot; acting as a vehicle for the music. In another sense they can bring communities together at certain times of the year as acts of celebration. Of course people dance just for the joy of it. It can be therapeutic and cathartic for some and in ballet etc. it becomes an art form.
If we feel in our souls the Divine Dance that echoes through the Universe and see it in all things, we can in time come to understand our Oneness with everything and that we are all part of one great family celebrating the beauty of Eternal Life.
William Blake intuitively grasped this idea in these excerpts from his poem on Milton (Book 1):
“Thou seest the Constellations in the deep and wondrous Night:
They rise in order and continue their immortal courses
Upon the mountains and in vales with harp and heavenly song,
With flute and clarion, with cups and measures fill’d with foaming wine.
Glitt’ring the streams reflect the Vision of beatitude,
And the calm Ocean joys beneath and smooths his awful waves …
Thou seest the gorgeous clothed Flies that dance and sport in summer
Upon the sunny brooks and meadows: every one the dance
Knows in its intricate mazes of delight artful to weave:
Each one to sound his instruments of music in the dance,
To touch each other and recede, to cross and change and return:
… thou seest the Trees on mountains:
The wind blows heavy, loud they thunder thro’ the darksome sky,
Uttering prophecies and speaking instructive words to the sons
Of men……………. These the Visions of Eternity.
But we see only as it were the hems of their garments
When with our vegetable eyes we view these wondrous Visions .”