Rhythm — Fifth of the Seven Hermetic Laws
by Bruce Rawles
(This article was excerpted and adapted from the upcoming book, "The Geometry Code: Symbolic Wisdom of Natural Laws Within Us" by Bruce Rawles, available soon from Elysian Publishing. This is the fourth of eight articles; you might want to first read the initial article in the series and the prior article on the Law of Mentalism and Law of Correspondence, Law of Vibration and the Law of Polarity to get the context for this one. The remaining two articles will cover the Law of Cause and Effect, and the Law of Generation.
"Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it's always something." — Gilda Radner as RoseAnne Roseannadanna on Saturday Night Live …
"It's all nothing." — Gene Bogart, from Gary Renard podcast #21
The Law of Rhythm (Flow, Non-resistance, Surrender as Courage) — Keyword: Beauty
The fifth of the seven laws or principles is given the name Rhythm in the Kybalion, along with the phrase
"Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates." — The Kybalion
Becoming Superconductors For Our Essence — Going with the Inner Flow
"…instead of judging automatically, you will forgive automatically." Arten;
"…the proper response to any situation is always love." Gary, p. 213; from Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard
Like all the Hermetic laws or principles, this one (Rhythm) can be used either by the fragmenting thought system of the ego … or by the non-dualistic thought system of our real self. We've trained ourselves from day one to look 'outside' and emphasize what appears to come our way — the tidal flood of experiences that come and go, to and fro, in endless variations. Seasons, circadian flows, tides, lunations (phases of the moon), precession of equinoxes (Yugas in the Hindu tradition), meandering rivers, our heartbeats and our breath — all follow a rhythmic pattern. The enticement for entrainment is everywhere. The question is not whether there are tides; the question is do we want to be surfers or get caught in the undertow! … We certainly can't stop the waves from reaching the shores of our lives, but we can respond to the surf of this 3D world in very different ways. It isn't about what we do externally, but about how we choose to feel and think internally, and the meaning (or lack thereof) we ascribe to what goes on 'around' us.
I thought the juxtaposition of the Gilda Radner and Gene Bogart quotes above reveals the stark contrast (using the law of Polarity to return to a non-dual state) between the egoic victimhood stance (lose-lose) and the enlightened caring, yet carefree (win-win) perspective that allows us to take all rhythms of life in stride. Our inner graceful choreography in response to the circumstances of our daily forgiveness lessons provides all we need to ultimately dance our way to serenity beyond the stars. Roseanne's whiny caricature reminds us to maintain a sense of humor about our grievances regarding things that come and go … How much will we fret and fuss about all of our current seemingly insurmountable obstacles in a year? In a millennium?
Have you ever felt "in the flow?" Being in a 'groove' where you simply respond inwardly to whatever comes up … instantly … is something we often associate with Olympic athletes, charismatic speakers, superstar musicians and the like. Yet we can gradually achieve our own state of inner superconductivity by lowering our resistance to inspiration, humbly acknowledging that everything we have is a gift (true for everyone!) and surrendering to the wiser and saner transpersonal self that always votes for the optimal welfare of all. When we look back on those moments when everything seemed to flow, we realize that we were willing to get our sense of a separate 'self' out of the way, and allow our unified identity (beyond space and time, yet acting within those dimensions) to take over the controls… I'd call this surrendering to one's higher self, and the best part is that this sort of surrender doesn't involve any compromises, since our metapersonal awareness isn't after any kind of special or exclusionary goals and benefit is assured for all from this encompassing intent.
We naturally are superconductors for spirit … We've just trained ourselves to believe otherwise! In order to hear the inner voice consistently, we must be willing to acknowledge that our finite perceptions (as observed from our little micro-dot in the cosmos of temporal and spatial delusions) are incomplete, and because of that minuscule window on truth, rather distorted. Letting go of our biases and hopelessly provincial, territorial perspectives (hint; those of us who still occasionally believe we're limited to a human body are in that category :-) gives us the lucidity to receive guidance beyond what we currently believe possible. We become superconductors for the joyous experience of freedom by letting the trivial go and adopting an unyielding allegiance for the eternal. It's a feeling that is all our birthright, no prerequisites and guaranteed by our Creator. Recycling our preconceptions at the curb makes room in our inner pantries for delicacies we haven't even dreamed of!
Beyond Attachment and Aversion
"Non-acceptance is always suffering, no matter what you are not accepting. Acceptance is always freedom, no matter what you are accepting." — Cheri Huber
"Be passersby." — Pursah's Gospel of Thomas, saying 42, from Your Immortal Reality by Gary Renard
"In every instant we have the ability to change our minds about our reality." p. 319; Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard
"One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go."
— Ella Wheeler Wilcox
When I first experienced being on a sailboat, I was impressed that by tacking back and forth, applying the proper angular relationship (sounds like geometry, doesn't it! :-) one could not only avoid being pushed where one didn't want to go, but a skilled sailor could harness the energy of the wind to actually go in a direction opposite to where the wind was wanting to push the vessel. The metaphor here implies that when we release our attachments and aversions to experiences that we encounter from moment to moment, we are free to learn from our circumstances, rather than being at the mercy of them. This works because we identify with the cause (our infinite nature, and returning inexorably to the home of wholeness and oneness), rather than the temporary situation we happen to find ourselves in.
This usually takes the form (with infinite variations) of relaxing about what's going on, usually a laugh or two (which can be inward, no need for EVERYONE to think you're crazy! :-), and realizing that whatever issue seems to be the big soap opera du jour is probably not worth ruffling your internal feathers about. This doesn't mean that on the "outside" you might do things that appear to be looking after your 'own' interests, defending yourself or taking care of the mundane tasks that require your attention. The crucial point is that INWARDLY the defenses are completely down to allow and welcome spirit! You allow your human perspective to be a passenger, along for the ride, with your transpersonal, metapersonal guidance at the helm. That serenity, ironically allows us to make the best possible decisions that affect the world around us, because that isn't where we're putting our emphasis. If you're not attached to outcomes, you're much freer to actually change them, since the blinders of bias are removed.
"A life without change is not a life; it is a stagnant pool. To change your mind frivolously is a cop-out. To change your mind under the direction of the wisdom of the heart is a brush stroke on the masterpiece you are delivering to the world." — Alan Cohen
The meaningful and effective release of pettiness, judgments, critical attitudes, blame, unconscious guilt, and all their kin occurs because we understand that there's no one "out there" in the rhythm of life's parade of experience doing anything "to us" … We're ultimately doing it all to ourselves — that's applying what Gary Renard calls quantum forgiveness using the assumed dimension of space to our collective advantage. Then when we apply the assumed dimension of time, we realize that we're already home, but we're dreaming all this duality stuff up, so we can afford to forgive the 'events' that, from an eternal vantage point, never happened. Even if it seems like a stretch to bring the full infinity of time into this moment, just consider how important some of the petty things that 'happened to you' a few years ago (or more) seem now… This can give us the inspiration to release our attachments and aversions to particular experiences including favorite seasons, phases of our 'life', places, even people we've been close to.) This doesn't mean in the least that we stop giving 108% of our capacity for kindness, caring and thoughtful responsible action for the myriad of people that constitute our family, friends, and community on every level and realm; it just means that we allow ourselves the exquisite luxury (and freedom) of not being attached to anything happening or not happening. We allow all to be, by giving all to all.
Appreciating the Gifts and Learning the Lessons of Each Moment
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." — Albert Einstein
"Your brothers are everywhere. You do not have to seek far for salvation. Every minute and every second gives you a chance to save yourself. Do not lose these chances, not because they will not return, but because delay of joy is needless." — A Course In Miracles, Text
"We generally associate the terms of 'rhythm' and 'eurhythmy' with the Arts working in the time dimension (Poetry and Music) and the notion of Proportion with the 'Arts of Space' (Architecture, Painting, Decorative Art.) The Greeks did not care for these distinctions; for them, for Plato in particular, Rhythm was a most general concept dominating not only Aesthetics but also Psychology and Metaphysics. And Rhythm and Number were one. (Rhythmos and Arithmos had the same root: rhein = to flow.)"- Matila Ghyka from "The Geometry of Art and Life"
The law of rhythm is a wonderful tool, when used by our whole self (rather than by the finite, soapy and operatic whiny voice that tries diligently to co-opt who we really are). Every moment has a gift. Every person you meet is a lesson in compassion for self (who else is there?) and kindness via forgiving what seems to be happening. What is going on around us WILL change; that's pretty bankable. :-) Building our inner castle on that sandy seashore is just asking for disappointment. Besides, when we start listening to our deeper wisdom, gleaned from countless lifetimes, investing in the ephemeral outcomes that change with the seasons, tides and generations begins to sound a lot like "been there, done that!" Eventually, we will tire of tricking ourselves out of our inheritance of peace and learn to optimize our receptivity to the gifts that are humbly placed before us by our soul's homecoming agenda. Gratitude is the inevitable result. This can take countless forms, a lyric on the car radio that reminds us that we're not limited to a pitifully finite spot on a backwater planet somewhere on the outskirts of the Milky Way, or perhaps an email with a funny video or touching story that opens us to transpersonal community, or maybe just appreciating the vibrant fall colors and realizing that the warmth we resonate with is not limited to just one time of year…
Another aspect of using the law of rhythm wisely is allowing others to follow their own rhythms. The Aramaic word translated into English as "evil" originally meant "unripe". We're all returning home to a pure non-dual awareness of oneness in seemingly different ways, on different paths, yet all leading to the same experience of oneness. Since our human perspective really leaves us pretty clueless about the true inner adventure of each soul (including our own), it's pretty silly to pass judgment on others, since we're probably just as "unripe" from other perspectives as anyone else and besides, isn't the whole point to discover we're all part of the same tree?
"It is possible to transcend noise, which is a value judgment of an energetic event, and to open your ears, and hear it as music; everything is music. ... My job is to learn to resonate with whatever comes to me." — John Beaulieu
A couple decades ago I took a few classes in Aikido, an oriental martial arts practice. I didn't really stick with that particular practice, but I did learn a great truth from my instructor, Dan. His insight, paraphrased here, was that there's no reason not to assist everyone with where they think they want to go. The key is the concept of non-resistance. If we resist (judge or condemn or limit) others in any way (including thinking of them as being stuck in a particular body), we're using "their energy" against "us". Ideally, the more we practice allowing everyone to be who they are, with their apparent agendas and interests, the more we are free to flow our efforts into the most beneficial path for all (inclusive of 'us'.) Even on the level of form, it's often a good idea to just "get out of the way" and allow what appears to be; our feeling of serenity is a primary indicator of how well we're achieving this. Other times we may (when appropriate) need to act when our hearts require us to get involved; as Caroline Casey advises, (paraphrased here) we can remain united as friends with the soul of someone while opposing their behavior — this works, at times, with inattentive kids AND politicians! :-)
"The way towards freedom from a situation often lies in acceptance of the situation." — Rachel Naomi Remen
"Juggling... is... a symbol of life... What I'm doing over and over and over is ... catching and letting go, I'm catching and letting go; if we hold onto anything for too long, it just doesn't work. ... It's also playing." — Izzy Tooinsky (juggler/storyteller)
"Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and dreams, try to love the questions themselves." — Rainer Maria Rilke
Geometric Symbols of Rhythm — Spirals, Pentagons and Fractals
The very real difference between perception and knowledge becomes quite apparent, if you consider this: There is nothing partial about knowledge. Every aspect is whole, and therefore no aspect is separate." — A Course In Miracles (Text, Chapter 13, From Perception to Knowledge)
"It helps tremendously that the Course is holographic in nature, each thought being related to all the others. In fact, you could say that like a hologram, the whole of the Course's thought system is found in all of its sections, or that each part contains the whole." Pursah; p. 233, from Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard
As always, the particular form (in this case, geometric) we employ as a reminder to invoke the thought system of truth is not what's important. What IS important is the application of non-resistance, the practice of forgiving ourselves for our misperceptions, tending to our mastery of effortless effort in recalling our kinship with all life. If you have a symbol that resonates more effectively for you, by all means use it! Getting hung up on a form (of any kind) is just plain silly. Like the cereal box says, these are just serving suggestions. :-)
Moving in to the eye of the spiral storm, we find the place of calm, while all around us there may be extreme turbulence. The calm fulcrum within the heart of the spiral affords the understanding that change doesn't affect the innermost depths of who we are. Another metaphor is the bottom of the ocean (closer to the center of the earth, incidentally) where the surf and tides and surface swells have negligible impact. Initially one might only encounter these 'places' of serenity in brief epiphanies, mystical revelations or profound meditations, yet, with practice, this state becomes more and more accessible on an everyday basis.
Whenever you see a spiral, it can serve as a reminder, a trigger for the thought system of unlimited peace to calm concerns about the things we think we need. When we shift the attention back to our material concerns, having given them a rest, we often find more practical insights than ever before, since dropping our cares also drops our resistance to hearing viable solutions from our transpersonal guidance, and attunes our thoughts to a happier dream, rather than feeling like we need to plunge into the brunt of the storm.
We can find spirals in nature almost everywhere: weather maps online or on TV, the patterns of fern leaves, parrots beaks, cross sections of mushrooms and cabbages, whirlpools in the sink or your coffee cup, pinecones, clock springs, your inner ear, snail shells, and branches winding around the trunk of a plant. Our personal "yellow brick road" can take us home faster than we can click our ruby slippers together, if we just remember that we have access to the center of the spiral at every moment. Even if our outer conditions appear stormy, our inner cyclonic still point is always available.
Many types of spirals as well as pentagons (which can be extended or partitioned with an endless progression of pentagram/pentagon iterations) are examples of fractals. Fractals are geometric patterns that occur at every level of form, embodying the principle of interconnectedness and relationship. When one 'zooms in' on a portion of a fractal pattern, the same pattern appears at the zoomed in level as the zoomed out level. Examples abound in the natural world. If one looks at any edible fruit, the 5-petalled blossom becomes a delicious metaphor for regeneration, extension, replication and consistency of design regardless of scale. This is inherent in any design that incorporates the golden ratio where the proportion of the whole to the large is the same as the large to the small. The cross section of every DNA molecule is a decagon (10-sided polygon) or two evenly rotated pentagons, and the ratio of the length of one turn of the DNA helical spiral (34 Angstroms), to it's diameter (21 Angstroms), is a pair of successive Fibonacci Numbers, which converge on the golden ratio at infinity. There are countless other examples from the atomic level to minerals, plants, animals, humans, orbits of planets in our solar system, galaxies, and beyond. The important concept (regardless of one's interest in sacred geometry) is that we can use spirals, pentagons, fractals of all sorts, and even anything that just reminds us of interconnectedness as an "on button" or a wake up call for the thought system that restores our thinking to wholeness.
Habits: Centripetal and Centrifugal Movement — Practice, Practice, Practice!
"…Repetition is not only perfectly all right, it's mandatory. That's the only way you can possibly learn a thought system, have it become part of you and get to the point where you apply it automatically — eventually without even thinking about it. That's why it's called practicing forgiveness. You practice over and over, until it becomes second nature. You'll see." Arten; p. 189-190, from Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard
"Thoughts increase by being given away. The more who believe in them the stronger they become. Everything is an idea. How, then, can giving and losing be associated?" … "Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate effects." — A Course In Miracles, text, Chapter 5 — Healing and Wholeness
"And what is a pagan? If you look at the origin of the word, it means a country dweller, a person of nature who lives to the rhythm of seasons and the sun. If that is paganism, then I am a fervent believer." — from Napoleon's Pyramids by William Dietrich, p. 165
"Always do your best." — Don Miguel Ruiz
"Though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are." — Jelaluddin Rumi
"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." — Albert Einstein
"Perception controls behavior." — Bruce Lipton
"Truth does not vacillate; it is always true." — A Course In Miracles, text, Chapter 9, Grandeur Versus Grandiosity
Remembering that truth never changes can be a way to keep the illusion of change in perspective; if something changes, it is part of the big dream! This means that our bodies (and beliefs and attitudes about them and our relationship to "stuff" of every description), our planet, our galaxy, and the entire material universe with rhythms ranging from the grand cycles of time (Yugas and even slower) all the way to frequencies so fast we don't have instruments to measure them (beyond cosmic rays)… are all just a 'phantom menace' that we made up. The truth of who we are doesn't change, just the projections from our unconscious minds that appear to our sensory thought system seem to be forever shifting, morphing and transforming from one state to another. In terms of the true importance to our spirit, it's just one big holographic carrot on a multidimensional stick! The eastern philosophies, Buddhism in particular, offer a great deal of insight into relinquishing our folly of preoccupation with this ephemeral parade of effects. However, just recognizing that we're dreaming doesn't provide the systematic release from the dream. This can be a passive acknowledgment internally that is equivalent to saying, "OK, so I'm dreaming, now how do I wake up?" A superb and essential first step, but more is needed to awaken.
Fortunately, we can, with help from our transpersonal selves (or Holy Spirit or inner guidance or pure non-dualistic identity or whatever label works for you) recognize the dreaming that we're doing, and not take it too seriously (complete with the pendulum swings of mood, happenstance and the distraction of capricious events) … Inwardly that is! On the level of cause, we can afford to laugh at the whimsy of being caught up in circumstances, knowing — full well — that we're not the events that appear to be happening to us. On the level of effect or form, it's usually a good idea to take care of our everyday responsibilities, like feeding the cat, paying our bills, and prudently planting in spring and harvesting in autumn.
This doesn't mean that we should ignore what is going on around us on the level of form or effect, but it DOES mean that the form has less and less of a white-knuckled, sweaty grip on our reality. This just takes practice, practice, and more practice. With due diligence, an inclusive attitude and philosophy becomes a habit and then when the "bigger" issues suggest we move our backs to the wall, there's no inner wall for us to be pinned to. We are liberated one forgiving thought and feeling at a time… gradually spiraling inward from a nightmarish whirlwind of trying to solve the world in isolation to the peaceful center within where happy dreams become predominant and we ultimately awaken altogether.
When we identify with the eternal, it affords us the poise and serenity needed to not just weather the changing seasons, but to savor, without attachment or aversion, the blessings and offerings of the ephemeral BECAUSE we appreciate the life thread that weaves itself through all of these seasons and changes. We go beyond merely surviving to thriving because we follow the inner promptings to rely on the infinite supply of loving kindness that is ours to give to all without discrimination of time, space, or seeming forms and individuals. When we realize that there are never any limits on giving from the infinite within, we have become truly self-sufficient in the transpersonal sense of that word. If we think we "need" recognition, approval, affection, or any other sort of "positive" feedback, we're using the limited personal thought system of the ego and that seems to place us at the mercy of whim and circumstance, a victim of the rhythms of nature, rather than an ultimate surfer of the cosmic tides.
Continue the persistent practice of quantum forgiveness. Overlook the dream of space/time/duality. Apply that perspective to specifically forgiving what APPEARS to be "happening to us" at this moment until it becomes habit. Then "second nature" becomes "first nature" which, of course it always was!
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jelaluddin Rumi
Copywrite 2008 Bruce Rawles. All rights reserved.