I met this British Doctor in Camiguin Island in 2008. He had heard about the Inner Dance from the owner of Enigmata Treehouse where I journeyed through in 2004 on the way to Kalipay Beach. After Dr. Smith experienced the energy in Mindanao, he decided to follow me to Palawan where I had just recently found a dilapidated house amidst a run down plantation that would later be transmogrified into what people know as Bahay Kalipay. His intention was to test out the emergent insights his spiritual quest harboured as he ventured outside the boundaries of modern medicine, into realms of energy, frequency and vibration. This article is the closest to a research paper he could muster as the product of his three-day stay in my humble home. Since then, there have been many doctors who've voyaged into the meeting points between allopathic medicine and inner dance states. Having this document reveals the raw but intelligent merging of science and spirit, guiding later pilgrims who would just as bravely experience the vast realms of the unknown.
Dr. Nick Smith BSc (Hons) MBBS MRCPsych MBA ASM may have an alphabet of letters after his name but despite having qualifications as a shrink and attaining the advanced age of 42, up till now he has not a clue as to what he means to do with his life. It seems that the more you think you understand, the less you realise you actually know about anything important and the more confused you get as a result.
A year or more ago, I reached the stage when nothing in my life seemed to matter much any more, I had become completely disillusioned with the dominant values in capitalist societies, along with the false masks we wear to make the system work and I was deeply unimpressed with the control we are increasingly subjected to in the Western world. The only possible solution seemed to be to run away screaming faintly from it all and start over in whatever mad way seemed best to me. Some said it was courageous to walk away from a 'good' job but in reality, it would have been more cowardice to stay.
So, a month ago I was in the middle of a year's career break travelling both literally and metaphorically away from the United Kingdom, in order to work through a profound sense of pointlessness, anomie and worthlessness about my life. I was, predictably, searching for answers in books but finding a shortage of solutions in reality.
Then, last month, a wonderful set of circumstances, synchronicities and serendipities led me to meet an energy healer named Pi Villaraza on Camiguin island in the Philippines a few weeks ago. Of all the things I could have been doing at that time and all the places I could have been then, it is pretty remotely possible that otherwise I would have learned about the powerful phenomenon called Inner Dance so early in its evolution. It is as if I was led to Pi, or indeed that my deep psyche had managed to bring me to this meeting subconsciously. For many months previously, I had been searching and reading (and God help me, attempting to write a book) in order to make sense for myself and maybe a minuscule audience the deepest ways of the Universe, trying to extrapolate from the ancient teachings and my own experience of human nature some solutions to the great farting mess we are heading into with such high-minded resolution.
Did you know that humankind will be directly responsible for wiping out 50% of the world's species by the year 2050, being undoubtedly responsible for creating an extinction event which will mirror the extent of the extinction of the dinosaurs in magnitude while managing to exceed it in its rapidity of onset? Did you know that by 2050, there will be 9 billion of us on the globe, nearly half of us existing in shanty town misery, all of us suffering from the effects of mass migration, climate instability, water shortages, water pollution, food and oil shortages? The Chinese have a curse – 'May you live in interesting times' – and it is surely towards interesting times that we are heedlessly galloping downhill, cheering crazily as we go.
What we have most to blame for our 'interesting times' is our immense population, our Westernised, bland, aspiritual, marketing-driven lifestyles and our complete insensitivity to anything to anything except that what is immediately around us. We need a new consciousness to take hold somehow, one that emphasises a holistic perspective for our actions, meaning that we naturally come to consider the good of the planet and of all the lifeforms on earth as much as our own good when we choose to act. Of course, this sort of mass consciousness is not a current likelihood when we are more driven by strident over-competitiveness fostered by the demands of continual stock market growth (even if I gleefully note that the system is now beginning to show signs of imploding under the suction of its own monstrous demand).
Two drafts of my book in, I had become really stuck on practical spirituality. How do you come up with a practical way to introduce a new spirituality within people in modifying the values and demands of everyday life, unless you have been directly inspired with it? It was at this point of impasse that I was fated to meet Pi through Rosa, the manager of Enigmata Treehouse (an amazingly fiery yet branching nexus of the creative spirit - and that's both Rosa and the place - do visit both if you can find a way to get to Camuigin).
Pi gave me an introductory session of the inner dance there and I was taken by surprise by the freedom, formlessness, chaos and intense power inherent in the dance. So, I fixed up to meet Pi in Palawan later on in my travels through the Philippines and on arriving at Banwa GH in Puerto Princesa, Pi arranged for me to travel out with a small group of young people to Kalipay beach for a few days with Angelito. There, I was taken further into the dance by Angelito and then I attempted to return the favour to him in my first active triggering on someone else, which made him knock some things over. Every time I then went into the dance, I went deeper and in that calm spiritual oasis of the beach, I found amazing presence.
While I danced in the warm shallow water in daytime, out of the corner of my eye I twice thought I spotted a young woman walking naked down the beach, who turned out (regrettably) not to be there to direct gaze - and later, one night, while watching the phosphorescence wash up onto the sand under only the glimmering stars, a dimly seen, shadowy human form seemed to drift at walking pace up the beach toward me, appearing to stop by me. Not without some trepidation, I decided to step into it, encountering no resistance. A slow feeling of acceptance and expectation washed over and intermingled in me. Whether the dark form represented reality or imagination, it is hard to say, but the feeling was as real as my action.
Returning to civilisation both gritty and salty and finding sand in places I didn't quite expect, I met up with Pi again who kindly took me to his house - Banwa was full of Filipino doctors apparently there for a conference to debate medical ecology, whatever that is. It is curious to see what is starting here and now in this country. Having been introduced to the inner dance and then having accepted it as I did symbolically on the beach, Pi decided to initiate me into the full experience that evening. And what an experience it was. I gyrated, thumped, struck postures, climbed the walls upside down, growled and howled, coughed, pulsed and vibrated, did yoga I didn't know I knew, examined the deep beauty of the floor, felt profoundly at One out of time, I dedicated my life to the Goddess, I lay flat trying to melt into the surfaces and then re-found amazing flexibility, rejuvenation and laughter in my soul and body. Better than E's, not that I'd know, of course. After a slightly more prosaic dinner of tuna sandwiches, I asked where the dance comes from – an original, latent form of spiritual energy rediscovered from the Shamanic tradition in Pi and by those with him in their own individual genius of expression.
So, from a psychiatric perspective, what did I experience? Psychiatry and psychology have no helpful words for much of it, not surprisingly since it is primarily a non verbal expression of spirit. It is a kind of trance state, which simply means that it is an altered state of consciousness in which one feels out profoundly one's own normal persona, yet not completely dissociated from oneself or reality. What psychiatry cannot hope to express is the sweeping flow of energy overlay, the anarchic element of the dance, the raw creativity of it, and as Pi put it, the intellectualising of the spirit, the spiritualising of the mind, the letting go of the self, the experience of raw energy coursing through the body. In this state, I found my mind, body and soul to become one.
As a Reiki practitioner myself, I can say the quality of the channeled and innate energy goes beyond in both scope and intensity the vibrational energy even of Shamballa Reiki. It (the Inner Dance) seems like the next step to energy healing, not needing symbols nor anything other than intention, grounding, connection, intuition and openness to energy flow in order for it to work.
Is the dance a cause or an effect? And does it matter? As Pi puts it, the release is, on the energetic level, an effect of previous spiritual work while on the mental level, it is a cause of liberation and further spiritual unfolding. What is the Inner Dance for? I believe that it is here for us to uncover its meaning individually and it is through the unique gifts of all of us that the inner dance will find its full expression and its evolution through the individuals practicing it. Like a tide it may eventually sweep through the consciousness of our societies.
For me, it represents the missing aspect of practical spirituality I was searching for to help elevate mass human consciousness above petty materialism, a universally accessible raising of awareness that can embrace the ecology of our planet, a potential and actual force to help us return to simplicity, basic goodness and our authentic individual beauty. Also, I can feel that, whether combined with Reiki techniques, psychotherapy techniques, used with Tai Chi movements or when used alone, that the inner dance may have a powerful healing effect on those experiencing personal problems or mental illness.
Personally, I can appreciate just how useful it may be as an (I think) adjunctive treatment for even severe anxiety and depression through its freeing and loosening effects, though I wonder what might occur when patients with psychotic experiences are exposed to this energy and how this energy might modify and express itself through them. Maybe it would be good to run a clinical trial or two
to confirm its effects.
What I think is also certain is that we will see the inner dance gaining a momentum and beginning to branch out in creative, chaotic ways we cannot readily predict. All that seems to be needed is for us to feel NO FEAR and for us to express openness, honesty and trust between us for it to develop in the ways it means to. The dance contains a profoundly transformative energy and so I am deeply grateful to have been brought into the community of the inner dance, as much as I am also looking forward to becoming involved with it further.