Thursday, May 22, 2008

Becoming the dance

(picture kindly provided by my cousin hakim)

I defended my thesis just over a week ago. Of course I freaked out on
the days before that and had all kinds of nightmares about things
going wrong. But it worked out well. I managed to figure out a way to
squeeze some ballet in there, used in this case to illustrate the
concept of similarity. The magical thing was that as I was doing the
ballet, I forgot about all my nerves, and really got into it. It was
kind of like when I have a good performance, and I really forget
everything. At that point, there is no 'I', there is only the dance or
the story and the audience. It is quite a magical and beautiful
moment. When I did the dancing this time during my thesis defense, I
too did forget my nerves, and just became the story I wanted to
tell. That is the magic of the performer.

But it may even be what is
meant by egolessness in a Buddhist sense: where the I is suddenly not
important anymore, and it is all about giving your life, your actions,
and your possessions to others, so that they may be happy. And then
when you stop worrying about yourself, magically happiness ensues. So
too when you become the dance, happiness ensues. The pain in my toes
is forgotten, and I bring both myself and the audience to a different

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