Rhythm as a key principle of creation: an introduction
Rhythm, as a primordial principle of manifestation, directs creation at a spatial and temporal level. That is, space-time revolves around rhythm. As this is a key component to our physical existence, it is an important factor to take into account when looking to expand our consciousness to other dimensions of being. What we use to create music, schedules, clocks, radios, technology of all sorts, art, music, etc. is in fact a key director of everything that we do and create.
Observing Rhythm in Roots culture
We see it broken down in roots culture (indigenous/original/ancestral traditions) in a plethora of ways. While observing traditional amerindian music (particularly in South America) we see that traditions related to music evolve principly from what in the holistic therapy world is commonly referred to as “sound healing.” Traditional healers (referred to as “Taitas” or “Pajés…” among other names) use instruments like maracas, drums, clapping, singing, etc. to create a state of trance, especially as employed during medicine ceremonies. The purpose of rhythm in this case is to connect the patient to a certain vibrational theme as it correlates to her state of mind and the area to where the healer intends to guide. This could include stabilizing one´s thought process, regulating his/her breath and heart rate, or even provoking physical responses through rhythmic stimulus. In this context, rhythm is used to create a medicinal environment in a healing session and, as a consequence, contributes to creating a healing/medicinal environment within all of those who are involved.
While observing traditional ceremonies hosted in religious centers or “terreiros” we see how rhythm and artistry are combined to create a very potent medicinal/spiritual environment. Here an ensemble of percussion instruments ranging from large drums to metallic triangles are employed in an ensemble combined with the participants dancing and singing while standing or walking in a circle (there are many more components to this, but these are some of the basic details). As observed in terreiros like Jurema Sagrada and Umbanda, the mamalawo/babalawo or Mãe/Pae de Santo generally directs the music in conjunction with the Ogã (ceremonial drummer) to create an adequate vibrational space for the manifestation of spiritual entities. In these spaces rhythm directs the physical, mental, and spiritual behavior of those who are involved, and therefore produces a profound movement within our consciousness.
How does Rhythm affect our consciousness?
As rhythm is prevalent within all aspects of our physical existence it directs many of the key components that make up our consciousness. It is easy to see this at a biological level, for example, when observing its importance in controlling our breath and heart rate. If our involuntary biological systems were to be disconnected from their rhythmic nature it would lead to catastrophic consequences (heart attacks, strokes, illnesses of all sorts). Likewise, when our consciousness is disconnected from our biological processes it makes us vulnerable to outside influence, especially on an emotional level. This is because the emotions, our thought process, and other cognitive functions are determined in large part by the way that energy flows through our body. When our breath rate becomes short and fast we notice that it tends to lead to a more agitated emotional state. When we breathe deeply and smoothly we also tend to enter into a more relaxed, calm state of mind. Our breathing is, in turn, affected by our blood circulation (and vice versa), and the circulatory system overall is a highly rhythmic based component of our biological health.
The rhythmic aspect of our creative system enables us to use space and time in an orderly fashion. It provides a before and after, a here and there, or rather a linear and cyclical motive force upon which our souls can travel within physical dimension. It provokes us to advance as well as to pause (all in time), and when we are in harmony with it we can in fact unify ourselves with Destiny in such a way that we are empowered to produce “perfect timing” resulting in quantum leaps, eternal patience, and even spontaneity. Within Rhythm (from the perspective of it being an entity) is a library of mathematical equations that, depending on the type of rhythm being played as well as the instruments involved can flip switches in our DNA memory that activate genetic codes that heal, summon alter egos (personality archetypes, spirits, etc.).
In future articles we will delve even deeper into how rhythm is used in roots culture to empower its participants, heal us internally, and propel us into higher levels of being…