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SCHOOL OF MOVEMENTS

What is movement?
Who moves?
Is it the body that moves the mind or the mind that moves the body?
Where does attention come from? Where does it originate? How is it produced?
Which part of oneself is present while reading this?
Is it the mind?, the emotion?, the body?, the breathing?
Is there anything behind the mind, the emotion and the body?
Who is it that understands? What is it that is understood?

 

The movements taught by Mr. Gurdjieff trained these ideas. The Three Forces, the Law of Octaves, and the Law of Vibration are always associated with the human being as a whole composed by three centres: the intellect, the emotion and the body; and their connection with the Essential Being.
Like in the parable of the carriage, the driver and the master, these three centres are three different ways of processing the experience and information that comes from the body, feelings, thoughts and ideas. In Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, Gurdjieff constantly talks about human beings as three-brained beings; he also calls them three-centred, establishing a constant association between the three centres in the act of reading.
Gurdjieff focused his teachings in aligning these three centres with the Essential Being. As always, the heart of any teaching should be the Essential Being. Without it, there is no human being. The lack of coordination between the three centres is what Gurdjieff identified as the main defect. This main deficiency refers to a mixture of primitive emotion and irrelevant associations, what is known in sufi´s psychology as commanding self.
The movements taught by the Master of Dance (as Gurdjieff often referred to himself) were part of a complete method of teaching. Unfortunately, without a master consummated in this art, there are just fragments left. However, a serious and methodical approximation, through group study, to the function and information contained in these dances may bring us invaluable benefits:

1) Alignment
The geometries, symmetries and asymmetries with which the movements are built, re-educate the nervous system and align the posture over the axes and the different balance-centres of the body.

2) The right tension
The complexity of some moments, along with the simplicity of others, offers a variety of nuances that enforces a constant adjustment of muscular tone. Only trough perception of unnecessary tension and regardless effort, excellence of action can be accomplished.
3) The breathing
The breathing is nourishment: a source of renovation and vitality. It is an exchange between the internal and the external, between the Essential Being and the circumstances. Even though the movements do not operate directly over the breathing, it could be said that each of them is connected to a particular type of breathing. It must be remembered that there can not be a correct breathing without a correct posture.

4) Dissociation
Only after striping down a machine and reassembling it again can we discover how it is constituted. The dissociation contained in the movements, with our legs, arms and head following different numeric patrons, strengthens the capacity of attention and allows us to stop mental and emotional associations that constrain us.

5) Concentration
Concentration is a natural capacity of human psyche; a natural capacity that is highly menaced by the superficiality of modern media. It is an invaluable tool and its correct use could be a bridge to true knowledge. Gurdjieff’s movements stimulate this natural capacity organically; the beauty of the dances incites the proper alignment of the three centres.

6) Presence
Being present is a consequence of an awakened consciousness. If consciousness is awake, the mind is in the present, the emotion is in the present and the body is alive and alert. The dances and movements allow their practitioners to be touched by subtle influences.
These influences are, regarding the mind, numbers, directions and patterns of hidden forms in the structure of the body, archetypical geometries that shape the cosmos and man itself. In regard to emotion, movements give rise to music and gestures. And, finally, in the body, the different postures and positions are the centre, the ground where the cipher lays, the code and the proportion. All of these factors dance together and merge in a unique presence; in each person according to its own capacity.

7) Dual attention
It is not just an exercise to train our attention; it is something functional. Dividing our attention is a way of forcing the Being to be present. When the division is caused from the outside, the result is hypnosis. The collective hypnosis of marketing and publicity is possible only because the human being is not aware of his centres. When the Essential Being is present, it displays silently through the circumstances. The so-called sacred dances purely and honestly call the presence of the Essential Being. The attention is divided to make emptiness present. Then, something of superior nature may operate, something higher and more subtle.
This is a delicate point. It has to do with the difficulties of seeing what is obvious. Many times, the most evident is the hardest to perceive. Passion and desire are evident, but difficult in their way of performing.
The human being is a creature, and as such it has been created; either in a blink or by the force of evolution. Yet, as a creature, it is under the influence of material laws, electricity and magnetism. Emanation and attraction. If the commanding self is the one controlling the realization of the movements, these may be transformed into a mere and harmless choreography or cheesy magic.
It must be remembered that the movements were created with a certain purpose; our proposal is to work as a team and discover that purpose.

GURDIJEFF MOVEMENTS - SACRED DANCES - SCHOOL OF MOVEMENTS - SOUTH INDIAN CLASSICAL DANCES - CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES - ARGENTINA