Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The Circle And The Trance
Funny how things come "Full Circle"...
An article I read recently talked about medicinal opium poppy fields in Tasmania that were being raveged by stoned Wallabies, sheep and deer.
"We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles. Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high," The Mercury newspaper quoted Ms Giddings as saying.
A manager for one of two Tasmanian companies licensed to take medicinal products from poppy straw said wildlife and livestock, including deer and sheep, that ate the poppies were known to "act weird".
"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," added Rick Rockliff, a field operations manager at Tasmanian Alkaloids".
Dong Hai Chuan, recognized as the founder of Baguazhang (Bagua, or eight-trigram palm) is said to have created the circle-walking fighting style. But walking the circle has a much more ancient origin - as Michael P. Garofalo writes:
"Tung Hai-Chuan (1813-1882) became a member of the Chuan Chen (Complete Truth) sect of Taoism. This sect was part of the Lung Men (Dragon Gate) school of Taoism which was originated by Chou Chang-Ch'uan. Interestingly enough, Chou also invented a method of meditation whereby the practitioner would walk in a circle and, wouldn't you know, this method was practiced by the Chuan Chen sect. Delving further into this Taoist connection, Professor K'ang Kuo Wu was able to find a section in the Taoist Canon which reads:
'A person's heart and mind are in chaos.
Concentration on one thing makes the mind pure.
If one aspires to reach the Tao, one should practice walking in a circle.'
Internal arts expert Bruce Frantzis explains here the trance-like aspect of Bagua circle walking:
Yet, circle walking was not just an Eastern practice; here's a picture of some Druids demonstrating a circle-walking ceremony at the Spring Equinox in London:
As well as the fantastic designs on the Plains of Nazca, often thought as of maps for space visitors, may have been huge walking labyrinths:
Circle walking also has uses in tool and engineering work, as in this hay press and the use of millstones:
Years ago, I read Fritz Capras "The Tao Of Physics". In one chapter, he shows a diagram of ancient Sufi dancing, which was composed of overlapping circles. next to it, he overlaid the patterns of the atomic structure, which was nearly identical:
In this way, modern physics is proving things that ancient shamanic practice realized at a very deep level embeded in the human psyche or the DNA itself, perhaps suggesting the existance of a "Unified Field Theory", or the interconnected-ness of all things...