View Full Version : The Rhythms of Life!
01-17-00, 04:10 PM
What is this? we hear it referred to in many ways, we usually associate it with the movement, syncronised or not of life in general. You know, the hustle and bustle of people, animals, nature, the aging process, cities, karma etc.
We also hear 'the rhythms of the universe', mentioned what does this mean to this to you?
What is Rhythm?
Why do some have it and some don't?
Is there any correlation between our personal biorhythms or the way we 'feel' rhythm and the rhythms in the universe?
Why is dance and rhythm, both recreational and religious, so important to human cultures?
My man (woman?), you've just asked an amazing queston. Kudos for thoughtfulness, big huge ones.
Well, I personally understand a rhythm as a sequence of events that repeats regularly. Be those events sound, motion, temperature, or sleep -- as long as they repeat over and over again, they form a rhythm. There are two fundamentally different (cognitively speaking) kinds of rhythms, in my estimation.
One kind consists of biological cycles, such as circadian rhythms, reproduction of individuals, or the beating of the heart, for example. These rhythms are pretty much automatic, and do not seem to be a result of cognition.
Another kind of rhythm occurs at a cognitive level -- such as rhythmic pacing, dancing, music, and perhaps even thought. This is not specific merely to humans; at the very least all mammals seem to engage in these types of cognitive rhythms (and I wouldn't be surprised if even reptiles do.) The significance of rhythmic behavior to cognition is unknown, but it might well turn out to be fundamental. For example, everyone is familiar with "brainwaves"; these are merely an artifact of millions of neurons firing in unison, engaged in a rhythm. Many nonlinear dynamical systems exhibit oscillatory behavior, and it is not out of the question that rhythmic oscillations are merely inherent to the architecture of neural networks. Certainly, it is fairly easy to get artificial neural networks to oscillate. How significant that is to cognitive abilities or behavioral patterns is not currently clear (is oscillation just an artifact of biology, a feature driven by environment through learning, a fundamental information processing mechanism, a combination of the above, something else?) -- but there is a lot of cutting edge research on that issue. Rhythmic behavior could drive the brain similar to the clock driving a computer. There is also a theory that different regions of the brain oscillate out of phase with each other, thereby keeping their data coherent and at the same time escaping interference from other regions. I suspect that in a couple of decades science will be able to provide a fairly solid answer to your question. Meanwhile, you are to be congratulated for hitting on potentially one of the most fundamental inroads to the workings of the mind.
I am; therefore I think.
Those are interesting questions. Let me see if I can answer them for myself:
"We also hear 'the rhythms of the universe', mentioned what does this mean to this to you?"
The Universe being the sea in which I swim, it is hard to imagine myself not being effected by it and its rhythms.
"What is Rhythm? "
Boris answered this better than I can.
"Why do some have it and some don't?"
Not all things vibrate at the same frequency.
"Is there any correlation between our personal biorhythms or the way we 'feel' rhythm and the rhythms in the universe?"
Isn't that how you build a Biorhythm chart, by logging you feelings and, after time, using that log to determine your personal biorhythm?
"Why is dance and rhythm, both recreational and religious, so important to human cultures?"
It's all very large.
Rhythm is hypnotic, hence its physical appeal. Why do you think they say "Music soothes the savage breast..."? (Yes, it's breast, not beast.)
Rhythm of life, rhythm of the universe, etc., is, as was said, a poetic way to describe the repeated patterns we see around us, such as the cycle of birth, life, and death.
I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will fight, kill, and die for your right to say it.
[This message has been edited by Oxygen (edited January 17, 2000).]
I have another question: What is a savage breast? Can you define that a bit more?
<img src = "http://users.esc.net.au/~nitro/BBoard_member_gifs/bowser_anim.gif">
It's all very large.
01-18-00, 04:57 AM
The rhythm of the universe seems to be what most consider to be "normal," "regular" or "nonrandom" variations in behavior, movements or ocurrences.
For example: the regular recurrence in strong and weak elements of weather, the normal and predictable ebb and rise of the ocean, the nonrandom metric flow of a poem and the "regular" heartbeat which seems to bring us such comfort as individuals.
Whether or not a person looks to the microcosm of say, their limited culture or to a macrocosm of say, the universe, usually depends on whether they are predominantly right-brain or left-brain, whether they are detail-oriented or have the ability to see the big picture.
Although a regular hearbeat is desired for an individual life to continue in the flesh, what I see as the real "beat" of the universe is the "unique," the "unusual" and the "irregular" ocurrences... that which accounts for our very existence... the things which cause us to learn and advance... Those things which give the universe a jump-start... the heavier stresses in rhythm, the variations on theme and the completely new and unique approaches, discoveries and directions.
There are some who are generally content and who are soothed by routine, pattern and regularity... they generally fear change and are afraid of experiencing the new and the different... they view it as a disruption in what they perceive to be the soothing rhythm of the everyday life.
There are others who are generally stimulated by change and who are easily bored by routine, pattern and regularity... they generally thrive on change and are most likely willing to try something new and different... they view it as a welcome relief from what they perceive to be the monotonous rhythm of everyday life.
Individuals, of course, can have varying degrees of these aspects in their personality... I am just about 50/50 on the right-brain/left-brain scale.
[This message has been edited by truestory (edited January 18, 2000).]
01-18-00, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by Boris:
There is also a theory that different regions of the brain oscillate out of phase with each other, thereby keeping their data coherent and at the same time escaping interference from other regions
To be able to impress our resident genius is indeed an honour, cheers Boris.
Your quote above, is the first time I have ever heard about such a theory and it's very interesting.
Because, when I hear talk of different dimensions (spiritual, multiple universes, mirror worlds etc), this is the way I imagine them to behave.
I see universal dimensions oscillating in different rhythms which are out of phase to each other, keeping their unique properties coherent and without interference from each other (to use some of your own words).
Perhaps musical rhythms are conduits to altered states of awareness, because they correlate to the various universal dimensions and their unique rhythms.
That is to say, that the partircular musical rhythm, gets into phase with a partircular dimension and causes the listener or dancer who has gotten into the rhythm,. to experience something profound.
It's like, if you play certain notes on an instrument and there happen to be other (stringed) instruments in the room which are tuned to the notes you are playing, they will start to resonate in sympathy.
BTW is there a mathematical formula to explain this phenomenon(resonating notes on a different instrument)?
Bowser- A "savage breast" refers to an angry or troubled heart, someone who is agitated or, in modern parlance, all fired up about something, be it fear, anger, or whatever.
01-19-00, 11:34 AM
There is a scientific theory (superstrings theory), which says that our reality is 10-dimentional. We experienced with 4 of them 3-dimentional space plus time. The rest dimensions are bent to very small size. By this theory all basic particles in our universe are vibrating bent dimensions. If its true, we and everything around us is a rhythm and nothing else only rhythm.
The Ravens Are Not What They Seem
[This message has been edited by Ivan Kruk (edited January 19, 2000).]
01-19-00, 12:00 PM
(This is SkyeBlue, this is my new identity. Out with the old and in with the new...)
I'm no physicist, so I can't say one way or t' other if those theories hold water... They sure sound plausible to me though.
To me, rhythm is inescapable. I'm one of those annoying people who taps incessantly on my desk, my computer, the floor, my teeth...whatever is around me, especially when I'm thinking on a tough problem. It's unconscious most of the time - I don't even realize I'm doing it until my coworkers start throwing things at me. :)
Maybe it's genetics - my father is of Indian heritage (American Indian), and he and I both tend to do these silly "rain dance" type of dances when we hear drums - the stomping of the feet, swinging the elbows, nodding the head... Makes my mom laugh her butt off, but it just feels right. Might look pretty silly, but it feels good. I can't resist moving to music, even if it's something I'm not that fond of, the rhythm just takes over whether I'm aware of it or not.
Speaking of the hustle and bustle of the world...has anyone seen the movie Koyannisqatsi? (Not sure if I spelled that exactly right) It's a movie with nothing but Phillip Glass music, the title-word is Hopi (if I remember correctly) for "life out of balance", and the footage is amazing. Natural wonders, sped-up view of a freeway at night in a huge city, giant earth-moving vehicles, people, people and more people... It's impossible to describe, but if you ever come accross it, it's worth checking out. There is a sequal....uh..Powaquatsi? Something like that, it's good too, but not as good as the first one. I hear there's supposed to be a third one eventually too, the three together are supposed to make a statement about human-kind. I can't remember what "Powaquatsi" means, dangit.
Peace and love be with you all! :)
I used to be SkyeBlue
01-19-00, 02:18 PM
I looked up Koyaanisquatsi (a-ha, that's how you spell it) and found this:
"The Hopi's Waiting for Pahana
In 1948, Thomas Banyacya accepted the task of warning the world of the events foretold in the Hopi prophecies. The Hopi's, he says, had been instructed to seek a "house of mica" (glass) that would stand on the eastern shore of Turtle Island (the US). The Hopi's saw the UN building in New York as the house of mica. Beginning in 1949, they sought entry to its assembly to: 1) look for their True White Brother, 2) seek justice for Indian brothers and sisters and good people everywhere, and 3) warn leaders of the coming purification. In 1992 and again in 1993 they were able to deliver their prophecies.
Hopi legend speaks of the Pahana, or the True White Brother, who once lived with the people and would return in the time of Koyaanisquatsi, when the world was beset by fearful troubles and chaos. Then He would unite the broken tribes and reestablish balance and harmony."
Interesting, huh? I didn't know any of that!
01-20-00, 06:42 PM
Thank you for posting the information about the Hopi - very interesting! Here is a site where you can find out more about Hopi prophesies: