When Bernhard Wosien taught us about the vertical axis he called it the pendulum. He showed an image of an Egyptian God, perhaps Anubis, in the midst of beginning his movement. He was standing with his weight hanging perfectly centrally between his feet.
It was clear he had begun to move but had not yet moved the weight of his body to the leading foot. He was poised between Being and Becoming, between being stationary and moving. This Bernhard explained was the position of the dancer. He is always poised in this condition.
In this way the weight of the body hangs down through the body, retaining that inner stillness from which all movement comes. As we move from foot to foot so the weight of the pendulum shows us where we are. It moves from one foot to the next stimulating the brain, according to modern psychological theory, on the opposite side from the foot where the weight is placed.
It is this movement of the weight which stimulates the brain and causes the emotional pattern within the framework to change and move on. Bernhard said “You cannot dance in a circle with someone and remain angry at them.” As we dance we reveal ourselves and, losing all self-importance, open up to the very life force which gives us being. We return to our innocence and no-one can resist innocence. We return to the place of beauty. Seeing this in another we lose all antagonism towards them and forgive them whatever wrongs or slights we fear they may have done to us, acknowledging our part in the debacle.
It is essential to develop the discipline of the pendulum, for without it the movement has no power, no strength. Then, as we move forwards or backwards, the movement has weight. It carries the body forwards or backwards. It moves us on in our inner dialogue. Without this there is no inner stillness. There is only rushing from one place to the next and we arrive exhausted.
When we do not know which foot we are on we do not know where we are. This leaves us with an inner confusion. Raw and inexpert. Many teachers teach foot placements without being aware of the inner weight of the body. Often they will teach a movement but when they dance the step they dance a different movement because of this. This is not a good teacher, for all the fun they may exude. They do not teach us the inner strength which comes from lack of self-consciousness, but rather the opposite.
The pendulum holds us erect. It is this which teaches us right alignment. When the builder speaks of swinging the lead he is putting the pendulum outside and presenting a false impression. There is no doubt it may be a successful strategy for gaining one’s personal victory, but not victory over oneself. By presenting a false image we remove ourselves further from our own inner peace and, in short, from God. The Divine is never disturbed but always acts from a place of repose. It is the vertical axis wherein this repose resides. Work on the vertical, work on the self, the I. It is the only work there is.