From the preoccupation of today we can recognize certain indications which present the tendencies and directions for the future development of humankind. We must be very mindful in order to distinguish the characteristics of the driving forces of the epoch among all the variables of today. These indications are only signs, but from them the far-sighted person can determine which processes are penetrating the depth of society and foresee the coming future. Such an indication is Paneurhythmy.
Before discussing the background of Paneurhythmy, an explanation of the word itself would be useful. Etymologically, “Paneurhythmy” is derived from three roots:
Pan – meaning whole, universal and cosmic.
Eu – meaning true or supreme, the essential and substantial in the world.
Rhythmy – meaning correctness in the movements and in every other external expression in life.
The prefix “pan” denotes that this is the expression of a rhythm present in the whole of Nature and underlying the whole of creation. According to this etymological derivation, Paneurhythmy can be translated as Supreme Cosmic Rhythm.
Let’s talk about the background and principles of Paneurhythmy. It is a harmonious creative Manifestation of the Divine Origination within the whole cosmos.
At the beautiful sacred hour when all of Nature is filled with joy for the sunrise, the living circle of Paneurhythmy is formed. Early in the morning, amid flowers and trees in bloom the rhythmic movements start. Who are these people who are forming the living circle of Paneurhythmy? These are the ones who strive to enter a world of poetry, freedom and creativity.
The following seven principles underlie Paneurhythmy:
1. The Law of Sentience
This states that everything is infused with Mind and Sentience. Everything in the world is a manifestation of Sentience.
2. The Principle of Correspondence
This principle can be explained as the existence of correspondence or analogy among all things. In hermetic philosophy there is a saying, “As above, so below.” For instance, there is a relationship among idea, tone, form, movement, color and number. A correspondence exists among the chemical elements and among the colors. We find phenomena corresponding to birth and death in the various spheres of life. Another example: there is the ebb and flow of the tides; the ebb and flow [of energy] which comes with the [changing of] the seasons; the ebb and flow of the inner life of man.
3. The Principle of Vibration or Movement
Everything moves, everything vibrates. Nothing is absolutely still. These are facts confirmed by contemporary science. The vibrations of matter, of energy, of mind, even of spirit differ according to their frequencies. The vibrations increase in frequency from matter to spirit. There is a multitude of types and levels of vibrations according to their frequencies.
Natural phenomena can be investigated from the perspective of vibration as well as by other methods. For instance, one can study the vibration of light, sound, electricity, magnetism, the vibration of matter in its different states, in various organisms.
4. The Principle of Polarity
Everything in Nature is dual and polarized. Duality is a basic Universal Law. For instance, masculine and feminine principles exist within Nature as well as positive and negative electricity. The earth, the human body, plants, eggs, crystals, and so on, all have two poles: they are polarized.
5. The Law of Rhythm
Another Universal Law in Nature is rhythm or periodicity. Everything in Nature is rhythmic. For instance, there is a rhythm in the vibration of light, in the changing of the seasons, in the ebb and flow of the tides. There is also rhythm in the movements of the earth: the terrestrial axis makes fine little vibrations which form a whole circle around the poles for 25,000 years. Periodicity exists in the movements of the comets, in human life, in human history, and so on.
6. The Principle of Cause and Effect
Everything in the world has a rational cause. Sometimes we think that the cause is irrational, but there is always a rational cause behind it.
7. The Law of Unity or Relatedness
All things in Nature are similar and related to each other on the basis of unity. For instance, although the chemical elements seem very different at first, they are all based upon electrons and condensed ether. All elements are – in reality – only different combinations of the same electrons. The relationship is more obvious with things in close connection to one another, but with those further apart, the connection simply lies deeper.
From the second principle, the “principle of correspondence”, it follows that there is an interrelationship between tone and movement. From this special perspective, isn’t tone a specific motion? The deep insight to this relationship is implanted in every human being by Nature. If he follows Nature’s impulses, he will find the correct combination of words with music and movements for himself. A person with a developed sense of rhythm and tone will unconsciously move his arm or leg while listening to music. Some children who have a sense for rhythm, tone and grace will start to make movements in harmony with the words and music when listening to songs. They might be young – three to four years old – but intuitively they recognize the relationship between music and movement. In such moments, the universal forces and Laws which underlie all Creation are manifesting through these children.
Let a person try to transform any song by movement, and he will see what an enormous impact it will have on him. Then the words and tones are enlivened and obtain new life. They start to reveal to him a deep hidden meaning, a new content, which he did not suspect. He recognizes the hidden potential power in the words and music. He himself changes and transforms. Words, tones and movements, when combined, have a miraculous effect on his body, thoughts, emotions and will. They deeply influence his core essence and activate all his forces – physical and spiritual. In such moments, he starts to better understand himself, other people, and the world around him. Every form in Nature – star, stone, grass, flower, insect, human being – everything starts to talk to him and reveal its hidden higher meaning.
The movements of Paneurhythmy are taken from Nature itself. Only those movements that are taken from Nature are powerful, strong and rejuvenating. The Laws of the paneurhythmic movements are written in the whole cosmos. These movements are based upon the deep knowledge of the forces behind the human organism and the whole of Creation.
The combination of the paneurhythmic movements with music, words and ideas is not coincidental, but based upon the second principle, the “principle of correspondence”. In these movements there is a strict, Law-governed relationship between the ideas and the music. Paneurhythmy is based on the Law of interrelationship between idea, word, music and movement. That is why we experience the rejuvenating effect of the movements only when they correspond exactly to the words and music.
Paneurhythmy exists in the whole of Nature. The earth is orbiting the sun at 29 km per second. The entire solar system moves towards certain constellations. The earth and other planets, the sun and the other celestial bodies move according to the paneurhythmic Laws. The earth has more than 10 different movements. If we imagine them as combined together, the result will be a beautiful form of motion. This fact is reflected by life on the earth and it manifests in all forms and processes around us. For instance, in the upward spiraling of the plant shoots, one can see a reflection of the spiral cosmic path of the earth. There is Harmony and Rhythm in the whole of Creation. The whole cosmos is permeated by music and movement which form a unified whole. This is Paneurhythmy. During the movements of the celestial bodies, a harmony of the spheres takes place, a music which permeates the whole universe.
The light is also Paneurhythmy, because it contains motion, rhythm and music. It is proven in physics that the light from the sun pulsates, in other words, it possesses a rhythm similar to that of the human heart. As the heart rhythmically pulsates blood through the whole body, so the intensity of the solar light also pulsates. The motion of the etheric light-waves is Paneurhythmy. The red, orange, yellow and other rays of the solar light have specific motions – their own music – which, when combined, create that great Harmony permeating the whole universe.
The mechanical investigation of phenomena does not yet include data on Paneurhythmy. It possesses only facts which cannot be used in such a way as to substantiate Paneurhythmy. For instance, the mechanical method does not understand how the body should move with a certain song, which movement corresponds to which tone, word and idea. A more profound Science with a different approach studies the Laws of this correspondence.
In the movements of Paneurhythmy, the arms, legs and head – the body as a whole – take part in the movements and postures which correspond to the words and tones. In Paneurhythmy, all different geometric lines – straight, curved, wave-like and mixed – come into motion. The movements are strong, soft and bright. In the soft movements, the curved lines predominate; in the strong – the straight lines; whereas the bright and glorious movements are a combination of both. There are movements of electricity and magnetism, of cold and warm currents.
There are three types of movements: mechanical, organic and mental. Mechanical movements are those in which the Supreme Intelligence works outwardly, not inwardly; organic movements are those in which the inner self participates, but not as a clear consciousness; and movements of the mind are those which are connected with a specific idea.
In Paneurhythmy, there are no superfluous movements; in other words, movements which are neither mindful nor have a positive effect. Its movements are the most economical, because they are the most expedient and give the best results. In Paneurhythmy, every line of movement strictly corresponds to certain forces in the human organism and consciousness and awakens them towards creativity and action. In this way, Paneurhythmy acts as a stimulus that activates the physical and spiritual forces in man. Therefore, one can say that Paneurhythmy is a Science which regulates the physical, spiritual and mental processes in man. It can be referred to as the Science of harmonious movements and their interrelationship with human thoughts and emotions.
During Paneurhythmy, one needs to think, feel and move at the same time. If the thoughts and emotions of a person are not present and do not relate to and participate in the movements, then the movements are mechanical only and will not have that powerful, revitalizing and rejuvenating effect on his body, mind, heart, soul and spirit.
The following universal cosmic Law is true: there exists one Rhythm of the Whole, one pulse of Life of the cosmic organism. Man is a part of that Whole. He is like a cog – like a small wheel – in the great edifice of the Whole. The Rhythm, the pulse of the Whole, is transmitting and flowing through all his parts. For instance, the heartbeat is not arbitrary, but connected with the solar life, and a correlation exists between the heart and the solar rhythms. When a person is in harmony with the Whole, then everything in his organism works smoothly because the cosmic Rhythm and Pulse flow in his heart, his blood stream, his breathing – in the functions of all his organs – and they work properly. As a result, one is healthy; he creates and builds in life. Then the Rhythm and Pulse of Nature are transmitted to him in a way similar to the transmission of the movements of a very complicated mechanism to every small cog or wheel which is a part of it.
One may ask: when is a person in harmony with this Whole, with this cosmic organism, that he may receive its Rhythm and Pulse? It is when one is good, just and conscious – when Love is flowing through him – because Sentience and Love are the universal principles in Nature. They are the wellsprings from which all other creative forces flow. Everything within Nature is Love and Sentience! When one is in harmony with the Whole, then the Rhythm – the lines of the cosmic Paneurhythmy – flow within and manifests through him.
From this explanation the following Law of Paneurhythmy becomes clear: one can perform the paneurhythmic movements with grace and beauty when one is thinking and acting rightly.
Paneurhythmy energizes man; it organizes and harmonizes his inner forces, coordinating and directing them towards the mindful life. Therefore, it can be said that Paneurhythmy is a method for self-development and the education of all conscious beings. Paneurhythmy is the supreme Law which should be applied to the self-development and in the education of individuals and society.
In the ancient esoteric schools, the songs were accompanied by movements. In these schools, it was known that a powerful force could be awakened by the combination of words, music and movement. The chanting of certain sublime sentences has been accompanied by songs with special movements, and this had an enormous effect on the performer as well. In the ancient mystical schools, Paneurhythmy has been used as a method of spiritual growth for all students. They learned through the rhythmic movements which correspond to specific ideas and were combined with singing.
The esoteric schools exist not only on earth but also on all planets. The sojourners on the planets and the Sun perform Paneurhythmy. Nature is not a dead mechanism. Everywhere there is life. Sentient Beings inhabit the whole cosmos.
Regardless of whether or not we are cognizant of it, around us exists a World of Sentient Beings. We are surrounded by their thoughts, power and life. We need to be conscious of this. Some of them have finished their evolution long ago; some are finishing it now. Humankind traces the higher path mapped out and traveled by them. Humankind walks after them on a beautiful path of advancement and enlightenment. Now it is the human race’s turn on the great ladder of evolution. These Sentient Beings are workers and servants in the great laboratory of Nature. It is they who are the conscious forces working in the universal World where great Harmony, supreme Beauty, extraordinary Order, Exactness and Sentience reign. We need to connect with their World that they may transmit to us their ideas and impulses, their power and light. And when we obtain inspiration, enlightenment, illumination and flashes of higher ideas, we are receiving gifts from their World. In such moments, we have accepted some of their higher thoughts and ideas.
It is especially through Paneurhythmy that we have started to become receptive to the Higher World. We know that it is only when the radio receiver’s antenna is attuned to the radio transmitter that it receives thoughts or music sent through the ether. Through the harmonious movements of Paneurhythmy, we become capable of perceiving the thoughts of Evolved Beings and we come into contact with a World of Supreme Intelligence. Radio is a device and a condition for sharing among nations. In the same way, Paneurhythmy is a condition for receiving the thoughts of these Souls of genius.
Paneurhythmy affects man in the following ways:
1. It connects the human being with the Sentient Beings.
2. It awakens the creative forces, endowments and gifts implanted within man. Because we need to know that great forces and capabilities are hidden within the human nature which are still at the beginning of their awakening and blossoming. Man has not yet become that which he is deep within his core essence.
It is known that the human being is the highest manifestation of life on earth. Stones are the lowest manifestation. The plant and animal kingdoms are intermediate stages. Nature moves gradually towards its higher manifestation.
The Supreme Intelligence, the Divine, works in all natural kingdoms, but from the outside. On the earth, the Cosmic Oneness works inwardly only within the human being. The good in man is a Manifestation of the Divine. When man thinks rightly – when he performs good deeds – he then manifests the Divine Origin through himself. We should not divide this Sublime Divine Origin. It manifests itself through the human being whether he believes or not. Paneurhythmy awakens the Divine Essence in man.
3. The ideas, music and movements of Paneurhythmy permeate the whole human organism; and in this way, he becomes receptive towards the rejuvenating forces of the cosmos.
The movements of Paneurhythmy find a resonance in Nature, and she answers. Her answers are that upliftment and light which fill one’s mind, heart and will; that joy and idealism which have started to flow within him. Through Paneurhythmy, one begins to converse with the creative forces of Nature and begins to speak her language. This is an entry into a world in which Nature offers him all her forces, capabilities and ideas. Paneurhythmy serves as a real, concrete, and – at the same time – beautiful method for physical renewal and the strengthening of the mind, emotions and will.
Through these movements, one receives insight about the Rhythm that permeates the universe and the eternal Music which, in every process of Nature, creates and builds.
As with everything else, the personal experience will be the final criteria. From one’s own experience, one can come to understand that every paneurhythmic movement awakens new sources within him and that he is feeling younger. These movements infuse the body with the harmony, rhythm, music and ideas which they bear. This makes the body healthy, strong, slender and beautiful. Paneurhythmy not only brings beauty to the body, but to the human movements and the inner life – the thoughts, emotions and actions – as well.
Paneurhythmy is an outward, physical expression of something Sublime, Eternal and Boundless. And through Paneurhythmy, one comes in contact with this Sublime Reality.
It was mentioned before that in the ancient mystical schools Paneurhythmy was used as a method for education. Yet we need to keep in mind that the development of humankind at that time had been in a period of involution; in other words: a period of decline from the world of spirit towards the world of matter. Today, man is in his evolutionary period: that of ascending. During an involutionary period, man moves from the center to the periphery; and in the evolutionary – in the opposite manner. During involution, man has ploughed and sown; during evolution, he harvests the fruits.
History is nothing but a manifestation of the human spirit. Human cultures change according to which epochs and phases humankind is in. For instance, the architecture of every epoch is a manifestation of the creative forces which are at work at that time. There is a big difference between the ancient and contemporary architecture. The same is true for poetry and all other aspects of human culture. The same is also true for the paneurhythmic movements. In the past, they have been with an involutionary character. Therefore, the rhythmic movements of the ancient esoteric schools are not suitable for the upliftment of people today.
The Paneurhythmy of today is evolutionary; it has a totally different character and effect. It corresponds to the modern epoch in humankind’s development. It is connected to the new creative forces which awaken in man.
A new epoch is coming which is the cosmic Spring. The earth and the whole solar system are now entering into a new cosmic era which brings favorable conditions for the awakening the beautiful which has been implanted within human nature. We need to know that the cosmos is alive, that it is permeated by universal forces. And the cosmic space through which the solar system is moving is important and significant. A new Culture of Light is coming. Symbolically we may say that the ice and snow are melting, that the flowers are blooming and the migratory birds are coming to bring new elements into our lives.
Because we are at the beginning of the development of the sixth race, a new foundation for Paneurhythmy is being laid. Paneurhythmy is now an expression of the new culture which is coming. The ideas of the sixth race are included in the music and movements of Paneurhythmy. And when one performs these exercises, the ideas and creative forces of the new culture are sent out into the world. The participants in the living circle of Paneurhythmy awaken within themselves these new creative forces. Furthermore, they become a transmission center, sending these forces and ideas out into the world where they reach and find a response in every soul. Through these movements, the living circle of Paneurhythmy sends to the world a lovely appeal for renewal, upliftment and progress. Through Paneurhythmy, man creates and builds new values in himself and in his life.
The sixth race, which is coming, will be a Manifestation of Paneurhythmy. The fifth race, the race of today, is of a material and objective knowledge, one of studying Nature from the external, in other words, a race of the intellect. The sixth race is a race of Love. The number six is related to Love. The forces and ideas implanted in Paneurhythmy will become Reality with the sixth race. Paneurhythmy prepares the path for its coming.
Paneurhythmy has even higher forms which will be given in the future development of humankind.
Paneurhythmy is the new which must be introduced into the human culture. It will play an important educational and instructive role in the schools. Through it, students will become physically strengthened and stimulated towards a high-principled life, full of creativity and idealism. All the ideas contained in Paneurhythmy will become alive in the youth. The noble and pure seeds in their souls will sprout and become activated. The introduction of Paneurhythmy into the schools and into the community of adults will give an enormous impulse for infusing society with new cultural values. It will give a new impulse: new possibilities and new horizons for the coming generation of students as well as for the adults. This will be an important step towards the recognition of the new which awakens in life like a beautiful dawn. The gymnastic exercises and choreography of today are a push forwards, a path and a preparation for the Paneurhythmy.
Of course, Paneurhythmy cannot be learned by only reading literature on the subject. For its study, special schools with a series of lectures and courses are needed. In these courses, which are to be offered in every city, town and village, Paneurhythmy should be explained scientifically. Its basic principles and Laws need to be studied; and at the same time, it needs to be practiced. The offering of such courses in the schools and in adult society is now a necessity in order to infuse present-day culture with new vital impulses. Such courses are necessary, because in order for Paneurhythmy to produce its powerful impact on people, it must be performed with an awakened consciousness. Paneurhythmy must be a conscious activity in which the participants are aware of and feel the ideas implanted in every movement as well as the forces which it awakens.
Paneurhythmy should be performed with a feeling of sacred awe. The consciousness should be completely focused that the living circle of may act as a receiver and transmitter of the great cosmic forces. Through the movements and rhythm of the music, the participants come into contact with the sacred, crystalline, pure and powerful forces in Nature which create and build the future which is coming.
The text of the songs, which is offered today, is a simple and easily understood model. These movements have a much deeper expression, the words to which will be given in the future.
In this epoch, ascending and descending forces exist. The ascending forces are like a newborn who is now weak and powerless but to whom the future belongs. In the epoch in which we are living, we need to perceive which forces are presently the ascending ones and what can help them to manifest in life.
Paneurhythmy is in harmony with the ascending forces in man and in life. These forces are implanted in it. Paneurhythmy awakens these forces and stimulates them towards activity. What are these ascending forces? They are detailed as follows:
1. The Good
This is the firm rock, the solid foundation, upon which every conscious life is built. Whatever is built on the Good is indestructible. That which can be destroyed is not good. The Good links people to the inexhaustible Source of the creative forces. The strength of the Good makes one as firm as a rock in the face of any difficulties and obstacles. It makes one strong enough to withstand and overcome everything and to triumph.
2. Divine Justice
This is the right distribution of light, warmth, energy and all the bounties generously provided by Nature. These gifts are for all. Every being who comes to earth has the right to life, the right to sun and all other bounties. Divine Justice is a condition for growth and blossoming. It provides the conditions for growth. Only where it exists, can proper growth, natural development and advancement be possible.
3. Divine Sentience
This is the expedient use of light, warmth, energy and all other bounties. Only where Sentience reigns is there fruit, and only in the Realm of Sentience can the fruit ripen. In other words, only where Sentience exists can lasting and beneficial results be found.
Sentience includes Great Wisdom and Great Knowledge which reveals the forces, Laws and methods for creative work. This is the deep understanding of Nature, the human being himself, and his path in life. Sentience is the Manifestation of the harmonious combination of Love and Wisdom.
When all the strings of an instrument are tuned harmoniously, beautiful melodies can be played. Only with such an instrument can the virtuoso player show his power of performance and breadth of vision. In the same way, when the instruments of an orchestra are harmoniously attuned, the conductor can raise his baton and express through it the great idea which illuminates and inspires him.
All beings represent Great Cosmic Orchestra. When harmony exists among them, the great Conductor will perform the music of the Sentient Life through this Orchestra and will manifest His own Greatness, the Beauty of His Thought and His great Love.
The culture of the fraternity of all nations is coming. They will all consider themselves as members of one great family. The stronger nations will help the weaker ones. All nations are organs of one cosmic Organism. And as every organ has its assigned place, function and special mission, so does each nation. This idea is currently arising in the consciousness of the humankind.
Freedom is the removal of all barriers, limitations and obstacles that hinder the Divine essence in man from manifestation in the world in its full beauty, splendor and power. Freedom is the unveiling of great treasures hidden within the human soul. With freedom, the soul takes charge. Freedom is the falling off of all chains, the collapse of narrow ideas and delusions, the entry into the unlimited horizons and possibilities concealed within the human spirit. Freedom is the opening of beautiful prospects for upliftment and achievement.
7. Universal Love
In its development, the human consciousness is transformed into Love. Universal Love embraces all the above forces and bears them within Itself. These forces are its Manifestation. Today, Universal Love is being born within the human consciousness as a new insight into the essence of Life. It is leaving death and entering into Life, leaving the life of shadows and entering into the Life of the one Great Reality, reaching the Source of Life itself. It is what reconciles all contradictions and overcomes all obstacles. It is the Resurrection.
Only he who is pure in body, mind and heart will understand the meaning of human happiness and Universal Love. When one enters into the realm of purity, the crystalline life-giving currents of Universal Love will flow through his heart.
Paneurhythmy is a musical and graceful expression of these ascending forces. In this way, it facilitates the growth of the ascending forces within the soul and life itself. As a result, Paneurhythmy prepares the path of the new beautiful Life to come, the Life of Freedom, Justice, Wisdom, Harmony, Brotherhood and Universal Love.