When the beat grabs my soul and not just my mind, feet and will to dance I’m transported into a space that has no ego in it. It does not even have any me in it, any personal history with my name attached. I am no longer myself but a being from some transcendent world. I am in the grip of duende, and I dance with the authority of one who knows death intimately and therefore does not play life’s usual social games, which are largely played by egos.
Let me dwell a moment on the fact that I am, while in the grip of duende, no longer myself. Who then am I? That is not my concern; all I care about is the ecstatic frenzy of the dance and the world it enters me into. A world, as I say, acquainted with death—the best of death, not the worst. That of death which makes me longer Max Randolph but someone or something else.
Perhaps an angel . . . in the Blakean, Rilkean, Ginsbergian sense. A groovy, flesh-tripping, baby boomin’ hipster angel too cool to embroil itself in ego. (For in the long run ego is anything but cool.) An embodied soul that knows its own power, its own authority and authenticity, and has not the least qualms at expressing it, regardless of what anyone might think.
Whatever anyone might think is totally irrelevant to me—to me being who and what I am in duende’s caress, dancing like a god. I am a god in such moments, or might as well be one—whatever a god is. I know I need not apologize to anyone for the spectacle of dancing godness that I am at such moments. My crazed but sane-in-equilibrium dancing and the duende of my possessed soul, my ecstasy-inebriated limbs, in short, my trance, is really no one’s business but mine. (And, as I imply, it’s debatable if it’s even my business.) If others are inspired by or, on the other hand, judge me for it (for whatever reason), that’s their lookout. The saying what others think of me is not my business has no greater currency than here.
What do I, or should I, care about the pettiness of ego-judging, especially in the face of my ecstasy, my duende, my being beside myself or other than myself? The central point here and the only thing worth focusing on is the aspect of life that mates for a few moments, as eternal as they are temporal, with death—yet only to live more fully, more ecstatically, more according to the authority and authenticity of the man who, bereft of ego, has no name.
He is only a conduit for the dance of the universe, the joy acknowledged by the death in him which, as I say, accrues more than anything to life. Because I’m coming to believe more and more that it’s all life. And perhaps no more so than when one abandons oneself to the duende.
(Note: The above was written April 26th of this year after I came home from an evening of full moon drumming with the One Heartbeat crowd.)