Our lives are spent teetering on the edge of the void. You know the void – the big hole you feel inside. Usually it is a dull and throbbing pain, the background noise of most lives. We rush around, doing everything we can to fill the hole. We have a handy word for this rushing about: avoidance. A dance around the void. We develop the most elaborate maneuverings we can imagine, never realizing that it is all a-void-dance. That if we could but taste fullness for a moment, then the vacant dances of consumerism, addiction, empty sex, and violence would be transformed into the erotic dance of Being.
The emptiness is so palpable and overwhelming that we would fill it at virtually any price. We seek immediate gratification – a quick fix – a book, a drug, a relationship, a job – anything to fill the gaping hole in our wholeness. We run desperately looking for the next watering hole that might fill up the yawning chasm we feel so deeply and try so hard to hide.
On the outside our mad dashing about may look like a dance, but we are really gasping for air. Picture the image of a bee in a bottle. Seen from the outside, the bee darts from side to side in an ecstatic dance. On the inside, however, there is neither dance nor ecstasy. The bee is slowly dying, suffocating. It was not meant to be this way. Life should not be a pathos-filled scramble for some snatches of authenticity in between empty charades.
The ancient wisdom of the great Hebrew mystics makes one essential promise: There is a better way to live. In the midst of uncertainty and anxiety, joy and meaning remain genuine options. We can choose life and love, or death and fear. To experience the fullness of every moment, to move from isolation to deep connection, is our birthright if we but claim it.
The great invitation of the spirit is to heal our pain, opening us up to the possibility of joy, ecstasy, and love. There is another way to dance: the dance of Eros. The dance in which we all have a place.