Connecting to Our Inner Nature: Trance
Jan 21, 2021 | Shankra Culture

The word trance awakes deep meanings in the human spirit, connecting ancestral drives with a strong direct physical experience. The term trance can be traced back to the Latin verb transīre, meaning “to cross", "pass over", referring to the feeling of embarking a journey to unexplored paths of our conscious state, when in a state of trance.

This extra-ordinary state originates from regions of the mind that are rarely explored consciously, even if frequently stimulated by different means in our everyday reality.

Aldous Huxley refers to these regions as “antipodes”, reachable through the temporary deactivation of certain cognitive functions: free from utilitarian distractions, the mind is able to pay attention to certain states that overcome the biological utility and sublime spirituality.

Trance is often caused by cognitive loops, where a cognitive object (a thought, an image, a sound, an intentional action) repeats long enough to focus the totality of our attention on it, with the purpose of relaxation, healing, intuition and inspiration. From the dawn of human culture, there is an extensive history of trance documented by anthropologists and ethnologists, showing that trance can be perceived as endemic, meaning it is an innate characteristic of the human condition.

Tribal music and dances, Greek and Roman oracles, stories of the saints in the Middle Ages, chants and mantras from every religion in the world, myths, parables, fairy tales, oral lore and storytelling from different cultures are themselves potentially inducers of trance. Often musical, physical and literary devices such as repetition are employed: the usage of repetitive rhythms to induce trance states is an ancient phenomenon.

In the contemporary reality, we experience minor states of trance each day of our life: focusing on individual tasks at work or school, watching a movie or listening to music. The whole concept of entertainment could be described as the synchronization of different rhythmic cycles; movies, TV series, shows, theatrical plays affect our breathing and heart rate, along with our brainwave activity, enhancing states of relaxation or inducing strong emotions.

Take a moment to recognize the powerful effects of trance in our daily life. Through them, we are connected directly to our collective and infinite nature.

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