Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 20 August 2020

The Circle Dance of the Cross Part 1

The Circle Dance of the Cross

Ring Dance performed in legend by Apollo and the Muses




The Circle Dance of the Cross is found in the Acts of John. Embedded in the text is a hymn (sections 94 – 96) that some consider to have originally been "a liturgical song (with response) in some Johannine communities" (Davis). The Acts of John is not part of the Christian canon, mainly because of its docetic teachings, however the text presents a picture of Jesus performing a dance this may seem strange to some Christians however dancing is part of the Jewish worship from which Christianity grow out of
Biblical Background of Dancing 
In the Hebrew Scriptures several expressions occur that are translated “dancing,” “circle dances,” “dancing around,” and “skipping about.” The Hebrew verb chul, which basically means “whirl; turn,” is also rendered “dance.” (Jg 21:21; compare Jer 30:23; La 4:6.) Two nouns meaning “dance; circle dance” are drawn from this verb, namely ma·chohl´ (Jer 31:4; Ps 150:4) and mecho·lah´.—Ca 6:13; Jg 21:21. (Insight into the Scriptures)
Victory and Festive Dances
In the Hebrew Scriptures dancing is referred to in various contexts as an important ritualized activity and as an expression of joy.

After the triumphant crossing of the Red Sea, “Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances” (Exodus 15:20-21). 

On his triumphant return from battle to Mizpah, Jephtah was greeted by his daughter with timbrels and dancing (Judges 11:34).

When David and Saul returned from the battle with the Philistines, “the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with timbrels, with joy, and with rattles” (1st Samuel 18:6).

There is a detailed description of a victory parade, where Judith leads the women in the dance, to the accompaniment of a special thanksgiving song: “And all the women of Israel hurried to see her, and they praised her and made a dance for her…And she went out in the dance before all the people, leading all the women” (Judith 15:12-13).

It was a great occasion when the ark of the covenant finally arrived in Jerusalem, especially for King David, who gave way to his emotions in a most vigorous dance. “And David was dancing around before Jehovah with all his power, . . . leaping and dancing around before Jehovah.” (2Sa 6:14-17) In the parallel passage David is described as “skipping about.”—1Ch 15:29.

14 And David was dancing around before Jehovah with all his power, all the while David being girded with an eph´od of linen. 
15 And David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of Jehovah with joyful shouting and sound of horn. 
16 And it occurred that when the ark of Jehovah came into the City of David, Mi´chal, Saul’s daughter, herself looked down through the window and got to see King David leaping and dancing around before Jehovah; and she began to despise him in her heart. 

David’s dance before the Ark was an example of the religious ecstatic dances performed by men. The Psalms exhorted people to “praise God’s name in the dance”–“praise Him with timbrels and dance” (Psalms 149:3; 150:4). (Insight into the Scriptures)

The Psalms also endorse dancing as a means of honoring and praising Jehovah. “Praise Jah, you people! . . . Let them praise his name with dancing. With the tambourine and the harp let them make melody to him.” “Praise him with the tambourine and the circle dance.”—Ps 149:1, 3; 150:4. (Insight into the Scriptures)

In Israel, dancing was performed mostly in groups, particularly by women. When men joined in the dance, they were in separate companies; apparently there was no mingling of the sexes in their dances. The dances were both processional and circular (Jg 21:21; 2Sa 6:14-16), but these styles did not make the dances akin to the pagan processional or circle dances. The motives and objectives behind the dances themselves, the announced purpose of the dances, the movements of the dancing bodies, and the ideas such movements convey to observers are the important things to consider and compare in determining resemblance in dance patterns. (Insight into the Scriptures)
The horah
Hora, also known as horo and oro, is a type of circle dance

The name (spelled differently in various countries) is cognate to the Greek χορός (khorós): "dance" which is cognate with the Ancient Greek art form of χορεία (khoreía). The original meaning of the Greek word χορός may have been "circle". 

The horah (הורה), which differs somewhat from that of some of the Eastern European countries, is widespread in the Jewish diaspora and played a foundational role in modern Israeli folk dancingTo start the dance, everybody forms a circle, holding hands or interlocking arms behind their backs or on their shoulders[4] and steps forward toward the left with the right foot, then follows with the left foot. The right foot is then brought back, followed by the left foot. This is done while holding hands and circling together in a fast and cheerful motion to the left. Large groups allow for the creation of several concentric circles.


In canonical accounts, Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, Not actually identified in the Acts of John as Gethsemane, but we can infer that this is the possible location from the context, which states that the scene takes place before Jesus is ‘delivered up’ to ‘the lawless Jews’. (Sean Martin)

This Hymn is no hymn, but a mystic ritual through which Jesus sought to instruct consolidate his followers on the eve of the crucifixion. he had the disciples form a circles holding hands , and dance round him. Standing in the center he sang a sequence of mystical phrases, to which the disciples had to respond in chorus "Amen":
The Circle Dance of the Cross
The Circle Dance of the Cross from the Acts of John:

[Before the crucifixion] he gathered all of us together and said: Before I am delivered up unto them let us sing an hymn to the Father, and so go forth to that which lieth before us. He bade us therefore make as it were a ring (circle), holding one another's hands, and himself standing in the midst he said: Answer Amen unto me. He began, then, to sing an hymn and to say:

“Glory be to you, father.”

And we circled around him and responded to him,

“Amen.”

“Glory to you, word. Glory to you, grace.”

“Amen.”

“Glory to you, spirit. Glory to you, holy one. Glory to your glory.”

“Amen.”

“We praise you, father. We give thanks to you, light, in whom no darkness is.”

“Amen.”

“Why we give thanks, I declare:

I will be saved and I will save.”

“Amen.”

“I will be released and I will release.”

“Amen.”

“I will be wounded and I will wound.”

“Amen.”

“I will be born and I will bear.”

“Amen.”

“I will eat and I will be eaten.”

“Amen.”

“I will hear and I will be heard.”

“Amen.”

“I will be kept in mind, being all mind.”

“Amen.”

“I will be washed and I will wash.”

“Amen.”

Grace Dances

“I will play the flute. Dance, everyone.”

“Amen.”

“I will mourn. Lament, everyone.”

“Amen.”

“A realm of eight sings with us.”

“Amen.”

“The twelfth numbers dances on high.”

“Amen.”

“The whole universe takes part in dancing.”

“Amen.”

“Whoever does not dance does not know what happens.”

“Amen.”

“I will feel and I will stay.”

“Amen.”

“I will adorn and I will be adorned.”

“Amen.”

“I will be united and I will unite.”

“Amen.”

“I have no house and I have houses.”

“Amen.”

“I have no place and I have places.”

“Amen.”

“I have no temple and I have temples”

“Amen.”

“I am a lamp to you who see me.”

“Amen.”

“I am a mirror to you who perceive me.”

“Amen.”

“I am a door to you who knock on me.”

“Amen.”

“I am a way to you, you passerby.”

“Amen.”

Understanding the Song 

“If you respond to my dance, see yourself in me as I speak, and if you have seen what I do, keep silent about my mysteries. You who dance, understand what I do for yours is this human passion I am about to suffer. You could by no means have comprehended what you suffer unless I had been sent as the word to you by the father. You who have seen what I suffer have seen me as suffering, and when you have seen it, you have not stood firm but were completely moved. You were moved to become wise, and you have me for support. Rest in me. Who I am you will know when I depart. What now I am seen to be I am not. You will see when you come. If you knew how to suffer, you would have been able not to suffer. Learn about suffering, and you will be able not to suffer. What you do not know I myself shall teach you. I am your god, not the traitor’s. I want holy souls to be in harmony with me. Know the word of wisdom. Say again with me,

Glory to you, father.

Glory to you, word.

Glory to you, spirit.

Amen.

“If you want to know what I was, once I mocked everything with the word, and I was not put to shame at all. I leaped. But understand everything, and when you have understood, declare,

Glory to you, father.

Amen.”


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