Soma & Civilization
What Was the Human For?
with Zhenevere Sophia Dao
PARADOX & MYSTICISM
Online, September 9—October 15
*Please scroll down past the workshop offerings to register for PARADOX & MYSTICISM
Post-Daoist & Neo Romantic
Cultural & Philosophical Theory
& Mythosomatic Movement
Post-Daoist & Neo-Romantic
Culutral & Philosophical Theory
Hieratic Mythosomatic Forms
& the 5 Mythosomatic Dances
Costa Rica 2023
SOMA & CIVILIZATION Intensive
at Brave Earth
Join Zhenevere Sophia Dao, with vocalist Willa Roberts, for a 5-day SOMA & CIVILIZATION workshop in Costa Rica.
The experience will incorporate Zhenevere Sophia Dao’s cultural and philosophical theories, including emotional negative capability, the erotic basis of being, and paradox and mysticism; Mythosomatic Movement—explorations of the 5 Mythosomatic Dances and the Hieratic Mythosomatic Forms; Somatic Sensibility Training: Dynamic Exercises at the Border of Self and Other; “VOICE & VOICE: Body & Vocalization (with vocalist Willa Roberts); Signification: Creative Writing and the Meaning of Experience; and SACRa Theater trainings involving gesture and emotion.
For registration please visit the Brave Earth website HERE
Please scroll all the way down for a complete description of the Costa Rica Intensive.
Santa Fe, NM 2023
In-Person SOMA & CIVILIZATION Immersion
with Zhenevere Sophia Dao
For students of the 2023 SOMA & CIVILIZATION program
who have participated in at least 3 of the 5 online thematics.
The experience will incorporate Zhenevere Sophia Dao’s cultural and philosophical theory as conceived and embodied in the 5 thematics of SOMA & CIVILIZATION, including explorations of the 5 Mythosomatic Dances and the Hieratic Mythosomatic Forms.
This is a Deep Study workshop for serious students of the SOMA & CIVILIZATION program.
Cost: Sliding Scale / Choose One of Two Options:
$625 or $750
*Food & Lodging Individually Procured
ON THE NATURE OF EARTH
In the soil of the flesh of the human body, in the rivers of the blood, in the storms of the psyche, in the pounding hooves of the heart, the human shares mysteries with the Earth. These mysteries are forms of Magic. Magic makes meaning, but inscrutably, irrationally. Magic is the natural action of the incalculable human heart. Earth’s magic takes forms: sacrifice; the Immensity of the Other; listening; above all, Sympathy. We belong to life ultimately only through Sympathy. When I say Belonging, I do not mean the comfort of familiarity. I mean nearly the opposite. I mean that the need to feel what is not ourselves is the very substance of ourselves. And this substance of ourselves, which is substantiated in the need to feel Others, is our relaxation on the Earth. This is the opposite of indifference, the opposite of bigotry. The Other is there before us—their body, their breath, their eyes. They are the encounter with what is real. We know them because we have become ourselves in the alarming attention of their eyes. And so we make Others in the alarming attention of our eyes. That is the history of human existence. There is of course another history—the history of non-existence; of ceasing to exist; of ending; the history of the human destroying the human; the history of the human destroying all living things. But Sympathy is the only viable history. All the other impulses are clots of fear that amount to suicide. Our suicide is plain now, at the end of human history. History is ending because the human is clotted with fear. But the least encounter with the Other gifts us existence again. Their body, their breath, their eyes—their pain, their wish, their prayers, their sadness, their wound, their abjection, their loneliness, their joy. Their life, we know, is our life. All of their being pours itself fourth through the porous shield of our expression. And because we are them, we cannot bear that we are not them. We want to make room in ourselves for their whole being. We try. But we cannot. We cannot wholly become the Other. The constituents of our lives are different. We cannot utterly mutualize all human circumstance within our single selves. And this knowledge is too painful to bear. But in order to bear it, we undergo a kind of magic: we transform. We expand past the limitations of our skin, past our thought, and past our mind. We create new sense, new thought, new mind. We include until we break, and then we reform again, like water expanding around a stone. The stone is our ego. The water is our being. The Other makes our being flow around the suicide of the stone.
~Zhenevere Sophia Dao
Excerpt from the POWER & EMOTION Volume of the SOMA & CIVILIZATION Series
Six-week Series: September 9th—October 15th
6 Saturday mornings
Soma & Civilization 2023 Timeline
1. [Finished] Origin and Essence – Mythosomatic Dance: ACREATION
2. [Finished] Power and Emotion – Mythosomatic Dance: EMPATHOS
3. [Finished] Beauty, Fragility & Sensation – Mythomomatic Dance: SENTOS
4. [Finished] July 15th—August 20th: Eros and Transformation—
5. [Upcoming] September 9th—October 15th: Paradox & Mysticism
OCTOBER COSTA RICA INTENSIVE DESCRIBED
The upcoming Costa Rica intensive represents the first in-person experience of the comprehensive teachings of the Soma & Civilizaiton program. I will briefly outline the intensive curriculum below.
My Post-Daoist and Neo-Romantic cultural and philosophical theories in lecture and discussion format. The 5 days of the intensive will follow the 5 themes of Soma & Civilization: Origin & Essence; Power & Emotion; Beauty, Fragility & Sensitivity; Eros & Transformation; Paradox & Mysticism.
Teaching and practice of choice selections from the Hieratic Mythosomatic Forms (corresponding to the themes) and choice sections or phrases of the 5 Mythosomatic Dances (each dance corresponds to one of the 5 Soma & Civilization themes).
Somatic Sensibility Training. This training combines dynamic interpersonal exercises exploring otherness and sympatia (Latin for "same feeling"). The focus on power as sensitivity and sensibility, rather than leverage, represents the physical/sacred theatrical component of my philosophies of Emotional Negative Capability and belonging as mutual tenderness and sympathy. This work in partners derives from attunement training in my theater company and my deeply spiritualized perspective on martial arts, with the intention of palpably subverting normative notions of power as meanness, evil, or coercion.
Voice & Voice, with vocalist Willa Roberts. Willa is my girlfriend, my singing teacher, and the musical director of my theater company, SACRaTheater. Each day of the intensive, we will bring together our specialties in voice and body respectively to explore all of the themes of Soma & Civilization in relation to sound and singing.
Signification: Creative Writing and the Meaning of Experience. Every year—perhaps every hour, perhaps every minute—language is ever more severed from meaning. This severance of the integrity between the signifier (the person doing the naming in words) and the signified (that which they would name) is clearly paving the way for the automatonization of humanity in the form of Artificial Intelligence, where accumulation of algorithmical information already masks for knowledge, communication, and—we are inexorably headed this way—even love and Eros. I believe that there is, taken on the whole, nearly no remedy for this trend—but the extremely conscious and rigorous exercise of the imagination in writing might begin to honor the human uniqueness of our lives.
Likewise with gesture. I will bring to this intensive some basic principles and exercises of SACRa Theater, with a like intention (to that described above with regard to creative writing). Namely, the body has become all but commodified by hyper-communication and self-commodification, to the point were gesture and sensation are experienced for their effects, not their instinctual purity. We'll use these trainings to begin to try and ascertain the distinction essentially between selling and being, in the magnificence of the human sensorium.