The Silence of Movement Part I — Essence and other Reasons why Movement is a Pure Communication Form.

Little waves ripple in a lake in Norway — photo from

In this article, we are going to reflect on Movement, its omnipresence throughout the process of Meaning Creation and Communication, and why its Physical Embodiment can be a legitimate tool to express and understand what we perceive in an abundantly natural and integrated way.

Movement in Existence

Arduous work is to list all moving things in existence. Once one starts to become aware of the ubiquity of movement, it is hard to recognize Stillness. In fact, after enough searching, non-motion starts to be evoked as a sacred abstract concept which must somehow hold existence for everything that is, without being something itself. How on earth would we acknowledge movement without its opposite? We need archetypal extremes to conceive the middle ranges.

But where is Stillness?

Landscapes appear still until one notices the Infinitum of details which are moved by the wind. Soils look empty until one appreciates the trails and moves of insect colonies doing their thing. Wall textures are squared until you allow the plasticity of your visual apparatus to turn them into psychedelic moving blobs. Let alone think of the vibratory nature of electrons themselves, but that is an over-abused and often under-informed quantum physics alley that we will leave aside here. Even non-animated objects are constantly jolted by the pass of time in the form of lighting shifts or even memory fading (forgetting about something is also a move in the meaning attached to it). We are never physically or psychologically the same when we perceive things, and that also prints some variation in their appreciation.

Everything appears to be subject to change, and with it, to motion. It seems obvious that, as the sailor who has internalized the sway of a constantly uneven floor and takes it as the norm, we soak everything we perceive in movement, and that is how we understand the world. Movement is in fact, our default, our ground for perception, sensation, and reaction, thus the roots of every possible meaning we derive from these.

And not only things move, everything that has to do with their conceptualization does too. Our comprehension and communication systems are not isolated from this ever-changing panorama, we catch ideas on a flying space, we blossom meanings as they emerge, and we construct discourses by developing lexical carousels. It’s all drowned in a constant flow of events.

Women with lighting changes impacting her face in a gradual manner.
Lighting changes on a subject. GIF hosted by

Movement in Words

Communication is embedded in a sparkling schema where we as conscious agents perceive, sense, and react by creating meanings. We use a variety of languages to collect whatever arises from this whole process of moving concepts, and with them we construct discourses that range from the abstract/poetic to the most concrete grounds, depending on how well defined the meaning was at the moment of the collection. Basically, we are constantly translating the movement of concepts into language, yet the maturity of the meaning in these concepts can define the abstraction with which we deliver.

Something that is reasonably accepted is that the most common form of communication is verbal language or words. And yes, words move too, nobody can stop them. Words are always in movement. They can’t remain still other than by being mere ink sculptures in whatever manuscript, or black pixels in some random display. The soul of words is conceived in movement, in a never-ending swirl of thought that flows in the writer’s mind. Whatever has to be written can be, through the writer’s decision of listening to the dance of articulable ideas in her head, and more importantly, through her choice to bring them to life. They then become frozen, on idle, ready to defy the gap of time until a reader or a listener is there to catch their movement again, and let his molds of meaning be shaped by the rapid shakes of the words parading in his thought. Reading is also a highly moving exercise, where words resuscitate into another windy storm of meaning.

Words collect the subconscious of our most common communication drive, thus consolidate habitual trains of thought. They fix it, tear it from the entropy of possibilities, and deliver encapsulated bits of value: messages. This is an example of conversion from the emergence of meaning into a personal interpretation, the codification of an individual abstraction. Through language education, we agree too on some decoding terms to unpack these abstractions and incorporate them into one’s own understanding.

We conceive and understand words by moving our minds into their rhythms, we witness an undeniable sharing of motion from which something agreed to have essence and connotation surfaces. Our consciousness undergoes a process of perception of ideas that seems to travel into a shaping process that renders them ready to be verbalized, articulated into lexical spaces. These are pure communication spaces, fertile grounds to in-form what we live, our only way to replicate it, to acknowledge it. In a certain way, it is the only way through which we can proclaim ourselves creators.

Like the surfer who paddles to match the wave’s dynamics before the ride, we turn ourselves into concepts by moving (thoughts, memories, ideas, and bodies). To move to meaning is to become meaning, to move to perception is to become perception. The expression through movement, whether poetical or descriptive, is all we can achieve, and words, while commonly used, are not the only tool to express, and surely not the one with the biggest hold of movement in its essence.

Movement in the Physical Body, Pure Expression

I am now referring to expressing this universal movement with bald movement, direct physical movement, getting rid of foreign abstractions, such as words.

What if we extrapolate the motion of concepts in our minds straight into a physical motion in the body? What about surrendering to the movement and spread of consciousness, and amplify it through corporeal motion, diverting the conception of meaning to another vocabulary, one possibly closer to the very nature of ideas: motion? Let’s be honest, verbal language is highly complex, but also a severely quantized mode of expression that serves us well for sharing, but lacks naturalness other than the one we grant it through habit.

The translation of perception objects into physical movement can be accepted as an exercise of transparency and honesty to one’s own phenomenology. It is a true externalization of the process of understanding, a materialization of the very fabric of ideas and meanings as we catch them. To use movement physicality as a translation of pre-thought or internal ruminations is to embody the perception, sensation, and reaction processes that occur within, and share them rawly. In essence, when one is armed with sufficient motion vocabulary, it may become a refined mode of expression, connection, and active contemplation.

When we move to our inner happenings we are becoming the dance of consciousness itself, the abstraction made concrete in a physical world, still without losing its reverie and contemplative qualities. We become as ephemeral as life itself. Movement as a lexical space to translate the waltz of change, is probably the most human way to embody existence, and with it, transformation, change, and motion.

Motion Delay Processing from a dance clip featuring .

In a nutshell, movement is beyond and within physicality, beyond and within subjectivity, and that is what makes it transcendental. As it does in the physical dimension, it most probably also pervades all other realms of conception and existence. Given that the world of reactions and affections is carved in our physicality, moving them to reality seems a plausible bridge among dimensions, or at least a smart use of a (the only evident?) commonality across them. Motion is both: a given and a choice, thus what can connect surrender with discipline.

Moving aligns us to the core behavior of everything within and beyond ourselves.

Again, and in big words, we are saying that we have the capacity to mimic the whole, the other, the mystery; by materializing the texture of ideas in its own language. We can find a ground to understand, within the lands where our own cognition dwells. We meet a friendly wink sent by our own comprehension, a marriage between inside and outside, the end of separation, a way to get our flesh to become divine, to acknowledge the magic in the movement of being, being-in-movement, a moving body. It is a conversation in the language of The Numinous (God), or for the agnostic, in the language of pure creation, experience, and union.

What keeps you moving?

--

--

--

Art-based Researcher, Data-AI-SignalProcessing Engineer. I study ~rhythms through aesthetics.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

10 Fun Facts About Humans As the Weirdest Species

Yellow Painted Egg With Smiley Emoticon

The infinite loop

Aristotle

Inside-Out 6: If you can't beat THEM... Then BEAT Yourself!

The Influence of Human Thought in Our Society

Roddie Edmonds’s Big Love: A Leadership Lesson

The Dream That Died

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Will Barleycorn

Will Barleycorn

Art-based Researcher, Data-AI-SignalProcessing Engineer. I study ~rhythms through aesthetics.

More from Medium

Flashback: what it felt like holding Bishop Crowther’s Consecration Bible

When Your Pastor Says “Menstrual”