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Dancing Mathematics in African Tradition

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Ancient Africans said Dance, Mathematics (quantitative reasoning), and Humans share natural Order and consistent natural Patterns underlying their respective aspects and events. Thus, "Knowing Thyself" can only be done when one discovers what is natural within oneself + what underlies what is natural. Inside such discoveries are the African Law of Correspondence and the Law of Complementary Opposites because to "Know Thyself" is to know what is in the Cosmos--Africans' Inductive and deductive reasoning beginnings. To discover truths of one of the two opposites, separated by an “equal sign,” is to discover Yin/Yang principles in the other--the African beginning of using symbols for unknowns. Similar to the Nile River in Egypt, Math begins in minuteness, but ends in magnificence. The presence of math allowed Ancient Africans to make sense of their lives while the presence of chaos--the absence of Math--meant disharmony for all. These brilliant observations and inferences led to realizing all planets in the sky and all God’s creations and creatures operated out of the same Tree-like System—a System of only a few “Seed” Truths—a System based on Math--each evolving "Root, Trunk, Branches, Leaves, and Fruit" Truths--each operating uniquely on different planes of existence. Just as Math deals exclusively with the relations of concepts to each other without consideration of their relation to experience, Music deals exclusively with rhythms. Like Math, said African Sages, Music is fitted to convey meaning in the form of moving patterns and without distortion of its contents--thus remaining in accord with the Cosmic Rhythm. When people recognize organized sound patterns as Music, it has meaning to them. Those Rhythms (a numerical pattern of beats occurring over time) are transferrable to other forms of learning--particularly those possessing familiar structures or patterns, as opposed to something random and unfamiliar. As long as people stay with the right rhythm, it is okay to make a mistake playing the wrong note.

Dance and Math are ways for the imagination to travel and provide wings or vehicles to take one into mysteries of the Unknown. Whereas Dance allows one to acquire intuitive knowledge of the existence of qualifiable experiences, Math allows one to acquire knowledge of the existence of all quantifiable events that cannot be perceived through the senses. Such concepts, known perhaps millennia prior to King Amenemhat III (3242-3195 BC), were presented by the Scribe Ahmes (1575 BC). He said: Math gives "Accurate reckoning for inquiring into things, and the knowledge of all things, mysteries...all secrets." So does Dance do this for the Mystical realms. He also described the Egyptian number system, the Egyptian use of fractions to divide rations of bread and beer among the workers, and geometric calculations--e.g. about cylindrical granaries and pyramids, whole and truncated. Using π = 3.1605, he could calculate their volumes--and the horizontal distance associated with a vertical rise of one cubit, as the defining quantity for a pyramid’s slope as well as other architecture. Knowledge of the area of a circle was of practical value to officials who kept track of the pharaoh’s tribute as well as to the builders of altars and swimming pools.

If all the Sciences aspire to the condition of Mathematics, all the Arts aspire to the condition of Music. Somehow, certain African principles come from carrying out physically strenuous acts of Dancing and speech--both as poetry in motion. Such poetic motion was transferred into Africans' lifestyle of thinking and humor as they lived by its Math principles. For religious purposes, the custom of dancing in a counterclockwise pattern is characteristic of Ancestor veneration practiced in those Western and Central African societies from which the Enslaved originated. These "Ring Shouts" were incorporated as larger numbers converted into Christianity as a means of praising the Christian God and inducing possession by the Holy Ghost. Today Dancing is everywhere--by the corks upon the waves; like popcorn over a hot fire; like a spinning top; like a fire flame; like a school of dolphins; like the sunbeams on waves of the lake; like leaves from the flowing winds. The Art of Architecture is the beginning of all the Arts symbolizing ones Public Self. Like two sides of a coin, a human's Private and Public Self unite in the Dance. Dancing Mathematics influences every human--ones self-concept, ones vision of the world, ones culture, and ones way of living.


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