‘what music do you like?’ 

Never know how to answer this question…it’s like ‘what’s up?’: the sky? how’s it going? what it, life? yes, life is going. How it goes…remains a mystery.

Yes, i like music. Indeed I would say as far as Albert Ayler: music is the healing force of the universe…potentially!  As the ancient Vedic scriptures state, nada brahma: everything is sound. Everything is vibration, different frequencies, organised into patterns of varying complexity and degree of (at least apparent) order, within which is contained further hidden order/chaos: again, one might say, apparent chaos/order, since it depends on who and how one looks, what the (depth of) perspective and angle. 

We are energetic beings, formed according to pulse, frequency, flow of blood, air, signal carried between invisible body and visible soul. This happens without ‘us’ being in the picture at all, save as a point of reference: we say the heart beats, yet ‘we’ breathe, and in this case language, or at least the English language, fails us, for we do not have to consciously make some kind of effort for breathing to occur, just as we do not have to ‘beat our heart’. In other words sound and sound patterns are taking place all the time, regardless of whether they are observed. Indeed they are creating place, existing in relation and thus establishing ‘time’, which we know from the theory of relativity to be a further dimension of ‘space’, or vice versa: modes of expression of being.

What we seek, then, is to uncover and allow the expression of essential being, without ‘putting ourselves in the picture’, and unreasonably colouring it, putting barriers in the way of pure, fluent expression of free flowing being-truth, essential reality. Yet all music and indeed all forms appear to exist as a result of particular barriers, particular constrictions creating structure. As John Cage discovered in a ‘post (? when are we ever post-modern without being in the future, an impossibility?) modern’  context – confirming the insight of mystics such as the meditational experiences of Zen buddhists over centuries- pure silence does not exist in the relative world. For in an anechoic chamber, completely sealed to prevent any possible external sound entering and therefore theoretically completely silent, he still heard something: the sound of his own heartbeat. By believing in the existence of ‘silence’ and ‘sound’ (amongst other possible dichotomies) we posit the existence of a duality which does not exist in actuality; both are entirely dependent on the witness. 

 


 

What we seek, then, is rather the ‘sound of silence’, or sound in silence, that which resonates, without without, within within: where do we locate the silence anyway? or, where do we locate ourselves? For if we do not locate ourselves, again, one might say, we do not put ourselves in the picture, we and the (heart)beat are one. In this concentration silence is found in sound, the pure infinite void centre in which no limitations exist. 

 

 

if we ‘open our ears’ (here our language proves more logical: our ears are always, and sometimes unfortunately, open, unlike our eyes; yet are we truly listening?) this possibility may be found all over the place and in all things; yet for sure there are also degrees of clarity in this, and everything is a sign, varying in obscurity, to this unchanging reality. Rare is the person who experiences profound enlightenment in hearing Britney Spears; yet neither should we assume it is only to be found in the carefully placed strike of a single gong in some religious ceremony. 

The key for me is that subjective truth IS truth; as Jelalluddin Rumi said, fihi ma fihi, ‘what is in it is what is in it (for you)’. Science may expand our knowledge of the hidden, and is this potentially of great benefit; yet when we separate the concept of the experiencer and experience, and become self conscious, again, ‘we’ are in the picture, as a limited and limiting concept. We then see the world through an invisible monocle, invisible to us, but nevertheless colouring the reality. We might say (and have, in so many words) that its lense becomes dusty; we need to take off the monocle and give it a clean. In fact, without wanting to stretch the metaphor too far (you see how carried away one could get with it, in itself a monocle..) we do not need a monocle but spectacles (bicycles?). That is to say, as Ibn ‘Arabi did, that the heart has two eyes (though we may also say these are two sides of one coin, or eye): reason, and intuition. Without both, we lose focus. For this reason we need to uncover a way of intuitive mathematics, of what Sun Ra called ‘myth science’. Ways of linking together freedom and the frame, of being free in the (frame)work, working to be free. The frame given freely, which comes from that which we seek through longing for freedom, which is the above: pure, simple being-in-itself, being itself, being YOURSELF. What does this mean, to be your self? just to be. Just so, as only you can be. To be just, that is, to be honest, not to adjust. Not that ‘you’ own a self, as such, but that Self comes off the shelf and gets shined up, you make your mind up, but the mind gets unmade, we are undone, not added to, but realised. Realised as sheer nothingness, sheer potential, recognised, in our self, by our self,  without a boundary on what that self is. 

So when we talk about free jazz (or ‘free’ anything) do we truly mean freely given? do we mean truly free? or are there unspoken rules about what that freedom might mean? It is those engaged in such research, truly engaged, in question and answer, call and response, service to reality, who truly deserve our appreciation and honouring. Whichever medium their study and service takes place through, r e s p e c t  is due. Those who break through in this we call ‘saints’; yet to be engaged in the creative process is to be a medium ones self, since one is fundamentally non existent, as we have discussed. This creative spark which is none other than the SPIRIT passes through, and out of ones hands becomes something new, as does everything, going on changing, transforming, according to perception, receptivity, particular state. Who knows what may become of it then! 

 

The purpose of all this is nowt but the love Swami Satchinanda talked of (see first post); and the process of the journey is beautiful. We might say it the other way too, that the journey is in love, through love and by love, and the purpose is for beauty.

What opens this way for you?  

 


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