music and the symphony of life
Dec 20, 1993 12:37 PM
One experience of life is little mentioned when we talk about the
Esoteric Philosophy and the Path: the experience of music and the
arts. This is perhaps because the importance of the intellectual
development is often overlooked, and we feel that it must be brought
up again and again.
Music and the arts has a direct tie to the spiritual side of life.
It can also link us to the emotional, psychological, psychical, and
sensory side of life as well. It can bring it into touch with any
part of our natures. It is an another aspect of communication, different
than the spoken word, but also value and power in our lives.
One aspect of music is that everyone, every manifest being, everything
that exists in the world has a characteristic keynote, a characteristic
nature, a unique consciousness that adds something different to the
symphony of life. That nature has a basic theme, from the individual's
Monad, and a series of variations on the theme, as the personality
unfolds and expresses itself in life. The rendition of the music, the
playing of one's sound, is almost as thought there were a soundtrack
to a person's life.
When we look at the nature of the mind, we see that in addition to
the vast repository of thought, of memory, of experiences that the mind
contains, there is a narrative voice, a inner speaker that gives verbal
expression to one thought at a time. There is a *reader* to the contents
of our mind.
In a similar sense, if we look at the experience of the mind in terms
of music, there is a storehouse of experiences associated with various
melodies, and these experiences also continually arise, according to
the direction of a orchestrating voice, a inner conductor of the music
of the mind, that selects the refrains of music that will arise moment
to moment during our lives.
Various theosophical groups have emphasized the arts in the past, and
considered their importance in the growth and cultivation of one's
higher side, of one's character. One example is the work that Kathrine
Tingley did at her Point Loma Theosophical Community, which for several
decades had a strong emphasis in the artistic side of life, and
might have considered an appreciation of something like music on an
equal basis, with a study of "The Secret Doctrine."
Just as there is in the study of thought, the words that we clothe our
thoughts in, and the actual ideas themselves, behind and beyond those
words, there is also in music the melodies themselves, and the
experiences of the inner nature that clothe themselves in those notes.
Our higher principles can be experienced by association with music,
just as well as with thought, in meditation, or in selfless action
in the world.
There is a psychical side to music as well, where we hear sounds that
come from others, from external sources, where there is no control over
the association of the sounds to the experiences. The sound is a carrier
of forces, and we cannot always tell what is carried with psychical
sounds untell we observe their effects upon us.
Just as there is a silence behind the words that we contemplate, a
silence that reaches deeply into mysteries of being, there is a silence
that we can sink into with special works of music. We can use the music
as a carrier that takes us into spiritual spaces within. And this
silence, this emptiness, is that of a sweet nothingness, of sunyata,
and is without words or sounds of any kind.
The silvery tinkle of astral bells are far removed from this
experience, as are the mindless slogans of television commericals,
empty words stuck in our minds that go around and around without
We each have our characteristic song, and we can have an appreciation
of the song of other people we meet in life. And the song is heard in
the silence, and not with mortal ears.
Let us listen to the symphony of life and be inspired!
Eldon Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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