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Om is Where the Heart Is

BY: Shirley C | Category: Nature | Submitted: 2010-08-26 14:31:35
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Article Summary: "Music has the ability to act as a transporter to other plains of existence - just listen... .."


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The portal is open. In hindsight, that's exactly what I was seeing when I was at the concert tonight. I was allowed to look through someone else's eyes for a brief time -- seeing the world in front of me in a slightly elevated frequency. 'Larger than lifesize we become --wondersome...' these lyrics normally float through my head...but now, also vibrate throughout my body.

The portal is only opened briefly and I suppose it is different for everyone. I can see now, with my 3rd eye that just seems to know certain universal truths, that some of us live with this portal always open - where things are bendable and life is fluid. They are always able to tap into it... Just look at the great minds at work - musicians, scientists, writers, even actors. On the subway ride home I listen to other music and I tingle with the same euphoria that washed over me earlier at the concert... I feel glitter and glazed and movement and stillness all at once. Thank you music, the most gracious of gods

Boethius, a very smart man, a very long time ago, wrote: "Music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired" - this seems to fall in line with some light research I've done and the corresponding emotional response I've documented so far. It is not a choice to feel or be affected, with enough exposure; we soon succumb to what music does to us. It opens us up and fine tunes those antennas we have - that most of us never knew we had - to be able to listen to the universe for a short time. Like listening to a radio station that we don't usually get on our set channels - only this time, the clouds have cleared, the other frequencies stopped interrupting this particular signal for a while and we 'hear' it or 'see' it and you wonder why you don't always feel this amazing.

A friend of Einstein, G.J. Withrow, said that the way Einstein figured out his problems and equations was by improvising on the violin.[1] Can it be that we buried our memory of being spiritual creatures so deep, that this rediscovery of our raw potential has only now begun to be unearthed? Only, we've seen it for centuries. Some of us recognized it when we saw it. Boethius also once commented on how he saw history as a wheel - that it turned and what was once on top would, in time, be at the bottom and the reverse would be true for what was on the bottom. Certain ways of seeing and believing may not be popular now, but in a few centuries the wheel has turned, and it's on top.

In his "De Musica", Boethius introduced the fourfold classification of music:
1. Musica mundana -- music of the spheres/world
2. Musica humana -- harmony of human body and spiritual harmony
3. Musica instrumentalis -- instrumental music (incl. human voice)
4. Musica divina -- music of the gods [2]


The term "music of the gods" - whatever your personal definition of 'god' is -speaks to an understanding that exists on a higher plain. That some music could be at the level of "musica divina" should mean that we can also know and hear what the 'gods' know and hear - or what our higher frequency selves can tune into.


In the same article by Laurence O'Donnell, the idea that "music is thought to link all of the emotional, spiritual, and physical elements of the universe" [1] is a very powerful one. One that cannot be ignored as it starts to connect everything in our lives and it all comes back to this one prevailing idea. Countless references to the power of music can be found all over the place - how it helps us learn better, remember more, communicate clearer. O'Donnell goes on to say that "Napoleon understood the enormous power of music. He summed it up by saying, 'Give me control over he who shapes the music of a nation, and I care not who makes the laws'." [1]

But for most of us, the goal is not to rule the world or use this information to get an edge. Most of us will read something like this and then let it sink in with the rest of the information we consume every day. I'd be happy just to be able to touch that world once in a while and use it to help me realize modest dreams, make better decisions, and lose 10 lbs.

This brings me to Yoga. Other than knowing that I love the way chanting "Om" in the mediation part of my practice makes my lips feel, I know nothing else about it, so I thought I'd do some digging as it relates to how sound affects us. "[The sound of] Om is the 'primordial seed' of the universe--this whole world, says one ancient text, 'is nothing but Om.' It is also considered to be the root mantra from which all other mantras emerge and to encapsulate the essence of the many thousands of verses of Hinduism's holiest texts, the Vedas." [3]
Wow. Karmic jackpot? Or just a lot of dots connecting in such a way that we cannot write it off as mere coincidence.

So the next dot I connect must be that if sound and music and even words we hear (as they are a form of music) makes a very big difference to our physical bodies and our spiritual minds, then one would be wise to limit or choose carefully the kinds of sounds we expose ourselves to. The sound of anger or anger directed at me makes me angry. The sound of sorrow, continuous and without end, of sadness and regret will put me in a "poor me" frame of mind. "Many believe the mantra "Om" to be the sound of the universe." [3]

Surround yourself with as much joy and laughter and Om...and yes...especially music, as you can. Everything else will fall into place. At least ...I hope it will.


Sources:
1. From an online article "Music and the Brain", by Laurence O'Donnell
2. From "Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus. Fundamentals of Music. Translated, with Introduction and Notes by Calvin M. Bower. Edited by Claude V. Palisca. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989 - as quoted in Wikipedia article "Boethius"
3. From an online article in Yoga Journal - "The Sound of Om", by Richard Rosen


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