Music and the Soul









Transcendent Musical Experience



Music and the Soul



Secret Influences of Music



Music to Aithereal Realms



Yoga of Sound



Continuum of Human Potential



Yoga of Listening









Expanded Consciousness



Cosmic Consciousness



Praeparing for TMEs



Listening as a Spiritual Practice



Good Music versus Bad Music



Musicians as Spiritual Teachers



Achieving TMEs







p. ix history of music by Cyril Scott (1879-1970)

Music : Its Secret Influence throughout the Ages.

1st edn. 1933.

" " " " " " " "

revised edn. 1958.

p. x Initiate Series trilogy (published anonymously) by Cyril Scott : novels which "purport to record the doings of an English spiritual savant by the name of Justin Moreword {sic : usually spelled "Moreward"} Haig"

The Initiate : Some Impressions of a Great Soul.


The Initiate in the New World.


The Initiate in the Dark Cycle.


{"Justin Moreward Haig is the name given to an English adept who ... was working to open up the labor movements in the world during the 19th and the 20th century. The Spiritual Hierarchy regarded the labor movement as one of the most successful attempts in history to awaken the masses of men to general betterment" ("Great and Holy Master Justin Moreward Haig". ).} [cf. infra, cap. 20, p. 284, concerning Richard Wagner]

{J.M.H. is conjectured to have been intended as Pierre Arnold Bernard. ( )}

p. x autobiography (confessing "to the authorship of the Initiate Series") by Cyril Scott

Bone of Contention.


p. xi transcendent musical experience (TME)

"TMEs run ... from chills along the spine to apparent physical paralysis. ...

They can also produce spontaneous and ecstatic insights into life ... .

Some TMEs induce inner visions of odd colors and geometric forms ... .

TMEs appear to be messages from our souls that guide us toward ... spiritual realms."

"TMEs have been induced by listening to jazz and rock, from Brubeck to Led Zeppelin".

p. xii the theme of Music : Its Secret Influence throughout the Ages

"that music can be used to guide our spiritual and moral development is a key theme in Cyril Scott's book Music ... . ...

Scott ... divided ethereal music into two types,

deva music, which is inspired ... by nonphysical (or ethereal) beings ..., and

buddhic music, which comes from a higher realm".

p. xiii the 2 types of transcendent music

"It ... became possible for me to build a ... continuum of human potential,

based on the feelings that listening to certain kinds of music produce ... . ...

In the process of creating this continuum, ...

a type of transcendent music ... allowed me to differentiate between

the music that produces expanded consciousness (corresponding to Scott's deva music),

and that which produces cosmic consciousness (corresponding to Scott's buddhic music)".

p. xiv yoga of listening to music

"The goal of yoga ... is to achieve transcendence, ... direct connection with the soul ... .

The ecstacy that accompanies such a connection ... may become our ordinary state of being, as it is for the adepts of traditional yoga".

"The continuum of human potential can ... lead to a direct connection with your soul, and beyond that to the source of all consiousness."

p. xv musical radiance

"music of the soul ... useful in the yoga of listening and achieving TMEs ... has a ... radiance ... . Radiance appears in the performances or compositions of ... musical adepts, the most spiritually advanced musicians. Radiance increases as these adepts progress through levels of consciousness".

"These examples include ... several twentieth-century composers, whom I classify according to level of radiance present in their music."



Transcendent Musical Experience


pp. 3-4 qualities of a TME

p. 3

"How could a piece of music so dissonant and strange at the same time be so hauntingly beautiful?"

p. 4

"TMEs can range ... to chills running down the spine ... . During a TME, a listener may feel taken over by the music, unable to move, or have an uncontrollable urge to dance. One's inner sense ... may rise gradually from well-being, through bliss, to a sense of ... ecstasy."

"TMEs produce a sense of illumination or mystical revelation. ... Spontaneous insights into life, the universe, ... may suddenly present themselves, as may odd inner visions ... . Listeners may even perceive colors and geometric forms".

pp. 6-7 personal effect of a TME

p. 6

"During the performance, ... He sat with his hands gripping both arms of his seat, eyes wide, jaw hanging open . ... For me, too, the performance was astounding. It was as though a window had opened on the Afterlife and a strong wind were blowing through from the other

p. 7

side ... . ... Like many musicians, and most music listeners, I live for ... transcendent performances of transcendent music."

pp. 7-8 qualities of mystical experience available in TME

p. 7

"the second defining quality of a mystical experience is ... noetic. Such an experience involves illumination,

p. 8

revelation, or what James calls "states of knowledge {gnosis}" that are "full of significance and importance." (James 1902, p. 414)

"the fourth defining quality of mystical experiences is passivity. Such experiences are not the result of an act of {mortal, but rather of divine} will, although they may be preceded by ... spiritual practices intended to facilitate them." (James 1902, p. 415)

James 1902 = William James : The Varieties of Religious Experience.

pp. 8-12 the 3 basic categories of TMEs; personal experiences of these

p. 8

"There are three basic categories of musical experiences :

those triggered in composers while composing,

in performers while performing, and

in listeners while listening."

"The first category of TMEs, those induced by composing ... . Composers sometimes attribute their extraordinary inspiration during

p. 9

such TMEs to a source outside or beyond themselves, ... the divine. Some even feel that they're taking dictation from this source, as if the music were being channeled through them."

"German composer Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) describes the kind of TME that occurs when he composes as follows :

[quoted from Hindemith 1952, pp. 70-1] We all know the impression of a very heavy flash of lightning in the night. Within a second's time we see a broad landscape ... with every detail. ... We experience a view, immensely comprehensive and at the same time immensely detailed ... . ...

Musical compositions, Hindemith says [ibid., p. 71] may be "conceived in the same way," in other words, "in the flash of a single moment.""

{similar to the instantaneity of "sudden enlightenment" of bodhi}

"The second category of TMEs, those induced in performers while performing ... . The result is often a "performance high," in which

the music seems to play itself.

{This may imply divine spirit-posession.}

I can remember instances during ... recitals ... when I was so absorbed in the music that I seemed to be standing outside myself watching myself play.

p. 10

The literal meaning of the word ecstasy is "to stand outside oneself." ...

There was ... room in my consciousness for ... only a transcendent, godlike control over the act of shaping the sounds coming out of my instrument. ...

My friend ... to whom I've dedicated this book, experienced a dramatic onstage TME during a ... recital ... . When he came onstage to perform ... He ... suddenly felt a force like a huge hand

coming at him from behind.

{Possessing-deities usually approach their mortal possessees from behind.}

The hand, he says, "scooped me up, propelled me forward through musical space and time, and played the music through me." As he played, [the musician] felt as if he were in an airplane that someone else was flying. ...

One of the [the same musician]'s ... teachers ... later told him that ... Years earlier, while playing a concerto with orchestra in a live concert, she suddenly

found herself floating ten feet above the stage, looking down at her physical body

{instance of projection (with divine assistance, of course) of the astral body out from the material body}

as her {divinely-controlled material} hands continued to play. During this spontaneous out-of-body experience, she felt a sense of serenity and ecstasy".

"Whenever we rehearsed, ... we could read each other's mind, or

our minds could effortlessly merge. ...

{Mutual telepathy involveth a temporary merger (with divine assistance) of minds.}

p. 11

During their act, each member ... felt an ecstatic performer's high. Their rapport was such that nothing could disturb it, not even the moment when the ... authorities tried to shut the peformance down ... by turning off the lights in the dance hall."

"The third category of TMEs, those induced in listeners while listening to music, occurs in connection with a live ... performance, either passively ... or

actively (as when one moves along to the music in ... a dance hall). ...

{These are usual in vodun (voodoo), whether in Haiti or in West Africa.}

p. 12

Another type of listening-induced TME may occur when is listening to music while alone. ... In this book, I primarily concern myself with listening-induced TMEs of this kind.

... musician Lane Arye describes such a TME ... :

[quoted from Arye 2001, p. 182] The song peaks in long, fervent, high notes ... . The choir, the band, ... is supporting this awesome singer ... . In my living room I'm laughing, screaming, crying. ... Not only because the song reminds me to open up whenever the divine knocks at my door ... But also because ... a community supports ... most honest spirituality."

Hindemith 1952 = Paul Hindemith : A Composer's World.

Arye 2001 = Lane Arye : Unintentional Music. Charlottesville (VA) : Hampton Rds Publ.

pp. 12-13 who we are as humans

p. 12

"People love to talk about their favorite music. While it's possible to learn a lot about them from their musical tastes, I've learned far more when they've spoken to me about their TMEs. Something about these experiences goes to the very core of who we are, both as individuals and as human beings.

p. 13

I've been surprised at how grateful my friends were when I asked about their TMEs, and I've often felt deeply moved by their answers."



Music and the Soul


p. 14 /mousike/, according to Platon

"the purpose of rhythm and harmony is "to correct any discord which may have arisen in the courses of the soul." Thus music may become "our ally," helping us to bring the soul "into harmony and agreement with herself."" (Timaios 47c-e -- Hamilton & Cairns 1961, p. 1175) {The Timaios is said to be of Puthagorean provenience.}

Hamilton & Cairns 1961 = Edith Hamilton & Huntington Cairns (transl.) : The Collected Dialogues of Plato. Princeton U Pr.

pp. 16-17 "small mystical experiences"

p. 16

"In the 1960s, Maslow invented the term peak experience to describe "small mystical experiences" ... [Maslow 1971, p. 47]. ... For Maslow, the "peak experience contains two components -- ... one of ecstasy and ... one of illumination". (Maslow 1971, p. 184)

p. 17

"During further research into peak experiences, Maslow found that they were most easily triggered by dancing, sex{ual activity}, and "what we might term 'classical music'." ... According to Maslow, "The peak experience ... has reported the great joy, the ecstasy, the visions of another world"". (Maslow 1971, p. 170)

Maslow 1971 = Abraham H. Maslow : The Farther Reaches of Human Nature.

p. 19 converts to music

"music ... so captivates us that we become instant converts to the style, genre, composer, or band that produced it. We may even emulate the lifestyle of the musicians in questions -- a practice that has had a deep influence on pop culture in ways that run ... to ...

sexual promiscuity

{The sharing involved in sexual promiscuity quite is productive of good social co-operation. Lack of adequate sexual promiscuity is the main cause of societal conflicts and hostilities.}

and drug use."

{Psychedelic drugs impart immediate access to divine worlds, thereby bringing about piety and sincerity.}

pp. 20-1 high-plateau spiritual experience

p. 20

"After ... the great mystic experience, or the great illumination, or the great full awakening ... one gets used to ... great things, live casually in heaven and be on easy terms with the eternal and the infinite." (Maslow 1971, p. 265)

p. 21

"The high-plateau experience is ... a prolonged experience, in which one is constantly in touch with and sustained by the values of Being. Unlike the peak experience, the high-plateau experience, ..."... can stay 'turned on' [Maslow 1964, pp. xv-xvi)]."

The high-plateau experience involves a more or less constant ability to perceive the world in terms of what Maslow called the unitive vision : the ability "to see the temporal and eternal simultaneously, the sacred and the profane in one object [Maslow 1964, p. 183].""

Maslow 1964 = Abraham H. Maslow : Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences.

pp. 22-4 incontrovertible proof of the soul

p. 22

"there is a force within us -- ... the soul ... -- that guides us toward ... self-actualization ... also ... responsible for granting or withholding peak or transcendent experiences ... . Yet we all ... pray for them.

... TMEs have a spiritual source, arising ... from ... the soul, ... an actual entity separable from the body and capable of maintaining-

p. 23

ing ... existence beyond it,

as out-of-body experience seems to indicate ... .

{This experience is definite, and absolute, proof.}

Does the soul have access ... to ... nonphysical planes of being?"

{Whenever these planes be accessed by the soul, are not such planes-of-existence, moreover, witnessed to be inhabited by multitudes of supernatural deities, working miracles extending even into the material plane?}

p. 24

"I've had hundreds of mystical experiences, of all kinds, for more than thirty years. ... As a result of these experiences, I've come to believe that the soul has an existence separate from that of the body; that another, essentially nonphysical, reality exists, in addition to the physical world we're familiar with; and that the soul's true home is this nonphysical reality.

Some religions define the soul as something we have and could easily lose ... . According to my spirital guide ..., whom I've been channeling for over twenty years, it would be more pertinent to say that

the soul has us, ...

{That which hath us is sometimes designated as "oversoul".}

the soul as ... a form of consciousness that resides in nonphysical reality and extends into physical reality through the body."

pp. 24-6 TME sensations as soul-induced qualities

p. 24

"Satisfaction, happiness, and ecstasy ... flow from the soul."

p. 25

"spiritual aspects of ... TMEs ... include a trancelike physical immobility or hyperreal sense impressions, such as

the colors in your surroundings growing more vivid ...

{a sensation (which I have also experienced) commonly accompanying bodhi -- especially in its 1st bhumi}

p. 26

a sense of indescribable beauty ...

timelessness, .. or no consciousness of self".

TME may "include ... illumination (experienced as inner light ...), an ecstatic expansion of consciousness, or a feeling of profound ... spiritual significance ... .

... TMEs that produce any of these effects have their origin in the soul, and are intended to guide us toward realizing its plans ... . ... Furthermore, ... soul-induced TMEs are especially likely to involve the B{liss}-values described by Maslow : a sense of truth, beauty, goodness, perfection, ... comprehensiveness (or richness), unitariness (or wholeness), transcendence ..., ... effortlessness".


Kurt Leland : Music and the Soul : a Listener's Guide to Achieving Transcendent Musical Experiences. Hampton Rds Publ Co, Charlottesville (VA), 2004.