Music and the Soul, 17-18



Listening as a Spiritual Practice


pp. 231-2 spiritual development in the higher ranges of the continuum

p. 231

"The composers, performers, and pieces that most deeply move us are showing us our souls. Or perhaps we see our souls in them ... . ...

{Alternatively, invisible praeternatural entities which may be accompanying us while we are listening to the music, may impart into our souls the sensation of being "deeply moved". [written Mar 30 2014]}

Musical taste indicates where we find ourselves on the continuum of human potential. How our taste evolves may provide a record of our spiritual development. We may progress ... until we've acquired a taste for the music of the soul ... . The soul may lead us from one lesson and level of the continuum of human potential to the next by means of TMEs. ... If we would like to accelerate our spiritual growth, then we need to challenge ourselves to listen to music from the higher ranges of the continuum ... . ...

p. 232

The growing catalogue of music that I've composed provides a ... record of my development. As my collection ... evolves, the outlines of my soul become ever clearer. ... music is not only a way of attaining higher states of consciousness and TMEs; it's also a practice ... that combines physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual training, in much the same way that Tantra or hat[.]ha yoga does. ... I've found that .... the key is learning to reach through the music that I compose ... and find the process configuration that lies behind it. In this way, I'm directly in touch with the energy transformations and spiritual wisdom encoded in the music."

pp. 232-3 the soul's master-plan

p. 232

"the soul's plans ... are also a process configuration, containing information about the composition of ... life ... in the physical world. Tuning into the process configurations behind music by others allows me to sense something of the soul's plan behind their lives. ... This ensouling principle allows performers and listeners to develop [Hodson 1976, p. 19] "an instant rapport with the original composer's form -- and therefore with his life and consciousness." ...

p. 233

In using the yoga of listening ..., we're not only developing our ability to sense such process configurations, but also our ability to sense the process configurations behind our own lives,

the soul's master plan".

{Any such plan would need to have been drawn up by one's guardian-angel (or spirit-guide), at the instruction, and under the advisement, of a appropriate committee of supernaturals. One's own soul is too ignorant and too nearly inert to be able to draw up any viable plan on its own initiative. [written Mar 30 2014]}

pp. 233-4 using music-composers as guru-s, in order to lead backward through the guru-parampara to the divine source of samadhi

p. 233

"In part 2 [chapters 7 to 16], I ... emphasize the connection between music ... and the process configurations of our lives. The yoga of listening involves first listening to the music that ... induces TMEs. Next, we become aware of ... each piece's psychic signature ... of the process configuration behind it. In doing so, we develop the inner senses required to perceive such process configurations, which often manifest themselves as visual images such as thought forms, music forms, morphing colors or shapes.

Over time, we may be able to sense the process configuration of the composer's own life operating behind that of the music we're listening to. ... Samadhi [samadhi (sama-adhi 'level thought')] is the goal of the yoga of listening, as it is of most other forms of yoga. The yoga of listening, like other yogas, is a spiritual practice. ... As jazz-rock fusion guitarist John McLaughlin learned [Berendt 1992, p. 133] from his spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy, in the 1970s : "The important thing, always, is the state of consciousness ... .

p. 234

So if you are a musician and you work towards enlightenment, your music will automatically be a part of it." ...

Are you serving ... the art itself by becoming the best composer or performer you can be, through realizing the soul's plans in your work? As a listener, are you pursuing the yoga of listening ... in order to bring yourself closer to the soul and realizing its plans ...? In Tantric practice, the idea of devotion to the Lord refers to a Hindu god such as Shiva."

Berendt 1992 = Joachim-Erst Berendt (revised by Gu:nther Huesmann; transl. by H. & B. Bregitkeit, Dan Morgenstern, and Tim Nevill) : The Jazz Book. Brooklyn : Lawrence Hill Bks.

pp. 235-6 bandha & pran.a-yama while performing

p. 235

"In Tantra, the cultivation of posture involves yogic asanas {asana-s} (poses) such as the "plow," "lotus," or "corpse", which are familiar to anyone who has taken ... hat[.]ha yoga ... . ... As a performer, your playing posture may be sufficiently artificial ... that muscular tension may result from prolonged practice. ...

In Tantra, breath control involves the techniques of pranayama. ... In music, breath control may seem to apply mostly to performers, especially singers and wind players ... . ...

p. 236

In Tantra, breath control is practiced for the effect it has on consciousness -- relaxing and expanding it, preparing the way for ecstasy. Breath control also has an effect on consciousness in the performance of music ... . ... In the yoga of listening, I've discovered that timing my breaths with the long phrases of a Bruckner symphony can ... lead to the ecstasy of a TME, as I related in chapter 3."

p. 236 concentration of attention

"Sensory inhibition, concentration, and meditation, each mentioed by Feuerstein as an essential aspect of Tantra, are related to each other. In Tantra and the yoga of listening, as well as composing and performing music, the idea is to create a one-pointed consciousness, a trance state in which ecstasy is achieved.

pp. 236-7 listening to music so as to reach the composer's soul

p. 236

"The idea is to get behind the notes, to perceive the psychic signature of the piece and the process configuration behind it, to jump from the piece's process

p. 237

configuration to that of the composer's soul ... . ... Performers who are able to line themselves up with a piece's process configuration and that of the composer's soul are better able to project the wisdom encoded in the music, ... and perhaps inducing TMEs in themselves and their listeners. Composers...'ll be able composing music of the soul, full of TME-inducing wisdom".

p. 238 yantra

"In Tantra, ... a yantra ... is a drawing ... intended to be "a geometrical representation of the levels and energies of the cosmos and the human body." ... the yantra must be "completely internalized, i.e., perfectly visualized." [Feuerstein 1997, s.v. "yantra"]

In composing, the yantra is the process configuration behind the piece. It exists as an inner shape in the process of being realized in external form".

{Yantra (because it is always a symmetrical geometrical structure constructed of straight lines) is more alike to a stylized diagrammatic repraesentation of the process-configuration.}

Feuerstein 1997 = Georg Feuerstein : The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga. Boston : Shambhala.

pp. 238-9 transcendence (param-ita)

p. 238

"In Tantra, the goal ... "is to transcend the experienced world ... [Feuerstein 1998, p. 25]."

In the yoga of listening ... the idea is

p. 239

to see music in terms of [Feuerstein 1998, p. 48] the "transcendence of the self and the complete transformation of human nature."

Listening to music that ... on the continuum of human potential ... integrates ... all into a functioning whole can allow us to attain transcendence and transformation."

p. 239 guru & cela

"In Tantra, the relationship between disciple and spiritual master, or guru,

is considered to be of primary importance.

{This relationship is, indeed, of primary importance if the guru is able to impart siddhi-s ('successes/attainments') to the cela.}

Devotion to one's guru is supposed to last not only for the duration of that revered teacher's lifetime, but also beyond it.

After death, one's guru continues to be available for guidance."

{In particular, the guru may, from a heavenly vantage-point after death, introduce the cela (with recommendations) to supernatural heavenly deities.}

"composers and performers, living or dead, ... transmit to us, as from guru to disciple, what they think, feel, and understand about life ... . ... As with the selection of a Tantric guru, we should choose our spiritual teachers in music wisely."

p. 240 saintliness of musicians

"The mini-biographies of the composers that Cyril Scott included in his book were written to emphasize the saintliness of each".

"Many musicians aspire to ... living saintly lives. ... Saintliness of character may be a useful guide for choosing spiritual teachers in music."

pp. 240-2 rock musicians as alleged spiritual teachers; music for a supposed spirit-guide

p. 240

"Rock and jazz composers and groups ... can also become spiritual teachers for us. ...

p. 241

My friend Deanna, for example, reveres the rock band Led Zeppelin ... . They've become spiritual teachers for her. ... Deanna is in a class about channeling that I've been teaching for the last several years. She says that when she prepares to channel by going from a light trance into a deeper one, she often hears a couple of Led Zeppelin songs. ...

p. 242

On her way into trance, the song accompanies Deanna's meeing with "a spirit guide on horseback" that she describes as "a woman with long blond curly hair ...,"

who leads Deanna down a path to a waterfall.

{Cf. Michael Harner's being conducted to a waterfall in order to undergo a shamanic initiation by the S^uar of Ecuador.}

Before I interviewed Deanna, I had discovered ... Led Zeppelin songs ... . When I listened to these songs, ... Often ... I would experience a tingling in

the area ... just above and between the eyebrows".

{This is the area [not of the 3rd eye, the pineal, which is located in the centre of of brain, but instead] of Pingala, which is regarded as the major source of danger to yogin-s.}



Good Music versus Bad Music


p. 246 good music

"Because music amplifies and communicates states of consciousness, Tame insists that we should only listen morally and spiritually uplifting music, that of the upward direction.

Music rooted in the body, emotions, or impressions of nature and the physical world may pull us down and destroy us.

{N.B. Music derived from divinities controlling the body, controlling the emotions, controlling the natural and the physical worlds, would, however, be quite acceptable.}

When writing about similar beliefs in ancient yogic traditions, yoga scholar Georg Feuerstein calls [2001, p. xxix] this the "verticalist approach" of "in, up, and out."

By "in," Feuerstein means turning inward, as in meditation.

By "up," he means attempting to achieve higher states of consciousness.

By "out," he means transcendence of the body and [of] the physical world."

Feuerstein 2001 = Georg Feuerstein : The Yoga Tradition. 2nd edn. Prescott (AZ) : Hohm Pr.

pp. 246 & 268 bad music

p. 246

"Depending on who[m] you ask, jazz is good and disco bad, country-western is good and hard rock bad ..., and so forth."

p. 248

"Tame sees Tchaikovsky's music as unwholesome because it deals in pessimistic emotions of the downward direction. ...

"The same spiritual disillusionment ... can be heard in the song "Gloomy Sunday," ... originally written in the 1930s by a pair of Hungarians and ... rumored to be

the cause of many suicides."

{Suicides may, however, be a result of expectancy immediately to go into the glories of heaven therewithal; which could be caused by elating music with elating lyrics. If gloomy songs eliminate instant expectation for translation unto heaven, they could decrease suicides.}

pp. 247 & 251 soul in music; benefits of "ultra-discordant" classical music

p. 247

""if the music has a soul" and we seek "for the soul in music," we "will appreciate and admire all music."" (Khan 1996, p. 7)

p. 251

"Cyril Scott ... referred to "ultra-discordant music," by which he meant the works of early-twentieth-century classical composers such as ... Stravinsky. According to Scott [1958, pp. 135-6], such music has the spiritual purpose of destroying "undesirable obsessing thought forms," which are created in certain locations ... . These thought forms can ... "endure for a number of years, until destroyed by some specific agency.""

p. 254 possibly dangerous music : rap song

"I once heard a rap song that targeted the crisis point of overload by means of a rapid tempo, an elaborate rhythm groove ..., and lyrics that went by so quickly that it was impossible to hear what they were saying. ... The inner battle ... made me feel crazy."

p. 255 songs of protest

"the music of protest ... can often be a powerful unifying force and rallying cry for creating necessary change."

p. 255 music of erotic delirium

"Music of ... erotic delirium ... may also encourage us to act out such delirium ... . The ... listeners ... can easily be taken over by the erotic delirium expressed when a piece of music targets this crisis point and may feel compelled to act it out. ...

Music that targets the crisis point of erotic delirium could be useful in helping to overcome sexual inhibitions without drugs like ecstasy.

{In cases of lack of response to such music, MDMA may be necessary (either alone or with the music), however.}

A musician friend of mine used to make love with his girlfriend in college while listening to ... music which ... touches the crisis point of erotic delirium."

p. 256 transcendental dread

"The crisis point ... of ... madness ... . ... The nightmarish creatures summoned up when musicians target this crisis point are sometimes depictions of the soul. ... In chapter 14, I pointed out that the ego is often afraid of the soul, which, because of its origin in nonphysical reality, feels to the ego like an alien being. The ego's fear of the soul is a transcendental fear."

p. 257 black magic & the occult

"Some may even consider black magic and the darker side of the occult as cool, because such things are so different from their everyday experience or religious upbringing."

{Such a condition as "different from ... everyday experience" cannot be a factor, however, cases of practitioners of "black magic" and of "the darker side of the occult" whose upbringing which was anti-Christian (parents anti-Christian, grandparents anti-Christian, etc.). Most such practitioners, indeed, are membres of genealogies which have been engrained with such practices for many generations, immigrants from districts in Europe where devotion to werewolves and to vampires is endemic and traditional.}

p. 258 allegations by K.L.

"If the value field is spiritual in nature, as in a gospel choir concert, you may have a conversion experience ... .

{There is nothing "spiritual" about Christianity, fanatically dedicated as it is to crucifying god and to torturing to death all persons (especially actual saints) who are opposed to torturing god.} {A "conversion experience" to Christianity is commonly followed by joining a lynch-mob to torture-to-death the saints; and to bayonet babies (as habitually done by Christian soldiers in Vietnam); and worse.}

If the value field has to do with sexual promiscuity ..., you may give yourself permission to do something you'll regret later."

{Sexual promiscuity may promote the highest social value (namely, sharing); so that not to participate in such promiscuity-sharing is a gross negligence which one is sure to regret later.}

p. 258 supposedly "evil" spirits

"thought creates experience in nonphysical reality. In that reality, fearful thoughts can create what seems to be an evil, nightmarish creature, but such creatures have no existence without my fear."

{More accurately stated, irrational dread is perhaps able to attract a dangerous spirit (angel-of-destruction), or rather is able to induce such a spirit to display dangerous qualities (because the spirit is assuming that such a display is wished-for). Praeternatural entities are aeternal; they can neither be "created" nor destroyed, though they can be summoned or dismissed. A mortal's soul can more nearly be created or destroyed than a praeternatural entity can ever be. [written Mar 30 2014]}

p. 259 recovering from damnation into redemption

"we need to be cautious when approaching music that targets the crisis ones, unless it does so for teaching purposes. In the case of musical ["teaching purposes"], we learn how to transcend our fear ..., when a composer ... shows us how to move beyond [fear] into the expanded consciousness ... . Such music often shows the way from damnation to redemption -- which even David Tame would have to qualify as upward-tending."

""The Gates of Delirium" from Yes's 1974 album ... not only moves through the crisis zone of irrationality, but eventually achieves the grace of ... cosmic consciousness ... in nonclassical music."


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