Music and the Soul, 5-7



Yoga of Sound


p. 48 harmonization of aspects of the self

"In the ancient Hindu scriptures ... of yoga ..., the word "refers to the method, the spiritual disciplines, used to unify our consciousness." [Easwaran 1975, p. 291]

As I pointed out in chapter 2, Plato claims that music exists for the purpose of creating harmony among the various aspects of ourselves. ...

It appears that yoga, with its purpose of unifying our consciousness, and music, with its purpose of harmonizing ourselves, have a natural affinity for each other. If we could combine yoga and music, we might have a powerful tool for integrating body, mind, and soul."

Easwaran 1975 = Eknath Easwaran : The End of Sorrow. Tomales (CA) : Nilgiri Pr.

p. 49 kun.d.alini

"The kundalini energy has its origin at the base of the spine. When awakened, it rises to the crown of the head, activating a number of psychic energy centers located between these points."

p. 49 disagreements

"Each chakra is associated with certain aspects of human life or states of consciousness. There is much disagreement between authorities on the chakras

about what these associations are."

{A frequent and plausible explanation for such disagreements is that the cakra-system is different for each person. If so, the cakra-diagrams from India are

of scant general application.}

p. 50 rousing the kun.d.alini

"Yogic practitioners attempt to arouse or awaken the kundalini by means of meditation and other spiritual exercises. They draw it up or let it rise along the spine, so that it move through each of the chakras in turn, thereby activating them."

pp. 51-2 effects of kun.d.alini yoga

p. 51

"a trembling ... in the body and forceful involuntary breathing. The hair may stand on end, accompanied by ...

involuntary laughter, tears, animal-like vocalization ... .

{"during power rushes of Kundalini energy, ... the most common manifestations ... are unmotivated and unnatural laughter or crying, talking tongues ... and imitating a variety of animal sounds and movements" (SSS, p. 78-79).}

Meanwhile, the experiencer may witness terrifying hallucinations {of Otherworlds, of Otherwheres}." ("SAK")

"Sensations like those described by veteran out-of-body experiencers may also develop :

inner sounds, vibrations along the spine, electrical jolts in the limbs, ... and so-called sleep

p. 52

paralysis. Bodily fainting while maintaining consciousness, convulsions ... may occur, along with spontaneous leaps {sometimes described (e.g., by the ISKCon) as levitations} from a cross-legged seated position. The same state of electrified, blissful lucidity may be present where one is awake or asleep {an abstracted, dreamless sleep}."

SSS = Christina & Stanislov Grof : The Stormy Search for the Self.

"SAK" = Swami Vishnu Tirtha : "Signs of an Awakened Kundalini". In :- John White (ed.) : Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment. rev. edn. NY : Paragon House, 1990. pp. 94-7.

p. 52 effects of meditation

"In meditation, one may have extraordinary experiences, including ... channeling ..., in which one receives direct instructive communication from divine beings. ... There may be a spontaneous awakening of superior spiritual insight, including knowing the future ... . Eventually, one may experience the more desirable of these effects at will, rather than spontaneously and involuntarily."

pp. 53-4 praeternatural revelation of the true sequence of the fragments of the Viola Concerto by Barto`k

p. 53

"Hungarian composer Be`la Barto`k (1881-1945). ... Barto`k has been my favorite twentieth-century composer ... . ... The Viola Concerto was left unfinished when Barto`k died. ... . ... sketches had been notated on odd bits of manuscript paper in such a way tha the intended sequence was by no means apparent. ...

p. 54

As I was immersing myself in Barto`k's music ..., I experienced a startling effect as I listened to the Viola Concerto -- a TME with ... illumination. I seemed to have a direct line to Barto`k's intentions in composing the piece, as if I were in touch with some internally perceivable version of the piece that existed on another plane ... . Later, I would learn ... that what I'd perceived was a process configuration .... that encapsulates ... the process by which a piece of music unfolds in ... the process of composing it. As I listened to Barto`k's concerto, ... I was convinced that ... passages didn't belong where Barto`k's associate had put them. Not only was their order within a particular movement sometimes incorrect, but certain passages in the first movement should have been placed in the third, and vice versa."

p. 55 possibility of bad trip with kun.d.alini

"without ... preparation, what could have been a positively experienced ... kundalini energy becomes a negative one. Divine light becomes "blinding glares"; divine sounds, "distracting ... shrieks"; divine visions, "nightmares"; divine insights, mere "crazy whims"" (Krishna 1990, p. 231).

"Even though kundalini experiencers may feel that they've gone insane while undergoing such an awakening, a higher level of self-integration and spiritual health is the eventual result". [p. 389, n. 5:16 : "For a personal account of kundalini awakening ..., see" Walters 2002.]

Krishna 1990 = Gopi Krishna : "Phenomenon of Kundalini". In :- John White (ed.) : Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment. rev. edn. NY : Paragon House. pp. 221-53.

Walters 2002 = Dorothy Walters : Unmasking the Rose : a Record of Kundalini Initiation. Charlottesville (VA) : Hampton Rds Publ.

p. 56 composers of music as guru-s

"especially in Europe, many composers, conductors, and teachers of music ... referred to as Master or Maestro ... expect or receive a level of devotion on the part of their students similar to that accorded to gurus by their disciples. ...

Furthermore, many of Western music's greatest composers ... are often revered by musicians and listeners alike, as if they were gurus."

pp. 57-8 mantra & skandha-s

p. 57

"According to yoga scholar Georg Feuerstein [1998, p. 191], mantras "are creative forces that direct the consciousness." ...

Yogic practices designed to awaken the kundalini can maximize the ego's openness to the flow of life force, resulting in ecstasy. If the ego becomes

afraid of such a state ..., it will try to resist this flow of life force and shut down. The ego may then inadvertently cause the unpleasant side effects of kundalini awakening ... noted above [on p. 55]."

p. 58

"ego-shattering ... practices involve ... undermining the ... sense of I-ness through

{Eliminating ahamkara ('egotism') and the illusion of a separate atman ('self') are the main functions of Bauddha meditational practice. This is accomplished by shattering atman into skandha-s ('components').}

self-isolation, extended periods of silence, and constant meditation."

{This is the Bodish "dark retreat" (often done in a cave) : while undertaking retreat, one may witness deities, shewing them to be the true components of the illusory "self".}

Feuerstein 1998 = Georg Feuerstein : Tantra : the Path of Ecstasy. Boston : Shambhala.

pp. 59-60 dream about a lava temple

p. 59

"In my TME, I found myself in the middle of a dreamlike vision.

I was aware of the music, so I was not asleep. ...

{To be able to hear the music that is playing in one's room in the waking world, is not a definite indication that one is not dreaming. I have often heard in my fully-developed dream the very same music being played at that moment in my room in the waking world. It (music, transferred by means of divine assistance) is simply one of the modalities for communicating between universes.}

p. 60

Meanwhile, the scene and and actions that I perceived inwardly, with my eyes closed, had a stability and vivid reality ... . I seemed to be inside the central chamber of a vast temple

{I have at times (decades ago) seen while awake, with mine eyen closed, scenes apparently stable and vivid, including of a columned (Hellenic-like) temple.}

with a vaulted ceiling. The floor, the vault, and the columns that supported it were all carved from blue-black stone. ... A large circular area was cut from the surface of the platform, opening downward into a deep pit.

From the pit came a lurid red glow, emanating from a subterranean fissure filled with molten lava. On the wall behind the platform was a huge sheet of beaten gold, polished so that it picked up the red glow of the lava and projected it throughout the temple chamber. ...

{Volcanos and sheets of gold are both characteristic features of Peru` and of Me`xico.}

I was brought forward ... . ... I was led to the platform and urged up the steps. ...

I was expected to jump ... into the pit".

{According to legend, philosopher Empedokles "leapt into the crater of" volcano Aitne (Aetna). (IEPh"E")}

IEPh"E" = Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, article "Empedocles".

p. 60 author's interpretation of his own dream

"The pit of molten lava ... must have had a more personal meaning.

One often-reported symptom of kundalini awakening is a sense of intense inner heat.


My ... one-pointed concentration and rhythmic breathing while listening to music may have led me to the edge of a kundalini".

{Or alternatively and by far more likely, the concentration and breathing may have led to the brink of an apprenticeship to a Volcano-deity, perhaps one worshipped in Nuclear America. A dream actually induced by goddess Kun.d.alini would have praesumably been about a divine serpent (such as, a cobra or a rattlesnake) and perhaps a volcano -- such as the Qeqc^i myth about "a volcano with a fiery snake" (ST) --; or at least of some other toothy animal and a volcano -- such as the northern Queensland myth about "tooth enamel" causing "lava flows" ("H&VA&NG", p. 74a, citing Reed 1982, pp. 199-200).}

ST = Melinda Lilly : Snake's Toothache. Rouke Pr, 1999.

"H&VA&NG" = Bindon & Raynal : "Humans and Volcanoes in Australia and New Guinea". QUATERNAIRE 9.1 (1998):71-5.

Reed 1982 = A. W. Reed : Aboriginal Myths, Legends and Fables. Chatswood.

p. 62 computer-formatting for music

"A playlist tells the computer what tunes to play and in what order ... . Such playlists can also be burned onto CDs for playback on other systems, including portable CD systems."

"the digital listening file format called MP3 ... allows people to download music from the Internet. ... Not only is it possible to download MP3 files from the Internet, but also to transfer the audio content of any CD ... and convert it to MP3 format."



Continuum of Human Potential


p. 66 cakra-s are subtle, not material

"But the association of the chakras with the physical body is contradicted by the ancient texts, which make it clear that the chakras are phenomena belonging to an energetic, subtle, body -- one that's related to, but not identical with, the physical body. The subtle body resides on a spiritual, rather than a physical, plane."

p. 67 cakra-s can be caused to vibrate in unison

"the chakras are real in the ... sense ... that enlightenment may be achieved by activating and harmonizing them one with another. Doing so causes the chakras to [Rama 1990, p. 30] "vibrate in unison," thereby producing a state of ecstasy. ... Listening to music can allow us to harmonize not only the "revolutions of our souls," but also

the "revolutions of our souls," but also the chakras, which have often been described as whirling disks."

{This may imply that Platonists (and Puthagoreans) were able to veiw the cakra-s rotating within the subtle body.}

Rama 1990 = Swami Rama : "Awakening of Kundalini". In :- John White (ed.) : Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment. rev. edn. NY : Paragon House. pp. 27-47.

p. 68 sequence of functions of consciousness

"Placing these functions in a certain order


{with material body}


{with astral body}


{with mental body}


{with causal body}

can allow us ... the continuum of human potential."

{In none of these, is any cakra specifically involved. Traditionally, the cakra-s are involved not with aspects of consciousness, but rather with the elements (earth, water, fire, air, akas`a) and thus with the elemental spirits inhabiting those elements.}

p. 69 the cakra which is hovering in the air above our head

"Feuerstein mentions [2001, p. 355] ancient texts that describe an eighth center lying "twelve digits above the crown" chakra."

"The eighth center has to do with receiving what Aurobindo called the "Supramental Consciousness," or "Supramental Truth, which seems to be the source of all consciousness"" (Merchant 1990, p. 90).

Merchant 1990 = Vasant V. Merchant : "Sri Aurobindo, the Tantra and Kundalini". In :- John White (ed.) : Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment. rev. edn. NY : Paragon House. pp. 76-93.

pp. 70-2 the 8 Dream Characters

p. 70

"Soma, the Greek word for "body." ... In dreams, this ... may appear as a person or an animal, for example, a dog, pig, or horse."

{Spirit-helpers (who are recruited in dreams by a shaman's spirit-guide) usually appear in the guise of animals (always wild, undomesticated, ones, though).}

"Numen, a Latin word meaning a minor deity ... that makes an object or location numinous ... . ... In dreams, the Numen may appear as a wise, often magical, old man or woman."

{A "magical" person would be usually identified in the dream as a supernatural deity, and be saluted as such.}

"In dreams, the Participant appears as ourselves, or as a heroic figure who has taken our place as the dream's protagonist."

{This is an odd description. A dream is likely always to furnish a distinction between one's own embodiment (which is lacking, however, in one's disembodied dreams) and the embodiment of any "protagonist".}

"The Witness ... When it appears in dreams, ... takes the form of a passive observer, or as someone who represents memory,

p. 71

such as a teacher, librarian".

"In dreams, the Shadow usually shows up as a dark or sinister figure ..., as in a nightmare."

"Anima/Animus ... In ... dreams ... usually appears as someone to whom we're sexually attracted or with whom we're romantically involved. The Anima (feminine form) ordinarily appears in the ... dreams of a ... male; the Animus (male form) in the ... dreams of a ... female."

{In Carl G. Jung's dreams, as recorded in his Red Book, his Anima when appearing in dreams [never as anyone whom he knew in the waking world, but always instead] as a divine being who always announced herself to be his "Soul", and made peremptory demands that he set up, in the waking world, a New Religion based on submission to one's Dream-Soul. His steadfast refusal to carry out such a program formally in the waking-world resulted in a permanent estrangement of him from his own Soul.}

"In ... dreams, the Counterpart appears as the people we commonly encounter in work or social settings, especially our closest friends."

"In ... dreams ..., the Delimiter typically appears as an authority figure, such as

a boss, president, dictator, governmental official, or member of the police force."

{Neither I nor any acquaintance of mine hath had a dream including any such, all of which we heartily despise. Instead, we dream of anti-authority figures (anarchist insurrectionists, etc.).}

p. 72

"the order of the eight ... is as follows :

Soma, Participant, Shadow, Anima/Animus, Counterpart, Delimiter, Witness, Numen."

{N.B. These 8 Dream-Characters have no connection (despite K.L.'s speculations) with specific cakra-s, simply because they are not related to the elemental spirits.} {Instead, the 8 Dream-Characters might possibly relate to the 8 directional Cemeteries (described in the S`mas`ana Vidhi, and in later rN~in-ma literature).}

pp. 73-5 (summarized on p. 76, Table 1) correlation of Dream-Character, and of Dream-Character's lesson, with musical element




musical element


"Soma, or body consciousness"


"rhythm" "arouses our attention"



"sonority" : "sensual quality of sound -- its beauty"



"intensity" : "combination of dissonance and volume" -- "often dramatic in nature, like opera"

"Anima/Animus, or the beloved"


"melody" : "expression" -- "often takes the form of songs, including the blues"



"life purpose"

[p. 74] "tempo" -- "the speed of the music" -- "often takes the form of dance music"




"form" : "means by which a composer structures or limits a piece of music" -- "often takes the form of symphonies"



"macrorhythm" : "long swells of accumulating and dissipating the energy", "has a transformative effect"




"metarhythm" : "means of organizing music to create the impression of timelessness"



Yoga of Listening


pp. 81-2 traditional nada yoga, and meditation with music

p. 81

"that "most tender and absorbing way of awakening" called nada yoga ... uses mantras and melodies to open chakras." (Satyananda 1984, p. 39)

"S[.]ufis developed the art of meditation with music, "by having a certain piece played which had a certain effect upon the development of the individual." [Khan 1996, p. 52] ...

The effects of such exposure can be ... transcendental."

p. 82

"Khan said [1996, p. 101] that what we seek in music is "... the expanded consciousness, from the realization of the divine light, which is the secret of all true art, and which is the soul of all mysticism.""

Satyananda 1984 = Swami Satyananda : Kundalini Tantra. Bihar School of Yoga at Munger.

Khan 1996 = Hazrat Inayat Khan : The Mysticism of Sound and Music. rev. edn. Boston : Shambhala.

p. 83 soul's progression through music

[quoted from Khan 1996, p. 8] "There are many different kinds of music, each kind appealing to certain souls."

[quoted from Khan 1996, loc. cit.] "The true way of progressing through music is to evolve freely ..., not caring what others think."

[quoted from Khan 1996, p. 161] "The lover of music attains sooner or later to the most sublime field of thought."

p. 84 music having "initiatory power"

"Satprem, a pupil of Sri Aurobindo, said [2000, p. 214] that music "can be a powerful means of opening up the consciousness." Composers ... may "create masterpieces endowed with initiatory power.""

"some of the greatest composers of Western music, ... musica adepts ... pass on such higher states of consciousness to us through their music, by means of transmission ... a mystical experience in which a guru's bliss and wisdom are transferred directly from his mind to that of a properly trained disciple."

Satprem 2000 = Satprem (transl. by Michael Danino) : Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of Consciousness. 4th edn. New Delhi : The Mother's Institute of Research.

p. 85 traditionally, instrumental music is prohibited among Christians

"In fundamentalist Christian sects {such as, the Church of the Brethren}, as well as those of some other world religions, music and dancing are sometimes completely banned."

{AQUINAS "Our church does not use musical instruments".

AUGUSTINE "musical instruments were not used."

CLEMENT "... musical instruments must be excluded". ...

ANGLICAN : the only protestant church to use instrumental music before 1750 AD ("WhEChB")}

"WhEChB" = "What did early Christians believe about Using instrumental music in worship???"

{Instrumental music infiltrated the Roman Catholic Church in the 17th century ChrE, and Protestant churches in the 18th century ChrE. It is as yet unknown in the Eastern Orthodox Churches.}

p. 85 aspects of a-nanda

"Aurobindo also spoke [1963, p. 111] of

a "need of bodily happiness,"

"joy and rapture," "mental delight," and

"peace and divine ecstasy -- all aspects of ananda."

These four types of ananda correspond with

the four ranges of the continuum of human potential : physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual."

Aurobindo 1963 = Aurobindo Ghose : The Future Evolution of Man : the Divine Life upon Earth. London, Allen & Unwin.

pp. 86-7 brilliant music

p. 86

"As a composer, I'm often fascinated when the brilliance of a piece's compositional technique has captured my attention. ...

Music in which ... expanded consciousness, is dominant often seems solemn, awe-inspiring, sublime, spiritually uplifting, ...

p. 87

in terms of ... ecstatic joy. I often feel an eerie sense of expanding consciousness when I'm exposed to it. My psychic senses open up, with a mild frisson or tingling in the spine.

The chief characteristic of music in which ... cosmic consciousness, is dominant is that it seems to come from elsewhere, as an answer to one's prayers."

p. 87 levels within any centre

"the lower range is pathos. ...

Middle ... is yearning.

Upper ... is elation".

pp. 87-8 granthi

p. 87

"In Tantra yoga, it is said that the kundalini can get stuck at any of three points called a granthi or "knot." ... Such knots are considered to be [Satyananda 1984, p. 117] "obstacles on the path of the awakened kundalini." ...

p. 88

In my work with music ..., I've found that something similar to these knots may occur at the transition point ... in the continuum of human potential. I call each knot the crisis point."

pp. 90-1 rules of conduct (propounded by Patekar) in harkening to music (Hamel 1979, p. 64)

p. 90

"The first of these rules is to ... concentrate on "the higher, spiritual aspects of life.""

"The second rule for becoming an ideal listener is to let go of critical thinking."

p. 91

"The third of Patekar's rules of conduct for becoming a good listener is to allow a meditative state to develop."

"The fourth rule of being a good listener, according to Patekar, is to "Establish a link with the supernatural aspects of reality.""

Hamel 1979 = Peter Michael Hamel (transl. by Peter Lemesurier) : Through Music to the Self. Boulder (CO) : Shambhala.


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