Jun 01 2012

Reading Berendt’s The World is Sound: Nada Brahma – Music and the Landscape of Consciousness (part 1)

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I’m finding the book rather interesting. Seems just about everything can be reduced to the notes on a scale (according to Berendt), but I can’t help but wonder if the scale is just another manifestation of something else entirely.

In any event, I wanted to post some of the things that grabbed my attention in the first several chapters.

“When you meditate on a personal mantra for years, an almost perfect synchronization can develop between the vibrations of the mantra given to you and our own personal vibrations.” (interesting idea, but I’m hoping he explains this a bit more later. I’d be interested as well how this relates to what William Poundstone claims in Big Secrets, that mantras aren’t really personal, but given to you based on your age, and this is why you’re not supposed to divulge your mantra, because the disciples would “catch on” pretty quickly that something was up)

From the Sufi mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan:

“When we study the science of breath the first thing we notice is that breath is audible; it is a word itself, for what we call a word is only a more prounounced utterance of breath fashioned by the mouth and tongue. In the capacity of the mouth breath becomes voice, and therefore the original condition of a word is breath. If we said, ‘First was the breath,’ it would be the same as saying ‘In the beginning was the word.’

“…the first sign of life that manifested was the audible expression, or sound; that is the word. When we compare this interpretation with the Vedanta philosophy, we find that the two are identical. All down the ages the Yogis and seers of India have worshipped the Word-God or Sound-God…All occult science, all mystical practices are based upon the science of the word or sound…There are words that echo in the heart, and there are others that do so in the head. And again others have power over the body.”

From Vilayat Inayat Khan (his son):

“Become yourself pure vibration beyond space. If the sound generated by the vocal chords into the vibratory network of the universe has the faculty of tuning one, it is because it links one with the cosmic symphony. The repetition of a physical sound sets off a sound current, a vibration tidal wave in the ether, by building up energy…

“We live on several planes at the same time. It is said in the Heikhaloth, the Jewish book of the heavenly spheres [note to self: find this], that each time a new soul descends in the ocean of the manifested realm, it generates a vibration which is communicated to the entire cosmic ocean…Each creature is a crystallization of a part of this symphony of vibrations. Thus we are like a sound petrified in solid matter which continues indefinitely to resound in this matter ‘and the word became flesh’

‘and the word became flesh’

‘and the word became flesh’.

This also interested me for a number of reasons, but the “crystallization” imagery in particular, as I’ve been trying to envision the process of incarnation as a sort of condensation of spirit mass from Brahman(?)/Ain Soph(?)/whatever. This was partially behind my “ocean” post the other night, and I freely admit partially inspired by watching my lava lamp. :)

And God said, “Let there be __________”….

From Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (17th Century philosopher and mathematician):

“Music is a hidden arithmetic exercise of the soul, which does not know that it is dealing with numbers, because it does many things by way of unnoticed conceptions which with clear conception it could not do. Those who believe that nothing can happen in the soul of which the soul is not conscious are wrong. For this reason the soul, although not realizing that it is involved in mathematical computation, still senses the effect of this unnoticeable forming of numbers either as a resultant feeling of well-being in the case of harmonies or as discomfort in the case of disharmonies.”

moving right along, Berendt mentions some interesting synchronicities (which again, I find to be interesting wank)

Wilfried Krueger (a German musicologist) found:

“With its atomic number 8, oxygen is the element of the octave. The eight electrons of the oxygen atom shell and the eight protons of the oxygen atom nucleus form a major scale, the spins of the particles precisely marking the half tones and the whole tones. The spin -1/2 is the semitone, the spin +1/2 is the full tone; the negative spin lies at the fourth and eighth steps, just where in the C major scale the f and c’ indicate the semitones…the electron shell of the carbon atom, saturated according to the rules of nuclear physics and in the steps of the basic theorem, produces the tone scale C-D-E-F-G-A, which is the hexachord of Gregorian chant; in fact, depending on the saturation state of the atom, all three Gregorian hexachords exist in carbon, the so-called hexachordum durum, hexachordum molle, and hexachordum naturale.”

“Franz Schubert experienced the one-line F sharp as a ‘green note.’ I have no idea how Schubert could have heard that, but just that note, a tritone (relative to C), forms the key tension in the nitrogen atom during photosynthesis when sunlight is transformed into chlorophyll, into living green.”

Seth also mentions some interesting things about chlorophyll, which I’ll have to go back and dig up.

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