Tag Archives: music

The Reality of Illusion of Reality

SEEN as the dependable Gaia, our Mother Earth is a beautiful and bountiful haven for life in the cosmos.

But day to day living here represents a wide variety of experiences, not all of them necessarily compatible.

For example, artists, writers, poets, mathematicians, shamans, homeless persons, business people, storm chasers.

Each of them experiences our shared planet through their own unique lens.

Each hears, sees, tastes and feels based upon their particular worldview, and these unique affectations manifest in an infinitude of variations.

“Why is it that one person sees poetry in a cabbage or a pig with her little ones,” H. P. Blavatsky asks:

“while another will perceive in the loftiest things only their lowest and most material aspect.”

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Some, she says, “will laugh at the ‘music of the spheres,’ and ridicule the most sublime conceptions and philosophies.”

Mme. Blavatsky’s contemporary, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton), under the pseudonym ‘The Duchess,’ wrote many books. In Molly Bawn, 1878, she gave us the familiar phrase:

“Beauty is in the eye
of the beholder.”

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Mme. Blavatsky explained the inner significance of this phrase. Differences of perception, she says, “depend on the innate power of the mind to think on the higher or on the lower plane — with the astral or with the physical brain.

“Great intellectual powers are often no proof of, but are impediments to spiritual and right conceptions,” Blavatsky adds:

“…witness most of the great men of science. We must rather pity than blame them.”

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When Did You Stop Dancing?

Luna Poddar: Dancing Krishna

Luna Poddar: Dancing Krishna

WHEN we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence we experience the loss of soul, many shamanic societies  say.

“Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence, Gabrielle Roth attests, “are the four universal healing salves.”

For Roth physical movement, according to an Huffpost article, “is key to unlocking the spirit.”

She was an incredibly influential teacher of meditative dance and the creator of the 5Rhythms movement practice.”

“Roth dedicated her life, heart and soul to exploring how to engage her spirit and creativity through dance and movement — and helping others to do the same. The effect of her influence is palpable.”

“Dance is the fastest, most direct route to the truth,”  she claimed. It is notable in this regard that two of the most powerful ancient gods, Krishna and Shiva, are so often depicted as dancing, and Krishna additionally is shown at the same time playing the flute.

Yet in our present society, “especially in so-called civilized countries,” H. P. Blavatsky declared  in The Key to Theosophy (Sect. 122), “we are continually brought face to face with the fact that large numbers of people are suffering from misery, poverty, and disease.”

when did you stop dancing

Blavatsky went on to describe a society whose “physical condition is wretched, and their mental and spiritual faculties are often almost dormant.” On the other hand, she said, “many persons at the opposite end of the social scale are leading lives of careless indifference, material luxury, and selfish indulgence.”

“Neither of these forms of existence is mere chance. Both are the effects of the conditions which surround those who are subject to them, and the neglect of social duty on the one side is most closely connected with the stunted and arrested development on the other.”

We still suffer terribly from the neglect of each other as a humanity, but there are always a few self-sacrificing individuals who are unselfishly devoted to finding ways to help us heal.

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Life without Limits

Jennifer Stuczynski and Pole

HAVING the right tools for a job is essential, just ask any electrician, plumber or carpenter.

Equally important, is that the tools being used are dependable and in good working condition.

Just ask any parachutist, race car driver, mountain climber, or pole vaulter.

On the spiritual level, the purity or impurity of our bodily instrument and senses determine, for better or worse, our soul’s ability to express its unique genius.

Krishna explains this very simply to his disciple, the soul warrior Arjuna, in the 2nd Chapter of The Bhagavad-Gita where he says: “he who hath his senses and organs in control possesses spiritual knowledge.”

Likewise, the quality and adequacy of “the brain and body to transmit and give expression” to the immortal spirit, H. P. Blavatsky wrote in her article Genius, is “the result of Karma.” And offers an analogy:

“… the physical is the musical instrument, and the Ego, the performing artist.”

No skill of the soul she wrote, “can awaken faultless harmony out of a broken or badly made instrument.”  The physical “may be a priceless Stradivarius or a cheap and cracked fiddle,” she says.

Zoe Bloomfield with her cracked $7000 violin. Photo: Nick Moir

But sometimes physical limitations can be successfully overridden. The genius of Paganini, for instance, even burdened by a “cracked fiddle,” would still produce more perfect music from a damaged instrument, than could a lesser musician.

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Thou Art Buddha

Photo: barrywheeler.net

DEDICATED repetition is the foundation of all accomplishment in true art, science, and even spiritual development.

Yet success may entail much more than just ‘practice, practice’ to get to Carnegie Hall, as the saying goes.

Sweat, talent and technical skill are of course required. But the intuitive musician has a growing sense of  how a composition ought to be performed.

She is able to increasingly embrace the intent of the composer while shaping the music into a unique performance of her own.

Becoming ‘free of the keyboard’ an accomplished artist is untied from the written score and physical instrument.

The shift signals an artist who has the required technical mastery, plus an inspiration of her own.

Yet in large orchestras, the conductor communicates directions to musicians during a performance, becoming the authoritative guide, interpreter, and dedicated amanuensis of the composer.

Not unlike the Buddha following his enlightenment, an orchestra conductor, or music instructor, has transformed herself into a guru to the searchers, coaxing them through their envelope of inexperience, to ever increasing emancipation.

They say that when a student is ready, the teacher will appear. Spiritual knowledge and development does require commitment and dedication to an ideal, but on a grander scale. Achievement is more demanding any art, religion, science or philosophy for it is the synthesis of them all.

“Practical Theosophy is not one Science,” Blavatsky explained, “but it embraces every science in life, moral and physical. It may, in short, be justly regarded as the universal ‘coach,’ — a tutor of world-wide knowledge and experience.”

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Stepping Stones

Photo: barrywheeler.net

DEDICATED repetition is the foundation of all accomplishment in true art, science, and even spiritual development.

Yet success may entail much more than just ‘practice, practice’ to get to Carnegie Hall, as the saying goes.

Sweat, talent and technical skill are of course required. But the intuitive musician has a growing sense of  how a composition ought to be performed.

Because, through an inner  transformation, she can embrace the intent of the composer, and transform the music into an exhilarating inspiration of her own.

The accomplished performer is not tied to notes on paper, becoming what is called ‘free of the keyboard.’ That shift signals an musician who not only has the required technical mastery, but is also ready to shape a performance in her own inspired way.

Yet in large orchestras, the conductor communicates directions to musicians during a performance, becoming the authoritative guide, interpreter, and dedicated amanuensis of the composer.

Not unlike the Buddha following his enlightenment, an orchestra conductor, or music instructor, has transformed herself into a guru to the searchers, coaxing them through their envelope of inexperience, to ever increasing emancipation.

They say that when a student is ready, the teacher will appear. Spiritual knowledge and development does require commitment and dedication to an ideal, but on a grander scale. The stakes are higher than any one art or science.

“Practical Theosophy is not one Science,” Blavatsky explained, “but it embraces every science in life, moral and physical. It may, in short, be justly regarded as the universal ‘coach,’ — a tutor of world-wide knowledge and experience.”

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New Spiritual Patterns 1

Kids in the first Dutch cropcircle of 2010

ACTIONS that call upon our nobler mind and innate spirituality, will surely spark the growth of true self-knowledge within us.

Old intellect-driven habits of thinking and acting do not work, and naturally fade away of their own accord.

Spiritual motifs become more deeply ingrained in us as we serve others, Theosophy says, and practice genuine compassion for  humanity, and the planet.

“Help Nature and work on with her,” is one important way, says the Voice of the Silence, “and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance — she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, and

... lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom.”

“Unsullied by the hand of matter she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit,” says the Voice — “the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms.”

Fosbury nr Vernham Dean, Wiltshire, UK, July 17, 2010

“Self-knowledge of this kind is unattainable by what men usually call ‘self-analysis,’ Helena Blavatsky affirms, “it is not reached by reasoning or any brain process:

…it is the awakening to consciousness of the Divine nature of man.”

And “to obtain this knowledge is a greater achievement than to command the elements or to know the future,” she adds … Continue reading

Never Ending I

EVOLUTION is spiral, Theosophy teaches and the path of spirituality turns “corkscrew-like.”

Soul experiences are layered securely “within and around the physical, semi-physical, and supra-physical.”

Man’s immortality and the existence of God, are the two primary doctrines that H. P. Blavatsky determined to prove.

Analogizing in her Preface to Isis Unveiled, her first Theosophical opus, she sets the bar to its highest level,  posing immediately the keynote question:

“Who ever saw the Immortal Spirit of man, so as to be able to assure himself of man’s immortality?”

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Often it is only the clear-eyed children, unfettered by dogmas, who are the ones able to perceive spirit, not their parents or teachers.

Please note, this post has been updated and republished at:

The Unwrapped Soul