Sunday, December 09, 2012

Salty Music

I've always been fascinated by the music that different circles choose for their séances/sittings, and at every one, while some choices make sense, invariably there are some that never faileto surprise me. Every circle is its own culture—which I’m sure some paranthropologist is studying, somewhere. How can one ever possibly find the words to describe the fact that the culture is a blending of two astonishingly different lines—that of the Risen with terrestrial, embodied spirits—and in some cases, non-terrrestrial, embodied spirits? The music, then, is the result of a co-creative effort of all who are invested in the goals and agendas of the sittings.

My interest is especially keen because of my intense musical background as a classically-trained solo artist, which was actually my career as a child and young adult. This training included many years of intense and comprehensive cross-training in numerous instruments, cultures, theories and methods, including composition, accompaniment and directing. I am also blessed (or cursed) with perfect pitch to an exceptional 64th degree of tone. I know this because one of our piano tuners when I was a pre-teen had brought a then-innovative electronic tuning system—an oscilloscope—and he used it to test my discerning hearing.

I can still remember discovering with ecstatic joy the first electronically synthesized music in a ground-breaking album, “Switched-On Bach” by Walter Carlos—now Wendy Carlos. Finally I could hear something that my 64 degrees of tonality could tolerate! I would listen to it for hours with headphones, filling my head with it, tears running down my cheeks… I was 12 years old.

The combination of my other degrees of writing and journalism also makes for an exceptional skill in listening and analyzing music with lyrics—for words are music in themselves, even without music. The primary reason why I no longer engage in music as a career, or even listen to it all that much anymore—except for some very particular pieces of synthesized music—is that I’ve heard, with my spiritual ears, Risen music. It makes the greatest of our greatest sound like flat, tinny, childish attempts to talk underwater. The vast majority of it has some underlying tone—however faint or subtle—of sadness, which is not found in Risen culture. It is too painful for me to listen to most earthly music now.

I bring this all up—in all humility—merely to present my qualifications when it comes to commenting about the incredibly rich variety of music one will find in mediumship circles. In the bygone pre-electronic days, circles invariably sang without instrumental accompaniment—although those in spirit often played along with the many instruments set out for them to demonstrate, and often far better than an embodied person ever could! I have an old Spiritualist Hymn book, and most of the songs are fast tempo in major chords, almost marching tunes, designed to rouse the spirit.

Why music anyway? I ask this so that those so interested will not only ask themselves this question, but to ponder others, such as, which music? And even, what for?

When we listen to music, and especially sing (melodically or lyrically) the entire bioform—our body)—responds by changing its breathing and heartbeat, which in turn change the rate that oxygen and other chemicals enter, circulate and leave it. This effectively alters our consciousness as we leave the mundane world outside the séance room, and submerge into a different realm of being. All musical instruments are basically attempting to imitate and reproduce the human voice, and so the human voice itself is the most powerful way of changing the consciousness of self and others. Percussion instruments in particular are directly connected with the heartbeat and the flow of blood and other glandular fluids circulating through the bioform. Indigenous drumming is well-known for its effects on awareness and its ability to induce trance states.

Every culture has its own evolutionary response to the sounds and light around us. As an example, in our blog, originally posted 9/21/06, we cited a study in the 80’s of right brain/left brain responses to nature sounds, which revealed that “. . . Japanese and Westerners alike heard music, machinery and noise sounds in the right brain and language sounds in the left brain, but Japanese heard vowels sounds, crying, laughing and sighing, the cries of insects and animals, waves, wind, rain, running water and Japanese musical instruments in the left brain, the same as language, while Westerners heard these sounds in the right brain together with music and noise.” Crickets, the sound of rain, and even that of falling snow have always been able to bring me into fairly deep trance states quite quickly.

In my report of several sittings with the renowned Yellow Cloud circle in France, I briefly discuss their interesting choice of music, which was a mix of Native American drumming chants, Diana Ross, John Lennon, and other selections chosen by Risen and non-Risen intimate members of that circle. Spirit members tend to completely control and direct the pieces to be played, when and for how long, the volume, etc. Yellow Cloud’s team was no different, although it was a bit surprising to see that an ipod was used—which sometimes lit up way too brightly in the dark room, causing good-natured complaints from those in spirit.

So which music to select? There is no need to go into all the scientific studies that show how different music affects the growth and health of plants, and even human babies in the womb—I’m sure we have all read about them to some degree. But those in their circles can be sure that even the music they think they’ve personally chosen was actually orchestrated (pun intended) by their partners in Spirit. Yet, if we are in a depressed or gloomy state of mind, it’s better to stay out of the circle, just as it is to avoid picking the music. “Rainy Days & Mondays” by The Carpenters will probably not make for a very successful sitting.

As we pointed out somewhere in our book, nostalgia is a particularly attractive, but addictive and even toxic mood, and the music that makes us that way, while “taking us back,” will not take us forward, which is where the Risen are trying to help us move. While it can indeed bring about a purge and cleansing effect, it’s best to engage with such music outside the séance room. Ask the spirit members of the circle what they would recommend. Even if there isn’t yet a developed medium they can speak through, they will find ways to make their choices known—trust them.

As a rule of thumb, music that is written in major keys—particularly C, D, G, F, and B-flat—tend to uplift and carry the human spirit to higher states, quickly and usually effortlessly. Such compositions are very well suited to a séance. Music written in minor tones, with slow, dullish percussion, is best avoided, for it tends to attract elementals or devas, who love to play with any electronic devices being used for the séance! They are harmless, but once they get into a circle, like ants at a picnic, they can be hard to get rid of.

Finally, consider what the music is for; what is its purpose anyway? Simply, it is to raise the lower spiritual energies so that the higher ones can descend for a bit, and safely. And while the higher-vibrating energies are in place, during that time the Risen can effect changes in the lower-vibrating people in ways that will enhance and even evolve them. The music is to create a resonance between the two or more groups that will activate the Law of Like Attraction.

Consider the element of water from a molecular viewpoint: two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. There is nothing “wet” about them. Yet, when these unlike elements are brought together, the quality of “wetness” arises” seemingly from nowhere. When the same molecules are separated, “wetness” vanishes. What is “wetness” anyway? Where does it come from, and why are we able to sense and even enjoy it? Science avoids such questions, for there are no answers that fall within our current understanding.

Or take NaCl. The molecules of sodium and of chloride have nothing flavorful about them, but when bonded together, the quality of “saltiness” arises, only to disappear when the molecules are separated. Hmmm … maybe some old salty sailing ditties would be perfect for a séance!

In like way, when certain people—including Risen—are joined together, some quality or qualities arise, enlarging our world in tangible ways. Music is something that brings people together, bonds them, makes differences fall away, and creates new ties of strength and feeling.