Category Archives: music

The Scariest Thing of All

entwined trees

Connection/individuality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love and fear are strange partners
They have been together a long time
They know each other well
Where one is found, so is the other
Seeming opposites, they occupy
the same coin’s two aspects
and flip back and forth
as our hearts open and close.

 

I wrote that poem while embroiled in the most complicated relationship of my life. I often thought that it was like an Olympics of relationshipping, requiring huge stretches and leaps, unprecedentedly tricky psychological and emotional gymnastics, greater skills than I had ever had to develop before.

I did not stick the landing.

Last weekend I performed in one of our monthly dance salons sponsored by the Farfesha troupe. It was the Halloween edition, but I didn’t have anything specific to the holiday planned. Then it occurred to me that the gentle, lyrical song I was dancing to, “Lamma bada yatathanna,” was about one of the things that scares people the most: helplessness in the face of love and desire.

It ends by repeating Aman, aman… “Mercy! Mercy!”

Lots of things in this world are scary. Maybe it sounds a bit histrionic to say that love and desire are among the ones that give people the most serious cases of the heebie-jeebies. But as an empath, that’s what I’ve experienced. I’ve also been told about it in so many words, as in, “Sometimes I want to be close to you, too, but it’s just too frightening.”

With the anniversary of the sprained soul I sustained at the end of that overcomplicated relationship coming up, I am thinking again about love and fear. Can they be separated? Is it ever possible to have only love? I would say that this is the case with my husband and me, but then, there is always the fear of loss. Even though the loss of a person to death is not truly real— they only appear to be gone— the pain can be beyond what we can cope with, and that can go on and on. Of course we fear it.

I think that the fear associated with love is always a fear of loss— loss of control above all, perhaps loss of one’s definition of oneself. Fears about losing freedom, autonomy and safety are common, though in a viable relationship those things will not really be lost. All of these are in some way fear of change.

My husband thought I was a little nuts writing about love being frightening. “Well,” I said, “what about when a guy goes out with a girl and really likes her a lot, and then he never calls her? That’s fear, right?”

“Yeah, if she likes him, then he’s stuck.” (His life will change for sure.) “And if she doesn’t like him, she’ll step on him and smash him like a spider!” (Yeeks!)

In the case of my gymnastics partner, as far as I can tell, a fundamental fear was about having to change his view of himself and what was possible for him. He didn’t have the flexibility to manage that. I acknowledge that this is a pretty terrifying thing, and I don’t blame him for being nervous about it.

The fear that permeated that association, though, was beyond anything reasonable. It was pervasive and infected every moment. Every time I thought we had gotten past it, it reared its head again. It lurked behind every affectionate gesture and every sincere word of kindness.

All along I kept trying to identify and root out my own phobias and anxieties. I thought I was going through some intense and useful spiritual development. Being an empath, I was constantly attending to the messages beneath the surface as well as the overt ones. I came up with new skills and new methods to make sense of the odd things that went on. It seemed like all that would keep me out of trouble, but ultimately I was no better off.

It was an epic fail, and I can’t advise you on how to avoid the same. All I know is that when there is a choice between love and fear, the path of fear will never get you where you want to go. Loving more thoroughly, more clear-headedly, with less ego, is the better strategy, and that means applying love and compassion to yourself as well. It may be that continuing the relationship is not compatible with this kind of love, that the truly loving course is to let it end.

I remind myself that if something is impossible, failing to accomplish it is not a real failure. We know that no one ever passed the Kobayashi Maru test without cheating.

**************************************************************************

As I told you about last time, I had the great privilege to hear and meet Nadia Bolz-Weber at an event on October 20. I literally looked up to her— my goodness, she’s tall, and she was wearing 3” heels. Someone who makes no attempt to hide. She wasn’t always that way, though. Her book Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, which I’m rereading, describes her early life within a very repressive Protestant denomination.

 I was on the verge of tears all through her presentation that day, and wasn’t quite sure why. I felt that I had long since worked through the issues of shame and guilt and not-good-enough that she was talking about. While waiting for the event to start, I opened Shameless in e-book form on my phone, and my eye fell on the phrase “the inherent goodness of the human body.”

That is still an area of blockage for me. It struck me that for those of us struggling with or coming to terms with chronic illness, chronic pain, disability, or even just plain aging, finding ourselves in contention with recalcitrant bodies, it is hard to remember their inherent goodness. Even if we have cleared away millennia of religious asceticism and dualism that tell us our bodies are sinful and must be suppressed and disciplined, it can still be a real challenge to be friends with our physical forms. Rev. Nadia is talking about the goodness of the body in terms of its sexual and sensual nature, but there is far more to be found in that concept.

All this brings up questions of why we live in physical bodies to begin with, and what we are to make of our relationship with this physical world. But clearly our bodies are meant to touch other bodies, as Rev. Nadia points out. The desire to connect, it seems to me, can be seen in spiritual terms as a need to connect with our Source.

The dance of love and fear is based in the conflict between the desire for connection and merging and the desire for individuation. All beings want to connect and belong, and all beings have an innate drive to keep existing. The mistake we make is in believing that love and connection threaten our continued existence as individuals.

************************************************************************

A hypnotic choreography to the version of “Lamma bada” I used, by Lena Chamamyan:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxIj4ni07Q0&list=WL&index=6&t=0s

The song is a venerable one from the Andalusian tradition, in sama’i rhythm with 10 beats per measure. Here is one of many versions of the lyrics:

Lamma bada yatathanna… Hubbi jamalu fatanna
Amru mâ bi-laHza asarna
Ghusnun thanâ Hina mal
Wa’adi wa ya Hirati
Man li raHimu shakwati… Fil-Hubbi min law’ati
Illa maliku l-jamal
Aman’ Aman’ Aman’ Aman

https://lyricstranslate.com

And a couple of the many translations:

When he was bending, when he was bending (this means he is dancing or doing something graceful)
My love, his beauty struck us
Something about it captivated us
beauty, as soon as he began to bend

My promise, oh my confusion, my promise, oh my confusion
Who could be the one to alleviate my sufferings in love, from my torment, except the one of beauty
Oh mercy, oh mercy, oh mercy

http://www.arabicmusictranslation.com/2008/10/lena-chamamyan-when-he-looked-bent-lama.html

She walked with a swaying gait
her beauty amazed me

Her eyes have taken me prisoner
Her stem folded as she bent over

Oh, my promise, oh, my perplexity
Who can answer my lament of love and distress
but the graceful one, the queen of beauty?

http://www.qiyanskrets.se/lyrics.htm

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Filed under music, psychology, sexuality, spirituality

Encountering Electronic Voice Phenomena in Person, Part II

“Chopin Anew” by Jan Nyka. This image is amusingly appropriate in the context of EVP, don’t you think?
http://www.jannyka.com/index.php?/commercial/people/

At the beginning of the ASCS conference, Suzanne Giesemann gave a charming, inspiring, but no-nonsense talk about her development as a medium, which included stories about striking synchronicities— and another slew of them for me. Here she outlines her journey from hard-nosed Navy commander to professional mystic: https://www.suzannegiesemann.com/about-suzanne-2/

I want to tell you about an enlightening anecdote from Suzanne. One day, during her meditations, she received a visit from an entity who called himself Odin. Ohhhkkaaayyyy, she thought. She didn’t remember much about Norse mythology, so she went off and read up about him. What she found was a whole package of synchronistic threads that connected with people close to her, having to do with lightning and runes in particular. The next time she encountered Odin, she blurted out, “Are you real?”

“I am as real as you are,” he replied.

“But you’re a myth!” Suzanne insisted.

You’re a myth!” was the answer to that.

 The idea was that all personalities, human and otherwise, bubble up from the substrate of the universal mind, and all are pretty much the same in essence, and all equally real or unreal, depending on how you look at it. That’s about as close as I can get to explaining my experiences with such eminences as Kuan Yin or Medicine Buddha.

And as close as I can get to explaining the following.

As I described last time, I was putting a lot of effort into listening during October, and something began to happen that interfered mightily with that. At first mildly, then catastrophically, I developed a case of constant high-pitched tinnitus. By the last week of the month, it had taken over my life and I could hardly think of anything else.

I suspected that the new problem might have something to do with my trip to the conference, either the work with the spirits, the flight, the drastic changes of altitude and humidity, or all of the above. I’d also had a slight virus sort of thing right after the trip. I started looking for help to sort it out. That’s when things got even weirder.

I began with a remote polarity treatment from the person who had helped me with issues like this before. My therapist encountered a crowd of beings around me who seemed to all be trying to talk to me at once, and she thought that was creating the ringing in my ears. She came up with a strategy for communicating with them one at a time in a controlled way that would limit any trouble. Sigh… I’ve had all too many issues over the years with entities knocking hard on my doors… but I guess it’s an occupational hazard.  And it has led in fruitful directions at times.

For a while after that session, the sound in my ears died down a bit. The theory about these critters being the main cause of the tinnitus doesn’t seem to have panned out in the time since then, but they were most definitely present and they needed to be dealt with. I cautiously set about making their acquaintance, just a few of them. They were very accessible, and seemed enthusiastic and positive about communicating with me. One gave me a warm hug. Another— I’m grateful for this— reached into my head and tweaked my eyes so that colors became dramatically brighter and for quite a while the usual dryness was gone. Perhaps more ominously, another asked why I was bothered by the ringing, since they were “tuning me” and I ought to be happy about it.

I didn’t detect anything untoward, but I wasn’t comfortable with having anyone trying to control me or use me for their own agenda, especially without my conscious understanding and consent. I made an appointment with my psychic mentor, Mendy Lou Blackburn, who is always the person I turn to when matters like this get beyond my abilities. When I went to bed, I asked Fryderyk what he thought was going on, and he had something to say about it, but in the morning I couldn’t remember what it had been.

Mendy Lou and I looked extensively at the whole situation and tried to figure out how these entities fit in. They didn’t seem connected with the Big Circle, the group Vicki and friends work with. Mendy could see them clearly, as a sort of vortex containing multiple small lights. They appeared to her to be a mix of beings of different levels of development. When she used the term elementals, I remembered that Fryderyk had said the same thing the night before.

At one point I looked around for my link to the Big Circle, for comparison, and instantly Braden popped into the room in a burst of light, so Mendy Lou got to meet him and get a sense of his fun-loving personality. It was comforting to have him show up. Fryderyk also made himself known, but he stayed in the background.

So there I was with an unwanted “fan club” and still an intolerable level of constant noise. I went to the office and put my questions aside for the time being. By the next day, with the ringing still driving me nuts, I felt I couldn’t stretch my stressed and irritated self far enough to deal with the mysterious entities anymore. Apologizing, in case they were sincerely there for my good, I wrapped them up in a sort of package and pushed them out of my field. I just didn’t know what else to do at that point. Since then I haven’t heard anything further from them.

I told Vicki about all this, and she confirmed that Braden and company were not involved and didn’t know who these beings were either. The Big Circle folk told her to let me know that I was “climbing Jacob’s ladder” and all was well. All the sources seemed to agree that I was somehow being changed to be able to perceive more, and that I should be patient with the process. I felt a little bit better.

The process of clearing attachments and emotional junk continued with a remote treatment from James Rolwing, and Thought Field Therapy (the original version of tapping on acupressure points) with Diana Ristenpart. After that, the tinnitus changed, in quality though not volume, and became a less obnoxious type of sound so that it was more tolerable. A range of pure sine wave frequencies disappeared and I was left with an array of tiny chimes combined with cicadas. Strange how that is less bothersome!

After a lot of phone calls, I was able to get in with an audiologist and a nurse practitioner at an ENT office, and they found inflammation in my Eustachian tubes— a potential physical cause for the sound. Mercifully, my hearing tested as mostly intact, except for a small deficit at very high frequencies. I’d been terrified of having a significant hearing loss, which is often associated with tinnitus. Since I’ve always hated noise and have carefully protected my ears, this whole thing has seemed awfully unfair!

With the onset of the ringing, everything in my environment became oddly loud, subjectively, and my impression was that the effect was different from the hyperacusis that can occur with hearing loss. Sound is much more three-dimensional and multilayered, richer and more colorful, and I pay attention to it differently. Once Fryderyk told me that music is an environment in which one can move about, and I think I know vividly what he meant now.

So is a process of “tuning” still going on? Am I going to be able to hear more of what nonphysical sources want to tell me? Or am I taking a long time to get over a viral infection and a great deal of stress? All of these? I don’t know if I’ve had enough brain-space lately to be able to tell. No dramatic new openings appear to have occurred in my psychic development to match my increased awareness of physical sound. Meanwhile, treating for inflammation and taking Chinese herbs for the pattern I’m showing has helped, as far as I can tell.

I did have an unusually extensive conversation with my composer friend, though, and I’d like to think that I was showing a little more ability to hear what he wanted me to know. This happened on 11/17:
Fryderyk showed up when I was about to go to sleep, as he so often does. I reported that my tinnitus had lessened, and told him that I hoped to be able to hear him better through whatever process was going on with the changes in my ears.

I asked about his efforts to speak through direct voice, wondering why it seemed worthwhile to take so much trouble to make physical sounds rather than just talk to someone inside their head or through channeling. He replied that it is important for him to speak in actual words, not just thoughts, because words have a physical effect on the material world.

“In the beginning was the word?” I asked. His answer was something to the effect that in the beginning was a thought, then a word that shaped reality.

“How does music compare to words?” Up to that point he had been more or less directly dropping concepts into my head, despite the subject being the primacy of words, but this came out as a clear verbal message: “Music is a scaffolding on which we can build reality.” That was a striking idea that I wanted to be sure not to forget, so although I wanted to get to sleep, I dutifully grabbed my notebook and pen. Which, as it has done many times, broke the connection.

After settling back down, I was able to get back in touch with him, and we continued along the same lines. A direct-voice medium is like a radio, he told me; you tune the medium, tune yourself in, your own station. There were images of communicating with me, in contrast, being something like wandering through a cave with twists and obstructions.

I asked if things might be easier if I were a trance medium. He doesn’t like to work with them, he replied, because they can’t really give consent. Even though they’ve consented to the overall procedure, they can’t filter or respond to any of the communication. He prefers the relationship, the dialogue involved in working with someone who is aware of what’s going on.

(Regarding “Music is a scaffolding on which we can build reality,” a musician friend expressed something strikingly similar to this just a couple of days ago, even saying, “In the beginning was the word.”  She said she is trying to affect the world from the inside through music and meditation lately, rather than continuing to work with political organizing and that kind of thing, as she used to.  I expect that other musicians have expressed similar thoughts.)

Vicki mentioned that Braden had warned her against thinking she is communicating with any Famous Dead People, because they are likely to be impostors– although he himself had brought Fryderyk to meet his mother.  For example, he said, if someone shows up who purports to be Elvis, you should run. I mentioned this to Mendy Lou, who recounted the time she not only met Elvis, but had a lengthy conversation with him, many years ago when she was working in Las Vegas. I also mentioned it to a patient who has a strong interest in these matters, and she replied that I shouldn’t be surprised if I did run into Elvis sometime, because he’s her cousin, albeit a distant one. Six degrees of separation and all that.

So when I showed up at Vicki’s presentation, and she saw a momentary flash of her friend “Fred,” she pushed the thought aside.  Why in the world would someone associated with him walk into her workshop?  Her boggle threshold had to be raised a bit, along with mine.  The pattern that began with meeting my Famous Dead Person so many years ago seems to be building up more coherence over time, but I’m still not always certain what is being asked of me.  Now I’ve been brought into the Big Circle project in some way, and telling you about it must be part of that.  Otherwise, I’m awaiting further developments.

 

Mendy Lou Blackburn:  http://mendylou.com/
James Rolwing:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/PatternReleaseEnergetics/about/?ref=page_internal
Lunasol Polarity Therapy:  https://daynaurora.wixsite.com/lunasol-polarity?fbclid=IwAR06LGeVHFtlqrv8ALvx0qJevC3_DcmpCGHqOxl9wVyndUDZ64cFtBcf2bU

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Filed under channeling, health and healing, music, mythology and metaphor, spirit communication

25 Years with Fryderyk

As of today or possibly tomorrow, it’s been 25 years since the earth-shattering day when I first found myself in contact with Fryderyk Chopin.  At the time I didn’t realize how important this event was and I didn’t make note of the date.  I know it was a few days before Valentine’s Day.

https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/how-i-met-fryderyk/

While looking for a particular portrait to add to this post, I came across the photo (not painting) at left, which practically caused me to faint.  I would love to know what processes were used to create it.  The hair is a little on the dark side, and maybe the jaw has just a tad too much bone, but overall the likeness is stunning.  It brings Chopin instantly, dramatically, immediately into the present moment, where, for me, he always is.

And I’m going to leave my observance of the day at that.

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Filed under channeling, history, music, spirit communication

On the Nature of Persons

1/4/11

Fryderyk hadn’t been around for a couple of weeks, and I was starting to feel lonesome. I “rang his phone” a number of times during the day, and then late in the evening, while I was reading in bed, he visited.

A little while before that I had seen a video about Jay Greenberg, a young composer and pianist with near-miraculous abilities, someone it seemed Fryderyk might be able to relate to, a good topic of conversation. The boy was only 12 at the time the 60 Minutes excerpt I saw was made, but he had already written a huge amount of music, and even as prodigies go, he was positively scary. For example, at the age of 2 he’d started asking for a cello, although his parents were not musicians and he’d never been exposed to such a thing, and he started drawing wobbly staves on paper and putting notes on them. When he was given a cello, at age 3, he could play it right away.

I told Fryderyk what I had seen and asked if he had anything to say about it. Many of us see reincarnation as a likely explanation for such extreme abilities in children, and indeed, in the Leslie Flint tapes, the Chopin entity had talked about his efforts at music in other lives, and being ready to hit the ground running in the 19th century because of that preparation. Michael Tymn* favors another theory, that the spirits of deceased adults who had developed their abilities in the arts during their lives “overshadow” and take control of these children, using them to express their own work. What did Fryderyk think about that?

First, he gave me to know that I was looking at the matter from the wrong angle. This happens rather a lot– at least he no longer insists that I’m not listening to him! The idea of a person having different lives in sequence was incorrect. I don’t think of time as linear, myself, so I was fine with that. This part was fairly incoherent, with a sense of rushing energies and various ideas flying at me at once. I struggled to pin it down. “What are you?” I asked for the zillionth time. As has happened before, I saw a flame– same thing you and I are, of course. When I tried visualizing a child artist, such as himself, and asked about other spirits floating around trying to control it, I got nothing.

I was able to pick out the thought that the rushing lights and colors represented a person and its activities and creations, and that the person was an extensive being that existed in many forms and did many things at once, so to speak. He seemed to be using the term “person” (at least as I was hearing it) to mean a total entity including what we might call the Higher Self and any and all individual, earthly lives or personalities. I would be more likely to use that word to mean one of those individual personalities, myself. So I asked him to elaborate on what a person was, in his view.

This time I got words. “A person is an outpouring from God,” he told me. Along with that, I received feelings and visual flashes of a kind of river of light and fire. I still wanted to know more about how he saw the relationship between the different parts of the larger entity.

He explained, “The person is a force which pushes out in all directions, and those directions look like separate lives.” This sounded a lot like the concept described by the Seth entity years ago, in books like The Nature of Personal Reality. It also sounded so good that I wanted to be sure to remember it. I turned a light on and hunted around for my notebook and pencil, which would normally be right by my bed, but dang, I had cleaned my room and moved them. By the time I’d written the sentence down, the contact was broken. As I had feared. I wanted to ask him something about his own larger being, but there was no more communication to be had.

 

* Find his blog here, with links to his books: 
http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/

 

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Filed under channeling, music, past lives, spirit communication, spirituality

Talking with Chopin About Music and Possibilities

Nokturn by Jerzy Głuszek

For years I have been collecting the helpful, fascinating and sometimes perplexing thoughts on music that I’ve received from my currently solidity-challenged composer friend. Every time I’ve gotten close to putting it all together in a nicely packaged presentation, more has come along, and I’ve delayed trying to finish it. My understanding has also changed over time, so that I’ve had to rewrite some sections. I’m thinking that I’d better start sticking the individual bits into some posts or they will never see the light of day.

A lot of what I’ve learned has been specifically about playing the piano and about performance practice, and unlikely to be of much interest to the non-pianist reader. I’ll put that material in another post. Today’s entries are more generally about music and about how it relates to other aspects of our lives, though there is still some nerd stuff.

 

6/28/10

[A friend who has since died] indicated, while I was doing acupuncture for her, that something major in her life was “disgusting.” I was getting signals of disagreement from our Sources about that, being told that it was necessary for her to integrate this part of her life and deal with it quite differently. Fryderyk was coming in strongly at my right, and I asked what he wanted to say. I saw a vibrating column of light, and the ideas associated with it were like this:

Everything is a vibration, a frequency. And what is a frequency? It’s a note. There are not good notes or bad notes, there are just notes. It’s a matter of how they’re put together. In your case, he had me tell her, you’re in the middle of playing a piece that’s already been written, maybe even near the end of it, but you can still improvise. And if you don’t like this piece, play something else.

 

10/26/10, after returning from a trip to Poland and across Europe to France during Chopin’s 200th birthday year:

A while back, I think in early September, I asked Fryderyk about that pesky measure on the second page of the D flat nocturne, Op. 27 No. 2, where suddenly the left hand adds an extra voice. I’m talking about measure 23, where we find an F and an E marked with extra stems with eighth note bars. The “Paderewski” edition notes say that he implied that something similar was going on in the few measures before and after this, but there is no evidence for this that I can see. My understanding from him is that he meant this notation only in this one measure; he was not saying to do the same thing in other parts of this passage. However, I’m still not entirely clear why he brings in that extra voice.

I couldn’t get a very good reading on this matter, but there was something like “adding an extra dimension” or “making it 3D.” He told me that there were other similar instances later in the piece. I was directed to look at the last page. I was in bed at the time, ready to go to sleep, so I didn’t go to check out the page till the next day.

What I noticed then was measures 64 and 68, in which he makes a dotted quarter note out of the first D flat in each arpeggio pattern. This appears superfluous, since the pedal is held and those notes will sound all the way through the pattern anyway. He seems to want extra emphasis on these notes. It’s all the more perplexing because, as Jeff Kallberg [musicologist and expert on Chopin’s work] pointed out, the different manuscripts have the dotted quarter notes or not, or have the dot in measure 64 but not 68.

When I next had the chance to communicate with my disembodied teacher, I dutifully reported that I had looked through the rest of the piece for instances of extra voices coming in temporarily, and that I had found the above. I heard, “If you point out something to someone, they will then start seeing it everywhere,” which was objectively true but didn’t seem very helpful or significant! Attempting to understand the dotted quarters, I held an image of measures 64 and 68 in my mind, and there was an interesting visual effect. The notes became literally 3D; the dotted quarters moved to the front of the image, and others took places in two other layers before my mental eyes. I felt that I did have a certain understanding of what he was after. Sort of. (Later, when I had a chance to experiment at the piano, I found it was pretty easy to bring those bass notes forward or push them a layer or two back, and it does add contrast compared with similar figures in other parts of the piece.)

I apologized for bothering him about such a picky detail. “Since you took the trouble to write it that way, I figure it’s important, and I want to understand it,” I explained.

His reply was something I would like us all to keep in mind, and wish I could convey to the folks who are selling Chopin pencils, Chopin chocolates, tours of his birthplace, etc. etc. Imagine a kind of sigh of resignation along with this statement:

“Not everything I do is important.”

I found this hilarious.

I had another question, having to do with my efforts to memorize some of the pieces of his that I’d been playing for years. To me, a lot of the ornaments and fioriture are surprising, in that one might expect that the ornamental stuff would get more intense and complex as the piece goes on, and it doesn’t necessarily do that. The seemingly random nature of these bits makes memorization more difficult, at least for the likes of me. Which way did he do it this time?? It’s so unpredictable.

The answer to this was so obvious that I should have seen it myself. He didn’t want to be predictable. He wanted to surprise us and keep us guessing, keep our ears and fingers engaged.

 

I had begun this conversation asking for his advice and assistance in treating a mutual friend. We had had considerable trouble working with her before; although she had gotten considerable improvement in some areas, treatments were strangely hard on her. The last time we had done a session, we had tried something different, and instead of her being ill for a while afterward, I was. I felt we needed a new strategy. Fryderyk told me, “Let go of obstacles.”  I thought that was interesting because we don’t think of obstacles as something we hang on to.  Yet I know I do that. That measure in 27/2 with the 48 notes in the right hand is probably a good example. It’s easy to hang on to the idea of its being difficult, whereas perhaps we could hold the thought of making it easy and fluid instead.

“Let go of wanting to prove yourself” was another thought that came up. Not easy either.
[unknown date]

The 48-note fioritura in 27/2 is a particular bête noire for me and I’m sure for a lot of other players. At one point, terminally frustrated with such things, I asked Fryderyk what made him decide on 48 notes or 17 or 23 or whatever strange number comes up in those passages, which can be so inconvenient to play, since they usually don’t match up mathematically with the other hand’s part.  He showed me a curving ribbon shape that represented the musical line as it existed in time and space. The number of notes given exactly filled up the length of the ribbon. So there were exactly as many notes as were needed, no more and no less. Just enough. Obvious to him!

 

~11/15/10

One of the things I’m enjoying about the lute practice [for my album of Polish Renaissance pieces] is that, even though it’s one of my “Chopin Year” projects, it has nothing to do with him whatsoever, and I can have it all to myself!  I got to wondering, though, whether Fryderyk might be familiar with any of those old Polish tunes.  I was thinking that back then they tended to be involved with mostly the music of their own time or not too long before, and that most people were not even paying attention to Bach or works of his time, let alone anything earlier, so the Renaissance and early Baroque tunes probably weren’t on their radar.  The response I received to my question about this sounded a bit miffed.  After all, he had gone to school, he pointed out.  The Warsaw Conservatory had copies of works like this in its library, and he had been able to explore them that way, and for heaven’s sake, did I think he wasn’t educated?

No, of course I didn’t think that, and the image of him leafing through dusty old copies made a pleasing connection for me.  “Oh, I used to love poking around stuff like that in the libraries at YSU and UNM!” I enthused.

I asked whether one heard folk music much in the city, or if one had to go out to the country to experience it.  I was given to know that this was also a fairly dumb question, because people from the city spent time in the country and vice-versa, like the young country gentlemen who roomed with his family, so the same people might often be found in both places.  I kept my mouth shut about the fact that the downtrodden peasants didn’t get a chance to go much of anywhere.  My question was not really so dumb!

I was trying to ask whether there were written sources of folk music around, or whether he learned that stuff by ear, when I fell asleep.

When I woke up this morning, it occurred to me that young Fryc would have been quite unable to read any lute tablature that might have been lying around at the Conservatory. However, he may well have tried some organ tablature and so become acquainted with composers such as Jan of Lublin.  I’d like more details.

 

12/30/13

Last night Fryderyk visited when I was about to go to sleep. I told him that I was trying to prepare a mini-recital for a friend and that things hadn’t been going too well that evening. “New things keep going wrong all the time!” I complained. “I can’t take care of my mistakes because they’re so inconsistent and I never know what’s going to happen.”

Well, at least this time he didn’t hand me the usual “You’re looking at this all wrong” or “You’re asking the wrong question.” He began with a clear sentence in his bumpy sort of English, but I can’t recall it– I knew I’d kick myself in the morning if I didn’t get out of bed and write down his exact words, since I was getting a definite verbal message, but I decided to stay where I was. He told me that of course new things keep happening, because a piece of music has so many possibilities within it. He showed me something similar to what he’d conveyed sometime last year, which I described in my post “Wait. Show Up. Enjoy.”   https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/wait-show-up-enjoy/   A piece of music is a kind of three-dimensional environment in which one can live and move about. (Yes, time does add a fourth dimension, but the image is three-dimensional.) I saw myself in the center of this matrix, with threads spreading out in all directions.

He seemed excited about this field of possibilities. Wow, you can do anything you want! I, in contrast, felt rather small in the midst of it all. He spoke encouragingly, something to the effect that I should tug and pull on those threads to shape the music the way I wanted it to be.

He faded out. I went to sleep.

What Fryderyk described was not so much the way I’ve been experiencing music, but definitely similar to the way I’ve been experiencing the ground of reality itself. Which may well have been part of what he was talking about. His messages, even when they sound painfully obvious and simple at first, do tend to generalize to many aspects of my life.

This morning I was looking at an article by Jeff Kallberg in the book Mary-Rose [Douglas] gave me for Christmas. It concerned a newly-discovered copy of the first edition of the Op. 9 nocturnes, which Chopin had annotated for a student, adding dramatically different ornamentation to 9/2. “We can now securely assert,” Jeff wrote, “that Chopin began modifying the ornaments in this work shortly after its publication….”

Yup, that’s our Fryc. So many possibilities, and he wants them all to be available.

 

On 8/2/14, I was asking Fryderyk about a pedaling question; I’m not sure what the piece was. I received these words:

“You are making the supposition that I have written a symbol which is absolute. You are looking for the sound of words on a page. Words are not sounds and symbols are not music.”

 

5/3/16

A great fan of Chopin and expert on his life expressed the thought that he did most of his composing on paper, not at the piano. It was her belief that even when he first began to work out his ideas, he did so away from the piano.

This is not what is generally believed about Chopin’s creative method. As soon as I could, I asked him what he might have to say about the matter. When he was beginning to put a piece together, did he start with the piano, or with a pen? He told me clearly: “Sound. Sound is primary. It doesn’t matter how you get there.” Apparently I was asking the wrong question again. He added, “Sound comes from the inner being.”

Wanting to be completely clear, I tried once more to ask how he started, and he added: “Exploring sound. Sound, not thought.” Which does imply starting with an instrument, I would think, not inside one’s head.

Since the words were definite and exact, I wanted to be sure to catch them verbatim, and I stopped to write them down. Unfortunately, after that I could not get back into the channeling state and was unable to hear any more. Research continues.

 

See more fantastic Chopin cartoon portraits at http://muzeumkarykatury.pl/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=147:umiech-chopina&catid=54:umiech-chopina&Itemid=228

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A Failed Life?

chopinmarble1

Clésinger’s bust of Chopin, done after his death

You are perfect just as you are. And you could use a little improvement.
— Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

 

It’s Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin’s birthday, a major holiday in my calendar.

A while back I was taking another look at a biography of Chopin from the 2000s, in which the author summed up her subject as “a failed life redeemed by art.”

Think about that for a moment before you read on. A failed life.

OCD-like as I am, I got stuck on that phrase. First, we should all fail so awfully as Chopin, shouldn’t we. But seriously, what would constitute a failed life? I cannot think of very many circumstances in which that could be said of someone. Even in the case of a mass murderer, there would always be the chance of redemption (and that person might have been very successful at mass murdering). The only time that I might say a life truly failed would be if it never got started— if a child died in the womb or at birth. Even then, there might have been some point to that life while it existed, in that it had effects on the lives of its parents and perhaps others.

It is worth spending some time on this issue because it seems that most people, most of the time, tend to believe that they are failing, or at least that they are not succeeding sufficiently. I often feel very much that way myself, despite recent days of great “success” in my practice and a patient calling and telling me how well he had done when I treated him. Our temporal ideas of success and failure are relative, slippery, malleable, and ultimately have little if any meaning. Better not to get overly involved with them. Let’s explore and explode some of them.

The author of the Chopin biography was comparing him to a certain type of Romantic-period literary hero. It was convenient, I suppose. We fit facts into our stories and organize them around preconceived themes all the time. The story, in this case, has to do in large part with love gone wrong. If we look at success and failure through this lens, poor Beethoven comes off even worse, and most of us would receive questionable grades. Is a person who’s been through a divorce a failure? How about a person who remains single throughout life? A celibate clergy member? This is not a very useful filter.

One might postulate that being loved in a more general sense is a sign of success in life, but then, some people who are bucking trends and rocking boats may be doing critically important work but be widely hated for it.

Financial failure, maybe? Our society certainly pays a lot of attention to that. Chopin made a lot of money for a while there, until he became too sick to work, so he’s kind of safe on that score. But we all know very well that there are both great humanitarians and total scuzzbags who have made a lot of money. Not a good measure of a life.

Reproduction, perhaps? In terms of a stripped-down view of evolutionary biology, all that matters is that you pass on copies of your genes to the next generation. Chopin didn’t manage that, but then, since he probably had a very adverse genetic disorder, that may be just as well. OK, that’s a biological fail (though descendants of his sister are around today). But this measure would mean that the Duggars are incredible successes, and your stomach is probably churning as hard as mine at that thought. Chopin’s artistic “children” are surviving quite nicely and have had many descendants of their own. Human life has far more complex effects than mere genetic replication. Passing on one’s thoughts is likely more important in the long run for humans than passing on one’s genes.

Teaching is a hugely significant way of passing on thoughts. Chopin did a great deal of that, and the community of pianists continues to learn in depth from him by playing and studying his work.

What would constitute failure for you? Whatever that is, is it a true measure, or have you received it from the world without examination? A case can be made that if you have enough to eat and a roof over your head, you have already succeeded big time in a fundamental and crucial way. If you have strong connections with other humans, you’re in even better shape.

Jim Carrey put it this way: “I’ve often said that I wish people could realize all their dreams and wealth and fame so that they can see that it’s not where you’re gonna find your sense of completion. I can tell you from experience the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is, because everything you gain in life will rot, and fall apart, and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart.”*

I think Suzuki Roshi nailed the truth superbly with his famous aphorism. For the essential, real, universal You, there is nothing to do, nothing to be or to become. For the everyday, changing mirage of you, there is always the potential to develop further. We can fully accept the present self while still moving toward what may turn out to be a quite different self. We aren’t finished— even at death— so we haven’t failed.

 

*http://www.higherperspectives.com/jim-carrey-speech-1468783748.html

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Beethoven, Guest Blogger

My main reason for beginning this blog was to try to start conversations between people who are having experiences with the nonphysical world, to help them feel that they have permission to share this aspect of their lives. It’s been a great gift to receive communications from people around the world who have been willing to do that. I’m hoping and expecting that today’s presentation is going to resonate with a lot of readers and that they will share their insights.

It amazes me to realize that not only do the “dead” have to get messages through our thick skulls* and our thicker layers of preconceived notions, but in order for the living to communicate at great distances about all that, we rely on little marks that seem to magically appear on screens in front of our eyes, which depend on electrons finding their way through wires and photons streaming through thousands of miles of fiber optic cable that has improbably been strung across entire ocean floors. It’s that part that seems far more incredible to me!

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned some contacts with “Lou” van Beethoven, both my own and those of others. He seems to be in touch with people and events on the Earth plane quite a lot. Recently I’ve had the good fortune to correspond with someone who has described a connection with Beethoven that has a great deal in common with my connection with Chopin. (It turned out that there were aspects we had in common that neither of us had disclosed publicly before.) I had never before met someone who was in so much the same situation as I, and it has been fascinating to compare notes.

Some issues came up in this correspondence that I found a bit confusing, and I hoped to get Fryderyk’s take on them, since he does the same sorts of things and also, as far as I know, is familiar with Beethoven as he is now. On 7/7/15, I was able to have a good conversation with him about his view of Beethoven and his current activities on the Earth plane.

I sent my summary of that conversation to Beethoven’s friend, who has asked to remain as anonymous as possible. We exchanged a number of messages, which I have condensed into a single document here.  She reported that she had received input from Beethoven, and I am extremely pleased to present his comments. You will find those in bold and italics, while what his friend wrote is in regular bold. My original description of the visit I had with Fryderyk is in regular type, and I have added asides in brackets. I hope the formatting will help you to navigate through this three-way/two-world communication, which I have been given permission to share.

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There was a sense of Beethoven being an extremely large entity, not a “mere” human being anymore.

To this, he told me that he is still human, still LvB. He has not morphed into anything else. [I hadn’t meant that he was no longer human, but that he was manifesting more as his expanded, unlimited self.]

As far as I experience him, Ludwig has “form”— still a very human one and with the clothing styles of his era! I don’t believe in the new agey idea that on entering the spirit realms people become diaphanous like white masses of light that float about. They have form, just on a different vibration/frequency to us on earth. They are still human. (It is as far as I can see, different for different life forms like elementals). They do however move differently, their form is looser, they can present themselves at different “ages.” Sometimes I see him as he was in his 40s, and other times as he was in around 1803 (the Hornemann portrait). He once made me laugh by showing himself with his 1803 haircut and in a 1940s style suit; it was brown with a waistcoat and he asked me if it suited him. I told him he looked very handsome, but I did prefer his early 1800s clothes if he wanted an honest opinion. I think they suit him more. He is also amused by the new agey views of afterlife people being white floating masses or all white and wearing white robes! That is so not what he is. He is still the same LvB, just in another dimension, but without the problems he had when here on earth.

It may surprise you to know that he still likes food and coffee; he experiences them through me at times. He likes the rain, baths, showers and the woods. He lives life fully. He also has a home— yes, a home! He showed me his house. It is in the woods.

He showed me a sort of expanse of Beethoven-substance extending in all directions over a vast landscape and penetrating into its various corners. I could see [his friend] enfolded in this field. I asked how this was like or different from relating to an individual person as such. That didn’t receive a clear reply.

At this he gave me a German word right into my head, and I got a faint image of energy flowing. [Searching in an online dictionary for a word with that sound, she discovered that it meant “projection.”] He was quite excited when I was looking the words up and even more so when I saw what vorsprung means— it is in the context of something projecting like a rock, and he gave me this word to show the literal movement of what he is doing. I really love it when he does this; he gives me German words, so that I can get a literal meaning that my own mind can’t make up. I’m getting an image of him in his coat and old hat throwing sparks into the sky and laughing to himself.

I have many times seen human beings as much more expansive than they seem to be while living in bodies, and I think of that larger self as the fundamental reality of what a person is, living or dead. So I said, “But isn’t that the same as what you are, or what anybody is?”

He’s showing me that energy fields can vary in size, according to purposes, states of mind, aims, health, etc.

I am sort of understanding this a little. Not long after he started visiting me I was walking in town and I had this real feeling of expansion and I could feel him like in the sky/air. It’s very hard to explain. I see it as his way of reaching through to me, expanding his aura. Other times it is of a more intimate nature, that his aura/being is right inside me, flowing into me, and it feels so good and pure.

I think that this is Ludwig’s ability to extend himself— he can be in more than one place at once. I didn’t quite understand how he can do it, but it has something to do with people in the afterlife existing outside of time and the physical body. When one thinks about it, if we can travel in OBEs and shamans can go further than this, why wouldn’t afterlife people have superior abilities that go even further?

Fryderyk replied that he was not like this image of Beethoven, that he was much smaller and more focused, and wrapping close around me, he gave me an impression of having tightly delineated boundaries that were not much bigger than the physical volume of a human being like myself.

*He’s saying something about penetrating barriers, and layers, and that it is not always easy, “even for me.” He’s showing an image of himself knocking on my head and me not hearing him, or “not listening.” Also about believing one can do it[If I had a dollar for every time Fryderyk has said, “You are not listening!”]

Strong emotion washed through me as he conveyed a great longing and aspiration to be something more, to be able to do more good and reach more of the world, as he perceives that Beethoven can do. I told him what he might well have told me, that we all have our place in the scheme of things. I said that it seemed to me that his special ability is to bring our attention to details and to intimate, personal experience and to connect that to the universal, rather than to express the gigantic and universal directly in the way that Beethoven has done. I certainly don’t see his own “superpower” being any less. Fryderyk has always been conspicuously modest. He also seems to be relatively young, perhaps not yet as far along in development as some; perhaps Ludwig has access to more of All That Is than he does?

I got an image of Ludwig standing there, saying no, not development, but role.

Perhaps Fryderyk is equating Ludwig’s “abilities” with his music— like the Ninth of which the theme is universal brotherhood/humanhood, the heroic “Eroica,” the triumphant feelings and determinations to succeed against the odds, etc. It’s true that Ludwig was concerned with these themes/this work, but he also went to the opposite with the internal, spiritual experiences in his late piano sonatas and quartets. It is all important.

I was waiting for his response to how Fryderyk feels. He certainly doesn’t see Fryderyk as any less than himself. Ludwig knows how people view him, past and present, how people are (and were) often in awe of him (I had a problem with this when he first started visiting me), but that could/can be isolating for him. He said he has always been a force of nature, that when Goethe said that he was an “untamed personality” he was correct. He didn’t know how to “fit in”— he could only be himself, even if it caused problems for himself or the people around him. He says he was, and is, kind of wild and he can’t help it! But he accepts who he is. He said that Fryderyk has a very different personality and energy force which he admires. Very focused! Good at concentrating.

He connects with the raw energy of nature, like the wind. He said why do you think I spent so much time walking outside in the woods? (True, he even went on walks in cold weather).

He shows me that we all have access to allthatis (however you view it or experience it) and we all will connect with it differently, he doesn’t see it as more or less.

I must say, Beethoven has always seemed exceedingly large and powerful to me, too. I remember writing that I perceived him as being “like a huge bear hug that could wrap the whole world,” or something like that. And Fryderyk does seem to be built on a much smaller scale, but that is not to say that he is weak or ineffectual.

No, not smaller, he is saying. Different. Like breeze and wind, you see? Both the same source, but different. Is breeze less than the wind?

[Regarding Beethoven’s giving the impression of being so large despite a height of only about 5’4”:] It is his personality, his life force I think. And yet, his letters show his vulnerabilities and his emotions; he had both. People said he could be almost childlike, a kind of innocence about him; he was and is authentic. And he is incredibly gentle with it. All this mix makes him so compelling and extraordinary. It can be heard in his music.

Mary Montano wrote about something like this field of Beethoven-ness in Loving Mozart, if I remember correctly. She said that all the devoted players and listeners form a kind of symbiotic group organism with a composer, contributing back into the work the composer creates. (The Wolf Gang? The Fryc Field? The Beethovensbundler?) I like that theory very, very much and hope it is true. It’s how the situation does feel to me.

I got like goes with like. He’s also given me something that makes me feel warm inside as well as kind of honored and humbled— never underestimate how important you are to us. He knows I just sit here thinking what do I do? boring courses, shopping, cleaning, sometimes writing (never enough time for that it seems), but that the connection we have with the composers means a lot to them, the energy we share with them they can channel into their work, use to inspire them. We help their work in ways we cannot quite know.

So yes, I see it as we can be their muses, and them ours, like a flowing of ideas, sharing.

I had mentioned to [his friend] that I’ve never heard Fryderyk say anything in Polish, despite begging him to do so. She asked why that is; she does sometimes hear Ludwig speak in German, a language she doesn’t know herself, and has been able to write down some of the words so that she could look them up. On this same night I bugged Fryderyk about it yet again, and at last got some clarification. It was obvious once I saw it. He gave me images of the mechanics of our communication, the way we were doing it right then, so that I saw how I was going about taking in raw ideas and fishing for words to express them. I remember Mendy Lou saying years ago that he communicates psychically rather than verbally, which didn’t entirely make sense to me at the time.

I read this to Ludwig and he thinks it is a good idea to tell you how he gives me the German words. Maybe you and Fryderyk can try it. I usually lie down, or at least sit comfortably; he usually lets me know he wants to give me German words. I get a feeling or I start to hear him faintly. Then I just lie still, not thinking any thoughts of my own, not having any ideas. If he is going to answer a question I gave him, I just listen and wait till he gives me the word(s) and then write it down and look in the online dictionary. I can always feel his energy flowing into me when he does it. It takes a quiet mind and concentration. So we don’t manage big whole sentences! But it is great for clarification.

To be sure, on occasion I do get crystal-clear, pre-formed words from him, but those times are the exception. Generally I am performing the “translation” into speech and so the message ends up in my own language, with my very limited vocabulary in Polish not really adequate for this process. I still hope that we may come up with a more robust line of communication that will facilitate more precise verbal messages, but this may not ever be the way our particular minds work together, and if so, that’s all right, I suppose. The imagery and emotional tones he gives me often convey far more information than words could.

I asked again, also, about why he couldn’t or didn’t transmit any Polish phrases through Leslie Flint (since others did transmit messages in languages not known to the medium) except for one episode when Flint woke in the middle of the night hearing a foreign language. He began to show me something about working through the medium’s nervous system, brainstem maybe, and vocal anatomy, even though the sound was not coming through the medium’s vocal cords. I never found out much about that because at that point I drifted off to sleep.

He is showing that mind to mind is much easier for them— faster too! The biggest barrier seems to be us, busy minds, and doubting that we are indeed communicating with them.

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I’ve had a day of feeling extremely inadequate, and here I am writing about Chopin feeling inadequate and being reminded of my previous post about Beethoven feeling inadequate during his life too. Point taken.

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