Musical Musings: Life, Politics and the Earth

(10:30~ – promoted by RiaD)

Sometimes, it behooves us to take a moment unto ourselves for quiet reflection and contemplation, where we can behold once again the beauty and wonder of a world teeming with brilliant life in the cold, empty void of space.  Individually and collectively, it is easy to lose oneself in the day-to-day chaos that envelops us as social beings: the demands of one’s life, complicated by the demands of living and participating in a community of social beings who each have their own individual desires and who, together, form organizational structures that run the gamut from basic family, friends and neighborhoods to cities, states and nations — all competing for a varied, yet limited set of resources.

We develop patterns and follow them; if they were set to music, the beat and harmony would shift and change to reflect the ups and downs, ins and outs of life, and we would be the dancers — our lives set to the music, trying to move in sync with it. Sometimes, those harmonies skip and stutter. Other times, they become harsh and repetitive, playing the tune over and over and faster and faster until the dancer, exhausted, can do nothing more than run in place or die, unable to break free.

Life, whether in “civilized” cultures or simple primitive form, is organized chaos. People narrow their focus to deal with issues confronting them individually, and when the chaos gets out of hand they lose themselves in that myopia. Within that constrained, limited world, the dancers find a rut, a groove, or a beat that speaks to them and keep to it, head down and eyes forward, unable to break free.  

Freedom from the things that bind our minds and perceptions often brings with it a stark contrast and room to breathe, enabling us to grow and better navigate our roles and paths as a living duality of individual and community. In short, freedom enables us to hear the beat of other drummers, to perceive the mixing of melodies and find harmony within ourselves, our societies, our environment and our world.

Freedom comes in the form and expression of the music that permeates the world around us — music is the harmony and symphony and cacophony of life.  Freedom and music are, in a way, expressions of one another, and much as mathematics is the language of science, music can be the language of freedom — or provide a path back toward it.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

When life gets too busy, too hectic, too full of propaganda and screaming hoards of mindless punditry, we get distracted. If we ourselves don’t provide and control the distraction, then it is usually to our detriment — the distraction is meant to keep us from paying attention, and to serve as a smokescreen behind which some malevolent and malignant deeds might occur.

Lately, there’s been a lot of smoke.  

Here’s a tune to help focus and prevent it from winding you up and into a position where you’re susceptible to further planned distraction:

There now — feel better?  Good, because it’s now time for more duality: relaxation, clarification and focus.  

It’s Twilight Time

Depending on your perspective, either the day is ending and we’re approaching midnight, or we’ve crossed the darkest point of our history now — as a nation and perhaps as a species — and are approaching the dawn of a new day. Either way, it’s a momentous time, and one during which we should be on guard against surprise.1

With all the nattering nabobs chattering away and the smoke and mirrors entering heavy play, it’s a good time to draw upon one’s own inner strength to navigate the dimness.

We are not alone. We neither live nor exist separate from other societies and cultures in spite of walls and borders defined by our society.

We also do not live or exist separate from — or in spite of — the environment or the world around us.

The smoke that is constantly generated to obscure our vision sets us into a perpetual twilight of limited, fogged perception and planned obsolescence.  Clearing that smoke enables us to perceive the real twilight, and ideally decide which aspect we will choose to face: the coming of night, or the dawn of a new day.

When the veil of deception is lifted, the fog of war cleared and our vision restored, our souls will once again be able to glimpse and grasp the music and harmony of the world around us — the people, the pulsing beat of other species both animal and plant, the blowing wind and the changing tides.

A Melody Unchained

Everyone take a deep breath, hold it for a few moments and then slowly release it.  Feel the weight of the chains lessening a bit? Have any dropped off, becoming unfastened and falling away, leaving you lighter and your spirit free to soar?

No? Take another breath, and slowly release it after a few moments.

Even relaxing slightly can take what appears to be the weight of the world off one’s shoulders.

Imagine, if you can, if the earth were a sentient organism, and we were but one aspect of it — a system gone awry.  If we are able to perceive our errors and restore our own balance within the world, not only among nations and peoples but also with the planet itself, the world would heal on multiple levels.

The chains that limit the music of the sphere would melt away, enabling the symphony of life to sound in harmony once more.

Save the Last Dance For Me

Imagine further that the planet, as a sentient being, is looking upon the human race not as a child of the Earth but as another sentient being — a collective consciousness that is peer to the Earth itself.

Imagine those two collective consciousnesses, the Earth and the human race, are at a dance together.  

Throughout the dance, the human race is constantly distracted, dancing away from Earth and injuring it in the process, wounding it with physical, mental and emotional blows.

Imagine those blows are not from cruelty but from ignorance — from childish impatience, petulant greed and unevolved arrogance.  

Imagine that, slowly, that the human race learns from each dance that it takes around the floor, and that it begins to recognize the fatal flaws it has amassed and implemented.

Imagine further that the earth has stood by and held itself steadfast in the knowledge and faith that humanity would return to its senses and grow out of its abusive, destructive adolescence, finally becoming a more mature and responsible entity.

This is the song I like to listen to with that image.

It gives me hope, even while it saddens me to think of what we’ll put the earth through before we’ve finally come to our senses.

And that’s how I cleared my head this evening. Melancholic, to be sure, but definitely soul-cleansing.

Namaste, and good night.

Crossposted at ePluribus Media, DailyKos and Docudharma.




  1. From Wikipedia:


    The initialisms BMNT (begin morning nautical twilight) and EENT (end evening nautical twilight) are used and considered when planning military operations. A military unit may treat BMNT and EENT with heightened security (i.e. a process called “stand to” in which everyone pulls security). This is partially due to tactics dating back to the French and Indian War, when combatants on both sides would use BMNT and EENT to launch attacks.



Skip to comment form

    • GreyHawk on July 26, 2008 at 7:10 am

    I’m heading to bed — exhausted today — so I’ll respond to any comments tomorrow.


  1. … I think I love you.  Aaaahhh.

    Thanks, greyhawk.  A wonderful essay with beautiful music.

    • kj on July 26, 2008 at 4:40 pm
    • kj on July 26, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    saw him play this song, not at Woodstock, but in Indiana.

    • OPOL on July 26, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Excellent choices.


    • scribe on July 26, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    for writing what’s in my heart while writing what’s in yours, so beautifully. It’s a honor to read you.  

  2. soothing to the soul, a balm for the times. The fragmenting of our minds bodies and souls needs this. Easy to forget that the material world we have created is not separated from the rhythms of that which we can’t see.      

  3. To return to harmony…we much realign our gestures into those of dancers. We must become beings who do not wish to control life, but only to listen to its music, and dance it.

    Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor from The Great Cosmic Mother

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