The Sweetness of the Chant

A Zen sage once posed the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?”  If the frenetic pace of your life is  gracious enough to permit you to contemplate this, I urge you to do so.  Even though sound waves are produced from the snapping of the trunk and the tree hitting of the ground, only in the presence of a life-form capable of translating waves into sound is there sound, else there are only waves of energy.   Our ears are designed to receive these waves of energy and convert them into “sounds.”  I’ve often thought about the impact of these waves of energy on the human psyche.  Our existence is so dominated by our sense of sight that the magnitude of our ability to hear is almost an afterthought.

Think about how you feel when you listen to a song. Ever been driving down the highway towards the horizon and Highway to the Danger Zone comes on? Dunno bout you, but my reality tunnel is definitely warped for the next 4 minutes and 20 seconds.  I’ll even look in the back for Goose to calibrate air speed before downshifting and redlining the gear. Probably why the song was selected for the soundtrack in the first place. How about a jingle from an ad getting stuck in your head? Or Tiesto before a run? Whatever it may be, sounds impact our psyche on a far greater level than we may initially be willing to concede.

It’s said that in addition to taming the savage beast, music allows the listener to instantaneously experience the mindset of the composer at the time of composition. Personally, my mood is instantly transformed based upon what I listen to, thus lending credence to this. “The composer and performer are the alchemists who help to transmute the Earth by making its substance and souls resonate with echoes of the heavenly music. In so doing, these earthly echoes also become audible in Heaven, and the gulf between the two thereby closes by another hairsbreadth. This is the accomplishment of the Great Work of musical alchemy which, like alchemy proper, aims toward the redemption of all Nature as well as to the reunion of Man with his higher self.” (Musical Alchemy – the work of composer and listener – Joscelyn Godwin).

That being said, I would like to leave you with a “slice of heaven.”  I hope that you will permit yourself the following ten minutes of bliss.  Sit and chill, grab a cocktail or smoke some herb if you’re fortunate enough to reside in a jurisdiction where the oppressive laws of the State do not prevent the joyful experience that is cannabis, and listen to the following piece of music.  Close your eyes and count backwards from 100. Headphones are highly recommended.

If I can reduce the stress levels in your life by a factor of one-hundredth, I am happy.

Yuè luò wū tí shuāng mǎn tiān,

Jiāng fēng yú huǒ duì chóu mián.

Gūsū chéngwài Hánshān Sì,

Yèbàn zhōngshēng dào kèchuán.

While I watch the moon go down, a crow caws through the frost;

Under the shadows of maple-trees a fisherman moves with his torch;

And I hear, from beyond Suzhou, from the temple on Cold Mountain,

Ringing for me, here in my boat, the midnight bell

One love,



About H3nry J3kyll
Vincit omnia veritas (using an obscure Latin heraldry motto makes one seem kinda learned and distinguished).

7 Responses to The Sweetness of the Chant

  1. Sheldon Ramkisson says:

    This is an awesome posting…

  2. Henry Jekyll says:

    Reblogged this on high-grade discourse and commented:

    I posted this last year on the day before the world was supposed to end following an observation made at a cathedral of capitalism a/k/a “the mall.” With government shutdown and the seemingly incessant barrage of distressors simultaneously exercising negative influences once again, I think a re-post may provide some offset. This too shall pass amigos.

  3. This is really cool! Thank you, Henry for posting it again.

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