Life has been called a dance. One could just as easily compare life to a sympathy. Each creature sings its song and together we create the music of the spheres.
Most of the religions of the world have made use of sound in their rituals. Hindus play their ragas and their sitars; the Jews use harp and flute and lyre; Buddhists use their gong and Christians have used bells and organs and just about every other musical instrument to still the body and mind and tune people in to the God within us all.
Sound is transformative. One of the most powerful sounds that exists is that of a great church bell. On one level, the church bell is used to call people to worship as the gong does in the East. But on a deeper level, a church bell emits a powerful vibration that, in itself, causes a palpable resonance within all who hear it.
The first time I remember thinking that a sound had such power was when I saw Walt Disney’s movie “Fantasia.” The tuba made one shape, the clarinet another. Using that same principle that sound could have a measurable effect, Dr. Hans Jenny of Switzerland has studied what sound could do to dishes of sand that were hooked up to various instruments of sound. The most perfect, beautiful shape made in the sand was produced by the sound “OM” or “AUM”.
The Catholic Church has always been aware of the power of sound. That is why church bells boom through medieval towns; that is why bells are used at Mass; that is the esoteric reason that Latin was used in liturgy.
Languages like Latin, Hebrew, Sanskrit, and the languages of Polynesia and the Native Americans are so effective because they do not depend exclusively on a left brained understanding of what the words mean. People feel something within themselves when they are exposed to the sounds themselves.
A good example of a sacred sound would be “Ahh.” Place your hand on your heart and make the sound “Ahh.” You will feel your heart center vibrate. Now try making the sound “Nnn” with your hand at the top of your head, your crown center. It may be a little harder, but you can feel that center resonate too. The sound “Ahmenn” begins with the heart and ends at the top of the head. This sound is similar to the sacred “OM” (pronounced A-U-M) which touches roughly the same centers.
This universe of our does, indeed, make sacred music. And the conductor of this music as well as its source is God.
Next posting: A Victim No More
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