Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
(Keith Anderson played extemporaneously on the soprano sax.)
Good morning, afternoon, and evening. I bring you warm greetings from cold Massachusetts. I thank Keith for that rich exploration of vibration on the saxophone.
In some parts of the world, including the countries housing most of us online, this is considered the new year, 2009, and it’s a time when many people have new vision and fresh resolutions. A lot of those resolutions, at least in this part of the world, may have something to do with identity, such as a person wanting to be “the new me”—thirty pounds lighter—or to be a better person in one way or another. While it’s great to support the noble intentions and upward aspirations which go with many such resolutions—I’ve had some myself over the years—I note that the average life cycle for an ambitious New Year’s resolution, at least in my experience and that of my friends, is about four days, give or take… That time frame would mean that a lot of people are feeling frustration and disillusionment right about now—the 4th of January!
It’s also interesting to note all the other “new identities”—like “the new me,” which have come and gone and which were shared historically by large groups of people who’ve come and gone in recent decades. Although there are exceptions to everything I’m about to say, in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, people were largely identified with their poverty or their wealth; and in the 1940s, during the Great War, people were largely identified with political forces such as Socialism, Nazism, or democracy. And then, in the 1950s, there was the Age of Specialization, so a garbage man could suddenly say, “I’m a sanitation engineer.” There was a lot of identification with roles and special professional titles during that decade. And then in the 1960s, the time of social movements, suddenly we humans were identified with new gender and racial and social surges, and we’d hear identities that sounded like this: “I’m a pacifist.” “I’m an African-American.” And “I am Woman.”
And so the parade of group identities continued in many parts of the world. We saw the age of the Yuppie, of Generation X, and currently we have Facebook identities or cyber identities, such as one’s online avatar or one’s chat room alias. Of course there’s a strong sense of national identity as we listen to today’s—and every day’s—news: Israeli identity, even as we speak, Palestinian identity, Iraqi identity…and so forth. I found it interesting, when I traveled this past year, that many of my American colleagues who lived in the patriotic South of the United States, who listened primarily to conservative media, said, “I’m proud to be an American,” while many of my American friends I saw in Europe who listened to European media said, “I’m ashamed to be an American.” But either way, whether they felt shame or pride, there was a great investment in nationality and geographical identity.
So there’s been quite a lot of energy being invested in being identified with one’s package, container, group, or wrapper of one kind or another. And yet, what if we were to abbreviate the sentence “I am a Canadian” or “I am email@example.com” or “I am a musician” or “I am white or black or Latino or Afrikaans” or…? And what if we abbreviated this sentence to just the first two words: I am?
“I am” is the identity we all have in common, and yet it may be the one least experienced by many people. And what if we were to similarly abridge the statement “This is the year of our Lord 2009” to just “This is the year of our Lord”?
Although we acknowledge what’s right about every world culture, what if, instead of giving emphasis to this being the year of the Pig or the Dog or the Horse, or whatever it is, we proclaimed this in our living to be the year of the angel, or the year of our God? Could this be the best year ever, and the year of breakthrough?
Now, you may think I’m referring to the year of Obama, or the fact that the Dow Jones index has just climbed back over 9,000 again, or some other external index of potential. Well, although none of these positive signs should be discounted, I’m not primarily talking about anything so human or so regional. I’m giving far greater emphasis to what is internal and eternal than what’s external and ephemeral. Who we are, who I am, in the sense of I Am That I Am, is so powerful that if the spirit of God were truly unleashed, if cosmic identity were truly known and expressed consistently by all of us and those we influence, who knows what would happen?
You might want to stop me and say, “Come on, Tom, you’re dreaming. Get real—don’t you know what’s going on in Iraq and in the Middle East?” Well, this morning I was reading about the Middle East. There was a time in the Middle East when there were ancient troubles in what we now call Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and on and on. One of the kings in those days was named King Saul, and he was then king of what was called Israel. Saul contributed to those troubles in the Middle East with his fits of anger, jealousy and violence. So a young shepherd boy named David, who played the harp, was called in when Saul was beside himself with rage. And here is what is recorded in the biblical Old Testament Book of 1 Samuel about what happened:
“When the evil spirit from God was upon Saul…David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” (1 Samuel 16:23)
When there was this profound change in Saul, there was a profound change in Israel. “And…David took an harp, and played with his hand…and the evil spirit departed from him.”
The occupation of the angel is that of the harp player. In our living, we can exude a particular vibration such that “the evil spirit departed from him.” I suppose “departed from…” me is the first step. There are things in my consciousness and heart that don’t belong, which need to be dissolved in the music of God. However, when there are several harps—when there’s an entire orchestra of harps; I’ve heard such a thing and they’re quite beautiful to hear, each harp tuned with a particular vibration—the great beauty and rich resonance reduces the listener to either reverence or tears.
So in my experience, while saying “I am” is quite sufficient as my identity at one level, one of the attributes that I or my identity holds involves exuding a particular vibration played on the harp of my expression and attitude.
Recently David Karchere was speaking of the value and the need for unified vibration in a whole body of people. We know what the power of unified expression can do. In fact, one interpretation of what happened at the battle of Jericho was that the unified trumpeting of many trumpeters hit the vibration, which caused the walls of Jericho to come tumbling down. Even to this day, soldiers are told to break step when they cross a particular type of bridge, because the synchronous vibration of marching feet can shatter the bridge. Professional mezzo-sopranos learn not to practice singing together near dining rooms with particular types of crystal, since some high notes can shatter glass. Imagine twenty such professional sopranos singing together in a palatial dining room of fine crystal!
Vibration is everywhere. Some of us may recall seeing some of the videotapes about Hans Jenny’s and Peter Manners’ experiments in something called cymatics, the science of wave periodicity, or of vibration. The Swiss scientist Jenny was aware that Chladni, who worked in the science of acoustics, observed that if you played a violin in one room in a particular way, the vibration would change the pattern of a pile of sawdust in another room many feet away. Jenny experimented with related phenomena and discovered that, while it looks like we humans are solids, comprised of liquids and depending upon gases for our survival, our actual state is one of never-ending vibration.
It looks like everything and everyone is separate, but that’s just like the illusion of a TV show. On a TV show it looks like there are different characters, different settings, different props, but in fact it’s all one signal. And if you change the frequency of that signal, you can change the clarity or the distortion of every character, prop and set in that illusion. Separateness is just an illusion, and so too is the notion of solids, liquids and gases. All of these are held together and transformed by the frequency of the vibration emitted, which animates all creation.
Now please, don’t let me get too academic or out in the ozone here, but if you summarize all of these discoveries—which many of us might claim to know intuitively—it doesn’t become far-fetched to say that we are Light! We are one energy. And our entire creative field, for each and all, depends upon the consistent emission of that light—divine light—or upon the frequency of that vibration, or upon the quality of our attitude and character.
If we think of a harp as attitude, spirit, energy or vibration, it’s easy to think of who I am in true identity emitting divine light into a new day or a new year, one that is not measured in hours or minutes. So why not be resolved to be the true me, to unlock more and more full-spectrum identity and let that transformation take care of the other levels of change?
Perhaps you’ve run across this passage from T. H. White’s novel, called THE BOOK OF MERLIN. White wrote:
“Imagine a rusty bolt on the garden door which has been set wrong, or the door has sagged on its hinges since it was put on, and for years that bolt has never been shot efficiently, except by hammering it or lifting the door a little and wriggling it home with effort. Imagine then this difference: that the old bolt is unscrewed, rubbed with emery paper, bathed in paraffin, polished with fine sand, generously oiled, reset by a skilled workman with such nicety that it bolts and unbolts with the pressure of a finger—nay, the pressure of a feather—almost so you could blow it open or shut. Can you imagine the feelings of the bolt? They’re the feelings of glory which convalescent people have after a fever. The bolt would look forward to being bolted, yearning for the rapture of its sweet, successful motion. For happiness is only a by-product of function, as light is a by-product of the electric current running through the wires. If the current cannot run efficiently, the light does not come. That is why nobody finds happiness who seeks it on its own account.”
Now, clearly, the bolt is just a symbol here, since each of us is a lot more animated and creative and meaningful than a metal bolt or screw. Perhaps we’d rather be more like a permanent bolt of lightning, which moves and electrifies and brings light, unlike a carpenter’s bolt. But using the image figuratively, not literally, how beautiful it is to know identity in the whole, to express exactly one’s aligned function, to yield to the Master Carpenter for a far greater change than the momentary annual resolve to hit the bolt a few times once again, with the same hammer, for a quick-fix resolution, followed by disappointment.
In my experience, I don’t think deep and true identity may be known by changing outer roles or emphasizing different-wrapper identities, or coming up with new resolutions while I’m in the hypnotized state. I have to first break the power of the hypnosis of human programming to sense who I am, learn to play my harp, and let myself be fully aligned to my full purpose in the whole, in the one vibration known only within the creative process. I Am That I Am.
May 2009 be the great year of great breakthrough for our God, the year of the angel harp symphony, and our best year ever.