Notes, chords, harmonies

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

5:05 a.m. I guess maybe I won’t bother to talk to anybody – or, is that not only a mistake but an indicator of lessened internal pressure? Binge-reading, and not feeling like making the effort –.

Guys, what do you say? More specifically, Bertram and Joseph.

Holding the note, as it was phrased a while ago, is not the same thing as saying “holding oneself in a state of continual tension.” Indeed, that isn’t even desirable, isn’t even possible, and so such an attempt or expectation can lead only to disappointment, regret, guilt – all unnecessary.

Then, what does it mean? (And, as usual, don’t think I can’t detect a planted question, but I’m glad for it.)

Your whole life (anyone’s, that is) could be considered the singing of a note, the uttering of a single thought, the expression of a single complicated idea. You express, by what you are and what you do and what you think, as Yeats said, the particular subdivision of the entirety that your qualities make you.

Yeats said, “The mystical life is the center of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.”

Which amounts to what we just said. Only, we are speaking not of your concern or unconcern with any one aspect of life, but of life in its fullness. That means 3D life, non-3D life, life beyond any one sliver of a present moment, life beyond any perceived boundaries of individual existence. You – anybody, everybody – are only a tiny bit of the whole; at the same time (think holographically) you have within you everything. You do; everyone does. And in a different way, or let’s say to different effect, any and every combination of individuals has its own chord, let’s call it, different from yet composed of the notes it comprises.

If I send this out, as I will if it amounts to anything, I’ll need to remind people that the guys – you? – said some years ago that the three of us are somehow holding a note, each in our respective societies yet presumably together somehow beyond our communities.

You will notice, in summarizing what you were told, your new understanding said more than you were actually given at the time. Nothing wrong with that – quite the contrary – but worth noting. As you grow, your later self incorporates material retrospectively, so to speak.

Now, think of what this is getting at. Each individual may be regarded as a separate note. Each combination of individuals – and think how many combinations of individuals there can be – may be regarded as a separate chord. All those notes, all those chords, may be combined in different ways. In effect, you – we – are always singing the world into continued existence.

That sounds right, yet I realize, I don’t really know what it means.

We don’t see how you could expect to. Let’s put it this way. Consider the variations that can be produced in 3D using a musical scale. Only a few notes, and those notes produced, in effect, as subdivisions of the one unity of sound. (Don’t worry that particular bone; you more or less know what we mean by it.) Now, if all the musicians in the world were playing all the music in the world – past, present, future – all at the same time (or non-time, or eternal time, however you want to think of it) – a couple of things would follow:

  • Individual fragments would necessarily be unable to hear most of it, most of the time, for sheer volume and discord. In your relative deafness is the possibility of your perceiving any harmony.
  • This relative deafness could be considered to be like a radio that can hear only one station. That one tune would be reality, because it would be a case not of “Which tune do you hear” but of “Do you hear it or not?”
  • Radios that could be tuned to different stations would have new possibilities. The possibilities always existed in potential, but until the retuning, they did not exist in reality.
  • Naturally, those with only one station would regard those who claimed (or even by their eccentricities demonstrated) an ability to hear other music as deceiving and/or self-deceiving.
  • Those able to hear more than one set of music at the same time would be driven mad, perhaps, or would adjust or even thrive – but would in no case inhabit the same mental world as those who heard only one.

Now, we won’t beat the analogy to death, but there it is. You may extend it a little.

Well, I guess I’m thinking, the ability (or predicament) to hear more than one tune simultaneously –

No, I get it (and I see why you had me try to express it). You aren’t so much talking about us hearing tunes, as notes.

Yes, and that is an important distinction, do you see why?

A tune can be played only one way. I mean, it may be interpreted differently, but the same notes are going to be in the same order.

So is your life more like a jukebox in which you choose a tune (if indeed you do choose), or like a jazz trio in which you are playing, improvising as you go along? It’s music either way.

Music isn’t my strong point; I don’t know much about it. Can we change metaphors?

No, let’s stick to this for the moment, because we aren’t talking about music, exactly, but about essential vibration. Your life, your essence, is, in effect, a note not that you sing (that is, consciously choose to express), but that you are. There is a difference.

But we can change that note, I gather, by our choices.

You can, but not as easily as by changing ideas or by changing what you do (that is, how you express). Do you see?

I suppose the note we are born as (to put it that way) is the predestination part of our lives and the note we may become is the free will aspect.

Is the result of the free will aspect.

Now, the musical analogy breaks down – as does the harmony! – if you think of it only as any given individual changing notes in midstream. In pre-designed music, the result would be chaotic.

But wouldn’t that be jazz, improving as you go?

Well – yes and no. As we say, the analogy breaks down. Let’s just say that life is about finding as many tunes, harmonies, dissonances as exist; it isn’t about merely finding which ones are pleasant to the ear, even the non-3D ear.

[In typing this, I see that it is not clear that they meant “life is about…” not from the viewpoint of 3D individuals, but more in the sense of “what is the meaning of life” from life’s point of view. It was clear to me as I got it, but it didn’t get into words.]

So, to pull all this together?

What makes you think it is not together as it is? It merely requires thinking about.

Yes, but —

All right. You – everyone past present and future from your point of view – express what you are, singly (one 3D life) and multiply (the interaction of your 3D lives) and multiply in another direction (your various associations such as Bertram and Joseph and Frank). It is contradictory but true that you express as individuals and as multiples of individuals and as multiples of that, ad infinitum. Do you see what this amounts to?

I guess it amounts to saying, as we keep coming back to, that the universe has no absolute boundaries, and that individuality is only one aspect of a fundamental unity.

That, and that multiplicity is not disaster or the result of disaster, but an essential characteristic of reality, not to be deplored, not to be despised.

There’s more, but it will have to wait for another time.

Okay. Thanks for all this.

 

One thought on “Notes, chords, harmonies

  1. “In effect, you – we – are always singing the world into continued existence.” I like that. When I was reading this, I heard an arpeggio rather than just a block chord. I wonder if the world was originally sung into existence by the Creator?

    Jazz improv is usually in one musical key signature, usually agreed upon by the artists. It sounds like they are making it up as they go, which they are, but the artists are staying within the boundaries of rhythm and key signature. So it’s structured improv, in a way, just as the improv of our lives adheres to certain structure and boundaries as well.

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