Sound – Embodiment of Spiritual Recognition – Part 1

Some kinds of music are "words of beginning" for me. My ear is always searching for these primal sounds. Probably my inner self is still looking for something else, the word of the Logos, the primordial word. It is known but lost ...

Sound – Embodiment of Spiritual Recognition – Part 1

In the beginning was the Word, but it is gone. Only listening can find the Word again.

“In the beginning was the Word”, says the Bible.

Hermes Trismegistos: God creates eternity – eternity creates the cosmos, the cosmos creates time and time creates becoming … (Corpus Hermeticum)

Rig Veda: Looking out into eternity, before the foundation of existence was laid, you were … O endless thinking, divine eternity.

Dzyan: Nothing was. The causes of being were removed. The visible that was and the invisible that is rested in the eternal non-being: the One Being.

Savitri: It was the hour before the Gods awake. / Across the path of the divine Event / the huge foreboding mind of Night, alone / in her unlit temple of eternity, / lay stretched immobile upon Silence’ marge.

Then there is the sound of the big bang, the sound of creation, growing quieter, growing quieter. The background noise in space can be detected. Is this the word of the beginning?

The auditory system prefers to hear what is already familiar, what is associated with pleasant memories. The auditory system is often on the lookout for such early memories. What seems important to it, the thinking organ singles out from countless other pieces of information and reinforces it.

So it is with the call of the cranes. It is burnt into my memory. I hear cranes even when the windows are closed. In my childhood memories, I also hear and seek out Haendel’s Fireworks music on the radio, the Hallelujah from the Messiah, and the ‘I know that my Redeemer lives!’ Or the Seraphim and Cherubim from Haendel’s Dettingen Te Deum. But also Mozart’s ‘Queen of the Night’, also the prisoners’ choruses by Verdi (in his opera Nabucco) and Beethoven (in his opera Fidelio): ‘O what joy, in free air, to lift one’s breath lightly! Only here is life! ’

This music and many other pieces are ‘words of beginning’ for me. Johann Sebastian Bach’s music is also one of them: ‘Will you give me your heart’ on an old single record of my grandmother. My ear is always searching for these primal sounds. Existence hangs on it. Words of the beginning! Probably my inner self is still looking for something else, the word of the Logos, the primordial word. It is known but lost … A not insignificant aspect is: the cochlea in the inner ear, the bony labyrinth (inner hearing organ) and the outer ear have shapes that correspond to the golden section or the Fibonacci spiral. These organs want to perceive what resonates with the golden section and the Fibonacci spiral.

Aspects of Spiritual Science: Sound Experience and Effect

Without hearing, our existence is not complete. The word ‘person’ is derived from the Latin personare, meaning resounding. In most activities, we cause sounds, not images. We produce sound, not light. About 50 days after fertilisation, the embryo begins to hear. We perceive voices, sounds and noises everywhere. In the womb, our sympathy is already developed for what we know and value positively. Our resistance to unpleasant sounds and noises already develops then.

Rudolf Steiner considers it a prejudice if a person believes that thoughts are only in people’s heads. Rather, thoughts are the forces and energies in things. An ancient Greek would have explained it this way: By turning my spiritual gaze to the beings who, according to the Greek mysteries, are responsible for form, I learn of their thoughts, which have a fertilising effect in the events of the world. In Christian terminology, these beings would be located on the hierarchical levels of the angels, the Exusiai, the form-giving forces in the cosmic plan. Due to the permeability of the hierarchical levels, the lower level of the angels, the Archai (the beings of the primordial beginning) are now also able to shape the form. Colours and timbres are converging. Thus, many people, especially musicians, are able to perceive sounds in terms of colour. The Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, for example, developed musical instruments that make the corresponding colours recognisable in addition to the tones.

The secret of human evolution is unveiled through cognition, religion and art. This triad of perceptual possibilities reveals the areas in which man must become active in order to develop his existential unfolding to its fullest. Those who claim today that they have nothing to do with religion must urgently examine whether they are not cutting themselves off from an essential part of their potential possibilities. In order to come closer to the goal of finding ‘the gods’ again, we would have to develop the spiritual that is germinative within us.

The desert golden mole rat can only hear. It is blind due to its subterranean way of life and, yet, in this most extreme environment, it has its share in the world soul. It is not cut off from the word of the beginning.

Nature and Hearing are not Compatible. Man is not Compatible.

The work of Sofia Gubaidulina (born 1931) with the hopeful title “The Light of the End” is by now 20 years old. Musically, a dilemma becomes obvious: the natural tones of the horn and the tempered tuning of the string section cannot be harmonised. The natural-tone horns rub up against the orchestral tuning incessantly. The conflict, however, is not only a question of instruments, it goes further. Man and nature do not seem to fit together. Man uses nature, exploits it, constantly takes more than it is capable of giving. The worldwide consumption of resources has become dramatically imbalanced. In addition, man does not respect nature as the basis of life. We pollute the environment, the oceans and the air we breathe as if there were no tomorrow. Is there a lighting up of the end? Nature and man are rubbing against each other. Can we stand it much longer? What about the friction energies? Can they be used positively? Can we recognise our condition through them? Gubaidulina’s music allows us to perceive hope, despite friction and irreconcilability.

Light is a peculiar medium. It can be felt. It makes things visible. It is perceptible in complete darkness – the dawn. It goes along with the primal cry of the moment of creation, the cosmic background noise. The Kabbalist, Shim`on Lavi, describes it thus: “With the appearance of light, the universe expanded. With the veiling of the light, all things that exist are created in their diversity. This is the secret of the act of creation.” Is man screwing up the process because he can no longer hear, no longer perceive properly? He is no longer in tune with it, he is no longer compatible with it.

(to be continued in part 2)




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Date: April 14, 2022
Author: Hermann Achenbach (Germany)
Photo: ears-tung256 auf Pixabay CCO

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