Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Human waves and reverberations

The scientific world is abuzz with talk of the "gravity waves" measured by the LIGO project at the National Science Foundation, which (we are told) support Einstein's proposed model of the space-time fabric of the universe. There are some who disagree and who argue that Einstein's proposed model is in fact totally incorrect, and that models proposed by Tesla and others are in fact much more accurate descriptions of our cosmos.

It's an important subject, going right to the heart of the question of how we analyze data, and how we determine which models or frameworks or over-arching model best account for all of the evidence -- a subject that applies to any field of analysis and one discussed previously in numerous different posts, such as this one and this one and this one.

Whether the model being used to interpret this particular data (the model proposing the existence of gravitational waves) is in fact correct or not is beyond the scope of this post -- in any event, it brings up the incredible importance of waves and wave energy, through which we are moving literally all the time, and which is in fact moving through us all the time as well.

Some of it comes from outer space, but much of it comes from the other things around us that produce vibrations -- and some of it comes from the vibrations that we ourselves are designed to produce, and which, according to at least some of the ancient wisdom given to humanity in ancient times, we should take the time to produce every single day, in the form of chanting or singing.

The Yoga Sutras attributed to Patanjali, for example, recommend the repetition of the divine sound of OM  as essential to the unveiling or revealing of the immutable self, the supreme self, and the removal of all obstacles.

In the first sutra of the four sutras of Patanjali, we read:
OM is a symbol for Ishvara [variously described or understood to be the Supreme Infinite, Supreme Being, and Source of All Knowledge]. 
Repetition of OM [with this meaning] leads to contemplation.
Through this practice, the immutable self is revealed and all obstacles [antaraya] are removed.
                 -- Yoga Sutras 1. 27 - 29.
In a previous post discussing the importance of the repetition of this sacred sound, we saw that in the Katha Upanishad, the god Yama declared that OM  is the word which all the scriptures glorify, which all spiritual disciplines express, and which all aspirants strive to attain through their self-restraint and self-denial. According to Yama in the Katha Upanishad, those in whose hearts OM  reverberates unceasingly are indeed blessed, and in communion with the all-knowing Self, which was never born and will never die -- the Self eternal and immutable.

Clearly, these ancient teachings describe a connection between a reverberation which we are actually designed to make with our own bodies (the sacred sound OM  ) and the Infinite Realm, the Supreme Source of All Knowledge, and the eternal and immutable Self (which obviously must exist in a realm beyond this mutable, material realm).

If you are not used to practicing the production of vibratory sound waves every day, including the practice of the repetition of the sacred sound OM  , one way to start would be to practice some of the ancient Sanskrit chants set to music by Ravi Shankar in a disc produced by George Harrison and entitled Chants of India. The disc contains traditional Sanskrit suktas, slokas and mantras set to music by the talented artists mentioned above, as well as some new compositions Ravi Shankar created for this particular album.

A selection from that album, the well-known sloka of Sahanaa Vavatu, is included above in the video at the top of this post. The chant is repeated four times, and begins with the sacred syllable each time. The conclusion also begins with the sacred syllable, followed by the word Shanti ("Peace") repeated three times.

A comfortable place to begin practicing such reverberatory chants might be in your car on various driving trips during the day for some people.

Another excellent place to start such a practice is with the book on mantras written by John Blofeld and discussed previously here. It is now out of print but still available at some booksellers or online sources of used books. It is very noteworthy that John Blofeld observed that mantras are "generally recited 3, 7, 21 or 108 times." The number 108, of course, is a precessional number of tremendous significance. The Sahanaa Vavatu described in the previous paragraph is repeated four times followed by three repetitions of Shanti, which sums to seven.

It is not necessary to chant in the ancient Sanskrit language, although there are some who maintain that its sounds are ideally formed for such a practice. Virtually every culture on the planet has its own chants and sacred songs. Some of them are discussed here in a post I wrote back in 2011, which includes video samples (the first video, at the top, is in English).

And, this previous post contains some extremely notable discussion of the practice of creating special songs among Native American cultures in previous centuries, and the fact that the structure of the chants (according to one eyewitness observer who devoted a great deal of attention to the importance of  singing among the American Indian tribes he visited) enabled everyone to be able to "be his or her own poet," and create a special personal song which was frequently the first thing sung each morning upon rising, and the last thing sung before going to bed each night.

The repetitive nature of a mantra or sacred song, along with the pattern of the rhythm, may also have an effect on what I call the "Thomas side" of our mind (see discussion here for instance, and also the discussion of Daniel-San and Mr. Miyagi, here), promoting a form of ecstasy or ecstatic experience.

You can experience this in some forms of music which are in fact very familiar or well-known, such as the repetition in the 1969 song by John Lennon of the verse, "All we are saying -- is give peace a chance" (see video below). The verse is repeated twenty times, by my count (not quite the twenty-one times which is a common count for a mantra, but still impactful at twenty repetitions).

It may well be that the repetition of mantras puts us in contact with the infinite realm which is in fact always present at all times and which is also available to us right where we are, no matter where we are (see discussion here) -- and because the invisible, infinite realm is in fact the source of everything that manifests in this apparently material world, such mantras can in fact shape or create new reality.

Thus, perhaps our own chanting can actually "bend the space-time continuum" in a way that is at least as significant as the waves being described as "gravity waves" in the news this week.

There is no doubt that we are designed to sing or chant and to create vibrations with our human body in this material life. It is a practice which should not be thought of as mysterious or unusual, but rather one which  everyone should probably take some time each day to perform, if it is at all possible.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).