EPICENTERS OF JUSTICE
Part 3
by DREW WILLIAM HEMPEL

Music analyst Berendt comments, "The science of linguistics reveals that the Christian Amen gradually grew from the primordial mantra OM."(73) Sound therapist Jonathan Goldman remarks, "We can actually feel different parts of our body vibrate with sound. For those who have had no experience working with the subtle body [vital energy or chi], this physical resonance makes it easier for them to accept the possibility of resonating subtle energy as well...."(74)

In fact vital energy or qi gong can also be translated as "breath work" and by using resonance of the negative ions and oxygen from air, a spiral of energy is created which resonates with fundamental frequencies that structure the very nature of matter and time. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake calls this process of creation through resonance, "morphogenesis" from "morphic" (form) "fields."(75) The same generative process can be shown in a more basic manner again with simple music. Dr. Hans Jenny discovered that by placing various mediums on a steel plate with a crystal sound oscillator attached to the bottom, the complex biological forms on the plate are examples of sound nodes organizing matter, called cymatics.(76) Taoist qi gong Master Mantak Chia explains, "By resonance, this spinning ball [of chi], helps stimulate the flow of the orbit [or the main energy channel of the body]."(77)

The term sound-current non-dualism is inspired by an ancient meditation practice called the Quan Yin Method literally translated as "sound-current." Although the Quan Yin Method is practiced freely the main proponent of it is Master Suma Ching Hai. The history of her initiation may seem unbelievable to westerners but, impressively, she was also the recipient of the 1994 World Spiritual Leadership Award that was presented by the Governors of six States in the United States (viz., Illinois, Iowa,Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota). Her principles are the same as those of Pythagoras and worth quoting at length:

In the Surangama Sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha said that the Quan Yin Method was the highest of all methods. However none of Her teachers knew it. [Suma Ching Hai] traveled and searched everywhere and finally, after many years, found a Himalayan Master who initiated Her into the Quan Yin Method and gave Her the Divine Transmission that She had sought for so many years....That Master was the great Master Khuda Ji, who lived in seclusion deep in the Himalayas. Master Khuda Ji was four hundred and fifty years old when He initiated The Supreme Master Ching Hai into the ancient art of meditation on the heavenly Sound and divine Light. He had remained patiently in His Himalayan abode waiting for Her. She would be His first and only disciple. Although, She had practiced this form of meditation before, Master Khuda Ji was to impart to Her the ultimate spiritual transmission that is the essence of Initiation. Only the few great Masters, who have attained the Ultimate, can perform Initiation....After a brief period of Quan Yin practice, She became fully enlightened and continued practicing and improving Her understanding. She remained in retreat in the Himalayas for some time, continuing Her daily practice....This primal Vibration or Sound is in its nature transcendental and therefore perceived in silence. Jesus' disciples called it the 'Holy Spirit' or the 'Word' (which is from the Greek word 'Logos,' meaning sound). 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' After Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment, He spoke of this Sound too, calling it the 'drum of immortality'. Krishna equated Himself with the 'sound in ether'. Mohammed perceived this Sound in the cave at Gare-Hira when He had a vision of the archangel Gabriel, and Lao Tzu described the Tao as the 'Great Tone'.... THERE ARE TWO KINDS of sound: the worldly sound, and the supra-worldly sound. The worldly sound is very important to our sensual and mental comfort, but the supra-worldly sound draws us back to God. WITH OUR POOR worldly language, every time I would like to speak about this great treasure within us, I feel so ashamed of doing such a poor job. But I have somehow to try to convey a part of this great wisdom so that you may feel interested, and find it out for yourself, and then you will know it for yourself without any language.(78)



The holy advaita (or Indian non-dualist) sage Ramana Marashi makes a similar point:

To a question by a visitor which seemed to hint that Realised Souls lived only for themselves, 'Why does not Bhagavan go about and preach the Truth to the people at large?' Maharshi replied: 'How do you know I am not doing it? Does preaching consist in mounting a platform and haranguing the people around? Preaching is simple communication of Knowledge; it can be really done in Silence only. What do you think of a man who listens to a sermon for an hour and does away without having been impressed by it so as to change his life? Compare him with another, who sits in a holy presence and goes away after some time with his outlook on life totally changed. Which is the better: to preach loudly without effect or to sit silently sending out Inner Force?

Again, how does speech arise? There is abstract knowledge, whence arises the ego, which in turn gives rise to thought and the thought to words. So the word is the great-grandson of the original Source. If the word can produce effect, judge for yourself, how much more powerful must be preaching through Silence.(79)



Through an extensive process grounded in the infinite void that harmonizes and purifies the energy of body, soul and spirit, ultimately a person becomes one again with the infinite void via the great monochord model of Pythagoras and the systematic principles of Taoist qi gong -harmonic principles that are universal. Being initiated by someone who is already successful at this is of course very helpful. In the development of enlightenment and immortality, Taoist qi gong Mantak Chia refers to new paradigm systems theory to describe the conserving, recycling, and transforming of negative emotions, the main source of energy blockages, into positive emotions-just like a healthy ecosystem or any healthy open system should operate-including human societies. Through resonance and harmonization of the rhythmic patterns of energy, the practitioner, as Chia describes, strives toward "combining all the virtues into the energy of compassion, the ultimate virtue and a necessary attribute for our spiritual being."(80) Chaos systems theorist Ilya Prigogine states, "there is a need for new relations between man and nature and between man and man. We can no longer accept the old a priori distinction between scientific and ethical values."(81) In order to develop the scientifically accurate open systems approach to reality we need to first examine the roots of today's western crisis.

MUSIC THEORY-THE LOST LOGOS OF THE WEST

The founder of systems theory for social science Gregory Bateson remarked: "Pythagoras and Plato knew that pattern was fundamental to all mind and ideation. But this wisdom was thrust away and lost in the midst of the supposedly indescribable mystery called 'mind.'"(82) As we've shown above, through gestalt cognitive theory, there is a direct connection by mind and the basic patterns of rhythmic energy vibrations. This connection though was fuddled and has been the fundamental root problem of the extreme global crisis induced by western linear development that mirrors western linear thought. Another facet of this point is that rhythmic vibrations of energy do not give primacy to material existence over consciousness as has been a mistaken critique of radical ecology open systems theory. Meyer states, "the ultimate foundation of rhythm is to be found in mental activity." Even though, "the more order and regularity the mind is able to impose upon the stimuli presented to it by the senses; the more likely it is that motor behavior does play an important part in facilitating and enforcing the musical experience."(83) Taoist qi gong makes the same point at a deeper level: "When beginning to cultivate (essential) nature [enlightenment] and (eternal) life [immortality] it is necessary first to develop nature....This is called fixing spirit in its original cavity which should be where (essential) nature is cultivated and the root from which (eternal) life emerges. "(84)

From this primacy of energy as consciousness and virtue, we can begin to analyze the history of how the "wisdom was thrust away" in the West as Bateson describes. Starting with the foundation of music theory for western analysis Bateson comments:

This discovery hit the Pythagoreans squarely between the eyes and became a central secret (but why secret?), an esoteric tenet of their faith. Their religion had been founded on the discontinuity of the series of musical harmonics--the demonstration that discontinuity was indeed real and was firmly founded upon rigorous deduction. And now they faced an impossibility proof. [The Pythagorean Theorem] Deduction had said no. As I read the story, from then on it was inevitable to 'believe,' to 'see' and 'know' that a contradiction among the higher generalizations will always lead to mental chaos. From this point on, the idea of heresy, the notion that to be wrong in Epistemology could be lethal, was inevitable. All this sweat and tears-and even blood-was to be shed on quite abstract propositions whose Truth seemed to lie, in some sense, outside the human mind.(85)



Rothstein makes the same point, "When they [the Greeks] discovered that numbers exist which are neither integers nor ratios of integers-numbers which confounded all their notions of harmony and rationality-they were so horrified that the discovery was kept secret. Alogon- the unutterable-these numbers were called..."(86)

To begin to understand the direct translation from the hidden secret of repressed one-dimensional music-math analysis and the development of inaccurate and destructive linear western logic and epistemology we can examine it's reflection directly in the structure of the Western language. Music analyst Berendt made this rare connection so it's worth quoting him at length as well:

For a long time Western rationalists smiled at the notion that the sound of a single word [a vowel mantra], a single syllable should have a formative, shaping, creative power.....Aristotelian logic is based on the law of identity (A equals A), the law of contradiction (A cannot be equal to non-A) and on the law of the excluded third (A cannot be equal to A as well as to non-A). Beside it stands (and has stood since ancient times) what is known as paradoxical logic; which postulates that A and non-A can both be predicates of X....Our Western concept of logic is strongly conditioned by Western language. It cannot be an accident that Aristotelian logic came into being in classical Greece, in whose language the separation of subject and object, common to all Western languages, found its first clear expression and was immediately realized, in a magnificent graphic manner that was never duplicated by subsequent systems....The symbol of the Western way of speaking and of western logic is the straight line...Argument and discourse in our Western way of speaking and thinking can be symbolized by two intersecting lines drawn with arrows at their ends, one pointing to the left and the other one pointing to the right.... I feel that this excursion in to 'logics' is necessary in light of what we have said about...mantras and their effects.(87)



Social systems theory analyst Bateson makes the same point, "logic cannot model causal systems-paradox is generated when time is ignored....apart from language, there are no named classes and no-subject-predicate relations."(88) Berendt points out the difference in Asian languages from western language and the cultural analyst NoŽl Burch has examined the subsequent different cultural interpretations of reality.(89) Similarly the translator of ancient Greek, philosopher and mathematician Robert Schimdt, has shown that western logos was derived out of a broader language system of phasis--which is the means by which objects spoke to the Greeks. Phasis is a multiple variant language system, just as the Plato dialogues are--and they have not been correctly translated. Schimdt contends that logos is an incorrect simplification of phasis and that the western worldview has structural errors due to its dependency on logos.(90)

Schimdt's position mirrors the lucid analysis of Peter Kingsley in Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition, worth quoting at length:

...from the point of view of the history of philosophy we are presented with a very different picture of prePlatonic Pythagoreans from the usual stereotype of them as impractical dreamers, their minds fogged and obsessed with number mysticism, who had no 'clear idea of the value of empirical research' because all that interested them was discovering metaphysical principles....Pythagoreans could be far more practical than is usually supposed, sometimes deadly practical. For Plato this emphasis on practicality remained a powerful ideal; and yet, ideals apart, practically speaking it went against the grain of his temperament, his abilities, and against the conditions of the times in which he lived. With him and Aristotle the philosophical life as an integrated combination of practice and perception fell apart at the seams, and another ideal came to predominate instead: 'a new type of man, the unworldly and withdrawn student and scholar'. Certainly there had been partial precedents in the ancient Greek world for this new ideal. But it was only with Plato and Aristotle that it received its most decisive turn, so as to become the defining characteristic of what was to prove the most enduring Athenian contribution to intellectual history: instead of the love of wisdom, philosophy turned into the love of talking and arguing about the love of wisdom.(91)



Like Berendt and Bateson, Rothstein has recognized that both math and music follow the ancient dialectical reasoning that he traces to the Pythagorean-based work of Plato. He quotes Socrates, "argument itself grasps with the power of dialectic" and then follows, "the inner life of the arts is in the world of Forms, in the processes of dialectic and its argument by metaphor."(92) Bateson built his social systems analysis, like the phasis of ancient Greek, around the dialectical syllogism of metaphor-- "Grass dies; Men die; Men are grass" in response to the western logical paradox "Epimenides was a Cretan who said, 'Cretans always lie'". Bateson states in Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity that "syllogisms in grass must be dominant mode of communicating interconnection of ideas...." (93)

In response to the deep epistemological error in the West, like Bateson's Pythagorean social systems theory, the foundation of radical ecology chaos and complexity, or open systems theory, is also based from true music theory. As Capra describes in The Web of Life

In the 1950s scientists began to actually build models of such binary networks, including some with little lamps flickering on and off at the nodes. To their great amazement they discovered that after a short time of random flickering, some ordered patterns would energy in most networks. They would see waves of flickering pass through the network, or they would observe repeated cycles. Even though the initial state of the network was chosen at random, after a while those ordered patterns would emerge spontaneously, and it was that spontaneous emergence of order that became known as 'self-organization.'(94)



From the seemingly random network of nodes, ordered patterns create harmonic structures of self-organization (i.e. negentropy or cymatics). The infamous "butterfly effect" of chaos and complexity, where small changes have wide-spread systemic build-up, is simply a change in the fundamental node of the multi-dimensional pattern of harmonic oscillations. The Cartesian phase-space dimensions of the musically and linguistically inaccurate closed clock-pendulum are now, Capra states, represented by, "a curve spiraling inward toward the center" (i.e. an "attractor"-the Pythagorean law of growth) or a more complex multi-dimensional system where the fundamental is thus called a "strange attractor." The predictions of chaos theory are no longer reductionist. Capra remarks, "The new mathematics thus represents a shift from quantity to quality that is characteristic of systems thinking in general....All trajectories starting within a certain region of phase space will lead sooner or later to the same attractor...The result is a dynamical picture of the entire system, called the 'phase portrait.'"(95) Complex structures of nature are modeled by chaos and complexity with fractals being a prominent chaotic and complex example. Martin Gardner describes the Pythagorean foundation behind fractals with "scaling noise" in Fractal music, Hypercards and More: "If you play a recording of such a sound at a different speed, you have only to adjust the volume to make it sound exactly as before. By adjusting the spectral density we obtain an auto correlation of zero-in other words the same ratio that expands."(96)

Even with new paradigm science revealing this ancient simple foundation, the western religion of linear technology and its inaccurate one-dimensional symbolic reification, is just as strong in the community of public intellectuals or academics focused on structural change and exposing dominant ideologies. For instance, while grand theorist Slavoj Zizek has done a brilliant job clarifying dialectic thinking and crucially applying it to cultural analysis via Lacan's psychoanalysis, he devoted a large part of a recent book to attacking rhythmic vibrations of energy. It's not that Zizek's theory is incorrect but only that he refuses to systematically take into account dialectic analysis beyond that of Hegel and Lacan-or beyond the limits of language as represented by the Freudian "primordially repressed."(97) (see below for further description of primordially repressed) Zizek writes, "Hegel's point is not a new version of the yin/yang balance, but its exact opposite: 'truth' resides in the excess of exaggeration as such."(98) What is missing from Zizek's understanding of Taoist qi gong is that the disease is considered the teacher for the cure, just as Zizek states, "the wound is healed by the spear that smote it." In other words, the dialectical process, as expressed through music theory and Taoist qi gong, uses resonance-the exaggerated 'comma of Pythagoras'--to achieve a new synthesis or a new form.

Zizek does recognize the meaning of music as "the pre-ontological texture of relations" when he refers to Plato's "chora" (i.e. chorus) from the Pythagorean dialogue Timaeus--calling it "a kind of matrix-receptacle of all determinate forms, governed by its own contingent rules."(99) Zizek also impressively traces the history of the ego or the Subject as corresponded with the development of opera. The end of opera coincides with the beginning of modernism and the hysterical subject as the object of psychoanalysis.(100) In a chapter on music Zizek writes:

What is music at its most elementary? An act of supplication: a call to a figure of the big Other (beloved Lady, King, God...) to respond, not as the symbolic big Other, but in the real of his or her being (breaking his own rules by showing mercy; conferring her contingent love on us...). Music is thus an attempt to provoke the 'answer of the Real': to give rise in the Other to the 'miracle' of which Lacan speaks apropos of love, the miracle of the Other stretching his or her hand out to me. The historical changes in the status of 'big Other' (grosso modo, in what Hegel referred to as 'objective Spirit') thus directly concern music - perhaps, musical modernity designates the moment when music renounces the endeavour to provoke the answer of the Other.(101)



One of the main cultural criticisms of Zizek is that the dialectical process of Hegel has been misunderstood as a new Absolute Subject thus, as Berendt also points out, causing materialistic Marxism to be a distorted example of dialectical thought. Currently Zizek has pinpointed new age thinking as also being representative of a new misguided Absolute Subject through the goal of a new balanced order of harmonious nature or "New Age Consciousness: the balanced circuit of Nature."(102) A prominent analysis of qi gong provides an interpretation of Hegel very similar to Zizek and ironically distinguishes the interpretation from the common incorrect understanding of Hegel that Zizek has worked so hard to clarify:

The term synthesis in this context does not refer to polar opposites merging into a higher unity so as to be separately indistinguishable. (This form of synthesis was one of the goals of the dialectical process identified by the philosopher G.W. Hegel in his development of the Absolute). The method may be simply described as positing something as a thesis, then realizing that it can only be truly defined by taking other aspects or its opposite into account (antithesis), and finally arriving at the explicit recognition that the thesis and antithesis are related on a higher level of objective truth: synthesis). To understand ongoing process, which Chinese philosophy favors in the spirit of synthesis, we might consider the psychological concept of integration.(103)



The true dialectical process, for which Zizek expends considerable energy to describe through philosophy, can also be approached through music theory in a manner that very specifically and simply clarifies the correct interpretation that has been the focus of his very serious investigation. As Zizek states, in dialectics first there is a thesis then an antithesis and as each is taken to their extreme logical conclusions, like Socrates would do, both points negate each other by their mutual absurdity (called the dialectical reversal after the unity of opposites). Then that negation is affirmed as a new common ground that both points now hold in common. This last formal step is like naming or recognizing the first negation and is called double negation or determinate reflection. The point not recognized in the dominant one-dimensional interpretation of dialectics is that it's "the very lack [void] they have in common" which enables a new synthesis. As Zizek writes, "Being reveals itself as Nothing at the very moment we try to grasp it in its pureness," and in reference to Hegel, "the subject is precisely that which is not substance." Zizek then states that the dialectic process is the same "nodal" problem again and again. (104)


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