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There are Reasons a Song Sends You!
Paul McCartney Doesn't Know You
None of these rock stars knows you, and yet because of what they write, the tunes they craft, the particular musical riff that they use, they can indelibly engrave a memory into your head. Remembering the first time hearing "I Want To Hold Your Hand" is still engraved into my synapses. There was something about the Mediator of Memory - The Music Maker that reached into my being and drew something there with indelible crayon - warm magenta crayon that melted into the wrinkles of my brain.
There are books enough to describe it, and social history shows us, that thousands gathered at a rock concert are having multitudes of individual recollections while they are also sharing group and community recollections as the music flows over them like a bunch of happy bubbles that pop and reform endlessly, as everyone gets a "glow" about them.
Music is of course everywhere all the time, in some places. But music is a mediator, not the thing itself. The thing itself is the magic that is happening inside all of our individual heads. Yes, music as enjoyable and stimulating effervescent sound is pervasive. And some music is not enjoyable and some is downright killing. Some is foreign to you and makes you sick. So, what is it then?
Sacred Receptors In The Synapses of Your Soul
Modern science has revealed that our systems - neural and biological - communicate with receptors at points all along the pathways of our bodily responses. These days, they find receptors for certain substances and immediately know that that receptor tells the researcher that that substance has a meaningful relationship with that organ, or that system. If there is a "catchers mitt" there that grabs a substance, then that substance has a function at that point. If there is not a receptor there, then a substance or enzyme or neurotransmitter probably does not have much of a function at that point. What I am calling our Soul, our Inner Identity runs in much the same way. Music is a kind of Super Lubricant for Memory, sweet and bitter. It probably involves our Amygdala, at the base of our brain, but this article is not about that. It is about conscious acts that we perform to enrich life through the use of all those things that we might call "Sacred" and thus activate the special spiritual receptors inside us.
Robert Redford as "Jeremiah Johnson" Knew Those Burial Grounds Were Sacred
In our super-mundane world, we smile warmly at so called primitive peoples, (shamanic cultures) who had sacred burial grounds, and forests they walked around, and hills that were holy. Deities Days and Animated Creatures Days that meant this and that. Revellings and stopping times when celebrations had to occur. The Roman Catholics had a whale of a time subduing peoples and all of their pagan holidays. Scads of ceremonies, and tons of fun and all that laying around in states of mushroom and brew inebriation. It was enough to "vanquish the infidel". After lots of killing, they realized they had better generate lots of "sacredizing" through local high days, saints days, and the like, if they were going to civilize the people. This is not to say that people wouldn't benefit from a little civilization, but much was lost in this process. When Robert Redford went through the burial ground, he knew he was going to suffer, and even though he obeyed the military's order, he was the one who ended up hurting. Sacred REALLY meant something to those Native Americans and they were offended deeply.
"Sacralizing" Should Be Fun and Meaningful
We have many receptors that could use some activity. "Sacralizing", a phrase coined by Richard Abraham, is done by one's self. It is done for the Self. The Catechism is from your own life, and the Agenda is based on your chronology. A simple recommendation is that you take birthdays and make them meaningful events in which you reflect and contemplate and experience some ecstasy over your life. After the partying and the drinking, get by yourself, or your other closest, and light a candle and play some of your best tunes and sit quietly and think or talk about whatever comes up. But call it "sacred". Make it important to stay on message. Make it positive and fun and joyous. You have gotten through another year. That itself is cause to bathe your receptors (sensory, psychological, spiritual) in positive recollections. Play the tunes that make you happy. Make your birthday celebration a sacred event. Many in our Mundane World run from birthdays and keep on being busy, so that it will pass quickly and we can go to the next page on the calendar. What does that do for you?
Since you are the Boss in this plan, you can honor your dead. Remember the times that your closest died and light a candle for them on the night, or just talk about their specialness and what their lives meant to you. It does not have to be a big family thing. It should be generated by you and for you, so that you will see the continuity of generations, the importance of family and the meaning in these things we call relationships. At the death of a well-known actor in Denver, his family played show tunes through the entire funeral. The presiding pastor declared: "The most joy I have ever seen at a funeral". The attempt was to loudly and joyously use the meat and potatoes of his career as the heralding of the end of his life. Do you know the dates of your parents or loved ones passing? If you do not, and you don't care, then that's your answer. But, if you have neglected to think about those things, and you think you could serve yourself and your family in a new and deeper way, then do something about it.
Events and Moments and Times and Passages
When you stop to actually think about, there are all kinds of sign posts for us to celebrate and honor and "sanctify" (which means "set apart"). When we pass into parenthood, or grandparent hood, if we feel its important. It would be good to remember those times with some sacred ceremony. The degree is up to you. The way is up to you. Let your Interior tell you how important something is, and whether remembering it would have an impact. Some might say: "We have enough holidays. Who needs more?" Well, that is a very good point. What do you do on your holidays. Many get drunk and flip their speed boats on the fourth of July, and many don't celebrate or honor: Veteran's Day, Memorial Day or their religious holy days. But this is not a shaming thing. It is a call to stimulate and refresh your inner life so that the fast-paced, go go nature of our modern world does not just leave us wasted in the dust. Many of us, feel like we can't keep up, because we can't. Maybe a prescription for health and quasi ecstasy, is to deliberately slow down and make causes for celebration and observation, so that we can mark that special thing that is happening to us - OUR LIFE.
Let Your Heart Show You The Way Through The Woodsy Paradise of Your Interior
There is so much about us that we don't go near. Songs that we don't sing anymore. Days that make us cry. Moments that scare us instead of lifting us. The Heart has a way of speaking to us through pain, emptiness, despair, boredom and listless ennui. Think of those feelings as muted messages from yourself to yourself. Do something deliberate, corny, crazy. Make a "nothing day" that is designed just for the irrelevant and the nonmeaningful and the nonproductive and yet, oh so, sacred. One Rabbi once said: "The Shabbat (Sabbath) is a protest against usefulness". Maybe that is a key. Just do one day where you have it all designed for things that are not going to improve anything. Then, just accidentally, maybe by fiat, as your are just stumbling around on one of those days, your can meet a lonesome stranger and find he is yourself. You shake hands in a new way and feel strangely refreshed; and then, by golly, maybe you just might want to do it again. Christofer French is the Founder of Astrologygetalong.com.