Saturday, February 26, 2011

There is one who sings the song of his soul, discovering in his soul everything -- utter spiritual fulfillment.
There is one who sings the song of his people. Emerging from the private circle of his soul -- not expansive enough, not yet tranquil -- he strives for fierce heights, clinging to the entire community of Israel in tender love. Together with her, he sings her song, feels her anguish, delights in her hopes. He conceives profound insights into her past and her future, deftly probing the inwardness of her spirit with the wisdom of love.
Then there is one whose soul expands until it extends beyond the border of Israel, singing the song of humanity. In the glory of the entire human race, in the glory of human form, his spirit spreads, aspiring to the goal of humankind, envisioning its consummation. From this spring of life, he draws all his deepest reflections, his searching, striving, and vision.
Then there is one who expands even further until he unites with all of existence, with all creatures, with all worlds, singing a song with them all.
There is one who ascends with all these songs in unison -- the song of the soul, the song of the nation, the song of humanity, the song of the cosmos -- resounding together, blending in harmony, circulating the sap of life, the sound of holy joy.

-- Abraham Isaac Kook
(in The Essential Mystics,
edited by Andrew Harvey)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

-- Johannes Sebastian Bach
(in Notations: Quotations on Music,
edited by Sallye Leventhal)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

O Universe, all that is in tune with you is also in tune with me! Every note of your harmony resonates in my innermost being. For me nothing is early and nothing is late, if it is timely for you. O Nature, all that your seasons bring is fruit for me. From thee come all things; in thee do all things live and grow; and to thee do all things return . . .

Waste no more time talking about great souls and how they should be. Become one yourself!

-- Marcus Aurelius
(in The Essential Mystics,
edited by Andrew Harvey)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Birdsong brings relief
to my longing.

I am just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say!

Please, universal soul, practice
some song, or something, through me!

-- Rumi
(in The Essential Rumi,
translated by Coleman Barks)