amongst a thick crowd of people, I feel the pulse of instruments
rip through my chest. All of my attention is involuntarily focused
on the complex rhythm coursing through what feels like a rip in
the fabric of the universe. Everyone is dancing—not with one
another but together, one with all. Smiles jet across faces and
hair thrashes in every direction as the collective group swells
together in sync with the psychedelic metronome that is the band
on stage. As my mind wanders further towards that place it needs
to be and deeper into the music, I begin to see a dim ambient glow
adrift over the bobbing heads. Streams of dark swirls envelop the
stage in swooping madness from the conjuring wizards’ work
on stage. Something is happening on a metaphysical level and I want
to know why.
The new physics is discovering underlying
patterns of force behind life that may help answer that question.
Quantum physicists have discovered the elusive behavior of particles
that actually change depending on the hypothesis of the experiment.
In 1803, Thomas Young discovered what would become the cornerstone
of modern quantum physics. In his famous double-slit experiment,
he shot a single particle towards two slits to map the wave motion
of the particle. Instead, he found that the particle would go through
one of two slits based on his expectations. In other words, when
he changed his hypothesis, the particle would respond by changing
its path. The simple implications are that the physical world of
matter and energy respond to our thinking on a subatomic level.
Also consider that particles called
neutrinos flow through earth, and everyone on it, by the millions.
These miniscule particles travel near the speed of light from celestial
bodies. Neutrinos do have mass but simply change “flavors”
as they pass through different objects. (See sidebar.) This means
that tremendous cosmic forces flow through our environment like
winds on the sea. What if we were able to erect a ‘sail’
to harness this cosmic energy and put it to use? The possibilities
are endless, for all of us—since we’re all intimately
Ever since the big bang, everything
in the universe has been expanding outwards. However before that,
we were one singularity and once particles are connected, they stay
connected even through space and time. Now science is coming to
the same conclusion that ancient Buddhists have known for years:
that we are all One.
Every one of us is like a droplet
of color twisted up into a flask of glycerin. Once the ink is completely
enfolded into the glycerin, the single droplet appears to have disappeared.
We are invisibly stirred into the mix, yet exist independently when
unfolded from the solution.
the enfolding: physics and music
Many a great musician has described him- or herself as a conduit
of music instead of the source. They neither conceive it nor create
the music, it simply flows through them. Since the music already
exists, where is it? It seems to float behind the matter-front that
we all see. It is energy, but contained in All.
Jerry Garcia, for example, was a
revolutionary that could now be considered the grandfather to an
entire culture of music, defined by Dean Budnick as the Jamband
genre. Jerry contained a truly unique life force through which 30
years of music flowed during his career with the Grateful Dead.
Unlike anyone else, he was able to grasp a particular style of rhythms
flowing from the Source and distribute them to thousands of happy
listeners. Then one day his conduit was spent and as self-prophesized,
he found out that “death don’t have no mercy.”
The bubble of life that contained Garcia burst, releasing his spirit
and harmony into the ocean of the universe. And now he’s gone;
or is he?
the bubble containing Jerry’s energy has burst, the energy
still exists and is perhaps more prominent than ever as it continues
to flow through musicians who feel the music. This creative life
force is also why a live recording can never capture the true living
music of a concert: Because it transcends to something higher than
mechanical vibrations traveling from pick to string through cord
to amp through speaker to ear. There is a life behind it.
It is through physically evasive
mediums that music lives. Both music and physics exist through the
same cosmic rule of Eight. For example, musical notes are organized
by octaves. The number eight appears in such places as the game
of chess and the ancient Chinese oracle of change, the I Ching.
This is so abstract, we simply know it exists although we can never
really determine how or why. The only thing we can do is listen
Being humans, we are allotted only
five senses to discover the undiscoverable. This is why the task
of cutting into quantum mechanics and music is frustrating and is
necessarily never ending. Perhaps music gives us one more perspective
of the Universe so we are better able to understand it. At least
we are able to enjoy it!
Music gives us a glimpse of the “Overworld”.
It is addictive for those who refuse to settle for ordinary, four-dimensional
life (including time.) It is a peak at the Other side: the swirling
cosmos within, containing more energy than the world can produce
in a thousand years. After all, according to Einstein, E=mc2 (or
energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, meaning even
the most miniscue amount of matter contains a ridiculous amount
of energy.) Thus music allows us to surf this high-powered cosmic
When notes flowed through Jerry’s
guitar, where did they come from? The notes come not only from just
within him, but within us all; alive or dead, organic or inanimate,
here or there. He is cutting past manifest reality.
His first step was to master the
mechanical interaction between his mind, his hands and his guitar
(and of course his feet and his pedals.) In order to enter the optimal
flow state, he can not be thinking “first finger, fourth fret…C
chord, shift C-minor…”; it must be automatic. Mastery
The second element is his energy.
He was a beaming individual as many will attest. Through his dynamic
personality, he was able to reach out to a crowd of people and conjure
their collective field. In a give-take energy engine, he fed the
momentum until a cosmic hurricane erupted between the crowd and
himself. Now a power greater than the sum of the parts culminates
in the arena creating a field of dancing effervescence.
During peak sets, Jerry would ride
the collective soul of the crowd as if water skiing behind a speed
boat. He jitters off the waves quickly and when the critical speed
is reached, he can increase the collective level further.
It all ties together. Everything
is connected. Tremendous energy exists and you can harness it with
intention. So what I’m saying is stop and take a look around.
THE WORLD IS NOT THE STATIC FAÇADE THAT WE SEE!