“Pythagoras taught that music should never be approached simply as a form of entertainment. Rather, he recognised that music was an expression of “HARMONIA”, the Divine principle that brings order to chaos and discord. This music has a dual value because, like mathematics, it enables men and women to see into the structures of nature. Furthermore, he taught that if it was utilised correctly, music can: bring the faculties of the Soul into harmony, compose and purify the mind, and heal the physical body, thus restoring & maintaining perfect health.” Dr. James Hopkins
Since 1998, my personal research and exploration of the shamanic realms of knowledge (in both Peru and North America) have resulted in conclusive discoveries involving sound as a fundamental tool in the healing and transformation processes of humanity. Sound provides vibrational pathways that enable the listener to access inner worlds – to travel into other realms of reality without physically moving; these truths form the basis of the many examples of ancient traditions that have employed the magic of sound in their healing and spiritual practices. Despite the many distractions and distortions of these modern times we live in (which disconnects us from consciously realizing how powerful this sensory frequency truly is), our mind-bodies can still see and feel how sound and music affects our reality in profound ways. In extremely-subtle (yet dynamic) ways, our relationship to sound interacts with our holistic experience of living, being and doing. Sound has the ability (through interfacing with a mystical experience) to connect our conscious mind with our soul – with the divine, which exists both within and without.
Sound and shamanism have a strongly-intertwined partnership, and the shamanic heritage represents a universal conceptual framework found amongst many of Earth’s indigenous cultural practices. It includes the cosmological idea that the natural world has two primary components: an ordinary, everyday awareness (formed through repetitive exposure to habitual behaviours, patterns of belief, social norms, and cultural conditioning), and a secondary, non-ordinary awareness – the realm of spirit and magic – which is accessed through altered states of receptivity, states which are induced by musical practices such as repetitive drumming, flutes, rattles, chants, etc.. The act of entering into this ecstatic, trance-like state of altered consciousness is called the soul flight or shamanic journey, and it allows the journey participant to view life (and life’s problems) from a detached perspective of spiritual observation…a perspective that is not easily achieved from a state of ordinary, conditioned awareness.
Shamanism is based upon the metaphysical premise that the visible world operates in a state of interactivity with invisible forces or spirits, whose non-physical presence affects the lives of those living in our third-dimensional ‘space’. As a result, the shamanistic worldview sees human mental and physical conditions (such as diseases) as displaying a lack of energetic balance – a cause which lies in the spiritual ream – and the shaman uses a combination of physical and spiritual techniques/tools in order to correct the imbalance and heal the individual.
“The soul and the psychic being are not exactly the same thing, although their essence is the same. The soul is the divine spark that dwells at the centre of each being; it is identical with its Divine Origin; it is the divine man. The psychic being is formed progressively around this divine centre, the soul, in the course of its innumerable lives in the terrestrial evolution.” – The Mother
Sound is a harmonic pattern which is heard not only through our ears, but through every cell in our bodies. In their simplest form, sounds are waves (or vibrations) that ripple through the air and provide human beings with one of the most effective and vital ways of communicating with the nervous systems of our bodies. Sound is a vibration that can touch the soul of every individual. This is vitally-important, for the soul looks to create harmony within ourselves and with those around us – the soul seeks to find a conscious/loving/compassionate way to establish a foundation upon which to evolve with the unfolding perfection of Divine Creation. If we can open ourselves from within in order to cultivate an inner guidance network of unconditional love, compassion, and humility, we can begin to hear the voice of the soul singing to us and guiding us, teaching us through many layers of vibrational expression. I personally found those callings through my communion with nature, medicine plants, trees, stars, the sun, mountains, oceans, jungles…I started an inner journey to answer the call of my soul as I began to step into the unknown.
During this voyage of transformation, I began journeying through the shamanic and magical “hyper-realities” with a curandero (healer) from the jungle, and was subsequently exposed to experiences which involved huge expansions of awareness in regards to death/life, the mind, body, spirit, knowledge, and the de-programming of history and stories our society had impressed upon me about our collective reality. I saw (and felt) these other spirits and forces interacting with third-dimensional density existence in order to keep us in fear and oppressed within this controlled/distorted reality that is governed by a predatory system or “matrix”. As part of our human evolutionary agreement, we have been so distracted and conditioned by these other forces – in so many ways – that we have forgotten how to listen to the sound of the soul…an ability that is our birthright. I came to realize how schools within the system/matrix infiltrate peoples’ minds and thoughts, inserting false doctrines with regards to what is real, what is love, what is development, what is true, etc.. Through distorted and corrupted programs (religions/’spirituality’, science/reality, politics/patriarchy, education/programming, entertainment/distraction, nationalism/wars), I clearly saw how this synthetic system works, and why we are caught up in this global body/mind/spirit illness and collective amnesia.
My own experiences led to my gradual understanding that human beings have been distracted by other forces so as to keep us entrapped in a web of fear, conflict, separation, division, and permanent sickness. There are many theories about this agenda – what I can personally say, based on the facts which I have lived and experienced, is that these various forces of coercion exist, and are constantly plotting to keep humanity disconnected from the soul, from the divine source…to keep us in constant separation, in conflict with ourselves and all our relations (human and otherwise). These forces are like energetic parasites, harmful bacteria which invade and infect the environment of our minds, hearts, and bodies. In the physical body, we live with several varieties of bacteria (positive and negative) and parasites as well, and that is a clear reason why a ‘probiotic’-centered vision/diet/life is important – pro-bio, pro-life. Many years ago, I had a profound plant medicine journey wherein I could see these forces/entities playing their role throughout every stage of human evolution. After that experience, I grasped a bigger picture of what is happening in the world, and how to embrace it from a solutions perspective.
In this modern era, the majority of people employ sound/music as an entertainment diversion. Entertainment for what purpose? To distract ourselves from the soul, our connection to the Divine. Having studied how mainstream cultural industries of the matrix control system produce popular music formats for mass consumption – filled with insane messages and tricky-sweet melodies – it is clear how sound has been hijacked to further their agenda. Popular modern music is designed to keep us caught up in a distorted reality, reinforcing their programs of lust-craving, war, depraved sexuality, relationship chaos, economic scarcity, anti-nature scientism, shallow lifestyles, aggressive power, competition, and on and on.
Sound could be used to manipulate or harm our bodies and minds, blocking our connection to the soul and diverting our energy to support the matrix of lies. In the modern-shamanic/new-age world, I personally experienced how sound, music, songs, and plants of power are used to manipulate and affect people’s mind, body and spirit (while they are told all of this is ‘healing’ them), interrupting the soul’s journey by ushering in confusion, self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety, and foreign-entity attachments via hyperdimensional forces. These ‘seekers’ are left in a permanent state of physical and psychological illness in order to keep them coming back for more “work” – these ‘alternative’ cults operate along the same lines as the modern pharmaceutical industry…parasites who create a cycle of dependency while disabling any genuine self-healing breakthroughs.
The same cycle of illness ‘treatment’ happened in Germany – after the “Second World War”, the matrix control system engineered a new “popular” music called Schlager. It was a sonic program which was designed to make feel people happy, offering up “sweet love songs” in order to shift the national consciousness, diverting the population from processing the traumatic after-effects of the war. It was like a new pill of entertainment which was used to “block” fear, anger, despair, and any other ‘non-productive’ emotions and thoughts. The same numbing strategy is deployed by the matrix today, and not just through musical means. Fortunately, from the ashes of that horrifying conflict, a new German artistic-spiritual-medicinal-intellectual movement grew, and as it gained in strength, a new way to make multi-layered music emerged. This movement provides a clear example of the artistic manifestation process, transforming and healing our dark/light coexistence, searching to reach a divine state of being/doing through finding harmonies of the soul. There is an interesting documentary about that evolution in Germany, which can be accessed here: Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnMhkkgWpG4&t=101s
“The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognising the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.” — Carl Jung
As with every kind of endeavor in our lives, I can see how delicate it is to create and share sounds with others. Like a weapon, we can use it to hunt and bring meat for our community to survive during an intense winter, or we can use it to kill someone we don’t like (out of a sense of fear, or the pleasure of power, money and control, i.e., psychopathic thinking). The thin curve of consciousness resembles the oscillations of sound and frequency movements; like the waves of the sea, surfing the swells of energy patterns. To maintain awareness and self-observation (with regards to our consciousness dynamic) is a vital component of our journey of the soul. As we dig deeper into this topic, there arises an intersection of importance where intention, knowledge, empathy, intuition, integrity, critical thinking, honesty, and humility all meet – these attributes allow us to let go of our conditioning, and transform into an empty vessel for Divine forces to work through. In doing so, we become awakened to our potential through unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, sacredness, respect, and universal wisdom.
“Pythagorean philosophy is a “purification”, the aim of which is the assimilation to God. The universe is divine because of its order (kosmos), harmonies and symmetries it contains and reflects. These principles make the universe divine for they are the characteristics of divinity and so they also innately subsist within the human soul. The Pythagoreans taught that the soul is a harmony. If we are to become like God, then according to Pythagorean philosophy the soul must become aware of its harmonic origin.” — Dr. James Hopkins
How do sound and music contribute to our journey of the soul’s evolutionary path? As with everything in life, exploring the sounds of the soul is an individual practice-in progress. During my years of discovery within the Peruvian shamanic world – alongside the insights I acquired during my studies in the healing arts of sound and music – I can see the deep connection between sound and the journey of the soul. Through my own experience that was gained via sound healing and counselling work, I have grasped the truth that every sound, every word, every silence has something to tell – a connection to be made between mind, body, spirit, and soul. When we listen to the sounds of nature, we realize a profound inner peace and connection to the wholeness of Life. In my understanding of indigenous traditions, it was the intention of ancient peoples around the Earth – an intention that was developed over the course of thousands of years – to build musical instruments that would allow every soul to communicate with the divine, to harmonize with the breath, to dance, to raise the spirit, to heal, to comfort the heart, to express courage, bravery, gratitude… and to pray.
Prayer as an act of offering and thankfulness. I recall several experiences where listening to shamanic songs from the Amazonian indigenous traditions felt like gentle lullabies, allowing me to heal childhood wounds – the stories of the inner-child, as so many of us have some life-long challenges to repair. From that experience, I saw the pattern: when we are babies, our parents give us a toy rattle to play with, and sing playful lullabies to calm our emotions. I can see a clear interconnection here between our earliest childhood memories of music/sound and the shamanic medicine songs of the Amazon.
“Out of an instinctive knowledge, Schopenhauer attributed to music the role of directly portraying the very essence of the cosmos. He had a kind of instinctive presentiment of the actual situation. The reason that the musical element can speak to everyone, that it affects the human being from earliest childhood, becomes comprehensible to us from the realm of existence in which music has its true prototypes.” — Rudolf Steiner, The Inner Nature of Music and the Experience of Tone
In the deepest part of ourselves there remains our childlike Self, a child who is constantly immersed within the inexplicable mystery of life, and whose parents – as manifestation of the Divine Creation – provide assistance, healing, and unconditional love from the root of their souls. Unfortunately, sometimes we carry unhealed wounds from our parents and our upbringing (without being aware of it), and we repeat the same neglectful/hurtful patterns with our own children (and other relations). To step into a sacred-conscious path with ourselves – one which connects to all our relationships and life/death dynamics, and which avoids connecting with any religious dogma – is a vital component of the soul’s journey; to find a sense of harmony, a unity between us humans, a realization of sovereignty, an embodiment of unconditional love.
During my years spent in the Andes of Cusco, I started to go deeper into the search for discovering ways in which to meaningfully-connect with the journey of my soul. It was during this period that a ten-string instrument called the charango – inspired by the Spanish guitar – came across my path. This instrument, when introduced to the people of the Peruvian highlands, brought forth an entirely-new means of expressing their spirit and communication to the divine. This different sound brought healing, happiness and inspiration to their communities in novel ways. My relationship with the charango gave birth to a melody from the depths of my heart, a melody that touched my soul. I distinctly recall that it was right around this time of musical discovery that my connection to the corn plant radically changed. I could suddenly see the huge impact that corn has made on humanity and our habits, and I perceived the mystery of its ‘roots’, as we don’t know exactly where its origins lie. The history of corn goes back over 10,000 years, maybe longer, and it has survived the rise and fall on many civilizations. As a way to honour the mystery of this miracle on Earth (and the role it plays in our lives), I named this melody ‘Sara Raymi’ (in Runasimi, a native language of the Andes) which means “Celebration of the Corn”. You can listen to it here: https://fredclarke.bandcamp.com/track/sara-raymi.
“When the musician composes, he cannot imitate anything. He must draw the motifs of the musical creation out of his soul. We will discover their origin by pointing to worlds that are imperceptible to the senses. We must consider how these higher worlds are actually constituted. Man is capable of awakening higher faculties of the soul that ordinarily slumber. Just as the physical world is made visible to a blind person following an operation to restore his sight, so the inner soul organs of man can also be awakened in order that he might discern the higher spiritual worlds.” – Rudolf Steiner
Every culture on Earth has found their own ways to generate different sounds in order to converse with the divine natural world. The Nasca people, a pre-hispanic culture of the southern desert of Peru who flourished from around A.D. 1 to A.D. 700, designed a different style of note-generation through pan-flutes and drums made of clay. I found a deep connection with these sounds – the frequencies talk to my soul. I worked with the Museum of Art of Lima (MALI) in 2017 to record 4 original Nasca antaras or pan-flutes dating back to 200 BC. – 650 D.C and to create new music for the Nasca exhibition at the museum. You can listen to a track: https://fredclarke.bandcamp.com/track/ofrenda
This Nasca image, below, which was extracted from a clay pot, depicts how they used these musical instruments as part of their spiritual/shamanic practices. You can also see in this design a huge cactus (Wachuma) – a plant of visionary power.
The sounds of nature are the soul of Earth’s music. The Earth sings through her rivers, air, fire, waves, earthquakes, rain, lighting storms; every single sound of her symphony speaks to your soul, showing you new possibilities, teaching you to remain open…whispering the secrets of Creation’s mystery.
The deep relationship we have with sound comes from the earliest beginnings of the Creation. The human body is a musical instrument as well – we have the vocal strings and an acoustic structure to create sounds, make words, and compose music. The art of music, in the shamanic world, is closely-related to the power of healing, and it operates like the blowing of a flute: to give in, or to take out. There were many times where I saw how the act of either blowing or inhaling could clear blockages, release pain, inspire a vision, open up the mind/heart, and inspire the spirit to continue listening to the soul’s calling. On the other side of the healing coin, I saw how inhaling or blowing (with the intention of trying to possess and weaken the patient or practitioner) could make her or him physically ill, lose self-confidence, generate feelings of powerless-ness…all done in order to formulate dependency, to force these victims to return over and over again so as to steal more of their energy and money away, creating another vicious cycle of attachment, control and fear.
“Detachment is important. “Everyone who wants to follow the warrior’s path has to rid herself of fixation: the compulsion to possess and hold onto things.” She also needs to be able to live in the present. In order to cultivate detachment, a warrior develops her sense of humor and a great sense of resourcefulness. These become her shields. She can feel her strong and passionate emotions and then let them pass THROUGH her. She can laugh at herself. But there is a danger in detachment. A warrior can become so self-reliant that she becomes arrogant and uncompromising. She becomes incapable of compassion. What brings the “sacredness” to the path of the Sacred Warrior is LOVE. To the Sacred Warrior, Love is felt when the heart is open. Great warriors are said to have great hearts, and even the strongest, most skilled, most dangerous warrior becomes Sacred when she puts herself in service.” – Peggy Andreas
Once again, it’s vital to stress the importance of conducting sincere inner-work while practicing honest intention and sacred integrity, as these factors (as in everything else we do) can either heal or harm ourselves and others. Our choices impact multiple expressions of realities in profound ways. There is so much to heal, to forgive, to accept, to learn and re-learn. I feel that embodying unconditional love is the most rebellious act we can undertake in this world of manipulation and untruths. I am and I do, because I vibrate within a field of unconditional love, a place of presence that does not expect anything from others (or life itself). What I understand Unconditional Love to embody is a state of union (dark/light), peace, compassion, wisdom, knowledge, fearlessness, humility, gratitude, honesty, strength, bravery, kindness, forgiveness, awareness, gentleness, openness, sincere truth, freedom, and patience with ourselves (in all our relations and the whole of creation).
If you and I were to both act within this realm of unconditional love, human life (in regards to both our own selves and all our relations) would reflect the dynamic of nature: wild harmony, the symbiosis of all forces, the sacred spiral which expresses the mystery. In the Andean cosmology, people talk about AYNI: sacred reciprocity, giving and receiving without expecting. To perform offerings in this setting is a powerful ritual of huge gratitude, healing, community spirit, compassion, respect for everything we experience in life, and providing thanks to Earth and the Divine. Do not take things for granted. Today, we have this. Tomorrow, we never know.
In the world we are currently living in, which is based upon fear, control, war and manipulation, we are called to step up and summon our inner warrior, to develop our body-mind-spiritual training, in order to cultivate a deep and sincere self-work practice. It is a work-in-progress that relies upon the individual to embody and live out their personally-discovered truths in their everyday existence with themselves, their relationships, their families, and our wounded world. Walking the thin-line of Love and Fear is the path of the sacred warrior, for the warrior recognizes that the war is not just all around us, but within us as well.
“Many people try to find a spiritual path where they do not have to face themselves but where they can still liberate themselves–liberate themselves from themselves, in fact. In truth, this is impossible. We cannot do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our real shit, our most undesirable parts. We have to see that. That is the foundation of warriorship and the basis of conquering fear. We have to face our fear; we have to look at it, study it, work with it, and practice meditation with it.” ― Chögyam Trungpa
As we travel along our path of body-mind-spiritual awakening (whether that entails our meditation practice, our own research, our adventures in the dreamtime, walking in the forest or playing a flute, finding that harmony and peace of mind in quiet reflection), we can start listening to the sound of our souls talking, as they sing to – and guide – us in unexpected and mysterious ways.
The sounds of nature are melodies for the soul. The rain and snow, the waves of the sea, rustling trees and earthquakes. It’s all about the soul, the divine that’s found both within and without. The sound of the soul speaks to us in mysterious ways…sometimes we get visions or insights about ourselves, our lives, or ancient memories; listening to the soul is probably the most irrational thing we can do, yet it will take us where we need to go, because the soul knows what the mind does not. Cultivation of intuition, knowledge, compassion, and challenging experiences are vital for the soul’s journey. If we allow ourselves to jump into the mystery of it all, we begin to encounter our own healing/awakening capabilities. To learn how to die and surrender to the mystery is a key element in embracing the divine within. It’s the most fundamental movement towards really learning about ourselves. If we keep feeding our fear of death, we won’t be able to listen to the soul.
“Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity — but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our “biography,” our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are? Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?” – Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
As we begin to lose our fear of death, we can joyfully jump into the void which contains this mysterious and magical journey of the soul. Errors don’t exist, only experiences and teachings. When we play the flute or the drum in that connection to the soul, we flow/sound in union with all existence: nada yoga. From the soul’s perspective, there are no mistakes…it is only the confused “I” – who wants to control everything, to find “perfection”, to feel no shame, to look for safety – who fails to accept death as part of the Whole, because at that moment the confused “I” mistakenly thinks that he or she will disappear, and there won’t be anything left.
“In Music, as in Life, There Are No Mistakes, Just Chances to Improvise.” Miles Davis
In this very short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-vItf0G05M based around an interview with pianist Herbie Hancock, the master improvisor Miles Davis honoured Hancock’s mistake as a hidden intention by playing along with it. It’s both a surprising look into the world of jazz improvisation and a revealing anecdote of Davis, usually known as a difficult collaborator. “It taught me a very big lesson not only about music,” says Hancock, “but about life.” Extracted from http://www.openculture.com/
In my understanding of sound activation, many of the world’s musical instruments were conceived and created to perform healing acts, to facilitate inner work, to harmonize ourselves with nature, to communicate to the soul, to celebrate our connection with the Divine. They have become an extension of our inner world, and are a great way to express the inexpressible while merging our lives with the natural realms and humanity’s soul lineage. In my research and experiences, playing a musical instrument (in conjunction with that healing intention) or listening to – or dancing with – music that evokes the inner calling of your soul can be a doorway into a deeply-transformative awakening. Many of the sounds and musical forms of the ancient world are designed to put us directly into contact with the mystic forces of Creation.
“Because feelings are the innermost elements of the soul, akin to the spiritual world, and because in tone the soul finds the element in which it actually moves, man’s soul dwells in a world where the bodily mediators of feelings no longer exist but where feelings themselves live on. The archetype of music is in the spiritual, whereas the archetypes for the other arts lie in the physical world itself. When the human being hears music, he has a sense of well-being, because these tones harmonize with what he has experienced in the world of his spiritual home.”— Rudolf Steiner, The Inner Nature of Music and the Experience of Tone
The flute is a hollow design, with an empty interior; the exhalation of your spirit into the flute is the instrument’s ‘divine spark’, and as your heart’s intention fills out the instrument’s form, it expands into a melody, a complex spiralling frequency, the Divine Feminine made manifest as vibrational SPACE. The drum is the heartbeat, a straight line of rhythmic intention, pulsing into a tempo, a river of fast and slow currents, bringing dynamic energy to the void, the stairway to the cosmos, the Divine Masculine consciously transformed into TIME. Both sound universes join together to create a Divine music that touches the Earth and Sky, form and consciousness, the divine female and sacred male, the inner and outer reality, the dark side/the light side. Bridging two worlds into one. Yin-Yang. The Inner warrior journey, celebrated in sound.