I would like to share part of an article that was shared with me. It speaks about the individual song that is formed within the heart of each individual and finds unique expression through that one. So many times we think that our lives are wasted exercises, yet if we can gain the correct perspective, we can see these experiences as the orchestral parts to be played in our personal symphony. Each one is different and each one is sublime. Read and meditate!
Life’s difficult challenges aren’t interruptions. They’re what we need to compose our unique song.
Through it all he remained our hero, fought and won many battles on behalf of Israel and had his son Solomon build the Temple of Jerusalem. But the depth and heart of David remains most revealed in his poetry-turned-prayers called Psalms.
In the Psalms, King David moves me because of the intensity of his experience of life, because of his honesty, candidness, rawness, and courage to expose his frailties and fears. Because of his humility and yearning to be closer to His maker in the light and in the dark times, He was not embarrassed to be him. He was not shy about his feelings. He exposed himself and then gave it all back to God. Nothing he felt or experienced was wasted. All was used to connect back. All was sanctified through his actions.
I also love that he was a singer. It is written that the highest gate of prophecy is through song, sung with pure intentions.
Each one of us has a unique song that lies deep in our soul. It is the most pure type of music that stems from who we truly are, in all of our splendor and beauty, the one that reveals us completely, imperfections and all.
When we have a difficult challenge in life and experience some suffering, some of us view it as an interruption to life, a blip. But those troubles aren’t distractions – they’re precisely what create us. The pains and the uncomfortable parts of our story help craft our unique personality and character. The moments of distress create the peaks, dips, and special viewpoints we have; they create the flats, the sharps and the octaves of our song. Every experience of anguish is a note that we weave together to make a song that no one else can sing. And when we sing that song back to God through prayer, just as King David did, we fulfill the spiritual purpose for the suffering we were given.
This was part of King David’s greatness and the lesson he teaches to every one of us.
Suffering, pain, and turmoil are not intermission times in our lives; they create our intricacies, depletions, accents, and twists for a reason. When we are honest with our pain and lacks, and allow ourselves to laugh or cry or scream as a vehicle to come closer to our Maker, that’s part of our chorus. That’s part of our song that no one can sing but us. We can transform the darkness into sparks of light. When we turn pain into a vehicle for connection with the Almighty, we invest meaning into the suffering and make it holy. God doesn’t do that; that choice is in our domain.
King David became King David not despite his difficult life, but because of it. Can you imagine if he had a normal, steady, and balanced life full of everything he wanted and no struggles? He would not have become King David. He would not have written the Psalms to open up the Heavenly gates. He would not have become the spiritual hero that we aspire to be.
The world is our classroom. We face the tests that are given to us, to overcome a weakness and write new stanzas to our life’s song. And we can rely on God for His help and guidance. My kids recently lost their father. At the shiva I continuously heard from friends who lost parents at an early age that a hole remained with them for life. But they also gained a special connection to God that none of their friends seemingly felt. A double dose of God’s help and closeness in place of that parent, just as King David writes in his Psalms.
Would my kids have chosen that combination if asked? I don’t think so. But who chooses anything? When we stop fighting against why we have a certain life circumstance and accept the Divine plan, embracing what we do have and are here to do. That’s when we can finally make use of all the beautiful, awkward-like and seemingly off key notes we possess to compose the special song only our soul can sing.
Easier said than done. Trust me, I know. But time is so precious, and so are you.
I was reading a post from a friend of mine in Jerusalem on his blog “Shoreshim of Old City” and found it very interesting. I have talked with Moshe, who is the owner of the Shoreshim Shop in the Jewish Quarter of Old Jerusalem about the work I am doing with the Psalms of David and the idea that there is a relationship between the Hebrew text and how the music might sound. This is what I have been pursuing for the past 8 years, and what I share on this website.
I believe that this article by Rabbi Chanan Morrison gives some more understanding from a biblical perspective to the ideas that I have been working on with the Music from the Psalms. The text he is referring to is actually Exodus 20:18 in the usual English translations
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.”
As you study the Hebrew words used in this text, you see a definite connection to the “seeing” of the sound that occurred that day among the Children of Israel as they stood at the base of Mt. Sinai and received the 10 commandments spoken by the voice of Elohim and written with the finger of YHVH on the tablets of stone that Moses carried up the mountain. I wonder what the blast of a shofar looked like!
I hope you appreciate this understanding and “see” a new way of experiencing the relationship between the words of YHVH and the sound of the music that comes from this understanding.
Blessings – Steve
by Rabbi Chanan Morrison
And all the people saw the sounds …” (Ex. 20:15).
The Midrash calls our attention to an amazing aspect of the revelation at Sinai: the Jewish people were able to see what is normally only heard. What does this mean?
Standing near the Source
At their source, sound and sight are united. Only in our limited, physical world, in this alma deperuda (disjointed world), are these phenomena disconnected and detached. It is similar to our perception of lightning and thunder, which become increasingly separated from one another as the observer is more distanced from the source.
If we are bound and limited to the present, if we can only perceive the universe through the viewpoint of the temporal and the material, then we will always be aware of the divide between sight and sound. The prophetic vision at Mount Sinai, however, granted the people a unique perspective, as if they were standing near the source of Creation. From that vantage point, they were able to witness the underlying unity of the universe. They were able to see sounds and hear sights. God’s revelation at Sinai was registered by all their senses simultaneously, as a single, undivided perception.
Gold from the Land of Israel p. 135. Adapted from Mo’adei HaRe’iyah, p. 491
In my last post, I referenced the power of frequencies to “heal” water. I wanted to follow up on that concept with some more information on the studies that were done to make those claims. First of all, I want to say that I try to be careful about what I post and the sources that they come from. There are a lot of questionable claims out there and sometimes it is difficult to discern fact from fiction. That being said however, there is another area that deserves consideration, and that is where I believe this information comes from. Even though Dr. Emoto’s scientific method has been called into question, I believe that some of his conclusions are worth considering. I will be referencing an article published by Kristopher Setchfield, BA, Health Science, Natural Science Department; Castleton State College, Vermont – published in December 20, 2005 titled: Review and analysis of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s published work on the effects of external stimuli on the structural formation of ice crystals.
“Dr. Emoto became a Doctor of Alternative Medicine at the Open International University for Alternative Medicine in India in 1992, and he has become famous throughout the world in the alternative medicine realm for his 1999 self-published book, ‘The Messages of Water’. Since that time, his narrative and collection of photos of ice crystals has been picked up by independent publishing companies and has grown into subsequent works, such as The hidden messages in water (HMW). Recently his work was featured in a highly controversial movie titled “What the Bleep do We Know!?”and published in an essay in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM). These thrust his work into the international spotlight and portrayed his work as proven scientific research. It was because of the notoriety gained by his books and the Bleep movie that I first learned of Emoto’s fantastic claim that he has found evidence that human thought affects ice crystal formation and that the structure and level of detail of an ice crystal is an indicator of water quality.”
Setchfield’s analysis primarily looked at the scientific methodology of Emoto and endeavored to assess whether or not the results could be duplicated with what he considered “scientific reliability”. Without going into a lot of quoting, I will give you the cliff note version of his findings. He believes that Emoto’s methods are questionable and not duplicable to reach the conclusions that Emoto has published. He further suggests that it would be wonderful if the funding could be obtained to conduct a rigorous scientific methodology and actually determine if some of these conclusions could be established scientifically. In short, he is very skeptical of the conclusions that Emoto reached and published.
Of particular interest to me was Dr. Emoto’s report that he found “stunning correlations between the types of music played and the quality and beauty of the ice crystals that would form upon freezing. For instance, the crystal below on the left was observed in a sample of distilled water that had been played Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, and the crystal on the right was observed in a sample of distilled water that had been played so-called “heavy metal” music (Emoto, Messages 17). It is interesting to note that this claim closely mirrors the well-known pseudoscientific and so-far unsubstantiated claim that classical music has a beneficial effect on plant growth, and rock music hinders plant growth.”
“Following his study of the effects of music on ice crystal formation in distilled water, Dr. Emoto wondered if water crystal structure might be affected by other seemingly illogical external things, such as words written on paper. In the HMW prologue, Dr. Emoto states, “It didn’t seem logical for water to ‘read’ the writing, understand the meaning, and change form accordingly. But I knew from the experiments with music that strange things could happen.”
“He began by writing phrases like “thank you” and “you fool” in various languages on paper and placing the paper under the distilled water samples, and his published photos below (Emoto, Messages 7) show a surprising result. Samples that had been exposed to the words “thank you” exhibited beautiful crystals, while samples that had been exposed to the words “you fool” would not form crystals at all.”
“Encouraged by his findings, Emoto began studying the effects of prayer, blessings, and spoken words. Not surprisingly, his results indicated that water crystal formation was also sensitive to these things–yielding his current hypothesis; “Molecules of water are affected by our thoughts, words, and feelings.” (Emoto, Messages cover)”
Setchfield goes on to delineate the methodology used by Emoto and then point out that his methodology was too open to observer bias and not rigorous enough or duplicable in follow up testing. He believes that the double blind method would produce much better, verifiable results, but bemoans the fact that it is difficult to get the funding to conduct the necessary experimentation under what he believes to be ”scientifically reliable” conditions. He goes on to say,
“While Emoto has published his claim in one peer reviewed journal, it has neither been substantiated nor disproved by research scientists. It is worth noting that Emoto’s Journal article is not a scientific report, but a three page long “photo essay.” Dr. Emoto, himself, stated “Even though my book, Message from Water, was first published in 1999 and has been translated in over 20 languages, I have not heard of anybody else conducting similar research” (Woodhouse). His claims resonate with “Alternative therapists, religious leaders, spiritual researchers, artists, and musicians” (Emoto, Healing 3), but it appears that his work has widely been disregarded by traditional scientists as pseudoscience that does not merit further inspection.”
The claims of Dr. Emoto are very interesting. I am scientifically trained myself and can appreciate Setchfield’s assessment. On a purely scientific level, I have to agree with him that the work of Dr. Emoto does call questions to mind. At the same time, I also have to step back and take a look at other things that “science” tells me are not possible. It tells me that the earth could not possibly have been created in 6 days by a Divine Architect. Yet my faith in His word brings me to the conclusion that I would rather believe Him than the scientists.
In my experience in the medical profession, I have seen many things that could not be explained scientifically. One of the phenomenon called “placebo effect” has been well documented to produce positive effects simply because the brain “believed” that it would work. The power of the brain to heal the body, what is called psycho-sematic, is not necessarily understood, but accepted as true none the less.
I take studies like Dr. Emoto’s with a “grain of salt” but at the same time believe there is something there that we need to understand. Besides that, what can it hurt if I believe that frequencies actually can “heal” water and by extension my body? I may not be able to “scientifically prove it” but I certainly have seen many instances of healing of body, mind and soul under the effects of the frequencies coming from my harp as I have played at the bedside. Let’s not be too quick to dismiss something just because we can’t get the scientific backing we think we should have. After all, it’s hard to get scientist to agree on anything!