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The Mystic Spiral

Imaginary Journeys of Music

In a second, the faintest perfume may send us plummeting to the roots of our being, our whole life verticalized by a fleeting sensation: we have been connected by a mere smell to another place and another time. The amount we have changed in the recognition of this moment - this is the spiral: the path we have followed to reach the same point on another winding.


All our experiences are like that haunting scent: situations recur with almost boring familiarity until we have mastered them in the light of the previous time round. The more we do this, the steeper the gradient, which is the measure of our growth. The spiral we travel round life is the means we have to compare ourselves with ourselves, and discover how much we have changed since we were last in the city, met our brother, or celebrated Christmas. Time itself is cyclic, and by the spiral of its returning seasons we review the progress and growth of our own understanding. 

Ours is the spiral house we build to keep us from life's continuous outpouring, from an otherwise unchecked flow into the unknown. Since what is unknown has power over us, we should otherwise be as vulnerable as the snail would be if his shell grew long and straight. The familiarity of life's experiences curls round and protects us, creating those mysterious mountain views of half-concealed windings which keep us bright with speculation and anticipation. 

The steepness of the straight path is prohibitive for most of us. The mystic calls this the 'short cut', the « Path of the Light »; but that which lights the mystic's way blind, the ordinary man, unprepared for the light of full knowledge. For him, unveiled truth is death; instead he must make his gradual ascent, allowing himself the protecting reassurance of its gentle windings. 

MUSIC & SPIRAL : Flow, form and symbol

Like all existence on the descending scale of realities, music is a spiral and a path to symbolism. It denotes eternity, since it may go on for ever.

Within the totality of the universal continuum, we are limited by space-time to successive and analytic observations of its parts. These parts, the transient formations of nature's perpetual motion - although never perfect - seem to us to approximate to an ideal. In so far as the archetypal flow and growth form assumed by the mushroom, the embryo and the brain embody a forward impulse which turns back on itself, they demonstrate exactly the forming of a vortex ring, a spiral.

Music is an universal and accessible key to humanity to defragment its perceptions, by making explicating the intricate order.

This order, reverberating down into the microscopic and subatomic levels, both structures and reflects our consciousness. The full significance of organization, which was obviously known to the Greeks since their word KOSMOS means 'order', is again being demonstrated by the physicists, who say that matter actually consists in its own movement and  organization. Similarly, the growth of human consciousness is the continuous refining of its own organization, the ordering of its individual microcosm.

Although this process is built into the structure and is inherent in the natural evolution of man, it is one which can be facilitated and hastened with the aid of maps and guides. These maps are the mythological and religious systems which have been evolved by previous travellers, pioneers of the Way. Such a refining is alchemy, the transmutation of the natural man of the base metals into the spiritual man of pure gold, by repeated breaking down and building up (SOLVE et COAGULA).

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