In all ancient traditions of the world, music is used to promote health, education and spiritual evolution. The First Nations of America are no exception. We say that it is the spirit of the sound, the intention with which it is played that transmits the life force.
Music draws its power from the earth and the stars. It then gives a vibration that is easy to feel, which is filled with the spirit of healing and peace. The “mystery schools”— as I like to call the Native American spiritual societies—train for many years those who will heal with music so that they can hear, feel, understand and transmit sounds and music that have healing potential.
Native Americans have a holistic, global way of understanding the world: they have an inclusive view of the Universe. In this view of the world, all beings, all things are related. Animals, but also rocks, trees and clouds are in interrelation with us, like members of a same family. When we look at the natural world, we look at a mirror in which we see ourselves. This way, we don’t need to separate things to understand them. Everything can be understood in its relationship with the greater whole. For example, music can be a way of expressing the intimate mathematical relationships that sustain the world. If I learn to beat the pulse of the Earth on my drum, I tune my own heart to this fundamental rhythm. This makes me healthy, happy and in harmony. It can even give me the opportunity to know or see things, beings or events that are far away, because they resonate with me: every natural place on earth will look like my home and I will not be afraid of nature, insects or animals! I will develop a deep respect for all beings, because I am able to understand their unity with my own nature. We are not separate entities. We are all one, manifesting in different ways aspects of the same truth, all coming from the same source.
This unity has a profound influence when we consider illness and healing. We believe that there is a reason for sickness. It reflects how we live our lives or what we need to learn. One of my teachers used to say, “When someone comes to you for healing, they have to leave you as a better person than they were before. If they don’t, you’re not doing your job properly.”
Indigenous healers will work on several different levels of being. They will use herbs and special food for the physical body, massage and energy work to harmonize the physical with emotional. They will give you advice to promote emotional balance and mental understanding. Finally, they will perform prayers and ceremonies to activate energies that can restore communion with the spiritual world. In this way, their help is holistic. Although music therapy can be effective on all levels of being, it has traditionally been used in conjunction with several other therapeutic approaches.
The Law of Harmony
Illness and malady are often caused by a transgression of the laws of nature. We can retune, through sacred sounds, those aspects of our being that are in dissonance with the fundamental laws of Creation. The principle that explains why this is possible is called “the law of harmony”. When things are on the same vibrational frequency or spiritual thought-form, if one of them is set in motion, the other also vibrate by harmonic resonance. This law is easily illustrated by the following example. After opening the cover that covers the strings of a piano, we find on each octave the strings that give a C. By pressing the right pedal (which lifts the pad on the strings to allow them to vibrate), while hitting the key of a low C, we will notice that all the C strings in the upper octaves start to vibrate spontaneously even if their key has not been hit. The strings of these C’s are in resonance with the string of low C, because they are the upper octaves of the same frequency. In the same way, music in harmony with the laws of nature will retune a being to the health inherent in their fundamental nature. This principle explains why our acoustic musical instruments sound better every year. They vibrate more and more, as if the wood is aligning itself with the vibrations. Some insurance companies recognize this fact by admitting that the value of some acoustic instruments like classical guitars and high quality violins increase over time. This is another application of the law of harmony.
Music is very important in education. If you try to teach a child the alphabet with a song, he will learn it quickly and remember it forever. If you teach it without a song, it will become a laborious process, with the possibility of forgetting it. In traditional teaching settings, we always start with a song and that song is often a prayer to open our hearts to the abundance and harmony in the world. All mothers, to help a baby’s first years, use music, singing and chanting to the child, naturally, without attaching any concept to this activity. Music therapy is the first form of healing there is. Even infants use sound to make others understand what they need.
The silence before and after the music is as important as the music itself. In the first moment, before the flow of sounds, we will feel the inspiration, like a soft wind, and we will be able to enter the atmosphere that the musician is trying to create. After the last sound comes a precious moment of silence that captures all that has been expressed and gives an overall sense of unity and completion necessary for understanding, healing and appreciation.
In these months of very great transformation and difficulty in adapting to what seems like inhuman measures, I have chosen to do my part by offering small live online concerts twice a week. These are on Mondays and Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. in Quebec (eastern standard time) and 6:30 p.m. Paris time. They are rebroadcast afterwards on the same sites and eventually here as well.
Here are the links:
Have a great week everyone, may harmony and bliss be with you, always!
Light and Love
Luke Blue Eagle