Flutterby™! : Choosing

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2003-09-03 15:18:45.374998+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Mark talks about "choosing to be blessed". Some undetermined years ago I was on my first and so far last 'shroom trip, grooving to the music on the stereo, entranced by the colors in the shadows, when the CD player clicked over, and Marcus Roberts' Alone With Three Giants queued up. Roberts was the pianist for the Marsalis clan for a while, and Alone With Three Giants is a very mellow walk through some great piano jazz. But it's very mellow. Great post-dinner food-coma dark lounge with overstuffed chairs I'm going to sit here with a single malt and chat quietly of nothings with friends kind of music.

Under the influence of those particular hallucinogens, my body felt extremely heavy and lethargic. All the life drained out of me. Breathing took an act of will. And then, suddenly, I realized that I could choose to not listen to the music. I didn't even have to get up to change the CD player, I could just focus on the colors in the shadows or whatever else.

There have been a few "cusp" moments in my life, identifiable, when "everything changed". Although I think we've experienced it within completely different frameworks, Mark in the context of a god, me from my atheist view, when I read about "choosing to be blessed" I understood exactly. And it ain't always easy, and sometimes I forget, but in almost all situations, even if I can't tune out the music, I can get up and turn off the damned stereo.

What are you listening to?

[ related topics: Religion Drugs Music Dan's Life ]

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#Comment Re: Choosing made: 2003-09-03 17:28:42.60157+00 by: ebradway

I recently was introduced to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (through a general education class Survey of Jazz - I'll always argue STRONGLY in favor of general education in the University). I've always been a big Thelonious Monk fan because his 'dissonate' notes in his music seem to tweak my synapses in very pleasurable ways (even better when completely isolated to just a piano). But Bitches Brew is a completely new experience. If it is playing, I am completely unable to do anything except actively listen. Many people find it the music annoying (if they even accept it as music). Having been a Grateful Dead fan, I'm accustomed to the extended jam, a style which I wondering if Miles in Bitches Brew may have either created or, at least, perfected. I'm also a big fan of progressive rock and extended theme albums - I rarely listen to individual songs off a CD (look at my collection and you see a number of albums that individual tracks were never meant to take out of context: Rush 2112, Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, The Who Tommy, Moody Blues Days of Future Past, etc.).

If you listen closely, the musical tapestry created by Davis with Joe Zawinul (from Weather Report), John MacLaughlin, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, et. al. (if you don't recognize those people, just imagine creating a 'Dream Team' of jazz musicians in 1969).

On a side note, I'm in a class on Mysticism this Fall (my only non-math class). An important topic (and one that I'll be developing a thesis on for the class) is the mechanics of how mystical and spiritual experiences are induced: brain chemistry, tweaking neurons through music, ecstatic dance, asceticism, etc. I'll be posting more similar thoughts as the semester unfolds (along with more math related problems...)