Drugs

Mikael-jumping-into-arms2

My son at 7 – taking a leap of faith into my arms.

When my son was 16 he asked me about drugs.  I told him to stay away from the stuff.  “Life is easier if you can do without using drugs”, I said, but other than that I would like to let him know a few more details I’ve learned over the years:


Artificial vs Natural
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Scientists say that every emotion we have is due to our own manufacturing of drugs. Our brains and bodies lob chemical molecules around like basket-ball teams. The receptors we have in our brain can detect and react to compounds also found outside the body, in nature’s fauna. Certain chemicals make us feel in certain ways and thanks in part to science, man has concentrated or synthesized these chemicals to boost the effect of many natural substances.  One result of such research has been the increased ability by medicine to manage severe pain and suppress emotions. Drugs can intensify or mask our perceptions – we use coffee, tea, cigarettes, pain medications, sugar and caffeine drinks, sleeping pills, keep-driving-pills, herbal remedies, doctor-prescribed peptide inhibitors and enhancers. Plants containing drugs have been used for thousands of years by all civilizations for healing, vision-quests or to enhance stamina. Some were used for pleasure, and some to control populations by creating mindless slaves (as in the Opium Wars). Drugs are ingested, inhaled, injected and absorbed. They are natural and synthetic, and they can heal or kill.

Addiction
improving-neighborhoods-might-lower-teen-murder-rates-1024x768From my observations, an addiction to drugs can be chemical or psychological, but it would be safe to say that if something offers temporary relief from an undesirable condition (such as living in a bad neighborhood or in an intolerable situation) – that “something” continues to be an attractive alternative – from a psychological perspective. Chemically the brain seems to enjoy the pleasant effects of drugs, such as Nicotine found in cigarettes. So much so that, when the effect wears off, a smoker’s brain sends a “we need more of this” signal – often by way of a negative emotion. Cigarette manufacturers have, naturally, been happy about this arrangement, as have dealers and manufacturers of caffeine, sugar, and countless street-drugs.

What complicates matters is that Western Medicine has largely regarded all humans to be chemically the same. We now recognize that different compounds affect humans in sometimes slight, sometimes extremely different ways. Beer, for example, puts some people to sleep while others become up-beat and highly social – or in some cases angry and destructive.

Illegal Spells Profit.
The fact that many drugs made to induce pleasure (if only for a short while) are illegal to the public, adds a huge economical incentive to cultivate addicts, who would steal the bells of Santa’s sleigh for their next fix. On the black market there are no quality controls, and drugs are often mixed with stuff that is cheaper and even more damaging than the substance it proclaims to be – and just like the prohibition was the greatest boon to the liquor industry, some say illegality adds to the creation of addicts, not hindering it.

The History of Drugs.
81spbcbz7olWhether in the hands of a doctor, a healer or a street-peddler, drugs are not likely to go away. Throughout all recorded history substances of many kinds have been used in order to cause a shift in perspective. Some subtle, as a cigar after dinner, some more spectacular in nature. Alcohol was often the easiest to make – using anything that would ferment from potatoes to rice, grain, fruit and grapes – but other compounds found in nature were also cultivated. The Danish Vikings apparently ingested a certain mushroom, Fly Agaric, before going into battles making them go berserk and be impervious to pain. American Indians used the Peyote Cactus, Mescaline and “Magic Mushrooms” for vision quest journeys. The sacred “Peace Pipe” passed around could have contained only tobacco, but my guess is some “Loco Weed” may have found it’s way into the pipe. Further south, the medicine people in the Brazilian Rainforest for thousands of years have used the bark of the Ayahuasca tree, and parts of the Jurema Shrub in ceremonies – claiming to connect with a spirit world. The word “assassin” comes from the Mid-Eastern word “hashhassin” – meaning Hash-Eater, and even such venerable institutions as the “Oracle of Delphi” where “To thine own self be true” was edged over the entrance – featured a person affected by “a mildly toxic” steam rising in the cave.  People have had a need for stimulation for as long as we can imagine and often as a way to perceive a connection with the mystery of life.

The Arts and Drugs.
Although the generally accepted idea today is that contact with drugs (and alcohol) can only be destructive, many artists have contributed countless paintings, books, movies, songs and music under an “influence” of some sort. screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-10-24-16-pmMozart drank an extraordinary amount of punch and wine during his short, genius life, as actors like Robben Williams freely admitted to using cocaine (and being on everything but roller skates) while performing in movies. The Beatles sang about pot and LSD in the Sixties, and one can speculate what songs would have been produced, had they led pious, sober lives. Another great band, The Doobie Brothers, probably also had some knowledge of what a doobie was. Country music is more famous for alcoholic stars, but some like Willie Nelson are known for their fondness of Marijuana. The world of Jazz seem to attracting artists more of a hard-core presuation. Ray Charles, and Charlie Parker come to mind – with their well known addictions to Heroin. Historically speaking several of the founding fathers are rumored to have enjoyed a bowl of “loco-weed” now and then. When Benjamin Franklin floated himself across the village pond pulled by a kite, I personally think he had more than tobacco in his pipe that day. Lately it has also been pointed out to me that the “snuff” used by many aristocrats during the time of the European Renaissance was a mixture of cocaine and tobacco (no wonder the French Revolution took them by surprise). Although fictional, Sherlock Holmes was in today’s terms also a coke-head, exhibiting all the driven, keen behavior typical of a cocaine user. During the 60’es and 70’es many university scientists (some working for the Army) experimented with LSD, and the field of “psychopharmacology” developed at that time. Singer/writer Paul Simon got in hot water for having weed in his limmo during a routine traffic-check, Paul McCartney is said to have divorced over the issue of pot, and do we want to talk about reggae and the Rasta religion?

Two Kinds of Users.
I think users fall into two basic categories: Those wishing to escape, and those on a quest. Those who’s only goal it is to escape a “reality” are easy targets for exploitation, as a drug’s effect is only temporary while the need keeps growing (It is said that the first shot of Heroin or Meth gives a pleasure rush so intense that the user will spend the rest of his/her life trying to duplicate it – and it will actually never happen). If, on the other hand, a drug is used is for the purpose of exploration, the picture may be a little different. It appears to me that users who are motivated by curiosity, rather than need, are less likely to become addicts. A drug like Ecstasy, for instance, was originally developed for intra-personal therapy by a scientists named Alexander Sholgun, who had found a way to mimic what the brain releases naturally when it wants to feel euphoric. Originally a therapist would use the drug to guide couples – typically married, but at an impasse of their relationship – though a journey “of the heart” and often with lasting success. Couples were able to put personality and events aside and see the universality of each other. The remarkable claims about this method was that the insights, lessons learned and connection made did not vanish with the morning light.  Ecstasy was not a substance suited for addiction as we knew it back when, since our bodies needed to reset before taking another “journey”, we couldn’t simply take more of it.  What the kids today call Ecstasy, MDMA, X or Molly does not sound like what we experienced.  We took X as a quiet “deepening of the heart” – the Rave-parties of today would have been the last thing we would want to engage in.  Today’s X must be mixed with Speed and/or other stuff to give someone the idea to dance all night with hundreds of people.

Witch Hunt.
Lately there has been a lot of focus on athletes using drugs to improve their performance. There has been talk about removing suspected users of Steroids from the Hall of Fame (presumably to the Hall of Shame)… Although most would agree we should punish those who had an unfair advantages in sports, should we also ban countless musical compositions and paintings because they were created “under the influence”?

On the surface it seems that society celebrates creative people when we can either ignore our suspicion that they may be “on” something, or if they say they used to but don’t any more… If a person has led a “rough” life, they are considered seasoned and an inspiration to others.

Threat to the public
Since drugs (and alcohol) have been around forever, and the so-called “war on drugs” has not had any success, it would perhaps make sense to pause – and ask a few basic questions such as: Is doing drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and other unhealthy behavior a personal issue or should government get involved?  Most would agree that if a person behaves in a self-destructive way, we would see action be taken, but if there is no direct threat to others, who is best suited for intervention, family/friends or government?

In short I think freedom means the right to figure life out by ourselves, and we have each other to help. Some of us get addicted to credit cards, sex, bad relationships, gambling, sugar or fast food – does this mean that the government should step in before we do more harm to ourselves? Do we want the authorities to protect us from ourselves? Not unless we look to government to also define the reason for living, and this, I think, is the central question regarding drugs:

What do we think life is for?
It seems to me, that if we believe life is a test to do the “right” thing in order to be rewarded at death by a Supreme Being, then the race is on to determine what is right and what is wrong before it’s too late. If life, on the other hand, is an opportunity for a unique experience including personal choice, and there is no “judgment” or “right way” in the eyes of the Universe, then we are each free to choose what kind of experience we want. This doesn’t mean its a good idea to go crazy because there is no one to punish us: It would indeed be our own loss if we found ourselves wasting away on Opium in the slums of Hong Kong, much like if a foolish action left us crippled or stranded on a barren island. Free Will means personal responsibility, and no one to blame but ourselves.creacion_de_adam

Many Christians believe we are all sinners and must repent. Jews were told they were the chosen people and have been isolated by other tribes ever since. Muslims have not yet separated faith from science, something the Christians called Reformation. Buddhists attempt all-acceptance, but are driven out of lands by those tolerating nothing – and Native Indians see all animals, plants, earth, water, fire and sky as connected, but not so modern society. Most faiths attempt to gain access to the unknown by restricting or modifying behaviour and governing thought. Since drugs challenge accepted views of life, they are often regarded at a threat to “tradition”, hence banned as evil.

The down side
of Drugs is that the user often becomes isolated in a personal experience that others can’t relate to, or is caught in either a mental, or chemical dependency. Drug abusers become despondent, listless, and without interests beyond the drug itself. We say that when there are drugs or alcohol involved, the person is not fully able to make good judgments about choices in life and therefore it is a compassionate response to step in and change the situation.
In my view, a well functioning community of friends, family and neighbors is probably better suited for such intervention, rather than laws and government. Little is done to help someone by putting them in jail.

America
was founded on the idea of personal freedom to pursue a life of one’s own choosing. We are allowed to tattoo ourselves from head to toe, eat Twinkies for all our meals, smoke cigarettes non stop and never see a dentist, so why are we are not permitted to alter our minds with any other substance than alcohol?

Personally Speaking,
I grew up during the sixties and had my fair share of various herbs and spices such as Pot, LSD, Mushrooms, and MDMA. I learned a lot and never had a bad experience, but luckily I was never attracted to the hard stuff. Pot helped me better than Prozac and Dextrin during a depressing period of my life, and I still find it helpful to lift the mood and find musical inspiration.  Otherwise I appreciate having a keen mind, living in the same world as those around me and show up on time with all my gear. My friends and loved ones helped me find balance, not the government.

More useful information available from the book: “Hallucionogenic Plants” by Richard Evans Schultes published by Golden Press, NY.

It’s Called Music

Latest insight: The word “Music” (everyone properly knows this), comes from the word “Muse”.
A Muse is a spirit that fills us with inspiration.
When people hear the music they are sometimes (a)Mused.

Mike at studioTo musicians, the art of listening is also the invitation for a spirit to arrive, a Muse to come.
When many are gathered, music focuses energy.
All, who listen expand the field of music.
A musical composition provides the structure for a connection between players, a sort of jungle-jim everyone can climb around in which keeps expanding.
As players learn to step back, play less, but still be present, they do the opposite of what most players do.
Usually when the music gets good, players get louder and play more notes.  They figure if 15 balls on the table is fun, then 20 must be even better.
This is different.  This is listening with instruments.

By stepping back we are creating a vacuum.
A vacuum draws people in.
The sound a musician makes is the witness of his/her presence in the audio field.
Why do people clap their hands an applause?
They want those who they listened to – to hear them say “we are with you”.

You have to be human to hear music.
You don’t have to have a soul to remember – a computer can do that – but you have to be human to hear music.
You also have to human to respond to humor, as well as have compassion for others.
Music, humor and compassion is like a secret handshake between souls, and probably a dead give-away if ever hiding among alternate species.

Many times I now feel this Muse, this presence of presence of more than are physically present.
It is an ecstatic presence.
Music is not the notes, but the space between them.

Mixing music.

Live music mixes in the air. The sound vibrations from the tuba runs headlong into the snare drum.  It’s a midair collision that works out like a tug-of-war for the same set of molecules.

When each instrument uses a separate microphone, and they all come together in a mixer, the collision of sounds happens in an electro-magnetic environment – behaving much like air and so it was done with multitrack recorders and tape many years ago.

Today, when we record digitally – a circuit measures the sound of each instrument – then records the numbers (not the sound). To mix, the computer calculates how the parts would have mixed – according to models, essentially adding and subtracting the measurements.  This means we twice subject music to interpretation.  Personally I trust air more than computers, and in the old vinyl jazz groups you can still hear and feel a room full of musicians all playing at the same time.  In MONO, no less.

If I had the budget , I would record all music live – meaning we all play together at the same time.  I would use a trusted old 24 track Studer with 2 inch tape moving at 15 or 30 ips.  Then I would mix using an analogue mixer, like Neve to a two-track reel-to-reel.  (Real-to-real, one may say)  As a last step I would transfer that master to digital high-fez for the general market, and press a few analogue LPs.  Vinyl records are not only still made, they are pressed with better vinyl (little or no pops) and gaining in popularity. I think I know why.

What do you think?sound11

 

I am fond of pronouncing that there is no Soul in digital sound, but still – when listening to an MP3 of Benny Goodman’s quintet, I feel the presence of the musicians – even from a mono-recording.  Back then it was all live in the same room and a fellow in overalls mixed the recording as they played.  It was live, it was analogue, surviving the digital homogenization.  Can we do the same today?

 

That was music.

 

It’s late, I’m back home again. We played tonight at Randy’s Taproom in Soulvang. It was a sudden gig, but I was glad that Eric Brittain was free, so he came down from Atascadero, and Grace Feldmann came from the other direction, Painted Cave, bringing her Cajon and toys. I’ve got an amazing new keyboard, as close to an acoustic piano as technology allows and we got going when Randy Hennings showed up. I had a Djembee in the car, so the two percussionist sat next to each other. First time all of us played together. It will not be the last.

I never Keys treeknow what the band will sound like, when we play, and usually it’s always good. This time was different. Good, of course, but different. You could hear every note and still there was room for a pin to drop. It was like soup and a roller coasters – or as Grace heard me say, like throwing a snowball through a pine-tree. Solid ground, but effervescent. Notes and sounds of hands was heard, rather than chords, sticks and picks. I sounded so good I sometimes forgot I was playing. What a hoot.

The audience went wild. I can’t tell how many there were.
It was music to my ears.

Thank you.
Let’s do different again.

Time and Music

I believe the game of life is to be in the right place on the right time. I believe there is such a place and there is only one time – now.  When we are in the right place at the right time, there is the chance we have something that is needed and we can be useful.  To be useful is a great joy.

DaliwatchThese days it is cold outside, but each wednesday I go to Solvang to play with a motley crew at the Brewhouse.  It’s officially “open mike”, but it’s more like “jam-night”.  I do all sorts of goofy things, playing drums and organs while Dave Smith sings all the songs I never learned before.  It gets lively, and musicians have come to join for the sake of music alone – as no one gets paid except for Dave (and that’s only a rumour).

Why do musicians play?  I’ve been in many places and there are two reasons that I can see.  Some, have something inside, something they want to say and they use music to express it. That’s cool.  That’s most of succesful stars and shedders in the rock’n roll world. Shoot first, ask questions later would be one way to look at it. Others are seeking someting to be part of, they listen first, then play. They serve music and seek to find that moment when everything is in harmony and they carry their part.

Last Wednesday, the usual outfit of Dave, me, Randy and Danny were augmented by a fellow named Michael and yet another who sat at my keyboard while I took at turn on the mike using Dave’s guitar. It is hard to describe, but this evening all of us were actually listening to each other and somehow I was permitted to steer the ship, to guide the flow.  It is a process unlike directing and telling people what to do. A conductor conducts energy, then pass it on. Many moments were reached that evening where every note could be heard even though 6 people were playing.  Like a moving three-dimentional puzzle, each had their part to contribute, but remained in touch through time. It was music to my ears and I was sorry that the fellow who did an amazing job on my keyboard left before I could tell him thank you.

The evening started out with three people in the audience and 5 big-screen TVs competing for attention, but as time went by people came in and most stayed as long as the music played.  They whooped and hollered and nobody was watching the ballgame for once.

Even in a bar magic can happen. That evening I dubbed the band: “The Too-Good-for-This-Place-Band” Music is illusive but inclusive, a languare we all know, but cannot understand.  Time is precious and music demonstrates that.  A world where everyone enters with different tools, background, ideas and ability, but all that is needed is to listen.

That’s why I play.

Digitally Duped.

 

We have been duped.

I bought it, too.

When digital music first came out, I listened to the silence – no pops, no hiss, no wobble – and I was impressed.
As a musician I had to admit someone had made the world of music better by inventing digital recording.
Perhaps some who read this may not even have heard old analogue records (LPs) in their original format.

[Short summary: Digital audio is to sound what video is to film, where light interacts directly with silver oxides. The digital circuit – on the other hand – looks at electricity vibrating, then measures it over time and writes down the measurements.  When we listen to the digital “recording” another circuit uses those measurement-numbers to construct sound.  In live music your ears (and body) hear from many angles and locations. The details of the dynamic interaction between many sounds in real time is not only extraordinarily complex, it also takes place in 3D. The ear and brain has no problem with it, but particularly in the upper range a digital translator measuring a mere 44,100 times per second is no match for such complexity.  When we sample at higher rates we get better detail of course.  [Personal observation: At 120,000 Hz the hairs on the back of my neck stood up from listening to a recording of single flute.]

Digital music is missing soul because numbers are finite and soul is infinite.  There is no end to soul or spirit.  When  digital music was first invented the technicians thought as follows: The highest vibration humans can hear is about 22,000 Hz/Sec.  If we make measurements for twice that, we should be safe. Hence a typical CD is 44,100 sets of numbers per second.

Who knows how much we hear or perceive?
When a mother sings to a child on her breast, would not a child notice that the blessing of food is also accompanied by a wonderful sound and vibration as the mother’s chest also resonates with her voice.  Real sound is a form of touch and and music connects us.  As fas as senses go, eyes tell us what is “real”, while sound communicates to our emotion.  Life is analogue (except for DNA).  Sound is touch, at high speed. In music the emotion of the player, through  touch of a key or string is felt simultaneously by the audience. When the connection is felt, joy springs out and faces smile together from across a room.  The moment comes into focus as rhythm relaxes and everyone listens.
That is music.
That is music to me.
That will never happen in the digital world.

I am sadly convinced that the quest for technical audio perfection, called Digital Sound is starving us from Soul.

[Note: Perhaps the effects of digital translation it is not so apparent in the visual world.  I am thrilled to see the details in my new computer monitor, Blue Ray is looking as good as CDs looked when it first came out.  “What we see is what is real” we say, but it is perhaps more like “What is real is what we see”.  I believe it takes the presence of a Soul – through Mind – to make something real.

Here’s the thing:
Human beings thrive by contact with each other.
They vane when the become separated.
Would you not agree?

Now notice the Digital world is everywhere:
TV screens, cameras, recorders, Iphones, videogames, CDs, DVDs, our cellphones, even home-phones are now digital.
Except for when we are physically together, we don’t hear the sound of each other when we talk, We hear a circuit’s description of the sounds we make.  As we move forward I can see us all being pixilated, becoming interactive programs – ghosts haunting the halls of the World Wide Net forever.

Mixing at Capitol Records, Hollywood.

Still with me?  Digital music is easy to transport, cut, splice, turn upside down and store on a disk and I work with it every day. As artists we can see if we can break through the membrane.  Digital sound can fool us “enough” when melodic sounds are played.  Acoustic piano, bells, horns, bass and drums seem to be easiest to listen to, while sharp treble-rich instruments like violins, shakers, cymbals, steel-stringed guitars – are hard to record well to Digital.  But the best example I can think of to demonstrate the shortcomings of pure data, is this: Take any recording with good dynamic range, such as a rock band or even a symphony orchestra. Listen to the beauty and sound of the individual instruments during the soft passages, then listen to the loud sections and notice that you cannot hear the individual instruments any more.  In the sixties Motown became famous for their “Wall of Sound”, but today your would not be able to pile so much complexity into a recording.  Distortion from a live rock-guitar is fun, in digital-land distortion is brutal.  Everything comes out in 90 degrees and straight lines.  [Nature abhors straight lines, although ants from what I’ve seen are happy to make a gardenhose on my lawn into their personal freeway.  I digress.]

Digital is a description of an event expressed by a machine.  Old analogue records and live performances was an organic imprint of the sound itself, from one natural element to another.  In the case of vinyl records: The process starts with air compressing a capsule, resulting in an alternating current,  which is amplified to move a needle, which carves a groove on a rotating vinyl disk. Each step along the way is an organic real-life event.  If we were to aim a microscope on a picture of the complex waveform of this type it would keep being nuanced and complex even if measured over a millionth of a second.  A digital CD recording disregards any details beyond 44,100 samples per second.

We humans are far more sensitive to sound than we think.  We perceive much more than we comprehend. I recommend more live music, birds and wind in the trees for everyone.
We cannot translate soul into numbers, thus I think there is now a Digital Membrane isolating most of us from each other.  In that domain I believe we hear each other but do not connect well.

We have been duped to eating the menu and not the meal.

What the world needs now…

As I came back from a great Wednesday-evening of jamming in Solvang Brew House it became clear to me that music contains the essence of what the world needs now.  There is no music without listeners, and we don’t need any more big ideas or solutions, we just need to listen.  Not just to each other, but to ourselves as well.  Speaking with some travelers in the audience I remarked that being a traveller was a wonderful journey into learning to trust and listen to our own instincts.  We then find our path to the right places and people.

In Music the key is to listen, then you can find your melody.

In Life the trick is to notice the signs and be guided to the right places at the right times.

In politics the leaders now need to listen to it’s people.
Life can be a symphony with the right conductor.
What does a conductor do?
My grandfather was the conductor of a symphony orchestra.Symphony Orchestra
Tonight I felt his spirit, along with Dave, Randy, Michael, Karen, Dan, Paula and an unnamed girl from North Carolina.

It was music to my ears.
Thank you.

New music just in.

Lately I have been recording a lot of acoustic grand piano.

There is nothing like a well tuned grand piano.
It is my church.

The music is composed as the recorder was on and no pre-existing compositions were used. Piano Shots0006 HarpGlow

 

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Listen with headphones if you can.  It’s a little different.

Credo

The way I see it is that all of life is a miracle, and as I study what scientists come up with, every detail of our natural universe bears witness of an intelligence so vast our brains are no match to comprehend even the coattails of it.  We are mortals with abilities tailored to see a particular perspective. Our bodies and minds will perish but our Soul will not.

While I have no rush to get to the end of life, nor to know who/what is the source of it all, I am interested in knowing the way in which things work.  I figure that I do not need to know how gravity works any more than knowing how a transmission in a car functions – in order to use it.  I do not need to monitor the billions of processes that occur at any moment in order to give me a body to live in, and neither do I need to know what happens after we die.  I am here for now and wish to experience life of a human being as fully as possible.

AUT_0037I believe life is a sort-of game we have chosen to participate in. We have limitations based on a shared belief system, but probably have a lot more power than we will ever know. Words have power, thoughts focus energy – and we have free will to create our own reality.  As far as the super-being we call God keeping an eye on us – I do not think such a being has a predestined plan for each of us.  Life is a game where we have limited knowledge but free will to act.  We have free will to create a joyful or miserable experience here on Earth and Great Mystery does not judge us, nor punish us for bad behavior. Religions that believe in “sin” or say to be  “God-fearing”  seem illogical to me.  Why would I fear something which which created the entire universe including me.  Something that propels each molecule to exist in the Universe?  I used to say, If God had wanted me to do everything right  – He/She/It/We/They would have fired me a long time ago.

Even the ideas of “Karma” seem a bit skewed to me:  If I am presented with a choice and opt for playing small or petty I will live through the consequences of that choice.  There will be no victory dance, no hero’s welcome, nor joy to share with others when taking the lesser road.  The punishment for stealing, is time spent feeling like a thief.  Unearned victories are seldom celebrated.  The “sin” that some religions speak of, is a word meaning to “fall short” – as it was used in Roman times in Archery, from what I’ve heard.  To me it means that if you don’t jump into the burning building to save the baby, there is no punishment from the universe even if the baby dies.  The flames provide a temporary opening for the path of a hero – and with it an indescribable experience, but it is only a potential and if you fall short it is simply a lesser experience. No Karma is being kept track of, like Santa Clause or TRW.  The Universe has no ax to grind.  “Fate” is being in the right place at the right time, but there is no price to pay if we are not, or do not measure up.

I believe our free will even extends through death and some may indeed experience the white tunnel, relatives waiting – while others could create a version of Purgatory, Heaven and Hell on the other side.  Hopefully some angels are standing by to intervene in such cases, but I think we still will govern our own soul’s journey – even from other dimensions. We can choose our next adventure, such as living another life – or coming back as a tree, grasshopper or seagull.

Many scientist say the entire Universe is simply a thought.  I believe the thought is “I exist”.  Science has long been looking for something solid, but it appears there is nothing solid here at all.  First the distance between a nucleus and it’s first electron can be compared to a raisin orbiting an apple, at a 10 miles radius – at the speed of light.  Then Molecules become particles, particles become plusses and minuses – that come from nowhere and disappear without a trace. We are in a reality-dream that can only exist because of what we call Time.  Time creates distance. Without time reality does not exist.  – That’s how far science can take me – and I’ve heard that is what the movie “The Theory of Everything” is all about.

To me, it seems logical that if a vast intelligence have created me they/he/she/it/we – were either not paying attention, or they created everything – including me – on purpose. If they weren’t paying attention they may not even know we exist – in which case we can go on living, perhaps like barnacles on a ship, but if we were created as a deliberate act, maybe they/he/she/it/we is/are still on our side. It’s a chance worth taking and I believe talking to a bush is just as good as talking to a cross in a church. We seem to be heard and responded to in a myriad of ways and I have no idea how or why.

The question many people often ask God is: “What is the meaning of life?” – but is not a fair question.  We were given free will and it is the Creator’s question to us:  “What gives your life meaning?”

For me it’s gotta be music.