‘Music takes the poem out of the mind,’ says Linda Hess


Linda H: Music takes me beyond
my normal, mental thinking — it takes me out of my thinking! If I’m lucky. Usually it doesn’t — that’s why
I’m a bad listener, often. But to the extent that I can find
a way to relate to music… ..the way I have with folk music,
especially, and with bhajan… ..then it takes me inside my body. When we were talking about this
the last few days… ..I guess it was in the train… ..about how the musical version of the poem
changes the meaning of the words. Later I wanted to add that maybe
the
most important thing… ..about musically experiencing the verses… ..is that you aren’t just
experiencing with your mind! It’s a bodily experience! It’s totally a bodily experience! That’s it, you know! There’s no experience
of music without that! Bzzzz – it’s vibrating! It’s in your body, it’s in your stomach,
it’s in your chest. Itdoesthings. It’s in your breath. It’s out ofhere. And then that’s another thing,
as you know… ..that makes Kabir extremely
compelling and powerful.. ..is that he keeps taking you
inside the body. He keeps saying,
“In this very body, everything” You asked me a little leading
question yesterday about the Ganga… ..and doesn’t he say that all the pilgrimage
places are inside this body. And… ..he has these quite simple… ..but extremely powerful uses
of the imagery of yoga. The basic images of thenaadis
(energy channels). The 3 naadis:ida, pingla, sushumna
(left, right and central channels). And the chakras — though he rarely,
in my experience, uses the word ‘chakra’. He’ll use some word for lotus. But he evokes some energy
movement in the body which…. ..has to do with getting out of
the right and left channels… ..which we live in, which is ‘samsara’… ..which is birth and death. That is, right-left… ..sun-moon, Ganga-Yamuna,
ida-pingla
, birth-death… ..yes-no, all the dualities. That’s the only way that
our mind can function… ..through pairs of opposites. Shabnam V: Good-bad. Linda H: Yeah. Inner-outer.
Higher-lower. Paap-punya
(Sin-virtue). So… ..he frequently evokes this
bodily experience… ..that is energy. Why do I say energy?
Because… Because it culminates in
thegagan-mandal(sky-dome). He always talks aboutgagan-mandal. I’m no expert on yogic terminology,
but this is pretty basic… ..which is up here. And… The sky-dome is filled with light Some huge… flooding with light. And then he talks frequently
in the poems and the tradition… ..about how everything is in your body. Everything. And he’ll catalogue everything. Everything you’re looking for, especially. Music, for me… ..and in this way
I often don’t exactly… ..I’m not in sync with
a lot of the gurus… ..who talk about Kabir and
spirituality in India… ..because they’re always
putting down the body. They want to get away from the body,
and ‘sense-attachments’ — that’s what the body means. Of course, then it gets worse. Naari…
(woman) Maya-roopi-naari, that is, the woman is
also associated with the body, and all that. But for me the escape from
the mind is the body! That is, a full body experience
in which you… So music is immensely poweful for that. Because it’s also an energy experience. And when the words start occupying your
stomach instead of your cerebral cortex… Wow! That’s very helpful! Complete transformation in
your experience of the so-called poem.

2 thoughts on “‘Music takes the poem out of the mind,’ says Linda Hess

  1. Knowledge of Kabir is far from the truth is simple and is about to make unity in the country in all religions is love simulations and true and holy love
    कबीर का ज्ञान सच्चा है सरल है और सभी धर्मों में पूरे देश में एकता कराने वाला है प्रेम वाला है पाखंडों से दूर है और सत्य है और पवित्र है और प्रेम है

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