Chapter Twenty-seven


Music has a way of helping us find ourselves when we're lost; of helping us reawaken; of helping us rediscover creativity, life, love, and laughter.




DS                The Music Connection

The music connection is profound, isn't it? We find so many of our selves through it. In many respects, I think music in its multitude of forms is the answer to all of humanity's problems. We respond to what we are and potentially can be.

Music awakens us.

SL            Music: A Metaphor For Life Itself

Your recognition that my book Blue Melody contains profundities about life that soar up and beyond the immediate story is a major insight. For me, music is a metaphor for life itself — how we can move from one place in our hearts and minds to another (if we dare to grow); how music can nourish us if we listen to it as a kind of esoteric teacher.

And all of the wisdom I poured into Blue Melody while writing about Tim Buckley and music and me and the lives we lived back then is absolutely intended to be relevant to perceptive readers in the here and now. Every once in a while I dip into the book myself — and often come up impressed at how the insights I brought to the task so often transcend Tim, the era, the music of that time, and the historical trappings. The story becomes a springboard for timeless insights that are vibrant and alive for you and me and others today, this very moment.

Thanks for seeing this quality in Blue Melody and reminding me of it.

MR        Dark Night of the Soul: Courage, There Is No Path

Hello my friend,

I find myself in the midst of a dark night, listening to Johann Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor BWV 903, played by Anthony Newman, because Anthony's performance and Johann's composition are the only music that correspond to my mood at the moment.


There is a secret, you see. Even the gifted ones, perhaps especially the gifted ones, at one time or another find themselves cast into the dark night of the soul, even as they are externally committed to encouraging and helping others while they internally suffer the butchering of their own souls. Jesus found himself there. So did Socrates, Osho, others. Attacked, poisoned, cut, sliced, yet having to help their friends make it through the night.

Incredible strength. . . .


. . . . I speak to you tonight as a star far away in the dark void beyond, somewhere in that vast Milky Way Galaxy, so beautiful and remote above us both and yet an integral extension and fundamental dynamic of each and every one of us.

I speak to you as one who sings his own words to himself as much as to you, as one who is all but done with the struggle against stupidity, madness, the Reagan-Bush world that seems never to go away or even change.

I so admired Osho. In the absolutely catastrophic attack upon his credibility that the neurotic powers of fear wrecked upon him, he did not allow them to destroy him or his sense of responsibility to his people. He did not buckle under the mountain that ultimately killed him. Even in isolation and suffering, he gave leadership and love to the end, crying to himself alone, into the folds of his own pillow. His message: We can be more than we have been told that we are. Because of that message, my friend, they killed him, even as they kill those who to this very day reach up and out to our miserable suffering humanity in an effort to help us awaken from our selfishness and madness.

And so I find myself in the midst of this strange night writing to you across the ocean, hoping you are well, hoping you have not found yourself estranged from me because I celebrate all levels of the spectrum of consciousness; hoping you, too, are there, even as I am, knowing there are valleys to be traversed, even as there are peaks to be celebrated. I find all of them worthy of celebration, peaks, valleys. It all seems to be part of this extraordinary journey, and so, without choosing one over the other, I suffer, yes, and rejoice, yes, and find it all part of immediate, personal, general, transpersonal, cosmic joy.

Might and matter and power and the eternally relative world of competition do not matter. Failure is but the great dignity of having attempted more than is culturally acceptable at the time. All of it, attempts, successes, failures, are flame-tips of the aspiring, exhilarating whole.    

Extraordinary, isn't it?

There ways to enjoy ourselves without fear in the midst of the sorrows and madness. Unattached to success or failure or appearances, we can find ourselves eternally free, healthy, whole and at home within ourselves.    

There are melodies, musics, voices, passions that can venture ahead of us and beckon us onward in courage. Tim did this with Starsailor. Odysseus did this as Homer's hero. Miles Davis did it with Kind of Blue and Agharta. Other artists and mystics and scientists have done it for us in a thousand different ways. Their names are legendary: Buddha, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Socrates, Jesus, Galileo, Gurdjieff, Einstein, Heisenberg, Osho, Krishnamurti, dozens of others. And I can't even begin to list the composers, musicians, and heartsongs — Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Penderecki, Gorecki, innovative jazzers, visionary Spacemusicians.

There is no path. These and so many other wondrous people point the way toward freedom, but the journey itself must be embraced with solitary courage. Even as they did, so do we create our paths as we walk them. Our brothers and sisters of the past speak to us from their own lives, and their own lives speak to us from humanity's future. Do you see how they sing from the best of our tomorrows? We are free to leap and fly as we might and will. They are there as compatriots, leaders, guides, confidants. They raise the questions. Dare we follow our bravest answers?


And so, my friend, out of the depths of the night I write to you. How strange it is, is it not? The you of you, the me of you, the transcendental transpersonal unity of it all.

Keep on keepin' on,


JB                An Oasis of Quietude

Hope you continue to enjoy Gathering Light, my third and final recording. I have re-listened a few times and can feel it in a more direct way now — "Oh, yeah, I remember this tune or this melody or this sweet spot. Really nice."

If anyone were to misjudge the CD as technically uninteresting, I would protest that I was not striving for speedy technical busyness or for complex harmonic relationships. No egoic prancing here. Not attempting to appeal to intellectual needs, values, perspectives. I don't have anything to brag about. Not trying to impress anybody with "chops."

Just wanted to share some mind-states that touch me, and hopefully can touch other receptive listeners. It's not necessarily "emotional," either. Just ways of psycho-sonically moving inward, into mind-zone cloud-driftings that have virtually nothing to do with familiar ways of playing. Just a place to hang out when the going gets rough. An oasis of quietude.

I appreciate the presence you brought to your listening; I think the imagery you noted for each tune was in accord with the moods and modes of each piece. Thanks, ol' buddy.

AP             Hesse: Music and the Starry Sky

As I write these words, I am reminded of Hermann Hesse’s Magister Ludi who says to a questioning friend late one evening as he sits down to play a Purcell sonata before saying good night, “Even in the life of a Magister there are doubts, disappointments, despairs, and dangerous passions. But now I want you to take an ear filled with music to bed with you. A glance into the starry sky and an ear filled with music is a better prelude to sleep than all your sedatives.”