Written by Patricia R. Spadaro
The mystical traditions of East and West tell us that the key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe is sound. In fact, they say that sound is the very fount from which our universe arises. It is the primordial First Cause. It is responsible for creating, sustaining and transforming all life and all matter. Sound, simply put, is the organizing and integrating impulse behind everything.
The ancient mystics of the East taught that different sounds form different patterns, creating the endless variety of shapes, sizes and densities that are manifest all around us. They also saw sound as a power that could be harnessed to create positive change. The Hindu and Buddhist sages, for example, repeated specific sound formulas, or mantras, to bring about a host of powerful effects, both external and internal. They taught that by reciting mantras to a specific deity, we can create within our consciousness the same vibration as that deity. In essence, they saw the sacred words of the mantra as conduits that would bring spiritual energies into the world.
Likewise, the Jewish mystics known as Kabbalists taught that the Divine Word, the speech of God, creates and sustains both the heavens and the earth. Again, they believed that the various objects in our universe are different because a specific and unique combination of letters of sacred speech sustains each one. And, like their Eastern counterparts, some Kabbalists taught that when a devotee calls upon one of the names of God, the specific influence associated with that name is released.
The Power of the Divine Voice
The power of the divine sound is also a theme in other Jewish as well as Christian traditions. Genesis tells us that creation began when God spoke the words, “Let there be light.” Echoing the immortal words of the Hindu Vedas “In the beginning was Brahman with whom was Vak, or the Word, and the Word is Brahman,” the Gospel of John also says that sound is the author of all things: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….All things were made by him.”
Another Christian text, the Gnostic manuscript called Trimorphic Protennoia (the “Triple-formed Primal Thought”), describes the awesome powers of speech, pervading all things and latent within each of us. In this text, a divine figure “in the likeness of a female” says, “I am the Invisible One within the All….[I] am the real Voice. I cry out in everyone, and they know that a seed dwells within.”
The Next Frontier in Sound
The ancient masters saw sound as the integrating factor of all life. They also knew what today’s science is just beginning to prove—that when we apply certain sounds to an object or an organism, we can change its condition. Here, at the convergence of ancient spirituality and modern science, is the next frontier in the evolution of sound.
©2002 Patricia R. Spadaro