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The Alchemy of sound

Workshop presented by Richard D. Saxton It has been said that "knowledge of the Mystery of sound is Knowledge of the Mystery of the entire universe". Everything that exists, on every plane and in every dimension, exists because of vibration. The vibratory rate of a substance or even consiousness itself, determines its expression and manifestation. Not only do we live and move and have our being in vibration, but we communicate and experience the universe by means of vibration. The lost Word or True name of God, is a recuring theme through out ancient civilizations. The concept is that the world came into existance when God spoke the Word. The gospel of John in the Christian Bible starts out like this: "1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The Word was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through It, and without It was not any thing made that was made. 4In the Word was life,a and the life was the light of humanity. " (Next slide) Hazrat Inayat Khan was a Sufi mystic born in the late 19th century. I want to read a quotation from his book "The Mysticism of Sound and Music" concerning this biblical quotation: "Here is a thought, which may be pondered over for years, each time with fresh inspiration. It teaches that the first sign of life that manifested was the audible expression of sound: that is the Word. When we compare this interpretation with the Vedanta philosophy, we find that the two are identical. All down the ages the Yogis and seers of India have worshipped the Sound-God, and around that idea is centered all the mysticism of sound. Not alone among Hindus, but among the seers of the Semitic races the great importance of the word was recognized. The sacred Name, the sacred Word, was always esteemed in the Jewish religion and also in Islam, whose mysticism the West is only beginning to discover. The Zoroastrians, who had their religion given to them long before the time of Buddha or Christ, have always preserved their sacred words. The deeper we dive into the mystery of life the more we find that its whole secret is hidden in what we call words. All occult science, all mystical practices are based upon the science of sound." (next slide)
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The Alchemy of sound

Scientific view of sound For the next few minutes, I want to share with you the incredible power of sound on the physical plane. The science of acoustics is the interdisciplinary science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrsound. It is not concerned with higher vibrations such as electromagnetic waves. Acoustic levitation is a method for suspending matter using intense sound waves. Some methods can levitate objects without creating sound heard by the human ear, while others produce some audible sound. There are many ways of creating this effect, from creating a wave underneath the object and reflecting it back to its source, to using an acrylic glass tank to create a large acoustic field. I want to show you a video of accoustic levitation made by NASA in the late 1980's. It shows styrafoam objects being levitated. (Next slide) (show accoustic levitation video) (20 sec) http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=94KzmB2bI7s The styrafoam objects are in an enclosed box. The only force being used to levitate the styrafoam objects is sound. (next slide) Another aspect of the science of sound is Cymatics, which is the study of sound and vibration made visible on the surface of a plate, diaphragm or membrane. It involves exciting particles such as sand or salt, as well as liquids or pastes under the influence of sound. A violin bow, sound speaker, or other equipment are used to direct sound to a plate or membrane which contains the material to be affected. Then various patterns appear in the material depending on the pitch and other factors of the sound. Let me show you a video demonstrating this effect. (next slide) (Show cymatic experiment video) (2 min) http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=GtiSCBXbHAg

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The Alchemy of sound

The patterns are formed by locations on the plate that are relatively still compared to the rest of the plate. As the frequency of the tone increases, the pattern changes. Thus demonstrating that sound has specifc effects upon matter. This includes our bodies and even our consciousness. As you can see from these two videos, sound is a very powerful force on the physical plane, and by extension, the spiritual plane. (Next slide) Resonance When a person studies sound, one of the first subjects to be encountered is resonance. According to a Wikipedia article, "In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at a greater amplitude at some frequencies than at others. These are known as the system's resonance frequencies. Resonance occurs with all types of vibrations: there is mechanical resonance, acoustic resonance, electromagnetic resonance, and others. Resonant systems can be used to generate vibrations at a specific frequency, such as in musical instruments" Sympathetic resonance is a harmonic phenomenon where a passive string or vibratory body responds to external vibrations with the same frequency. The classic example is demonstrated with two similar tuning-forks of which one is mounted on a wooden box. If the other one is struck and then placed on the box, then muted, the un-struck mounted fork will be heard. In similar fashion, strings will respond to the external vibrations of a tuning-fork when sufficient harmonic relationships exist between them. I'd like to show you this video from youtube. (next slide) (Show tuning fork video) (1:45) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiHOqMOJTH4 You have all heard the phrase "as above, so below". For the rest of this discourse, I am going to relate the use of sound vibrations in its many forms to vibrations of a higher nature, and to how sound and thought can affect our physical, mental, and sprititual health. (next slide)
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The Alchemy of sound

Sound healing Resonance is the fundamental principle of sound healing. Each of our organs has its own ideal frequency at which it resonates. This ideal frequency is known as the prime resonance, and is slightly different for each person. Sound waves, as we have seen, are a powerful source of energy. When exposed to their prime resonance, the organs resonate with and absorb the energy of those sound waves. This resonance reharmonizes the cells that have been imprinted with disruptive frequencies. Entrainment is a subset of resonance. It is the phenomenon in which vibrations of one object changes the vibrations of another object to synchronize with the first. It is also called forced resonance. An example of this is sound waves affecting a bowl of water. (Next Slide) (Show singing bowl of water video) (40 sec) http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=oob8zENYt0g This again shows the power of sound on matter. It also gives us food for thought, since the human body is made up of about 70% water. (next slide) Brainwave entrainment Another example of entrainment is brainwave entrainment or using sound to change the brainwave frequency of the listener. Our brains vibrate with electromagnetic frequencies that can be measured in cycles per second or Hz. It has been noticed by scientists that different brain functions are associated with specific ranges of brainwave frequencies. Delta waves(0.5-3 Hz) occur during deep sleep or unconsiousness. Theta waves(4-7 Hz) occur during sleep and deep meditation. Alpha waves(8-13 Hz) are associated with daydreaming, light meditation, and even just closing your eyes. Beta waves (14-30 Hz) are found during the normal waking state. The higher range of 20-30 Hz is associated with hyperactivity and anxiety. Gamma waves (30-80 Hz) are often found in longtime meditators. They are associated with mystical experiences. (next slide)
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The Alchemy of sound

Brainwave entrainment can be accomplished through monaural beats, binaural beats, or even shamanic drumming. Monaural beats occur when two notes of slightly different frequencies are played together, there is an audible beat that is produced. The number of beats per second matches the diffference in frequency of the two tones. For example, middle C is about 261 Hz. If one tone was 261 Hz and another tone was 271 Hz you would hear ten audible beats per second, even though both tones were steady. By listening to those two tones, it would be possible to entrain your brainwaves to the alpha state. Binaural beats are similar to monaural beats, except they are produced by using stereo headphones while listening to the two steady tones. Binaural beats help to balance the hemisphers of the brain, since it must reconcile the slight difference in frequency of the two tones. Monaural beats on the other hand are nice to use since they don't require headphones. Using monaural or binaural beats can be helpful in attaining a meditive state of mind, just as drumming has been used by shaman and healers for millenia. (next slide) Here is an example of monaural beats: (Play monaural beats?) http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9CZn1MMyFFk&feature=related People who are suseptable to seizures should not listen to binaural beats as they could cause a seizure. (next slide) Octave In music, an octave is the interval between one musical pitch and another with half or double its frequence. The Law of Octaves of sound states that the same note on a different octave has a similar effect as the orignal note. So if we wish to use a note that is out of our vocal range, we can use the same note in a different octave to obtain a similar effect while intoning vowel sounds. In relation to the idea of octaves, the Rosicrucian Order teaches that there is a sort of Cosmic Keyboard or series octaves that starts with the sense of touch, then moves to sound, electromagnetic waves, heat, visible light , thought, and on to infinity. Using the Law of octaves, we can see how vowel sounds intoned on various musical notes can be used to produce sympathetic vibrations of higher octaves in our body, mind and consiousness. Thus we become true spiritual alchemists. (next slide)
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The Alchemy of sound

Alchemy Alchemy deals with the three levels of reality; physical, mental, and spiritual. Or as the alchemists say; Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury. Thus, vowel sounds should be used for physical, mental, and spiritual health, or what Rosicrucians call Harmonium. (Next slide) The Emerald Tablet, one of the most important Alchemical texts, starts out like this: "True, without falsehood, certain, and most veritable. That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing. And just as all things have come from this One thing, through the contemplation of One Mind, so do all created things originate from this One Thing, through Transformation." This one Mind is the Cosmic Mind. The One Thing is what Rosicrucians call Spirit. The Cosmic manifests all things through Spirit by causing it to vibrate at specific rates. The saying "as above, so below" suggests that even as the Cosmic brings all things into manifestation by transforming the vibrations of the One Thing, we too can modify things and our own consciousness through vibration or sound. This is the basis of the Alchemy of sound. The emerald Table continues: "Its father is the Sun; its mother the moon. The Wind carries it in its belly; its nurse is the earth. It is the origin of All, the consecration of the Universe; its inherent Strength is perfected, if it is turned into Earth. Separate the Earth from Fire, the Subtle from the Gross, gently and with great Ingenuity. It rises from Earth to Heaven and descends again to Earth, thereby combining within Itself the powers of both the Above and the Below." Here we are told to separate our consciousness from the world and raise its vibrations to that of the Cosmic Consciousness. But then to return to the Earth plane. The power of expression must manifest on the Earth plane to be useful. The whole purpose of incarnation is to spiritualize matter. Both the subtle and the gross are important for spiritual evolution.

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The Alchemy of sound

Next we were are told: "Thus will you obtain the Glory of the Whole Universe. All Obscurity will be clear to you. This is the great Force of all powers, because it overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates every Solid thing. In this way was the Universe created. From this comes many wondrous Applications, because this is the Pattern". It is saying that by raising your consciousness and bringing back the vibrations of higher consciousness to be applied in your everyday life, you will understand and use the pattern or method of how the universe is being continually created. Importance of resonance Of all the principles of sound, resonance is the most important to mystics. It is through resonance that we direct our lives, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Not only affecting ourselves, but our environment. This can be seen in the law of attraction. Since everything is vibration, we attract things and circumstances into our lives by sympathetic resonance. Our rate of vibration, naturally brings those situations into our lives that harmonize with it. Every cell and organ in our body is a sound resonator. They respond to sound. The various systems in the physical body, as well as, our emotional, mental and spiritual bodies respond to sound. We can stimulate sympathetic vibrations within our body and mind by learning to direct and control our voice and by using various musical instruments. Thus re-establishing harmonium. Although the human ear can hear vibrations from 16 Hz to 20,000 Hz, the body can feel and respond to vibrations that are not heard. This reception and response to vibrations can be sympathetic, or forced resonance. As mentioned before, sympathetic resonance is when two or more things have the same natural rate of vibration. When one vibrates, the other will vibrate in sympathy. Symbolically, a person can be said to resonate with certain ideas, relationships, and circumstances. We have all felt a group rapport with others of like mind and when meditating together or during rituals. This is none other than sympathetic resonance. That is why our group meditations seem to be more powerful than when we meditate alone. (next slide)

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The Alchemy of sound

Forced resonance is when two things have different natural frequencies, and the stronger vibration is transmitted to the weaker. Water, which is both the weakest and strongest force on earth, takes both roles at different times. Thrashing around in a still pool will force a vibration on the water. However, the waves of the ocean will cause boats to rise and fall to the rythm of the ocean. In many way's our consciousness is like water in that it can be sympathetically vibrated but it can also act as a vibrating source of energy to cause sympathetic vibration elsewhere. By taking the advice of the Emerald tablet and raising our consciousness "from Earth to Heaven and descending again to Earth", we thereby combine within ourselve the powers of both the Above and the Below. We resonate with all sound, positive or negative. We need to be aware of the environmental sounds that strengthen us and those that weaken us. We should take some time every day to bath ourselves in uplifting and energizing sound and music to offset the effects of the negative sounds in our environment that we can't control. Using Rosicrucian vowel sounds is a good way to do this. The purpose of intoning vowel sounds is to raise the vibrational pattern of the body and mind to a frequency in harmony with Cosmic Consciousness. Thus allowing our spiritual nature to manifest more fully. Although our voice belongs to the physical body, it is the instrument of our spiritual self. We should use it as a tool to achieve higher consciousness and greater health. Through the use of certain pitches and vowel sounds, we can open ourselves to our master within and to Cosmic conciousness. The higher and stronger our vibrations are, the less we are affected by lower vibrations. That is because of the concept of forced resonance mentioned earlier where the vibrations of the stronger energy systems impinge their vibratory rate on the weaker. In fact, as we raise our vibrations we naturally help raise the vibrations of the rest of humanity. As we raise our vibrations closer to that of divine consciousness, we act as a channel of divine grace to lift the consiousness of others. As Jesus said "If I am raised up, I will draw all people to myself". (next slide) Thoughts, Voice, and Breath There is a strong correlation between our thoughts , voice and breath. Through voice and breath, the mental energy created by our thoughts can be given manifestation. Voice is a manifestation of breath, and breath is life itself. Our voice is our most creative and musical instrument. It has a timber that is distinctly our own. It expresses who we are and how we are feeling.

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The Alchemy of sound

Voice The voice has a tremendous ability to be an instrument of healing and transmutation. Pythagoras recognized the therapeutic power of human voice. He treated diseases by reading poetry. He taught his students that a skillful, well-modulated voice, with beautiful words and a pleasing meter, could restore balance to the body, mind and soul. The voice releases power. It releases it according to our attention and intention. Intention and concentrated thought and visualization provide a matrix for vowel intonations to work. By directing our intonations with thought, we increase their efficacy. Thus, when intoning Rosicrucian Vowel Sounds, we should be aware of the purpose of the vowel sounds. Are they for physical, mental, or spiritual purposes. Are they to be directed to a certain organ, a certain person, or a certain condition? Are they being used to direct constructive energy to a situation, or are they being used to break down negative conditions? The sound of our voice becomes the medium through which our intention is released into the world. Breath Breath is also important to the process of directed esoteric Vowel Sounds. While inhaling, we receive life force that carries our thought or mental image to the subconscious mind, and through it to the intended destination. It can be used for healing and spiritual transmutation. As we intone the vowel sounds, we should hold our breath for a short time, and concentrate on our purpose as we intone the vowel sounds. Thoughts Our thoughts affect the energy of our subtle and physical bodies. The stronger and more focused our thoughts, the stronger the effects. Especially if accompanied with strong emotions. Thoughts mould the Spirit energy that surrounds us. Indeed, thoughts vibrate like sound and color, but in a higher octave. The thought patterns we associate with take on a life of their own and become selfperpetuating. They are a sort of energy pattern. This can work to our benefit or detriment. Its strength is determined by the intensity of our thoughts and the length of time given to those thoughts. They are given added impetus by our emotions and the words we use. The nature of our thoughts determines the frequency at which we vibrate and the color of our aura. The words we use to express thoughts add to their intensity and strength. It's as if speaking our thoughts brings them into manifestation through vibration. Much like in the bible God said "Let there be light". And there was light.
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The Alchemy of sound

Until the lost word was spoken, light was just a concept. The vibration of the Logos made it manifest. I want to end with a quote of Pythagoras. He said: "The price the god's exact for the gift of song is that we become what we sing."

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