The Importance of Music and Saint Cecilia

I am increasingly alarmed,  and at a personal level much disheartened by the attacks on music, and banning of it,  within some forms of Islam.  (Sufism excepted). One must also not forget that music was virtually banned in the UK by Cromwell  (a Christian Puritan) who was the military dictator of England between 1649 to 1658 (approx dates).  This was the only time there has not been a Monarch in the UK in over a thousand years. Cromwell was the leading  signatory of the King’s execution document,  and then went after  music loving Catholics as if they were vermin.   It seems that religious fanaticism, be it Islamic or Christian,  has a major psychological problem with music of all forms. (There might be a good thesis on this for someone who is interested in the fanatical  psychology of anti-musicians!)

According to legend, Saint Cecilia was a woman of Roman birth who lived in England,  and who was martyred for her Christian faith around the year 230 AD. Having resolved to live celibately,  a crisis occurred when, without her consent, Cecilia’s father betrothed her to a certain Valerian. The wedding day arrived and whilst instruments were playing, Cecilia inspired by the music,  sung in her heart to God alone.  On their wedding night Cecilia told her new husband of her devotion to chastity and this was respected.

Cecilia’s devotion entranced  her husband, and together, they spoke their faith,  until they were captured and executed for their Christianity. . Cecilia was arrested after her husband’s execution, refused to renounce her religion,  and was condemned to death by three blows to the neck. Cecilia remained alive for three days, during which time she gave all her possessions to the poor.


In 1683,   to their credit the founders of the UK Musical Society,  specifically to counteract the Puritan view that music, whether sacred or secular, was dangerous fare, started their work.  –  for it was an opinion that had  strongly survived Cromwell that music was of the devil. .  In remembrance of that event in 1683, and  to keep St Cecilia’s Day, a sermon is now preached in defence of cathedral music,  and an Anthem newly written every year for the Festival,  and performed at St Brides.. The composer at the first Festival was Purcell.

In the middle of the war against fascism, in 1942 , Benjamin Britten, whose birthday was on St Cecilia’s Day, revived the practice of composing an Ode in honour of St Cecilia.  Since then, the Musicians Benevolent Fund has organised the Festival to give thanks for,  and celebrate music and musicians.

I always felt in touch with music my whole life, though not  a musician. I felt very in touch with it during the heights of sannyas, and remain moved that I was part of something that so embraced it.  I also feel very grateful to have been born in these Isles that gave short shrift to fanatical puritanism….



This entry was posted in Discussion. Bookmark the permalink.

113 Responses to The Importance of Music and Saint Cecilia

  1. Arpana says:

    Listening for Alma Cogan on the radio.
    Singing along to ‘Look for the hero inside yourself’ which was playing on the radio, with seven year-old Scotty,
    my closest friend’s youngest. Our joint favourite song of the time.
    D & T calling me from Australia because Leonard Cohen had died.
    So many connections because of music.

    Thanks for the reminder, Big P.

    • kusum says:

      “Music can be understood only by those who have a musical ear. And those who have a musical ear should think themselves fortunate because beyond music, just one step more, they enter the world of meditation, silence. Silence is the ultimate music.”

  2. Klaus says:

    This is my alltime favorite Qawwali:
    Qari Saeed Chisti – Dama Dam Mast Qalander

    Qari Saeed Chisti has also been killed for singing out loud his love to God.

    Love the Sufis. Love their realisation. Love the open heart with no boundaries.

    Thanks to Bhagwan for the freedom of the celebration times!
    Music leads us to God directly. Or?

    Thanks, Parmartha, for bringing this to attention.

  3. shantam prem says:

    Maybe Parmartha and others are unaware, Osho music is prohibited at Osho Resort.

    • Parmartha says:

      Misleading, Shantam.

      Music is there, just not the ‘historical’ music. It’s OI’s choice, and they put loads of work into the Resort, so, as far as I am concerned they can choose what music they themselves like and that they feel is in keeping with the development of the place.

      The early music is widely available elsewhere, but you don’t seem to want to hear it or partake in it, other than in 12 acres of an old English Raj part of Poona! Available also on sannyaswiki.

      As Osho once said, it is no good always looking in the rear view mirror, you will never be able to be in the present…!

      • shantam prem says:

        Parmartha, you are sometime one of those Islamic intellectuals who see no harm in their religious hierarchy, like those Hindus who see everything fine in their temples. Your choice, my dear friend.

        Anyway, it needs courage too to defend those who are too strong to need any defence. Few people like to stand for upper dogs!

  4. Parmartha says:

    Sufis were attacked, and some murdered and injured in Pakistan three days ago whilst they were singing and dancing around a shrine…This is the madness of extremist Islamist religion.

    See the link.

    Just people ‘enjoying’ themselves and coming thereby into ordinary ecstasy, seems to press unconscious buttons in these fanatics, that lead them to murder fellow human beings.

    • Klaus says:

      Here is a video of the place – shrine of Hazrat Lal Shabaz Qalander in Serwan, Pakistan:

      Comment is in Urdu, I guess. But lovely pictures – In my eyes! – of the devotion of the visitors and pictures of the grave of the man.

    • shantam prem says:

      Britain´s leftists can go on treating these people with love, matter of the fact is, without highest security possible, Brighton´s Pier would have already been in the same line as Dargah (Samadhi) of Suffi Peer (mystic).

      I will feel very happy when Tao gets complete and world forces tell to Islamic Countries, “You can choose any religion but must renounce Islam. If not, get bombarded.”

      Call it nature´s way, these countries can make only swords and suicide

  5. dominic says:

    Islam is poison. Sufism is sweet poison.

    Music is ‘haram’ in the koran, forbidden, as is dancing, alcohol, human depiction etc., not just extremist but a mainstream part of its hateful ideology.

    Islam views Sufis as extremists in that case. Sufism is a broad church but we have been fed its Osho-lite new age version. Sufism supported the brutal islamic conquest of India and its mass slaughter.

    It is a constant politically correct refrain and false equivalence, to compare extremist Islam, which is just ‘Islam’ following the barbaric edicts of its paedo-prophet, with extreme localised puritan Christianity from the more distant past. There is no core violence and totalitarian supremacism to be found in other religious teachings approaching that of Islam.

    Music (good music!) speaks to the heart, body, and soul, which threatens the total control of Islam’s collective brainwashing.

    I have enjoyed qawwali music and sufi singing and dance, but let’s not be too naive and overly romanticise it’s dark heritage.

    • Klaus says:

      True history. Fully agreed.

      However, I would not suggest to anyone to “choose a religion”.

      What I would suggest is to try the various meditations – and feel where there is the benefit of progress. If not suitable, no progress, just dogma – than change it – swap it – or drop it. The power of discernment is developed.

      Tao fulfilled? That would be wonderful.

      • Klaus says:

        Very heated comments on the article there. Lots of agendas in my view.

        One commenter states:
        “We must not forget to differentiate between the fake holy ones – and the real holy ones.”

        On all sides: now that is difficult.

        • frank says:

          Klaus says: “I would not suggest to anyone to “choose a religion. What I would suggest is to try the various meditations – and feel where there is the benefit of progress. If not suitable, no progress, just dogma – than change it – swap it – or drop it. The power of discernment is developed.”

          Yes, but if you are born into a Muslim background what chance do you actually have to do the above?

          • Klaus says:

            True enough, Frank!
            Possibly also true for Hindus in (rural) India, Buddhists in (rural) Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, or Christians born in Germany and marrying in the sixties (like my parents).

            For us not so early lucky-borns in the West it is like a split-second away to make a new step. Still, not everyone is trying.

            I remember an interviewer in the U.S.A. asking Bhagwan:
            “So how come you have 90 Rolls Royces – and I have none?”
            “Easy: Because you are not the Blessed One.”

            In the Buddhist context one might say that it takes or needs several favourite conditions for things to come true.

            I know people born in rural Bangladesh with lots of peer pressure and relatives and neighbours checking on everything. Still, some persons went to India, Bodhgaya, to sit under the Buddha tree and meditate and to Bali to take part in Hindu rituals and next came to Germany and participated in dynamic meditations plus the also interesting après-meditations…

            Saudi Arab or Yemen or Sudan or – you name it – are certainly difficult harsh outside conditions.

            But there are also the lucky ones who progress on the patch “they were born into”:


    • dominic says:

      Most Sufis are also devout Muslims.
      Rumi, the most famous of all, has been de-islamized in the West by various interpreters, but he was a Sunni scholar and Shariah judge by profession. For all the talk of ‘love’, he used his son and daughter to his advantage.

      First. he married off his son to gain influence, then…
      “Rumi decides to legitimise Shams’s presence in his home and uses the same tactic as with the goldsmith, he marries his very young stepdaughter Keemia (alchemy) to Shams. Keemia was around the age of 13 at the time. It is said that Shams for the first time falls in love. This must have been a truly memorable moment in his life–not only being with his chosen student, but also being married to his student’s early-teens daughter. The situation in the household quiets down during this time, after all Shams was now a relative.

      A few months later, due to illness caused probably by grief and depression Keemia dies, and with that comes the end of Shams’s and Rumi’s companionship…. I believe that Rumi’s youngest son who had special closeness to Keemia, committed honour killing on Shams for causing the death of Keemia. Rumi should have expected this when he forced-marry his precious teenage daughter to someone of Shams’s personality type (pretty rough by all accounts) and old age.”

      Perhaps he was merely pimping in the tradition of this paedo-religion’s founder, who took to bed his favourite wife (one of many), Aisha, at the age of nine.

      • Parmartha says:

        I find your Rumi post sophist, Dominic.

        Rumi was not mentioned by me or anyone else here, and he was not a musician. For some reason you introduced him because you think you have some ‘dirty’ on him.

        You must know, however, that there is no real history of those times: his friendship with Shams, etc. has been variously described… as even your source states:
        “One story reveals that Shams leaves Rumi and becomes the wandering, wild bird that he was. Another places Shams in the hands of Rumi’s youngest son and Keemia’s stepbrother, to die for ruining Rumi’s pristine reputation. Another attributes Shams’ disappearance to a successful assassination attempt for religious blasphemy. Yet another story places Shams in India, as an inspiration for a few spiritual figures at the time.”
        Four different stories, and maybe all wrong given the time that has elapsed.

        People feel close to Rumi because he certainly did undergo a transformation from being a priest and koranic scholar, and becoming a dancer and poet.

        Methinks you need to find more discrimination, in the widest sense.

        • dominic says:

          Not true Parmartha, sophistry back at you!

          You are selectively quoting from the passage that follows mine, in which Shams’s ultimate fate is unknown, to make the point that you can’t know anything for sure about Rumi, when there seems to be consensus that he married early teen Keemia off to Shams (age 60).

          The author and Rumi scholar rightly distinguishes what we know and don’t know, and he loves Rumi, but is not afraid to shy away from some unpalatable truths. But you claim as certainty that, “People feel close to Rumi because he certainly did undergo a transformation form being a priest and koranic scholar, and becoming a dancer and poet” because it fits with your agenda.

          You want to have it both ways, notwithstanding you only know Rumi through his western interpreters and their poetic licence.

          You brought up the Sufis, and Rumi is their poster boy…”Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God”. I also swallowed the idealisation of him and the Sufis, until recently when I read this.

          I think it’s salutary for people to know ‘facts’ about common spiritual heroes, to arrive at a balanced view, have an informed opinion and not get stuck in romantic projections, at least I find it helpful. Not saying I’m right, and some people might not care whatever their heroes do, or simply prefer not to know, because the cognitive dissonance is too much to handle!

          Nor do I have a clue what your last sentence means, except that it carries the tone of a stuffy schoolmaster… but that’s ok :)

          • Parmartha says:

            I don’t accept your “fact”, Dominic, it is just a conjecture of Shahram Shiva. I have never seen this view canvassed by anyone other than him.

            • frank says:

              Long before reading this stuff about Rumi and his family arrangements (which sound like a medieval Islamic episode of ‘Shameless’) and having read a lot of Rumi translations, I have always had the feeling that there is a charge of homo-eroticism about the whole Shams story.

              ‘Divine love’ crops up in some odd places when people aren`t free, and these medieval characters were still labouring under ‘chastity’ and ‘sacrifice’ and women as chattels and all the rest of it – and love was anything but free for them.

              “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
              and rightdoing there is a field.
              I’ll meet you there.
              When the soul lies down in that grass
              the world is too full to talk about.”
              Wrote Rumi.

              How do you know that that isn`t an ode to cruising, dogging or an illicit encounter passed off as mystic poetry?
              It could well be.

              • Arpana says:

                I think this remark is revealing a lot about what you get up to in your spare time, rather than anything about Rumi.

              • dominic says:

                Bugger me, you’re on to something here Frank!

                Was Rumi being pierced by other than divine love or mystical frottage? There’s websites dedicated to this enquiry. Andrew Harvey and the lgbtq(vxyz) community are all over it.

                After Shams ‘disappeared’ (perhaps murdered by a jealous male, rumour has it) he formed other close bonds with males, the womenfolk don’t seem to feature much at all.

                “One night—in their room — on December 5, 1248, as they embraced with communicative fervour, Shams went to the back door where he’d heard a knock. He never returned to that room where his beloved waited, and, tragically, was never seen again.
                It is believed that Shams was murdered by a jealous rival.”

                After that…
                “A second great love entered Rumi’s life, a goldsmith, Saladin Zarkub. Rumi then addressed his poetry to this man with a tender intensity.
                But Saladin died too and Rumi took a third lover, Husam, claiming that he understood the “secret order” of the Mathnawi”

                How much is the burning and yearning in Rumi’s poetry thinly suppressed homoeroticism and a forbidden fruit, punishable by death?

                • frank says:

                  To paraphrase the poet himself:
                  It really does seem that the lovers were in each other all along!

                  The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was probably a massive double-bluff, too:
                  Drinking wine as a metaphor for the divine but really about drinking wine and whatever else went on in the tavern.

                  Personally, I don`t need to mythologise these dudes. They were men of their time, clearly.
                  Whatever they were into, they created some good verses (judging by the translations).

                  Ultimately, anyone claiming that any poetry is “holy” in any way is going to leave a shadow.

                • dominic says:

                  Fairynuff, Frank, but I can’t unread that line now, about lovers being in each other all along, without thinking it’s more holey than holy!

                  Also, Rumi was in the legal profession like his dad. Just saying…maybe some things don’t change…;)

                  While we’re at it, let’s throw Kahlil Gibran under the bus…
                  “a gambler and alcoholic, a womanising liar who sunk into alcoholism and self-destruction, apparently unable himself to benefit from his own wisdom.”
                  He died at 48 from cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.

            • dominic says:

              Google is your friend, P!

              I can’t say it with 100% certainty but it seems common knowledge rather than a one-off by Shahram Shiva, a 30 year Rumi lover and scholar. Some commentators put a different spin on it, in the same way that it must have been a great honour for a nine year-old girl to get wedded and bedded by Mwa-ha-ha-med (much more of a recorded fact!).

              Shams was an old rough character by all accounts, no Prince Charming and unlikely to turn the head of a young girl. There’s also a novel about her life. Here’s another link. How many would you like?

              And Rumi was first and foremost, like most sufis, a devout muslim…(from his wikipedia page):
              “Rumi states:
              I am the servant of the Qur’an as long as I have life.
              I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen one.
              If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings,
              I am quit of him and outraged by these words.[73]

              Rumi also states:
              “I “sewed” my two eyes shut from [desires for] this world and the next – this I learned from Muhammad.”[74]

              On the first page of the Masnavi, Rumi states:
              “Hadha kitâbu ‘l- mathnawîy wa huwa uSûlu uSûli uSûli ‘d-dîn wa kashshâfu ‘l-qur’ân.”
              “This is the book of the Masnavi, and it is the roots of the roots of the roots of the (Islamic) Religion and it is the Explainer of the Qur’ân.”[75]

              Seyyed Hossein Nasr states:
              One of the greatest living authorities on Rûmî in Persia today, Hâdî Hâ’irî, has shown in an unpublished work that some 6,000 verses of the Dîwân and the Mathnawî are practically direct translations of Qur’ânic verses into Persian poetry.[76]

              Rumi states in his Dīwān:
              “The Sufi is hanging on to Muhammad, like Abu Bakr.[77]
              His Masnavi contains anecdotes and stories derived largely from the Quran and the hadith, as well as everyday tales.”

              Now I think the Koran is hateful garbage and its originator a mass-murdering barbarian whose directive is to enforce Islam on the rest of the world. As happened in the Middle East, in Spain, Constantinople, India, all the no-go areas now in Europe and anywhere it spreads itself. Coleman Barks (as his interpreter) has just beautified something whose foundation is really quite ugly.

              • Parmartha says:

                The best biography of Rumi is Franklin Lewis. Try that.

                Frank comes closer to some unspoken truths; of course homosexuality was much disguised in those societies. There was certainly love between men such as Rumi and at least three partners, including Shams.

                I think it very odd to criticise Rumi, or anyone else living in Konya in the 2nd century for being a Muslim.

                This discussion, by the way, is a long way off-topic….

                • frank says:

                  Yes,if you read between the lines, the guy was obviously camper than a row of bedouin tents.

                  Shagging some scruffy old bloke who sounds like a dead ringer for Albert Steptoe -
                  Pretty desperate!

                  I heard that one of the jokes doing the rounds in Konya in those days was:

                  Q: What does Rumi do for foreplay?
                  A: Tickles the goat under the chin.

                • Parmartha says:

                  This is a translation by Dominic’s hero, Shahram Shiva, who has for years, including though the Huffington Post, been trying to make a name for himself built actually on Rumi. It strikes me that someone who has said what is translated below is not a conventional or extreme cultural Muslim, though clearly at some points Mr Shiva does often argue this. My own feeling is that he does this to provoke controversy to sell his own books and music, etc.

                • dominic says:

                  I have no interest in Shahram Shiva, Parmartha, apart from the controversial biographical information surrounding Rumi.

                  So maybe Rumi was deeply conflicted. One minute a laissez-faire mystical trailblazer, the next the eulogiser of a misogynistic paedo-psychopath and his barbaric cult. For a balanced view you would have to include all of his verse, and not just the westernised translations.

                  Frankly, I don’t really care that much; if it makes you happy, enjoy it.

          • Tan says:

            Dom, you say: “it’s salutary for people to know facts about common spiritual heroes.”

            You are so right. We always project something on the “heroes”, and I am very grateful to Osho for trying to do exactly what you said. Cheers!

            • Klaus says:

              By “facts” are we now accepting ‘worldly facts’ as the basis and centre of the discussion?

              What do we know about the spiritual?
              Only inherently peaceful Buddhists can be enlightened? Tibetans, 700 years later in the next rebirth? Zen? Vipassana? Or is there any potential on other paths? Muslims all certainly are already in hell as their ideology is violent?

              Is there in our age any chance to arrive on the ‘no-path’ directly without any (meditation, prayer, sadhana, teacher, guru, friend, psychoanalysis?) Experience? Knowing for ourselves what gets us to heaven or at least out of hell?

            • dominic says:

              Yes Tan, we loved it when Osho took apart Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and the rest.

              We should all keep going with that, reclaim our projections, unpack our illusions and cultivate a healthy scepticism, especially with the help of the internet today.

    • Parmartha says:

      Thanks for your contribution, Dominic. Good to see you here again.

      I think if you review the full history of Sufism you will see a lot of Sufis martyred both in history and in present time by conventional Islam. It is a slightly mixed picture maybe, but not as you would have it. For example, what about Mansur?:

      I still would claim that music gets deeply under the skin of many extremists (generally) and this is not restricted to Islam alone. The German Nazis for example are not so long ago, but look at their treatment of Jazz musicians.

      In fact, right wing organisations generally often only have approval for martial music, and to me such music does not fit, I suspect, within your own definition of “good” music.

      • dominic says:

        Muslim in-fighting and slaughtering is par for the course, whether attacks on Sufis as a minority, or Sunni vs. Shia etc. The inherent violence of its ideology is bound to act out. Mansur, perhaps a combination of mystic and mentally deranged, clearly had a death wish but was still a ‘true believer’, his last words being a koranic verse. Christians were ‘martyred’ for similar deviations in the past.

        Music may soften the heart, but can also be used to indoctrinate, go to war, promote one’s fondness for guns, gold chains and hoes, self-numb with electronic beats or enjoy some classical while firing up the ovens. Osho music was mostly a pleasant, even ecstatic emotional experience, but as with all ‘devotional cults’ had an element of a psy-ops too. Bathing in warm, feel good oceans of devotion bonds us with the collective, and temporarily switches off critical faculties.

        Right-wing or left-wing thinking, consciously or unconsciously, inevitably produces music to promote its world view. Whether of the not so subtle martial music, or the more subtle new-agey lefty greeney we are all one and must all love each other variety.

        Music was very popular in German concentration camps, including Jazz, while all that nasty stuff was going on underneath. Music was very popular at the Ranch in Oregon, while all that nasty stuff was going on underneath…
        As for today, I don’t know where you get the idea that “right wing organisations generally often only have approval for martial music” (sources please). Again, if it is the case it is a small and false equivalence, compared to Islam which has banned music in perpetuity.

        • Klaus says:

          I am certainly not refuting facts in history like the violent conquest of India (Sind) by Islam – historical truths – or whatever Rumi has done or has not.

          There is violence today also:
          In Bangladesh, Muslims are burning Hindu temples.
          Buddhists in Myanmar are fighting the Rohyngias (Buddhist monks being nationalists! So sad).
          Sri Lanka had the war between the Buddhists and the Tamils.
          Sannyasins toting guns in Oregon.
          Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Yemen, Sudan, Ukraine – and elsewhere.

          Dominic says:
          “The violence of its ideology is bound to act out.”

          All? Everybody? Always? Due to writings in a book?

          Violence is in the person(s) and it is depending on conditions. Take away some of our (Western) privileges and creature comforts – I expect some violence, too.

          • dominic says:

            Yes Klaus, due to writings in a book!

            Do not underestimate the power of bad ideas, and Islam is the motherload of bad ideas. A sick death cult with nothing to it but the ravings of a psychopath, a monster. Sadly reforming it seems impossible, since it is deemed perfect and its founder the perfect man, on pain of death.

            Wishy-washy liberal false equivalences, about buddhists and christians etc. are lies people tell themselves to keep their heads stuck in the sand and to not face the dark truth.

            Of course, all humans have capacity for violence, but uniquely this evil ideology has it built into its dna and promotes it in so many ways, even if most cultural muslims show restraint and common sense.

            I don’t think being nationalist is wrong, especially for normally peaceful buddhists. Protecting your culture, your nation, your race, your way of life when under attack is no bad thing, although I don’t know too much about what’s happening in Myanmar.

            Sweden now is in a rape and crime crisis, and that increasingly applies to the rest of Europe thanks to mass islamic immigration. All the facts and statistics are out there if you care to do the research, but are being covered up by governments and the msm media because of their leftist agenda.

            The main difference in the West is that we have had (or had) free speech without fear of being killed, which allowed good ideas to outperform bad ones, and create an enviable civilisation that everybody and their grandmother from a third world hell-hole, understandably, wants to move to. This doesn’t apply to Islam, and keeps it retarded and incompatible with civilised values.

            Sure, take away our ‘creature comforts’ and some violent survival instincts might kick in, but not because some misogynistic evil sky god is peeved that you drew a cartoon.

            Apologists would like you to believe that only a minority of muslims think this way, but look at the facts of their countries, their history, and what extreme and violent ideas very many hold.


            • Klaus says:

              Thanks, Dominic, for your extensive reply!

              I am still thinking of the political splitting up and the arbitrary border creations in the near and Middle East. And the decline of an – say – islamic culture that brought mankind Avicenna, calculation, astronomy and others. To nowadays so much illiteracy and dependency on ‘the clan’ (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, etc.).

              This is not just the fault of “these dumb fools”, in my opinion.

              However, I feel that the conditions of dictatorship, poverty, low education of the masses and therfore possible religious slavery (“you keep them poor, I will keep them stupid”) lead to the current dire situation in these countries (+ war for so many years): envy regarding the rich lives in the West – an inferiority underdog complex
              in my eyes. Inside these countries – no way out.

              Anyways, I do not think that “bombing them even more into hell” can be a human solution. Protection of our democratic achievements as you mention, free speech and and and…certainly is a must. One important reason being, i.e. in Germany, that it is the middle and lower class who are played off against each other – a competition leading to the lowest possible standard. The rich and affluent are untouched – and international. Vested interests.

              So, how to defend free music, free speech, free personal development, equality and opportunity?

              I am a lucky person to have had so wonderful experiences in the traditions I have taken part in and through the good-hearted people I encountered.

              So many words. Anyways.

              • Klaus says:

                Some more:

                In discussions with any muslim person I meet, for clarity reasons I state:

                - First, our country’s constitution and legal system
                - Any religious practice is private and private alone

                I decide for myself – and you decide for yourself. Thank u very much.

      • frank says:

        Q. What do you call an intelligent Muslim who quietly leaves his religion of birth to live life as he pleases without any hassle from anyone?

        A. Asif!

        • dominic says:

          Ib’n Faqd and Allah Vabeer!

        • Parmartha says:

          There are a few intelligent ex-Muslims in London who I have met.

          But not only have they left their religion, but of neccessity their country of birth, and all traces of their previous family and other life.

          Thanks God for this anonymous city, such a blessing to a mystic….

          • dominic says:

            You mean Londonistan with it’s Muslim mayor, lefty politics and demographic jihad. You’ll be thanking Allah in a few generations if the invasion is allowed to continue.

            Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one to check out as a courageous ex-Muslim.

            • Parmartha says:

              Because of my professional work I have met a number of ex-Muslims in London. They all consider it a fairly safe place to be, and based on the tolerance that they find here. But they have had to give up their previous identities and families.

              I find your apparent fears over the future of London almost risible.

      • Klaus says:'a_al-'Adawiyya

        A female Sufi practitioner who seems to have fulfilled everything in her chosen path.

        Also history.

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Good that you came up here, Dominic – with some ability of discernment and knowledge of History also beyond the great myths growing around martyrdom.

      You also say: “Music (good music!) speaks to the heart, body, and soul” – so much Truth in it – and yet, so much neglected an issue (in any culture, meanwhile, I would say).


  6. Kavita says:

    I guess there is a time and place for everything in the real world & also guess importance is such a relative term, like all other words!

  7. Parmartha says:

    At a deeper psychological level commentators have often remarked that leading Nazis like Reinhard Heydrich (who was basically Hitler’s number two, without it being stated, for the last three years of his life) were heavily into classical music.

    He went to a concert in Prague on the night before he was assassinated in 1942 (by the Czech resistance), where the music was by his father, a well known between-the-wars composer. However, people said he did not have a sense of humour…maybe that quality is much more important that a love of music, as a protection from both conscious and unconscious fanaticism.

    • Arpana says:

      Not everyone enjoys music through the heart and gut. Some claim to enjoy music, to project an image for others to admire, which is to say ego and mind; and some just enjoy music intellectually.

      • simond says:

        Which one of these variants are you, Arpana? ‘The project-an-image variety’ or the ‘intellectual version?’ Or the ‘heart or gut’?

        We all need to know where u stand on this important issue. No guessing where my position lies, I’m sure?

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Leading neo-fascists nowadays, Parmartha, follow meanwhile in their organised networking of ´their music- festivals´ Europe and also globally worldwide the model of the ´Blood & Honour´ UK standards – and groups like ´Combat 18´, ´Screwdriver´or ´Terror Machine´ , ´No remorse´,..(amongst others, all British btw). And that´s also documented.

      From there – same kind of mentally and emotionally distorted people nowadays got and get their rascist-fascist ´inspiration´ and sound festival organisation manner for a lot of still running neo-fascist ´events´of that kind. (Including fascist and racist terror in action).

      Saint Cecilia is on topic just now in the UK SN chat. And also there is – with this special story told – on topic – the utter cruelty male bastards are capable of acting with, when they are in power and when they pretend to know.

      It’s quite a contemporary issue.

      Can´t believe it, Parmartha, that you have such a big blind spot according your own homeland, so to say, and big blind spot about nowadays….

      As you don´t leave out any possibility to stick tenaciously to the very well documented time of fascism in Germany (and Europe too), I felt like asking you: Please, look at your finger pointing. Now.


      • Parmartha says:

        Not sure at what you are pointing, Madhu.

        I condemn all right and left-wing groups/parties that have used and use music to concretise their aims.

        I used the Nazi reference because some commentators here seem pretty right-wing under their various cloaks.

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          Not surprised that you don´t relate to what I have said, Parmartha.

          You say: “I used the Nazi reference because some commentators here seem pretty right-wing under their various cloaks.”

          That´s a quite strong but ´wishy-washy´, suspicious injection. Why do you not not address these “some” directly, if you feel so, instead of drawing just another ´new-thread-topic-poker-card´?


    • dominic says:

      You missed out the important second part of that statement, P:
      “People said he did not have a sense of humour…just like the rest of us Germans.”

      Poor Nazis always getting a bad rap, but they were amateurs compared to Stalin and Mao who killed waaay more of their own people…not that it’s a competition.

      Anyway, now that the Germans are so guilt-ridden and paralysed, Stasi Merkel’s sour face and EU Fourth Reich can succeed where Hitler couldn’t, in bringing chaos to Europe.

  8. Parmartha says:

    It would be good to know what Dominic, who one knows is a musician, thinks of as “good” music, which he alludes to in his first comment.

    Does it include Shantam’s favourite ‘sentimental’ Poona 1 and 2 songs?? Wagner? ‘Dark Side of the Moon’? Leonard Cohen…etc?

    • dominic says:

      In all fairness, ‘good’ simply means “I like it” (maybe not for ever though!). It would be foolish arrogance to define the ‘good’.

      I can think of much classical and jazz music as genius, but am unlikely to spend much time listening to it. Good is whatever moves you or works for you, even though you might now cringe at music you enjoyed in an earlier incarnation. Same with any art form.

      If you’re in the right space, a ‘sentimental’ song may hit the spot, touch your heart, and bring tears to your eyes. Who’s to say? Similarly, martial music (marching, drums, chanting etc.) is just what is needed to go to war, boost morale, protect the tribe and fight your enemy!

      Yes, all those artists you mention are popular and perhaps therefore ‘good’ for many people. One thing though, when I find out an artist (or guru!) doesn’t practise what they preach, (“do as I say, not as I do”), some of their shine disappears and my interest in their work diminishes somewhat. Finding out about Cohen’s long-term involvement with his molesting teacher, Sasaki, or John Lennon’s personal incongruence with his lyrics, Rumi’s story that I mentioned earlier, and even Springsteen’s support for Obama and Clinton, is rather a turn off for me. Guess I’m a moralist in that respect.

      • kusum says:

        Even in shopping malls they choose certain type of music to boost shoppers’ spirits to shop more. And they end up buying things they don’t even need.
        In discos certain music makes one dance automatically.
        Certain sad songs singing makes one sentimental & some music puts one to sleep.
        They say there are less accidents of cars if drivers listen to classical music while driving.
        Different types of music have different effects.

      • satchit says:

        @ dominic

        “Yes, all those artists you mention are popular and perhaps therefore ‘good’ for many people. One thing though, when I find out an artist (or guru!) doesn’t practise what they preach, (“do as I say, not as I do”), some of their shine disappears and my interest in their work diminishes somewhat.”

        Basically, all these artists and gurus should behave according to your expectation. Funny idea. LOL.

        • anand yogi says:

          Perfectly correct, Satchit!
          The baboons of SN,such as Dominic, have absurd expectations of gurus that show that they are simply stuck in the mind which is nothing but mind! What could be more amusing to one so clearly beyond it all, such as you!

          Only yesterday, my guru, Swami Bhorat, was administering tantric energy to some 12 year-old muslim girls behind the podium, in between arranging his 11 year-old daughter`s FGM and wedding to an elderly relative with erectile dysfunction, when some disciples walked in and were horrified and remonstrated with him! The floor was littered with empty bottles of Armagnac and gin, nitrous oxide canisters, empty bidi packets, chewed paan leaves, porn mags, piles of used notes, watches, firearms and empty packets of red and blue pills.

          Bhorat looked at the disciples, bloodshot eyes glazed with compassion, and, pretending to be drunk and angry, shouted at the wankers!

          But they simply did not realise that it was a device to destroy their preconceived expectations about how an enlightened artist should act! LOL.

          It is indeed sad that so many on SN have not attained to the secret levels of insights way beyond the Gurdjieffian 21 like you have, beloved Scratchit!

          Please tell us more about the sublime levels of idiocy you have reached!

          You are clearly the inheritor of the transmission of the wisdom of mighty Bhorat!

          True wisdom is like the clap. You have either got it or you haven`t.

          You clearly have got it!


          • Tan says:

            Everybody was missing you here, beloved Yogi! You take too long before showering us with your poetry. You are the Rumi in reverse of SN.

            Don’t need to say that the fool here laughed and laughed while trying some moves listening McLoke’s SN national anthem.

            I really felt like a sannyasin. XX

        • dominic says:

          Yes, Sachit, as I said “I guess I’m a moralist.”

          Perhaps not very sannyas-like to talk about ethics, integrity, conscience, standards…all that boring grown-up stuff, when maybe all you want to do is party or attain nirvana.

          If John Lennon sings “all you need is love” and “imagine no possessions” and goes home and beats his wife and lives a materialistic lifestyle, it’s a turn-off for me. Or if Rumi pimps his daughter to Shams because he’s so besotted with him.

          Not that I expect perfection, but there’s a line. Funny idea, maybe…It’s just how I roll.

          Naturally, people will not behave according to my expectations, similarly I can choose whether I want to give them my time, money or energy, if I don’t like their behaviour. It cuts both ways.

          • satchit says:

            Certainly you are free to choose, Dominic. This includes also the possibility to choose stupid things like being a moralist.

            Already Jesus said: “Who is without sin throws the first stone!” Are you without sin?

            For example, it is a bit stupid to make L. Cohen responsible for what his Zen master has done or not done. It is the same like making Osho responsible for what Sheela has done or for the bio-attack in Oregon.

            • dominic says:

              Dear oh dear, you haven’t really thought this through, have you?

              Your first line starts with throwing stones. Having morals, you call “stupid”. Your second line invokes Jesus’s authority to tell others not to throw stones i.e. judge others, which is exactly what you’re doing.

              You cite Leonard Cohen, as not being responsible for what his zen master has done. I get the impression you know little about the details and how closely involved he was with him. I think it would be hard to make a case that he didn’t know what was going on, and I still like and admire LC.

              As for Osho, he also gets a rusty halo. From what I know I think it’s entirely possible he didn’t know what Sheela was up to. Having said that, I would have respected him more if he’d taken more responsibility as commander-in-chief.

              • satchit says:

                Why should I think this through?

                But you are the one who knows about the details. Have you been the witness? Have you been in bed with them?

                Part of the disciple game is learn to say No to the guru. Have you missed this?

    • Klaus says:

      Quite modern style Bauls song – with electronics – lights – flute – tabla – male singer – female singer – from Bangladesh:

      ‘Bondhure Koi Pabo Shokhi – Kona & Baul Shofi Mondhol – Magic Bauliana’

      (+6 mln. views…not that this is important…).

      • Klaus says:

        Simple live music from rural Bangladesh:

        Mansur Fakir – Amar nitai chander bazare

        Goats and chicken running around – the village pond – everyday (?) singing and music….

        • Parmartha says:

          “I liked this”, Klaus. By Dominic’s definition this means it is good!

          • Klaus says:

            When I listen to this song – a big grin apperars on my face.

            The location is universally Bangladeshi:
            Near the house there is a pond – as it’s the earth dug from the pond(s) where they build the house(s). So the houses are on a higher level when the rain comes.

            Many people just live in a tin house: inside the furniture has straps so they can be pulled up under the roof. The water sweeps just through the house on the earthen floor (same as outside). Once it’s dry again inside, the furniture is let down again. Life goes on again. Hopefully.

  9. frank says:

    I think I caught a glimpse of Oliver Cromwell and Saint Cecilia in the crowd:

  10. Kavita says: (Dominic).

    Would have been better also to know where Mr Ram Ohri got his all references from .

    I googled ‘Ohri’ & got

  11. Lokesh says:

    OIF has expressed shock and condemnation upon hearing that SN might have a national anthem.

  12. dominic says:

    Funny thing is when you reverse play it, like a Beatles song, it sounds exactly the same: “voodoov voodoov, wallaw wallaw, nitin nitin, naa naa naan” etc., as well as the hidden references to OIF being run by satanic reptilian overlords. No wonder they don’t want this to get out!

    • Lokesh says:

      Quite so, Dom. The song actually required a lot of work. I enjoy backwards guitar. This is not a feature of the SN anthem but I do use it on other tracks.

      • kusum says:

        Maybe you should give it to Ibiza’s discos or Goa’s discos…some old timers..70s hippies…will shake their heads in trance…Lol….

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:


      No need to mention “satanic reptilian overlords”.

      Maybe, you like to read this?:

      “Jean Baudrillard (pronounced bow-dree-are), Germanist by training, philosopher, sociologist, cultural critic, photographer, and the inspiration for the Matrix Trilogy, died March 6, 2007 in Paris. He was 77.
      To the lay public he is best known for his ideas of simulacra and hyper-reality – the view that images and spectacles have superseded reality in a world governed by electronic media technology, particularly TV and film, and now the Internet. A full decade before the creation of the World Wide Web, and long before anyone had ever heard of, Google, YouTube or Facebook, he was writing about the implosion of meaning in media, and explaining how humanity had already entered “the desert of the real.”

      “For Baudrillard, “real life” can no longer be readily distinguished from the look and feel of Disneyland and Times Square, from the atmosphere of a shopping plaza, or from the scenes of a television programme. What was once known as reality has simply disappeared. The contemporary world of entertainment, of screen-mediated spectacles, of advertisements and signs is more alluring than reality – “more real than real.” As he never tired of saying, it is not reality that has disappeared into illusion; it is illusion that has disappeared into integral reality.”

      The good news: Real music is still happening. Good, to stay choosy….


  13. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    There is this parable about a village idiot, you remember ? …one, who was very unhappy to be called ´village idiot´.

    One day he met a counsellor on the dusty roads though, when he was complaining about his bitter fate… that nobody was listening to him and that meeting was the turning point.
    The counsellor suggested , that from now on he should question, degrade and ask for proof about anything travelling aurators and teachers who were busy spreading their wisdom while passing by.

    Quite soon – the parable tells us ( it´s ancient…) , he was honored by the crowd – as a ´wise´man.

    Well, and who knows, the might have had been even happening an ´anthem ?

    Feels familiar ?



  14. swamishanti says:

    I think Abida deserves a song on this thread:

  15. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    @ Satchit

    ´Your are playing it light here at SN´, I said quite recently Satchit.

    Just reading your very recent posts here, I have to leave my delusionary first impression.
    As quite now, you seem to me such a person, ´who does not remember, where he did put his ´umbrella, before entering the room of Meditation´.
    And by that I mean, you´re probably forgetting ( in time of ISIS networkings, buggings and very nasty clone-copying stuff by other inhuman manipualtive inhabitants of the Internet) , what you ´play´.

    The ancient symbolizing ´parable´about what to ´do´, when ´meeting´the Buddha in your typewriters hand ( or machine-wise trolling algorhthm ?, who knows?) is a symbolized teaching.

    However , the ´Symbol´- as quite a wise man foreseeing the after effects on human beings , brains and much more and their utterly diminishing understanding capacities of ´Symbols – the Symbol as such is on its Death Bed – he said, as well as some true understanding, about what a Symbol was / is, and what for.

    Nowadays our daily news ´provide´us in ever fresh filled up numerous accounts News – about how many killings any day of the week are happening, because of fanatical ( mental/ spiritual) misunderstandings – not only of some sentences like the one you quoted here.

    Sentences, which are less and less taken by their meaning and for going Inside, instead of acting out whatever ( even much more stupid ( and cruel) not unlike a four year old child).

    We are sitting in one boat though as human beings, but there is a difference on how we take that.


    • satchit says:

      @ Madhu

      The buddha-killing-sentence belongs to the inner world and not to Isis or political stuff that you mention here.
      I could have also used the soft version which means:
      “Be a light unto yourself!”

      But the situation remains the same.

      I give you an example:
      Your guru in an ashram wants to teach you surrender and suggests a blow job. What will you do? Will you do it or will you say no and follow your inner voice and bear the consequences that maybe you have to leave the ashram etc….

      • frank says:

        Ah, so that`s what happened to you.
        I can sympathise. Going to a Buddha or a guru seeking enlightenment but ending up with a mouthful of cheese – I can understand why you would want to kill him!

  16. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    Frank, usually your jokes are funny, more enjoyable when it does not force the words spoken by others.

    For example, it would be a forcing, not considering your last comment, if I now conclude with “enjoy your cheese!”, but it would not be such if I include it, it would be consistent, but I do not know how much funny for you.