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Mair 14:3 (A long one. Sorry.)

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Complete Northgate inquired of the Yellow Emperor, saying, "When I heard the first part of the music of 'The Pond of Totality' that you organized in the cavernous wilds, oh emperor, I was frightened.  When I heard the second part, I became weary.  And, when I heard the last part, I felt confused.  Dumbstruck and disturbed, I couldn't get hold of myself."

"Your reaction is about what I would have expected," said the emperor.  "I had it performed by men, directed by heaven, presented with ceremony and righteousness, and established in great purity.  {{"Ultimate music first corresponds to human affairs, conforms to heavenly principles, is carried out through the five virtues, and corresponds to nature.  Only then will the four seasons be adjusted and great harmony prevail among the myriad things."}}

It showed

The four seasons arising in succession,
The myriad things being born in sequence.
In fullness and decline,
Civil and military alternated with each other.

Now clear, now turbid, it harmoniously blended yin and yang,

The notes flowing away in the light.

Then, as when hibernating insects begin to stir in spring,

We startled the audience with the crash of thunder.
There was no conclusion at the end,
And no prelude at the beginning.
It would die away for a while, then come back to life;
Rise for a moment, then collapse.
Its constancy was inexhaustible,
Yet entirely unpredictable.

That's why you were afraid."

"I had the second part

Performed with the harmony of yin and yang,
Illumined with the brightness of the sun and moon.

The notes

Could be short or long,
Could be soft or hard;
While all the modulations were evenly uniform,
They were not dominated by stale regularity.


Filled every valley,
Filled every ravine.
Though one might block all openings
and guard the spirit within,
They permeated everything.
The notes were lilting,
The cadences lofty.


Ghosts and spirits
kept to their seclusion;
The sun, moon, stars, and constellations
stayed on their courses.
I stopped the notes in finitude,
Then let them flow into infinity.

You pondered over the music, but could not understand it; you gazed at it, but could not see it; you followed it, but could not catch it.  Uncertain, you stood in the way with emptiness all around.  Then you leaned against a withered parasol tree and moaned.  Your mind was exhausted by wanting to understand; your eyes were exhausted by wanting to see; your strength was expended by wanting to pursue it, but even I could not catch up with it!  Your form was brimming with emptiness, to the point that you became indifferent.  That's why you felt weary.

"I had the third part

Performed with notes that would not weary
And that were tuned to a scale of spontaneity.


They were born in clusters that came tumbling after each other,
A forest of music without form.
They were spread around without being dragged out,
Subtly somber and soundless.

Their movement came from nowhere,
They dwelt in cavernous darkness.

One might say they were dead,
Another might say they were alive;
One might say they were fruit,
Another might say they were flower.

Coursing and flowing, scattering and shifting,
They were not dominated by constant sounds.

The world may doubt them and have them inspected by the sage, for the sage is one who comprehends circumstances and follows destiny.  Though the heavenly mechanism is not set, the five regulators are all prepared.  To please the heart without any words, this is called the music of heaven.  Thus did the clansman of the freehold at Yen {{This is supposedly the name of the Divine Farmer.}} eulogize it, saying:

You listen for it, but do not hear its sounds,
You look for it, but do not see its form;
It fills heaven and earth to the brim,
It envelops the six poles of the universe.

You wished to hear the music, but could not absorb it.  That's why you felt confused.

"The music began by frightening you and, being frightened, you were spooked.  Next, I had it played with wearisomeness and, being wearied, you would have withdrawn.  I concluded it with confusion and, being confused, you felt stupid.  Feeling stupid, you experienced the Way, the Way that can support you and make you whole."
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Nietzsche has a parallel to that as well but his ended with something like:


... when they are fearful they will kill.




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"Being a fan of the mundane , the sage prefers music that doesn't suck." 

Old Proverb - anonymous

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Not content just to be Emperor, one now needs to believe that they have superhuman virtues, musical powers of discrimination beyond ordinary men.  The position allows one this illusion to prosper. So in pursuit of musical acumen , the emperor now has gone farther and farther afield until he has lost sight of basic musical beauty.  The music now has to support the ego and status of the YE. And in the esoteric , gradually the mundane has been lost , until anyone must concede privately that he has no soul left at all. 

Edited by Stosh
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23 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Yeah, but even today there are those who must analyze music instead of just enjoying it.


Its an easy trend to get caught up in. Its not like I am satisfied if I see or photograph just any bird , I want to know what it is and so forth. BUT that's an indulgence I allow , that's the game , otherwise its all just one big formless and uninteresting mish-mosh.  The trick- is to not get caught up in believing ones own press. 

Edited by Stosh
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