Another method of healing, and indeed a much more common one that is generally recognized, is by means of music. It is significant of the power of music on human bodies, that theaters, concerts and musical interpretations are constantly thronged; indicating that there is an occult need for it. Probably the great masses of people are largely unconsciously finding music a remedy for the quieting of their bodies, and as a relief from the increasing restlessness and irritability caused by the pushing onward from the inner realms of this stage of evolution.
It is well to inquire into the hidden side of music in order to understand its action on and in matter. The physical manifestation of music is through sound. But whence come sound? Again we find our answer in both Eastern and Western Scriptures. It is said that the Logos expresses Himself in seven different ways, or through seven Creative Powers, or Intelligences. The source of, and Life of all Power, is the "One only," the Logos, who at the time for the beginning of manifestation of the worlds, "breathes" forth a "Word," a sound, which calls into differently, functionated great centers of Power, or seven Planetary Intelligences who stand ready to do His Will as outlined to them.
That Divine Great Breath,
(The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. I, p.310)
breathed forth through these seven centers, is in itself the source of eternal motion, is the root of all sound, is the substratum of the Pythagorean "music of the spheres." All these seven planetary centers of energy and intelligence are unfolding in their own specialized matter, each its seven centers of activity, of which sound - the further projection of the Word - or Music, is one. All nature, visible and unvisible, is sending out sound of its own kind, on its own plane, as the flowing waters and the wind breezes attest. Hence it is not difficult nor unreasonable to imagine that the life aspect of the "Word," expressing itself in the power side of the different types of music, is common to all the seven planets of our solar system; and as each has its own special type, the matter and the elemental essence of our bodies will respond most quickly and readily to the particular keynote or particular combination of musical sounds which the ruling planet of our bodies sends forth. For instance, not all hearts are stirred by martial (Mars) music, but only those whose emotion bodies are of the type of Mars, or temporarily under his influence.
No one type of music meet all needs, but each "I am" responds to its own type; or, rather, in the earlier stage of its revolution responds to the predominating planetary essence in its bodies.
For it must never be forgotten that all the individual "I ams" are on the way to understanding, and mastering and using matter, and the time will come with each "I am," when the powers energizing in matter can no longer attract or bind; when in many ages to come each "I am" will build its own worlds. But in this cycle few have climbed to that height, and the "I am" in most of us is still immersed in the matter of the bodies, the almost helpless sport of the forces of desire. Not having yet developed the use of a strong will of mastery and rulership over matter, the nature forces now rule the "I am".
Admitting, then, for the time this cosmic view of the Great Breath, or Word, as the root of music, and as the basis for our study of the factors in healing by music, we turn to the more generally known and popular facts. In the countries of the East, there are in use certain sacred words, mantrams, each having its own ruling Devas. These mantrams scientifically intoned, and the vibrations directed by the Devas of those sounds, have the power to build matter into form, or to break up existing forms. By use of these mantrams, bodies can be made to vibrate to health instead of disease; rhythm can be made to supersede inharmony. The occult power inherent in music was well known in ancient India, and the knowledge has not been wholly lost. The rhythm and measure of music have great influence. Each grade of matter from coarse to fine vibrates to music. The coarsest or longest wave-lengths belong to the matter of the physical body. Those shorter and finer with swifter repetition move the etheric matter of the astral-emotion body, while the still finer wave-length are those of the specialized etheric matter in which thought moves.
Built as all true music is, with fullest mathematical precision, and upon a sound psychological basis, the regularity with which vibrations of the notes impinge upon the sufferer's physical, astral and mental bodies, has a calming, soothing effect, thus bringing the etheric centers of the three bodies into perfect alignment with each other; in other words, polarizing them, and permitting the flow of health life to pass through all the etheric channels unimpeded. As one writer expresses it, "The subconsciousness becomes filled with rhythmic melody," and seen by clairvoyant vision the inner bodies are swathed in the most beautiful colorings of the living elemental essence which has answered to the rhythmical vibration. Some of the most difficult cases of neurasthenia have yielded to the power of harmonious, well-chose music, when the vibrations were not obstructed by cross vibrations such as fear, or dread of criticism.
Close observers state that the effect of music may be deeply lasting and beneficial. On the other hand, it may be distinctly deleterious. It may awaken sensuality or other base passions. It may break down the nerve tone, cause nervous depression and exhaustion, or emasculate the character. Plato viewed certain kinds of music with suspicions. He said, and Aristotle emphasized it, that any change made in national music brought about a similar one in the nation. In confirmation of this we note in the United States the seeming marked changed from the almost exclusively military music of fifty years ago to the now everywhere heard ragtime music; and the change in conduct of the children then and the younger generation today is very marked. The majority of children are now lacking in practice of obedience, reverence and responsibleness. Whether the change is even partly due to the music should be inquired into.
Many instances of cures by means of music are found, as we look through the records of time. For instance, David with the music of his harp, drove an obsessing entity away from Saul.
(I samuel, XVI, 14-23).
Asclepiades employed music for the same purpose. Celsus after much observation, recommends it for certain forms of insanity. Coelius Aurelianus says that in the treatment of that form of insanity which alternates between rage and grief, the music should be full of sweetness as well as vivacity; that with those given to silly and meaningless laughter, martial music is best.
Mesmer found that "sound has an attractive property; it draws out disease, which streams out to encounter the musical wave, and the two blending together, disappear in space."
(Isis Unveiled, H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. I, p. 215.)
Baglivi and Bonnet used music for gout with much success. Roger extolled its power in cases of diseases of the lungs. Voltaire said we should go to the opera to promote digestion. Democritus found that the music of the flute was a remedy for the plague. Thales of Crete used the same remedy for plague with success. Galien used music as an antidote for the bite of vipers and scorpions; and Desault claimed great success with it in hydrophobia.
The subject had been but vaguely discussed in Western literature in modern times up to 1875, when Dr. Joseph A. Chomet published a theory of cure by music,
(The Influence of Music on Health and Life, G. P. Putnam & Sons, New York.)
and cited a number of cases to prove that his theory was true. Among other cures was one of epilepsy. One day the patient, having been listening to music when she felt the epileptic fit coming on, suffered only the symptoms. Every time afterward that she felt approach of a paroxysm, the young girl was placed so that she could hear music, and nature, being thwarted as it were in its perverted tendencies and diverted from the, for it, wrong channels, lost, at last, the habit of convulsive movements.
Here the substitute of a rhythmical vibration of sound affected the elemental essence in the etheric physical body, and of the astral also. Dr. Chomet relates the case of a noted musician and composer who was attacked by a fever with continuous delirium, which constantly increased in violence. The third day, in his delirium be begged that they would give a little concert in his room. With misgivings the physicians consented. At the first notes of Bernier's Cantata his countenance became calm, his eyes quiet, and the convulsions ceased; he shed tears of pleasure, and the fever left him while the concert lasted, but as soon as it was over he relapsed. On repeating the concert, the fever and delirium again subsided, and the music became such necessity that the night watchers continued it all night. Ten days of this music treatment effected a complete cure without the use of other remedies. In both the above cases, the music was fitted to the need of the individual.
It is an open question, and remains to be investigated, whether Western music can effect an instantaneous cure, though it does work progressively. It does not seem to create an environment of mental peace, of an outer sense of rhythm, the co-existence of which helps the mind more easily to hold the emotion nature firmly and aids the "I am" consciousness, the spirit of man, to dominate the mind.
That clear observer of art in Nature, Mrs. Annie Besant, thus differentiates between Eastern and Western music. She says: "In Hindu music there are delicate notes given out by the instruments which thrill softly out and cause subtlest vibrations in the higher bodies, till all sounds are left behind and spirit is set free. Those single delicate notes to spiritual ecstasy; the chord predisposes to activity, the single notes to quiescence, to contemplation, to peace.
"Gradually th whole body is calmed, and held to these steady vibrations and the calm is answered by the steadiness of the consciousness responsive to its rhythmically vibrating vehicle."
(Religion and Music, by Annie Besant, p. 16.)
These observations of Mrs. Besant were made as to the effect of hindu music upon meditation, but they seem to apply equally to the preliminary calming of the bodies in healing.
This "freeing of the spirit" would seem to be an essential to instantaneous cure; for accustomed as is the "I am" working in the subtle body to respond continually to impacts from without, this subtle, sub-conscious, astro-mental body of ours is ever vibrating and ever changing its vibrations, causing continual changes in consciousness, and these again react on the body. The Hindu music arrests or checks these reactions, imposes its own vibrations on the bodies and instead of a disturbing jangle there comes a realization of the Self, of the divinity in one's own Self, under the rhythmical vibrations of the music.
The peace would permit the healing life to flow along the line of the etheric atoms instantly and in its fullness and completeness, instead of in the slower progressive way of step by step through the sub-plane matter of the bodies. Music, then, may be looked upon as one means of polarizing the three bodies, and can be used in its lower or higher potencies according to the knowledge of the healer. The Sanskrit mantrams when scientifically used, still the bodies, attune the "I am," so that the healing Life can instantly reach the bodies without obstruction. It is significant of the present awakening to the study of the finer bodies of man, that we are hearing of psychical music, transcendental music, fourth dimensional music. It is true, also, that some music, for instance, Number 18 of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, the motif of the Holy Grail in Parsifal, the hymn, "Nearer, My God, to Thee" and "Home, Sweet Home," does directly affect the subtler etheric bodies. This use of music can be very helpful. Even in the matter of surgical operations it has its place. Recently a boy of fourteen, whose heart was too weak to stand an anaesthetic, was obliged to have an injured artery in his arm repaired. A young girl played "The Highland Fling," and the boy was told to concentrate on it. Afterwards he said he had felt but little pain.
Some of the hospitals in the Western world are making a satisfactory demonstration of the value of harmonious music, and have placed it in their list of remedies. They find that daily music inspires and cheers the patients and at least establishes temporarily a different vibration from that of disease.
A famous London doctor stated in a lecture, that different melodies can be used in curing certain disorders; that Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" accelerated the action of the heart and lungs. Chopin's "nocturne in E flat" and Staenhagen's "Pastorales" are able to soothe excited brains and induce peace and sleep, while Godart's "En Courrant" dissipates nervous weariness. From these observations it would seem that those cases which are of a dull, sluggish nature, should be gradually roused by powerful and impressive music; those of a nervous disposition by sweet and tender melodies. A gloomy temperament might improve under light, short gay music. The study of music vibrations and of the types of elemental essence responding to them and their effect on the etheric bodies of people should become very active in near future.
Some observations upon the nature of the notes of the scale have been made by M. Gretry, a noted French musician, and are given here for students to use as a basis for investigation.
(The Influence of Music on Health and Life, by Dr. J. A. Chomet, p. 199.)
He says it is dangerous for a hypochondriac to have to listen to very grave and serious music. it would rise to or increase feelings of depression. The choice of the key should fit the temperament of the patient. The key of C Major is noble and frank; C Minor is pathetic; D Major is brilliant; D Minor is melancholy; E Flat is grand and also pathetic; E Major is sparkling; E Minor is sad although it is the first minor scale in Nature. F Major is mixed; F Minor most pathetic of all. F Sharp Major is hard and sharp and over loaded with accidentals; F Sharp Minor is also hard. G Major is warlike and not so grand as C Major; G Minor is the most pathetic, expect that of F Minor. A Major is very brilliant; A Minor is simple and least brilliant; B Flat is grand but less so than C Major, and is more pathetic than F Major; B Major is brilliant and gay, and B Minor expresses sincerity and artlessness.
From the facts presented, the student may gather that true music is many-branched and has its place in Therapeutics. The gods of Music - the Gandharvas, as they are named in India, and whose home is in the heaven world - pour forth on the thought plane of Nature great symphonies; these are caught by the sensitive inner senses of the true musician and transcribed into earth terms. The music devas are one of the channels of the Health-Life, distributing it according to the individual key-notes of men.
Back to index