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The Metaphysics of Sound
by Patricia Spadaro

This introductory article to a series of articles on the "Music of the Spheres" originally appeared in The Spirit of Ma'at, Vol. 3, October 2002

In the following essay, Patricia Spadaro makes the metaphysics of sound both cogent and accessible. The heart of the matter is here.

The mystical traditions of East and West tell us that the key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe is sound. In fact, they say that sound is the very fount from which our universe arises.

Sound is the primordial First Cause. It is responsible for creating, sustaining, and destroying all life and all matter. Simply put, sound is the organizing and integrating impulse behind everything.

Sound Formulas

The ancient mystics of the East taught that different sounds form different patterns, creating the endless variety of shapes, sizes, and densities that are manifest all around us. They also regarded sound as a power that could be harnessed to create positive change. The Hindu and Buddhist sages, for example, repeated specific sound formulas, or mantras, to bring about a host of powerful effects, both external and internal. They taught that by reciting mantras to a specific deity, we can create within our consciousness the same vibration as that deity's. In essence, they saw the sacred words of the mantra as conduits that would bring spiritual energies into the world.

Likewise, the Kabbalists taught that the Divine Word, the speech of God, creates and sustains both the heavens and the earth. Again, they believed that the various objects in our universe were different because a specific and unique combination of letters of sacred speech sustained each one. And like their Eastern counterparts, some Kabbalists taught that when a devotee calls upon one of the names of God, the specific influence associated with that name is released.

The Power of the Divine Voice

The power of the divine sound is also a theme in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Genesis tells us that creation began when God spoke the words, "Let there be Light."

Echoing the immortal words of the Hindu Vedas "In the beginning was Brahman with whom was Vak, or the Word, and the Word is Brahman," the Gospel of John also says that sound is the author of all things: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.. . . All things were made by him."

Another Christian text, the Gnostic manuscript known as Trimorphic Protennoia ("the triple-formed primal thought"), describes the awesome powers of speech, pervading all things and latent within each of us. In this text, a divine figure "in the likeness of a female" says, "I am the Invisible One within the All....[I] am the real Voice. I cry out in everyone, and they know that a seed dwells within."

The Next Frontier in Sound

The ancient masters saw sound as the integrating factor of all life. They also knew what today's science is just beginning to provethat when we apply certain sounds to an object or an organism, we can change its condition, for better or for worse.

Here, at the convergence of ancient spirituality and modern science, is the next frontier in the evolution of sound.

Patricia R. Spadaro is the author of Honor Yourself: The Innert Art of Giving and Receiving and is also the coauthor six books on practical spirituality and world traditions.

She has been featured on radio talk shows nationwide and has also produced a 13-week radio series on practical spirituality.

Copyright Patricia R. Spadaro.
From "The Metaphysics
of Sound"

"The mystical traditions of East and West tell us that the key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe is sound. In fact, they say that sound is the very fount from which our universe arises."
—Patricia Spadaro

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