"We are the sum of the atoms of our universe. What passes through our bodies every nanosecond is the beginning of all time and the entire existence of mankind. Which makes me believe that if these atoms are composed of the souls of all life forces, then it is possible to tune into this energy in sacred and profound places."
One of those sacred places is Goat Rock Beach, near the small hamlet of Jenner, California on the Sonoma Coast. It was here that I had a mystical experience that changed my ideas about life after death.
The seaside town of Jenner is a rugged and beautiful place located at the junction of the Russian River and Pacific Ocean. This small hamlet represents the yin and yang of the Sonoma California Coast. The Russian river is engaged in a constant battle with the intruding waves of the Pacific Ocean as they collide together at the mouth where they meet. The air is filled with negative charged ions that alter the energy field, adding to an increased awareness of the surrounding area and the internal dialog of the mind.
It was a foggy night in Jenner the evening that I encountered this unusual spirit energy. The moon caught my eye and gently pulled me in to its soothing soft light. As I gazed at its rays darting in and out of the fog, I felt an odd sensation enter my body. My skin began to tingle with an electrical current that opened up my mind to an intense feeling of joy. I was alarmed at first, not knowing where this energy came from r why it happened. It took me by surprise and I knew at that moment something special was happening to me.
This euphoric feeling lasted for hours and inspired a lucid dream where I heard the most beautiful music. It reminded me of what the sound of an angels harp would sound like plucked from the heavens. You can listen below:
When I awoke the following morning, I grabbed my guitar and tuned it to the sounds I heard in my dream. As I explored the notes on my fretboard, the song “Shining Light” burst through me. I wrote the lyrics and music in a matter of minutes, all the while re-learning the note and chord patterns on my guitar as I strummed along. It was as if something, or someone was guiding me from a divine place.
I recorded the Shining Light song on my phone so that I could play it back and memorize the note positions and lyrics. I was so caught up in the moment of writing and recording this song, that I had no concept of the story until I read the scribbled lyrics I had written in my notebook. I then realized that they told the story of losing my mother to an aneurism when I was a teenager. I thought to myself, was it possible that her spirit paid me a visit via the energy I encountered on the beach that evening?
Death is profound in its sadness, joy and beauty and taught me the impermanence of all things. It also lead me down a spiritual path to search out the meaning of this powerful mystical experience.
I began to study the philosophy's of Buddhism, Shamanism and Mysticism as a starting point for guidance. Through my meditations and readings on these ancient practices, I've come to believe that this new guitar tuning is a testament to the healing power of music and its ability to bridge the spirit and natural world. In this musical space, musicians connect to a higher power to contribute their "music soul energy" to our universe. It is here where we tell the story of our lives to help reduce suffering in our world.
Music celebrates the power of reincarnation as told through the spirits of song, dance and poetry. We are the energy that aligns the earth with the cosmos imprinted with the consciousness of man. Our physical bodies marry the compounds of the earth (our instruments) to give a voice to nature and the alchemy that offers healing energy to our planet and mankind.
Music is the great connector. It expresses the oneness of all things and shares a path similar to the constructs of Buddhism. In Zen philosophy, music functions in the tradition of the “three characteristics” of existence. The “anicca”, which is the observation that everything is always in a constant flux of energy and matter, (hence, the tonal and atonal sounds of this unique guitar tuning I discovered). The “dukha”, where the mind is always in a state of dissatisfaction, (hence, the harmonic tension created by the abstract sounds created by this tuning). The “anatta”, the realization that if we observe our behaviors closely, there is no “I” to be found, (hence, the search for melodic sensibilities from the chaotic non-tempered sounds of this tuning to help guide the soul and spirit in an egoless and meaningful way towards enlightenment.)
To celebrate this new spiritual enlightenment, I founded the Subtractivists as a new philosophy that explores the bridge between music, art and spirituality tied to the cycle of life, or as the Greeks refer to it as the saeculum. Each symbol created in our star logo is associated with recurring social issues that represent the cycle of life that we experience in our trajectory to the alternate spiritual plane of death. Our spirit energy is directly engaged with each of these symbols during certain segments of our lives relating to age, health and wisdom. Learning to tap into this creative energy and understanding its value in the phase of ones life will help us make decisions that lead to a better understanding of ones self and purpose.
Can the dead speak? One can only speculate until we enter the twilight world beyond our life on earth. Until then, I find comfort knowing that the ones we love live through us in the powerful message of music under the watchful eyes of the cosmos.
The Shining Light experience inspired me to create the “Internal Spark” blog. Click for our latest interviews with forward thinking musicians on the influence of spirituality and how it inspires their art.