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Expressing Divinity in a World of Illusions

In the past (and still today in some other cultural societies) art such as poetry and music was seen as a divine expression of sacred truth and those who carried this divine expression where seen as enlightened souls sharing the sacred prophecies of God. But too often in modern times artistry has lost the connection to the mystical presence of divinity within. As the temporal tuning system was introduced in music by Johann Sebastian Bach , Westerners in particular began to develop limitations in the expansion of their auditory perceptions by confining our musical scale to 12 notes. In time the micro tones and sub frequencies that through the ages had transmitted an expansion of consciousness within sacred music were dismissed as out of tune or discordant.

In his biographical writings, Pir o Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan spoke of this disconnect from the sacredness that music and art was experiencing as it became more commercialized in India. At seeing this degenerated condition of India and its music, he broke down and invoked the name of the deity and prayed for the protection of the sacred art of India, and he said: "Lord, if our people had lost only its wealth and power, it would not have been so grievous to bear, since these temporal things are ever changing hands in the mazes of maya. But the inheritance of our race, the Music of the Divine, is also leaving us through our own negligence, and that is a loss my heart cannot sustain!"

As a musician living in this day and age I too share this same sentiment that Murshid felt nearly 100 years ago. It is difficult to unite an audience through divine expression ,especially living in Los Angeles which has long been considered the hub of the worlds entertainment industry, when most are just looking to be entertained or profit from their fame. Nevertheless, music and mysticism go hand in hand whether it is commonly realized or not and as a young devotee I remain steadfast in my efforts to help re attune souls with their divine note! I was born into a musical (and spiritual) family where my father was a church choir director and music was introduced to me as a sacred art only to be used for God. So much to the extent that popular music (or secular as it was dubbed by many in the Christian faith) was for a long time forbidden in our home.

As my spirit grew and my talents blossomed, there was never a doubt in my mind that my purpose in life had something to do with delivering pure and honest self-expression to every audience I had the priviledge to perform in front of. Although I believed with all my heart that I would succeed in my efforts I was trying desperately to connect deeper with the symphony of the Universe and to experience my own divine note resound within. I had no idea at the time that I was more connected to the composer of life's grand symphony than I could've ever imagined.

From a young age I also had many mystical experiences in regards to my artistic expression and my musical endevours. For example around age 20 I penned a deeply prophetic 17 minute 2 part epic song about time & space and other dimensions (with no real understanding of where the words came from or what impact their meaning would carry later in my life). I later joined a band called Healer and the meaning of these songs began to speak to me as I wrote the album Awakening (not knowing at the time that I was in the process of my spiritual awakening and would later begin to study the Sufi healing work).

But the most profound mystical experience I have had in relation to my purpose as an artist came in a dream shortly after my Initation in to the Chishti order. This dream helped me to see clearly where my foot should fall next on my pathway towards fullfilling my purpose on this Earth.I was preparing to enter a recording studio in Hollywood to work on a new song with my band Healer. I walked down a small hallway which led into the main live performance area that would then lead into the control room. As I entered the live room behind my bandmates I noticed a man sitting on the couch. Upon further investigation it was cleary Pir o Murshid Inayat Khan! He was just sitting in the studio wearing a brilliant orange robe and lightly stroking his beard. I motioned for my friends to go on into the control room without me and said that I need to meet Murshid and spend some time with him asking many questions I had in regards to my future as a musician and how to help others see the Beloved in my artistic expression. As my friends left the room I looked to Murshid. In a moments glance our eyes met and I was filled with an instantanious feeling that we had not only met before but that we had sat at length and discussed our feelings about the sacred expression of music and that I was to just continue to be honest and pure in my musical endevours. He then smiled and motioned gently with his hand that I go join my bandmates, which I did.

I awoke from this dream carrying a great sense of purpose and the many burning questions I had regarding my career had been answered in the phrase just continue to be honest and pure in your musical endevours. Murshid spoke to me clearly without uttering a single word! My understanding of music's mystical truths from this day forth has been awakened as the experience opened my eyes and expanded my conciousness to understand that we are ALL the one Divine Artist expressing his/her beauty through US! I had been spending so much effort trying to be this incredible musican that could connect to the source, that I failed to see that I and the source where one in the same and that all I needed to do was purely express the music of the divine composer living within.

Bruce Lee, known as the greatest martial artist of all times, illustrated this point poetically as he often stated that “Art is the way to the absolute and to the essence of human life. The aim of art is not the one-sided promotion of spirit, soul and senses, but the awakening of all human capacities – thought, feeling, will – to the life rhythm of the world of nature. So will the voiceless voice be heard and the self be brought into harmony with it”. There are many illusions in this world, many veils that cover the eyes and make it difficult for us to see with true clarity of vision. These illusions are further perpetuated as we look at and relate to ourselves by our profession.

This was a key factor that was holding me back in life, as I always felt mis-understood or felt that "nobody cared" about my passionate love for the sacred elements delivered in music .For many years I saw myself as a musician or even a "Rockstar" and that idenity is what I was working to uphold. There is no need to be concerned about the transitory fame or notariaty that I thought to be neccisary in order to take the message to the masses. As we are all one life, those who are attuned to the frequencies of truth will hear them and those in search of them will be drawn to them when it is there time. Through the many blessings of wisdom that have been bestowed upon me along my spiritual path I now have a clear vision that I am no longer the player but the instrument!

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