39 On Music

Beloved Dharia,

You will have as much sleep as your body needs, as long as you are honestly not forcing yourself.

As for the CD: my preference in eastern music is toward traditional artists: Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Hariprasad Chaurasia, S. Subramunyam, Hamza El Din.
Actual Indian "raga" music or Egyptian folk.
Not westerners trying to make a new-age or dance music interpretation thereof.
In fact, the only western new age musicians whose music I find correct are Miten and Premal's.
You might like them, they are Osho sannyasins; they do some CDs together and some apart.
But they are very good because they will either sing very traditional mantra bhajans (premal) or sing devotional music in the western folk style without trying to synthesis eastern and western forms.

Otherwise, from westerners I like their own music (rock, jazz, folk, some classical; anything that doesn't have too much structure or electronic influence).

Music serves a purpose.
And it can be done correctly or incorrectly.
Both in the sense of technique, and in the sense of capturing the essence of the divine.

By technique, I do not mean any particular style, but about whether a given type of music serves to create a meditative atmosphere or to prevent one (or inflame emotion); and whether the music is affirming of the human or not.

Both fast and slow music can create meditative conditions; it is neither a question of pacing or style of music.
It is possible for either rock or raga to be meditative.

Music operates by affecting certain centres.
It is easier to appeal to the lower senses, to generate cheap emotion in a listener.
In other words it is easier to write good depressing music than it is to write good uplifting music; and easiest of all to write drivel that appeals only to lust or pride.

In general, music that uses a great deal of electronic or artificial instruments will be less affirming of the human.
Natural and acoustic instruments are better.

Music that retains a simpler or looser structure will also tend to be more affirming of the human.
Though some Western Classical music can end up being highly affirming and uplifting, most of it is too rigid and formal.

The question of whether or not music captures the essence of the divine depends entirely on the ability of the writer and the performer to let go into the divine when they are doing their work.

Eastern music was created, with a particular purpose in mind.
It was made to be meditative.
Raga music in particular.
Thus most hybrids of this style of music (ie. almost all so-called new age "world music" by western artists) will end up destroying the integral combinations necessary to have this truly uplifting effect.
Though some will retain elements that will create a reaction in you, that reaction will not reach to all levels of your being the way the original form would.