How Music Affects Consciousness
The Spiritual Origins of Sound and Music
(A Position Paper by Steve Robertson)
“People say that the soul, on hearing the song of creation, entered the body, but in reality the soul itself was the song.”
– 14th Century Sufi poet Hafiz
Research has shown that music has the power to change emotional states, change perceptions and physiology, and elevate spiritual awareness. Certain types of music, devotional and sacred in nature, also have the power to transform individual and collective consciousness into the heightened states of love, forgiveness, compassion, and physical healing. Such heightened states of loving awareness tend to be what empowers human consciousness to more empathetically identify with disharmonious societal, geopolitical, and environmental issues, and at the same time, envision, co-create and implement solutions for them. This paper, which I wrote over a ten year period of time, explores the possibility of how a globally-broadcast concert of spiritually inspired music can potentially shift collective consciousness so that each person authentically experiences their own innate divinity as a reference point of recognizing this same divinity in others, the sacredness in all of our planet’s wildlife, its natural resources and our custodial responsibility and honor for the earth. In this way and from this more illuminated state awareness, we can choose to evolve and honor the spiritual, cultural, and ethnic diversity that is the watershed of God’s loving creative expression.
“I believe that from the earth emerges a musical poetry which is by the nature of its sources tonal. I believe that these sources cause to exist a phonology of music, which evolves from the universal known as the harmonic series. And that there is an equally universal musical syntax, which can be codified and structured in terms of symmetry and repetition.” – Leonard Bernstein
The earth and universe, according to all major religious texts, were created and brought into form through sound. The Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, which predates the Bible by some three thousand years, literally translated means “Celestial Song.” Its’ text states: “In the beginning was Brahman, with whom was the Word, and the Word was Brahman and Brahman said this world shall be and the world came into being.”
“And God said ’Let there be light.” – Genesis
Similarly, in the Bible’s Gospel of John it states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” According to John the Evangelist in the first century A.D., the Biblical translations of the ‘Word’ means ‘Primary Harmony.’
Egyptian religious texts state that the Singing Sun created the world with its cry of light. He sang: “This world shall be,” and the world came into being. Thereligious texts of the Aztecs also referred to God as the ‘Creator’ and state that “He sang the world into existence.”
Hindu teachings describe the ‘Word’ in terms of the sound ‘OM,’ which is the vibratory essence of God and the creative energy used to bring the universe into existence. Buddhists refer to this energy as the ‘Primal Vibration,’ teaching that it was divided into 12 tonal derivations, each of which gave rise to and corresponded with the 12 signs of the Zodiac, the 12 months of the year, the 12 hours of the day (yang), the 12 hours of night (Yin), as well as the 12 notes of the chromatic scale.
“All things are aggregations of atoms that dance and by their movement produce sound.
When the rhythm of the dance changes, the sound it produces also changes . . .
Each atom perpetually sings its song, and the sound at every moment creates dense subtle forms.”
– Alexandra David-Neel
Music and all audible sound, according to these spiritual texts, represented the audible manifestation of the “Word,” ‘OM,’ or ‘Primal Vibration.’ In fact, the great Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Khan, went so far as to say: “What makes us feel drawn to music is that our whole being is music; our mind and body, the nature in which we live, the nature which has made us, all that is beneath and around us, it is all music.”
“And the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14
In physics, Einstein’s statement, “Energy and mass (matter) are different forms of the same thing mass/energy,” creates the foundation for understanding the energetic/vibratory nature of all matter. As energy increases, matter begins to take form. In the 19th Century, physicist Ernst Chlandi discovered that when he sprinkled sand onto a flat surface affixed to a pedestal base, and then drew a violin bow perpendicularly across the edge of the surface, round, mandala-like shapes were formed as the grains of sand were moved by the soundwaves generated. This work was followed by Dr. Hans Jenny in a field he named ‘Cymatics’ or the study of waves. Jenny was able to capture on a device called a “Tonescope,” the patterns of a circle when “OM,” the sound associated with God, was chanted into this device. He also discovered that concentric diamond shapes also formed within the circle during the process.
“Architecture is crystallized music.” – Goethe
Music differs from other art forms, such as paintings, sculpture, photography, or literature, in that they express more of a linear or more of a one and two-dimensional form of matter/energy than does music. As such, these art forms are processed by either one or the other brain hemispheres. Music, as a type of matter, remains in a vibratory state and is thus processed holographically, or by both the right (intuitive) and the left (analytical) hemispheres of the brain. The philosopher and poet William Kindler proclaimed that “of all of the arts, music is the perfect art, because it strikes the soul without the aid of the intellect.”
“The Science of the future will be based on sympathetic vibrations.” – Rudolph Steiner
Music affects consciousness because of two Laws of Physics: the first is called the Law of Sympathetic Vibration, and the second is the Law of Entrainment. The Law of Sympathetic Vibration works like this: take two acoustical (string-type) musical instruments, such as a piano, violin, or guitar, and place them near one another. As the string on instrument A is struck, the vibration from that instrument will resonate and carry across the room striking the strings on the untouched instrument B causing it to vibrate. Likewise, this Law of Physics is what facilitates the communication and transference of a song’s emotional message (harmony or melody) from the mind of the composer and its performers to the mind of the listener, thus causing the person to feel and to take on the corresponding emotional essence of a song’s compositional intent (happy or depressed, peaceful or violent, hopeful or hopeless, and so on). Similarly, the Law of Sympathetic Vibration explains why a person gets “goose bumps” when listening to a song.
“The companions of right reason are decency, accord, and cadence; decency in song, accord in harmony, and cadence in rhythm.” – Plato
The Law of Entrainment, or as it is technically called, ‘mutual phase-locking of two oscillators’, was first described by a Danish physicist in 1767. This Law of Physics was discovered one afternoon as the physicist observed the armature motion of two pendulum type clocks that he had placed side-by-side on a fireplace mantel. Initially, the armatures swung in opposition to one another. Then, after a short period of time, they began swinging in unison (entraining). This Law of physics occurs as a result of energy always seeking the path of least resistance or, said another way, finding the most efficient means of expressing itself. In other words, objects (clock armatures) moving in unison (harmony/entrain) expresses a more efficient use of energy than when they move in opposition (disharmony) to one another. Similarly, the Law of Entrainment is what causes the unconscious neurological tendency of a person to move their body or tap their foot in rhythm to music.
“The noble-minded man’s music is mild and delicate, keeps a uniform mood, enlivens and moves. Such a man does not harbor pain nor mourn in his heart; violent and daring movements are foreign to him.” – CONFUCIUS
Ancient Chinese philosophers believed that music was an energy formula that could be used for either the benefit of humankind or misused according to free will. In one of their most revered texts, ‘The Spring and Autumn of Lu Bu Ve,’ it states: “When desires and emotions do not follow false paths, then music can be perfected. Perfected music has its cause. It arises out of justice. Justice arises from the true purpose of the world.” So strong was the Chinese belief in using music to promote peace that every word for music (Yuo) is represented by the same graphic symbol as the word serenity (lo). To the Chinese, music represented the highest form of prayer and the most powerful means of directing consciousness towards spiritual realization. Therefore, it was important that composers and performers understood, integrated, and aligned themselves with the higher order thoughts of love so that their music promoted a harmonious vision for people.
“A Psalm is the tranquility of souls, the arbitrator of peace, restraining the disorder and the turbulence of thoughts, for it softens the passion of the soul and moderates unruliness . . .So that the singing of psalms brings love, the greatest of good things summoning the help of angels.”
– The Christian Church of St. Basil
David Tame, noted author of The Secret Power of Music states: “Surely the lowest common denominator which determines the precise nature of any musical work is the mental and emotional state of the composer and/or performer. It is the essence of this state which enters into us, tending to mold and shape our own consciousness into conformity with itself. The fact is that all types of musicians, good and bad, tend to be quite aware of the communicative power of tonal art. Through this communicative power, the emotional state of one artist can be transferred to a hundred, or even ten million listeners.”
“A great musical performance is actually an exercise in the accurate and exquisite communication of emotions. For the audience to feel the emotion in a musical phrase the performer must also feel it in mind, body, and spirit.”
– Felix Mendelssohn
Throughout history numerous noted scholars have been interested in the relationship between a musician’s creative intention and the resulting composition’s affect on the emotional and spiritual state of the listener. One of the earliest recorded observations was made by Iamblichus, a pupil of Pythagoras. He observed, “And there are certain melodies devised as remedies against the passions of the soul, and also against despondency and lamentation, which Pythagoras invented as things that afford the greatest assistance in these maladies. And again, he employed other melodies against rage and anger, and against every aberration of the soul.” In Timaeus, Plato stated, “Man’s music is seen as a means of restoring the souls, rendered confused and discordant by bodily affliction, the harmonic proportions that it shares with the world soul of the cosmos.” Aristotle also concluded that, “Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm; therefore by music, a man becomes accustomed to feeling the right emotions; music has thus the power to form character, and the various kinds of music based on the various modes, may be distinguished by their effects on character- one, for example, working in the direction of melancholy, another of effeminacy; one encouraging abandonment, another self-control, another enthusiasm, and so on throughout the series.”
“Music is the shorthand of emotions.” – Leo Tolstoy
“All conditions and all circumstances in our lives are a result of a certain level of thinking.
If we want to change the conditions and circumstances, we have to change the level of thinking that is responsible for it.” – Albert Einstein
In the early 1800′s, Thomas Young, an English physicist, conducted ground-breaking research to establish that light traveled in a wave-like pattern in what he termed the “double-slit experiment.” Approximately one hundred years later, Einstein’s experiments on light proved that it traveled in a straight line (or as though it had been shot out of a gun) in what he termed the “photo electric principle.” These differing conclusions confounded the physics community who pondered how could light travel in both a wave pattern and also in a straight line? In 1934, Heisenberg, the renowned German physicist, answered this question in his experiments, which lead to the principle of quantum mechanics, called the “Uncertainty Principle.” Heisenberg’s experiments concluded that the very act of observing a natural phenomenon actually changes what is being observed. In other words, if the experimenter’s hypothesis is that light travels in a wave pattern, as was the case with Young, then these thoughts literally cause the light particles at a subatomic level to conform to this outcome. Similarly, if the experimenter sought to prove the hypothesis that light traveled in a straight line, as thought Einstein, then these thoughts caused that outcome.
“The superior man tries to promote music as a means to the perfection of human culture. When such music prevails and when people’s minds are lead to the right ideals and aspirations, we may see the appearance of a great nation.”
The phenomenon of thoughts causing specific outcomes, as defined by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, has been described by spiritual doctrines throughout history in terms of how humans express free will and co-create. “As a man acts, so does he become. As a man’s desire is, so is his destiny, “states the Upanishads. “All that we are is a result of what we have thought,” stated Buddha. The Bible’s King Solomon said, “As a manthinketh in his heart, so is he.” Interestingly, the root origin of the word ”man“ means consciousness. Shakespeare concluded, “Nothing is either good nor bad, but thinking it makes it so.” Emerson proclaimed, “The ancestor of every action is thought.”
“The profound meaning of music and its essential aim . . . is to produce a communion, a union of man with his fellow man and with the Supreme Being.” – Igor Stravinsky
Pythagoras, the father of mathematics, believed that the philosophical principles of love, peace, wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, and joy were embodied in the harmonics of what he termed, “Music of the Spheres.” This music, he believed, was heard and recreated in proportion to the composer’s level of spiritual evolution and most importantly their intent to create compositions from that devotional mindset. This state of spiritual intention, according to history’s great mystics, is accessed through a devotional and contemplative listening to the small, still voice within that guides the self into union with Divine Will. ”Be still and know that I am God.” says the Bible. Paramahansa Yogananda, author Autobiography of a Yogi stated, “The Veda’s, India’s most ancient scriptures, were divinely revealed to the rishis, or ‘seers.’ It was a revelation by sound, directly heard.” Aldous Huxley said, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet said: “My soul counseled me and charged me to listen for voices that rise neither from the tongue nor the throat. Before that day, I heard but dully, and naught save clamor and loud cries came to my ears; but now I have learned to listen to silence, to hear its choirs singing the song of ages, chanting the hymns of space, and disclosing the secrets of eternity.”
“I function as a channel through which music emerges from the chaos of noise.”
-Vangelis, composer of Chariots of Fire
“from the deeply laid principles of inherited associations, musical tones would be likely to excite in us, in an indefinite manner, the strong emotions of a long-past age.” – Darwin
From birth, our consciousness is hard-wired to hear and to listen. The first bone to develop in the human fetus is the ear bone, the first sense to develop in the fetus is hearing. Hearing is the last sense to go when we die . The cochlea, part of the inner ear, looks like the shell of a snail. In it, there are some 60,000 hair cells, each of which resonates like a microscopic tuning fork, to a specific frequency or sound. As one of these specific hair cells resonates, a corresponding neurological impulse is sent to the brain, causing the release of neuropeptides, or what are called “communicator molecules.”
“Music is the mediator between the life of the senses and the life of spirit.” – Beethoven
According to Candace Pert, Ph.D., former Chief of Brain Biochemistry at the Clinical Neuroscience Branch of the National Institute of Health, “Everything in your body is being run by these messenger molecules, many of which are peptides. A peptide is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Peptides are amino acids strung together. They (peptides) appear to mediate intercellular communication throughout the brain and body. We’ve actually found the material manifestations of emotions in these peptides and their receptors. Emotions, they’re the bridge between the mental and the physical or the physical and the mental. Our organs and tissues are physically affected by moods and attitudes because they come from the realm of the mind and transform themselves in the physical realm through the emotions. Emotions affect whether we’ll get sick from the same loading dose of a virus and directly influence the probability that an organism will get sick.’”
“Every sickness is a musical problem, the healing therefore, is a musical resolution.”
– Novalis, the 18th century German mystic poet.
Similarly, Margret Kemeny, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, states “We tend to think of feeling happy or sad as intangible. We experience these emotions, but we don’t imagine that they have physical correlates. But in fact, when we feel happy or sad or angry or afraid, very specific changes take place in particular regions of the brain.” In 1964, the renowned biochemist, Anfinsen, drew an interesting analogy between music and protein molecule stating, (in the 2nd edition of Stryer’s text book on Biochemistry), “It struck me recently, that one should really consider the sequence of a protein molecule about to fold into a precise geometric form, as a line of melody written in a canon form and so designed by Nature to fold back into itself, creating harmonic chords of interaction consistent with biological function.”
“Consciousness is somehow a by-product of the simultaneous, high-frequency firing of neurons in different parts of the brain. It’s the meshing of these frequencies that generates consciousness, just as tones from individual instruments produce the rich, complex, and seamless sounds of a symphony orchestra.” – Francis Crick, Co-Discoverer of DNA
The renowned Japanese mathematician and research scientist, Susumu Ohno, converted the mathematical formulas of living cells into musical notes in an attempt to make the patterns of complex genetic codes more discernable. In another experiment, Ohno reversed the process by converting phosphoroglycerine kinase, an enzyme that enables humans to metabolize sugar, into a mathematical formula and then played its musical equivalent to a group of Japanese kindergarteners. He found that it always put the children to sleep because “It sounds like a lullaby.” In another, he reversed the process, translating the notes of Chopin’s funeral march into chemical equations and found the entire passage appeared almost identically to a cancer gene found in humans. Ohno concluded, “This is not surprising, as nature follows certain physical laws, the universe obeys them, as does the process of life. Music follows the same patterns as well.”
Researcher Dorothy Redlack performed strictly regulated scientific experiments to measure the affects of different types of music on plant growth. In her experiments, music was piped into atmospherically-controlled cabinets that housed seedling plants. Over the course of several weeks each of the cabinets/planets were exposed to different types of music for a period of three hours daily. One group was exposed to acid rock, another to classical music, and a third to devotional music. Within ten days, plants being exposed to acid rock began leaning away from the speakers and after a month they died. Plants exposed to classical music leaned towards the speakers and grew at a normally-expected rate. However, plants exposed to devotional music leaned towards, rapped around the speakers, and grew two inches taller than the other plants being played classical music.
“I don’t read music. I have the music in mind and sing with my body.” – Pavarotti
In a recent article in Scientific America, the Nobel-Prize-winning quantum physicist Brian Josephson, Ph.D., theorized, “that music stems less from superficial cultural influences than from timeless universal ‘structures’ of the mind.” By probing the human response to music, Josephson stated, “Researchers may discern these structures.” Carl Jung, the renowned psychiatrist, referred to these “timeless universal structures” as archetypal symbols which, in essence, formed the subconscious software from which human emotions are experienced and from which thoughts are created. Jung also believed that each person’s thoughts contributed to a planetary matrix he termed the “The Collective Consciousness,” a unified data base, from which, each mind both received and contributed information. Jung’s thesis was later substantiated by the scientific research of world renowned biologist, Rupert Sheldrake.
“O believe, as thou livest, that every sound that is spoken over the round world,
which thou oughtest to hear, will vibrate in thyne ear.” – Emerson
In Sheldrake’s experiments he measured the learning curve of individual rats (of the same genetic lineage) as each ran in succession through a maze. The experiments showed that when Rat A ran through the maze in X time, its’ thought process (or learning curve) was broadcast to and received by the proceeding Rat B, thus reducing its time to run through the maze. Sheldrake found that when Rat F finally ran the maze it benefited from the aggregate learning curves of Rats A, B, C, D, and E. From these experiments he concluded, “Everything we do . . . thoughts, feelings, emotions, behavior, is deposited, if you will, in a sort of gigantic information bank that is encoded into this planetary thought field that represents the collective experience of the human race.” Sheldrake called this thought field the “morphogenetic” or “M-Field.”
“The presence of those whose minds are not purified and still becomes a source of unrest for others as well as for themselves…
Everyone is tired by their presence, and their atmosphere causes uneasiness and discomfort.”
– The Sufi Message
In Dr. William S. Condon’s 1975 article in the Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia entitled, “The Multiple Response to Sound in Dysfunctional Children” he writes, “Just as our internal rhythms are locked on hold with one another, they are also entrained with the outside world. Our physical and mental states change in rhythm with the seasonal swing of the earth and the sun, with tides, with the day-night cycles and perhaps the cosmic rhythms that present-day science has yet to isolate and define. When these rhythms are forced out of phase, disease is likely and dis-ease is inevitable.”
Through foolishness they deceived themselves into thinking that there was no right or wrong in music – that it was to be judged good or bad by the pleasure it gave. By their work and their theories they infected the masses with the presumption to think themselves adequate judges . . . As it was, the criterion as not music, but a reputation for promiscuous cleverness and a spirit of law-breaking. – Plato, (Laws)
“If one desires to know if a kingdom is well governed, if its morals are good or bad, the quality of the music will furnish the answer.” – Confucius
Is there a relationship between the music that children listen to and the way that they might act and grow up? An article in ADWEEK noted, “Teenagers and young adults buy more albums than their elders and are more likely to take their message to heart, whether philosophy, politics, or style.” If this is so, we might consider how Nirvana’s 1993 album “In Utero” (meaning ‘in the womb’), which sold over 9 million units worldwide and featured the song written by Kurt Cobain entitled, “I Hate Myself and Want to Die,” might have influenced its listeners. Coincidently in this same year the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Report found “3 to 6 million U.S. children are clinically depressed.” In 1994, Pearl Jam sold almost 4 million units of “Vitalogy,” an album that featured a song that lyrically described a child explaining to a therapist why spankings are better than hugs: “Because you get closer to the person.” A review by KRT News said the album’s lyrics provided a “harrowing observation that reminds us how effective Pearl Jam has been in using pain to make that valued connection with its fans.” In this same year, UNICEF’s year-end report found that the U.S. ranked third in the world in youth suicides.
“Even music can be intoxicating. Such apparent slight causes destroyed Greece and Rome, and will destroy England and America.” – Henry David Thoreau
In 1993, Dr. Jonathan Klein published his research in which he surveyed 2,760 adolescents ranging from ages 14 to 16. He found that, “There is clearly an association between embracing heavy metal-music and risky behavior (smoking marijuana, cheating, stealing, drinking, alcohol and having sex).” This same year Snoop Doggy Dog released his album, “Doggy Style” which sold almost 1 million units in it’s first week on sale. Lyrics from the album stated, “Walking down the street smoking indo (marijuana) sipping on gin and juice . . .Later on that day my boy Dr. Dre came threw [sic] with a gang of tangeray [sic] and a fat ass J of some blue bonic chronic (marijuana).
“The three goddesses of Beauty, Truth and Goodness are independent and jealous ladies, each with their own particular sphere of activity…we must clearly differentiate their distinct roles if we are to lay the basis of a valid aesthetic judgment; and it would be perverse to allocate music to any except the first.” – Francis Routh
A 1995 University of Michigan study found that, “One in four school children have used illegal drugs before reaching High School.” This same year Green Day, Rolling Stone magazine’s Band-of-the-Year, released their album, “Dookie,” which sold over 5 million units. Lead band member Dirnt was quoted in a feature article interview as saying: “I think drinking and doing drugs are very important. Everybody should drop acid at least once.” In this same interview Billie Joe Armstrong, lead guitarist and vocalist for the group, stated, “Say you hate somebody, and you sit and think about every possible way that you could kill them. You’re like, ‘I f..king hate’em’ . . . That’s what I like to write about.”
“Rome fell not because of political or economic ineptitude, not even because of barbarian invasions; Rome collapsed through a leaching away of meaning and a loss of faith. Rome fell because of a barbarization from within.”
– Lewis Munford, renowned historical scholar.
“. . . the purpose of human life is to achieve our own spiritual evolution, to get rid of negativity,to establish harmony among our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual quadrants, to learn to live in harmony within the family community, nation, the whole world and all living things, treating all of mankind as brothers and sisters – thus making it finally possible to have peace on earth.”
– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.
In order to transform our world we must first transform ourselves. The Disciple Paul stated, “If you want to be transformed, be not of the world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Confucius said, “Do not fight evil. Strive consciously to create the good.” Similarly, Jesus stated, “Resist not evil (with evil). Evil should be resisted only with its logically effective opposite: Good or Love.” Sophocles proclaimed, “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life; that word is love.” In the epic 1926 film Metropolis, the dialog states, “Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hands and the mind.”
“No one is without love, only some cannot see it. Love is the force that brings all living beings, into being, Being together, in love.” – Lyrics by Chris Spheeris from his album “Pathways to Surrender.”
Individual emotional and physical healing, as well as the eventual attainment of planetary peace, all begin from the same place, the love of self. Music that is inspired and composed with an intention to promote love, and inner peace awakens the mind and opens the heart to actualize the wisdom of Jesus who stated, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
“Music can minister to minds diseased, Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, Raze out the written troubles of the brain, And with its sweet oblivious antidote, Cleanse the full bosom of all perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart.”
– Shakespeare –
Great composers like J.S. Bach wrote at the head of their compositions “A.M.D.G.,” the Latin initials for (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam) meaning “For the Greater Glory of God.” Thus, when musicians create and perform from a devotional and self-realized state this intent, at the level of quantum physics, formats their music into a sacred energetic formula that expresses the enlightened perspective of love or what Pythagoras called ‘Music of the Spheres.’ When this music is experienced by the listener, the Law of Sympathetic Vibration dictates that their mind will resonate correspondingly. Therefore, the process of listening to spiritually-inspired music establishes the protocol whereby the mind stills and the body relaxes. In this state, the mind, is moved into a present-time reality where the sacred vibration of harmony (OM, Aum, Amen, or Cosmic Vibration) is least distorted and the mind is quiet enough to both witness and remember the Song of the Self, or the mystical principle of the “I AM,” the Divinity within. Here, the mind is moved from passive hearing to a conscious listening of the “Word” or “Primary Harmony.” In other words, the process of listening to sacred music empowers the mind to perceive and release illusions of fear, pain, and suffering so that it experiences and remembers the reality of the love that it already is. Thus, atonement and the integration of Divine Will is made possible.
“Music should be healing, music should uplift the soul, music should inspire; then there is no better way of getting closer to God, of rising higher towards the spirit, of attaining spiritual perfection, than music, if only it is rightly understood.”
– The Sufi Hazrat Kahn –
One person cannot give to another what he or she does not first have. Peace from emotional disorders and physical disease, peace between cultures and on our planet are inextricably linked to our ability to first find peace within ourselves, to find what Jesus called “The kingdom of heaven that dwells within.”
“The healing of ourselves is the healing of the whole nation.”
– Buddhist poet Thich Nhat Hanh –