Saturday, November 30, 2013
Intonation and atonement
This idea is old fashioned; monks may do such a thing, or people in yogic chanting circles; and the Muslims still have a pretty good idea of it.
Yet the attractant Force of intonation is generally out of fashion in the modern world, and when it's cloistered and restricted to special moments and structured circumstances, such as churches, it has little freedom to bring Life into relationship—which is its absolute purpose.
The Name of God is what is meant to be intoned, insofar as it is understood- and that name is a vibration, an intonation, not an appellation.
The Name of God is, in other words, an an inner action. Corresponding vibrations arise.
Like the movements, where the action itself becomes the mediating force between two opposing and equally essential points of view, the action of the intonation is what brings Life into relationship with itself.
Life being in relationship with itself has nothing to do with what we expect or conceive of, because Life itself—that is, the real force of Reality which creates Life—is inconceivable and in fact emanates entirely and wholly from the inconceivable. We can stand on the threshold of this manifestation as active agents and participate, but we are agents, representatives, not the originating force.
This relationship of active Being within the Forces that arise becomes an unanswerable question, in the sense that the question becomes alive and is thus in movement, becoming its own answer. This is what Ibn Arabi was getting at when he suggested that a cause can become the effect of its own effect. Ouroborian, or self-referential, arguments all revolve around such paradoxes; yet the paradox is a Truth. The fact that paradox exists at all points us towards the existence of the unknowable; far from negating itself and Reality, the paradox enlivens the irresolvable nature of truth on this level.
Enough excursions. The point is that we intone within Life; and the force of intonement becomes atonement, that is, reconciliation. It's not coincidental that the two words are related; but the mystery of atonement through intonement isn't understood unless it's born within Life, not segregated.
To be born within Life means to be active in life and to find a moment during the everyday to intone the name of the Lord, preferably when no other are present—not because one wishes to experiment, fulfill an imaginary obligation, or invoke magic, but, as is said in eastern Orthodoxy, because it is meet and right so to do.
To understand and implement this organically will accrue benefits, insofar as the supplicant applies him or herself; because it involves a certain alignment with the Forces who are appointed to help in inner work.
One could certainly give instructions on such intonement, but in my opinion it's best for the individual to intimately seek the roots of their own inner practice and let this understanding form of itself—since it is natural and innate, if we open to it.