The human model that has been fantasized in modern times is a heavily downgraded form of the “authorized version”. Under extreme interpretations of materialist philosophies, the human being has been perceived as an animal, with somewhat superior qualities, qualities that are nothing more than a combination of biological and chemical secretions, bones and flesh. For those who have obsessively submitted themselves to this way of thinking, many feelings and human states like love, compassion, mercy, reason, willpower, etc., exist or come to surface because of some chemical reactions in our bodies. For such people, we are all about what we can see and touch. The lead article in this issue challenges this obsession and urges us to think about what is truly “inside.” It draws our attention to what there is behind the veils of causality and physical forms and that there is an inner dimension of all existence which is described in the following words: “The inner dimension of existence, for those who are open to it, is never a fantasy, a dream, an illusion or a delirium, but instead a phenomenon and an inner system.” It is only by striving to explore this “system” that the meaning of this life can be unearthed and “our groundless fears and worries can melt away.”
In our interview with Dr. Charles Townes from California, a Nobel laureate, the core message of the lead article is further developed; Townes notes “the most fundamental and human question is the meaning of life.” According to Townes, religion and science are much more consistent with one another than people think and questions like “why are we here and what should we do? How did life begin, why is the world the way it is?” can be answered by studying both.
In this issue we have two pieces on music. In our interview with Dr. Jeffrey Thompson he notes that sound is used in all cultures on earth “as a prominent technique in healing or religious rites or as a means of attaining a change of consciousness, one way or another.” Starting from being a fetus in our mother’s womb, human beings are first exposed to sound at a younger age and more predominantly than other senses, like sight. Sounds can provide a form of relaxation therapy when the right tones are found and played in a way that connects us to our primordial state, taking us away from the din of our daily activities.
Julie Ann Cunningham discusses the healing power of music in human history and today. She explains how healing was made possible in ancient civilizations from the priest-physicians of Egypt to musicologists and mystics of India to Abu Bakr Razi, who treated patients suffering from depression more than a thousand years ago. For Cunningham, “music is a language that crosses the barriers of human vocal languages.”