First United Methodist Church – Omaha
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Lindenmeyer
Date: November 17, 2019
Wisdom Readings: John 1:1 and The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word
Sermon: “In Tune with the Uni-Verse”
Sermon Series: Grateful
In the beginning was the Word, which was sound, which is a pressure wave created by a vibrating object. And the Word, the reverberation of air, was with God and the Word was God. Sound was with God in the beginning.
Hazrat Inayat Khan, a teacher of Universal Sufism
The reach of vibrations is according to the fineness of the plane of their starting-point. To speak more plainly, the word uttered by the lips can only reach the ears of the hearer; but the thought proceeding from the mind reaches far, shooting from mind to mind. The vibrations of mind are much stronger than those of words. The earnest feelings of one heart can pierce the heart of another; they speak in the silence, spreading out into the sphere, so that the very atmosphere of a person’s presence proclaims his thoughts and emotions. The vibrations of the soul are the most powerful and far-reaching, they run like an electric current from soul to soul.
I’ve heard that each memory has a soundtrack. Thirty years ago today, The Little Mermaid arrived in theaters—at the time, I was a senior in college and involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters. A local elementary school suffered an immense tragedy when a tornado ripped through the school and knocked down the cafeteria wall when the children were at lunch. The school was closed the next day and our chapter of Big Brothers and Little Sisters was asked if we could take about forty of the children in third and fourth grade to the movie. I had a group of seven girls. Before the movie, the children were silent, still in shock from what happened at the school the day before. But the upbeat music changed them—they were completely different after the movie, and I remember one of the little girls saying she wanted to be a song and sing like all the animals in the movie.
What if we believed we were living songs? We tune a piano, but how often do we tune our heart? Joy, happiness, love—our emotions are quite complex and involve the brain and the heart and result from energy based on our feelings. When Barney Clark, a retired dentist with congestive heart failure, received the first permanent artificial heart in 1982, his wife of 39 years reportedly asked the doctors, “Will he still be able to love me?” The heart may not originate our feelings, but it is highly responsive to them. When our minds and hearts are synchronized and in rhythm, we are balanced, and in tune. We as a species didn’t evolve by listening 24/7 news or the constant hum of traffic. We evolved listening to our heartbeat, to our breath, to nature’s symphony around us.
All of nature has its own sheet music, led by a conductor who hears the sounds of each leaf, of each plant, of each animal, of each wave in the ocean, of each human being. We all join together in one song, in one uni-verse, the greatest phenomenon playing all around us. Humanity is not only falling out of tune with the rhythms of the world, we are slowly contributing to the extinction of sounds never to be heard again. If each of us were to just tune our hearts to the uni-verse we would experience a global harmonized symphony.
How often are we still long enough to listen to our breath, to our heartbeat? Too often the busy-ness of the world over stimulates our mind. When that happens, our heart, mind, and soul become disharmonious, disrupting the natural flow of energy and causing a jam we experience as tension. Noise is the next greatest public health crises now that the Environmental Protection Agency is run by fossil fuel and chemical company executives. The sound of our heartbeat has a powerful impact on us. Sounds are waves or vibrations that help us connect. Everything in the world has a vibration. The wind blowing through the rustling of trees. The awakening of pinecones. The melody of bird songs. The bubbling sound of a stream.
Continuing our study of Diana Butler Bass’s book Grateful, she writes, “The deepest experiences of gratitude move us beyond islands of isolation into connection and community.” I am truly grateful for sound. I am thankful for the wonderful music here at the church, and this morning we will be engaging in a soundscape with two people for which I am grateful, Astara and Orion…. Illuminating Hearts
Sound is the basis of faith, In the beginning was the Word, which was sound, which is a pressure wave created by a vibrating object. And the Word, the reverberation of air, was with God and the Word was God. Sound was with God in the beginning…
Sounds have the power to heal and uplift. But when immersed in the noise of technological reality, our innate cosmic frequency connection is disrupted, and we get out of tune. Stuck. One of the most profound experiments ever conducted, I think, is how water is affected by sound. Doctor Masaru Emoto analyzed the formation of differently shaped crystals in water as he spoke kindly to the water, played classical music and prayed over the water. His book, Messages of Water, shows pictures of beautiful crystals that formed resulting from positive vibrational sound waves. Pictures in the book also depict crystals exposed when he spoke harshly, was critical and bullied the water—those crystals were malformed. Dr. Emoto found that water contains two energies: Love and Gratitude. Approximately 70% of our body is water—when we live a life of love and gratitude we are in tune with our bodies.
Drumming invites us back to communion with our flow, from which our life purpose arises. Then we are ready to engage the world rooted in our heart song. May the soundtrack of your life journey be in tune with the global-harmonized symphony, the uni-verse.