From Plato, to Quantum, to Tommy Emmanuel and Aşik Veysel

February 2, 2015

It’s like a dark snake racing down the hill, the water, the head of this water coursing down from some higher up starting point, I walk faster than it is going down so as I get closer to the head of the snake, there is a sound, the sound of water molecules encountering the dry, red drainage bricks. It’s around 5 AM, Monday morning. It’s all so very quiet. Quiet enough to hear this water insinuate herself towards her inevitable gravity bound destiny. I listen. This is the quiet hour. Even the cabs didn’t honk their horns as I made my way back home. Now, a plane, on it’s way to Ataturk airport. The sound widens, thickens with all it’s high pitch overtones and low rumble, then decrescendoes in the distance. Now I the gulls squeal, the lightness of my steps on the road. A piece of tar paper waves in the wind. Two cats, two ugly cats, congregate on the cement slab by the garbage bins, one black and white with its eyes too close together, one dull tabby reluctantly prodding a white plastic bag filled with someone’s garbage. The pavement at this point is cement on which cobblestones were etched. There is garbage everywhere, the wind did it and the street cleaning guys have not been around yet. It’s so very steep at this point. There is still wind, earlier it had been hard to move in some exposed spots, the blasts were so strong. But now it’s spring like. The sky is fogged, unclear, the moon wearing a veil.

I wish I would have to walk 4,5 more Kilometers. My heart-head-mind are full. I played tonight. Solo thing. It’s started like the wind: wildness and disorganization had infiltrated everything. I arrived at the venue only to realize that I had forgotten my capo, picks and power supply for the delay. Meaning that besides the guitar and the cables I forgot everything. I called a friend about a capo, no one home, call a second friend, she’s away from home so no capo until at least 20 minutes. OK 20 is just fine, there is no one here… she calls back, it’s going to be an hour or more… no problem. I’ll play the songs with no capos. Then when I plug in the guitar a gigantic low hum fills the room. We try every cable in the house and there is still a hum, it’s the guitar is fucked. Didn’t expect that.

My guitar is out of order, but per chance there is one in the venue. Someone’s instrument. I try it. I hate it. Takamine… never liked them. They are showy but to me they are these passive aggressive things, they fight all night with a smile on their face. I start to play and my wish is that I want to quit, everything about that thing is wrong for me. But I warm up, gradually focus. Forget about the thing and play, play, play.

I go deep.

But there is a part I forgot. Today, earlier, I plunged into my Plato-Socrates course, yeah, I’m doing a free online philosophy course. Today, it spoke of the cave story. Do you know it? It’s known in Sufism too. Quickly: there are people born in a cave, they’ve never seen anything else. The are seated and can only look forward. They cannot turn their heads in any way. All they can see are shadows that appear in front of them. The shadows come from behind them. Objects are carried in front of a fire and the shadows they produce appear on the only wall the people can look at. That is all they know. These shadows. One day, one of the guys gets out of the cave. First the light blinds him, gradually he gets used to it. And then he can feel the wind, see the sun, the sun putting its light on the things, the world reality is a whole other thing. no more backlit shadows,but clear objects… clear reality. It is an analogy with the human perception, society, what we conceive as true. the shadows are the things we believe are the actual reality, we are the people sitting in the cave, all convinced we know it all, that we have it all wrapped up.

so one day the dude goes back in the cave and tells them about what is really going on. And they all think he’s mad. Which is kind of what happens when someone comes and tells his fellow men about higher reality. Everyone demonizes him…

there was a drawing, 3 levels, the sun up in the sky, sun= life then a line, then the things on earth, then another line and an underworld with no sun, with this wall behind the seated people who are unable to see behind them that there is this wall, a fire and people carrying objects that are reflected on the wall. A sort old school TV… it also made the analogy of the people carrying the objects are like our politicians and leaders.. showing lies and fake things as the reality. And looking at this, reading this, made me detach somehow, detach on some level. Something happened. I kept wanting to continue reading… I’ve heard, read, all this before, in various forms, but this added something. This, was pure observation, from a man centuries ago, who saw. Without equations, computers, or any technology. He thought and he saw and he wrote.

After that, I grabbed my baglama, played.. and got into this other intense world, of notes, of fingers and of working on just making as pure a sound as i could. Then I had to run to my show… and that is when I forgot everything on the bed.

At the venue my head, mind, felt changed. This reading and the playing, something happened. As I was playing, playing,I started to fly. I was lucky enough that a few souls came in and they were really enjoying the music so I tuned in and made the wheels spin. worked the magic. I reeled them in and let them loose and tuned into my self and tuned into sounds, tuned into them, into past and future and now and the voice started to detach and do its thing, without me hindering it by thinking I can try to do something. Ah the voice, my voice… this entity, this gift… this other part of me not in the physical… I dug deep.

Later, after we left, I say we as Baris had come down, just to listen Lela was there, and Ekrem we went to his atelier, but this time we talked. About spiritual things… about quantum and then I saw it again, this thing that happened earlier, a new reality. I showed itself again. And I said, as I say too often how all is so perfect. The world, this existence, if you trust it, it’s absolutely perfect. But I said it this time on the heels of this quantum physics fact of the frequencies, the weight of thoughts and how they are heavier than the lines of energy of the smallest of all particles, how thoughts influence these particles, and the complexity of this whole universe made of these particles, which are all the same basic material… yet, with various densities, you get the immensely complex world we see.. it’s …Genius. It’s beyond any conceivable intelligence to actually have all this diversity actually all working all together, it’s… divine. Life, is much bigger than us, and that is where my determination in not planning things really stems from. I am way too narrow and limited a CPU to be able to even come close to imagine or to pretend to know the possibilities that could be. So I trust and let go and understand that I cannot know it all, or even attempt to think that I know what’s best. So I surrender. I call it Faith. This Faith, Surrender is about trusting into this divine intelligence, ability, possibility that is our world, universe. My 5 senses to narrow to truly perceive.

After this we played music, I ate some food then we listened to some songs. First an acoustic guitar player, Tommy Emmanuel. I was blown away. You must watch this guy, this is the first song we listened to : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cHeNscKZN0 and I was taken by is energy, his love for the instrument,for the music, the absolute joy of playing, a child like abandon. Then we listened to a Turkish musician and it was so intense and so sad.. it overwhelmed me. And there that was. Emotion.

As I walk back in this post windy night I feel Emotion. I remember this from forever. I was always too wound up by everything. And I remember shutting it all down, becoming teflon like. After hitting the wall too hard too many times I figured how useful that was going to be to be this tough. Somehow all of this all ties together. The nature of human reality, artistic expression, my own “hyper-sensitive”( I was told so often) the Sufis, the physicists and the individuals, God and nature. There I am. Moveable, moved, moving, part of the whole; everything and one, complex, alive. So to read Plato and feel the nature of your very own self. who would have thought? Ah, to live. Yes, forgive yourself everything and live.

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