I. The call

Before the slightest rustle of a newborn world, before the awareness of hours, a call spread throughout every part of existence. It touched every point in the universe, seeking the harbor of hungry souls. And we were hungry, ravenous for energy. All we knew was isolation, and until we heard the call, there was no sense of why we existed.

But the instant we heard the call there was a dawning of purpose. After an eternity of unmoving, we were compelled to begin moving. It was a Song that called us to move, and we responded. It was the Original Song.

We followed the Song, we stalked it. All we knew was our irresistible attraction. It seemed to simultaneously arise within and around us, yet also appeared like a beacon before us, inviting us ever onward.

Something inside us knew we would recognize when we had arrived at the source of the Song, and so we each moved towards it according to our path. For some the Song seemed to be eons away, others felt it closer than a neighbor calling us over for an evening feast. In truth the Song was in exactly the same relationship to each one of us- it was only our perspective which made it seem close or far away.

Over a span of existence not measured by time, one by one we arrived at a gathering place from where the Song seemed to arise. As we entered this place, not bordered by physical boundaries, a sense of completeness washed over and through us, a peace and satisfaction that proclaimed, "You are home. This is where you need to be".

Our journey to find the source of the Song was over. The word sacred did not occur to us, but if it had, we would have called this a sacred place, for this was our original experience of holiness. The feeling of Returning coursed through our beings.

II. Gathering on the Plain of Song

Shimmering like a mirage, the image of a great plain stretched in all directions, rising into majestic mountains higher than any ever seen on earth. A likeness of the Sun and Moon shone together in the sky, both warming and cooling us at the same time.

The first arrivals to the Plain of Song welcomed the next ones, until our circle grew so large it became difficult to see each other. Wanting a close connection with our fellow beings, we began forming a second circle as more journeyers arrived. This process continued until the plain was filled with circle after circle of beings, all listening with rapt attention to the Original Song. Assembled, we could see beings like ourselves circled in configurations that stretched out beyond the limits of our vision- an endless multitude into infinity, yet all in relationship with each other through the circles, now countless in number.

The Song continued to grow in strength and beauty, and we marvelled in awe of its power. The Song was ecstatic, and we danced in the rhythm and grace of it. Our bodies were unlike those we know on Earth; more like gossamer or woven moonlight, yet fluid and responsive to the energy pouring through. A thought passed through us like a wave, a thought we somehow understood that we all received at the same time, which only increased the joy of our connectedness. And the thought was:

This is as good as it gets!

Then we began to sing.

The song in us began like a ripple on a clear pond, emerging from a part of our being that was connected in the most intimate way with the Song singing around us. It began without any control on our part, as if the Song was using us as instruments to add new tonal dimensions to itself. We opened our mouths, and the song came through us, without any effort. The Song was woven to our breath, and both breath and song emerged from us as one.

We gradually became aware that our entire circle was also singing, being moved by the same Song. We recognized the song of our group was matched in pitch and harmony, with identical lyrics emerging simultaneously through all of us. There was a sense of tribal unity within our circle, as our chant resounded through the valley.

As we listened to the beauty of the song singing through us, we began to hear the other circles singing their own song, their own tribal theme. Nowhere was there any sense of disharmony or competition, for the singing of each circle was prompted by the Original Song moving through everyone. We were astonished at the majesty of the choral array, for each circle had become a voice within a seemingly infinite choir. And still the Original Song continued above and below and within, a foundation drone upon which our tribal chants ignited and shimmered. And once again the thought washed through us:

This must be as good as it gets!

Then we began to sing on our own.

As if in response to our pronouncement, we began experiencing an entirely new sensation, one in which the controlling of our voice would drop away, leaving us with the sense of freedom to guide the melody anywhere we wished, high or low, using any words which pleased us. This power and freedom was intoxicating, and yet for a period we tried to stay as close to the original chant as possible, not wanting to appear different or selfish with our newfound freedom.

Little by little, some dared soar free with an entirely original melody, a counterpoint to the group theme, which provoked great joy amongst the circle, and added an extra boost of energy to the gathering.

At one point, after a particularly beautiful passage from someone, the other members of the group spontaneously mirrored this melody back to them. Thus, in a very short time, our circle was singing variations unique to our group, born from the songs of the individual beings in the group. In each circle there were one or two individual beings who were particularly gifted with memorable melodies, and these ones we enjoyed mirroring the most. To simultaneously be singing our unique part, harmonized with our group, and hearing the Original Song behind it all, produced an ecstasy beyond any imagining. And we knew together:

This is truly as good as it gets!

Even as we shared this thought, a great wind of Silence arose and crossed the Plain. In it's path every voice came to stillness. Then the Voice, the Original Voice, spoke.

This is what I had in Mind, it said.
Remember this. You can always return here.
Now you are free to keep singing.

We had a moment of collective pondering, wondering at the meaning of these words, but were so entranced by the beauty of the music we returned almost immediately to our endless creation.

III. Tributaries of time

It was in that moment of wonder that a new world came into being, the world in which we were eventually born. For in that moment a fracture occurred in the fabric of the infinite song, as if a canyon in the valley opened, a canyon alluring enough to walk into, only to find ourselves drifting like floating twigs and leaves down a great river.

And as those of us who floated may have witnessed if we simply turned around to look, there were a few who stayed behind, and they were waving, and their song was continuing without ceasing. These folk we refer to as "angels" and "mahatmas", those who would one day help remind us of our forgotten song.

As we floated, tumbling every which way, we still remembered the music in our heart. The grandness, the beauty, the resonance, permeated our consciousness. Some hummed along, enraptured by the exquisite feeling of singing while floating in a gently flowing river. Our circles were still together, and we continued to sing, though we couldn't very clearly make out the Original Song anymore. This didn't seem to bother us.

But our attention was directed elsewhere, as we heard a muffled booming up ahead, a sound which grew and grew into a thunderous roar. We looked at each other in terror as we reached the crest of a great cascade, knowing suddenly that things were about to drastically change.

We fell a long way, not knowing what would happen. We lost sight of each other, and hit the river without knowing if we would survive. The great churning separated us from our group, and we were mixed up with all the other groups, so when we rose back to the surface of the river, we were in entirely different arrangements. As a way of calming down, and also out of habit, we began to sing. But now it was different. We didn't know the same song- it sounded terrible. Our memory of the Original Song had faded almost completely, and the river was only getting wilder.

It was so disharmonious, many stopped singing altogether. Why add to the confusion? After the sumptuous feast of our infinite harmonies, how could anyone mistake these raucous scraps for music? And so we drifted farther, feeling sad at the loss of our group, and feeling tired from lack of nourishment which the music had provided.

The river suddenly divided into two major streams. Half of us went down one way, while the other half went the other. These streams broke into two again, and we all seemed to be spreading apart, being divided from one another. Some were frightened and let out loud screams. Others just stared with wide eyes. Our awakened consciousness was being covered like a baby with a vast velvet blanket. Our memory began fading like the lights of a city turning off as dawn approaches. Thus we found ourselves carried swiftly and inexorably down the tributaries of time.

IV. The tunnel

My memory is this: I could hear crying all around me, and I began to cry myself. The tributary was too powerful now. At one point, at the beginning of the river experience, I remember trying to swim upstream, and was able to accomplish it with little effort. What joy it had been!

Now there was no way for me to fight the force of the stream. I was a prisoner of this current, and noticed I had only one river companion left. She looked terrified. I reached out to her and touched her hand. Without speaking, I looked in her eyes, saying in my mind, "It'll be alright- I'll help us find a way back", when all of a sudden, the river split a final time, and she was swept away down another bend.

I entered a dark tunnel, which narrowed the deeper I went into it. Now I was alone for the first time since I had heard the call, which seemed like eons ago. Talons of silent terror gripped my heart. The memory of divine music was fading away.

I saw a light ahead, and began to hear the steady thump of a heart-drum.

V. The world

To be born on Earth is an experience like no other. The family who greeted us seemed familiar, but oddly so. For a fleeting instant we realized it was our other members who floated down other tributaries of time, and had arrived in the world earlier. Then we forgot, and these beings looked very strange indeed. We learned to cry.

And so we grew up in a family of beings who were so much like us yet so different. For they didn't know the same song we did, and often they didn't even remember their own song. This was the most painful thing of all.

Occasionally we were born into a family with at least one member who had sung the same song as we had, and this created a powerful bond. Otherwise, if there was no close tie from before, we knew we were just biding time, gaining power and skill in order to journey to awaken our own song and find our fellow singing tribe members.

VI. The search

At a certain age, different for each of us, we feel the call to begin an active search. Ultimately we seek the Original Song, which continues unabated in our Homeland. And we thirst for the harmonies of singing with our songmates, those from our original tribal circle who know so well how to co-create with us. But the first priority of our heart is to remember our own song.

We sense that the closer we are able to replicate our original melody, the easier it will be for us to find the others and for them to find us. So we spend long hours in a multitude of ways trying to recapture this tune.

The world we had all joined is perfectly designed to reflect our beliefs. If we believe it is difficult to remember our own song, then the world will give us a thousand reasons why to forget. If, however, we believe it is natural to remember our song, even the birds will seem to be singing our melody.

This is where the angels and mahatmas play with us, cajoling us in an infinite variety of ways to awaken to the melody that burns to be released. Whatever it takes to remind us, they are dedicated to the task. For many the melody is only remembered after severe trauma or loss, when we feel as if we have been completely forsaken by anything familiar in this world. For others it is a gradual awakening, possibly over an entire lifetime or more.

Once we do become familiar again with our song, life changes dramatically. Not that everything is suddenly glorious; in fact, our homesickness may even increase in a strange sort of way. But at least we sense some vague sense of a purpose to things. What purpose, we have only the faintest idea.

When we finally find lost members of our songtribe, we resonate together in a way so familiar that it tickles our soul. We seem to be making exquisite love, even if our bodies never touch. This love transcends even the division of male and female; we discover that the song is universal, and crosses all boundaries.

Finding one tribal member, we have a tendency to get attached, especially if we have been alone for long, and then we get quite confused when another member comes humming along. Some of us have been alone so long, or were so traumatized by the waterfall or the birth tunnel, that even someone who isn't from our same song-group seems a perfectly reasonable choice for a partner, at least better than being alone. This often leads to eventual sadness and disillusion, and a further sense of separation - yet even this may lead us to more sensitivity, and the possibility of connecting with others from our song tribe.

Occasionally several members of a song tribe, having awakened to their own tune, find each other, and thus generate a celebration that may last for days, weeks, or even years. When this occurs, those who have not remembered their own song often feel uncomfortable around such connected folk, or at least act very suspicious.

VII. The return

Being with those who resonate with our song is a blissful experience, to put it mildly. To be with them is like dying and going to heaven, which is a saying many people use without knowing how true it is. Thus the more of our song group we connect with the more blissful our life can be.

This is not to say we have to do this in order to be happy. Our particular lesson may be to only experience the beauty of our own song, or someone else's, without needing the powerful resonance of our original group.

For many, the journey, once their own song is remembered, is about awakening others to their own song- this becomes a natural occupation. This can be done through thought, word, or deed. There is no limit on how often this awakening can be repeated- the effect does not diminish by over-usage, but in fact increases in strength and efficacy.

Even though we are so happy to have found each other again, when the time comes for us to leave this world, to die in the presence of a tribal group member is an especially wonderful blessing. Dying in the presence of anyone who remembers their own song is a beautiful event. For some, this moment of passage is also the moment when they re-discover their own melody.

With support, we more easily remember the purpose of dying is to reconnect with the Original Song, the Great Song, and to once again join those who already have returned to the original celebration on the Plain of Song. We can even hear the rush of the tributaries of time in the distance, yet that sound fades away as the music grows in magnitude. And then Silence overtakes everything, and we once again hear the Voice which we had heard and wondered about long, long ago.

This is what I had in Mind.
Remember this you can always return here.
Now you are free to keep singing.