Archive for the 'Music' Category

Jun 26 2009

Stephen Levine – In the realm of the passing away (Michael Jackson Tribute)

Published by under Music,Poetry,Videos

In the realm of the passing away
by Stephen Levine

This is the realm of the passing away. All that
exists does not for long.
      Whatever comes into this world never stops sliding
toward the edge of eternity.
      Form arises from formlessness and passes back,
arising and dissolving in a few dance steps between
creation and destruction.
      We are born passing away.
      Seedlings and deadfall all face forward.
      Earthworms eat what remains.
      We sing not for that which dies but for that which
never dies.

— from Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace, by Stephen Levine

/ Photo by tipoyock /

Whatever comes into this world never stops sliding
toward the edge of eternity.

Yesterday was a strange day of famous deaths. I woke up and found out that Ed McMahon had died the day before. Then I heard about Farrah Fawcett’s passing. In the afternoon, checking out friends’ comments on Facebook, I started to see messages about “Michael” and “Thriller.” Were they saying that Michael Jackson had died too? A few searches on the Internet, and I found out that, yes, Michael Jackson had unexpectedly died. To add to that, I then was told that the actor Jeff Goldblum had died by falling off a cliff, only to find out later that he had been injured but did not die.

Now, I can’t say I felt a really strong personal connection to these famous figures, but by the end of the day I could feel the world’s shock, especially over Michael Jackson’s death. It would seem strange not to mention such a significant death in today’s email.

In his personal life, Michael Jackson seemed eccentric and haunted, and accusations raised troubling questions. But frankly I don’t know enough about the private man to comment or pass judgment. His genius as a singer and dancer can’t be denied, however. I remember his performance at the Motown awards, singing “Billie Jean” wearing a single sequined glove, and sliding a smooth moonwalk across the stage. A revolution exploded in music and dance at that very moment, the repercussions of which are still reverberating through pop culture today.

Michael Jackson is one of those rare figures, like Bob Marley, Elvis, John Lennon, a defining figure for the entire world. There is a reason that we call the ultra famous “stars.” They are like the planets in astrology; they embody for the world a certain archetypal energy. But that makes normal human relationships next to impossible for these people. We relate to the archetypal aura and not the person. Culture bearers are adored by millions and intimate with none.

This archetypal role they play is also why their deaths are so traumatic to the world. Archetypes are, by their nature, eternal energies of the soul. So when a person embodying a particular archetype dies, the world feels a rupture, the planetary psyche feels disoriented and fragmented. How can that which we instinctively know to be eternal disappear from our midst? But what really happens is that the archetypal energy is released, returned back to each of us. Having seen it enacted outside of ourselves, we are again reminded to look within ourselves for those same qualities.

So, today, sing! Hooo! And dance! Maybe try a moonwalk in socks across the kitchen floor…

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Jun 22 2009

Music: Tabla & Taiko

Published by under Music,Videos

The great tabla player, Zakir Hussain, accompanied by Japanese taiko drums. Hope you enjoy.

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