Tuesday, July 2, 2013


This monumental musical piece, Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, composed by Ralph William Vaughan (1872-1958) in 1910, mirrors an intense emotional experience that does not differ much from Life, being a dynamic pallette of contrasts, tensions and release, colours and lights, shadows and darkness, anticipating a style that has come to be abundantly used in contemporary cinema. This "deceptive saturation" of the heart and the senses was one of the main features of the Romantic Era, as  we can also see in XIXth century paintings, like the one we have before our eyes: the famous Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, by Caspar David Friederich. 
This painting is  subject to interesting but opposite interpretations, idea which is not new, since the writer John Lewis Gadiss already pointed it is suggesting at once mastery over a landscape and the insignificance of the individual within it. We see no face, so it's impossible to know whether the prospect facing the young man is exhilarating, or terrifying, or both (Wikipedia).
Yet, there is much more in this painting, worthy of reflection, because it seems to express our situation in life. There are times when existence seems unbelievably beautiful, awe-inspiring, in contrast to the instants of fear, or even horror in some cases. And what to some people appears beautiful, to others can be terrifying. 
We may also think the young Wanderer has reached a “summit” from which the “clouds of life” can be contemplated beyond deception, or, on the contrary, the sense of reaching a summit casts him deeper into the clouds of ignorance, delusion, because, as Non Duality tells, in the end there is not a Supreme State to be reached, for Fullness, Suchness, shines in everything and everywhere. Although this is the most difficult and tricky realisation.
Our “states of being” shape our views of things, just as a caleidoscope shows different geometric patterns as it turns on the light. Life seems to move; our perceptions, thoughts, emotions and feelings seem to fluctuate, but does Reality really move?
Illusion –from the Latin ilusio or in lusio (within the act of playing)– is part of Reality, which plays hide and seek with itself, perhaps to be always itself, unfathomable, without boundaries. 
Can the art of living this deceptive game of Life be expressed as finding blissfull stillness, Being, in movement?

1 comment:

queridia said...

You express your self so exquisitely in words as well as the choices of music and image. I've always experienced Williams music as very close to sad but then this life (mine) has been a life of learning, not in the Quiet you know, but in all the noise and chaos of every day life. Beneath all is the Quiet, Same One. Thanks