I have been mulling over the rhythmic content of human speech and poetry and have come to some tentative conclusions. When we speak and use rhythmic expression, we are stroking the nervous system into a new vibration pattern using the breath and the force of sound.
It is my starting assumption that basically the cosmos is a vibratory phenomenon, that it is form in motion, form being vibrations of different frequency. One might ask, “what is vibrating?”, and to that I would answer, space and solid, on and off, black and white. There is no substance which vibrates, the vibration itself is what we mean by substance.
Indeed, we are chasing a rabbit down a hole assuming that at some point it must have given up on its warren and rested. I cannot in good conscience believe such a hopeful notion, that given enough time we can find the whatever-it-is that cannot be cut. We have been looking for a very, very long time, and each time we find the “smallest fundamental particle” or what have you, the thing proves to be a boundary condition inside of which are more forms vibrating. The ground of being is every level of being every which way and every time, from every point of view.
So here we are, at the ground of being, vibrating constellations of forms we call atoms, molecules, muscles and so on, having reflective dreams about our own nature and origins and trying to find out who, exactly, started it, presumably so we can press charges.
It follows that if we are vibratory phenomena in the sense I’ve outline above, that we are constantly affected by other vibratory phenomena, and that under the right conditions and with appropriate sophistication, we can through acts of will alter said vibrations to bring about desired positive changes in the state of our own being.
Vipassana, or Buddhist insight meditation, is one such example of a vibratory technology which works by focusing the awareness onto the breath, thereby rejiggering the biorhythms of the organism by altering the rate of oscillation between in and out breaths from an unconscious, largely dynamic pattern, to a conscious and regulated one. The effects of this action are a sense of mental clarity, connected-ness or re-association with one’s environment, and bodily comfort.
It would seem to me from this example that arrhythmia, or playing off the beat, may be the source of much of our discomfort, and that we may get back into the swing of things so to speak by getting reacquainted with natural groove.
Poetry is one such method of achieving such a state. The breath cadences of poets like Whitman, Pound, Blake, Shelley, Ginsberg and other variations of stream-of-consciousness or natural-mind styles lend themselves to vibration patterns associated with exaltation, connected-ness and religious awe, in much the same way as older poets such as Rumi conferred feelings of illumination through their spontaneous bardic utterances.
It is my intention to further develop this hypothesis through experiment, reflection, and action, and I call on all poets, meditators, spiritually minded folk and curious minds to aid me in this endeavor by practicing spontaneous verse, magical speech, and by toying with the rhythms of their own breath.
Outer technology is one thing, however inner technology has the distinct advantage of being eternally available, as the medium is the body itself. Come with me, let’s become technicians of our own nervous systems, get smart, and bring magic back into this industrial nightmare before the soot closes up our throats.