“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. This is the ultimate basis for the power of harmonious vibration as a great healing force in the world. The Word is still a mystery but scientists are drawing closer to its reality. In a recent article in The Independent (30 April, 01) it was reported that scientists have recorded the music of creation using an instrument that can, in effect go back to the origin of creation. They have detected harmonic notes, minute ripples of sound that became the seeds of matter forming stars, galaxies and solar systems. Thus the beginning of our existence was through vibration. The very word ‘vibration’ begins with the symbol V which, when repeated, actually represents sound waves. That a fundamental vibration created our world is alluded to in Genesis where God created through his voice – “And God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light.” The simplest definition of creation is ‘movement’ but not just random movement but vast multi-layered patterns of vibration which physicists would call ‘frequencies’ or rates of vibration.
What is vibration which when made audible as in music becomes sound? It is the pull of two opposing forces in the universe for without opposites creation runs down. On the one hand is the force we call ‘stillness’ as found in meditation, for example. Yet however deep this stillness, movement can still be detected. On the other hand is the force that moves outward (as in e-motion) and desires to take action and endlessly create new things. This interplay is the source of all vibration which encompasses both the audible and inaudible worlds.
On this basis every human being is the offspring of the original Word which contains all possibilities. We are riding on the crest of this fundamental vibration and if we could feel its full impact at all times we could be fully realized persons – person = per sonare =through sound. There is a school of Indian philosophy that, in fact, states that the nature of consciousness is pulsation or throb. That is why the sound of AUM given to us by the Hindus and pronounced as OM is such a sacred vibration. It represents the beginning (Alpha) and the end (Omega) and the many (the wide open mouth of O = the universal self) and the one (the closed mouth of M = the individual self). In Latin we have OMnes meaning ‘all’ and from ‘all’ we have the sacred sounds of ALLah, ALLeluia and even ALLow.
If the universe is this finely tuned multitude of vibration frequencies, then using the principle of “as above, so below,” each of us is the same. An example of this is the propeller. When at rest we see four individual blades but when it is at full speed we see what looks to be a solid object. So to move to a higher dimension of existence is to vibrate at ever higher frequencies. This is the nature of the universe. Then the essence of sound healing is the re-tuning of the human instrument, correcting at whatever level those frequencies which have become weakened or gone out of tune. This is done on the basis of resonance, be it sympathetic vibrations or the power of forced resonance. Basically, whatever part of us that is ailing can be awakened by harmonious sound sources and remember at what frequency it should be vibrating. This can occur at the physical level (from cells to muscles to organs), the subtle level (changing negative psychology) and the causal level (create permanent positive changes in one’s nature). It is no accident that doctors tell us that we are in ‘sound health’ or ‘of sound mind.’ The medical profession is, to some extent, using sound therapy, as in the use of ultrasound to treat sciatica. At a higher level, spiritual teachers initiate people into meditation through the sound of a mantra. Here the creation of vibration works in reverse. First, there is the form (the mantra) which then it turns into a wave and finally into a pulse.
What are the practical ways of using sound for healing? Listening to music, there is no question of it’s quality of sound therapy. People’s choices of listening depend on the very nature of their sound frequencies. Music is not just something that goes into the ear. It impinges on the entire bioenergetic field (aura) and if there is incompatibility with the music it will be rejected. Singing, best done collectively, has positive transforming effects but it is not specifically directed so its effects are not particularized. Natural voice workshops are certainly on the increase as the desire for the unity of community grows.
The deeper levels of sound therapy come through primarily Eastern traditions using singing bowls, crystal bowls, tuning forks and the human voice in the form of toning, chanting and overtoning. There is also the controversial field of cymatics , pioneered in the UK by Dr P G Manners, which uses electronic sets of frequencies that correspond to different parts of the body. Of all these approaches, the most practical is the use of the voice, a marvelous instrument we have been given at birth. It was not given just for communication but also for healing. Each vowel, consonant, pitch, modulation and overtone can find its place within us. There is a secret power in language such that if all the world ceased speaking all our energy levels would sink dramatically. Naturally, in speech it is all fleeting and random as we move from syllable to syllable. Working with vowels and consonants in a conscious and deliberate way in the form of single sounds, mantras, chants and overtones (which are the vitamins and minerals of the sound) will empower them to do healing work. For example, we use the word ‘who’ quite frequently but who would ever think it was a so-called sacred sound? Yet the Sufis describe this sound spelled HUU as sacred and regularly intone it in their ceremonies. It is a name of God and a sound of purification, especially when the H breath sound is emphasized. It subtly expresses our divinity in the expression ‘Who am I? – I am HUU.
One area of vocal sound therapy taken for granted is natural, emotional sounds. When we release our emotions in sounds, by laughing, groaning, keening, sighing and humming, we are sending vibrations to particular parts of the body and also to the psyche. The greatest of these is laughter. Everyone likes and needs to laugh otherwise comedy would have no point in the world. Why is it contributing to positive health? Primarily because it consists of the spiritual H sound – the power of the breath and some sort of vowel depending on the personality of the individual. Often you can see where people experience themselves by the type of laughter. Just make a vigorous HUH sound from your belly over and over again and you should find that a burning sensation appears in the head. That is a powerful energy, one that stimulates the glands, particularly the thymus, as it rises upwards. And the medical establishment has confirmed that laughter can boost the immune system among other things.
Toning can be directed to specific organs of the body and to the chakra system itself. An effective system for the organs has been brought to the West by Mantak Chia and it employs movement with the simplest of sounds. Movement in a similar form to Tai Chi and Chi Kung is always complementary to healing vibrations because it encourages the release of the sound and can even direct it to particular places. This Taoist system uses SSSS for the lungs, WOH for the kidneys, SSHHH for the liver, HAW for the heart and WOO for the spleen, all done sub-vocally. Within the Tantra Yoga tradition is found a profound method for harmonizing the chakras through toning. Its basis is the sound of AM. In English it is the equivalent to beingness in I AM. What directs the power of this sound are the consonants of L.,V, R, Y and H for the first five chakras. Thereafter OM is intoned for the sixth and the seventh is considered to be beyond sound but not beyond vibration.
The power of the resonating voice is a gateway to opening up higher mind, the source of what is called ‘channeling.’ All creative work is channeling because the person realizes that the ideas are arising from some special source. It seems like an act of transcription, just listening and then doing. There are all sorts of negative tendencies in the mental sphere that are blocking clarity of thought and they filter down and affect the physical body. Mantras are the antidotes for this as they cut a pathway through the dark side and actually dissipate what undermines our true self and its potential. The structure (vowel/consonant combinations) and repetition of the mantra, whether intoned out loud are like the tools that polish diamonds. In this case the diamond is the soul.
Using sound as the medium for healing is within the grasp of anyone who wants to open up through the voice. There is no need to become a trained singer. It has nothing to do with a beauty of tone and everything to do with vibratory power. There are special singers whose sound is not cultivated but who lift us up with great emotion – singers like Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday. So much about healing lies in intent, that desire to transcend what limits us at every level. Vibrational medicine in whatever form is the future. Never mind mapping out all our genes. Let science find a way of determining all our frequencies. Just as the overtone patterns of the voice are unique to each person, just like fingerprints, so too are the overall frequencies. The practice of sound health is literally under our nose – in our vocal cords, etc. In the use of the secret magic of vowels and consonants, applied with intent and knowledge, we have a tremendous force for healing body, mind and spirit.