There are no words and there is no singing, but the music has a voice. It is an old voice and a deep voice, like the stump of a sweet cigar or a shoe with a hole. It is a voice that has lived and lives, with sorrow and shame, ecstasy and bliss, joy and pain, redemption and damnation. It is a voice with love and without love. I like the voice, and though I can't talk to it, I like the way it talks to me. It says it is all the same, Young Man. Take it and let it be.
But what I would like to say is that the spiritual life is a life in which you gradually learn to listen to a voice that says something else, that says, "You are the beloved and on you my favour rests."... I want you to hear that voice. It is not a very loud voice because it is an intimate voice. It comes from a very deep place. It is soft and gentle. I want you to gradually hear that voice. We both have to hear that voice and to claim for ourselves that that voice speaks the truth, our truth. It tells us who we are.
The voice is certainly important and you can hear if it's beautiful or not, it's the gods who decide; it's more a question of what you do with the voice, which is the mysterious element. It's the personality behind the voice which makes the artist. The voice is a gift of God, but if you're not able to use this gift, what's left? Nothing but a beautiful voice, without nuance or colour.
Ever since I was first read to, then started reading to myself, there has never been a line read that I didn't hear. As my eyes followed the sentence, a voice was saying it silently to me. It isn't my mother's voice, or the voice of any person I can identify, certainly not my own. It is human, but inward, and it is inwardly that I listen to it. It is to me the voice of the story or the poem itself.
My reality is that God speaks to you every day. There's an inner voice, and when you hear it, you get a little tingle in your medulla oblongata at the back of your neck, a little shiver, and at two o'clock in the morning, everything's really quiet and you meditate and you got the candles, you got the incense and you've been chanting, and all of a sudden you hear this voice: Write this down. It is just an inner voice, and you trust it. That voice will never take you to the desert.
Many couples, many people, are not living with real human beings, but with their ghosts. Who has not followed for years the spell of a particular tone of voice, from voice to voice, as the fetishist follows a beautiful foot, scarcely seeing the woman herself? A voice, a mouth, an eye, all stemming from the original fountain of our first desire, directing it, enslaving us, until we choose to unravel the fatal web and free ourselves.
There came one and knocked at the door of the Beloved. And a voice answered and said, 'Who is there?' The lover replied, 'It is I.' 'Go hence,' returned the voice; 'there is no room within for thee and me.' Then came the lover a second time and knocked and again the voice demanded, 'Who is there?' He answered, 'It is thou.' 'Enter,' said the voice, 'for I am within.
When the kirtan is harmonious with so many people, it's a tumultuous beautiful sound. We can't hear just one voice during the chorus; or rather we do hear one voice. But that one voice is actually the sound of everyone's voice in harmony. That's our offering to God. And why is it so pleasing to the Lord? Because we are all cooperating for a higher purpose. We are all united for the pleasure of the center, for the pleasure of Krishna, in spite of all our differences.
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