The Sublime Mystery of J.S. Bach

I have been luxuriating in a very healing experience – an immersion in the music of J.S. Bach for the past week, as WQXR-FM, a classical music station in NYC (my home town) has been playing ALL of the master’s music 24/7, from March 21st (his birthday) till Easter Sunday.

Bach has always been my favorite – and I know I’m not alone.

I’ve been pondering today what it is about his music that affects us so deeply, placing it for many in a category all its own. And something became clear to me.

What I hear in Bach’s music is an insight into the workings of the Universe – or (as he would doubtless prefer to say) into the mind of God.

What I hear is perfection and power of Mind combined with fathomless depth of Heart, embodied in endlessly varied Form.I hear mathematical complexity, order, and fractal patterning infused with total Love. I hear each dimension expressed at full throttle, holding nothing back – with each new invention adding to the inexhaustible creative drive, energy, and resource of the Creator.

I hear infinite tenderness, passion, joy, freedom, power, playful delight, and serene detachment expressed in turn, personal and impersonal at the same time.

I hear vast structures and intricate particularity, macro and micro expressing with the same precision even to the cellular, or atomic level.

I hear fully released intensity and unstoppable forward propulsion – just as the relentless creativity of Great Mind hurtles ceaseleslly, unfolding itself through evolutionary space/time.

What is the mystery that allow a “mere” human being (he looks ordinary enough in the images passed down to us) to bring through such vast, interconnected perfection?

I bow to the mystery and accept the gift of music, as I accept the gift of life, of cosmos, of Mind, Heart, and Form.



The Sublime Mystery of J.S. Bach — 2 Comments

  1. I can relate to what you’ve said. Bach’s music puts me in an state of ecstasy over and over again. As someone once noted, Bach’s is the beginning and end of all music. To think that he was not popular in his own time is quite baffling. John Eliot Gardiner opines that what has followed Bach in three centuries since have been disappointing. He is probably right.

  2. Dear Sashi – It’s very nice to hear a fellow Bach-lover call out to me in resonance. A state of ecstasy indeed. The beginning and end. I love when certain radio announcers have alluded to him as “Bach the Father” meaning of course the paterfamilias of a famous musical brood – but also calling to mind his affinity with God the Father.

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