NADA BRAHMA: The Sound is the Teacher

Part 2: Further Gleanings

By Paul Temple – with guidance and insight from Althor

This is the second in a two-part blog about sound and vibration. The first part was a presentation for the Shift Network Sound Healing Retreat and Globe Sound Healing Conference and is posted as a separate blog. This second portion offers further gleanings. The introduction is included again here for those who have not read the first segment.



Let’s open into the topic NADA BRAHMA: The Sound is the Teacher with

a quote from the great Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan

“One who knows the secrets of sound

knows the mystery of the whole universe”.


To truly understand this concept we need to shift into the mystic, into the

“meta-physical”: that which is beyond the constructs of the physical world. I

ask you suspend your sense of normality so we may move into the “para-

normal”: that which is outside the boundaries of your normal reality.

So what is the mystic?

The mystic path is the path of the heart. This is not the anatomical heart,

nor even the heart chakra, but the energy center of the heart we know as

the place of love, spiritual connection and soul-wisdom. The seed of divine

light in your heart centers – we call it the Pearl of Light – is the seat of the

soul. The mystic path takes you through the heart to the soul.

The mystic is coming to know the greater reality of the soul that is beyond

the veil: the multi-dimensional realms that are difficult to access from the

density and restrictions of your current human mental perception.

The mystic realms are not accessible through mental awareness. These

realms are accessible through the heart. Most indigenous cultures still hold

this expanded reality, knowing all things are connected and it is through the

heart that this connection happens. It is through the heart you can connect

with the mystical, multi-dimensional realms.


As you learn – or re-learn – to activate your heart centers and cognate

through the heart, you can begin to connect with these mystic realms and

universal wisdom.

Music and sound are special vibrational media that facilitate access into the

mystic. Music and sound open and activate the heart center – and since they

are vibrational media, they can connect you directly with the most powerful

forces in the universe.

A succinct Earthly explanation of this phenomenon is the Sanskrit phrase

Nada Brahma, with which many of you may be familiar.

I (Paul) had the privilege of hearing an explanation of this phrase from a

Hindu swami which deepened its meaning for me. I have heard western

musicians explain it with the translation “Sound is God”, but the swami

expanded its meaning for me.

“Nada” translates from the Sanskrit as “pulse” or “vibration” which expands

to sound and music – which are vibration. But the deeper meaning of Nada –

or the Naad – as explained by the swami, refers to the “primordial pulse of

creation” – the ancient, original expansion of the creative force in the

conscious universe. My teacher, Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo calls this “The

original song of creation”. It correlates with the Christian mythology of “In

the beginning was the Word….” – the word being sound infused with

meaning. It could well correlate with what modern science calls the “Big

Bang” as well.

“Brahma”, as many know in the Hindu pantheon, is the supreme creator and

the purveyor of knowledge and spiritual wisdom. Brahma is the embodiment

of the supreme divine creative force. What takes Brahma 10 million years to

create, Shiva can destroy in an instant.

So Nada Brahma together is the simple but profound recognition that

sound, vibration and music are the same as the primordial pulse of creation,

are the same as the divine creative force and are the same as the source of

universal knowledge and wisdom: Nada Brahma, the unified vibrational field,

the master teacher.

Nada Yoga is the body of Vedic practices encompassing sound and

vibration: mantra, kirtan, devotional chanting and Bija seed sounds. These

practices all catalyze evolutionary and awakening experiences that activate

our higher consciousness. They provide access to mystic realms. Some say

mantras are ancient vibrational codes, like passwords, that open portals and

activate archetypal energies in our deep, soul-level memory.


So, with a little help from the sound itself, we can tap into this field of

primordial awareness and journey into the mystic, into the timeless source

of all being. We can expand beyond the mental-emotional constructs of

earthly reality into the sacred heart, into multi-dimensional realms. We can

connect with our own higher soul wisdom and akashic memory, which

includes who we can become in this life.

It is here we realize that the sound – the vibrational field itself – is infused

with infinite knowledge, it is the teacher, it is the source, it is the wisdom, it

is the One.

The sound is the teacher: through accessing our higher awareness through

this vibrational field we come to learn, to intuit, to receive, the wisdom that

is needed for our souls in this time. Through the sound our consciousness

can access expanded levels of wisdom and insight about our soul, our path

and the true nature of what is.

Nada Brahma reveals the mystery of why people “love” music: because it

connects us with the universe, with the universal field, with universal love

and universal intelligence. It helps us feel whole and divine, energized and

powerful. The complexity of how humans have stylized, monetized and

digitized music is another tale for another time, but as the Doobie Brothers



“Give me a beat, boys, to free my soul,

I want to get lost on your rockin roll

and drift away, and drift away.”



When I received this information from Althor there were four gleanings

offered from the Master Teacher on the mysteries of sound. The fourth

gleaning on harmonic overtones is covered in Part One of these two blogs.

The other three are discussed in more detail here. Some knowledge of music

theory will be helpful to absorb these points, but much can also be gleaned

without. The four gleanings are:

  1. Sympathetic Resonance: The Vibrational Connection
  2. Subjective Relativity: Notes, Chords, Scales & Keys
  3. The music is the News: Catching the New Generation’s Evolutionary


  1. Harmonic Overtones: All in the One & One in the All


  1. Sympathetic Resonance: The Vibrational Connection:

I suspect you understand the basic phenomenon of sympathetic resonance:

when I pluck a string tuned to the note A – other strings in the area tuned to

A will start to vibrate through resonance and sympathetic connection.

Similarly, when we encounter a being with a bright luminous heart, the

vibrational field of that heart begins to resonate the light in the hearts of

people around that person. Such was the heart of Jesus, the Buddha,

Mohammed, Yogananda and other luminous teachers. Our hearts feel and

vibrate with the resonant field of these awakened beings.

I have been told the pure vibrational field of the Tibetan bowls and

Vajrayana mantras I work with also sympathetically resonate the pure light

in our hearts: the Vajra – diamond – radiance that is our pure essential

nature. The focus of Tibetan Vajrayana practice is to awaken the Vajra –

diamond- light.

We experience sympathetic resonance around us all the time – as our

thoughts, words and actions are quite commonly in synchrony with the

energy fields around us. Sympathetic resonance can occur on the psychic,

mental, emotional and physical planes. The phenomenon of “group think” is

sympathetic resonance on the mental plane. Feeling someone else’s

emotions – like a welling up of tears when someone starts to cry – is

resonance on the emotional plane. It is said that when a group of women

live together that their bio-rhythms and menstrual cycles synchronize. Some

of you may have seen the video where a hundred swinging metronomes are

started at different times, and after an hour they are have all synchronized


This expanded understanding of sympathetic resonance is why rock concerts

and music festivals are such powerful experiences: you have a large mass of

people vibrating together in the same vibrational field. Whether it is angry

rap or an inspirational choir – the vibrational field brings people into a

sympathetic resonance – creating a super-charged collective entrainment.

This is also why we deify rock stars: they are the central generator of this

vibrational field: they are the Brahma in this field of Nada.

So sympathetic resonance is simply the recognition that as vibrational

beings, our vibrations affect each other.


  1. Subjective Relativity: Notes, Scales & Keys

Presuming that the conscious uni-verse (one sound) is a vibrational field, it

is reasonable to that the harmonic and mathematical relationships explained

in music theory provide one of the few models in Western knowledge that


reflect the vibrational nature of universal conscious. This is the mystery of

Nada Brahma: the conscious universe is a vibrational system that is a

macrocosm of our musical pedagogy.

The underlying harmonic relationships of a simple linear scale – like a C

major scale – are actually non-linear and non-intuitive. The harmonic

relationships move in what we call the Circle of 5ths, which moves in 4ths

when going counter clockwise. These musical systems, including the

overtone series, the dynamics of intervals, scales and chords, offer spiralic

reflections on the nature and structure of our vibrational conscious universe.

The phrase subjective relativity was revealed by Althor in working on this

piece. It is a concept of harmonic relationship quite easily understood in

music, but a bit harder to perceive in the relationship dynamics of our

collective consciousness.

Musically, subjective relativity is experienced when we sound a single note

on the piano; say the A below middle C. Upon hearing that note, all other

ensuing notes will sound relative to it. If we play the E above, it will sound

as the strong, majestic interval of the Fifth, strengthening the A as the tonal

root and center.

But if we were to play the E first and the A second, then the relationship

changes entirely. Now the E is the root and the A is defined by the harmonic

interval of the fourth from E. Playing the A first, the ear establishes we are

in the “key” of A – and then all the other notes and chords played after

relate back to A as the root and home key. When we play the E first, the ear

perceives we are in the key of E and all other musical activity relates back to

the home tone of E.

The way we hear the note depends on the harmonic context it is in. That A

we played will sound very different in an F# minor chord or in a D major

chord or in a Bb seventh chord than it does when we played it before as the

first, key setting tone. The auditory perception of every note changes

entirely depending on the key or interval or chord in which it is played.

So subjective relativity is the realization that the individual quality of a note

(subjective perception) is dependent on (relative to) the harmonic context in

which is played. The note of A in a Beethoven symphony is very different

from the A played on Keith Richard’s guitar – but it is the same A 220.

So how does this tonal construct of subjective relativity manifest as a

mystical principle in our vibrational consciousness? Let’s start with some

definitions – and these are simplified definitions to help demonstrate a point.


Here are some parallel constructs between music and vibrational thought


  1. Single Tone = Thought-Form: The single tonal note correlates to

what we call a thought-form. Single thought-forms tend to be

communicated in single words or simple phrases like cat, beautiful

day, ocean, bad dog, dance or fantastic. These manifest vibrationally

like single bubbles that can be seen by clairvoyants. They can be sent

and received in telepathic communication. Thought-forms, like single

notes, are the basic building blocks of larger thought and harmonic


  1. Chord = Meme: A group of thought-forms, called a meme, roughly

correlates to a musical chord which is a collection of single tones

crystallized into a larger harmonic sound. The word meme has taken

new meaning in the social media world, but in this context, a meme is

a grouping of thought-forms that magnetize into a cultural collective.

We tend to perceive these in social and political frames like liberal

progressives, radical Islamists and conservative evangelicals. Memes

also exist in groups affiliated with musical life-styles like country music

fans, hip-hip culture, goth punks and psychedelic hippie-rockers.

Memes are also present in the belief systems of religious groups and

tribal cultures.

  1. Harmonic Key = Paradigm: A macro-thought pattern – like a

musical key – or even the full musical gamut – is called a paradigm,

which word, too, has taken on new application in our current world. In

this context, however, a paradigm is a dominant thought-construct

engaged as reality by millions and billions of people. We, again, tend

to view these in terms of political systems like democratic capitalism,

dictatorial socialism and patriarchal monarchy.

So as an example of subjective relativity in this context, just like we

sounded the single note A above, let’s sound the single thought-form

“woman”. “Woman” in Afghani Taliban culture resonates very differently

from “woman” in progressive American culture. The single note thought-

form of “woman” is the same, like our note A, but the cultural setting – the

chordal context – sets the thought-form in very different modes of subjective

relativity. Woman in America is a strong, vibrant powerful possibility. In the

meme of Taliban Afghanistan it is a dark, repressed minor chord. Societal

cultures are like different chord structures creating different perceptions of

the human tone.


Take the thought-form “abortion rights” – and it takes on very different

harmonic implication between the memes of progressive feminists and

conservative evangelicals. This is not about right or wrong – it is simply

observing the vibrational dynamic of subjective relativity, which is the

awareness that our personal perception of something (our subjective view)

is dependent on (relative to) the thought-constructs we place around it, just

as the single note A sounds very different in an A major chord than it does in

a B minor 7 th chord.

Memes and paradigms are very complex, multi-dimensional constructs that

are perpetually morphing and defy simple definition, so please be aware we

have simplified these concepts here to make a point about subjective

relativity and its parallel reflection in the world of music and vibration.

However the lesson of subjective relativity is to learn about the presence of

memes and the relativity of our subjective perspectives. Memes become

infused with illusions, glamours and emotions. We are all deeply interwoven

and immersed in multiple memes simultaneously. Many people self-identify

with the qualities of the memes are part of: think progressive feminist,

radical Islamist, conservative evangelical. Memes appear as real, appear as

external reality, but we actually think them real – literally, we generate the

thoughts that think the memes into reality. This is the lesson of subjective

relativity, we can begin to use the power of our thoughts and perception to

extract from the sticky web of memes and begin to observe the larger

nature of mind and awareness. We can drop out of fixed musical styles like

country or hip-hop with their calcified three-chords and 4-4 rhythms to drop

into the sound of Nada Brahma: the primordial vibrational field.

Practices like meditation, yoga and mantra chanting help us unweave our

minds from this cacophony of memes so we can discover the sound of truth,

love and stillness. We are the ocean, we are the universe, we are singing the

song of creation.

  1. The Music is the News: Catching the New Message

When I (Paul) was a song-writer in my twenties I recall the sense that

composing a new song was like fishing: I would cast my line of awareness

into the sea of the collective unconscious to catch a lyric, a riff, an image, a

feeling or a message – and then reel it in. I was not composing the song as

much as translating or transcribing what was coming in on my etheric fishing


I then found that other writers were catching songs with similar themes,

lyrics, images and language. One line I caught then was “There’s an old

world dying and a new being born.” This was NOT something I thought up –


but a message, a news-cast from the other side – and other musicians were

receiving the same news.

When musicians compose new music they are opening as channels to the

sound current, reaching into the mystery, into the sea of consciousness, into

the Nada Brahma and receiving new energies, hearing new sounds, intuiting

new messages from source and the Muses.

Over time, each generation of musicians receives new sounds, new

messages, new themes that reflect the evolving consciousness. We can hear

this historically over several hundred years of European classical music:

going from deep devotional stirrings of Gregorian chants to the ornate

baroque stylings of Bach to the classical “Age of Reason” revealed thru

Mozart to the vast, humanist revelations of Beethoven to the romantic

dreams of Debussy to the dark early 20th Century discord of Stravinsky,

Stockhausen and John Cage .

In the second half of the 20 th Century things shifted and sped up with

popular music becoming more dominant. The core music shifted from the

“entertaining” sounds of big band music to the cosmic messaging of Coltrane

and SunRa, from Sinatra to Elvis to the Beatles, then onto hip-hop, funk,

punk, world-fusion and Electronic Dance Music.

So the real news of what is happening in the evolution of human

consciousness is reported by the new generation of incoming music. The

musical news of the 1960’s revealed a massive, dynamic shift with the

visionary messages of Dylan, The Beatles, Rolling Stones and so many

others. Even over the eight years of the Beatles’ existence, from 1964 to

1972, an amazing evolution took place from the teen-bopper sound of “I

Wanna Hold Your Hand” to transcendent messages of “Let It Be” , “Lucy in

the Sky With Diamonds” and “Imagine all the people living life in peace”.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, punk, grunge and hip-hop revealed the youth

culture angrily throwing off old modes of social repression, telling the truth

about stagnant societal structures and breaking the old molds. Electronic

dance music opened pathways into deep trance states in flow with new,

transformational understandings of synaptic repatterning, movement and

dance revealed through the music festival scene.

Another important sound evolution that happened in the 1960’s was “Return

to Om”. Through the influence of Indian Gurus, spiritual seekers were able

to extract from the traditional constructs of “music” as we know it and drop

into the unified sound, the sound current, into the infinite awareness in a

single tone: Om as the sound of the Universe, the sound of Nada Brahma,


the sound of returning to source. This is the thread we continue to follow


This tract led to a new wave of musicians who created music not just for

personal expression or social angst, but for spiritual awakening and

expanding consciousness. These musicians extracted themselves from the

glamorous musical styles of the day to drop into streams of pure

consciousness, into deeper states of awareness and express these sonically.

Some of this was called “New Age” or meditation music or sound healing or

space music, as noted in the popular radio show “Hearts of Space”. The

introduction of Sanskrit mantras into Western music was another important

piece of this wave: a re-introduction and remembrance of these ancient

sound codes that open pathways to archetypal spiritual energies.

While the music business today is still dominated by the glamours and

cultural music styles, I am encouraged to be in contact with a new, young

generation of musicians who are highly sensitive to the energetics of the

music they listen to and very intuitively knowledgeable of the relationship

between music and consciousness. They are creating transformative music,

healing music and galactic sounds that express their inherent awareness of

the very phenomenon we are discussing here – that the music is the galactic

messenger — and the master teacher that awakens our hearts and souls.


In conclusion, we can now see how the insight in these gleanings overlap

and interface. The magnetism of sympathetic resonance is part of what

holds memes together. People “feel the vibes” of like-minded souls. Even

within the cellularization of thought-forms and memes, the paradigms

continue to evolve through the infusion of new generation sounds and

musicians. Thought-forms, memes and paradigms are all like harmonic sub-

waves in the larger Nada Brahma pulse of creation.

But then we can return to the Om…. To the one vibration, the one love, that

place in our hearts that knows the oneness of all being in the uni-verse: the

one sound, the Nada Brahma.




To see Part 1 of this piece on sound and vibration, look for the blog:

NADA BRAHMA: The Sound is the Teacher, Part 1: Harmonic Overtones