Mystic in the Rain and spotlight on: Júníus Meyvant and his floating harmonies

A discussion on Metaphysics feels a bit like this one that transpired between my friend’s two very young sons. The older one insisted that God made all things and dinosaurs were real since God made them, but Super heroes weren’t real. His younger brother was visibly  distressed at the ungodly and unreal existence of Captain America perhaps, when the older one finally assured him, that since God created the human intellect that generates superheroes, in a way God made superheroes too even if they were not real. His brother was very satisfied with this explanation. I am quite impressed  for this feels like what Metaphysics appears to me sometimes, the territory of  Marvel superheroes and fleshy dinosaurs (and their skeletal remains), a web of questions and the idea of an immutable God and other such, at least in substance Metaphysics.

I wonder also, if our inability to comprehend and make allowance for the kaleidoscopic dynamism in our expansive evolutionary processes, combined with the onerous ricocheting within the Metaphysical chamber is what drives us to seek the absolute monism of mysticism? Is it fear or exhaustion with the search for the meaning of existence, that provokes us to explore what we assume to be the mystical, a union with the absolute, to be undifferentiated in the experience of nothingness. It would be extremely difficult to achieve such a state, the path to which is as yet undefined except through the experiences of others. It feels like the difficulty of reversing time.

The prompt for my poem ‘Mystic in the Rain’, comes from a singer, some of whose compositions I found, evoked the mystical or simply, the poetic. Gold laces by Júníus Meyvant (moniker of the Icelandic born musician Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson) was a mainstay on my Pandemic playlist and to my amusement, one of my top songs of 2020 on Spotify, as was his popular Signals. I must have had a very small playlist 😅 Some of Meyvant’s songs read like spiritual songs then and he alluded to mysticism.

Source~https://juniusmeyvant.com/

I admire his faith in his muses (as he puts it) to have set music so, that takes you someplace else. When I first heard Meyvant, there was something sad and searching in the way he sang, that resonated with me, struck within a deep place of some congealed emotion that created a viscous perplexity of trying to find spirit. If this spirit exists at all, it must be the wellspring of personal creativity. Then again, I may be wrong, but is there is anything of the nature of the spiritual and mystical or are these simply words attributed to experiences we cannot comprehend. Or perhaps music has a way of channelling one to that frequency where the questions begin to dissipate and remain relevant no longer.

Meyvant also wrote Floating Harmonies, which veers into the realm of the psyche. His song, melody and tone flow like what some may describe as a gentle prayer. 

Floating harmonies by J. Meyvant

Floating harmonies,
breaking down
all over me tonight,
stirring colors to the sound.

White magnolia,
rise above
these monuments of broken dreams,
bricks of vanity.

Threw my hands up,
prayed for rain.
Clean eyes,
down, filled with pain.
Drift into quiet night
alone, to wait
in the subtle, broken mind
to be free.

Mystic tag-along,
hold me close.
I owe the world to see
a different part of me.

Threw my hands up,
prayed for rain.
Clean eyes,
down, filled with pain.
Drift into quiet night
alone, to wait
in the subtle, broken mind
to be free.

The pain of broken dreams, broken minds, can there exist such, except in the expansiveness of thinking, simply abstraction or even illusion? This brings me to the Vedas. It is Paramhansa Yogananda, who interpreted ancient Vedic scriptures in saying that the physical world operates under one fundamental law of Maya, the principle of relativity and duality. God in his absolute form is considered to be Complete Unity, the only way He appears as the separate and diverse manifestations of creation is when under a false or unreal veil of Maya, or illusion. Maya is thus, interpreted as cosmic illusion. (Well, given it is the age of the World Wide Web, I daresay it appears like the age of illusion) Are our mental processes too a matter of illusion and where is the immutable in them?

The schools of Vedanta like many other esoteric schools of thought, suggest engaging with life in the belief that the material is ephemeral and mostly illusory, but that feels like an inauthentic approach. The mystics on the other hand, propose seeking absolute unity of being but do not have any  methodology inveigled in the esoteric. The term ‘broken’ in the song, like in so much of poetry on the same theme of sadness, suggests though, that there is an immutable essence to minds, hearts, dreams, feelings as in the material, that can break into their component atoms, Our lexicon does little justice to experiences that are ineffable if we brush them off as illusions or perception along with the temporary material, not considering the realm in which they exist. As I explore this further in pursuit of underlining my own personal philosophy, it simply feels like the more I find out, the less I actually know 😀

Meyvant alludes to the Mystic in this song, yet in the next line ‘I owe the world to see a different part of me‘ he speaks of the non mystical, by signalling diversity, which is essentially a process towards differentiation, in contrast to the Mystic who veers towards absolute monism.

In his song, drifting into quiet nights to be free within, signals the type of contemplation while you seek a mystical experience, it does not appear to seek the truth as an epistemologist seeks, or meaning as a metaphysician would but the freedom of nothingness perhaps, union with the absolute. This is the way of the mystic as defined today. The human is perennially restless, the questions strangely have remained the same even if the philosophies or the approaches have changed to suit the times. The infinite expanse remains silent, echoing back to us our perennial questions, having scrambled them into a riot of syllables as the epoch turns.

In the formulation of a personal philosophy, mine allows for a curious and continuous exploration. The dualist as well as monistic approaches for me, erode the spirit in a soul conflict I am led to realise. Why is it difficult to appreciate the beauty of time and thus life, as a flowering in a kaleidoscopic excess, sort of spiralling outwards, forever in transformation and metamorphosis but through the interrelatedness of the dancing particles ? It is when particles fall off, the patterns disrupt. In an analogy to human lives, such disruption exists as minds are broken in a world that is severely compartmentalised alongside an inter identity amnesia.

I think too, the pursuit of mysticism for me feels not the begining of the spiral, for that appears like a disservice to the blossoming of spirit, but in the spiraling. No sunflower lay invested in bud nor the Nautilus in germ, we are all spirals of nature where we live as part of a larger process, that spiral we cannot see and do not comprehend or as yet appreciate as desirable, where we prostitute life itself by deeming it an illusion even as we seek God or a locked singularity. There are nascent beginnings but is it not in the interrelatedness of all immutable substances that life and thus meaning gets created, in plurality, a diversity of being? Then again, I need to further explore this, for there is no truth set in stone. I tried to write my own floating harmony today, inspired by Meyvant in a fit of spiritedness. He was my muse last year in a strange melancholy and this is my tribute to him too.

Mystic in the Rain by Davina E. Solomon

Can a rain be subtle, does it fall                             

in the becoming of science, for the mystic

yearns in parched land for dew drops.                          

The centuries floated away in a great flood

and were buried in sand, but the answers                       

are hid in shadows someplace. Downpours

the rhetoric of warring clouds, shed

like forever question marks on  
                                
an exhausted dust, rising off fallow sentiment.                  

Is there poetry in the reluctance of a glacier,

the babbling of a brook skirting rocks,                        

the silence of the deep of an ocean that

will never swell to surface? Can the rain                     

meet them all for succour in a deluge,

to freeze, splatter and dive? The river underground,         

taunts a divining rod  like a veiled God

dowsing a nascent church. Yet, there’s a hum

of liquid life that spirits

into the clouds to descend again like a creed   

and we pray, we pray that the soul quells

it’s thirst in worded silences like                            

the music of rain on a raging river.

Meyvant inspires me with his simple elegance in writing, his spontaneity I think with words, his easy melodies, something I aspire to with my own poetry. Here below is Color Decay.

Color Decay by J. Meyvant

Straight up right now
Is so wonderful
Way beyond believe and dreams.
Your voice is so beautiful.
Like the voice of quiet spring.

Little like the hours castaway.
Why wonder
Time ain't either here to stay
Why wonder
Time will always pass away

He sings of time, decay, entropy … that’s a partial salve to the rhetorical in the mysteries of the universe, answers that are truisms of sorts, like the passage of time, a concept we try to make peace with at an earthly level, harnessed that we are to cycles of the Moon and to the Sun. I have come to believe, we think of the flow of time as analogous to a trudge towards death and the opposite too, of it’s circularity. Is it our contradictions with regard to the idea of time that creates such metaphysical and spiritual confusion? I wouldn’t know but perhaps, think of time as a kaleidoscope, evolving like a snowflake, there’s beauty in that, how would it define our life then?

Do listen to the artist. He sounds like a prayer sometimes.

https://juniusmeyvant.com/music

Resources:

Mysticism~https://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeedia/wpcd/wp/m/Mysticism.htm

Definitions~https://www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu/syllabi/g/gier/306/mysticism.htm

Gifford Lectures ~https://www.giffordlectures.org/books/world-and-individual-vol-1/lecture-4-unity-being-and-mystical-interpretation