Sound plays a foundational role in the creation and content of the Books of Magra. As there are albums for each book, with varieties of instrumentation and styles of music, the books themselves are ripe with imagery and symbolism teeming with sound. This continuous use of sound occurs for a number of reasons, the most prominent of which is for the cultivation of Listening.
Listening is often used to refer to acoustics and hearing, how we experience life through our ears, and by extension how we give importance to spoken words. Certainly what our ears receive has significance and value, but the kind of Listening that is instrumental in the creation, the experience and the intent of The Books of Magra is weighted in a global discerning of experience. It is concerned with the involvement of the entire person, the implementation of every facet of sensation and interpretation. It is as much an aspect of hearing as it is of touch, taste, smell, sight, thought, feeling and any other experience which does not occupy such definitions, that perhaps rests in experiential subtleties which elude clarity or categorization. This form of Listening is an individual’s whole being in profound and dynamic reception and expression, and it offers as much insight and growth, as it reveals challenges and contradictions.
In The Books of Magra, Listening is used to facilitate and cultivate awareness, to suggest and perhaps demonstrate that how we conceive of Being, how we rationalize and explain experience may not be complete, accurate or adequate. And yet, as it may facilitate difficult shifts in our assumptions, dissolve held beliefs, or place us in the wake of overwhelming challenges, Listening births new understanding, compels intuitive knowing and adds to the richness of experience. Listening assists in the dissolving of predilections for separateness, whether it is between people, within ourselves, or with Nature. And it allows for arising clarity in the contrasts of that which is effable and ineffable, of what may be grasped and of that which eludes fixed enquiry.
Just as one may be in the midst of a party, surrounded by voices and ambient sounds, one may choose to attune to the entirety of that event, to focus in on a single voice, or to turn inward and listen to one’s own thoughts and feelings. Regardless of the directed attention, Listening encompasses it all as we choose to explore and discern that very experience, or allow it to pass over, through and beyond us.
In The Books of Magra, Listening is a key component of the compass for the human endeavour, a primary tool for wondering and wandering, for the awe and play of Being, and for the deepening communion with All.