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Role of the Complementing Opossites
Role of the Complementing Opposites
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The coexistence of Positive and Negative, along with Good and Bad, occupy many people’s minds. For generations, people have watched a seesaw dance as a dance of light and darkness, like ocean waves, crash, twist, pulsate, ebb and flow from the shore. How is it we live in a dimension of opposites? What is the purpose of this setting? What is the purpose of our physical reality? Why is it we experience ups and downs? What is the role of the evil? These themes stamped upon my mind and my heart.
Like others, I’ve had my share in experiencing happiness, and sadness.
“The New World” - Symphony No. 9 (Dvořák)
On an ice-covered road, on the dark streets of mid-town, St Louis, I drove through a freezing rain. Why was I so willing to give up seating in my cozy apartment and risk driving on a bad stormy night, when others would rather enjoy the warmth of their living room’s fireplace? I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend a concert of the St. Louis Symphony. As I drove down Lindell Boulevard towards Grand Avenue and then headed towards Powell Hall, a home of the magnificent St. Louise Symphony, I felt joy and excitement, for on that evening’s program was Antonín Dvořák’s treasured symphony, “The New World” – Symphony No. 9.
Next to Antonio Vivaldi, Dvořák has been one of my favorite composers. According to classical music historians he was fascinated and inspired by the Native American music, and it seems as if his spirit called him to the resonating soul of the African-American folk culture. When Dvořák wrote Symphony No. 9 he embodied the essentials of these two cultures. He used their themes as subjects, all the while transforming their sounds, into modern rhythms, and classical glorious symphonies.
A passion for classical music developed in me as I matured, but it was planted in my soul a long ago, during my childhood, when I still lived in a Kibbutz.
Every weeknight right before 9pm, Shaul, my charismatic Italian step-dad, right after showering, would brew a strong aromatic espresso, pour it into two small white porcelain cups, for him and for me.
Of a top a glass jar filled fresh milk he would skim rich cream, and mix it gently into each espresso cup. My step-dad was very proud of his coffee, and I know, it is not so appropriate for ten years old to drink espresso, especially at nighttime, but I just loved this nightly ritual, besides, in my cup he always added extra cream.
“Doobusie,” he then would call me, “Andiamo, it’s opera time.” He would then seat, next to the radio, on his favorite brown leather stripes old couch, wrapped with his forest-green flannel robe. With my espresso cup, in my hands, I would seat on the carpet by his side as we immersed into an enchanted hour of wonderful voices and sounds of the opera. My step-dad was a hard worker, he was the Kibbutz handy man, fixing broken furniture’s, adjusting lose doors and windows, building toys for kids whom parents couldn’t afford buying new one, helping everyone, even beyond his duty. In spite of us being poor, my step-dad cherished those few moments of pleasure, a life motif I adopted from him, counting the passion for strong cup of espresso.
He treasured all kind of classical music, but most of all he loved the opera; his favorite was Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Till today, I vividly see him resting on that old brown couch, with his eyes closed, his body giving in to the warm embrace of that old leather, and an immense delighted smile spreading on his face as soon as the nightly opera broadcast had started, and the vibrant voices mixed in perfect harmony with the night’s sounds of the nature filled our living room.
Besides my passion to the opera weeknights broadcasting, on Saturdays’ morning, I was glued to the Radio for a couple of hours, as I listened to ”The Weekly Musical Riddle”, broadcasted by Kol-Israel, for many years.
Each week, the listeners were challenged with a different musical riddle, short classical musical pieces were played and the participated had to call the radio studio with answers to two questions, the name of the composer, and the name of each musical piece. Every Saturday, a group of four members from our Kibbutz’ Orchestra, would gather and try to solve the weekly riddle. They called: “Kibbutz Givat-Brener Quartet.”
Of course, my step-dad and I would try to solve this riddle too, well, mainly him, but unfortunately not always we were successful. Yet, our house vibrated with pride and joy every time our Kibbutz’s team answered correctly, and they won quite often.
On those weekend mornings I was introduced to the wonders and the magnificence of memorable masterpieces like, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” Mahler's “Symphony No. 9,” Dvorak “Symphony No. 9, New World”, Beethoven's “3rd Symphony, Eroica”, and countless others. And so it happened that during those serene musical hours, seeds were planted in my Soul, seeds of passion and devotion to a classical music.
Freezing weather couldn’t keep me away from this Dvořák masterpiece. Evidently, I was not the only one not to be deterred by sheets of icy rain. Powell Hall’s gorgeous lobby resembled the Palace of Versailles in France, rows of crystal chandeliers with tiers of candles hung from an ornate plaster ceiling, under which an expectant audience, wall-to-wall classical music devotees, waited.
The warm auditorium seemed a fairy-tale world of French wealth. Above the audience, a great dome with curved edge rectangles and circles painted with gold leaf claimed the ceiling. The theater’s auditorium gave the impression of flowing movement. The balcony rails had small curtains hanging from them and were topped with red velvet.
I relaxed in my seat and waited, excited about the upcoming concert, filled with Dvořák divine musical creation.
The first violinist, the cellist, the horn section, all quietly stepped in and took their seats to begin tuning their instruments. Minutes later, Powell Hall’s lights slowly dimmed, and I viewed shoulders and straight backs in their seats, heard a few last minute coughs, and maybe even a rustle of cell phones turning off. The concert was about to begin. It was almost a sacred sound that quiet, like a pause round and portentous, indicating that something great lies ahead. Wall to wall applause broke out as the maestro stepped into the front of the orchestra, faced and bowed to the audience, and then turned to face the orchestra. He raised his baton, nodded to the first violinist, and the harmonious sound of the strings playing the Adagio, the Symphony’s first movement, filled the auditorium, vaulting throughout the entire space of the concert hall.
I felt relaxed, took a deep quiet breath, and closed my eyes, as I always do when I want to fully experience the music, without any visual distractions. In milliseconds, I dove into a deep ocean of vibrations and sounds, I felt surrounded by incredible notes, and felt that I was inside the sounds, round, and tubular, the lacework of the strings, and a winding, haunting travel along sounds of notes filled my entire being. The symphony’s waves of sound lifted me up fusing with the high sounds of a flute whose notes touched the engraved ornate ceiling and quietly settled down into the rapt audience. The sound became low down, and the oboe’s tones walked over, low, like a deep bass tone. I could almost feel the wood of the oboe holding these sounds, sending them out into my heart.
Suddenly Powell Hall dissolved into a mist, and I found my self in front of the White Palace, in the familiar misty White World, in front of the giant crystal-like white gate. I felt mesmerized, yet with great anticipation I stepped into the garden through the open gate and sat on the white bench, facing the Palace, waiting for Elijah to show up. While waiting, I looked around me. The most amazing pictorial landscaping I’d ever seen surrounded me. This beautiful garden appeared serene. Lush white blossoms of giant flowers of orchid graced the area next to the gate. In my far right’s view, I saw other plants with gentle hearts of petal roses shaped, like prayers, facing the Palace. Next to the white marble table I’ve noticed small tulip-shaped white plants, their petals sprinkled snowflakes flowing out of their centers. The garden seemed real, filled with kinetic energy and yet, it was extremely peaceful, but there was no sky and no sun, not a sound all around, I could only here last sounds of Dvořák’s New World’s Adagio. The garden was quiet, and I saw no one.
I felt flushed with an immense happiness, while calmness washed over me as if I were showered under a sky of crystalline light. I felt my entire body light up.
Then I saw Him. Elijah advanced towards me from a great distance, and then He was by my side. I had a sense He was floating on an invisible river of the calming sound of the Symphony’s Clarinets. My eyes seemed to close in reverence of this moment, and my intentions formed deep within to let all my senses connecting to His divine vision, and sounds.
As if He had read my mind and knew of my unanswered questions, He began speaking in a measured tone of voice:
“All opposites, Light and Darkness, Good and Bad, exist on Earth for one main reason, this principle is an essential fundamental in nature.” I heard Elijah voice talking to me as He set himself on the other side of the table. I opened my eyes to see him rested His graceful hands on the surface of the big White table and closed His eyes, and I quickly closed mine. “Yes, I know what you people think, you may learn to appreciate the good by experiencing the bad, but while in fact it has not much to do with humans as it has a whole lot to do with nature itself.”
I kept my eyes shut, realizing my listening intensified, and my concentration seemed clear and open. He continued. “For Nature to sustain, to evolve, to stay alive, it needs opposites that complement each other, a cyclic movement, a rotation of existence through the interactions of those counterparts. It needs Light and it needs its complement, Darkness. To progress, Nature also needs love and kindness and its opposites, hate and cruelty.
Creation and destruction are essential foundations for Nature as a whole, but specifically to provide a way for human to progress. Creation and destruction are basic elements Nature is built upon, and all other opposites, Light, Darkness, Wet, Dry, Good, Bad are just subset entities in the entire spectrum of Creation and destruction.” He paused, as if He was allowing me to digest what I just heard.
“A human being is part of nature. A human can transcend nature as they have a rational mind,” I thought to myself. “After all, we humans have bad days and good days. We all have good things in us but also a dark side. They are parts of the whole, parts of who we are.”
“Those opposites are indeed essential and complement each other,” continued Elijah, reading my mind as usual. “For nature to exist, to evolve, it encompasses both elements, creation and destruction, and to nourish itself as a whole, each individual living form of it has to maintain the same two essentials elements.
A fire may continue to burn and keep you warm in cold nights, but the same fire may also burn wild and cease living. It is the same with water, an essential element for all living forms, but water may also be devastating and destroying.”
It can’t be that simple I thought and opened my eyes. Nature always seemed more complicated to me. I looked at Elijah, His face radiated immense glory as His chin pointed down to His chest, His eyes were shut, and his hands peacefully rested on the flat white marble, in front of him. In His presence the background disappears, and He fills up the whole scene.
“Right, it is not that simple”, I heard Elijah. “Complementing each other doesn’t mean that they exist separate from each other. On the contrary, within every evil, there is some kindness; in every light, there is darkness. In any act of madness, there is some measure of sense. Nothing is just Light or Darkness; nothing is just good or just bad. When you hear laughter, you may also hear a sound of grief.”
He then paused. All I could hear was the sound of the orchestra’s strings and flute sound echoed by a Triangle. We sat facing each other, I looked at His face, and I felt hypnotized by His majestic divinity. He then opened His eyes, two dark shining diamonds radiating with eminence wisdom and divinity, and looked straight into mine. I couldn’t breath. My chest constricted, and then I felt a huge stream of energy flowing from those remarkable eyes of His, washing my inner and outer body with celestial kindness. Still I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t move. I felt, as I was held captive by some incredible strong power, all the while, feeling its heavenly aspects.
“Hold your hands in front of you” said Elijah, “Palms pointing at me, your thumbs pointing inward, at each other and both index fingers reaching up, towards each other, but not touching. Form an open top triangle with your two thumbs and index fingers.”
I obeyed. Silently I stretched my hands in front of me and with my palms facing Elijah, I formed an open top triangle with my palms at my shoulders level, thumbs horizontally touching each other, and my index fingers reaching, but not touching. Through the triangle I could see Elijah’s shining eyes.
The sound of the trumpet vanquished the Symphony’s Strings.
Elijah closed His eyes and said, “Now, that is what it what nature is all about. Your hands are crafting a shape of an open top triangle, a symbol of the nature’s three main elements. One is the source, the triangle’s base at the bottom, from where all living originating, and on each side of the triangle, there are the two other main elements, the positive and the negative, the opposites.
At the bottom, at the triangle’ base, your thumbs forming a solid line, providing a strong support to all other nature’s components. They represent the source, a foundation from which all nature’s elements initiate, and continue share as they evolve.
And as they grow, while they might be different, they still remain connected through the base, since they all share the same basic needs, and they won’t be able to continue to grow unless they follow nature’s directives, that are written in the source.
On each side, your index fingers are the symbol of the opposites, the complement entities in nature. One of your index fingers, symbol of positive and the other one is negative. They both share the source, where all are the same, where all originate, but as they evolve, they would individuate and these complementing elements form an almost perfect triangle. The distance between them becomes smaller, as if they eager to unite, but they never will, they will remain uniquely defined entities, positive and negative.”
Fascinated, I looked at my hands, but before I could say anything, Elijah continued, “Your hands formed a shape representing what nature is. It is in or with this perfect form where living made and exists, and yet within this form basic needs are shared, and at the same time differentiate, yet complement one another.
They are each well defined and yet, depending on the other. Therefore, these living elements can continue to perfect themselves, and just as your two index fingers are almost touching to perform a perfect triangle, so living forms will continue to develop forever, and positive and negative will remain uniquely defined entities.” And He paused as if waiting for my response.
I rested my hands on the big white table, and closed my eyes, assimilating this teaching of Elijah’s. It is so ironic I thought to myself, while we strive to feel happy, it seems as if sadness is not less important in our self-development, and while we struggle to satisfy our most long-for desires, failing to achieve them play significant role in our growth.
I opened my eyes. Elijah had disappeared. I found myself alone in that heavenly garden. I knew I must return to Powell Hall. I slowly returned to the concert hall as the last sounds of the Allegro, the last movement of “The New World’ symphony and the beginning of thunderous applause fused together. I opened my eyes and joined the audience in a standing ovation, I looked up, my whole body was shivering as my mind was still processing the journey I just experienced, and for a few seconds I saw a huge funnel with its top warped by white clouds and its bottom hanging right above my seat, but it evaporated into the glittery warm light of the Powell Hall’s crystal chandeliers.
What was the importance of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in teaching me about the role of the complemented opposites, good and bad, positive and negative? I guess I would never find out, but I felt there was a purpose to it and to my attending this particular concert, on that night. Regardless, it became clear to me that both the good and the bad have equally significant roles in Nature and Human development.
We all, rely on and share the same foundation, we live by a set of common rules, but in order to accomplish our individual Souls’ purpose each one of us need to walk through light and through darkness, we need to experience both the good the bad, and only then, through that cyclic movement, through that rotation of opposites, we will continue to evolve.
~ Walking with Elijah – Chapter Seven, Role of the Complementing Opposites
About the author:
I was fortunate to live my childhood in a paradise – Kibbutz Givat Brener, Israel where Nature was my habitat.
Many years later, in 1986, after I served in the Israeli Air-Force, I graduated as Computer Engineering and since then I held various positions in international high-tech firms.
In 1993 I moved to the USA, where a single, magical weekend, in 1997 changed my life forever after I attended a Shamanic workshop.
In 2001 I lived six electrifying months in New Delhi, India, traveling across this rough yet amazing country, from Carla’s jungles in the south to Amritsar’s magnificent Golden Temple on the northern border with Pakistan.
At the end of 2001 the island Cyprus became my home and I spent four wonderful years, teaching Reiki, Tai-Chi, and Shamanism. I had students from various nationalities: Germans, Romanian, Czechs, Israelis, Indians, and of course Cypriots, young and old, men and women.
I have been a Shamanic practitioner for twenty years, during which time I journeyed to the Spirit worlds for helping my family, friends, work colleagues, and complete strangers. Through all these years of practice, I learned that most people share similar doubts, fears, questions, and desires.
Walking with Elijah is my first book where I share my personal story, from growing in Kibbutz Givat-Brener, a children’s paradise, to when I started to develop my Spirituality at forty years old. My personal story, as well as journeys I have done for others, is the main stage and the set for Walking with Elijah.
Other noteworthy details:
I graduated M.S. Computer & Mathematics Science, from Tel-Aviv University, Israel.
I am happily married to Vicky, the most precious gift I ever received.