excerpt from 'Bone of Contention: Life Story and Confessions' pp. 161–162 (333 words)

excerpt from 'Bone of Contention: Life Story and Confessions' pp. 161–162 (333 words)

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Bone of Contention: Life Story and Confessions

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Mrs. C[haplin] was intensely musical, and with her clairvoyant vision could see the colours and thought-forms which the various types of music produced […] Among the well-known composers, those, she told me, who produced the most brilliant colours and thought-forms were not the so-termed classical composers, but the more modern ones such as Wagner, Debussy, Ravel and Scriabin.

                There was a grand piano, of sorts, in the lounge, on which after the evening meal I used frequently to improvise in the then modern style for her benefit.  I say for her benefit, for she used to suffer periodically from extremely severe and incapacitating headaches which, strange to relate, my improvisations had the power to dispel.  Within a few moments of my starting to play she would go off into samâdhi (super-conscious trance) and would remain in that state until the music ceased, after which she would gradually come to, completely refreshed and with no trace of a headache left.  So as to help her I would often make these improvisations last as long as forty minutes on end.  But care had to be taken to prevent her returning too suddenly to normal consciousness, for in that case she got a nasty shock attendant with some very unpleasant consequences.  Usually there were fellow guests present to listen to the music, most of whom already knew about Mrs. C.’s ‘peculiarities’ and hence kept silent for a few moments after I had stopped playing, so as to give her time to emerge from her trance.  But when there were new guests, I hit on the device of gradually gliding, as I neared the end of my rhapsodies, into music of a more obvious and Beethovenesque type, whereupon my ‘patient’ would slowly and peacefully ‘wake up’ with her face suffused with mirth.  Not that she had a special aversion to genuine Beethoven, but his music neither sent her into samâdhi, nor had it any therapeutical effect. 

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excerpt from 'Bone of Contention: Life Story and Confessions' pp. 161–162 (333 words)


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