I’ve got rhythm, I’ve got music…

Rhythm may be one of the most recognizable behaviors of matter in the universe as we currently know it. Atoms of all kinds vibrate at specific rhythms depending on their temperature and structure. Pulsars beat with a specific time signature which seems unchanging – at least as long as we have been able to observe them. Moons cycle through phases as do seasons.

All life also has intrinsic rhythm. From the simplest bacteria where cellular function operates with a specific pulse to the heartbeats of more complex animals, rhythm is embedded in life.

Music is a particularly human blend of melody and rhythm. In the animal kingdom one or the other can (almost) be found. Music is created when phrases of notes (which are themselves just unique wavelengths vibrating through some medium – in our case primarily air or water) are combined into melodies, then themes and finally variations. Humpback whales seem to be able to creatively develop phrases into variations over a span of time but don’t really have rhythm. A particular species of gibbon in Sumatra has what is arguably a rhythmical call but it is not “perfectly” repeatable in timing from one call to the next. Animals such as parrots, which can mimic human music, do so without rhythm.

One of the deepest seated behaviors in humans is music and with it, creative rhythm. This behavior often survives even profound strokes where melody is lost. It easily survives even when language, which seems to be one of the first casualties of stroke, is lost or damaged.

Creative rhythm can only be found in mankind – it is yet to be found in any other animal species. Even other higher mammals such as apes, which are proven to have displacement and rudimentary language skills (in the human purview anyway) do not express rhythm. Other animals which we suspect have languages (dolphins and whales for instance) have complex and repetitive expression but without repeatedly “perfect” rhythm.

Even our search for life on other worlds is essentially a search for signals from space which have a “creative” rhythm.

It appears rhythm is somehow tied to the level complexity of the organisms discussed so far. The more complex the interaction of matter, the more complex the ability to affect rhythm seems to be. Viewed from the top down, it becomes apparent then, that some level of consciousness is required for even the most discreet atomic structures to behave rhythmically.

At the root of all this interaction of matter is energy. Einstein’s equation describing that energy is mass times the speed of light squared shows that relationship. What the speed of light squared is, we have difficulty wrapping our minds around so let us just accept that energy and mass accelerated to enormous speeds are congruent.

We are able to see with the use of electronic tools that energy behaves rhythmically too. From the longest wavelengths to the shortest, we can perceive just that – energy waves. Waves by their very nature are rhythmical and they are also pure energy. If we apply the understanding that rhythm is somehow tied to the level of consciousness can we then stretch that understanding just one step further and find that even pure energy itself has some level of consciousness? If so, how might that consciousness be described? Is ALL the energy in the universe as we know it tied together as a single consciousness – the capital E in E=MC²? Are we then defining a god mind?

I find it very interesting that even with the limited perception that we have as humans, we are able to creatively play with rhythm. So far, we are unable to find that creativity ANYWHERE else. It is possible that as living humans we will never be able to access the possible consciousness of simple matter or energy. But is it also possible that the god mind has evolved us to finally have a way to express rhythm intellectually – one step removed from matter? What a lovely thought.

In the stillness at the door of death there is no rhythm. I have been there. I have come to realize however, that what I perceived as absolute and utter stillness was just my own inability to perceive the rhythm of pure energy. I now find myself beginning to believe that since I did not cross the threshold into death, my all too human perception was unable to connect with the rhythm of pure energy and therefore the consciousness of the universal god mind.

I have no expectation that the relatively minute amount of energy which describes my human body will be of any impact to the total energy which makes up the “god mind” when I die, but I also do not know whether the energy which describes me will simply be completely absorbed or whether I will continue to exist in some discreet way. That is the great mystery of death.

Many say that we do continue to exist after death. Ghosts and angels are common themes in the human mythology as is resurrection. We cannot know however, if these things are constructs of the human mind or if, as I have inquired, we continue as discreet “bundles” of energy after death. Maybe the creative rhythm continues on.

It is becoming obvious that we only perceive a small part of even the total matter which exists in the universe. So called dark matter and dark energy make up the bulk of the universe. They are not things far away in intergalactic space. We are surrounded and imbued with these particles and energies. It is simply that we currently have no way of perceiving them. I believe that until we can perceive them – and maybe not even then, we will not have a hope of understanding from where our true consciousness springs.

Maybe when we can really see the totality of the universe (or universes) in which we exist might we have a better hope of grappling with the true root of consciousness. Until then, death will likely remain a mystery to the living. Until then belief will have to be a sorry second option to truly knowing anything and we all know what belief gets us – the rhythm method…..


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