Musical Family Tradition
Our family has been blessed by having a living folk music tradition. By that, I mean that we have songs that have been memorized and handed down, that a central aspect of our family gatherings is singing and music. It is expected that persons in our extended family will learn an instrument and sing. This can happen at any point in life.
All of my mentors, all of my family members, my father, my mother, aunts, uncles, brother, sister, my cousins, grandmothers, grandfathers, my students during 30 years of teaching high school, undergraduate, post-graduate, all of my closest friends, colleagues, conference attendees, teachers, veterans, doctors, lawyers, musicians, psychologists, artists, dancers, philosophers that I know – and I mean All, have suffered because of the awe of mystical experiences and psychological symptoms mis-understood, distorted and mis-valued, mis-diagnosed.
All of our cultural institutions I have experienced in my lifetime perpetuate that suffering. It occurs through chronic mis-appropriation of our attention and intention. Our voices and all the voices of nature are silenced. Our receptivity is dumbed down and numbed. The symptom is a collective feeling of powerlessness and profound underestimation of our full potential as human beings.