Earlier in the month, I interviewed the New York-based afro-transcendentalist, musician and mystic known as Laraaji to celebrate the release of his first album of piano compositions, "Sun Piano". While we were talking, Laraaji delivered a monologue on his feelings towards the nature of the universe and how we do, or can, relate to it. I've presented the monologue below as both an audio recording and a written transcript. You can read the full article here.
Photography credit: Daniel Oduntan
I feel we are in a self balancing universe.
That wherever we think we see darkness, there is light available.
Wherever we see heaviness, there is lightness available.
Wherever we see confusion, there is clarity and equilibrium available in the same place depending on what filters or lenses we use to read the situation.
And I prefer to read the whole situation, which means bringing in the internal, the aspect that is still one with the eternal, and to factor this in through a daily practice of whatever we call it, still sitting, meditation, contemplation, prayer, chanting.
Whatever it is that opens up our inner sense of knowingness, so that we bring to the table a balanced idea of who we are.
So that we don't feel overwhelmed by the outer world.
So that we don't feel really disrespected or destroyed by the outer world, knowing that the self that dwells in alignment with the eternalness is indestructible.
It's not enough to hear these words.
One must find a practice that allows them to open inwardly and have the direct epiphany for themselves, so that themselves, their breath, their mentality, their emotional state, carry the resonance of this lightness into the world, so that they aren't judging what the world is giving them.
They are judging from a balance knowing this too shall pass, or that we aren't doing anything.
Nothing is being done to us.
On a level of transcendental witnessing this is clear.
Before transcendental witnessing, this does not seem clear or does not seem a balanced statement, but the idea that there is only one life, and the appearance that we are doing things to one and another, or things are being done to us, belongs to a way of perceiving that leaves a loss of wholes.
Lots of gaps, and when we leave gaps, we're able to see things as separate from one and another, but if we had a whole vision, we would see there are no gaps to separate a me from a you, or a us from a them, and to live in continuous practice of knowing this unity.
That one has a different response to world narratives, and what seems to be going on in the world.
One awkward part on myself is sharing this experience into a community where maybe only a small number of people have an inner experience of their eternalness, and that unless they do have this experience, they have no other choice but to respond from the self that is vulnerable, the self that is being subjected to the world.
They're immersed in the outer narrative, and the way in is the way out, and the way out is the way as.
The way as means you come to a place of realising you're it.
You are the light.
You are the eternalness, and you find that switch that allows you to move as light.
You are no longer moving towards light.
Therefore, no one can block the light from you if you are the light.
To understand this about yourself gives the power to not fear darkness, because the darkness is not your darkness, and just like the sun, if you are the light shining, you don't see shadows, and moving as light, moving as wholeness, finding all the yummy attributes or personalities of the divine and no longer moving towards them or seeking them, but moving as them.
I like to feel that when I am performing, I am performing as an eternal awareness many of the times,
Sometimes I am performing as a poetic sensitivity, as-ness, and that the as-ness just interacts freely through the musical instrument, and music erupts, and happens.