This suite is a transcription and adaptation of four tracks from the album, Bridge to Nowhere, which I released in 2017.
I am using “Bridge to Nowhere” as a metaphor for spiritual awakening. The experience is described in the literature of several religions and is characterized by replacing one’s image of oneself (ego) with an acceptance of one’s experience as oneself. It is a realization that we are not separate from the world. It is us, and we are it.
But the experience changes nothing except one’s attitude. Everything is the same. As the Buddhist Ch’ing-yüan puts it:
Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.
I can’t say to have ever had this experience myself, but I have always been fascinated by what I have read about it. It is always described as a loss of self, or rather the loss of one’s image of oneself. It is sort of an intellectual and emotional suicide in order to accept the world as it is (or the world as God. depending on your viewpoint). It seems very risky.
My link to understanding is through music. It is beautiful, socially engaging, and its mysterious depths seem bottomless. This suite explores some of those mysteries.
Call of the Crossing, explores the strange allure of spiritual practice.
Fear of Heights is about the trepidation that accompanies a spiritual commitment.
You Can See Forever is an encounter with emptiness.
Beautiful Water is a reassessment of and reemergence in the world.