December 7 Tuesday 10p 1948
It’s either that I’m hearing better concerts, that I’m living more with music, or from eurhythmics, that each concert I go to means more to me than ever before. The concert tonight was the Cleveland Symphony doing Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger, Haydn’s 88th Symphony, Ravel’s La Valse, and Brahms 3rd.
I had a thoughtful experience during the first two numbers. During the middle of the last movement of the Haydn, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t made a slightest movement since the music had begun and that it seemed as if not one second had elapsed between then and the beginning, as if time had completely stood still. I knew that my mind had been completely on the music. The idea was curious; what makes time seem to stop like that, and it was for a period of about 20 minutes. Must your mind be completely out of yourself and go along exactly with the movement taking place and in strict time with them. Without one reflection to yourself of the future or past, the moment next, or the last moment, but exactly your mind must flow along precisely with the same speed of the outside movement, movement either abstract as for the ear, or material as for the eye.
There is no difference in the speed of the mind. I should not have said, “with the same speed of the outside movement” for whether the outside movement is slow or fast, it has no relation to the mind, the mind must take in just as much so that there is not a single, no matter, minute, instant or pause to interrupt the continuance of the mind’s absorption. There is as much to take in between the speeds, for one must absorb, as in music, for example, the rests as well as the audible note; as in a hand motion whether the hand covers a distance in 2 inches or two feet or stops in between two motions, all must be taken in completely. Then will time stop. Even in the next piece, the Ravel, though I liked it more and my interest was more intense, my mind did not go along with the time, for if I’d feel my emotions, or think of the music there was no more harmony with time. There must be no thinking, for it involves absorbing and utilizing, thus the period of utility disrupts the flow of absorbing, no matter how slight.
During the Ravel I had an orgasm of the mind, like I had with the Gliere, and have been having more frequently, though none compare with the ecstasy that the Gliere gives. They don’t torture as much, are more throbbing, basic, work on the body more than just the extreme infinite inner point of the brain; though the others include the mind they don’t reach as far into its depths. The music seemed to be in back of the sensation, pushing it along and out, and with no effort, as if the base of my head was going to blow apart like a bomb. The Gliere pulls the sensation along with a strain and the final spring of surrender to the music tightens the peak of the brain.
I resemble an orchestral conductor. He unleashes his hands to fly around without care, or inhibition; I unleash my mind in the same manner.