Original Song: “Against” with Commentary

Image:  SRF Windmill Chapel at Lake Shrine – Photo by Linda Sue Grimes

Original Song: “Against” with Commentary

The singer is imploring her soul to forsake the things of this world, which according to Emily Dickinson, “hold so,” and follow the way of spirit.  The way of spirit protects one “against”  all the things that hurt the individual physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Introduction and Song Lyric

Many old spirit-infused hymns sing about the futility of this world to the point of claiming that this world is not even our true home.  Paramahansa Yogananda has explained that one’s engagement with sense pleasure must be carefully observed lest they ensnare the soul, preventing it from experiencing the higher pleasures of soul-awareness.  Removing the flesh motivating experiences becomes one’s highest duty.

While the first step to soul-awareness appears to be a struggle “against” the senses and all worldly endeavors, that opposition must not become so intrenched that it impels one to judge others harshly and act on that judgment; instead simply remaining mindful of one’s one behavior opens one’s heart to soul power.

Creatively fashioning the experiences and thoughts on the journey to soul awareness adds to the reality and beauty that the world actually provides.  The Blessed Divine gave us all the gifts that we must learn to enjoy but without becoming entangled and attached; it is with that non-attachment in mind that the following hymn is offered to the Blessed Spirit Who inspires true music.

To listen to an audio recording of this song, please visit “Against.”

Against

Chorus: 

Against the tone of heartbreak
Against the stone of night ache
Against the wrong that leads you
Against the blood that speeds you

1st Verse

Whisper into the drum and see the bay of stars
That permeate the golden night in silver bars
Usher to the harp the placid palms of notes
That wistfully breathe on strings of hope

2nd Verse

Quaff the mist of years, past where you thought
 That dwarves were playing in the valley of rock
Don’t listen to a decibel lower than the sound
Of the one hand raised in perfect redound

3rd Verse

Bless your father and your mother whose ears
Have turned to stone with worries and fears
They planted their flag in the wind by the sea
They pray on the ghost ridge and wait to be fre

4th Verse

Whisper again and listen for the echo
That lingers in the valley you used to know
Keep a clear watch how the strain will peel you
Keep your mind in tow for the brain will steel you 

5th Verse

Into the light, where you bow
Where you offer news of then and now
Where you fold your hands and wonder as you pray
If you heard that thunder across the bay

6th Verse

Whisper blowing, softly into the day
Let no shaft of light escape your sight today
Listen to your commandments, as they
Lead you to the words you hunger to pray

Commentary

The song, “Against,” is a lament for our times—for all times.  The singer begs her soul to forsake the things of this world, which according to Emily Dickinson, “hold so,” and follow the way of spirit.  The way of spirit protects one “against”  all the things that hurt the individual physically, mentally, and spiritual.

Chorus:  A Lament and Call to Struggle

Against the tone of heartbreak
Against the stone of night ache
Against the wrong that leads you
Against the blood that speeds you

The broken heart, the mental-pain-induced inability to sleep, behaving inappropriately, and allowing the physical body to dictate one’s thoughts and behavior are all things the devotee of spirit must battle “against.” 

Allowing the voice to express opposition through melody tempers the heart and mind, allowing soul power to influences the senses that have the tendency to become so greedy and obstructive.

1st Verse:  Listening to the Music of the Spheres

Whisper into the drum and see the bay of stars
That permeate the golden night in silver bars
Usher to the harp the placid palms of notes
That wistfully breathe on strings of hope

The speaker commands her soul to listen to the music of the spheres, to observe the night sky for inspiration to follow the way of spirit.  The singer remains in search of hope through beauty of sight and sound.  The stars at night accompany the beauty of melody that the seeker/singer tries to engage.

2nd Verse:  Command to Turn Inward

Quaff the mist of years, past where you thought
 That dwarves were playing in the valley of rock
Don’t listen to a decibel lower than the sound
Of the one hand raised in perfect redound

The singer commands her soul to get past the past—reflecting on the Zen koan,”The sound of the one hand.”  By drinking the liquid tears of many years passed without knowledge, speaker imbibes her own heart’s deepest desires which turn the eye and the mind inward in search of the indwelling Lord, to Whom all reverence and devotion are due.

3rd Verse:  The Unforgiven and Prayer

Bless your father and your mother whose ears
Have turned to stone with worries and fears
They planted their flag in the wind by the sea
They pray on the ghost ridge and wait to be free

The singer commands her mind to forgive the sins of her forebears, who were innocent and did their best, even though they were ignorant of the way of spirit.  As the immature look about their environment, they crave that they find a place more suitable to their talents. It is that impetus that drives the soul to eventually find its path back to its true home.

4th Verse:  Focusing on Spirit

Whisper again and listen for the echo
That lingers in the valley you used to know
Keep a clear watch how the strain will peel you
Keep your mind in tow for the brain will steel you 

The singer again commands her mind to take gingerly the lessons of her past, while remembering in the present that stress is the enemy of spiritual success—keeping the mind focused in at the heart of the way of spirit.

5th Verse:  Acknowledging Soul Reality

Into the light, where you bow
Where you offer news of then and now
Where you fold your hands and wonder as you pray
If you heard that thunder across the bay

The singer then acknowledges that the heart and mind will continue to reflect on past and present even while seeking the way of spirit.

6th Verse:  The Hunger to Pray the Right Prayer

Whisper blowing, softly into the day
Let no shaft of light escape your sight today
Listen to your commandments, as they
Lead you to the words you hunger to pray

The singer then commands herself to step lightly and watch for any sightings of spiritual light, and above all to continue to follow the way of spirit as it leads her to its golden gate.


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