Freddie called one day and explained that he wanted help in achieving perfect pitch. He’d learned how to play the guitar first and then moved on to the base guitar which fascinated him even more because it was closer to the quality of sound that something in him was striving toward, a sound that contained more possibilities. However, when he had learned to play he had done it by rote. He would find the notes using his mind and not his ear, memorizing the fret positions and the intervals between notes. It was his ear, his perception that he wanted to refine.
Freddie had grown up in Lebanon during the war. Each day was a matter of life and death; danger was everywhere. So was courage. Hearing about his childhood made me think there would be deep psychological issues that needed resolution and that there might be many obstacles to overcome before anything as specific as perfect pitch could be addressed.
Freddie at 35 years of age was fluent in French, English and Arabic. He had studied martial arts, Chi Gung (Qigong) and more recently Tibetan Buddhism. He learned pranic healing in Malaysia and worked with it in Lebanon but found that it was accepted only with difficulty and by very few people. Later he moved to Montreal, where he now lives.
In my role as his hypnotherapist, I hoped to find a way through the mind that would lead him to the relaxation that would help his ear hear what he needed to hear. We began with a visualization in which I asked him to imagine himself in a pyramid of shimmering white light that surrounded him completely and within which he floated comfortably at a level about a third of the way up from the base.
I then gave a very general indication that we were going off on a journey to look for information related to his quest – his quest in general but also specifically his quest in relation to sound. I did not mention perfect pitch.
I said that the place we needed to go would appear at the count of three. After the word three was spoken and without hesitation, Freddie began to relate the following story. Only very occasionally did I have to say something such as, “And what happened after that?”
“I’m standing in front of a house. It’s red with a white door and white window frames. The roof is steeply slanted. The fields are green and there is a background of blue sky. There’s a walkway leading past a white fence up to the front door. The door is closed but as I approach it opens. At first it’s dark inside because the light outside was so bright. Gradually, I see stairs leading to the second floor on the right and on the left a long narrow hallway. I make my way down the hallway. There are pictures of people on the wall but I don’t recognize any of them. Then I come to another set of stairs leading down.
As I make my way down, it feels moist but welcoming. The walls are green and feel very good to the touch. Warm and moist. I keep going down. There is a wonderfully comforting feeling. I continue going down and I come to another long corridor which I begin following. Suddenly I come to the end and I find myself in a large cave that contains a small lake. The water is blue, very clear, and it is shining as if light were coming out of it. I’m looking at the water. Then I notice that there is someone sitting on a bench on the other side of the lake. I can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman. This person is wearing a long brown cape with a hood.
Suddenly there is a small raft there that I can use to travel to the other side. I step on and I find that it’s a bit wobbly but just the same it begins to take me there. Now the water disappears but the raft continues to float. Below it is a white, golden light. The raft floats to the other side and I step off. But the person is not there any more. So I continue walking deeper into the cave. Suddenly it becomes huge and there’s a lot of water. Stalactites hang from the ceiling of the cave. There is water everywhere. A ray of sunlight shines down from a hole in the roof of the cave. It strikes a point way out on the water.
I walk into the water and it’s a bit cold at first. Then I jump right in. I feel very comfortable and I’m swimming under the water. I still see the ray of sunlight from underneath and I come up to the surface where it strikes the water. I climb up the side of the cave and pull myself out through the hole in the roof.
I am standing on a mountain top. There are huge valleys, grey clouds. The sun has disappeared. I climb up higher until the clouds are all below me and the sky is blue, clear and calm. There is no one else, just me, all by myself.
Suddenly, I am back at the door of the house. This time I enter and go up the stairs on the right instead of down the hallway. But now my feet are very heavy. Each step is hard. I’m struggling a bit. It’s a long way and it’s very hard. The wall on the right is white until I come to a mirror. I look into it and see the other side of the stairway reflected in it but I don’t see myself. I keep walking up until I reach the second floor. There are two rooms on the right and another staircase leading up on the left. I walk into one of the rooms. The room looks like a house our family had in the mountains. I leave that room and go to the other one. There’s just a bed and a woman sleeping there whom I don’t know. I walk through the room and out onto a balcony from which I see a tree and a car.
The balcony detaches from the building and I’m floating up and up. Floating over the town. I lie down. We come to a huge library. It’s round and has many floors. I enter on the ground floor. There are many old books. It’s strange because I’m looking at the building from above it and from below it at the same time. On the bottom floor there is a fountain and I go and drink from it. It is very sweet. I walk towards a computer on the table. I try to start it, but it doesn’t start. Then I begin looking at the books. One big, dark red book grabs my attention. It’s written on the outside “Grimoire”. [textbook of magic] I grab it. It’s heavy and big and I carry it over and put it on a table. I open it up to check out the inside. There is one full page and one half page but nothing is written on these pages. I keep turning the pages but I can’t find anything. There is a light coming out of the pages and connecting with my third eye. Information is being downloaded, [his head jerks] white light coming in. I shut the book and it disappears. It’s pages had become like empty filing folders.
On each floor of the library there are different people playing musical instruments. I recognize them as people who had influenced me. I see them playing but I don’t hear anything. Although I see them, their shapes are not solid.
Now I’m floating. Just moving up, checking each floor one by one. Each floor has a different color. Now I’m at white. I can feel that each floor has a lot of books and these books have a lot of knowledge, hidden treasures. Now there’s light. It’s a very light green, and now it’s turning to blue, then grey, then yellow. The library has disappeared.
There is nothing now but a rainbow spiraling around me. I’m floating with it. The colors mean something. The rainbow is starting to go into my right ear and then into my left ear. It is spiraling inside my head and inside my body.
Suddenly I’m back in front of the white house and I’m a little kid wearing shorts and a T-shirt. I’m holding hands with two people. And these two people hold hands with two people and pretty soon there’s almost a thousand people holding hands and encircling the house. There is a fire at the top of the house but the house is not burning. The house is in good shape. The fire is just coming out the top of it. Yellow flames.
I see some kind of animal, an animal I don’t recognize, leaving the house and running towards me. It’s weird looking. It jumps into my arms. I put it on my left shoulder. I’m caressing it. It climbs around on my shoulder and head.
All the people disappear. [pause]
And now I see the same figure I saw by the underground lake. It’s wearing red and is seated on a floating carpet. It’s a male figure; he looks oriental. He has a flute but he is not playing it. The carpet floats down. Now I’m facing it and it is floating only a few inches above the ground. I sit down on the carpet facing the figure of the man. A golden light comes out of this scene and merges into me. It’s like a merging into that; it’s not a person; a golden, sparkling light. It’s like I’m becoming that light. I’m hearing music but it’s very far away.
Now everything has disappeared. Total emptiness. Very quiet. Just floating there.”
I didn’t know how to end this piece. When we go to another world and come back, what is there to say? It reminds me of some place in the Bible where it says of a man who did just that — “And he opened his mouth to speak and he spake not.”
So I thought it best to end this piece with this amazing image from Ravenna, Italy taken by my dear friend Theresa Conti, who practices Reconnective Healing in New York.
But then today something more happened. A piece of writing arose out of me. Of course it doesn’t really fit here — except that it is related to the image. So even though my monkey mind says it doesn’t fit here, I will put it here anyway. I hope it can speak to you.
But it was not a word
It was a touch – the touch of a wing
On my back –
But immeasurably light
And overflowing with significance
With meaning –
In that eternal instant
That I am with …
With that …
Regardless of how far
I may have wandered
Or how far I may have distanced myself
No matter –
And knowing too
That each living earthly thing
Can remind me of that.