The Music of David Salminen

a favorite book

tony

The informal review below is actually from a letter I wrote to the author, Anthony Blake, concerning his marvelous tour de force entitled:

“A GYMNASIUM of BELIEFS in HIGHER INTELLIGENCE”

Some of my references may be obscure to most people. Feel free to write to me about them if you find yourself with a burning question or two:

Really, I just wanted to say how much I’ve been enjoying your new book. I hardly know how to express my enthusiasm for it! Perhaps my sense of connection is greatly enhanced because of our recent meeting – the Gathering. In any case, I feel really connected with your project, and I have been moving through the book steadily – over half way through it now – not skimming, but really taking it in.

It is truly “food” for me, and in a nutshell, it satisfies a long frustrated wish to discuss many left over issues – or loose ends, if you will – from John G. Bennett’s books and talks, and of course the Sherborne courses in the 1970’s. Yet, what is most satisfying to me about your book is that I feel you have succeeded in going way beyond your own oft-mentioned “footnotes to The Dramatic Universe” assessment (however apt that may have been in reference to some of your earlier writings) to something much more vast and inclusive.

The subject of higher intelligence proves to be much, much bigger than any one genius or school (as if I need to tell you that!). In other words, as I’ve already mentioned to a number of people, the full title, “A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence” seems to me to be exactly what you have created. And I am finding that “working out” in that kind of a facility is very satisfying indeed.

I have found myself creating my own customized index to your book. For instance (and these are highly personal – I wouldn’t expect them to necessarily make any sense to anyone else, including you): pp. 59-60 has a hint or secret re meditation; p. 85 – makes a connection to my feelings about nature; p. 124 – the idea of a collective tuning device – something I love and always try to bring into my “cosmic improvisations” concerts;  p. 139 – communing with the stars – this suggests an inspiring and imaginative practice, already a  whim of mine these past several years; p. 142 – another substantial hint, about healing; p. 159 – presents a key to “waking up”;  p. 162 – the allusion here to Albert Schweitzer and his tremendous claim: “my life is my argument” – wonderful.

I mention these references I have made for myself simply as an indication as to how I am “working” with this new book. I apologize again for the fact that out of context as they are, my personal index items would not necessarily make any sense to anyone else. My point, again, is simply to give you some indication as to how I am taking this information in and making something of it for myself.

One more item, on page 234: Here I found you making use of one of my favorite Mullah Nassr Eddin stories, about the graveyard and the horsemen! I myself have often re-told the story to others, in an effort to inspire a sense of the way we humans go in and out of different kinds of mutual connection.

A great book – it evidences your many years of continuing to work upon, digest, and build upon what your many teachers and colleagues have taught or suggested, or in many cases merely intimated – beginning literally a couple of generations ago… or a couple of epochs ago… etc.

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