Discussion Board

Topic: Transcendence

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 08/11/2006

Lately I've been having some serious{-}music discussions with someone and it came back to me the part in Songs of Earth and Power, the reference to Scriabin. (For those of you who aren't familiar, Alexander Scriabin was the first musical 'mystic', and knew it; he wanted to save the world with his music.)

In any case, being of similar ilk as he, it comes back to amaze that you, and so singularly in my reading experience, were aware of him.

Re: Transcendence

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/14/2006

Scriabin is kind of neglected nowadays, isn't he? But his belief that music could bring on a transcendent state fit in well with the theme of the book--and I've always enjoyed listening to him.

Re: Transcendence

From: Brian S
Location: Houston
Date: 09/28/2006

Although I have had several ecstatic experiences with music, I tend to be a bit skeptical whenever someone speaks of transcendence; what does it mean, really! Some experience other than the normal?

I had a Jimmy Hendrix double album on which he stated that he believes that music had healing qualities to it. Interesting point of view given his musical style, and how he ended his life.

Mr. Bear, I've really enjoyed the Eon series as well as Darwin's Radio/Children. I look forward to reading others of your work.

Re: Transcendence

From: Greg Bear
Date: 09/28/2006

Thanks, Brian! I've experienced terrific moments with music as well--and that's what made the epiphanic experience so extraordinary. It began while I was sitting in an airplane, and continued for well over a month, off and on--music or no music. It was its own thing, and it was extremely powerful, beyond my conscious control, and very different from the aesthetic high produced by art or music. Causes? Other than the obvious and often-chosen suggestion that it's God, I haven't a clue.

Re: Transcendence

From: Anitra Freeman
Location: United States
Date: 01/04/2015

Greg, I was bowled over when I read Kaye's epiphany experience in Darwin's Children, because it sounded so much like an experience of my own. I was intrigued with what you wrote in the back of the book, that you had that kind of experience and so has something like 50% of the human race. Where did you get that mumber? I've looked for a source and was unable to find one.

I was tickled when you said, in an interview, I think, that you still identify as an atheist because no religion describes a god that sounds like That which you encountered. I continue to identify as a Christian for the same reason. Might as well be a heretic where I was born as go be a heretic someplace else.

Anyway, I was glad to find this board and have the chance to say Hi.

Re: Transcendence

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/24/2015

Thanks, Anitra! I'm thinking now that that 50% number may be high, at least when it comes to the sort of long-lasting epiphanies I experienced. But a lot of people have profound mystical experiences of one sort or another, not sure about the percentages! I don't identify as an atheist, per se, although some have lumped me into that category--but it is difficult to reconcile what I experienced with the standard conceptions of God. If there are such...

Mostly, I think it's wise to let God be God, and not try too fiercely to understand those beauties and truths.

And recently, though I nearly died on the operating table, I did not experience any post-life visions. However--maybe the anesthetic wiped those memories! I certainly don't remember the last hour before surgery began.

Re: Transcendence

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/24/2015

Thanks, Anitra! I'm thinking now that that 50% number may be high, at least when it comes to the sort of long-lasting epiphanies I experienced. But a lot of people have profound mystical experiences of one sort or another, not sure about the percentages! I don't identify as an atheist, per se, although some have lumped me into that category--but it is difficult to reconcile what I experienced with the standard conceptions of God. If there are such...

Mostly, I think it's wise to let God be God, and not try too fiercely to understand those beauties and truths.

And recently, though I nearly died on the operating table, I did not experience any post-life visions. However--maybe the anesthetic wiped those memories! I certainly don't remember the last hour before surgery began.

Re: Transcendence

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/24/2015

Thanks, Anitra! I'm thinking now that that 50% number may be high, at least when it comes to the sort of long-lasting epiphanies I experienced. But a lot of people have profound mystical experiences of one sort or another, not sure about the percentages! I don't identify as an atheist, per se, although some have lumped me into that category--but it is difficult to reconcile what I experienced with the standard conceptions of God. If there are such...

Mostly, I think it's wise to let God be God, and not try too fiercely to understand those beauties and truths.

And recently, though I nearly died on the operating table, I did not experience any post-life visions. However--maybe the anesthetic wiped those memories! I certainly don't remember the last hour before surgery began.

Re: Transcendence

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/24/2015

Thanks, Anitra! I'm thinking now that that 50% number may be high, at least when it comes to the sort of long-lasting epiphanies I experienced. But a lot of people have profound mystical experiences of one sort or another, not sure about the percentages! I don't identify as an atheist, per se, although some have lumped me into that category--but it is difficult to reconcile what I experienced with the standard conceptions of God. If there are such...

Mostly, I think it's wise to let God be God, and not try too fiercely to understand those beauties and truths.

And recently, though I nearly died on the operating table, I did not experience any post-life visions. However--maybe the anesthetic wiped those memories! I certainly don't remember the last hour before surgery began.

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