Being particular is not important

These photos are of my guide Rashid and cook/muleteer Mohammed on my recent trek in Morocco's High Atlas. My listening while in the mountains included Norman Del Mar's recording of Rubbra's Second and Eighth Symphonies for Lyrita and Vernon Handley's Bax Second and Fourth for Chandos . Both those discs will be familiar to long time OAOP readers, but less familiar may be Einojuhani Rautavaara's symphonies. Since the 1990s I had known and admired Rautavaara's  Second and Seventh - Angel of Light - Symphonies for Bis and Ondine respectively. But his other symphonies in Ondine's complete cycle were new and very rewarding territory for me. In his booklet essay for the Ondine box set Kimmo Korhonen quite accurately describes Rautavaara's eight symphonies as "one huge journey through life, a voyage of the soul..." 

My reading also produced a strong recommendation for like-minded readers. David Darling is an English astronomer, freelance science writer, and musician, and his book Zen Physics is sub-titled 'The Logic of Death, the Science of Reincarnation'. David Darling's exploration - in fact dismantling - of the sense of self and his exposition of a gently contra-Buddhist concept of reincarnation without the baggage of karma is very thought-provoking. The following brief extract gives a flavour of the book and should also provide food for thought in the context of our social media-obsessed culture:

Personal identity as a constant enduring thing is a myth - a myth that on a day-today basis, it is true, serves a useful purpose. But to grow in understanding we need to move on, both individually and as a society, in the direction of laying less stress on the particular people we think we are - because being particular is not important. You and I are nobody special. We are simply brains having thoughts and that is all there is to it.


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