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Daniel A. Freedman, personal web site

A Universal Meditation

For many years since boyhood I couldn’t realize my great attraction for polar explorers and polar researches. This made me devour book after book. It felt as if I was there, among them, one of the participants in the expedition. Again and again I experienced my previous lives through these recollections. Here, in this northern place so much adored by me, everything was so painfully familiar and dear to me: the dogs, the harness, the friends, the beloved taste of snow, the grinding sound of enormous blocks of ice as well as the biting cold, the head winds, the frost bitten face. Everything the life of a polar explorer was made up of.

...Or calligraphy. Neat and extraordinary types. Hieroglyphs. I liked to write in hieroglyphs, unaware of their language meaning, devoting myself entirely to this matter every spare minute. One more hieroglyph, one more... How close they were to me, these signs. I just couldn’t get rid of a feeling that this had occurred not a long time ago, maybe, yesterday. I immersed deeply in thought, trying to recall the place of my doing the calligraphy in former times, but it wouldn’t come.

Then I started stirring up my memory to single out the places where such work could have been done. Some sacred place, a monastery for example... No associations emerged connected with the isolated space. Only Nature appeared again and again in front of me. Vast airspace, high trees, infected with no diseases... A young man... Sitting in the shade... Under the marvellous crown of a tree...Seeing the Sun in and off day in day out...

Long manuscripts, neat columns of hieroglyphs, whose character changed imperceptibly as the position of the Sun and the Moon changed during the daytime. A shepherdess... How come I knew her? She was so familiar to me... Here was the one I didn’t know, who had always introduced a slight chaos into my life, that quickly gave way to harmony... Year after year my wrist became lighter and surer.

It seemed to follow the movement of my heart, soul, the thinnest thoughts... The squiggle of the pen... The ink ran on the paper, turning into spaces full of colours and the most delicate muslin... Or music... Composing music, performing, conducting a large symphonic orchestra and chorus.

I utterly forgot so familiar notes, ways of extracting sounds from instruments, conductor’s gestures. However, the music I had composed or arranged as well as the orchestra I had conducted were obedient to me. I would place the orchestra on eminence with the chorus standing behind in a semicircle. The symphony would dash off piercing inconceivable spaces, dazzling mankind by its unheard-of boldness of innovative thinking. This reminded me of a Universal meditation of the humanity, awakening, His gradual enlightenment...