“The Trip that is Music”

“If a lover gazes into the eyes of his beloved and thinks “I really wish that Van Dyke brown had a bit more of a ginger to it,” he is not truly in love. If one listened to “American Beauty” and noted that there was too much of an improvisational flavor to the songs, then one had not allowed oneself to openly receive the music. Skylar recalled that, from the first moment he heard a Grateful Dead song in Yak’s bedroom as a freshman, he had felt the warm happiness of being in love, and it had stayed with him over three years. When one listened to this music, something got created in one’s soul: something real, almost tangible. He thought of the music as Happyland, for, even when the songs were melancholy, they possessed a bittersweetness that made him happy in a quiet, in-turned way. As he listened to the songs, bright new worlds, pervaded by luculent light and filled with fragrant summer meadows, magnolia blossoms, limpid purling streams, and skipping nymphs, rose up around him and invited him to play. Or he found himself surrounded by a Wild West world where handsome and hard-jawed gambling cowboys engaged in sudden gunfights before escaping at full gallop on horseback across the lonely desert sands. He clearly pictured dire wolves at the table and weeping willows by the river, a river that serenaded men so tired they were ready to die, a river of hope and redemption from whose banks came the sweet sounds of music. The music spurted heavenward like fountains of Spirit offering up its waters to the thirsty souls of man. In these new worlds a listener could see the juggernautish wheels of karma and the solitary roads traipsed by isolated souls; could taste the savors of all that was too refined for the tongue; could hear the celestial harmonies unapproachable by human instrument. The Dead took their listener-worshippers by the hand and led them from scenes portraying the miserable remnants of broken and soiled men, from the drunkards and addicts, the gamblers and bums, from enactments of greed and theft, violence and death, to harmonious springtimes filled with gamboling maidens adorned with circlets of flowers, with benedictions of gilded sunlight, and the privacy offered by curtains of weeping-willow branches, and then to dreamy supernal places where one came face-to-face with Truth and felt Love permeate the very cells of one’s soul.”

Richard Maddox

Richard Dietrich Maddox's writing focuses on the search for permanent happiness, the goal of finding paradise on earth, the attainment of human Enlightenment. His work, though fiction, attempts to convey the profound spiritual Truth passed on to humanity by Enlightened Masters. Maddox approaches spiritual wisdom from a Western level of experience, presenting characters to whom readers can easily relate, offering situations in which readers might well have found themselves. His work offers, in a style which those living in the West will find understandable, the possibility of blissful existence.

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