musicology #202

teachings of billionaire YenTzu #12

(Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face)

Awaiting The Turtle (being in the right place at the right time)

‘The opportunity for human life is rare,’ began the Patriarch Yen Tzu. ‘So rare that it can be likened to that magical event which occurs just once every 400 years. The moment when the great mythical sea turtle rises for air. Imagine, that while breaking the surface, the creature places it’s head through a bamboo ring. A hoop that happens to be floating randomly alone in the vast ocean. What perfect timing that would take! Imagine too that this solitary wooden necklace fitted exactly. What precision that would be! Now imagine that the human physical body is the bamboo circle, and the turtle is the immortal spirit entering it. Then you can imagine the perfect coming together of forces that must happen for our own birth.’

‘It is indeed hard to consider that our life is such a rarity,’ replied his pupil, Lu Chou. ‘Just look at the countless people going about their business in the Imperial city each day!’

‘Just so,’ answered Yen Tzu, ‘and each one of them is just where they should be. For in truth our lives are the result of a synchronicity between the physical and the spiritual. As such, each one of us began our lives at the rightly appointed time, and in the correct place intended.’
‘That must be why one person’s timing in life seems infinitely better than another’s,’ commented Lu Chou. ‘Where one man seems to make his fortune, another does not; where one struggles to no avail, another seems to attain easily.’

‘That is not the reason,’ said the Patriarch, ‘for the time and place has nothing to do with a man’s success. The rightness and timing in awaiting the turtle is merely to illustrate that such synchronicity is our birthright. But Man, instead of resolving to continue to use this natural serendipitous power has become conditioned to do the opposite. ‘In doing so he unconsciously acts against himself, seeking to manipulate and control outcomes according to his own rules. He has forgotten that everything that is to happen for his benefit does so at the right time; and everything that is forced beyond a natural course of events is either lost or distorted. ‘Even if the outcome is seemingly right it does not carry the power it would have had, or bring the benefit it was intended to bring. The result is that the harder he seems to push towards that which he wants, the further it moves away from him. Such is the plight of all who take the heritage of how they came to be for granted. Yet, in truth, knowing how to harness our natural synchronicity with Life’s opportunities creates the paradox of the less we do, the more we achieve.’

‘So what can we do to regain this power, this heritage,’ asked the pupil.
‘We must steadfastly resolve to live, trust, accept and have purpose in whatever we do, at the moment we are doing it. For the nature of being always in the right place at the right time is ours to command.’


7 thoughts on “musicology #202

  1. final cut of the ‘teachings’ and what a beautiful song to finish..the synchronicity of music NEVER fails to amaze me and this one says it all.

    also on this day my loved ones are heading off on holiday..never was it my intention to synchronize these events, (the ending of the teachings and their departure), and I’m not reading anything into it..I’ll just leave it to the Tao, Aldous Huxley and Sister Roberta Flack to lay it all out.

    “after silence that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music”


  2. For what its worth…. I’m speechless!!

    Well not entirely…
    Talking of synchronicity, In the early hours of this morning, while trying to work out a very tricky – potentially nasty – business scenario, a word I’ve never used or to be honest, was at all sure of its meaning, popped up inside my head…. serendipity. Strange, I though. I couldn’t find it in my old trusty Oxford University Press dictionary but eventually found it in my more modern Webster’s. Initially, I thought the word well wide of the mark (totally inappropiate actually). But then, mentally rewinding and playing back the little I understand of the teachings of Yen Tzu, I began the journey down an all together different “rational” path. We shall see!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (Serendipity. Noun; the faculty of happening upon or making fortunate discoveries when not in search of them).


  3. I hope the new route works!…I’m grateful as ever to the musicologist for taking the time to share the teachings of Yen Tzu with us, if just some of that wisdom sticks I shall be well pleased!


  4. On serendipity.
    The simple reason the word wasn’t to be found in the Oxford dictionary and was in Webster’s is it’s (arggg) an American word and Webster’s is an American dictionary.

    Why this piece of useless information and why now? Well, it ties in with a musicologist thread on language (words too) and communication. I find amazing the amount of different spelling and (sometimes) meanings between these two “English” languages…. Think about it!!


  5. Alan Watts recorded a series of lectures entitled
    The Limits Of Language which I have found informative.

    Just noticed your distinction between words and language, or have I misunderstood?


  6. Alan Watts seems to a favorite on this board!
    Who was Anonymous “talking” to?

    “which words will come through air unbent,
    Saying, so to speak, what was ment”.


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