The chief omen indicates finality.

Lesson III - Set Sail for the Son

Yesterday, while you were diligently practicing your Long-tone Exercise, you certainly could not fail to hear your brothers intoning their devotions throughout the monastery. You also probably noticed that your sounds and maybe even your choice of sounds bore some relationship to those sounds around you. This is good. You are finding a harmony and that is natural for us all. God has given us an intense desire for order. You may have also noticed that the novices will find a unison, or lower harmonic in relation to their neighbor, whereas, those more adept work with intervals that reinforce the higher harmonics of their neighbor's tone and thus sound quite dissonant to the untrained ear. All this is very natural and good, for, since no one determined the pitches you were to play, you found what was necessary to occupy your attention for that moment. Was it not wonderful how easily one could compose a piece of heavenly music by walking in silence through this monastery. It never ceases to move me to hear our "new song"1 in such devotion from my brothers to the Almighty Father.

This practice is so fruitful for our spiritual development that it is necessary that we continue it for another day with this addition: you are now aware that others are listening to you and it is fine for you to find a harmony with them. Brother Karlheinz of Darmstadt, who began his own monastery outside Cologne, composed a meditation for his flock which lasts seven days.2 We have performed this here at our monastery and have gained much by it. We will select a part of his meditation to be our "Rule for the Day." It is entitled, "Set Sail for the Sun."

Rule for the Day:

play a tone for so long

until you hear its individual vibrations

hold the tone and listen to the tone of the others

-to all of them together, not individual ones-

and slowly move your tone

until you arrive at complete harmony

and the whole sound turns to gold

and pure, gently shimmering fire3

1 Revelation 5:9.
2 Stockhausen, Karlheinz; Aus den Sieben Tagen.

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