The Mystic and the Musician


Walling Bend COE Camp, Whitney, TX—Monday, I drove to Lake Tyler, and met up with Glenn Morrisette. I met Glenn about eight months ago in Santa Fe, and mentioned the encounter briefly in the Why I’m a Mystic video.

I set up camp next to his Chinook and we talked into the night. More below the break (huh?).

I’m certain Glenn got something out of our conversation—but that sounds pompous, so I’ll lie and say, “I don’t know if Glenn got anything out of our conversation”—but I definitely did.

Glenn is a very smart, rational musician—which is kind of an odd mix when you think about it, but then so is a computer programmer/photographer turned mystic. We got along well.

During our conversation, Glenn mentioned how Miles Davis—a kind of regular guy and not a formally trained musician—would often hit his notes so perfectly that it was almost as if the music were playing through him.

To hear Glenn describe it, it was something akin to a mystical experience.

Nearly every great artist—musicians, painters, yes, even photographers—will tell you that to really produce great art, you have to get out of the way of the flow of the art.

You have to let the art flow through you.

When Glenn was talking about that perfect Miles Davis note, at that moment it clarified what exactly I was looking for in my pull toward solitude: To, as much as humanly possible, get out of Her way and let Her Light shine.

I’m not talking Messiah here. I’m not talking channelling. I’m not talking about anything religious or spooky. Indeed, I’m just talking about something that is perfectly natural and is seen all the time in little children.

I’m talking about becoming as transparent as possible to Her notes, to Her song, to Her music.

I am talking about surrendering to Her completely.

Open yourself and learn to hear Her song. Become transparent so that others may hear Her notes move through you.

Let Her song move through you. That is what I mean by surrender.

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4 thoughts on “The Mystic and the Musician

  1. Hi Wayne,

    I love the posts. I read every one of them. Love this one especially perhaps because of my love for jazz and especially Miles. I love how you interweave the experiences with your awareness of Her. Thank you for this.

    I wish we were still talking even tho the group is no more. I miss our conversations very much.


  2. Yes, I definitely got a lot out of our conversations!

    Just to clarify about Miles, he was actually a pretty formally trained musician for his time (I believe he studied at Julliard for a while). Frustrated by his inability to mimic the very technical and flashy trumpet players of his day (Dizzy Gillespie being the classic example), he consciously chose a much mellower and more melodic approach to his instrument.

    Most serious jazz fans will agree that Miles said more with one or two notes than most cats could say in an entire solo. And this even though he really didn’t have a sound that fit the standard mold of how a trumpet “should” sound. Instead, he had the guts to craft his own very personal way of playing, and in so doing, found a way to connect with the listener without resorting to all kinds of flashy pyrotechnics.

  3. @David: Good to hear from you again. I figured you were pissed at me as you were the only one not to say “Goodbye” 🙂

    @Glenn: Thanks for clarifying about Miles Davis. Interesting that your description of him sounds a lot like my “path”: a way to connect with the listener without all the flash (keeping it real). 😮

  4. I played a basketball game years ago and hit 10 out of 10 from the field and was 2-2 at the free throw line, perfect game. I was in the zone the whole time. Game seemed like it was in slow motion and I could do anything I wanted. All the usual anxieties and conditions somehow all disapeared.

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