In his famous poem, "The Idea of Order at Key West," Wallace Stevens tells us that "our origins" are found in "keener sounds." It's more than fascinating to actually experience such sounds that come from a spiritual source. I've found that they can lie in the most humble everyday sounds. As if they somehow carried that rarefied music of the spheres.

Once in a while, I hear a sublime choir within the sound of my car speeding along the freeway. In the sound of our heating system as it blows warm air through the house. In the refrigerator sound. In the sound of wind in chilly pines at around 7000 feet.

Physical sound as a carrier for divine sound. This is more and more worth exploring for me. And when the car's turned off, when the shower stops, the sublime sound drops off too. Joseph Campbell talked about another world behind the illusion of this one and said it supports this world. In his inspiring series with Bill Moyers, he came out very clearly about this.

He suggested that Aum is a chant to sing to experience the inner truths. He described it in much the same way that I think of HU, a sound that contains all sounds and takes its origin from the misty past and from the heart of God. Singing HU is the way I tune up to hear my way into the levels of life layered inside the physical. To tune my inner ears and hear the voice of the divine—those "keener," wordless messages.

And what interests me is that this highest voice is contained in the "lower" voices all around us. Thus we have the unity of so-called opposites in life. Things aren't really opposite, the way most people talk of crude and sophisticated, pure and impure, noble and ignoble, birth and death. On and on we march with our distinctions, but such thinking can be a trap. The artist, poet, and composer avoid it when creating. I see them as picking up on the unity of things; they synthesize disparate things into a wholeness that speaks the inherent harmony of all. Events and objects have their place in the musical scheme of things. With this notion we can live life at ease. Opposites are actually resolved if we’d only remember and live that truth each moment, looking for the commonality which is right with us always. Clean out the cobwebs you allowed and stand in this speaking light of “I’ve known the harmony, been the harmony all along.”

And some word artists thrive on reading the sounds within daily sounds – and within alliteration , assonance, and rhyme, the basic sound harmonies of verse.

And so we can comprehend Blake's words about seeing eternity in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower. Singing HU, or whatever high sound you're drawn to, can tune you up to see the lake, not as a surface of water, but as a place with depths where logs lie, where green fish swim, where golden salamanders and crayfish dart in the moods, shallows, and deeps of the waters. And it turns out – as we transform our consciousness to hear and see better – that the lake of our own life has countless depths and countless lakes within it!

The poet Rumi understood this and lived it – and he even spoke of HU several times in the translations I've read. Harold Klemp, in chapter four of his Child in the Wilderness, gives a clear and easy inner exercise with this sound of HU. It’s one that poets might well be aware of. Some will take the time to sing it for ten or twenty minutes a day to link up with the “keener sounds,” the divine expression within.

Imagine! The music of the spheres alive and well right now – sifting into our poems and writings, lifting and expanding the harmony!
What are your experiences with sounds arising from within?
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Postscript - Did I mention Mozart's Mass in C minor? To me, this sublime work carries such great love. It's always a taste of the eternal in sound to hear it. (For some odd reason the Requiem is more popular. So dramatic! Used in one horror movie I saw. No thank you.) The C minor comes from genuine affection. Worth checking out (I like John Gardener's version, personally.)
. . .
Postscript II - Further notes on sound and HU:

O a word to clear one's path ahead endlessly!
Something extatic and undemonstrable!
O music wild!
~ Walt Whitman
Our weak, uneven breathings,
these dissolving personalities,
were breathed out by the eternal
Huuuuuuu, that never changes!
~ From Rumi's One-Handed Basket Weaving
From the breath which streamed out of the creator there emerged two syllables, HU HU, and progressively, the entire universe.
~ Giuseppe Tucci in The Religions of Tibet
HU, the unpronounced, either with a light i-sound as he or heu'h, is the creative word, the seed of fire, the first sound.
~ Nichols Ross in The Book of Druidry.
Rumi says that we eventually become what the poetic likenesses point to, and see the world from the other side of longing. We become the breathing Divine Presence (Hu), and Shams Himself [the spiritual teacher] looks out through our eyes.
~ Coleman Barks. Like This. Maypop Books.

~~~for more of Tim Bellows' considered poems and notes on divine spirit and worlds of poetry, get "Tim Bellows" on

Author's Bio: 

Tim Bellows, with a graduate degree from the Iowa Writers´ Workshop, teaches writing at Sierra College in Northern California and is devoted to lakes, mountains, and inner travels. He’s twice been nominated for the Annual Pushcart Prize, and his book Sunlight From Another Day – Poems In & Out of the Body has just gone live from AuthorHouse Press out of Bloomington (see
He edits a monthly e-newsletter called Lightship News and is administrator of the blog at – for poetry people, trail-trekkers and mystics (full time or part time).