So, no--I don't get that buzz of connection with the natural world these days, as I once did, back in my twenties and thirties. Or, rather, the connection I do feel when I'm out there--in the mountains, on the water--does not pool into any conceptual whole, or leave any tangible sediment on something called 'my soul.' There are no mystical lees of my experience with the great outdoors.
But, let's move on. I went to my voice session today, as I do most Tuesdays and Thursdays. For a couple of weeks now, Theresa has included a straight-up pitch matching exercise in my warm up. She plunks a pitch on the piano and I match it. I'm getting pretty good at it, better and better every day. To match a pitch I have to do two things: listen carefully and not think. I'm not used to doing anything carefully without thinking. It's a contradiction. When I manage to pull this off, though, I more often than not hear the right pitch come out of my mouth. Now. When this happens, I don't identify 'myself' at all with whoever, or whatever, is making it happen. I have NO idea what the hell I'm doing, but I'm doing it. I would say that it were as if 'somebody else' were doing it, but that isn't true. The right pitch feels like it's coming out of... nowhere... out of the air... totally ex nihilo. When I feel it coming ex nihilo, the borders between 'myself'--by which I mean my talking self, my chattering mind, my articulate monkey--and EVERYTHING else melts away. I wouldn't call it a sense of connection as much as a sense of EXPANSION. The right voice coming out of nowhere makes me feel like I am way, way, way--WAY--bigger than I know myself to be. There's all this MORE of me... out there, all around me, somehow supporting the right pitch. But, also, this 'more' of me isn't really a 'me'--it's not any kind of ego; no pooling up of meaning--intead it's just pure, active potentiality, manifesting.
Your every day, run-of-the-mill mysticism is child's play in comparison, a piece of bright ribbon to distract the meaning-hungry but agoraphobic mind from it's own great, humming expanse. The steppes of the soul are endless.