If you ever want to commune with God, listen to A Love Supreme with complete and undisturbed attention.
The shrill passion, intensity, resolve, and grandiosity may take your spirit to celestial heights. “Acknowledgement,” the first part, orients us to the common blue-ness found within every being of humankind. The nebula of harmony. “Resolution,” the second movement, is the fusion of stellar nuclei throughout the cosmos. “Pursuance,” the third part, an urgent call to divine consciousness. “Psalm” is a final, ineffable musical interpretation of spiritual text.
Call me a romantic, but I must say that John Coltrane is the closest figure we’ll ever have to Jesus Christ in the modern world.
Upon one interview, Coltrane identified the calling of every man and woman as growing into the “best good you can be.” Self-actualization, the uppermost piece of Maslow’s hierarchy. What Coltrane did, however, was live this experience through music. He certainly didn’t live the ultimate righteous life, but he produced music that’s a miracle every time it’s played.
A Love Supreme, a divine response to LSD
A Love Supreme was released in January of 1965. At this time, LSD use was on the rise. In 1966, Timothy Leary stated that LSD could be of benefit to mankind, and could even cure homosexual “perversions.” Counterculturists were turning to the experimental substance to find God. A behavior that Buddha himself advised against.
John Coltrane created A Love Supreme to connect with the mysterious and divine through a way that doesn’t require chemical alteration: through harmony.
Again, Coltrane wasn’t the emanation of righteousness. God knows he did his share of heroin and LSD. But Coltrane was a savior in times of spiritual confusion. He provided the medium that was there all along, but needing the right arrangement.
No musician (since Beethoven) ever presented harmony in such a way that evokes universal brotherhood so resonantly. The music from A Love Supreme was purely inspiring. It was what the entire world was needing in order to advance existentially. But, like the Gospels, many will go through an entire lifetime with experiencing a single exposure.
A Moral Decline
Coltrane later went on to produce the album Om and other bouts of cacophony. With his increasing drug use, his sense of beauty deteriorated. He died in 1967. The 1980s came later, and it seemed that the general population of America lost sight of what is beautiful and transcendent as well.
What do we have now? Crack cocaine, the grave of Leonard Bernstein, Scientology, methamphetamines, bro-country, and Rob Kardashian.
What do we have to get through it? A Love Supreme
Here is the epic spiritual poem from the album (performed musically in “Psalm”), both in visual and text format:
A Love Supreme
I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee, O Lord. It all has to do with it. Thank You God.
Peace. There is none other. God is. It is so beautiful. Thank You God.
God is all. Help us to resolve our fears and weaknesses.In you all things are possible.Thank you God.
We know. God made us so.Keep your eye on God.God is. He always was. He always will be.
No matter what… it is God.He is gracious and merciful.It is most important that I know Thee.
Words, sounds, speech, men, memory, throughts,fears and emotions–time–all related…all made from one… all made in one.
Blessed be his name. Thought waves–heat waves–all vibrations–all paths lead to God. Thank you God.
His way… it is so lovely… it is gracious.It is merciful–Thank you God.One thought can produce millions of vibrations and they all go back to God… everything does.
Thank you God.Have no fear… believe… Thank you God.The universe has many wonders. God is all.
His way… it is so wonderful.Thoughts–deeds–vibrations,all go back to God and He cleanses all.
He is gracious and merciful… Thank you God.Glory to God… God is so alive.God is.God loves.
May I be acceptable in Thy sight.
We are all one in His grace.The fact that we do exist is acknowledgement of Thee, O Lord.Thank you God.
God will wash away all our tears…He always has…He always will.
Seek him everyday. In all ways seek God everyday.Let us sing all songs to God.To whom all praise is due… praise God.
No road is an easy one, but they all go back to God.
With all we share God.It is all with God.It is all with Thee.
Obey the Lord.Blessed is He.
We are all from one thing… the will of God…Thank you God.
–I have seen ungodly–none can be greater–none can compare Thank you God.
He will remake… He always has and He always will.It’s true–blessed be His name–Thank you God.
God breathes through us so completely…so gently we hardly feel it… yet,it is our everything.
Thank you God.
ELATION–ELEGANCE–EXALTATION–All from God.
Thank you God.
John William Coltrane (1923-1967)