Meditations at the Acropolis

The theme is preservation.

All around us on the Acropolis, individuals are working diligently to preserve their experiences. Photos, videos, the study of surroundings, saying to selves that they’ll remember the moment forever. Beyond the momentary effort to preserve the event, each person is seeking to preserve their bodies, live in good health, keep their souls polished like a silver ocean pearl. The self is important, and the ancient Greeks mention this.

As Socrates provides a discourse to his counterparts in Symposium, he speaks of the wisdom Diotima imparts to him.

“Those who are pregnant in the body only, betake themselves to women and beget children-this is the character of their love; their offspring, as they hope, will preserve their memory and giving them the blessedness and immortality which they desire in the future. But souls which are pregnant-for there certainly are men who are more creative in their souls than in their bodies conceive that which is proper for the soul to conceive or contain.”

Here, Diotima enlightens Socrates on the soul and its reproductive creativity. Our bodies procreate, as do our minds. A poet makes love to the essence of beauty, gives birth to his odes and elegies, and preserves his soul in this capacity.

What does this have to do with the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens?

“Earth proudly wears the Parthenon as the best gem upon her zone.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


The Parthenon is a work of beauty and precision. It is considered the most important surviving site of Classical Greece. Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his masterful poetic way, stated that “Earth proudly wears the Parthenon as the best gem upon her zone.”

Everything I’ve been taught about mediation and wisdom from Eastern perspectives sharply contrast the sense of self-preservation discussed above. In Buddhism, all emphasis lies on the release of ego and self. “Liberation” is a term used amply, and self is used to refer to a kind of collective consciousness. Atman, the Sanskrit term used for soul in Hindu philosophy, refers not to the individual soul housed in a single body, but as a transcendental spirit beyond one’s own physiology.

Though this contradiction exists, I can’t help but feel a sense of inspiration bearing from both viewpoints.

During one flight from Phoenix to New York, I sat in silent contemplation with my head down for a great duration. I came to an interesting realization, a thought I had never really fully considered before. It was an idea that lies both in feeling and thought. It was the idea that many opposites and dualities in knowledge exist simultaneously, in a paradox we often reject. People often feel that they are right on an issue. If you’re pro-life, you believe in one end of a spectrum and spend the rest of your life confirming this belief. Or, you confirm another belief continually. We live in constant confirmation, and holding two opposite beliefs at the same time is a sort of rarity.

Of course, I’m not even close to being one of few who have realized this. Even Socrates himself constantly challenged and questioned his own positions to get closer to fundamental truths. But this idea is necessary for harmony, for seeing a world that is full of opposing beliefs, for connecting, for enjoying.

We preserve temples, ideas, and art. The Parthenon should certainly be protected for as long as we can hold on to it. We should also live in health to stay in health.

We also realize that theres is an end to all things, and that (quoting Led Zeppelin here) “all that lives is born to die.”

Hopefully all people experience this harmony of duality at some point in time. The realization that preservation doesn’t rival liberation/detachment, it complements it. It’s an essential thought, and certainly one to consider at a sublime place such as the Acropolis.


John Coltrane Was the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

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.

Wiki Commons
After Coltrane’s death, a congregation called the Yardbird Temple in San Francisco began worshiping him as God incarnate.

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:

Source: Ramsey Castaneda

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.
Thank you God.



John William Coltrane