High school orchestra. My freshman year. Third clarinet. Not very good!
We would struggle along under the guidance of the music instructor/conductor. As a group we sounded passable.
As is typical before a performance or even a rehearsal the individual musicians (I use the term loosely) would tune up, each in her own world trying to harmonize with the note sounded by the first violinist. It was a discordant racket but one filled with a kind of excitement and anticipation.
And then the conductor would enter and take up the baton. Utter silence would fall upon the group. The baton would lift, pause and then, well something akin to music would happen.
One day a guest conductor showed up. He was affiliated with a professional orchestra; I don’t recall which. We hadn’t practiced under his guidance. We had never seen him before. But when he took the podium and raised the baton we all knew something was remarkably different. Whereas our usual instructor functioned mainly as a human metronome while we each kept our eyes glued on the sheet music before us, this man enfolded the entire orchestra with a special powerful presence that unified us and brought us up to a level none of us had dreamt possible. Not only did we each individually play better but this was one of those rare cases when the total performance level exceeded the sum of its parts. We had become extensions of this Conductor. We all felt it and so did the audience.
I never forgot that experience. It has informed how I see the Great Work. Each of us is responsible for learning how to function with Light and with Power, Force and Energy; how to use the Law of prayer. To “practice the scales”. That is the private, interior, on-going work of tuning and becoming proficient with our ‘instrument’. And then we fall under the spell of a Great One whose mantle enfolds us, unites us in the greater work and brings us to a level of function higher than we had previously known.
Many of us have had the blessing of working under the mantle of such a One. For those of us in Mystical/Esoteric Christianity, we acknowledge that One as the Cosmic Christ, the Great Self in whom we truly do live and move and have our being. We may have also encountered elder Brothers and Sisters on the Way who act as conductors as well. And ‘yes’ I do mean ‘conductors’ in both the way described above and as channels through which energy and consciousness flows.
The mystery in all this is that we are each called to be such a conductor. To be that channel and to make available to others the wonderful consciousness of the Great Christ, allowing others to be raised to a higher level of musicality. We must continue practicing, keeping our instruments in tune with the Note Sounded and hone our abilities to tackle more involved pieces so that our Conductor can extend Him/Her Self through us.