About our cover THINKING IT THROUGH

Turn off the turmoil, turn on the music

Screeching, clacking trains, auto horns blaring in a discordant symphony of rush-hour traffic: an urban environment in the late twentieth century. If you taped the sound and put it into a time capsule, would it bring back similar feelings a century from now on a hot, summer afternoon in 2091? You wonder as you wait with some other wilted-looking commuters, wishing for a modicum of peace that seems impossible here. Then, close by, you hear children laughing. Others hear it too, and within moments, the deadened atmosphere changes. Something disarming, innocent, and pure has penetrated that wall of noise, the dehumanizing and dullness. The same people who seemed burdened are suddenly smiling and chatting.

Just a small event. Yet in it, one feels, is a hint of what is possible to have more consistently. In our better moments, aren't we aware of spiritual intuition telling us we need more of that "something" we occasionally glimpse—a greater measure of transcendent harmony and goodness which is more native to us than the turmoil we too often feel? What is this "something"? And how does it break through what appears as the spiritless grind of a material universe?

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Toward more than a good performance
August 26, 1991
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