This book is founded on a pun.
The pun, or play on words, involves a famous composition by Mozart that is still enjoyed all over the world: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik—A Little Night Music. Here’s how it came about:
One night I was composing an email that developed a certain idea that I wanted to share with a friend. When I wrote the last sentence, I stopped to wonder how I might close with a clever line or concluding thought. And, at that moment, this phrase simply floated in out of the blue into my mind—
Eine Kleine Nachtmusing
Since it was night, and I had been musing, and since the email was short, or klein, the phrase, A Little Night Musing, seemed ideally appropriate and I cherished this gift of the Muse.
And so, at the end of the email, I put this line:
This has been . . . Eine Kleine Nachtmusing.
It then occurred to me that a collection of these little night musings might, in sufficient number, make a book. Since there would be more than one, I decided to use Some Little Night Musings as the title. In German this would be Einige Kleinen Nachtmusings.
This is a collection of essays in miniature, tidbits, vignettes, nocturnes, ludibundities, and other late-night musings, musical or otherwise. For reasons the book will make clear, I initially organized the book into four parts with 34 musings in each part, for a total of 136. However, it then struck me that this was just one number shy of the magical mysterious number 137, a number that has enchanted so many physicists, including Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. In light of this, I added one final musing at the end. For the aesthetics of variety I have also included some longer pieces.
I was also playing with words when I first used the expression “This has been a HyC Adventure” as a postscript to a little piece I posted on my website. HyC brings to mind High Sea and, more to the point, High See, an allusion to adventures in the science and the poetics of perception. High C is also a note on the musical scale to which operatic singers, such as Pavarotti, aspire to soar and sustain. Sí is the Spanish word for “yes,” making High Sí a robust affirmation of life, while Hi Si provides a foreglimpse, up there, way up there, of High Sierra. Do you see? Hum the sound Hy and you will end with an I. Ah, I see. Eye see. Hum Hy and then the sound of the letter C and your voice will end on the letter E, and thus HCE, the subject of my fourth musing.
The above paragraph is an example of what I call ludibundity: feeling full of play and light with levity. The lud- in this word derives from ludere, a Latin word meaning “to play.” When we are in such a ludic state, we can live up to, and liven up to, what we are as Homo ludens—creatures who play, creatures who can be a-mused.
Is a pun sufficient ground on which to build a book? As the great Irish novelist James Joyce observed, the Catholic church was founded on a pun. He was referring to a decisive moment when Jesus said to Peter: “You are Peter (Petros) and upon this rock (petra) I will build my church.”
Upon this pun, Eine Kleine Nachtmusing, I have built my book.
1. “Every Day Is a Good Day”
2. Mozartian Moments
3. Who’s There?
5. Seeing Through the I’s of Jesus
6. Kiss Me, Kate
7. Process Koan 01
8. Trivia (poem)
9. High Seas
11. Conversations with Rod
12. Does God Have a Future?
13. There Is Only One . . . What?
14. What Do You Have in Mind?
15. True-Shmue—Is It Interesting?
16. No-No Nse-Nse
17. Bacteria as Genetic Engineers
18. The Zen Koan
19. The Einstein of Religious Thought
20. Chiasmus: The X Files
21. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
22. Down and Out with Millionaires
23. Processing Religious Science
24. Make It New
25. Assaying Fibonacci’s Golden Section
26. The Psychoanalysis of Knowledge
28. Growing the Positive Mind
29. Process and Presence (poem)
30. Natural-Born Process Thinkers
31. Misplaced Transcendence
32. Donkeys and Elephants
33. A Process Quote to Rival Heraclitus
34. Houn Dawg 34
35. Flowers of Emptiness
36. The Uncertainty Principle
37. The Human-Insect Connection
38. Nickel Hall: Eine Kleine Sehnsucht
39. One Brain But Many Rhythms
40. Rhythms Right Under Your Nose
41. Give Us This Day Our Daily Rhythms
42. Mastering the Rhythms of Breath
43. Your Body's The Deepest Rhythms
44. Expansion and Contraction
46. Chiasmus: Turning Things Around
47. Particulars Tomorrow
50. Meta-Fours à la David Spooner
51. Hugh Kenner Shows Me
52. Yes, That Mr. Spock
53. Process Koan 02
55. Heraclitus and Parmenides
56. The Consolations of Philosophy
57. Sea Change (poem)
58. The Order of Actualization
59. Goethe as Process Thinker
61. Jest du Jour
62. Show Me
64. What’ll It Be: Wine or Tea?
65. A Guide for the Perplexed
66. “I Believe”
67. A Golden Trinity of Values
68. Magritte: The Human Condition
69. Moondrops in Dewlight
71. Are You a MAD Scientist?
72. Better Late Than Never
73. Blink Blink Blink — Blank
74. Blumenlied of the Penisolate Rose
75. Something from Nothing?
77. A Dozen Delusions
78. Eucharistic Watercolor (poem)
79. Christianity: The Chi Connection
80. Hardy, Hopkins, Housman
81. Is Life Worth Leaving?
82. Super-Slow Reading
83. Learning How to See
84. A Man’s Reach
85. The Many Become One
86. Meta-Fours: A Quartet for Wind
87. The Path of Sound
88. Integral Spirituality
89. Playing Around with Chinese
91. Prima Donna (poem)
92. Primordial Trailblazers
93. Prometheo: The First Mystic
94. Process Koan 03
95. The Quimby Hypothesis
97. Hallmark Spirituality
98. Such Stuff as Snowflakes . . .
99. A Prophet Puts Chi on the Map
100. Variations on “Dust of Snow”
101. Prehensive Unification
102. A Quartet of Quantum Numbers
103. Varieties of Chiasmic Experience
104. Chiasmus 101
105. Chiasmus 202
106. Chiasmus 303
107. Chiasmus 404
108. Chiasmus M.A.
109. Chiasmus PhD
110. Chiasmus Post Doc
111. You (poem)
112. Eine Kleine Knotmusing
113. A Process Joke
114. Doings That Be
115. Creativity: A Process Perspective
116. It’s Not Crazy Enough
117. Language of Transcendence
118. The Structure of Christian Existence
119. My Stargate Connection
120. What Is Truth?
121. Pauli’s Conversation with God
122. What’s the Fuss?
123. Hakuin and the Zen Koan
124. Creative Eurekas
125. Neo-Darwinian Evolution
126. Process Koan 04
127. Picasso and the Stealth Bomber
128. Meet Your Match Shtick
129. Antiphonal (poem)
130. The Dawn of Language
131. Whitehead: The Sixth Day
132. Language Samadhi
133. The Bread of Life Chiasmus
134. Iconic Reading
135. An Odyssey in Space and Time
136. The Magic Number 34