By Eric Wagner
Special guest blogger
Why did Bob ask the reader of Prometheus Rising to spend at least six months on the first nine exercises of chapter one? He says on page 8, “With real work, in six months you should be just beginning to realize how little you know about everything.” Well, I can see that. Some have complained that spending six months on these exercises seem painfully slow and boring. Chogyam Trungpa observed that dealing with boredom seems part of the process of meditating. In The Karate Kid Daniel thinks at first that Mr. Miyagi has exploited him in getting him to wax all the old cars.
I have spent six months on these exercises a few times over the past 36 years. I don’t know the specific point of looking for quarters, etc., but I think I have slowly begun to realize how little I know about everything.
Chapter 1, exercise 10, asks the reader to “Believe it possible that you can float off the ground and fly by merely willing it. See what happens.” I have never had much success with this exercise. In 1984 Rafi Zabor reviewed a record of Kiri Te Kanawa singing Chants D’Auvergne by Canteloube. He called it “music to levitate to”. I had never heard of Te Kanawa or Canteloube, but I went out and bought the album. When I first read this exercise in Prometheus Rising in 1985, I immediately thought of that review and put on that LP. I had no luck with levitation, but I have associated that music with this exercise ever since.
I got my first CD player for Christmas in 1986, and Te Kanawa became my go-to soprano. In 1987 I also got CD’s of her singing Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Mozart The Marriage of Figaro. Lots of great music, very little levitation.