Ravel’s Bolero

Again and again, repetition.

The same melody with an enthusiastic crescendo. Like the samsara of life. The eternal sense of things. But one day we hopefully get to know the Truth. Could the Truth lead us out of the cycle of life? The ending or another beginning?

Could we one day perceive the eternal realities? The seek for reality purifies the soul and guides the act of man. It raises us to join the divinity. We now inhabit the grave we call body, in an almost sleeping state. Life is more a dream than a reality. Like in Plato’s cave, we now observe the shadows of objects and believe they are actual realities. Isn’t it Maya, the illusion of senses during the physical life? Our inner self carries a vague and obscure remembering of real life. We somehow seek divinity, but still too attached to this cycle of repetition.

The (various) conditions in this always terrible and constantly changing circle of births and deaths to which created beings are subject, are stated to begin with (that of) Brahman, and to end with (that of) these (just mentioned immovable creatures).

Manu, Chapter 1
In Ravel’s bolero the same melody is repeated 18 times with different orchestra instruments. Ravel was even supposedly diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a rare nervous system (neurological) syndrome that affects ability to communicate.

Our individuality is our own demon and no other demon has more power within us than ourselves. That’s the reason of our ego, a protection. Maybe a tool. It could never lead us outside the cycle of repetition, however. Samsara is to go round, revolve, pass through a succession of states; it is to go towards, moving in a circuit; it is the course of mundane existence, flowing on.

An eternal recurrence, the idea that, over an infinite period of time, everything recurs infinitely. And we seem to appreciate this, we can easily get accustomed to this appealing melody. Obsessed and well trained to listen only to it, we effortlessly embrace this routine without major concerns.

My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”


If you stop to observe everything is mere repetition. The seasons, the years, the events… All is an insane spin. Everything around us has a pattern if you observe it closely enough. Perfect synchrony, tireless reiteration. Our entire life, our thoughts and all else, it is all following a certain pattern. Be the observer within you and be aware of this. Be aware of your own repetition, see how you are being part of this flow yourself. Day by day, thought by thought. As an observer, detach. Listen carefully to your environment, examine all, without judgements but keep awarenesses. This is magically divine. The ellipsis at the end of the Bolero.

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