Some time ago, I was at a concert and listening to the orchestra beginning to tune up. It was the most discordant sound I've ever heard. Each instrument was playing in its own way, in total disharmony. Then the oboe, a quiet little instrument, began to play and all the other instruments turned in on its note. And gradually, all the disharmony began to calm down. Then there was silence, and the concert began. It seems to me that the mantra is very much like that little oboe. In meditation, the mantra brings all the parts of our being, one by one, bit by bit, into harmony. And when we are in harmony, we are the music of God.
We saw our good life not as a model for others, but as a pilgrimage, for us, to the best way we could conceive of living. We felt a glad responsibility in joining with the stream of onward life, with the whole magnificent enterprise. This was living a life of affirmation, of contribution, of making every act and every day purposeful. To live the good life, we found, was to do the best we were capable of in any set of circumstances.