Within You Without You - The Beatles
Top Music That Takes You to a Higher Plane
by Chris Kilham

For musical pieces that take me to a higher plane, the one song most rooted in my musical DNA is "Within You Without You" by the Beatles, found on the album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, written and sung by George Harrison. From the very first dronings of the sitar and tamboura which are the primary instruments at play, this song has the feel of a deep, slow-moving river that carries the listener gently but surely away to realms of bejeweled wisdom. The lyrics, describing life's curious and illusory sense of separateness, sing like a classical Hindu sutra exhorting the listener to break free from the cyclical wheel of ignorance. "When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there," we are sagely told.

In "Within You Without You," Harrison cannily manages to outline the human condition in a nutshell, and points the way to ceaseless joy, without breaking a cosmic sweat. The music, conjuring the opening of chakras and the infusion of the whole human being with sacred vibrations, moves us with every note into an ever peaceful and whole state, where the foibles of human ignorance seem to dissolve. Ever-toomping tablas broadcast rhythms that move us beyond ourselves. Where a hundred books fail, "Within You Without You" succeeds to show us a true way, by being representative of that way in its very nature. The listening is the journey, and the journey is high indeed."

February 2013