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Heads or Tales and the Cosmic Journey of the After Life

January 21, 2013



“What do the stars mean to us? If you attach lines between them, they create images of people, animals and objects. Our constellations tell the story of ancient seafaring people as they mapped out our world. They are the celestial guides that helped us settle our planet.

We are the sum of the atoms of our universe. What passes through our bodies every nanosecond is the beginning of all time and the entire existence of mankind. Which makes me believe that if these atoms carry the souls of all men, perhaps we can tune into that energy and capture it on earth in certain sacred and profound places.

One of those special places I believe is Goat Rock Beach, near the small hamlet of Jenner, California on the Sonoma Coast. It was here that I had a mystical experience that changed my ideas of life after death and opened the doors to another world.

Jenner is a magical place where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. It is the yin and yang of the Sonoma Coast. The river is constantly pushing out the waves of the Pacific at the mouth where they meet. These two energy fields collide in a battle, sending water crashing in the air, filled with negative ions. If there were a special energy field for us to tap into, it would be here under the eyes of the stars.

The Sonoma Coast is a rugged place and not for the timid at night. Watching the waves crash through fog filled skies as the moon darts in and out is a strange sensation. It was no different the evening of my energy field encounter on Goat Rock Beach.

As I walked my dog gathering shells staring at the moon, he chasing shadows on the sand, I felt a strange sensation in my body. My skin began to tingle and my mind filled with an intensity of love I have never felt before. It stopped me in my tracks. I was being pulled into a place that I had never been before. 

That evening as I slept, I had a lucid dream where I heard the most beautiful music that was not from this earth. It sounded like an angels harp plucked from the heavens. I had to figure out what this sound was all about! When I awoke the following morning, the first thing I did was grab my guitar to figure out the music I heard in my dream. I  re-tuned the guitar to capture the tone and ended up with a variation on the DADGAD tuning that I was familiar with. 

(Listen here:)

Shining Light Tuning

(Open Tuning: D# – A# – D – G  – G – D)



When I strummed my guitar, the harmonics made no audible sense.  I stumbled on my fretboard trying to figure out the proper finger placements for chords. That’s when the song “Shining Light” burst through me in a creative spark. I wrote the lyrics and music in a matter of minutes, all the while re-learning the notes and chords on my guitar as I went along. It was as if something, or someone was guiding me from another place and time.

Shining Light Song

I could not find words to express the strangeness of this new musical discovery. It was definitely some sort of divine inspiration. At first I imagined it was the voice of God speaking to me from the other side.

Then it struck me. When I read back the lyrics I had written for the “Shining Light” song, I realized they told the story of losing my mother to an aneurism when she was in the prime of her life. She was a spiritual seeker and a lover of music. We bonded on this path together, cut short by the hand of fate. Had her spirit come back to inspire me to continue the spiritual journey we had started many years ago?


Mother can you hear the sound of children laughing
Children laughing at your feet
And if you gather them around, into a circle
The story starts where we will meet

For the days are passing by
They’re numbered by a time
When the sun sets on us all
We’ll join you in this rhyme

Father can you see the light
A silent memory, a silent memory in your mind
Your children gather round and feel your sorrow
A fallen tree lies on the ground

For the days are passing by
They’re numbered by a time
When the sun sets on us all
We’ll join you in this rhyme

Rest your soul were doing fine
We miss your smile, but its alright
We sing this song for you tonight
Your memory lingers in our minds

Brother can you hear these words
These words we borrow
From the fables of our lives
For in the end we find
A place of knowing
Knowing that our fears are blind

For the days are passing by
They’re numbered by a time
When the sun sets on us all
We’ll join you in this rhyme

And all the love that we share
Comes from knowing that your there
It guides our dreams in the night
Your stars shining light

For the days are passing by
They’re numbered by a time
When the sun sets on us all
We’ll join you in this rhyme

As I explored this mystical experience, I turned to the philosophy’s of Buddhism, Shamanism and Mysticism. Through readings of these ancient practices, I believe that this new guitar tuning is a testament to the healing power of music and its ability to bridge the spirit and natural world. In this musical space, musicians connect to a higher power to contribute their “music soul energy” to our universe. It is in this sacred place that they tell the story of our lives and help reduce the suffering in our world. In my case, the loss of my mother and the birth of a new sound that celebrates the powers of reincarnation. Our physical bodies marry with the compounds of the earth (our instruments) to give a voice to nature and the alchemy that offers healing energy to our planet and mankind.

Music connects us with the oneness of all things and shares a path similar to the constructs of Buddhism. In Zen philosophy, music operates in the tradition of the “three characteristics” of existence. The “anicca”, which is the observation that everything is always in a constant flux of energy and matter, (hence, the tonal and atonal sounds of this unique guitar tuning I discovered). The “dukha”, where the mind is always in a state of dissatisfaction, (hence, the tension created by the abstract sounds created by this tuning). The “anatta”, the realization that if we observe our behaviors closely, there is no “I” to be found, (hence, the search for melodic sensibilities from the chaotic sounds of this tuning to help guide the soul and spirit in an egoless and meaningful way towards enlightenment.)

Can the dead speak? One can only speculate until we enter the twilight world beyond our life on earth. Until then, I find comfort knowing that the ones we love live through us in song sung under the watchful eyes of the magical powers of Goat Rock Beach. 

Scot Sier

The Shining Light experience inspired me to create the “Internal Spark” blog. A forum that focuses on creativity and spirituality in the advancement of the art of making music.

Visit the links below for interviews on spirituality and creativity with our special musical guests.

For Indian tabla-electronica musician/philanthropist, Robin Sukhadia, click here,

For Persian Nu-Flamenco musician, Farzad Arjmand, click here.

For Zen Age guitarist/composer, Shambhu Vineberg, click here.




From → Music

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