H. S. Lewis - Aum Om Amen - The spiritual singing

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The spiritual singing

As I am preparing this article my radio is tuned to a soft musical program which is suddenly interrupted by the spiritual singing of some negroes who are emphasizing some of their old-time songs known as "spirituals."

Without the least analytical effort I notice the constant repetition of the "ah" and "m" sound in their songs, and the very noticeable prolonged humming sound of the "m," often drawn out to great length by a few of the voices while the others emphasize the "ah" sound.

It is generally recognized in the Occident that the negro spiritual songs contain a spiritual element and quality that at times appears to be uncanny, and certainly mystical. Many persons think that this is something that is native to the American negroes, whereas in fact it is an inheritance from their African forebears, and this in turn is a part of the universal, Oriental, eastern ritualism that is so widespread among foreign nations and peoples. In these sounds of Aum--Om--Amen we have vibrations of the highest quality of Cosmic power and consciousness.

In many other mystical names and words we have some of this quality hidden or concealed. I refer to such words, for instance, as Rama, Padme, Omar, and similar words.