Joseph Rael,
Being & Vibration
(Council Oak, 1993)

According to Joseph Rael, everything is vibration. Vibration is all that exists. In Being & Vibration, Rael teaches us how to listen to the vibrations of the world and utilize them in developing harmony in ourselves and the world around us.

In the introduction, Mary Elizabeth Marlow sums up the intent of the author, "to help us cross the threshold from the place where we tell the myth and move to the place where we become the myth."

Rael introduces us to his life and the ways of his people. He paints a cultural portrait of the people of the Picuris Pueblo as he was growing up. The first portion of the book is biographical, as he relates how he came to understand vibrations and the sounds of things around him. Then he begins teaching us about how to hear and use vibrations in our daily lives.

This book covers language, the medicine wheel and the sounds associated with the directions, color, drums, flutes, bells, sound chambers and more. There is a remarkable section on chanting, likely the best I have found on the subject. If you employ his techniques, you will get results.

Rael makes several excellent points about language and explains the relationship between languages in a way that is simple to understand. His native language, Tiwa, is an ancient language that was developed from the sounds of Mother Nature. It has no written form and is solely dependent upon oral use. The explanation offered by Rael is perfectly logical and rings with truth. By the time you finish this book, you will likely agree with his people that there is no need for the language to be written.

A couple of times I felt like Rael was meandering through the land of metaphors without purpose, but he eventually (after taking the scenic route) made his point. I understand this is the way of his people, but I feel that he could have used fewer metaphors and still have had a solid manuscript. However, his exhaustive use of metaphor does yield a manuscript that is excellent for teaching its use in creative writing class.

Being & Vibration is an interesting book. Nobody can accuse this book of being run of the mill, because Rael breaks out of the mold and introduces us to unique concepts. If you seriously approach this subject and apply his teachings, you will get positive results. At the very least, the book will give you plenty to contemplate and discuss. It may even challenge serious intellectuals to rethink their positions on the world around us.

Joseph Rael, known as Beautiful Painted Arrow, is a teacher, storyteller and mystic. He has been invited to speak before the United Nations about world peace and the Pentagon about the role of the warrior today. He developed "sound chambers" for people to gather and chant for peace. His chambers have been constructed around the world. He was raised on Southern Ute lands in Colorado and at the Picuris Pueblo in New Mexico.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Alicia Karen Elkins

23 August 2008

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