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Observations placeholder

Engel, C - Bakala and the bagpipes



Type of Spiritual Experience


The next example describes bagpipes.  It is interesting because it includes additional symbolism – the high mountain – and describes the person who is the subject of the tale as a trickster. 

Till Eulenspiegel  was an trickster figure who originated in the Middle Low German folklore. He was also described in English literature by Ben Jonson in his play The Alchemist.

Dancing is synonymous here with a spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Wallachische Marchen, herausgegeben von A.  Schott 1845 [translated by C Engel]

As regards Bakala… various tricks of his are on record, which clearly show that he was a great fool, somewhat resembling the German Till Eulenspiegel, who had perhaps more happy ideas than many persons who have passed for wise.

Well, Bakala, one fine day, took it into his head to ascend a high mountain, merely for pleasure and for the sake of boasting.  Arrived at the top of the mountain he was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of a well disposed spirit, who offered him a present from the clouds.  The articles from which Bakala was invited to select a keepsake looked mean and shabby, like those which people generally consign to the lumber room.  Bakala, however, examined them carefully and chose an old and dusty bagpipe; for he imagined, as some people are apt to do, that he was madly fond of music.  Moreover, the sound of the bagpipe – this Bakala soon discovered – had the power of making everyone dance.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Spirit helper

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Listening to sound and music