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Rachmaninoff – Saved by Dr Dahl



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Psychic Discoveries – Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder

Creativity, inspiration, that sudden dazzling, that sudden possessing of a power that one does not normally have, has been courted immemorially. …...

Creativity with its psychic colouring is not essentially a laboratory creature. Charisma, presence-every great performer radiates "it" when he's "on." Raikov remarks that Russian actors and actresses often tell him they have difficulty getting out of a part after a show. They have become different people, drawing on different powers than those they usually display.

The triumph of creativity flowing, and the struggle to bring it on happens privately in the other arts.

One of Russia's most brilliant composers, Sergei Rachmaninoff, created a precedent of sorts for Raikov's work. Rachmaninoff's First Symphony was performed in St. Petersburg to unanimous catcalls. The composer was devastated. He collapsed and determined to give up composing. Over the next few years any music that might have moved in him was blocked.  Rachmaninoff felt as though he were wearing mental earmuffs. His friends, fearing he would never compose again, finally convinced him to go to a hypnotist, Dr. Dahl.

"You have great talent. And you have the ability to express it," Dahl suggested to the composer. "Inspiration flows freely in you, nothing can block it." After some training in autosuggestion, music surged back to Rachmaninoff. He wrote down this magnificent, powerful music that flooded like spring through the frozen Russian land. Today it is counted among the world's greatest. It was the famous Second Piano Concerto in C Minor. Rachmaninoff dedicated the concerto to his hypnotist, Dr. Dahl.

Having overcome his mental block, Rachmaninoff later described how his creative gift would seize him. He would often walk in the country and, suddenly, as he looked at rain-soaked foliage or a sunset, the music would swirl to him:

"All the voices at once. Not a bit here, a bit there. All. The whole grows. Whence it came, how it began, how can I say? It came up within me, was entertained, written down. . . ."

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Communing with nature