Cultural events should, by definition, have an element of spiritual uplifting. You should leave in a different emotional state and, hopefully, entertained as well.
Yaron Cohen certainly subscribes to both lines of thinking, and then some, as his stage name, Melodic Healer, suggests.
Cohen is the brains and creative impetus behind the Messarim me’Olamot Elyonim (Messages from Higher Worlds) show that is currently making the rounds in Israel. The next performance takes place at Beit Hayotzer in the Tel Aviv Port tomorrow evening (8:30 p.m.), with the following two gigs lined up for ZOA House in Tel Aviv on May 26 and July 14.
It is a little difficult to grasp the full breadth of the project, so a little in the way of enlightenment was in order.
“The basis is music,” Cohen explains. “But this is a multi-show, a multidisciplinary show.”
The expansive artistic spread is, says Cohen, a means to an important end.
“The subject matter is not very easy for the audience to take in on a day-today basis, so we needed to create an attractive framework to draw people in,” he continues.
The genre range takes in music, dance, video art, theater and singing.
Messarim me’Olamot Elyonim is plainly more than just good old entertainment. It first saw the light of day in 2012, when Cohen released the thematic CD Living with Joy. That was inspired by a life-changing work of literature he had come across several years earlier.
“I encountered spiritual books around 15 years ago. I started reading a lot of material,” Cohen recalls, noting a particular work. “I read Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman. That really changed my life and the way I look at myself and the world. I started reading the book, and I have been in that world ever since.”
One of the basic premises of Roman’s philosophy is that we should be the change we want to achieve and follow the titular mindset. Cohen is living, smiling proof of the benefits and applicability of taking stock of your life and changing course midstream, if such is required.
Cohen trained as a classical pianist and composer, completing his studies at the Academy of Music and Dance of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
However, he ended up in a very different kind of day job.
“I was in the police force for around 20 years,” he says. “I served in Jerusalem. It was a tough time.”
Coming across Roman’s book, after which he worked his way through several other works by the author, sparked the 180-degree change in both Cohen’s professional life and his inner world.
“I was never really a policeman in myself. I was more an artist. So that created emotional difficulties for me.
The book that found me began to sow the seeds of change and generate thoughts in me, and I gradually began to put those ideas into practice. People often read such kinds of books, but they don’t get around to applying what they read. I really took the ideas I got from Sanaya Roman’s book and began to live them,” he recounts.
The full title of the book is Living with Joy – Keys to Personal Power & Spiritual Transformation. Enough said.
For Cohen, it wasn’t just a matter of getting away from the unwanted challenging nitty-gritty of law enforcement.
“The first thing I did was to quit the police force and to look for a different way of living – living with joy. I was offered a helping hand through the book, and I grabbed it,” he says.
The base message behind Messarim me’Olamot Elyonim is that we are masters/mistresses of our own destiny, and that it is down to us to chart our own course through life.
“The way I see it, most [people] live with suffering,” Cohen notes. “The goal is to live out of a sense of joy.”
The show was two years in the making before it began making the rounds of cultural and entertainment venues up and down the country. It incorporates readings of Hebrew texts, songs sung in English, live music and eye-catching background video art.
The notions Cohen puts forward in the show include the matter of living every moment of your life as it occurs.
John Lennon once noted that “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Cohen goes along with that here-and-now ethos.
“People often run away from the present and focus on what happened to them in the past or what they think, or hope, will happen to them in the future. The present is a bit difficult for them. The challenge is to live now and to live out of a sense of joy,” he asserts.
For Cohen, this is not just pie-in-thesky philosophy. He has been there and done that.
“I quit my job with the police because, for me, it was suffering. It’s all about getting the suffering out of your life and living with joy,” he says.For tickets and more information: Beit Hayotzer (03) 611-3577 and https:// bama.acum.org.il; ZOA House (03) 695-9341 and http://www.zoatlv.co.il