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Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Why is There No Sacred Music?”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (9)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/04/08


Richard May (“May-Tzu”/“MayTzu”/“Mayzi”) is a Member of the Mega Society based on a qualifying score on the Mega Test (before 1995) prior to the compromise of the Mega Test and Co-Editor of Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society. In self-description, May states: “Not even forgotten in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), I’m an Amish yuppie, born near the rarified regions of Laputa, then and often, above suburban Boston. I’ve done occasional consulting and frequent Sisyphean shlepping. Kafka and Munch have been my therapists and allies. Occasionally I’ve strived to descend from the mists to attain the mythic orientation known as having one’s feet upon the Earth. An ailurophile and a cerebrotonic ectomorph, I write for beings which do not, and never will, exist — writings for no one. I’ve been awarded an M.A. degree, mirabile dictu, in the humanities/philosophy, and U.S. patent for a board game of possible interest to extraterrestrials. I’m a member of the Mega Society, the Omega Society and formerly of Mensa. I’m the founder of the Exa Society, the transfinite Aleph-3 Society and of the renowned Laputans Manqué. I’m a biographee in Who’s Who in the Brane World. My interests include the realization of the idea of humans as incomplete beings with the capacity to complete their own evolution by effecting a change in their being and consciousness. In a moment of presence to myself in inner silence, when I see Richard May’s non-being, ‘I’ am. You can meet me if you go to an empty room.” Some other resources include Stains Upon the Silence: something for no oneMcGinnis Genealogy of Crown Point, New York: Hiram Porter McGinnisSwines ListSolipsist SoliloquiesBoard GameLulu blogMemoir of a Non-Irish Non-Jew, and May-Tzu’s posterousHe discusses: “Why is There No Sacred Music?”.

Keywords: Eugene Wigner, George Carlin, Gregorian Chants, J.S. Bach, Lewis Eugene Rowell, May-Tzu, Mick Jagger, mirrors, Noesis, Richard Dawkins, Richard May, Salt and Pepper, Sir Fred Hoyle, The Rolling Stones, Vivaldi.

Conversation with Richard May (“May-Tzu”/”MayTzu”/”Mayzi”) on “Why is There No Sacred Music?”: Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society” (9)

*Please see the references, footnotes, and citations, after the interview, respectively.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: “Why is There No Sacred Music?” asks a question, which I must ask: Why is there no sacred music, Tzu?

Richard May[1],[2]*: There’s plenty of sacred music. Have you listened to the musical works of, e.g., Richard Dawkins? The Atheist community has historically written the most transcendent music. Forget J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Gregorian chants.

Jacobsen: You wrote, “If sacred music were the only ‘doctrine’ of the church, then I could believe.” George Carlin similarly remarked, “The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music.” Have you ever had any religious beliefs whatsoever in a mainstream normative sense?

May: Funny, but inaccurate. Carlin missed that Judaism was far more civilizing than Roman pagan religions. The Jews freed their slaves after 7 years, for example. Hillel the Elder, when asked by a pagan to explain Judaism, while standing on one foot, said, ”Do not do to others what you would not have others do to you. All the rest is commentary.” What’s not to like about that?

I don’t remember my religious beliefs in utero, if any, or the color of the wallpaper in my mother’s womb, as so many do. When I was under four years old I was given a wax angel candle and told that it would protect me from goblins coming down the chimney. I may have been scared by a children’s story about goblins. Or maybe goblins came down the chimney.

But at a later age I never understood how Jesus could take-away ‘sins’ or what that even meant. I thought I was stupid. I didn’t know that Jews and Muslims considered this ‘taking away sins’ a heresy. I didn’t understand what ‘sins’ were. No one explained to me that to ‘sin’ came from the Greek word “hamartia,” which was a term from archery meaning “to miss the mark.”

I remember before the age of four asking my father why the moon phases occurred. He said God did it. He knew perfectly well the correct explanation. Then I asked Father what made God? This ended my father’s astronomical explanations.

If my memory of this occurrence is not a confabulation, surprisingly I may have actually been an intelligent little boy!

In the 4th grade I learned that there was no Santa Clause and hence, that parents lied to their children. Afterwards I distinctly remember going to a children’s Golden Book encyclopedia and where it was located in the class room, in order to look up “God” to discover, by analogy with Santa Clause, whether God was also a lie that parents told their children. But disappointingly there was no listing for God in the encyclopedia.

At an older age, maybe my early teens, I decided that if there was a “God,” he would not be worse than men, i.e., primitively tribal and genocidal. I was appalled by the experience of going to church, ancient ladies singing weird songs, which fortunately only happened maybe four times in my life. I told Mother that I did not “believe in” church. She cried.

Jacobsen: What is music? 

May: Music is a tonal analog of the emotions, Thinking about Music, an Introduction to the Philosophy of Music by Rowell. I think Rowell nailed it.

Jacobsen: What is sacred?

May: Something is sacred if it brings you to a higher part of yourself.

Jacobsen: What differentiates music from, simply speaking, sacred music?

May: If music inspires you to shoot your brothers or the neighborhood cop on his beat, then it may be at a different level than say, e.g., J.S. Bach or Gregorian chants.

I like to contemplate as a koan Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones doing Gregorian chants or “Push it” by Salt and Pepper, done very slowly with the lyrics translated into Latin   .

Jacobsen: If we had a better grasp of mathematics, logic, and reason, would we be able to enjoy music better? Is there an innate sensibility of mathematics, logic, and reason, behind the harmonizing beatifications of the ear in ‘good’ music?

May: I don’t think so. — ‘”the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and there is no rational explanation for it.” — Eugene Wigner

Try natural selection! “The logic of our brains is the logic of the universe.” — Sir Fred Hoyle

But what Wigner has called the “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics,” as applied to understanding physical reality, may in my view have a corresponding principle, “the unreasonable effectiveness of music,” as applied to human brain physiology in achieving altered states of consciousness.

Jacobsen: Following from the previous question, would this mean an objective ability to grasp something akin to the Good via pitch, frequency, tone, and timbre, and higher harmonics, and the talent to reason, ratiocinate, and mathematicize?

May: I don’t know. This is beyond me. Perceiving the Good certainly is dependent upon one’s state of consciousness, which may be altered by music, drugs, dance, massage, prayer and meditation.

Jacobsen: What would Pythagoras say in a pithy way? 

May: “Music is the geometry of the soul.”— May-Tzu


[1] Co-Editor, “Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society.”

[2] Individual Publication Date: April 8, 2022:; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2022:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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