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[[File:852px-Beethoven.jpg|thumb|Ludwig van Beethoven, portrait by Karl Joseph Stieler (1820)]]
'''Ludwig van Beethoven''' is recognized as one of the greatest composers who ever lived.
<blockquote>I hope still to bring a few large works into the world, and then, like an old child, to end my earthly career somewhere among good people.<ref>Beethoven, October 6, 1802, to Wegeler, ibid., p. 70.</ref></blockquote>
<blockquote>But what humiliation when some one stood by me and heard a flute in the distance, and I heard nothing, or when some one heard the herd-boy singing, and I again heard nothing.<ref>October 6, 1802, Beethoven’s Heilegenstedt WillHeiligenstädter Testament, in George Grove, ''Beethoven and His Nine Symphonies'' (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., 1896), p. 46.</ref></blockquote>
Beethoven was deaf, and he brought forth these magnificent works through the inner ear. It is a tremendous demonstration of what appears to be a human handicap,and yet the Lord decreed that he should hear pure sound and have not any interference of outer sound with that inner hearing.
This is lawful desire. It was God in him desiring to release the fullness of itself through his lifestream; and under all adversity or the facing of karma or initiation, he could not be altered because of his love of God as the dharma and his oneness with his desire to produce, to release all of the God that was in him.
<blockquote>... and so I reprieved this wretched life—truly wretched, a body so sensitive that a change of any rapidity may alter my state from very good to very bad. Patience—that’s the word, she it is I must take for my guide; I have done so—lasting I hope shall be my resolve to endure, till it please the inexorable Parcæ Parcae<ref>In Roman mythology, the Fates, who controlled the thread of life of every man.</ref> to sever the thread. It may be things will go better, may be not; I am prepared—already in my twenty-eighth year forced [by his handicap of deafness]—to turn philosopher: it is not easy, for an artist harder than for anyone. O God, Thou seest into my inward part, Thou art acquainted with it, Thou knowest that love to man and the inclination to beneficence dwell therein. O my fellow-men, when hereafter you read this, think that you have done me wrong; and the unfortunate, let him console himself by finding a companion in misfortune, who, despite all natural obstacles, has yet done everything in his power to take, to take rank amongst good artists and good men.<ref>Ibid., pp. 46–47.</ref></blockquote>
Is this not all that God asks of us? To face all natural obstacles in our lives, whatever they may be, and not to be drowned in the tears of our own self-pity or sense of injustice about what life has given us but to do everything in our power to rank among the good artists, the ascended masters, and the good men, their chelas.
[[File:Beethoven Ninth Symphony.png|thumb|Handwritten page from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony]]
== The “Ode to Joy” ==
<blockquote>So I take leave of thee—sad leave. Yes, the beloved hope that I brought here with me—at least in some degree to be cured—that hope must now altogether desert me. As the autumn leaves fall withered, so this hope, too, is for me withered up; almost as I came here, I go away. Even the lofty courage, which often in the lovely summer days animated me, has vanished. O Providence, let for once a pure day of joy be mine—so long already is true joy’s inward resonance a stranger to me. O when, O when, O God, can I in the temple of Nature and of Humanity feel it once again? Never? No—O that were too cruel.<ref>Ibid., pp. 47–48.</ref></blockquote>
He wrote those words in the very midst of his years before writing the “Ode to Joy,” his great the magnificent workfinale to the Ninth Symphony, which was setting to music a poem by Schiller which it is said was originally called “Ode to Freedom.” For political reasons, Schiller did not use the word freedom and substituted for it the word joy. Between the poem and the music, had the word freedom been used, it might have incited people to actually overthrow their overlords politically or economically.
Beethoven understood this, so he sent forth the message of freedom of the soul as the “Ode to Joy,” and for him the poem was an expression of spiritual freedom. It meant the emancipation of the soul, the freedom of the spirit from all physical and material limitations. It meant freedom to roam at will through the higher spiritual realms, to contact celestial beings who inhabit those realms. It meant for him the freedom to interact with the immortals, the ascended masters, and to listen to the glorious music of the spheres.

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