Chapter 6: Suffering and the Blues

  • Harry Manx


Musician Harry Manx bridges Eastern and Western traditions of music and ways of knowing to offer a thoughtful explanation of the nature of the Blues. Specifically, Manx parses the difficult paradox that the Blues is not simply “a kind of sickness at Heart,” but as an art form, “the Blues is simultaneously the cure to this malady.” Drawing artistically upon his own experiences of suffering, as well as upon his educational training and understanding of music as a spiritually-transformational activity associated with “Heart-knowing,” Manx’s reflection on the Blues-as-educator provides our teacherly readership with insights into the roles that suffering and empathy play in the development of self-knowledge, particularly when each illumines and nourishes our yearning for genuine connection and deep communication through the mysterious avenues of feeling, sensation, and storytelling.


  1. Levitin, Daniel. This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. Dutton, 2007.Google Scholar

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Manx
    • 1
  1. 1.Salt Spring IslandCanada

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