Olivier Messiaen stated explicitly that much of the music he wrote had, at least for him, extra-musical meaning. Messiaen always used his music as an expression of his own meditations on subjects of substance and concern, and he indicated that he would read a great deal and then try to incorporate all his thoughts into the music he was writing. There are two examples of Messiaen's rhythmic innovations that do have symbolic value: the 'rhythmic characters' and Messiaen's appropriation of Hindu rhythms. If the music is in some way descriptive of the text, the listener may have little or no trouble making the connection between the commentary and the music. When Messiaen first began using the deci-talas, he appropriated only a small part of what is a hugely complex and profoundly cultural music, namely, the Hindu rhythms written out in Western notation that he found in A. Lavignac's encyclopedia.