How often have you heard someone say: “Wow… that song really moves me!”… or “That piece is so stirring…!” Well, there’s a reason for that: there’s an emotional connection… a bridge… which inexorably links our physical selves in this earthly world to our souls in the spiritual world. It’s one of the very few absolutes we can count on. And unless you’re sociopathic or a psychopath.. it’s inescapable. In other words, being touched in some way by any/all music that you hear makes an impact to some extent that’s unavoidable. One’s auditory connection to the physical world instantly translates any music you hear into emotional “triggers” that migrate immediately to the cerebellum and hippocampus (part of the brain’s limbic system) regions in the central and medial temporal lobe of the brain where neurons process the synapses into sensation… what we call “emotional feelings”.
The impact of these emotional feelings varies for myriad reasons of course, a few being one’s personality, likes/dislikes, environmental situations and so on. But there is no discussion that can argue against this impact and how this transferance moves our spiritual intent to new highs… or lows depending on the music. I said spiritual intent because the reality is that your emotions drive your spirit whether you want that or not.
And you CAN function with intent both physically and emotionally… and you should. Otherwise, as you no doubt have commented to yourself at times about some people you have seen, your life becomes aimless, your actions shiftless and without direction. Seems lately like there’s so many more people like that these days, young and old: without direction, without intent. I’m certain that if used correctly, music could help them.
The fascinating study of how truly impactful and enriching music is to humanity has in recent years become an entire and separate discipline of collegiate study: music therapy. Just visit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles or any hospital with major emphasis in children’s medicine and you will see music therapy being applied just as readily as pharmacological remedies. The point here is that the biological effect AND the spiritual effect BOTH need to be applied in many cases to aid in full and comprehensive treatment if a young patient is to be returned to full health. And I mean FULL health, which includes spiritual nourishment in equal amounts as medication. Music can and does provide emotional uplifting which raises the spirit in injured or diseased patients and obviously now, it is done with the intent that the process will manifest very positive results. It’s been proven. It works. Continue reading
It’s a nice day outside… the sun is bright, a few billowy clouds in the sky, a slightly warm but yet refreshing breeze caresses you, birds are singing, not a lot of extraneous noise… in short, a perfectly beautiful day is before you as you step into your patio to enjoy the morning’s moment and sip that first and best cup of coffee. Ahhh, it’s great to be alive and to be able to have this brief but important time to reflect spiritually and to cleanse your mind.
Then it starts. Not real close or real loud, but it’s enough to break the solitude you were basking in and to distract you from what God had just so perfectly served up. You don’t recognize the song or the artist… nor do you really care right then… but it’s raucous and harsh music and it just ruins everything! You pick yourself up out of your ever so comfortable cushioned patio chair and go in the house… firmly closing the French door behind you to shut out the sound… and go back to the kitchen for more coffee, a little disgruntled.
That ever happen to you?
I think it’s happened to many of us… it certainly has happened to me… and more than once I might add! One could say that’s the price we pay for living close by other folks, in the city or suburbs, where we have stacked ourselves either vertically or sideways next to or on top of each other. So close you can sometimes hear the neighbor sneeze… right? (I’m speaking from personal experience here…). Why does that seem to happen so often, that “the mood” was shattered usually by some noise… sometimes loud music… that is discordant to that moment, that perfect setting? You may have had a little Mozart spinning on the CD player helping you relax, to ponder the upcoming day… or not. Doesn’t matter. That moment’s light mood is gone forever, replaced by a somewhat darker mood. You’ll get over it for sure but you won’t forget it. And the reason you won’t forget it is because moods in life are somewhat like negative and positive numbers in mathematics… with some emotion thrown in for good measure. It’s a fascinating study in the physics of life.
Connecting oneself to the pluses and minuses of life starts out as an automatic function of daily routine. You awake, you arise… you go through your little ritual to get yourself ready to meet the day… and the one thing you present to the world every day is your mood. How that mood comes to be is a combination of often complex circumstances and conditions, some of which you have no control over. Others you DO control: Continue reading
Most cultures in our world embrace some form of what we have come to call “music”. Some much more than others. Some cultures use music only in religious moments. Some extremely primitive cultures (by Western standards) haven’t even defined music yet. That is, they don’t call it music, but they still create and use some sounds as music nonetheless.
It could be easily argued that music in all its forms is the true universal language that ties the spirit of all living creatures together. Man, of course is God’s primary creature that consciously uses music to communicate his feelings, emotions and needs often without a single word being uttered or sung. But we’re not the only ones… (think about birds singing).
How can it be then, that music, used by billions of people every moment of every day, is not recognized as essential in its purpose? Ahhhh… the failings of mankind are pervasive. Still, it’s notable that our scientific community has recently discovered what most of us in the music community already knew:
Music affects ALL living creatures (a multitude of studies, anecdotal and scientific, suggest plant-life may also be positively and negatively impacted) such that it influences moods, sensations, emotions, physical growth, physical healings and emotional healings that can be quantified in bonafide studies. I like to say that music does all this and more by ‘speaking’ to us in a way that ALL people of ALL tribes innately grasp…. in a way that our ‘inner spirits’ always understand: the “language of music”.
The “language of music” is so powerful that it can move our spirits in ways we never really thought about: Continue reading