Philosophy

The Role of Music in the Universe

A bodacious title to be sure. But after decades of devouring assorted books on philosophy and spirituality (and a few on physics) and countless hours spent pondering the meaning of existence, I have come to believe that we indeed owe our origins to Music. Most people have heard the term “OM” or “AUM” from India. Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

The Eternal Syllable

According to the Mandukya Upanishad, “Om is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implied in it”.

The Music of Om

Om is not a word but rather an intonation, which, like music, transcends the barriers of age, race, culture and even species. It is made up of three Sanskrit letters, aa, au and ma which, when combined together, make the sound Aum or Om. It is believed to be the basic sound of the world and to contain all other sounds. It is a mantra or prayer in itself. If repeated with the correct intonation, it can resonate throughout the body so that the sound penetrates to the centre of one’s being, the atman or soul.

And from the Christian tradition: “In the beginning was the Word…” Inferring sound/vibration as the genesis of matter (the World). I recall reading about other creation myths around the world that alluded to similar origins. And in the modern age, quantum physics, with its string theory speaks of these vibrating “strings” likened to a violin string, as being the building blocks of sub-atomic particles and thus all matter in the universe. I think it’s all pretty cool and reason for deep reflection as to the role of Music in our lives.

It is a physics fact that the vibrations of music that you create (or listen to) do not stop when we cease to hear them. The vibrations created will continue, albeit transmuted by whatever it come into contact with, unto infinity. Whoa! Something to think about next time you sit down to jam…

So whatever you do, musically or otherwise, do with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul, so that what you create will benefit the positive evolution of Life upon this planet and beyond.

Nature vs. Nurture

A German colleague of Geoff’s once posed the following:
“I had four hours of psychology lessons today and thought that might be a nice thing to write about for you. The central question is: What do you think makes a human what he/she is? The gene or the environment? How many influences do people have if you’re born with a strong character? Or, do you just build up a strong character when your environment supports you first? If you’re a violent character, does it come from your genes, or because you saw or grew up the same way? Or both? What happens when somebody with “violent genes” grows up in a very good area with gentle parents, [like with adoption]? What makes you what you are? And, what are you? Are you what they make out of you? Are you: your stories, your memories, your adventures? Are you a puppet of your genes, and most is fixed? Or, were you born as an empty piece of paper, where the person you are now could develop without a fixed thing, everything variable? What are we?”

Geoff’s reply to her:
“As for the human character, I believe that both genes and environment have an influence and sometimes it can seem quite significant, but neither of them has the power to overcome a person’s will when that will is guided by the self-aware recognition that we are divine spirits incarnated into bodies. The awareness of this, when aligned with the dedicated determination
to sublimate one’s ego and baser tendencies to the noble and ultimately fulfilling goal of the exaltation of the True Heart (divine love), can overcome ANY obstacle, or genetic predisposition, or environmental influence. It is certainly not an easy path, but it is available to ALL beings.

Click here for a dictionary definition of sublimate.