August 29th, 2016 22:07 EST
James Kob Finds Music That "Fits"
FINDING MUSIC THAT "FITS" MY SPIRITUALITY
By James KÅb
In The Beginning........
One would have to admit that in the overall world view, man has proven that even from his very rudimentary beginnings up to present-day, he has been quite resourceful in surviving and moving forward overall. This point isn`t arguable. Just look around today.
Whether it be by knowledge transference (education) or trial-and-error (research), we have come a long way in MOST areas. I`m particularly fond of pondering the "trial-and-error" method of man`s growth and development in many areas.
One of my favorite examples of this method pretty much sums up the basics of building the basis of knowledge:
Consider how it became known which mushrooms were safe to eat.
That process... if it were undertaken by one individual at a time... that is, without anyone else helping "select" the mushrooms... could take multiple tries by multiple individuals with similar disastrous results and in all probability DID work that like that way back when! All without knowledge being passed on. Sure, you say: "...man had no idea in those early times about such things so that was just the cost of experimenting." That`s probably true. And as in many "experiments", useful results are often discovered accidentally.
What About Now...?
Fast forward from thousands of years ago to present day. Where are we, REALLY?
Well..... putting aside all the very tangible advancements man has produced by any and all means available to him (and there are a great many good AND bad ones in both the "means" and the "results" categories)... let`s focus on the less physically tangible and on one area specifically that perplexes many of us a lot: spirituality, religion... and how music has ALWAYS been a key component therein.
Defining your cause...
No Skippy, spirituality and religion(ality) are NOT the same thing, but are often confused and mistaken to be equal and/or are misunderstood. That whole subject could be a book`s worth of discussion on its own! The two things they DO have in common are SPIRIT itself... and MUSIC... and of course, what one INTENDS to do with them.
The very earliest forms of organized religion were really based on the concept of spirituality (The ancient and predominant religion of its time, Zoroastrianism circa 600BCE, proposed "good spirit" and "opposite spirit" [bad]). Today`s religions (most... including Christianity) invoke spirit (... Father, Son & Holy Spirit...). All the while, during big religious ceremonies usually, music is playing a big role, setting a mood, touching your heart. It started as chanting (still is in some religions), moved on to huge classical works from folks like CPE Bach and Handel... and then on to traditional hymns, Psalms and even Christian Rock!
See how inextricably music and spirit are intertwined?
The challenge most of us face today is that no matter how great Handel`s or other Great Music Masters` works are, our eyes tend to glaze over during long periods of exposure to them! I can`t say exactly why that is, but would suggest it`s because MUSIC IS PERSONALLY SPIRITUAL... meaning that as George Frideric Handel wrote "Messiah" in 1741, it touched him and meant something to him that may or may not touch you in the same way. It took him 24 days to write all of the parts for choir and orchestra. An unbelievable effort. He wrote the music against a libretto (an opera book) by Charles Jennens, who based his writings on Biblical essays... much like Rogers & Hammerstein or Bacharach & David wrote secular music today. Obviously, that work is considered great and touches many. It IS subjective however. Consider that at the time, people in London were NOT fond of Handel`s work... but the people of Dublin, Ireland were! Today, as we celebrate the spirit within us and promote spiritual richness in our lives, we need to find and apply music that "fits my spirituality" as it were, so we`re comfortable with it and that as we do so, our intent to use and enjoy this music as part of our spiritual journey enriches the experience.
What I`ve studied and come to realize is this:
It IS important as individuals and as a people to understand where and what we come from physically AND spiritually so we can grow in positive, not negative ways. MUSIC is so important to the spiritual cause that the type, style, message and INTENT of the music needs consideration. That way the "effect" part is naturally manifested. In other words... you know it when you hear it. It`s intrinsically good.
Here`s the really cool thing: unlike when the classical composers wrote religious pieces (they often inscribed these works from the outset of composition "Soli Deo Gloria" [glory to God alone] and meant them strictly for man-made, religious purposes)... today we can select or use ANY music that has "good vibes" to help us nurture spirit within us in our quest to seek and find positive spirituality throughout our lives. You`re not restricted by any rules Divine or man-made. How cool is that ?!?!
We can explore a whole smorgasbord of music from around the world that helps us spiritually. We can try out different music, experiment, if you will... sort of that "trial-and-error" thing I mentioned earlier. The music just has to "move" us to find spirit. All sectors of music are fair game in this exploration... you but have to "... seek and ye shall find...". Here`s an even cooler thing:
Music that nourishes spirit is very loving, very forgiving... there is no "wrong" music to use during your spiritual quest or if you prefer, your worship times. As long as the message it delivers is positive, uplifting... kind. You`ll know the right music when you hear it... spirit will guide you.
And remember, you DON`T have to worry about picking the wrong music... fortunately, the days of accidentally being "that guy" who was trying out mushrooms are long past!!