It’s great to shop at our local Target, because they don’t play music. Instead of being assaulted by the tinny sounds of the shrieking of current pop divas or the bleating of Christian rock, there is just silence. It’s like a vision of heaven: Quiet, peaceful and full of good stuff.
Now that I’ve opened that can of worms, I don’t mind revealing that to me music is a kind of religious experience. While it can’t be discovered in the muffled afterthought that’s pumped into most business venues these days, enlightenment can be found in real active listening – when you sit down, block out everything else in the world and just let the music flow through you.
Of course, there is a scientific basis for considering this kind of communion with the Creator: String Theory. It tells us that all the fundamental particles, like the ones they blast into existence at that super collider in Europe, are nothing more than the varying vibrations of infinitesimally small, one-dimensional strings.
To better persuade you of this possibility, think about that feeling that comes over you when you stand on the beach, listen to the sound of the waves and look out at the ocean’s vastness? My guess is it has something to do with the fact that life evolved in the sea and then dragged itself onto land. Somewhere deep inside us, genetic artifacts of that previous aquatic existence begin to stir.
Even deeper down than this aquaffinity, theoretically at least, we are all composed of a bunch of stuff that has as its basis vibrating strings. And, since music is nothing more than vibrations, actively listening to music, actively internalizing it is simply a way of harmonizing our essences with the foundation of creation.
And there’s yet another dimension to active listening, as it also begets criticality. I often fantasize that Mozart is sitting there next to me, with his own set of Bluetooth headphones. Just as you see your surroundings differently while escorting a visitor, having this master beside me allows me both to sense those primodial vibrations and to judge their quality. It makes me wonder if the passport to eternity may be less about your degree of goodness and more about how attuned you are to the true character of vibration.
I probably have a lot more work to do on this theory, because not all music lulls me into contemplation. I understand that the vibrations that harmonize with my essence may not be the ones that harmonize with yours. Maybe you like those screaming divas or Christian rock or heavy metal. Maybe that’s what resonates with you at the Planck length level. Putting you down for choices that don’t match mine risks my being put down by people who favor vibrations that may be even more sophisticated than those of Brubeck, Metheny or Dr. Lonnie Smith.
In any case, as I age and find myself closer and closer to being absorbed back into the cosmic sea of fundamental particles, I’m content to put aside worldly thoughts and actions and become more and more taken over by what I feel are good vibrations. And I have to ask myself a variation on the classic “What would Jesus do?” question, namely: What kind of vibrations would Mozart really like?
©2022, David B Bucher