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Music And Spirituality Connections


Any music that helps reconnect us to our essence -- to our inner and divine nature -- is spiritual

Let me attempt to show the relationship between music and spirituality on a more fundamental level by first examining the meaning of "spiritual." 

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines spiritual as "relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things." As we go back further in time, spirit comes from Latin spiritus -- which is most simply translated as breath, but also identified with courage, vigor and soul. The distinction between soul and spirit was first separated in Christian terminology, with spirit being the "seat of emotions." A more contemporary definition of spirit might also include "the essential nature of something."

The spiritual nature of music cannot be defined by religion, culture or genre. Music precedes and transcends all of those frameworks. To even compare music and spirituality as if they were independent concepts feels a bit odd to me. Music is, at its essence, the sound of spirit. When created from the heart and with truth and pure intention, music is a spiritual expression of the most universal nature and the highest order.

Quotes :

"Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything." -- Plato

"There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is." -- William P. Merrill

Whatever meaning one chooses for spirituality, I believe there are direct correlations to each in the nature of music. 

Music is essential to human life and an integral part of our development as individuals and as a species. Like breath, music has rhythm, tension and release. One might even claim that the sound of breath, or the waves of the ocean are musical expressions of life. The beginning of the universe, according to modern science, was created by sound -- the Big Bang. The ancient myth of the goddess Voce claims that she created the world by singing it into existence. Few things in life have the ability to directly shape or shift our emotional state than music.

"There are certain things that have universal attributes, like music. Something of greater magnitude is conveyed by them. They connect us with the universal storehouse of life and knowledge." -- Swami Paramananda

"Music cleanses the understanding, inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it could not reach if it were left to itself." -- Henry War Beecher

"Music is the easiest method of meditation. Whoever can let himself dissolve into music has no need to seek anything else to dissolve into." -- Osho

Music is one of our most powerful gateways to connect to our spiritual nature -- our divine source -- the unseen, as well as to the universe around us and those other divine beings that inhabit it with us. I know of no other medium that can transport us as immediately, on all levels of our existence, beyond the limits of our intellect and physical body to a higher, often blissful and inexplicable state. Music has the unique ability to transform us independently of our thinking mind, to a place uninhibited by the judgments, doubts and fears that too often dictate the narration of our thoughts and self-limiting beliefs.

"Again, when the mind is doubtful, when the mind drinks deep of doubt-poison, the senses have no capacity to inject faith into the mind. Here also music comes to the rescue." -- Shri Chinmoy

Just as music has helped rescue me from some of the lowest points of my life, it has been the blissful soundtrack for my many of my most loving memories and the rhythm that continues to propel me forward. For me, spirituality and music will never be separated.

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