I believe the answer is Yes. The first song I heard in 2024 that I didn’t already know was sent by a music loving friend, and it blew me away. Even its name points to what I’m saying -- Divinity by Amorphous Androgynous (AKA Future Sound of London) if you want to check it out. The beginning of the song is instrumental, which is not my typical jam, but the delightful power of this music captured me from the first note. I could feel it resonate through both my mind and my body, but separately. When the lyrics eventually came in, I was pleasantly surprised that the song could get even better!
Feeling uplifted and inspired by the new tune, I let my soul wander casually through my opinions of how our world might look in a brand new year. I spent a little time challenging my limiting beliefs, while also giving myself the space to expand them into something more yielding, more forgiving, and more creative. I immediately felt more universally connected than I’ve been able to reach since losing my dad last month. The lyric that grabbed me hardest reminded me that we, as humans, fail to see the larger picture with increasing frequency (pun intended). We inhabit and manipulate the earth to the best of our wondrous abilities, but we are naive to believe we understand very much about its existence, including how our own humanity fits into the wholeness of it all. That’s not a complaint in any way. I believe it is an inherent part of our design, and therefore has its own value and meaning. These are the words stuck with me:
“you’re not as old as the trees,
Not as young as the leaves,
You’re not as free as the breeze,
Not as open as the sea.”
In its simplest form, Nature is the way any living thing operates in relation to and in conjunction with every other living thing. Over time, our human brains have become trained to perceive interference and distortion before/ahead of that basic truth. Instinctively, we are aware that we have access to the circadian rhythms that help us keep time with the ongoing movements of Nature, but our fears can cloud the connection. We are taught about this scientific phenomenon, but we don’t share any common learning about how to tap back into it when we happen to stray off path. It’s as if we have forgotten that we all share this valuable tool; an awareness that is readily available to support each of us, energetically, when tapped.
Growing up in the Midwest, our seasons play a huge role in defining how a year breaks down in our minds. This creates variances in where/how each of us views the true ‘beginning’ of each year. In modern tradition, January 1, New Year’s Day, is an agreed starting date. This is when the official numerical year changes, following our ‘standard calendar’ (yet we often begin new calendars in August, right?!). The Spring Equinox can also make sense as a beginning because it’s when everything becomes new again. Nature’s time for renewal. And I will make the case for my personal favorite - the onset of a new school year, which has always felt the most correct for me. That’s how my mind organizes my history, but I should add that my birthday is in the fall, which is likely to deepen the idea!
We can argue the merits of each possible date, but it’s more important to recognize where your body best responds. Each viewpoint is still valid! And as I realized while talking with my sister-in-law yesterday, that applies to the opinions that are intentionally problematic too. Our differences in interpretation and meaning are endless, and I would be willing to bet that we create more conflict around our poor communication than any other issue we encounter. Our connotations deserve a lot more explanation than they get, and the role of intention is grossly overlooked. Through Music, we are offered ongoing opportunities to feel the vibration of our souls throughout our bodies – a constant, rhythmic drumbeat of connection. Breath and movement are the underlying tools that remind us we aren’t nearly as far apart as we tend to think.
I remember learning about the word ‘secular’ at church, and the first definition I grasped was simply “not Christian”. It came up while discussing music, and I was bothered by the exclusion of some favorite songs as unacceptable for listening at church. I quickly dug up the definition (no Google then), which clearly included the word spiritual. I made it a practice to find songs that weren’t specifically Christian, but were decidedly spiritual in tone and expression. I presented and promoted them at Episcopal Youth Events with a lot of intention. I quoted these songs, and/or made them part of my speeches and demonstrations. “We are the World” was the perfect accent song when I was chosen to give a talk titled Reality, and The Eagles' "I Wish You Peace'' accompanied another speech about Faith. I played it at the end of my own chosen words, and got to watch the expressions of each person in the room as they took the message in for themselves. By the end of the song, the room was filled with the type of heart energy that can remain with you, long after a beautiful moment has passed. With a little recall and intention, I can still experience that feeling whenever I want it.
Even as a teenager, I was ‘arguing’ with myself and anyone who would listen that God was everywhere; part of everything. He was not a separate thing from us. She didn’t stand apart knowing better and judging us when we didn’t measure up – They weren’t only willing to share if we ‘act appropriately’. I wasn’t very conscious of these behaviors in myself, either. That part of me already existed as part of my personal fabric. I’ve always believed that God’s Omniscient Awareness was somehow available to each of us. The 90% of our brain that I was told we don’t use has always fascinated me, and those questions have always led me back to an unconscious connection with God/Creation. Many of our religious texts claim that our co-creating powers have been revoked for bad behavior, and I think that’s where the root of my argument begins. I have tested these rules repeatedly, often without repentance, and God continues to love and accept me. I am not welcomed as part of God for following his (interpreted) advice to the letter as some people would have us believe. I am embraced for being aware that I am part of God, as he continues to show and tell us in so many ways….
Jesus felt (to me) like a guy who understood the relationship to God that we are all offered (as part of Creation). He appeared to do his level best trying to explain what God meant by “we are all God’s Children”, and as we know, he died trying. Humans being human, we failed to understand this at our Soul level, where we can easily work together. As humans, we have made it our primary mission to make our gains individually, leaving the roots of our creative purpose buried under the also fascinating creative expression of our Egos. Like all of our world’s spiritual leaders before and after him, Jesus was tasked with reminding our Ego (the protector of our physical beings) that it is far more powerful, creatively, when it acts in concert with our Soul (the personal awareness of our larger connection). The details change, but the simplicity of this naturally available tool remains the same for every human being. Acting within your own considered values, while operating in consideration of others, will always help your body ‘sing’ with the joy and gratitude born from being a co-creator to the world we all live in.
By habitually personifying God, we have missed this most simple common thread that has been provided through nearly every religious interpretation for centuries: Unconditional Love is a Creative Substance, and we are all invited to use it that way. We have systematically distorted the concept, frequently forgetting that it is our driving force. Acting for the individual, with consideration of the greater good, is all that is really required to reconnect to the power within each of us, and that power is the exact same energy that we call God. Our fears and doubts about that fact are the only real things standing in our way.
Music is a direct link between our Ego and Soul Energies. It brings these two often opposing forces together on a regular basis -just outside of our awareness - unless we find a way to specifically claim it. Coincidence and happenstance become less occasional and more frequent occurrences when we are listening to the Music that surrounds us, because we are ‘tuned in’ to our most organic connections. Emotions, fears, shame and insecurities are all attached to Human Ego, but the feelings don’t translate to our Souls. Good v. Bad disappears, conceptually, and all experience is viewed with objectivity, replacing Judgement.
This is not a battle cry to destroy the Human Ego – quite the opposite! It is a way to bring us together so that when we cry, there is immediate support available. If we need our spirits lifted, a song can do the trick. By the same token, if life seems too hard to navigate alone, the Soul is always ready to be called upon to help co-create a world that serves all of its inhabitants. Through allowing the conflicting messages of all kinds of music, we have the opportunity to become more aware that we are infinitely stronger when we are intentionally attached to the melodical resonance of our Souls. Music heals us - mind/body/soul/ego.