As I’ve alluded to before, I don’t believe in God in a We are Made in His Image kind of way. I have the utmost respect for you if you do, I just can’t quite get there.
For me, the closest I will ever get to The Mansion in the Sky — cuz, let’s face it, if that story is true, I’m going straight downtown in a hand basket — is a live music performance
Take a moment and picture allofthepeople you might see at a concert.
There are the Dyed in The Blood Believers, dancing with the rhythm and singing along faithfully with each hymn. Every. Single. Word. Studio Cut or Live Extended Play.
There are the New Converts, swaying tentatively, singing along with the Greatest Hits but haven’t mastered the New Releases, not exactly sure when to sit, stand, or kneel, and looking to The Most Faithful for approval.
There are The Fundamentalists, starched in their seats, eyes staring unwaveringly ahead at the altar.
And there are The Holy Rollers, who, in the Grip of The Spirit, or, perhaps, spirits, are moved to go for a spin in the aisle, singing along, or sometimes seemingly speaking in tongues.
Not much different than many other houses of worship.
For me, the power of music lies in both the lyrics and the instrumentals.
As a Professional User of Language, I place a high value in someone’s ability to use language to convey everything from their deepest emotions to their most frivolous desires. To share with me that they want to dance with somebody, somebody who loves them, or that they want to party in the USA. To tell me a story in a ballad, or to blow my mind with an exquisite rap.
From the time we are young, those of us who move through this world with hearing learn to associate certain sounds with certain emotions. Higher, quicker sounds are happy. Lower, slower sounds are sad. Mid-tone, drawn out sounds are suspenseful. Harsh sounds are angry. Musicians use these sounds to elicit emotions from the listener.
Lyrics can stand on their own as poetry and instrumentals can stand on their own as music, but, for me, it’s the marriage between the two that has the greatest effect. When a talented musician joins them in Holy Matrimony, it’s transcendent. A feeling of calm and peace ascends, and every earthly care I ever thought about having is lost for those two or three hours. And that, to me, is Heavenly.