Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Song of Life

As a musician and a music teacher, I have found that music is a microcosm of life itself in so many ways. The best musicians have a balance between the analytical/intellectual/propositional (left brain) and the creative/visceral/experiential/emotional side (right brain).

If a musician learns their music theory, in terms of reading music, scales, intervals, arpeggios, chords, etc., but never develops their visceral side, they will sound stiff, as if they are playing exercises.

OTOH, if a musician is expressive, and creative, but lacks the technical and analytical side, their growth will be slow & inefficient.

A really good musician learns the elements of music theory via the analytical side of their brain, and applies them through their creative side.

So it is with life. If one errs too far on either side, one's worldview becomes skewed.

I am calling for an approach to life that is both rational, yet experiential.

In my Christian faith, I see this balance most succinctly presented. Christianity is one of the few religions, that bases its faith upon historical evidence. It doesn't just make claims that can't be rationalized. It is rightly accused to be Aristotelian. Its believers have been given a book to meditate upon and to study. We have been given historical facts, which upon examination, might require faith to believe, but can't be refuted without holding to a greater faith.

OTOH, it is an experiential faith in the fact that it calls the believer to apply these facts via faith (the visceral side). When I think of faith, I see parallels with creativity and imagination.

Imagination may be misleading since Christianity is not made up out of thin air. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word. Again, this is the convergence of the mind and the imagination.

Christianity extends this visceral side by advocating that we apply it internally, with the heart. Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the inside of a man/woman.

Finally, it is to be applied relationally. Christianity presents a God that can be known. And as this God is known, He is loved. As He is loved, His people, created in His image are also naturally loved.

This is the convergence of the heart and the mind. It is the song of life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Serious Happiness

So much of this blog is critical of noncritical thinking. One big reason that people don't ask deep questions is because they're trying to escape the deep answers.

Shallowness is a parachute when you're falling into oblivion, however it only delays the inevitable.

So much of life is volitional, posing as incompetence. The victory doesn't go to the smartest, or the most gifted. The victory goes to the one who is not afraid to look at life the way it truly is no matter what it costs. Only such a life is worth living.

Frivolity is a specific type of escape.

The difference between frivolity and joy is that joy is SERIOUS happiness.

Maybe I'm becoming a little bit of a cultural hermit as I don't keep up with the latest movies and music except as a means to allow me to better communicate and engage those who do.

One could say that I've escaped, but when one escapes a burning building, it feels just like being rescued. If you look at me on the surface, you might be distracted by a certain seriousness, but I am serious about my happiness.

Are you living a frivolous life or a joyful one? Do live in a world that you have wished for or do you wish for a world that you live in?

My role is not to have all the answers but to show you how to receive them yourself.

For what answers that I've found, I've found them to be a gift to receive, not pearls to take.