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.