Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Diversity Speaks of Another

E Pluribus Unum. Out of the many, one. Ravi Zacharias says that all philosophy is the search for unity within diversity.

How can you have diversity without an idea? For instance, if you look at other people, you will see an idea with infinite variations of expression. Whether we are looking at Brad Pitt, Nancy Pelosi, Jim Belushi, Miley Cyrus, Betty White, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods or Donald Trump, we are seeing diverse people who share the 'ideas' found in the definition of what it means to be human beings.

They all have arms and legs, have to breathe, sleep and eat, have the same core needs, need to be loved and want to love. They all have the same basic hopes, dreams, ambitions, temptations, weaknesses, etc.... Yet people are diverse. Just looking at the examples I gave, you have people who are old and people who are young, females, males, white, black, mixed, intelligent and not so bright...

To be human is to share in an idea. In music, we have infinite variation also. Edgar Varese defined music as 'organized sound'. That definition is pretty close but not perfect. After all, the siren ringing we'd hear when a train is coming to a crossing, or the sound of emergency sirens are also organized in the sense that they pulse at a constant rhythm.

There is something more intangible in the music. Music is a a flow of ideas..... ideas that only make sense to a mind. Music is thematic and tells a story. It repeats ideas to hook the listener. It uses a certain degree of contrast to keep itself from having the monotony of a siren. Music is an idea.

Ideas can only be understood by a mind. If diversity screams 'IDEA', then 'IDEA' screams 'GOD'. If there is no God, then tell me why diversity exists at all, or tell me why everything isn't so random as to be chaotic. I can envision a world devoid of God being birthed by some natural process if every human was either identical clones of one another, or so different from one another that we couldn't even call each being a human because we couldn't be expected to have ANYTHING in common.

Imagining this second scenario, imagine one person being born with no such thing as legs and feet. Maybe they have wheels. Imagine the next person not being born, but being 'hatched' and having eyes in the back of their head, never needing to eat, because their body has mastered photosynthesis. The possibilities would be endless, the world would be full of monsters. If such a world existed, and there WAS a God, its creation would yield the reflection of a grand monster.

But instead, we have a world that yields themes. The sun can be counted to rise, shine and fall each and every day we live. But what that day yields in all of its detail will be unique to itself, never occurring again. That is a theme and themes are written by composers.

Diversity speaks of another different from itself. E Pluribus Unum. Out of the many one God.

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