Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Dance of Existence

Let me continue my meditations on this blog. It is always a joy to find time to write, though such opportunities do not come often enough. And since it is the last day 2016, it is a good time to reflect back on the year that's passed and to look forward to the coming one.

My last blog entry talks about creativity as a natural impulse of the universe. Destruction is part of the creative process. I've always believed that a life is like a small impulse of energy injected into material form at the moment of birth. The rest is just a process of unfoldment. The music starts playing at the moment of birth, and we the dancers improvise our steps as we go along.

Sometimes we dance well; sometimes we are completely out of whack with the rhythm. As the song goes, "guilty feet have got no rhythm" (line from Careless Whisper, a tribute to George Michael who passed away 5 days ago). To live is to dance to the music of life.

We are 'guilty' every time we are not true to ourselves. To be true to ourselves is to listen to that inner music that defines us. Everyone is born with a theme--like the soundtrack of a movie and one must know one's own very well. With each passing year, these things are clearer and clearer to me. In the end, everything is an expression of this musical energy. I've alluded to this in a few previous blog posts, e.g. here and here.

People listen to music in different ways. The young tend to be attracted by rhythm and lyrics. In general, people like 'melodious' music. Any song with a catchy tune is considered good. But melody is just one aspect of music appreciation. Music can be appreciated in many different levels.

I even enjoy reading music. Yes, I find pleasure in reading sheet music, especially those of classical music. Even now, I have 2 volumes of Beethoven's piano sonatas within arms-length. Tracing the notes while listening to the music gives me a better understanding and a better appreciation of the music. There's so much beauty in music and so much wisdom to distill from it.

Our taste in music is actually a good indicator of the inner music that drives us. Which is why musical taste is so varied. Certain types of music are harmonious with our soul; other types we find somehow incongruent. That's our personality. That personality--that resistance to certain things, and obsession with others--is the karma that we have to work out within our lifetime.

Life is a series of attractions and repulsions. This dynamic drives our everyday life. A melody moves from note to note, creating tensions and resolutions by cleverly moving through notes that are harmonious and discordant. The melody finds rest in the tonic of its key. It begins and ends there. In between is a journey, like the Hero's Journey, of which our lives are expressions of.

As 2016 ends and 2017 begins, We start another journey within a journey. We try to follow the cadence of our inner music and dance to its rhythm. We are compelled to dance as long as the music is playing. And in the end we'll realize that the dance is the whole purpose of existence; and we are all dancing, with the planets, the stars and the galaxies, within this pulsing universe that is but a gigantic Cosmic Fugue.

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