Music and the Soul

I believe that music has a great power to affect us, for good or evil.

Not surprisingly, teenagers who listen to music with degrading sexual lyrics have been found to be sexually active sooner than those who do not. On lyrics that degrades women into sexual objects and men into sexual animals, the researcher commented, “we think that really lowers kids’ inhibitions and makes them less thoughtful”. It’s ironic that in this sex-filled age when people are supposedly thinking about it all the time, people rarely take the time to think about sexuality itself (I say “supposedly” because this commonly held notion was popularized by a series of flawed researches by one twisted man, but we’ll get to this some other time I’m sure). This thoughtlessness, according to the researcher and the survery results, leads the teen’s to “make decisions they regret”. That’s consistent with the research I came across the other day showing that sexually active teens are more likely to be depressed. Irony of ironies. It just goes to show that the nature of reality is paradoxical which, as I’ve mentioned previously, is in accordance with the Christian mystery.

The finding is not surprising, really, since we must first dehumanize ourselves or others to do harm. Nazi propaganda had to first turn Jews into beings less than human, in order to carry out their genocide. The pop’ propaganda is having to first turn teenagers into objects and animals, in order to carry out the equivalent mass murder, not of the body but of the soul. The term “human being” is inseparable from the term “intrinsic dignity”, and first they do away with the former to throw away the latter.

Yet if music is able to cast us down into the depth of the abyss, it is also able to lift us to the heights of Heaven  In presenting some evidence for the existence of God, Peter Kreeft makes an argument from aesthetics: “Music of J.S. Bach exists. Therefore, there is a God.” He adds with a jocular tone, “you either get it, or you don’t”. I, for one, have been allowed the privilege to experience this, especially in the music of Bach. His best music can give us a glimpse into the splendor of divinity, not in the sense of mere pleasure – “oh, that’s nice” – but of awe-inspiring beauty and majesty that transcends things of this world. So much so that it played a role in enticing me to become Catholic.

It seems that Bach had seen over 250 years ago what we fail to see today, when he said, “the aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”


8 thoughts on “Music and the Soul”

  1. (wahou… combien il va y avoir de sites differents pour le meme jeu? les developpeurs sont excellents)
    Le phoenix nous laisse bien d’etranges indices, je ne comprends pas tout…

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