Think of one of your most amazing musical experiences—a concert, rehearsal or your private practice—and you’ll soon realize that music brought you into some form of bliss. Wherever it happened, you likely felt an awakening of energy, a presence, expanded awareness, connectedness, or simply a deep stillness and peace. These experiences of your true Self are the goal of all true religions.
Jimi Hendrix tapped into something much greater than himself. He said “Music is my religion,” wanting his music to go “inside the soul of the person, and awaken some kind of thing inside, because there are so many sleeping people.”
This concept of awakening is at the heart of every true religion: the tangible experience of our highest potential. Connection. Self-Realization. God.
Although I admit that I don’t resonate with Jimi’s music, his music has ENERGY. Regardless of your favorite music, the most important thing is what we do with that energy once it has been awakened. Rock music was considered “music of the devil” because many directed the awakened energy outward through their senses, seeking fulfillment outside of themselves instead of within. But now many churches have learned to use rock music to awaken the spirits of their congregation. I find it all fascinating.
The formalized religions of the world speak to personal beliefs and faith.
But music takes us beyond belief and into direct experience. You know this!
As Paramhansa Yogananda, the great yogi from India, wrote:
Sound or vibration is the most powerful force in the universe. Music is a divine art, to be used not for pleasure but as a path to God-realization. Vibrations resulting from devotional singing lead to attunement with the Cosmic Vibration or the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
I’ve felt those powerful vibrations! You have too, to some extent: Music touches you. It strikes a chord within. You are moved. You resonate. We speak of these inner experiences all the time, even though we don’t know how to quantify them.
Your inner experience of music, however small it might seem compared to cosmic enlightenment, can then be expanded through the practice of meditation. Meditation can prolong the bliss of the musical experience far beyond the length of any applause. Often after concerts I’ve meditated instead of partied. The outward enjoyment of food and drink can’t touch the bliss that I’ve felt come through.
True worship in this inner religion of music is the act of offering up this awakened energy and all that we are, back to the mysterious Source from which it came. It matters not if you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist. This inner experience is the spine of the universal language of music.
Therefore, something to consider:
What if music was not to be the end-all, be-all? What if music was not meant to be worshipped as some kind of idol, as the title of this post may imply, but held in reverence only as much as it was able to change our consciousness for the better?
This, then, is the highest goal of music: to connect us to states of higher awareness, and then vanish into a silence filled with connection, energy, and inspiration.
Take that presence of enhanced silence and weave it into the fabric of your life. Infuse it into your words, your actions, and back into the virtuous cycle of music. The more you experience, the more powerful your music, which leads to deeper experience, and yet even more powerful music.
This power is real.
Just think what we can do.