The Spiritual Significance of Music

by Lane Arye
In The Spiritual Significance of Music: Authors Edition.
Edited by Justin St. Vincent.

There is a moment during music making when we are devoted not just to what we want to play and how we want to sound, but to the music that is trying to come through us. This birthing, this midwifery, is a spiritual act, and a deep spiritual practice. In order to do this, we have to get out of the way and open our ears, our bodies, our instruments, and our hearts to a deeper intention. We need courage and curiosity, because that deeper intention may go against our more conscious intentions. We need faith, a giving over of ourselves. All our tools and abilities give way to the music. Giving up our ideas of right and wrong, we trust in the mystery.

Every time we play music, we have a choice. We can play what we want, what we like, and what we have previously known to sound good. That is a wonderful option. Or we can listen to what wants to be played. This is a listening that embraces the sounds we can almost hear, while coaxing them to become known. This is the ecstasy of music, in the original Greek sense, “ekstasis”, of letting the divine come into us, letting spirit speak through us. When we listen for what is trying to be expressed, we touch the shared essence that shapes us, moves us, and gives our life meaning.

When the wind blows through the trees, we do not actually hear the wind; nor do we hear the trees. We hear the interaction between the wind and the trees. In the same way, when we make music, there is a co-creation, an interaction between the musician and the hidden wind that blows through everything. Music is a hint, a reminder, an echo of that hidden wind. When we open ourselves to the music that is trying to be born, then the mystery can express itself through us. We help Nature to be itself. This in turn helps us to be our own true Nature.

“When we make music, there is a co-creation, an interaction between the musician and the hidden wind that blows through everything.”
– Dr. Lane Arye, author of “Unintentional Music: Releasing Your Deepest Creativity”