Songs We Used to Sing (p.996)
The music we listen to represents our mindset, but can also change our mindset. Nothing new there. It is due to these factors that I view music as a type of hypnosis; something that can put you in a trance and plant certain messages, as well as make subtle suggestions when you are perfectly sober and conscious.
From a behavioral standpoint, music is pretty affective. How many times have you had a catchy song stuck in your head? You know, one of those times when you keep singing the hook while doing other things that demand more of your attention? It becomes a comforting mantra. I am not a musician, however I think the money-and-market oriented musicians would approve of that, and the art-oriented musicians would disapprove.
Music thus faces the same quandary as books: Is it meant to be heard, or is it meant to be created? Some writers write to be read, while other, compulsive writers, cannot not write. No doubt each of these would enjoy having an audience to affirm them, but it really comes down to what our art-orientation says about our self-ness.
Books can put us in a trance as well. They can change us, occupy us when we are no longer reading them. Nothing new there. But how we read books is determined by the same basal perspective that determines how we listen to music: Are we reading a book because we are interested in the content and meaning? Or because it is popular right now? Are we listening to certain music because we truly love the content and meaning? Or because it is played three times an hour, right before a commercial break, on our favorite radio station?
These distinction has ramifications, and due to that it serves us if we come right out and be honest about what drives us to read what we read and listen to what we listen to. Then maybe we can direct our exposure to certain things and allow ourselves to be entranced into alignment with who we already are, and not drone antithetical mantras.
Who we are is an excellent concern/question, however I think Who we want to be is better. The existential ideal of ourselves is what causes us to change, right? If we merely look at who are today--whether or not we like that person--we would not have the tools or the incentive to develop and grow into something more complex or fulfilling, because we would be looking into a mirror instead of a telescope.
One (of many) simple ways of determining who we are is by identifying the music we listen to and the books we read. Accordingly, a way of becoming who we want to be is adapting the music we listen to and the books we read to suit our ideal self. We just need to be bold enough to want to be a more developed form of who we are.
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