Cory Duchesne wrote:
I actually analyze rock music as scientifically as I can, even reading up on endocrinology, trying to see which part of the body the music exploits. To test my theories, I get to know the personalities of the people who like certain kinds of music.
It's definitely a valid folk science. I also keep in mind some other categories, beyond Kiekegaard's trinity, for instance:
A. The Realms of Desire
The realms of desire are characterized by the presence of a strong wish to better one's circumstances - to escape suffering.
- The Hell realms
These can range from occasional hells to hells of constant torment. The suffering of the hells can be experienced for what seems like a thousand lifetimes. Time drags on without end.
In this state of existence all thought has to be directed towards mere survival; there is no striving for perfection. Serious intellectual thought is impractical for one in such poor mental condition. You cannot speak to a person about lofty ideals while their head is on fire; they are too busy frantically seeking a bucket of water.
- The Preta realms
"Pretas" tend to feel empty, insubstantial, ignored, and barely alive. No matter what beauty surrounds them, they see only ugliness. No matter what gains they may make, satisfaction eludes. For this reason they are known as "Craving ghosts". As in the hell realms, there is no arduous striving for ideals, only a wretched scratching for survival.
- The Animal realms
Those who are termed "animals" do not suffer greatly, for they do not use their brains enough to suffer. They are experts in submission and in the creation of authorities which they proudly worship. They are like sheep, content to follow, and to be led, rather than to think and take control of their own lives. They are beasts of burden, ruled by the whip of duty and guilt. Or they are like cows contentedly grazing in a field, unaware that the cold steel of the abattoir awaits them. Again, there is some desire, but no burning passion for truth and perfection.
- The Human Realms
A "human birth" is exceedingly rare, numbering perhaps only one in every several thousand people. Such a mind has learned to value reason in earnest, and can therefore be reasoned with! This human mind has room for doubt, and for the knowledge that something new is possible, which is the ground for learning. Humans possess ideals and their accompanying passions, which is in sharp contrast to the passionless, content and unchanging animal people.
Reason dilutes pain, so the suffering of humans is not crushing, and therefore does not keep them from deep and penetrating thought. Reason also dilutes joy, preventing the blissful happiness which would make one content with pleasing illusions.
I'd like people to at least be conscious of why they listen to the music they listen to. Doing things, even aesthetically, for reasons is crucial to my philosophy. Nietzsche had a good aphorism: "evil men have no songs. How is it then that the Russian's have songs?".
He may be trying to get across many points, but one of them is that music is not necessarily good, nor does it lead people to the good. It just as easily, as you say, sends people banal.
The most prominent rock musician I've found who writes music with the conscious intent to be philosophical would be John Frusciante. I believe his entire personality and approach is a single species of Apollonian musician, and is perhaps North Americas first Apollonian musician (consciously willing a non-dual philosophy through music), although I doubt he values traditional philosophy enough to even to bother with the Dionysian and Apollonian distinctions, and this is why the best is yet to come.
But if I have things my way, there will eventually be a large diversity of Apollonian musicians, all unique species, which exploit different parts of the human soul, all acting as an attractor, inspiring humanity into non-dual interests. You would have to put the music down and do some cold logic for some years, as the music is just there to get you off the more crude pleasures the world offers.
I'll give you an example of a well written song. It might sound like nothing to most of you, because you must develop the neural connections to appreciate it, and this requires repetition:
Going Inside | John Frusciante
None of his music is angry, and he gets a very clean, pure form of despair or elevation, that makes for very listenable music. By listenable, I mean, it's just hard to get sick of. It's almost like water, very pure, almost nothing.
Great accomplishment seems
Yet it does not outlive its usefulness.
Great fullness seems empty,
Yet cannot be exhausted.
Great straightness seems twisted.
Great intelligence seems stupid.
Great eloquence seems awkward.
Movement overcomes cold.
Stillness overcomes heat.
Stillness and tranquility set things in
order in the universe.