Music is a innate capacity of humans. It is the most fundamental means for our expression, especially when we use our voice, and it has the power to influence our whole being.
Music develops alongside humans
Along with our social-psychological development, music too has developed over the centuries. It is a real pleasure to meet the young composer Samuel Andreyev in this interview with Jordan Peterson where they explore together the power of music and the development it has taken up to the present. Even for non-musicians this conversation is quite understandable – and a musician also gains a expanded perspective.
This happened certainly with me. I was very delighted with the analysis and could confirm from my own experience what these two intelligent and open minds were talking about.
Jordan Peterson in conversation with the composer Samuel Andreyev
My experience as a musician
I am a classically trained singer and my main interest has always been classical music. I always enjoyed the music, from the middle ages to the early 20th century – but there it stopped for me. My experience of singing in a professional choir taught me how difficult it is to study pieces by 12-tone composers like Webern, Schönberg or those of the sixties like Penderecki and others. Those concerts had a certain fascination as sound experiences – but is it really worth all this huge amount of preparation? I always decided NO for myself – maybe only because of my lack of an absolute ear (perfect pitch) – which would have made singing these pieces so much easier?
How we learn to hear and expand our perception
One thing I noticed though – and it was addressed also by Samuel Andreyev in the interview above: The more you study a piece, whatever music it is, the more you get familiar with it and it becomes “your” music. This is the point where your interpretation of the piece will come from inside you rather than just a repetition of the ideas of someone else. When we really understand the music and own it by continuous practice, it becomes familiar and we begin to really enjoy it – which often was not the case when we encountered it the first time.
What sounds GOOD to our ears?
This is the reason for a continuous expansion of our ability to hear and accept newness in music. The acceptance of what sounds “good” has developed from total harmony (octaves), to fifths and up to all the harmonic intervals. Today it is almost unimaginable that once a third had been considered a dissonance! Our perception of what we hear as consonance or dissonance has developed until today when we can enjoy whole clusters of adjacent sounds. This is just a harmony of a higher level – as all these notes appear, sooner or later, on the scale of the harmonics of the basic note.
Personal development and enjoyment of music
In short: I realized that, today, my ear has developed so far as to accept music which I had dismissed totally 30 years ago. That doesn’t mean that all music is “good” which is offered today. Good music has a certain felt attraction. Maybe not at first hearing. “Hear it 10 times and then find out what you feel about it!” This is also the recommendation by the composer Samuel Andreyev.
When you listen to his music – especially after having watched his conversation with Jordan Peterson – you probably will find it very attractive, or at least interesting and well worth listening to!
We made it about 400 years ago: the separation of church and state. It took many centuries of fight and suffering, thousands of “heretics” burnt at the stake, loosing their lives for our benefit: For us to be able to say whatever we want without ending up imprisoned, tortured, stoned or burnt. Are we now heading back to the Middle Ages?
Funny enough – or better: tragic enough, it is the leading edge of modern societies who is pushing us back into that state where we lose our freedom of speech, where we have to bite our tongue if we don’t want to be denounced and tried for what we say: If not as in the Middle Ages, but certainly as in the “east-block” countries. I grew up in Germany, fortunately in the West, but I had relatives in the East and I know how they were continuously threatened and had to be very careful or pay dearly if they said something about a certain group or the practices of the state.
The Levels of Development – evolution in healthy and unhealthy forms
The unhealthy form of the”green” level is expressed in an aggressive fundamentalism (see the levels of development in “Spiral Dynamics” or as outlaid by Ken Wilber). It is nothing better than any other fundamentalism, only the target changes. Western Societies have recently been governed mostly by people with a “green”- postmodern – mindset. In their attempt to protect minorities and to see everybody as (literally) equal, they see the necessity to create laws to protect THE FEELINGS of certain members of certain minorities.
Who is Responsible for Your Feelings?
Modern psychology has clearly stated that we are responsible for our own feelings, we alone, nobody else. Yes, we can be triggered by what other people do or say, but how we react to the trigger, that is exclusively our own choice. With the new laws in Canada this gets completely turned around. People’s feelings are considered subject to criminal deeds done by others. This is the perfect form of victimism which is appropriate for little children, but not for adult citizens in the world. It reminds me of my mother’s saying with which she tried to teach me responsibility for my actions: “It’s too bad for my mother that I froze my fingers; why didn’t she give me gloves?”
So, whose feelings would be eligible to be protected by law?- and whose not? Apart from the fact that it is absolutely beside the point for the above reasons, it is a bottomless barrel. We will end up staying silent, all the time, for fear of being accused and “burnt at the stake”. Hello Middle Ages!
We will end up in a totalitarian state – from which most of the present refugees are trying to escape by flooding into the Western world. Will we give up our achievements in our societies and allow practices of previous levels to govern us again? Do you want to live in constant fear and repression because someone believes that you have violated THEIR rules?
Do you want THEIR rules to take over our countries? Think about it and get clear about the consequences for yourself, your family, your country and the world. And if you decide that your freedom of speech is more important and also the freedom in your personal life altogether, then stand up and fight for the principles of our constitutions and watch out for all the hidden or open attempts to re-establish values which we had overcome with so much sacrifice during the past centuries.
Is This a Picture of Mohamed? – what can you say and what not?
Here you can experience what we are heading toward – if we don’t pay attention: Jordan Petersonbrings it to the point in this short video. Feel into it and observe yourself: would you like to live with the fear of saying the “wrong” words?
Let me know what you think about it . now, after you have watched the video!
Who do you think you need to be and to act to help create a better world?
What would you do if you were a president of any state and if you had an enormous amount of power. Would you keep integrity? Or would you begin to play with the power at your pleasure? Who knows?
What would you do if you discovered that something goes massively wrong? That an institution or government is playing with the people who they should serve and care for?
Do you know yourself? Are you ready to stand up for your values?
These are the questions we all should ask ourselves in the present situation where everything seems to slip into chaos, the world alliances, the single nations, the relationships in groups and in families, the climate, the earth itself: Which are the people we need to create a better world? And are you ready to be one of them?
I know, it is a tough question because it asks you to take responsibility for your own actions, for your emotions and how you are showing up in the world. And it also asks you to take the risks to step up and put your finger into things which you notice that they are going badly wrong. You have the choice to “put your head into the sand” like an ostrich and pretend to not notice where things are going – and many Germans did exactly that about 80 years ago, hoping that everything would turn out well – until it was too late. And speaking up might cost you the job or chases you into exile.
These are the people we need for a better world
Some people are courageous enough and do it for all of us – and they need our respect and support. In a previous post, I spoke about Jordan Peterson who is doing his bets to open the eyes of the public and make them see the signs of rising totalitarianism in Canada. He is a brilliant man and he is able to show up with admirable resilience and emotional – and certainly cognitive – intelligence. He doesn’t dwell in accusations and humiliations – as most of the “fighters” do, but he is showing the facts, the background, and the consequences very clearly.
And there is another hero who pays – happily – with his personal life for having revealed the hidden manipulations of his governmental institutions which are totally against the foundations of that society. He showed us that we cannot trust in our institutions and that we have to ask transparency and ethical behavior. Our lives – and our mother earth – is at stake, immediately and on the long run. The worldwide internet connection helps that these fighters for the truth are heard – instead of silenced, as it was a common habit before. There is hope that the internet will help to uncover all the conspiracies and manipulations: One SMS is enough to leak secrets – until people everywhere understand that secrets are destructive to relationships and only the truth will bring us together in a thriving world.
Truth is the only means to create a better world
The truth is often uncomfortable and humans try to avoid everything which asks them to step out of their comfort zone. But they – we – pay a huge bill for cowardliness in our personal and in our public life. Listen to Jordan Petersons lectures and you will understand why. (visit his Youtube Channel here)
Today I listened to the Interview with Edward Snowden and I was blown away by the wisdom of this young man, by his courage, and by his balanced way of speaking without falling into adversary emotions while being present as a full human being. I am in awe of the level of development which this person has reached. He is a role model for all of us. Jordan Peterson and Edward Snowden and man others: these are the people we need for a better world!
Hate and separation, walls and discrimination create enemies and hell on earth. We are called to fight those ways of acting – by becoming wise, truly adult and courageous ourselves. Not an easy task, but a mandatory call to create a future for our kids which is worth living.
There is a game to find out what is most important to you. It asks you to write down how you would spend the money if you should win in a lottery. So you write down the percentages for a house, new car, insurance and whatever comes in your mind. These things, at first glance, seem to be really important, yes. But the are only one side of the coin, the one you can buy with money.
Material and immaterial values
There are many important things in life – and I dare say even more important than those you find out with the game. I mean those things which you cannot buy with money: connection, love, confidence, trust, belonging and the feeling of being ok, as a person and with your life altogether.
We know it perfectly well – and we still strive for money and public recognition. We have seen so many times that super rich people and famous movie stars die from overdose or suicide. We know that our happiness doesn’t derive from these external factors, but we continue to make ourselves miserable by believing what others say or – worse – what our inner critic continuously whispers into our ear.
We don’t know ourselves – so how can we improve ourselves?
We oscillate between hope and activity on one side and depression and fear on the other side. We haven’t learned to navigate our own operating system, so to speak. We seem to be the helpless victims of our own humanness. We try to improve ourselves, continuously. The market for self-improvement is gigantic. But how can we improve something if we have no idea how it works? It is like wanting to create pears while polishing an apple. we have no idea how our inner mechanisms are, how we attribute value to something and why, why we do certain things and others not. Our analytic mind has little to say about it, more hypothesis than real insights. And so all attempts of improvement start from an unexplored territory.
What does it mean to be a human being?
Isn’t it time to understand how humans work? What does it mean to be a human being? What are the underlying axioms of our existence? Spiritual inquiry has found out quite a bit about humans and their emotions, especially the fear and they teach a way to inner calmness. Psychology has found out a lot about trauma and mental illness and the functioning of the psyche. But both approaches see humans as single units while, in fact, they are social beings first of all. They are dependent on others, in their own development, in their self-image, in their work – everywhere.
It is time to find out what we already know – and then behave and act from this knowledge.
I want to share with you the first lecture of a University course by Dr.Jordan Peterson called “Maps of Meaning”. Listening to him I had an epiphany similar to the one about 20 years ago when I came across Ken Wilber and Integral Theory. In both cases, it was as if the lights went on. I recognized their thoughts as true – and I realized that, somehow, I had thought in similar ways but wasn’t able to put it into words. Both these brilliant minds have the gift to put into words what is the unseen truth in our lives – and they allow us to embrace these words as the expression of our own life experience.
It is Monday afternoon. If I was an employee I could go home in an hour or so. But I AM at home, the whole day.
Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? To be able to stay at home! I have never known before how frustrating it can be! Not the fact to BE at home, but to try to WORK from home.
I am taking seriously – finally – to create a business online. So far I thought I was, and hoped that other people did the work for me, websites etc. Yes, I would create the content, but I really feared the tech side like the devil fears the cross.
The Need to have a website – the necessity to learn
So my websites napped away, very few visitors, even less subscribers. But why? Don’t they see what I can offer? – Well: how could they? Nobody finds the sites, so how can anyone want to contact me in order to work with me?
So, for some time it dawned on me that I have to learn all this tech stuff, too, after having learned Google and Hangouts and Youtube and, and, and. NOW WEBSITES and how to manage them, how to write content in the right way and how to rank them on Google.
But I get stuck with many preliminary things. Today I spent hours – again – to chat with the support of one service provider and write emails to the other one which doesn’t even notice that I have already done what they suggest – and it didn’t work: two of my main websites are down for a week. HAPPY MONDAY!
Struggling to learn the Know How
Then, naturally, I want people to share my content on my fun website about cats. I use it to practice all that, what I am taught in the amazing community (where I finally learn how to create websites). And I end up struggling with the plugins. It is easy to upload and activate them, but why don’t they do what I expect them to do? Means in this specific case: share the posts with the pictures instead with a huge gray head (not really attractive!).
So the rest of the day passed by with chatting with very helpful people of the community who do their best to resolve all the weird things which show up in every single day in my new tech-friendly (?) life.
So, Monday is almost gone and no tangible results. Is this a good or bad sign? Does it mean I will get it straight tomorrow? Or better give up, because “it will never get better” (and many people say it won’t)
So it is a matter of CHOICE. What do you choose? Well, I will sit on my computer, but at home, sweet home, for other 3 hours or so until I will be so fed up – or have a success moment. Whatever, tomorrow is another day. Tuesday, I guess. Sometimes I forget which day it is, they seem all quite alike…..
Half a year has passed since I wrote the above text. And a lot has happened since then. Learning to do my own websites was one achievement I gained. I am able now to project and do everything needed for our broadcast series at The Wisdom Factory, on the Integral Ageing website and, of course, my favorite and heartwarming project, the website about cats. All are using different themes and I have learned a great deal how to use them properly.
Now it is time to address the last two projects before thinking to seriously go for business: the website for the NonProfit “Paradiso Integrale” and the membership site for the relationship course work. Some more time to spend learning while sitting on the computer….
How do humans work? How does learning happen?
Talking about learning: what is really interesting to me is not so much the content of what I learn – although it is quite useful, – but more the meta level: How does learning happen? What strategies do I use to learn? Which ones are better and better for what? Where do they work and where not? And why not?
Life as Meditation
With these questions in the back of my head, the work I am doing becomes almost a meditation. There is an observer who continuously monitors not only the content of what I am doing but also
the single steps,
the ever changing colors of mood (success joy versus failure disappointment in many degrees),
the procrastination moments,
the ignition by some input by others (humorous posts, insightful talks and conversations etc.)
the influence of positive (but more significantly negative) news about the world situation
the coping mechanisms and strategies to “survive”
the changing states of the body, the subtle feelings and sensations
How to deal with big emotions?
Emotions are a big one, not only for myself, I guess. In this period of time the emotions overboard all over the world. People try to make sense of the chaos which we are slippering in, the sudden awareness of not having noticed the signs in time, and the fear of the unknown and the possible disaster.
Many people begin to contribute trying to figure out what is going on and what can be done to get on in a reasonable way. For instance this article of a friend, Anouk Brack . And this is the good thing which the present situation can evoke and create: People stepping up and coming together to co-create their visions and oppose the forces which want to bring our culture back into times of civil war and even medieval practices of torture to assert the power of a few over everybody else.
The Metaphor of Monday
To close the circle: Monday, the beginning of the week, can bring a lot of difficulties and slow down the fresh energy with which it began. But we can find a way to work through the difficulties. We can reach out to others and make the things work again – and even find new and unexpected ways in which our world can unfold. 2017 has begun with a huge drum beat, an earthquake which made many of us tremble. We need to work through it, day by day, and find a way to allow the phoenix to arise out of the ashes.
The Dalai Lama said some years ago that the future of this planet depends on the women, especially the women of the western world. Why?
Well, after thousands of years of patriarchy women in the western world have come out of their dependency on men and begin to “do their own thing”
While at the beginning women tried to catch up by imitating men – in the lack of female role models – they/ we finally come to understand that we have to share our gifts in our deeply feminine way.
The masculine versus the feminine way
While the masculine way is going forward and follow the previously established plans – and often not noticing that they have become obsolete and even harmful, the feminine way is observing, beginning to go towards an envisioned goal which is not terribly concrete, but more felt as a quality. And on the way, there is always the possibility to course correct when we come to the understanding that this leads into the wrong direction.
The feminine way is based on receptivity and finding out what is right. The masculine way is, believing to know what is right and then go for it at all costs.
We have seen where the masculine way brought us: huge technological success and scientific understanding – but a complete unawareness and neglect of the costs, the dangers of the inventions are never taken seriously, care for life is not a topic when everything is oriented to success.We need the feminine way as the main force in our societies when we want to not only survive on this planet (by reducing hostility and collateral danger of innovations), but to really THRIVE by connecting all aspects of human beings, the body, the mind, the heart, the spirit, the soul – and the practical abilities and the rational ways of calculation and scientific findings.
So, women SHARE YOUR WISDOM. Do that for instance by joining “WOMEN MATTERS” live conversations of THE WISDOM FACTORY.
We missed the chance – maybe this will create the chance?
We missed the chance to have a woman as the president of the United States. Instead culture seems to have fallen back into naty ways of patriarchical power demonstrations: women as objects in the hand of men as demonstrated by the new president. And again women are considered inferior and a minority to ignore and oppress – like all the other minorities or “troublesome people” in the world. The super Macho has regained the power over everything – like many thousands of years ago…..
Yes. I know, we are at a different point today, after that all these levels of development which have emerged, since those times where macho-red power was the most normal thing in everybody’s life. I agree with that, but I am really astonished about the women in this world. When will they develop? When will they stop to collaborate with their perpetrators? when will they step up against power abuse against women? When will they stop to be pleased to be treated badly? When will they stop to find pleasure in being the victim and therefore throw themselves into this situation which creates inequality and suffering?
Maybe we need a push of a certain degree?
When you know a little about psychology you easily find an answer to these questions, at least some partial answers, probably not the full picture.
Let’s begin with the facts: there are many women engaged in self-development and spirituality. Many more women than men in workshops which go into the depth of being. Women want to find out things, as well as men do, but we are interested in different things most of the time. In things which could change the world – as the Dalai Lama said.
But where are these women?
Normally in the audience and not on the stage. Why not? What is still holding us back to go out and take over a huge chunk of responsibility and guidance in the world? Why do you find a huge number of brilliant male speakers everywhere and only a handful of equally brilliant female speakers. I don’t assume that we women have less potential to be brilliant! We just don’t dare to go out and be seen – and that has very good reasons when you look back into the past and also observing the present.
The city of Rome has the first female mayor for about 6 months now. What do newspapers bring out in x-fold repetitions? When the mayor breaks out in tears in public. What does it mean, openly or suggested? Women are not able to face reality, they are too emotional, you cannot rule with emotions, so “Women, go home”.
We are called upon to stop waiting and to show up
There is no public lobby to speak for us, to recognize that women are different and that they process things in a different way than men. There is nobody to normalize the feminine way of being. There is still the expectation that women are somehow deficient men.
The weird thing in all that is the fact that women themselves are co-creating their situation. We women, openly or covertly, are still asking the men for permission, we wait for them to invite us, to give us the right way of seeing the world and ourselves, despite our declarations of the opposite. And no wonder: how could we change the old and often archetypical way of being in less than a century, especially when we are not full heartedly engaged in that change?
We women are in a paradoxical situation today – at least those of us who don’t see their life’s purpose in high heels and lipsticks for attracting the alpha male. We have the vision of a better world which needs our energy on the one hand – and we don’t have the courage to follow up on that vision. There is a double impediment which we face:
1. we don’t have a precise idea how we could realize the vision, how our own feminine way looks like
2. Even if we knew what exactly we need to do, how to be and where to go – we need to go against the stream with what we are birthing. We need an extra load of energy and decisiveness (and other masculine qualities) to bring our feminine way into the world against the established male society around us.
3. Even those men who support our striving to find new shores, those men who have worked on discovering their feminine qualities and resonate with the idea of women in leadership, even those men are MEN and intrinsically different from women – despite the ridiculous green fundamentalist idea that men and women are literally equal. They are not. They can be very sweet and supportive, but their fundamental drives are incredibly different.
Was the push strong enough? What’s up for us women now?
WE WOMEN HAVE TO FIND OUR WAY OURSELVES thanking those men for their support who are willing to give it to us.
WE NEED TO STOP WAITING for anybody to allow us to step up and do what is needed and what is waiting for us in the world
WE NEED TO CLEAR OUR OPPRESSING INNER VOICES and we need to empower each other in the research for our own feminine ways.
WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER TO EXPLORE AND CO-CREATE. That’s exactly what we attempt to do with our public WOMEN MATTERS conversations at The Wisdom Factory
Sensing and Silence – Introducing Feminine Qualities in our Public Discussions on Tuesday, February 7th here
So far we have engaged in 11 public conversations in English and we are beginning to gather in conversations in German, too. Contact me if you are interested in participating.