New reader? Here’s what I set out to do with this blog.
Unfortunately, this second reading was clouded by a red haze of hurt, and I found myself answering the book’s narrative with my own messed-up past. However, I was not left empty-handed. A passage about music poked through my inner noise with a surprising answer. Charles writes:
In its direct engagement with our consciousness, music can open our hearts to God’s love and lead us to a sharper understanding of His purposes. Music is one of the arts of nothingness.
It’s true. Henry Edward Krebel describes music as a “particular combination of material and spiritual elements,” and it hits us in a multi-dimensional way. Our brains respond uniquely to music. As George Steiner puts it, music “takes us to the frontiers between conceptualization of a rational-logical sort and other modes of internal experience.” We cannot separate our intellectual and emotional response to music: they are equally valid and equally necessary.
As to being “one of the arts of nothingness”, I assume he means nothingness in the Daoist sense of “the limitless,” which we can also read as the love of Christ, the divine omnipresent force that unifies us and puts us on the path back to Him.
My takeaway: music is a way to feel God’s love, to forgive and heal, and to channel that divine love to others. As to the exact application of this, I’m not sure, but Charles was singing a hymn with a dying friend when he had his realization.
I’ve written before about how hymns hit me. It is inspired, sacred music. I should start experimenting with this.