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1. Should we only listen to spiritual music?

1. Spiritual Music

2. Love

3. Meat

4. Finding Good Teachers

5. Reincarnation - The Effects

6. Reincarnation - A Story

7. Positive Books

8. God is like Mozart

9. Proving God

10. God and the Banana: A Story


Music can have a good and a bad effect on us. It depends on the music - and on us.

Most music has an effect on our body or on our emotions; for example: popular music, jazz and classical western music.

Some music brings our mind to a higher, more subtle state, in which we feel more inner peace. The latter we could call spiritual music.

Music and emotions
Most classical western music (like Mozart's and Beethoven's) affects our emotions and to a small extent our body. This music can make us happy or sad, relaxed or energetic etcetera.

It is rarely able to bring us deep peace, because there is always some emotion in this music. Emotions don't make it impossible to relax somewhat, but they prevent deep inner peace.

Feelings are not emotions
Now to be clear, I need to explain that I make a difference between emotions and feelings.

Sadness, anger, physical or emotional attraction (often called love), jealousy, bubbling over with mirth -they are all emotions. They can be pleasant or unpleasant, but they all make us restless.

Feelings, like spiritual love, compassion and joy, are different. They can exist in a peaceful mind.

Feelings don't disturb our inner balance. Emotions do. Emotions are of course human; they are perfectly natural. We should never try to kill - to suppress - our emotions. But we can try to change them into higher, less disturbing emotions, so that we feel more balanced.
We always need to keep place in ourselves for feelings . Without love, without compassion, without joy, our life is gray!

Music and our body
Music that affects mostly our body - disco music and certain other kinds of popular music - stimulates the lower cakras. It can, for instance, create anger and sexual emotions in us.

We may think that aggressive music makes us feel strong and energetic. What is does, is making us aggressive, and though we may feel good for a while, we are also feeling negative and out of balance, and soon afterwards we'll suffer the consequences.

Sometimes it is good to be angry, but the best is to be strong and forceful without anger. Because anger is an unbalanced state of mind, we lose part of our force.

Sexual emotions are natural and without them the human race would be extinct. (Suppose everyone would rather listen to spiritual music than make love...!)

Nevertheless, sexual stimulation that comes at an inconvenient moment, is disturbing. And if we only have intense sexual feelings when we listen to certain kinds of music, we'd better have a look in ourselves and find out what makes us block our natural physical feelings.

So music that stimulates anger and sexual emotions is more harmful than good. This music controls and disturbs us. It manipulates us into feeling things that don't help us.

Music and inner peace
Spiritual music is giving us peace and opens our mind for higher feelings like spiritual love .

Much of the music that we normally call "spiritual", does not have this effect on us. Most of the New Age music is positive, but it only gives relaxation. If we are looking for inner peace and spiritual love, we need other music.

Which music can we call spiritual? Only music that has been made without restless emotions from the composer or performer. And without ego. Without those, but with
feeling. The most spiritual music has been made with a feeling of love and openness for everything that exists.

If we are looking for such music, we can try out certain pieces written by Bach, or Bruckner, or listen to the singing of mantras or bhajans or to Gregorian music and other religious compositions. We may not find all of that music spiritual - it depends on who performs it, too.

Certainly check out music from other cultures as well!

Good and bad music

What about classical western music, that brings out emotions in the listener - is it bad? Certainly not. Good or bad depends very much on ourselves.

When I heard about spiritual music, I had just finished my conservatory studies. Many years I had been practicing the piano, to be able to play classical music. I despaired at the thought that I should throw out of the window everything I had learned ...

It took me a while to understand the situation. If we are in a deeply peaceful mood, we may not want to listen to stormy music from Beethoven. But if we feel very angry about something that happened to us, Beethoven's emotional - but always positive - music will bring us more in balance!

My own experience is that when I am upset about something, I don't want to listen to spiritual music, its atmosphere is too far away from my mood. In that case I want to hear Mozart or Chopin or other such music. A bit later, when I feel better, I may want to listen to spiritual music.

Even when we are not particularly upset, we usually have a restless mind. For most of us, classical music brings us more into balance.

I certainly experience that with playing classical music, I can make people feel better.

I don't, however, play all of the classical music that I used to play. Some music, I feel now, is much more positive than other.

But most of all, the effect of what I play depends on how I feel. When I feel stormy, Beethoven sounds stormy. When I feel peaceful, I can make other people feel peaceful.

So no need to throw out our whole collection of recordings. We just need to become aware of what effect music has on us, and then choose.

Copyright 1998-2000 by Joost Boekhoven