Thursday, July 17, 2014

Free Your Mind

Life is not just a matter of a blue or a red pill.  It's not an either-or proposition.  There are more than 8 crayons to color with.  It's not a matter of gay or straight.  It's not a matter of belief or disbelief.
As a lifelong musician, I remember back in the day when we had so few commercially-defined genres.  Our musical thinking and appreciation operated in terms of the categories they gave us.  We really didn't think much outside the box.  And then, rock music hit us like a freight train.  Now, here we are 60 years later and just LOOK at this list:  Rock Genres
I think that's amazing.  I certainly don't listen to all of them or even appreciate all of them, but you can't deny their existence.  It's called creativity; at least on the part of the artists, if not the recording companies.
How did John Lennon put it?  "You tell me it's the institution.  Well you know, you'd better free your mind, instead."
We need to apply that kind of thinking, that kind of variety to the rest of our lives, in the broadest sense.  Not just in what we do, what we consume, but in how we think.  It's how we relate to the world we see, and the worlds we cannot see.  The world we can touch and the ones we can't.  The concepts and constructs we understand, and the ones we can't get our heads around.
Everything doesn't necessarily respond equally well to a microscope or a measuring instrument.  Unless you're a painter, it's not necessary to analyze the colors of a sunset.  Just enjoy it.  Take it in.  You can study a musicians timing, phrasing and attack, but I don't think that necessarily helps you appreciate the music as a whole.  Science and math are tools, but sometimes you don't need tools.  When you read a book, are you consciously studying the author's mechanics or character development?  I doubt it.  You're just letting it all happen; letting it draw you into the story.
As humans, we often have a need to compartmentalize.  There are times when that's necessary.  And times when it isn't.
Free your mind.

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