Music has been known to actually naturally have a calming effect on people. This is because music has the power to easily alter an individual’s mood and behavior. According to research as this might end up going both ways actually, it may end up influencing someone to something negative or into doing something positive with themselves just because the music said so. In the olden days, meditation music was used as a form of healing as it was believed to help in curing some problems and conditions. It was also used to communicate with spirits.
The very first use of music therapy was by the Turco-Persians psychologist and by a music theorist known as Al-Farabi, who was believed to have lived in the 9th century AD. He was known to use music to soothe the soul and calms the mind. In today’s society, music therapy has been considered to actually be a form of art and science. It has been utilized in helping with motor skills, cognitive functioning, emotional and effective development, quality of life and behaviors and social skills. Read more →
From a young age, we are taught to identify as our bodies. We fill out forms for school, work and hospitals that are filled with bodily identification questions (gender, ethnicity, hair color, etc). As we grow, social norms/stereotypes for our bodies guide our lives. Boys are supposed to be tough and strong, athletic success or physical gains are desired and good grades in school will lead you to happiness. The media also reinforces how our bodies are tied to happiness. From magazines touting easy body slimming/building exercise routines and celebrities who defy aging to television commercials showing young, successful, beautiful people enjoying life on a beach with their favorite beverage, we are constantly bombarded with depictions of the perfect body. The message is simple, if your body is beautiful then you’ll be happy. Follow a few simple exercises or take the new revolutionary health supplement or makeup product and you too can enjoy life like your favorite celebrity.
An issue with tying happiness to your body or bodily enjoyment is that it is temporary. The happiness you received from these sense enjoyments will either fade away or will make you want more. Think about it, was there an item you really wanted? What happened once you obtained that item? It may have provided happiness for a while but it doesn’t solve your problems and can even become a source of stress, if you begin to worry about losing it. Or exercising with the hope that a more physically attractive body will bring you happiness through increased relationships with the opposite sex. While the increased attention from others may bring more confidence or positive feelings, it can also lead to insecurities about what will happen if you don’t maintain your physical gains. And this in turn will cause you to focus more time on your body and reinforce in your mind that your body equals happiness.
A couple of days ago I listened to a podcast of a man who, as a young lad, had lived on the streets of Ireland with a pack of stray dogs. He had been the youngest and smallest of triplets, only a couple of pounds at birth, born into the large family of an Irish father and a German mother, who were often at odds. The dog boy, Martin McKenna, was scholastically challenged, to say the least and hyperactive, what would now be called ADHD. I believe he still doesn’t write although was persuaded to “write” his book with a voice recorder. His father having treated him dreadfully, thinking he was good for nothing, and that the devil was in him. The other children didn’t get the same bad treatment. Whenever his father was drunk, a regular occurrence, Martin would hide or be beaten. When he was as young as seven his father began locking him in the cellar for days at a time, with nothing to eat but coal dust.
Eventually Martin ran away, initially digging a hole in the ground to hide in, and eventually developing a life on the streets as top dog of a pack of stray mongrels. It was a raw existence, eating maybe every second day, living on pilfered bread and milk from the home deliveries of those times. After three years, with his brothers saying, come back, come back, Ma is sick, he returned to live at home and stayed until she died, at which time the whole family dispersed. Martin has gone on to make a success of his life, based on his in-depth understanding of the psychology of dogs.
We are obviously not in control of everything. When we take an honest look at the immensity of what is beyond our control, it is a wonder that we would even try. In all of our years here, we have not even been able to gain more than very limited and temporary control over just our own mind and body – and virtually no control over the natural environment, other living beings, and so on. Yet, despite our tremendous lack of control, many of us still have such a strong desire to be in control that we feel compelled to keep trying – even though our attempts to do so our are causing us almost constant anxiety, frustration, and misery.
So why do we do it? Why do we continue to try to control what is beyond our control?
Because we think we will find the happiness, peace, and satisfaction that we are longing for in manipulating material circumstances to our liking. We think if we can just control things enough, we will actually be happy and fulfilled – and remain so.
But the reality is that material things and circumstances can never bring us real and lasting happiness. Not simply because we can never completely control them, but because we are made of spiritual energy, not matter. Material things can stimulate temporary and superficial pleasure sensations in the mind and body, but they can never actually touch us – the spiritual being that is temporarily wearing the material mind and body.