“The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain…Music expresses only the quintessence of life and of its events, never these themselves.”
Music is also capable of suspending fear, pain, and doubt. Your workout playlist can push you the extra mile. Ambient noise can boost your concentration and thus productivity levels.
In short, music can free your mind so you can do anything from dancing with fear to get stuff done.
“Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation,” wrote Sacks. Like laughter, it is intuited — it needs no further explanation.
There’s something instinctive about music that tugs directly at the heart. It needs little if no processing. As the plants tilt toward the sun, so to do the ears.
“Language is used every day, and easily becomes shopworn, and it takes a poet to recall it to its freshness, its ability to embody eudaimonistic insights in a meaningful way. Music is not as shopworn, and thus may cut straight to the heart.”
Everyone’s out there chasing Mr. Smiley. But “happiness must happen,” wrote Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning, “and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.”
The quest for happiness produces the exact opposite of its intention: unhappiness. Keep swimming in the sea of joy, and we’ll cease to be so. The extra effort makes one miserable.
We try too hard to be happy when everything we want is on the other side of fear. What we want is to be more vulnerable.
Dancing with the unknown and thinking unhappy thoughts is at the heart of finding satisfaction.
The storm never ends, the faster we accept that, the quicker we can land contentment which is happy just being itself.