"Love took up the glass of Time, and turn'd it in his glowing hands; Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands. Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with might; Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, past in music out of sight. - Tennyson.
"Music that is born of human breath Comes straighter to the soul than any strain The hand alone can make." - Morris.
"A tone Of some world far from ours, Where music, and moonlight, and feeling are one."
"Feeling and music move together, Like a swan and shadow ever Floating on a sky-blue river In a day of cloudless weather." - Lowell.
Music, like everything that is fundamental in life, partakes of the heart or feeling, of the mind or thought, of the sense or physical expression, and can never be of any one plane of being, but ever must embody all three. We might go farther and say that there are four great planes of being, or states of consciousness in human life: The Elemental objective or physical state wherein man is under the control of his sense nature; the Rational or mental plane wherein man uses his mind to think, reason and form judgments; the Psychic which might be defined as an intermediate state between the mental and the spir195 itual nature, partaking more or less of both, sometimes giving clearer vision and deeper insight, and again when misused acting as a barrier to higher development; the Spiritual consciousness or that state of being in which man realises his at-one-ment with God. It is in this state that what is known as Cosmic Consciousness is attained to which I made fuller reference in a former chapter. This spiritual consciousness may be said to be the crowning development in the life of man on this plane of being. All planes must be considered as necessary stages in the development or evolution of man, and from first to last there are varying degrees in music fitted to the needs of every plane. Some have thought that music is purely emotional, but it is much more than this. Sometimes it may contain emotion to a greater degree, and again it may be said to be as much a product of mind as of emotion. The soul of music is emotion, but the body or form it takes is an expression of thought. Music may have so much of the mentality of the composer in it that it loses its power to awaken the inner emotions of the listener, and yet an individual of a developed mentality can enjoy it as he might enjoy a book or a lecture, solely for its mental stimulus. Music, in its earliest stages, appeals to man more largely through his sense nature than in any other way, but, as its evolution continues, the appeal to the mind comes with it, and still later, as it begins to express something of the higher or spiritual side of life, it appeals to the heart or to the higher love nature in man. I feel sure that the music which awakens the deepest emotions in life must affect the whole man, spiritually, mentally, and physically. I believe any action that awakens man's higher emotional nature lends itself, also, to a greater mental perception and increased mind activity, as well as to a renewing and strengthening of man's physical organism. When this knowledge comes to be an accepted fact, people will strive more and more to awaken their higher emotions; for the real perfection and strength of life must come through such renewing.
Some may contend that the music which awakens the spiritual or intellectual activities has but a momentary effect, lasting only while one is listening to it; there may be very full enjoyment for the time, but when the music ceases, the effects are soon lost. I do not for a moment accept this as truth. I believe the effect of the music has become a real and permanent possession of the listener, a part of those riches that are stored away in the subconscious mind; furthermore, if music will induce even a temporary state of thought and feeling, temporary states may become permanent. When, through thought and feeling, there is once established a definite habit, it becomes comparatively easy to retain the impression which then sets up a new rate of vibration in man's spiritual, mental, and physical life. Listening to such music a number of times will tend to make the vibration permanent, for, when the life of man vibrates from the emotional to the mental, and from the mental to the physical, then such a condition sets up causes which result in perfect health of mind and body.
Music has not as yet been given its proper place. When we come to understand it aright, we shall know that there is no one other influence in human life that can be so effective for good; that, through its aid, the very highest aspirations can be called into being, and the latent power in man developed and used to a far greater degree than man has as yet dreamed of. In fact, there are possibilities to be disclosed through the influence of music that man as yet has not even conceived, but in the near future he is going to realise many of these hidden powers, and use them in directing his own life. When the influence of music is brought to bear in a direct way for the accomplishment of definite ends and purposes, then we shall realise something of the real power that music exerts upon life. In the near future, music will be made to soothe and comfort the weary, both of mind and body; it will uplift the sorrowful, bring hope to the despondent, inspire and encourage to action, and cause people who are spiritually and mentally blind to see and to open their ears that they may hear.
I have referred in the beginning of this chapter to varying planes of consciousness. The man or the woman on any one of these varying planes of consciousness whose feelings are not affected by music, has not lived life in a vital way, neither can it be said that such people have entered into the real joys or pleasures of life, since rhythm, melody, and harmony are all necessary to every plane of living and the one who has rounded out on any plane, from the physical up, must have entered into the joys and sorrows of life as conveyed through the medium of music. It is not in living the partial life that one is able to enter into and appreciate life at its full; the well-ordered life is rounded out by the ability to enter into and get good from everything.