But as man unfolds to his higher powers more and more of these sounds will become musical to his hearing. It is a scientific fact that in the last 200 years there has been an increase in pitch, and that the concert pitch of to-day is higher than it was less than a hundred years ago, also that we see far more of colour than we did fifty years ago. There is an ever-ascending scale of being, and we are daily and hourly engaged in climbing the heights of being when the inner and outer life are attuned through the rhythm and melody of the inner, and the beauty and harmony of the outer. It is a wonderful thought that through the aid of the divine music that lives within us, we are trying to give expression to a new song of life.
Elsewhere I have said that the body of man is a whole orchestra of musical instruments. Some poet has said:
"Strange that a harp of a thousand strings, Should keep in tune so long."
Every string in this harp can be made to respond to universal vibration. Furthermore, not only is this true, but when we consciously begin to apply to life the underlying principles that go to produce all music, the harp will yet come to be consciously tuned by the musician so that it need never get out of tune.
Our own earth in its movement around the sun, in its turning on its axis, in its response to the energy given out from the sun, must be making music, and the very atmosphere in which it moves must have an octave of music all its own which, however, may be only one of the notes in the grand harmonies of creation. So the body of man which epitomizes, in a small way, the planet, may be an octave of music which in turn forms a note in the harmonies of humanity. Of course we must ever see that the body is only the instrument or instruments which the musician uses, and that the real music of the body must be the rhythm, melody, and harmony which proceed through soul and mind, finally producing its music in and through the physical organism, so that soul, mind, and body are in perfect unison with all music throughout creation; all blending, as it were, in one grand symphony of rhythm, melody, and harmony.
Ideals in mind are themes which have to be wrought into music. They form, as it were, the architecture of music, they are the harmonies of symmetry and form. Back of these lie the rhythm and the colour which will beautify, glorify, and bring into being the living music of life.
In the past, character has been builded to quite a degree on what might be called the externals of life; outer actions, things that one did or left undone, temperance in eating and drinking, and many other things which, while good in themselves, were, at best, but a washing of the hands or a making of the platter clean; the letter of the word that was too often lacking in the spirit. Character that would be evolved through the instrumentality of music would have to go much deeper; it would deal, first of all, with man's inmost feelings; it would take form in his ideals, and last of all would be expressed in his actions, thereby reversing the whole process of life. The soul in man receives its music from the Universal Soul, but it does not always follow that man through his mentality or his physical organism, is able to give out that which he possesses potentially, therefore it is necessary that others, who are able to express through musical composition, the voice, or musical instruments, should use what they are in possession of in order not only to advance their own development but to call into living expression the latent music in the lives of others. Some years ago, I was acquainted with a blind man who could use his voice in such a way as to make musical instruments respond to it. I knew of another person who, while singing in a room in which there were half a dozen Venetian glasses, touched some tone with her voice that caused all the glasses to sound in unison with it. I use these illustrations to show how music may be made to call out the music that lives, but is, as yet, unexpressed, in the lives of others; to bring about, as it were, a regeneration of life.
The new birth can come only when the whole order of life is reversed; that is, we must stop this vain search after increased life, health, or happiness in the outer world and go to the Heart, the Source of Life, and there get a new consciousness which is "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man," but the consciousness which is of the Spirit, which is rhythmic, melodious, and harmonious. In this way, and only in this way, will character be established. There is but one gospel which will proclaim the way of life for people of all creeds, and all people of no creed, who have "eyes to see or ears to hear"; a gospel that will make for physical, as well as spiritual, regeneration. For, unto all people is given the power to respond, not only to the music that comes to them through other lives, but to the celestial music, and through such response they become spiritually enlightened, mentally renewed, and physically strengthened. So that the whole life is saved from discordant, inharmonious conditions. Said Robert Louis Stevenson: "We live in an ascending scale when we live happily, one thing leading to another in an endless series. There is always a new horizon for onward-looking men, and although we dwell on a small planet, immersed in petty business, and not enduring beyond a brief period of years, we are so constituted that our hopes are incessant, like stars, and the term of hoping is prolonged until the term of life." Yes, Stevenson was right when he said we live in an ever-ascending scale when we live happily; and his simile is a good one from a purely musical point of view, for the whole tendency of the upward life is in the direction not only of a higher understanding, but of a higher musical pitch; indicating to us that slowly, but surely, we are translating sounds into music; that we are coming, as it were, under the action of a higher rate of vibration, and, in the course of our development, new octaves will be added, bringing with them new melody and harmony of song. Music will, in the time to come, not only free us from our physical ills, but will cause our sins to pass away under its divine influence. Why is it that in both the Old and the New Testament, when any great events are referred to, they are associated with singing? At the creation of the world "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." We are told that when the Christ child was born, a great host of angels appeared suddenly in heaven, who sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
"Love, which is sunlight of peace, Age by age to increase, Till anger and hate are dead And sorrow and death shall cease: 'Peace on earth and good will;' Souls that are gentle and still Hear the first music of this Far-off infinite Bliss!"
A new song that will lead us through the gates of eternal day and bring us to a time when time shall be no more and the shadows of sin, disease, and death shall be left behind forever.
The effect of music upon character-building and the calling out of that which is highest and best in us, is perhaps greater and better than anything else in life; because it speaks directly to the heart, awakening the best impulses; and this, in turn, gives truer thought and better action. Music is filled with the optimism of the Spirit. Not only does it bring to us joy and happiness in our every-day living, but it can be used to unfold the mysteries, the wonder and beauty of another, a new world of consciousness. At any time one may leave this old world and enter into the new realisation. It is this which makes it possible to live life as it should be lived even when surrounded by an environment that is materialistic. The new world is open to all who are seeking the higher way of attainment, to all who desire new vision in order to lead more idealistic lives. One may enter into the secret places of the Most High when he has prepared the way, when he has brought his mind into full control, when he is able to still all the thoughts and unreal emotions of his every-day consciousness. "Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." This is the injunction of One who knew that there is a heaven resident in every soul, and when one has prepared the way, he can enter into that heaven and taste of its joys just as much in this world as in any other, just as much in the present as at some future time, for the kingdom is within and all who have the key may enter at will. For the way of life eternal is not withheld from any one who is willing to enter and walk therein.