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"On the Other Hand"
Emmett's Blog and Essays
December 21, 2009
Music of One Sphere
by Emmett Chapman

Musical academia, territorial by nature, manages a historical estate but adds little that is new. The same can be said for all man-made institutions, large corporations and government.

Inventions and innovations come from individuals, not from groups, though groups like to take the credit, then keep asking for funds.

Still, the nation, or more to the point, the ethnic community, is the greater human life form, at least in size, and we are its cells (man, the cultural animal).

OTOH, each person is incredibly brilliant, able to contain the universe within a scull's span.

Yet we only half belong to ourselves, the other half of our human nature having evolved for the collective - survival of the fittest group, dumbly observing symbols, obeying commands and performing rituals.

Our individual brains are the glory, soaring to great heights of novel ideas and noble ideals - the real "stars" of the universe (though there may be greater stars, reluctant to establish contact).

Collective "consciousness", if it could ever be so described, rises only to the level of politics and religion, predictable by mere circumstance - ruder and blunter than the animal instincts.

The individual mind is the finest creation, at least on earth, but how can we ever form an enlightened collective mind? Surely not by a book of laws, whether it be from Moses, Einstein or Congress.

As technology keeps shrinking the world, those tribal instincts that held us together in small groups now drive us apart on a global scale, creating mutual dishonesty and collaborative war.

Is there a way beyond this human dilemma? You can always try to create your own world and enjoy your own smaller community, that is, until the "real" world comes crashing through, sweeping away all individual dreams. History rolls right over the best of us, Chicago style, by way of rude declarations "for the record", and we all believe.

No belief system here though. I remain the lone individual, the faithful sceptic, immune to mass hypnosis but painfully aware of my personal alienation from any larger living entity.

In good faith, I immerse myself in the common language, keep abreast of the known technology, follow the trends of current history, and play an active role in a rich musical culture, all for the sake of speaking back to the world but always with my own twist, reflecting my particular soul purposes and life discoveries.

So there you have it, the meeting ground of self, so small but seemingly infinite, with collective humanity, so vast yet grossly stunted. It's right there in that middle ground of shared language, evolving technology, cultural trends, and of course, music to soothe the savage collective soul.

This middle ground - could it be where we relearn how to govern ourselves and get along? We must have had some grasp of it in the stone age, no doubt spurred on by threatening Neanderthals. Then again, our ancestral cavemen may have shown the greater wisdom, assimilating their thicker sculled cohabitants into what has become "the human race".

Emmett here, one lone sphere, reflecting light upon the sphere.

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