Music channels God and spirituality
Madelyn Gelpi Spiritual Experiences. The Maroon
The cold blue tones of G-minor swell through keys beneath my fingers. An ocean of sound is pouring against my skin. I close my eyes, letting dancing, twirling melodies embrace me, take me. I have known no greater comfort than the resounding keys of a piano in a dimly lit room, the cascading cry of two violins bowing in perfect harmony, the warmth of a folk trio on the ancient streets of New Orleans.
In the cracks and corners of my life, in the flurries of sorrowful darkness and beautiful bouts of community and love, I find my forever friend, Music. It is the force of life in my bones, the harmonious prayer I breathe on my lips, through my fingers.
Growing up as an LGBT person, understanding prayer and spirituality was a very difficult process. When taught to feel that unchangeable and inherent parts of myself were unacceptable in the eyes of God, I knew not how to seek or be a part of something I felt to be so important — the knowledge and faith in the existence of a deeper meaning and spiritual life force, something I considered to be completely synonymous with love and acceptance.
I found myself in corners of chapels, in sermons, realizing often that the traditional idea of God was not as comfortably available to me as I had hoped.
During these times, I began to build my spirituality through music by leading a praise and worship band. I began to see spirituality and music as extremely similar entities. Like spirituality, the process of music is love, community, awareness, reflection and reevaluation. Music is the abstract and invisible thing that makes the world feel more meaningful, more knowable, yet more simultaneously mysterious.
Music is a life teacher and guide that allows us to relate more profoundly to one another and ourselves. It knows no boundaries, for it happily curls in the ears of all who present an open ear, regardless of color, gender or sexual orientation. It's a form of love because it's an expression of feeling, an opening of one's heart and an empathetic listening act.
Sri Chinmoy describes this spiritual music relationship as this: music, in its purest form is religion, and religion in its purest form is music. I think it speaks worlds of truth.
If we stripped most religion into its simplest underlying principles, what would we find? Love, guidance, connection, meaning, acceptance and belief in a divine power. For me, music exists as a reminder of what religion aims to achieve, something I believe we have a lot to learn from.
Perhaps, we should be taught more from the pure open-minded nature of music, the simplicity of our ears, the act of creating, giving, receiving and reflecting on insightful ideas and messages. Perhaps, the deepest spiritual meaning and connection we can have with others and ourselves can be achieved most simply by earnestly opening our ears and ourselves, leaning back and taking it all in.
Madelyn Gelpi can be reached at
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