You, yes you, are a grand symphony of epic proportions, and I'm about to prove it to you with a simple thought experiment.
As I write this, it is Thanksgiving Day 2021, and I have been working for weeks to get my new website (which you are currently viewing) ready to publish. When I think about what I'm grateful for, the first thing I always think is “my life.” I am alive, and I know I am because I am aware that I'm alive.
With that awareness comes a desire to live and express myself, which leads me to the second thing I usually think about, the gift of music. It's interesting how we tend to say “the gift of music,” as if it is something that can be packaged up and given away. But it is much more than that.
So what is music, exactly?
Composers over the last century have continually pushed the boundaries of what music is. Even a definition so broad as “organized sound” can be problematic when dealing with indeterminate and aleatoric works, which depend to a certain extent on chance and chaos.
We know that music, and all sound, is vibration. Something vibrates, causing atmospheric pressure waves that oscillate at a specific frequency we call pitch. The shape of those waves determine characteristics of the sound, or timbre. Those vibrations repeated at certain intervals creates rhythm. And thus all the elements of what we traditionally think of as music are present: pitch, rhythm, and timbre.
But if we want to be reductive about it—and thus include all the wonderful and weird compositions of the last 100 years—music is, essentially, vibration. Whether consciously organized by humans or not.
We also know that every molecule, every atom, every subatomic particle, and even the stuff that makes up those particles (vibrating “strings,” according to string theory) is vibrating. Each individual particle is vibrating at its own frequency. And so the entire universe, being the creation of God—the Infinite Intelligence who set everything in motion—is a work of musical art of such epic proportions that we can't even begin to perceive even a tiny fraction of it.
According to Eastern mysticism (and the Bible), Infinite Intelligence spoke the universe into existence. In Hebrew, the word of creation is “Amen” or “let it be.” To yogis, it is the Om (Aum) vibration that set things in motion and still resonates to this day. They are one and the same. Here's an interesting article about that. In the comments of that article, one person wrote, “In Islam, the Urdu word used at the end of each prayer is Aameen.” Isn't the similarity between Aum/Amen/Aameen interesting? Three major religions pointing to the same idea of the spoken Word of God setting in motion the act of creation.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3 NIV)
But you don't need to accept this particular interpretation, or even believe in God, to accept that all things in the universe are vibrating, even your own body, mind, and spirit. The mind and spirit may be more ethereal vibrations (like comparing the vibrations of light waves to sound waves), but they are vibrating nonetheless.
That means your entire being is one grand symphony, co-created by you and the Infinite Intelligence which created you. God created the form, but you fill in all the notes.
The human body has around 40 quadrillion cells, according to a recent study. The number of atoms, Wikipedia says, is around 7 X 10(27), or 7 with 27 zeroes after it. We don't even have a name for that number.
Imagine the grand cacophony of sound of that many vibrations! Moreover, every thought, every word, every emotion, and every action has its own vibration adding to the great chorus of sound. And those thoughts, words, emotions, and actions morph and change over the course of your life, repeating with variations over and over again until we spiral to a new level of understanding.
Even the most prolific composer of all time, which was Georg Philipp Telemann according to the Guinness Book of Records could not even begin to approach the scope and scale of the grand composition which is you.
You are the composer, co-creating with God, of the grand symphony that is your life.
Go and create something wonderful!
-J. Aaron Stanley