I've been doing some reading around, and it seems this site talks about a lot of serious stuff, which is totally fine with me. Music can be serious, but it doesn't have to be. So... I'm hoping to keep this light, and possibly fun. :)
I feel like I'm gonna open a can of worms with this, but hey. So be it.

I'm a classical music fan and musician. I play the violin, have been for 15 years. J.S. Bach is about as close to "god" as I can get. His musical genius is unsurpassed in my opinion, and there are moments in his music that I almost feel... connected to something bigger than myself. The ironic thing? He was such a hardcore Lutheran, it's ridiculous. His music was meant for god.

Now, herein lies a thought of mine: as atheists, do we admit to having a "spirit"? How does one define "spirit"? Do any of you admit to having one? Does anyone believe in spiritual well-being (like mental well-being, physical well-being)? I ask this because I'm not quite sure what I think of it all. This is a topic I haven't thought much about. Music has been my church, so to speak, and I wonder what y'all think of that. Does anyone else have personal "church"? Like painting, hiking, reading, etc. I can't be the only atheist who has had feelings of spirituality, of being connected to something beyond this little ol' life of mine (unless I am the only one...). Is it bizarre to anyone that I use the music of a man of god as my spiritual center? Should I revise my thinking? I guess I'll be an open book on this.

I really have no strong opinions on this, other than to say classical music is the best, the end. :)

P.S. Does anyone else have a favorite composer? Who is it? Favorite piece by them? :D


Tags: Bach, JS, music, spirituality

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Hey thanks! Found some really useful stuff.

And yeah. I figured it would come to the definition of the word.
Chopin, I play the piano. I think one of my favorites is opus 48 #1. Among many others, especially his nocturnes. I don't believe I have a spirit, but there are times that I feel overwhelmed when I hear or see an amazingly beautiful performance. I just call that awe.
My best friends LOVES Chopin. She even got a tattoo from one of her favorite nocturnes on her leg. I think awe is a good way to put it. I almost feel like it's not a powerful enough word though.
You're definitely not the only one who has feels connected, spiritually, to music or nature or art...

Of course I don't believe there is a true spirit, or a true soul, but I do believe there is an "essence" to people. I don't mean that in a supernatural way, either. But our personality, our passions, our hopes, etc... they all make us who we are, and it's almost possible to sell your soul or sell out to money or fame. You lose who were to become what someone else wants you to be; you cease to be authentic.

I don't understand why music is so moving, but it is. Certain chords or notes give me chills and make me want to burst into tears. I feel inspired or at peace... you name it, I've felt it. I don't understand it, but I do think it's special. Do animals feel this way ever? I love being overwhelmed by a sunset or a mountain view. I love that feeling of nostalgia that overcomes me when I think of life in relation to the massive universe.

We shouldn't be such cynics. :) Something special is happening inside of us, even if it's just fluctuating hormones. Our bodies are a miracle in the sense that it was such a small chance life even exists.
I agree with you 100%! While I have been a closet atheist for quite some time, I'm having a hard time completely letting go of the idea of a spirit, and only because it's been with me for so long. I really like the way you put it though, and it really makes much more sense than simply believing I have a supernatural spirit. I've always wondered if, like many things, science just hasn't caught up to that part of the human experience, the "spiritual" side. But hey, fluctuating hormones seems more likely than anything else! :D

I love how you described this.  I feel the same way.  In my basic music theory class our professor was talking about where music came from and the science behind notes.  We are learning about intervals and chords now and why certain notes sound well together, where harmony comes from, etc. and it all comes down to the physics of vibrating matter, and when the waves created are in phase with each other.  He always talks about how music is something that is ingrained in each one of us deep down.  I also found it interesting when he discussed the first intervals and how much of music evolved within the church.  The 'perfect' intervals were always thought of as much more pure and sacred than any others.  I can completely understand the connections many people feel between religion, spirituality, and music, but It's got nothing to do with god!  It's all about physics!

I can't say that music affects me spiritually, but it definitely affects me emotionally. I suffer from depression, and I can judge when I need a medication adjustment by what music affects me. Special, sentimental songs, or songs sung in Gaelic usually make me cry. sometimes a special (by special I mean music that has a special connotation for me) pop songs can make me cry, and that is not significant. But, if a Sousa march makes me cry then it's time to increase my antidepressant.
Depression? Really? You always seem on an even keel to me. I've always admired your level-headedness.
It's controlled, but I still tend to be negative about most things, I guess i'm just a pessimist at heart.
I'm sorry to hear about your depression. I had a mild bought of it within the year, and I know what I went through wasn't fun. But that's kind of an interesting way to gauge things. I've only had one musical experience powerful enough to move me to tears, and it was while I was playing Beethoven's Ninth. The orchestra hit a big chord, and I almost lost it on stage. It was incredible.

Thanks for sharing! :)
Hi Mallory,

My ex-wife attended Julliard. She plays clarinet and piano. Although she switched careers (database analyst), many of her friends from Julliard are still making their livings from music. I'd sit in with them when they discuss music and be amazed at the technical intricacies of music. I didn't know how much I didn't know about music until I met my ex-wife. Her favorite composer was Sergei Rachmaninoff.

As for atheism and spirituality, this has been discussed many times here. One recent discussion can be found here (that's a permalink to my reply). If you then scroll down a little bit, you'll see an excellent reply from Shine.
I figured spirituality has been discussed, and thanks for the link! I'll def check it out. I'm more interested in the idea that people might want to "replace" the idea of a spirit with something else that has equal meaning. Like for me, it's all about music. I feel that some music represents my "soul" and I feel connected in a deeply satisfying way. I'd imagine religious people have similar experiences, and simply place the credit with god.

And yes, music is a very intricate thing! Very interesting, but confusing at time. Rachmaninoff is awesome! He's slowly creeping his way into my library, lol.

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