Symbolism’s Relationship to Music

October 05, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Symbols can have strong meanings, and for that reason have been used for thousands of years to help convey messages, passing on of history, mythology and philosophical concepts. I have combined some of my thoughts on the relationships between Carl Jung’s ideas on “squaring of the circle,” and its similarities to the Indigenous Medicine Wheel, the 5-elements theory or “wuxi” from Taoism, and the energy center or “chakras” from Hinduism/Buddhism. The Indigenous Medicine Wheel offers the values of humility, honesty, respect, courage, wisdom, truth, and love. Taoism’s star symbol represents other aspects of the mind, will power, intellect, the corporeal and ethereal souls, among other correspondences. The chakra scale has its own set of similar, but different correspondences. The more I delve into the teachings of these ancient cultures, I feel quite strongly that the similarities between them are not mere coincidences, but rather perhaps the underlying collective unconscious presenting itself in various different manifestations, in separate locations and at assorted times in human history.

Aside from overlapping components of colors, elements, animals, energy centers and many others, is the similarity in the musical notes or tones that all of these philosophical and/or belief systems share. Humans have used music for enjoyment, for ritual, for healing and perhaps other reasons for thousands of years. Music is a series of sounds or tones that produce vibrations. These vibrations can affect the human body’s nervous system on many levels, sometimes deemed as being good or bad for the individual. Certain tones are thought to affect specific organs, different levels of self-realization, and links to higher spiritual realms. Conversely, specific notes can vibrate to cause stress on the nervous system, breakup kidney stones and even for demolition of buildings.

I learned many decades ago that the holding of physical postures engages specific muscles group while simultaneously engaging the nervous systems. Either the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response) is engaged with the slow rhythmic breathing or the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) with a rapid rhythmic breathing cadence. Either of these processes can change the blood chemistry to promote healing on different levels. This physiological process can be seen in the other moving meditations practices of yoga, and its offspring of qigong and further spawn of tai chi. I have found (and personally practiced) all of these methods with either slow or fast breathing patterns can put the practitioner in either the meditative or trance state, depending upon background music/sounds, the individual and their intent. This is a concept called entrainment, where the practitioner’s heartbeat synchronizes with the beat of a drum or other percussion sound. I have learned to practice qigong, tai chi and other martial arts exercises with music consisting of bells, chimes and other percussion instruments with this exact purpose of slowing (or increases) the heart and breathing rate in order to enter into the meditative state of being.

With so much talk and debate in recent years regarding anxiety, depression and many other mental ailments, music therapy along with physical and mental exercises, offers realistic, relatively cheap and readily accessible methods for self-regulation of thoughts, emotions and relative physiological mechanisms. Or, in other words self-care of personal health and well-being.

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I teach and offer lectures about holistic health, qigong, tai chi, baguazhang, and yoga. I also have hundreds of FREE education video classes, lectures and seminars available on my YouTube channel at:

https://www.youtube.com/c/MindandBodyExercises

Mind and Body Exercises on Google: https://posts.gle/aD47Qo

Jim Moltzan

407-234-0119

Contact for times, locations and costs.

www.MindAndBodyExercises.com

www.Amazon.com/author/jimmoltzan


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