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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in music (3)


Journey: Walking with the Lord in Song (Mixed Media)

This week we have a song by Nora about journeying through life with the Lord. She shares here about the inspiration for the song and some of the reasons that music is important in her life, and we have a link to her song. -Editor.

While working as a music therapist in a hospice setting, my patients would often ask me why I wanted them to sing with me. They would self-deprecate with a variety of judgments and perceptions about their singing abilities. In reply, I would tell them the truth; that I've tried singing alone and with others, and that nothing brings me more joy than to share music making. As I wrote the song “Journey,” (linked below) I explored the concept of walking through life with the Lord, not on my own, and not letting Him do all the singing.

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What Harmony Is (Or: If You Can Sing, You’re Way Better At Math Than You Think You Are)

Using the physics behind music, Jeremy discusses why the world is a better, more interesting place because everyone is different. He also explains powerful ways to work to find common ground among all the different people in an amazing and beautiful way. This article was originally given as a talk to launch a spiritual growth group series on Living in Harmony at the Virginia St. Church in St. Paul, MN. -Editor.

“I was shown that angels cannot live together in blessedness unless they are the kind that can speak and act together. Blessedness consists in unanimity and harmony, whereby many, even very many, consider themselves to be a one. For from many agreeing together, or a harmony of many, comes a oneness, which results in blessedness and happiness and, from a shared feeling of happiness, a doubled and tripled happiness. (Emanuel Swedenborg, Spiritual Experiences, 289)

Swedenborg makes clear in many places that living in harmony is an essential feature of heaven and eternal life1. It is also a fundamental feature of his philosophy that we can learn much about the spiritual world by examining the natural world. So I would like to explore what we can learn about spiritual harmony (which to me implies getting along with others, and also living in a state of integrity where your deeds match your words and beliefs) from looking at the physical nature of musical harmony. In fact, I would not be alone in saying that musical harmony is such a profoundly delightful experience that it bridges the gap between the natural and the spiritual. Everyone knows that a beautiful choir can be a sublime experience, and I’m here to explore the physics of why that is.

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The Power of Sound

Meryl explores the idea of sound itself as a vehicle for communication that is unencumbered by the trappings of language. She introduces the concept that all created things and human affections embody a tonal resonance and that an evolved insensitivity has caused us to focus heavily on the meanings of words rather than experiencing the inherent power of sound. - Editor

My husband and I have started to attend a weekly discussion group hosted by some friends of ours. The topics range from religion and philosophy to bioethics and local politics, depending on the invited guest speaker's field of study or profession. We really enjoy participating in this open forum, especially as it provides a space to dialogue with people from many worldviews and backgrounds, in a spirit of respect and curiousity. Recently the guest speaker was an ordained West African Chieftan. I was deeply moved by the words of this wise woman, so powerful and yet so gracious in spirit. She began her talk with a burst of singing, delivered to a roomful of strangers without the least bit of hesitation. Several people shifted uneasily in their seats at this surprise, but as her singing continued the group relaxed and began to absorb this unusual experience.

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