Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Is music a perversion?

Is music a perversion?
June 10, 2010, 10:04:42 AM
I want to live in reality.  More specifically, in a community which is a shared reality.

I find it concerning that today everyone is living in their own little world isolated from reality.   This seems to be a common concern, often exemplified by objections to psychopharmacology.

Yet, we are already living in our own little worlds.  Like the Amber Lamps girl, we escape from reality into the atmosphere of music.  Even when away from the headphones, we often have a tune in our head which is our focus rather than the natural sound of our surroundings.

I have always had a feeling that music was something shameful.  Like masturbation, a purposeful deception of one’s senses.  Considering this, I never listened to much music until a year or so ago when I decided to finally give Burzum a chance after years of reading praise of Varg at The Nordish Portal and Skadi fora.  I have been listening to Burzum, Mayhem, Graveland, Blut Aus  Nord, Vlad Tepes, and Mutiilation for hours per day since then.  Looking back, I have definitely escaped into the world of music, and the sound of my environment has become an annoyance.  Natural environmental sounds, which should have a pleasant “musical” quality, leave me unaffected as they are less  musical than music.

I am going to try giving up music for a year to see how my perception changes.  Obviously I cannot completely escape it, but by no longer seeking out music, it will become just another environmental sound.  This will solve the shared environment concern, and probably also to a large degree the escape concern as I will no longer be using it as a mental clutch.

Perhaps music has a place as art or an aid to communication, but I feel that music is definitely being consumed in excess.   Just because it has been around since the beginning of recorded history does not mean that it is necessary or desirable.  What do you think?

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 10, 2010, 03:38:23 PM
I find it concerning that today everyone is living in their own little world isolated from reality.

And that this need for a personal reality unites them in gangs oriented toward the non-goal of not being forced to see reality; we call this Crowdism.

I think there are two types of art:

(a) Informative
(b) Entertainment

Entertainment is just there to pass the time, sort of like a vaudeville show, nightclub act, striptease, comedy hour, etc. Usually ironic, usually self-deprecating, often "ideological" in ways that can never be actualized. It's there to give the sensation of meaning.

Informative, or knowledge-based art, is there to convey a message from the learning of the author/composer. It's a different story. It is almost always less flashy, less interesting on the surface, but something you can read/hear again and again, where entertainment when it passes from your life goes mostly unnoticed.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 01:18:08 AM
You're making a mistake by assuming that "reality", in its most "real" sense, is any more worthwhile experiencing than the realities we create for ourselves. In fact, the truth is quite the reverse. "Reality" outside of human perception is chaotic, and devoid of meaning. The only reason we ever seem to enjoy it is because we impose our own sub-realities upon it; for instance, in the case of poetry that glorifies natural beauty. A sunset is just a complex set of physical processes. What makes it "beautiful" is the thought processes, and interpretations, we ascribe to the sensory data gathered from that event.

Therefore, I'd argue that the realities one can find within music, art and literature are far more rewarding and fullfilling than the realities one can find within non-human occurances and stimuli. Art, music and literature are the purest forms of reality in that they are only subject to human perceptions and influence.

Crank up the Burzum, and don't leave your house for a fortnight.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 02:38:04 AM
You're making a mistake by assuming that "reality", in its most "real" sense, is any more worthwhile experiencing than the realities we create for ourselves. In fact, the truth is quite the reverse.

Actually, I'll disagree:

(a) Reality is fascinating. The study of it is more rewarding than living in our imagination, which is such a tiny subset of the whole it's like playing with Legos versus being an architect.
(b) I study reality so I know what's real, and therefore, what effects each proposed cause I consider will have. There is no greater game than life itself.

Anything else is solipsism...

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 02:44:10 AM
Imagination gives us our "what if..." motivations. But, they need to align with reality through testing these ideas, otherwise it's masturbatory like drugs or the emo noises emitted by Slipnot.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 02:46:49 AM
You're making a mistake by assuming that "reality", in its most "real" sense, is any more worthwhile experiencing than the realities we create for ourselves. In fact, the truth is quite the reverse.

Actually, I'll disagree:

(a) Reality is fascinating. The study of it is more rewarding than living in our imagination, which is such a tiny subset of the whole it's like playing with Legos versus being an architect.
(b) I study reality so I know what's real, and therefore, what effects each proposed cause I consider will have. There is no greater game than life itself.

Anything else is solipsism...

This is off topic from the original post, so feel free to move the post and replies to another thread if necessary.

Some questions:

1. "All the world is justified as an aesthetic phenomenon." This is a rough quote, I believe, of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. These words have massively influenced me in the sense that life is not a linear path to perfection of function, but a continuous quest to maintain reverence of experience. This is a sentiment that almost applies itself universally to all extensions of my virtues, in that I seek to find ever-greater levels of clarity through study of reality in order to avoid the boredom that "even the Gods struggle in vain" against. I know there's some gaps here, so feel free to correct me, but how do you feel about this?

2. Do you subscribe to the Platonic ideal of seeking and finding an ideal form, and thus eventually creating a perfect linear path? I know this isn't wholly something of Plato's creation; partially it's the result of years of misinterpretation.

Your answers are very appreciated. I always enjoyed what you had to say.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 02:58:28 AM
I appreciate that you read my posts, and thank you for the praise. I'll try to live up to it.

1. "All the world is justified as an aesthetic phenomenon." This is a rough quote, I believe, of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. These words have massively influenced me in the sense that life is not a linear path to perfection of function, but a continuous quest to maintain reverence of experience. This is a sentiment that almost applies itself universally to all extensions of my virtues, in that I seek to find ever-greater levels of clarity through study of reality in order to avoid the boredom that "even the Gods struggle in vain" against. I know there's some gaps here, so feel free to correct me, but how do you feel about this?

2. Do you subscribe to the Platonic ideal of seeking and finding an ideal form, and thus eventually creating a perfect linear path? I know this isn't wholly something of Plato's creation; partially it's the result of years of misinterpretation.

1. I think it's accurate to say that all the world is justified as an aesthetic phenomenon. First, nothing can be known with utter certainty; second, through deconstruction idiots can derail any argument; third, there's no Divine Word of God telling us that we should pay attention to reality. Instead it makes sense to pursue beauty which contains as its subset, for anyone with a functional brain, having a functional adaptive response to reality and/or maximizing evolution.

2. From my reading, Plato was speaking about cause/effect relationships and "form" means the causes and organizational principles of any action or object. As such, there is probably no ideal form "for the whole"; in his books he questions toward this end, but this is a why of tying down the abstract arguments of his enemies, by forcing them to become incarnate into specifics. My guess is that he would endorse a very practical Schopenhauerian approach to reality, which includes in it the genesis of the Nietzschean "pursue the beautiful and all will become clear."

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 03:16:28 AM
You're making a mistake by assuming that "reality", in its most "real" sense, is any more worthwhile experiencing than the realities we create for ourselves. In fact, the truth is quite the reverse.

Actually, I'll disagree:

(a) Reality is fascinating. The study of it is more rewarding than living in our imagination, which is such a tiny subset of the whole it's like playing with Legos versus being an architect.
(b) I study reality so I know what's real, and therefore, what effects each proposed cause I consider will have. There is no greater game than life itself.

Anything else is solipsism...

Every aspect of reality is experienced and interpreted through the filter of the mind. An architect doesn't simply arrive at a building site, and start directing builders, improvising as he goes along. He has to spend hours digesting the complex realities of three dimentional space, eventually producing two dimentional working drawings of his proposed building. This is an example of the inability of the human mind to cope with the true nature of reality; the architect has to blunt it, and reduce it into a format the mind can comprehend. Therefore, things existing outside of the imagination and understood by the imagination are of equal worth to things created by the imagination and understood by the imagination, since ultimately, the imagination has to alter reality in order to comprehend it. I choose to prefer the latter, since things created by the imagination are more likely to appeal to the imagination.Solipism doesn't really come into the equation, since existence isn't a measure of worth.

Something we're also all forgetting is the fact that beauty is an inherently human concept. Without the mind to identify beauty within the world, the world lacks beauty. Therefore, the mind's capacity for beauty is superior to that of the material world. The material world is simply the language with which the mind conveys beauty to others, for instance in the aforementioned field of architecture.


Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 03:19:12 AM

 "pursue the beautiful and all will become clear."

Probably a slight summary of the root of all with which I extend myself into with the utmost force. Thank for the clarification, as I always grow slightly weary of some of my more rightist friend's tendencies to speak in terms of what the world could be someday. These "possibilities"  always slightly hint at world-weariness, to me, but it's always difficult to discern whether this is actually the case or not.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 01:37:47 PM
Every aspect of reality is experienced and interpreted through the filter of the mind.

This suggests our first responsibility is to get to know that filter, and to filter out its prejudices.

Quote
This is an example of the inability of the human mind to cope with the true nature of reality; the architect has to blunt it, and reduce it into a format the mind can comprehend. Therefore, things existing outside of the imagination and understood by the imagination are of equal worth to things created by the imagination and understood by the imagination, since ultimately, the imagination has to alter reality in order to comprehend it.

I disagree. We build up knowledge so we can predict how reality works, and many great thinkers did not require interaction with the world to effect their desired results -- for example, a deaf Beethoven.

Further, I think "things existing outside of the imagination and understood by the imagination are of equal worth to things created by the imagination" is not a scientific statement, but an emotional one. They seem of equal worth but that has zero bearing on their actual worth.

Schopenhauer's point was that we know the world through our thoughts, and it operates like our thoughts, so this provided an escape from solipsism -- we could bring the two into alignment and see exactly what was needed.

Quote
Something we're also all forgetting is the fact that beauty is an inherently human concept. Without the mind to identify beauty within the world, the world lacks beauty

I disagree. Beauty exists; there are no humans to identify it as such. But beauty seems to me inherent to some designs over others.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 11, 2010, 11:46:44 PM

1.)This suggests our first responsibility is to get to know that filter, and to filter out its prejudices.

2.) I disagree. We build up knowledge so we can predict how reality works, and many great thinkers did not require interaction with the world to effect their desired results -- for example, a deaf Beethoven.

Further, I think "things existing outside of the imagination and understood by the imagination are of equal worth to things created by the imagination" is not a scientific statement, but an emotional one. They seem of equal worth but that has zero bearing on their actual worth.

Schopenhauer's point was that we know the world through our thoughts, and it operates like our thoughts, so this provided an escape from solipsism -- we could bring the two into alignment and see exactly what was needed.


I disagree. Beauty exists; there are no humans to identify it as such. But beauty seems to me inherent to some designs over others.

1.) Given that the human mind is the filter, and is its prejudices, "filtering out its prejudices" equates to the termination of conscioussness.

2.) Surely Beethoven's music is then the perfect example of art created by the imagination, without outside influence?

There is no such thing as actual worth. Worth in of itself is an emotional concept, rather than a scientific one, since it is merely a description by the relationship between an entity existing outside of the mind, and the mind itself.

Schopenhauer's argument is flawed in that the only reason he assumed the world operates like our thoughts is because we know it through our thoughts.

3.) Yeah, it's cliche, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are objective properties inherent to objects and processes that people can agree upon as being beautiful, but those processes are only identified as beautiful when those people are there to view them.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 12, 2010, 12:27:48 AM
Some kinds of music transcend man and nature; they reward us with abstract information incapable of being received via any other means. While many postulate that, though not "entertainment," this kind of music is still a perversion of our intellect, we must keep in mind that music was functional prior to its use in royal courts, et al. Music which transcends sensory-data received via any other means can stir emotions beneficial for:

1. war
2. hunting
3. preparing for death

These types may be largely vestigial in our current society, but are nevertheless quite potent. You never know when it might be useful for a rousing song to enable a key player in some future conflict to run faster or strike harder.

Then there are types which abstract the underlying essence, or atmosphere, of sacred environments into more direct, intense forms. Ambient music is one such example. These kinds, using abstraction, draw various mental associations with ambient sensory-data, though the music is more direct, enabling the listener to get closer to reality than before. Combine them with actual environments housing similar atmospheres and it's even more expressive.

This is very much what the Impressionist painters sought to do, though they wasted too much time with sailboats and puppies. Nevertheless, the technique employed is analogous in that it purposely abstracts the most relevant aspects of an environment for the purpose of intensifying them. This isn't so much running from reality as it is getting straight to the point; after all, there are an infinite number of ways in which to subjectively view the world, so we may as well go with those most beneficial to us -- the ones most lucid.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 12, 2010, 02:14:22 AM
In response to the question posed in the title: yes.

I'm going to agree with TheYellowSign and say that 'beauty' is itself a perversion, as it is a mental construct thrust upon a 'reality' that is inherently indifferent.  Yet I'm also a pursuer of beauty, in that it does make all clear.

What does this mean?  The subject/object divide isn't so clear, nor is the real/imaginary.  What we call 'real' is both experienced and asserted through a filter, add to that the fact that we cannot 100% accurately communicate our individual experiences to others, and it seems clear to me that it is impossible to separate our conception of what is real from what is actually real.  We spend our lives not only trying to align these two things, but by trying to positively impact both.  This is accomplished by acting on assumptions that sometimes prove false, but also by upholding subjective values (such as beauty and 'worth') that are equally important, though dangerous in that they do indeed force us to misrepresent our own experiences to ourselves.  For example, I hear cars on the street right now, as well as a television a few rooms away.  Are these incidental sounds less beautiful than Burzum?  Only to a particular perceiving mind.

In short: 'beauty' presupposes a human element.  When it is a result of human intentionality, as is all music, art, and literature, it is a perversion in a certain way.  But do not mistake this for being inherently 'wrong', 'false', 'untrue', or any other thing.  Maybe I would have done fine on my own born into the woods and raised in the wild, having been taught only by the land, but we live in the modern world.  If you want to succeed, you must look to the words of those who have come before; pop music is not essential, but Nietzsche was a big help for me.

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 12, 2010, 01:22:17 PM
1.) Given that the human mind is the filter, and is its prejudices, "filtering out its prejudices" equates to the termination of conscioussness.

Not at all -- it equates to the termination of the biases of consciousness versus being an impartial observer. All of learning, and its subset science, is based in this termination.

Quote
2.) Surely Beethoven's music is then the perfect example of art created by the imagination, without outside influence?

Nope, as he admitted a huge influence from Handel and was able to hear for much of his life.

Quote
Schopenhauer's argument is flawed in that the only reason he assumed the world operates like our thoughts is because we know it through our thoughts.

I disagree. Schopenhauer's philosophy accepts that we know the world through our thought-experience, and asks us to look at its structure instead of conduit, as a result.

Quote
Yeah, it's cliche, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Find me a man who's certain I don't have a gun in my hand and I'll shoot him in the head. Whose reality won?

Re: Is music a perversion?
June 13, 2010, 03:31:17 AM
Schopenhauer is indeed relevant here, as he praised music as the closest we can get to escaping the clutches of the Will.  The Will is what drives the individual, and locks us into our subjectivity.  Schopenhauer saw music as somehow able to overturn that through its 'metaphysical' impact on our senses.  It is a universal language, and, according to Schopenhauer, operates on a level higher than other forms of expression because it does not require the contemplation of an external object.  Rather, it enters into our minds and has a more direct impact upon us.

Actually, Schopenhauer loved music because it is a 'perverse' experience.  Yet this 'perversion' is more 'good' for Schopenhauer than the natural world, which is, to simplify things, 'evil'.