“Technologies” for Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg just expressed his intention to use his monetary power to “help create a better world”. The development of new technologies is what he is mostly thinking about, including powerful technologies in the realm of education: new, more sophisticated ways to help more and more human beings to develop their unique potentials. Fantastic. That’s what needs to happen more and more.
But I wish we could convince him, and others that control most of the material wealth today, that there are “technologies” as old as mankind that should deserve their utmost attention in this respect: artistic creativity in general, and especially music.
We live in a world that categorizes art and music as entertainment. And, of course, it is potentially all quite entertaining. Most of it today is actually produced to be just that: an awe-inspiring circus of sounds, rhythms, movements, colors, stories. It is actually one of the biggest industries in the world.
Yet, no matter what form art and music takes, it hardly ever looses an element inherent in it that goes way beyond entertainment. An element of transcendence; reaching beyond the obvious environment of our comprehension. And it is that essential element of transcendence, or expanded sense of reality, that draws more and more people into active roles in art and music.
Einstein opened the doors to realizing that there is a reality beyond our capacity to comprehend. That we live in a world where what we call spirituality is actual reality: Infinity is real, relativity is real, connectedness of all minds, subjects and objects is real, all matter being pure energy is real. Yet we cannot really comprehend that. At least not with the logic of our thinking minds and languages.
But we can through art and music. And developing that way of comprehension may well be crucial to how the increasingly hectic and dangerous worlds of ours can find more sentiments of peace, creativity and togetherness again. The age-old “technologies” of art and music are uniquely poised to take us there, in many ways and on many levels, personal, social and spiritual.
My area of expertise is music. Many studies show that the practice of music is unique in its capacity to fine-tune the intuitive and highly personal mind that we are born with. And that it is also the perfect “technology” to train and fine-tune group interaction and dynamics, listening, respect, patience, compassion, sense of space.
Terrorist groups ban music in their territories with a vengeance.. It totally gets in the way of their extremely narrow frame of mind. That is true for all violently competitive minds. If we want get out of the spiral of violence that governs the world now, if we want to help to create a better world, we need to find ways to invigorate, change and expand education through art and music, not cut the little that we have, as it is happening now all over the world.