Actual Freedom ~ Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Experience Music Without Feelings?

I have never had much interest in painting, sculpture, or what is normally considered ‘art’ (...). Now music is a whole different story, since I’ve spent quite a bit of my life experiencing and developing my ability to experience ‘beauty’ in music. Is there something similar in the realm of music? Is there ‘music’ without ‘beauty?’ Is there room for music appreciation without the affective?

Richard, is it possible for you to ‘have a tune’ in your head or a melody? What happens if you try to ‘think how a song goes’?

Richard, would you mind commenting on your usage of the word ‘pathetic?’  (...) Do you see that it could be difficult for one in the ‘real’ world to see their life as ‘pathetic’ from within? Or their interest in music or art?

I too am a musician, which gives me great pleasure and pain, and to a lesser extent, I appreciate most forms of art. I understand that both pleasure and pain come as a package deal, and I have great trepidation about losing Beauty, but I’m close to willing to make the deal. One aspect of this that didn’t come up in the post specifically is that part of the attraction of art/music (or engineering for that matter – my trade), is the creative process. Does that disappear along with Beauty?

A similar example [like the Mona Lisa] might be music ... the actualist would not have a sad response to a minor key dirge, but might appreciate the harmonic structure and melodic development of the piece, perhaps as a mathematical exercise in form and structure. I am curious as to what ‘personal predilections’ means in this context.

I am a musician, and have wondered if pursuing this path would eliminate all desire to play music.

I was talking over with a friend yesterday at lunch about music and its relation to emotions. We both agreed that music – whatever kind – does not necessarily evoke an affective response. However, my friend assured me that if a certain type of music (classical, violin, piano) is played then it has to have some type of an effect on the human brain. I know that the very act of listening has an effect on the brain but do you experience anything else besides?

Richard I read where you said you did not know if emotions were necessary for playing music as you are not a musician. What about listening to music? Do you still delight in such? * So music would just be another wonderful sound amongst other wonderful sounds but nothing special, correct? In your experience of the actual world is there ever any enhancing of your experience?

Peter, you said you threw out a lot of your music because it wallowed in the human condition. What did you keep? I ask because I have noticed that just reading about the human condition on the AF web site has made me loose my appetite for a lot of the music I once enjoyed. Richard once said that the death of another could not in any way diminish him. How much more so would this apply to music? It could not add or take away anything. In short, do you guys listen to music and if so why?

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