The Healing Power of Music Is Inside of You





By Lisa M. Templeton, Ph.D. (originally published in Phenomenews, October, 2003)

     How often do you catch yourself humming a tune quietly in your head?  What is the song?  What are the lyrics saying?  Often times, the song playing in our mind parallels aspects occurring in the moment.  One time while boarding an airplane, I found myself singing John Denver’s words, “I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again” without much conscious thought that I was doing so until I stopped and listened.  As I was leaving the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area that was exactly how I was feeling at the time. 

     Most of us are aware of the ego’s way of spreading ideas, thoughts and beliefs that are laden and muddled in a big mess of goo.  The ego works hard and spends a lot of energy to keep this confusion sustained.  If only for a second we stop and listen to our guide speaking through us, we can understand our purpose and center ourselves in rhapsody.  In this loving and compassionate state, amidst the chaos and assumption, we can calm ourselves long enough to hear the faint lulling songs sung by our spiritual ancestors.

     One of the most important instruments of communication is sound.  Without sound, we would not be able to make words or effects.  Even with non-verbal communication, some sounds occur in grunts or sighs.  We are saying so much to each other and to ourselves with sound.  This communication can take on many subtle forms.  It can occur through association, like with tone of voice, for example.  Someone may express himself or herself by simply speaking a word, but when a particular tone is added to the word, it changes its entire meaning and intensity.  The tone is usually added to communicate or express something deeper than what is actually being said, likely because no words can fully describe all of what we are looking to convey.   

     Another form of communication is through musical notes.  Within every note is a vast array of beauty that is far beyond what one word could even possibly begin to describe.  After a magnificent concert, people might say, “it was great”, or “that was a fabulous show,” but the words don’t even come close to describing the experience of such a display of sound.  The experience itself seems much more deeply rooted and centered than words used to describe the experience.  When individuals combine notes into stories of song, it can induce a feeling from a core place that heals in an authentic way.  There are no judgements or assumptions made.  It is direct and clear in the emotion, because it is being accepted and experienced more fully by it’s listener. 

     Somewhere along the line, the words seem to have gotten in the way.  So many times, there are connotations and associations assumed that contribute in the web of illusions.  When words transform into a melodic and harmonic sound, something changes.  There is a deeper place evolving communication with ourselves and others.  There are no standards, there is less bias, there can be emotion and intellect balancing together and there is a connection of souls expanding time and space. 

     Many stories tell of elderly people who develop memory difficulties as they continue the process of life.  Talking with an individual with a memory disorder using only words may serve to confuse or frustrate him/her.  However, turning on a favorite music recording will bring a smile to his/her face and in many cases, positively influence past and present memories.  Music has been known to aid in healing most every disease out there, from cancer to depression.  There is no doubt that the sounds of melodic, rhythmic tone affect people in a way that no other medium can.   

      The healing properties of music have been documented as long ago as The Bible.  In Samuel I 16:23, Saul becomes angry and murderous toward David, but when David plays the harp, Saul is soothed and calmed.  We all have an angry, murderous beast inside of us.  If we soothe that part of us, we can begin to connect and be patient with it rather than cast it out and isolate it, only to anger it more.  Music is the universe’s way of soothing our souls.  It has been here since the beginning of time in one way or another and will always be here.  The birds, the rain, the leaves in the wind are all making the music of the universe and the stars are dancing a ring around the sun. 

     With this idea in mind and the work ahead for us all, it is amazingly hopeful what music can do for our spiritual well-being.  Listening to ourselves is key to connecting within.  If our spirit guides are speaking to us through song, what are they saying?  What song plays in your mind as you wander through life?  What are you humming to yourself daily?  Are your spirits speaking through sound?  There is a voice within us all that speaks our authentic truths, let us hear it from a much deeper place, a place of spiritual awakening that can bring about balance with one another and evolve the planet.  Breathe deep, feel clear, you can’t always sit up front and steer.  The notes will lead.  The music is the plant coming from mother earth’s seed.  Slow the time down and listen to the music speak through sound.  Celaleddin Rumi once said, “In the rhythm of music a secret is hidden; if I were to divulge it, it would overturn the world.”  The secret is within us all, let’s overturn the world.