For all of human history, conflict has spurred culture. Whether two empires at war, two political systems at odds, or two philosophies in gridlock, we must live in the presence of dualities. Just as dissonance and juxtaposition moved great thinkers like Marx and Kierkegaard to the page, I must address an inner conflict here. In the last year, I have felt a great rift between my intellectual and physical self, leaving my emotional self unhinged and lost. This divide comes from the effects art is meant to have on all of us, but never did I think this emotional movement would push me to such a profound identity crisis. There are two culprits here, one perhaps more guilty than the other: Enya, the Irish New Age musician/vocalist/bringer of spa-level spiritual peace, and — Satan incarnate — Lana Del Rey.
How could I serve as devotee to such different voices? In the Harvard classroom, we often discuss the remove between the mind and the body. Do we have a spirit, and, if so, how is it to be mobilized? What can motivate us, and what should? Art, of course, is one of the greatest mobilizers, used in all forms to promote a sense of belonging, terror, or calm — whatever environment needs to be made, art can facilitate. Music is particularly effective in promoting mood, observed most often in its complementary relationship with the visual arts. Music speaks to both the mind and the body.
Read the complete article here. It’s a great read!