“They sang because life is sweet and sunshine is beautiful.
A friend of mine describes himself as a devout atheist. He has a great sense of humor and didn’t mind when I asked him how he could possibly believe in “nothingness.” He laughed and said that it takes more effort to believe in nothing than have faith in something. Furthermore, he opined, “atheism is more difficult because we have no architecture or music to inspire us.” I still don’t know if he is serious or kidding.
This takes us back to the Wallace/Darwin debate where Wallace chided Darwin for having no theory about the origin of music. If no utilitarian philosophy can define the emergent beauty in a single snowflake, neither can one explain a stunning opera aria (or a simple three-note chord).
Some readers may find it odd to consider June Carter Cash’s, “Ring Of Fire” is a spiritual song. Like many Country/Western songs, the lyrics may be bawdy, ribald, painfully blunt and definitely not something you would expect to hear in church. However, she was describing potential pitfalls and perils of falling in love which were especially poignant in this case because she was falling for a deeply-troubled, highly-talented “Man in Black.”
In terms of spirituality, regardless of your personal musical taste, it seems like it would be difficult to listen to the, “Home free,” version of “Ring Of Fire” and not get caught up in the simple, a capella harmony of the group. As a group, they create music that transcends the boundaries of each solo singer. Perhaps more importantly, the group exhibits a joy and zest for life which are both spirit components. By doing so, they are a metaphor of the Biodesign Program. Students interacted in a harmonious environment and were able to generate and communicate values, ideas and wisdom that far exceeded the boundaries of each individual member.