He was on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh during the Festival Fringe, advertising This Much, or an act of violence towards the institution of marriage – a play by the Moving Dust company about relationships and how we express our true selves.
The blurb reads:
Gar can’t decide between the man who plays games and the man on one knee with a ring. In fact, Gar can’t decide on anything because every choice seems like a compromise. Everyone wants answers but nothing lives up to the image he has in his head. Facades start crumbling into a violent mess as the world implodes around him but Gar… Gar just wants to dance with his friends.
It got me thinking about the debate about knowing what we want, what we want to want, what others want from us, and what others want us to want.
Coincidentally I am reading Freud’s Civilisations and Its Discontents. I am early on in the book and it gets me thinking at every paragraph.
What I read is that Freud derides the religious fervour that springs from an ‘oceanic feeling’ of connectedness. He sees religion as a way to keep loneliness, death, and the void at bay.
Rather nicely, he reserves his most damning criticism for the vague, impersonal, abstract God. At least the immanent, involved father figure is nearer the real motive for religion, he argues.
Recently I read an article by David Bradley on ScienceBase on emotional responses to music. The argument goes that music evokes feelings that are not real in the way that feelings arising out of relationships are real.
Freud would go further and say that true feelings arise out of need – one of those needs being to attempt to deny death, insignificance, and the void.
It got me thinking about Freud and his feelings/attitude to music – about which I knew nothing.
Here’s a passage from Freud on his reaction to music:
Does that mean he didn’t get off on music? It seems like maybe that is what he is saying.
I had a friend who used to put together albums on tape. He would pick and choose from different artists and make a kind of emotional rollercoaster out of the mix. Mix DJs do that but usually in a dance setting, so there is less room for taking the listener here, there, and everywhere.
When I am moved by music, I know I am being played and yet at one and the same time I can feel that something in me has been tapped into that is more than just a massage for the soul. It’s a perennial question.