Uni-verse

I like exploring words. I often look ones up that I think I already know.  I remember when my kids were growing up, they would ask me what a certain word meant. Although I understood it’s meaning, I could not define it without using the word itself.  I like to read the origin and see its root as well.  But I also like to play a sort of game.  I treat them as compound words and break them into individual parts, one for each syllable, and then see if it says anything.  I like exploring where certain terms or expressions could point, as well as where they have actually originated. 

One day, the word Universe came to mind.  What came out of it delighted me. Uni verse.  What’s this? United in verse, as in singing or living in harmony?  I liked this thought. It reinforced my belief that there is music at the origin of all things and that it is part of the fabric that holds it everything together and where true harmony exsists. It also makes perfect sense.  After all, isn’t that what scholars, theologians, philosophers, spiritual teachers, and quantum believers all say?  That we are all one, that everything is connected?

In a tangible way, music is a unifying force.  If you think of a group of musicians playing together, the first thing they do is tune to the same frequency.  Next, in order to create a song, some or all begin playing.  In order to be successful in creating something cohesive, they listen to each other and then decide what to add, something that will expand, rather than diminish another’s contribution.  This listening and responding becomes an unspoken language that creates a connection between individuals as they strive to create a synergistic result.  A united verse. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. –Aristotle

Then there is dancing.  Not much to be revealed here. In the case of a dance hall, music causes individuals to unite in rhythm.  Partners, some unknown to each other, connect in those moments, merged in motion and integrating into the larger flow of movement.  This happens with little urging.  The music is the invitation. In performance, dancing is accompanied by music. The dancers are not only united with each other and to the music, but to the audience as well. All are united in verse.

At concerts, people, who likely bring a wide range of beliefs, biases and emotions, assemble with a common intention.  Once the music is playing, the crowd becomes united in song and motion.  If a singer asks the audience to clap their hands, it happens. Few forms of public address have this power, even with the most motivational of speakers. Few can truly unify a crowd with words. Those who seem to, are likely addressing those who already are of similar beliefs.  It is also probably done with musical pomp, backdrop, and crescendo. Music unifies, requesting only togetherness. Synchronized singing creates synchronize moods.

Church choirs are used to bring forth the voices of the congregation that they may be as one before The Lord.  United verse has always been a part of communion with a greater power. Music is a part of most ritualistic ceremonies, the purpose being to create a unified intention.

I have not found anywhere that defines the universe in this way, but it brings me closer to understanding the profound power of music.  It is truly universal, transcending language and bias.

Although this is currently not the definition of the universe, it could be.