Thursday, May 24, 2012

Heavy Metal Poisoning

Another Facebook post leads to a debate! Geez, I did not expect this one. Yesterday, I had posted a video link of Kaya's song, "The Alchemist." I'll write more about Kaya for Monday's post, but briefly, Kaya is an artist on a label distributed by the company I work for and I got the chance to meet him on Friday at our label conference, when he performed a few songs from his CD that was recently released. He's a spiritual guy who recorded an incredibly spiritual album (more on this for Monday's post). The most baffling thing I've seen at the company I work for is that they featured him on the cover of a catalog that is devoted to alternative rock / punk rock / death metal / industrial rock music. No one at work understood this. It simply did not make logical sense because people who like the alternative and hard music of industrial rock and metal genres would not like some New Agey spiritual guy and his very Adult Contemporary pop album.

So I had posted on my Facebook wall about this absurdity and one guy took exception to my comments regarding alternative music genre and the hard rock / heavy metal / industrial rock. I tried to explain and explain, but it was no use. He disagreed (obviously because he loves the genre) and so did a cousin of mine and one lady I know from church. Their defensiveness was interesting to me, but because they like these genres, they don't seem to understand my point.

My point is that music has a vibration to it and the harder musical styles (I include gangsta rap in this category as well) register a much lower / denser vibration. I used the term "negative vibration" which caused the defenses to come out. None of the three who disagreed with my view understood what I meant. They all claim to derive energy from the intense, pulse-pounding music in the harder genres. I can understand that. When you feel angry, you also feel kind of powerful, but its still "negative energy." Its rooted in ego, not spirit.

As I tried to explain using other examples, just because a meal at McDonald's taste good doesn't mean its good for the body. Also, just because people feel euphorically blissful when they take drugs doesn't mean that its a good thing to do for the body. Some people feel euphoric bliss from meditation and there are no negative side effects or bad effects on the body from that. But they still did not agree with my view regarding the dense energy vibrations of heavy metal music.

So I tried another tact. There are pregnant women who put headphones over their bellies to play classical music to their unborn babies. I've never heard of a pregnant woman who has done this with heavy metal music. Another example: studies have been done that show that students who study to classical music have done much better than those who listen to other kinds of music or none at all. Another example: Go to any church service or religious service (Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, etc.) and the music you hear is soft, uplifting, positive...whether a choir or chanting. You don't hear heavy metal, though I suppose that there are a few alternative style churches doing that to appeal to a certain demographic of people. And yet another point: earlier this year, I went to a concert by a group of people who play the harp for those who are in the process of dying. I had never heard of such a thing before, but wasn't surprised that the instrument used is the harp. When I started working for the music company, I discovered a Christmas music CD featuring the harp and I quickly fell in love with that CD. There was something so incredibly uplifting about the harp. Why doesn't this group play heavy metal music to the dying?

The reason is because music carries a vibration and you can see the effects it has on people. A few years ago, I did an all-Enya weekend where I did nothing but listen to Enya all weekend long. I was shocked by how different I felt when Monday came around. I was so much more at peace than I was on the Friday before that weekend began. Even though these heavy metal fans disagree with me, they don't understand that I know what I'm talking about. I actually "feel" music deep at the soul level. I remember in my Senior year in high school, my government teacher played Jane's Addiction in class at one girl's request and I felt unsettled all day. I couldn't stand it and asked if he would play Johnny Clegg one day in class. And speaking of Johnny Clegg, I know that his music has performed miracles in my life. I think part of the reason why my early 20s were so successful in the amount of synchronistic experiences I had (between 1991 and 1994) was because I was really into Johnny Clegg's positive vibration music. It kept me at the high energy level required to manifest your dreams into reality.

As a young teen in Nebraska, all the males I knew were into heavy metal music. It was embarrassing to admit that I preferred Top 40 pop, because that was the preference of the girls in the school I went to. Guys weren't supposed to like pop music, but I couldn't help myself. 80s pop just has a feel good vibration to it. Even now, its amazing to read the comments on YouTube of any 80s music video. The youth of today seem to envy those of us who grew up on 80s pop.

Anyhow, in my Boy Scout troop, the Scoutmaster's son was into heavy metal and brainwashed his 3 year old sister into liking his music. His teenage sister preferred pop music. It was funny to see the 3 year old go up to people at church and say things like "Bark at the moon!" (Ozzy Osbourne reference) or "Shout at the Devil!" (I can't remember, but I think that was Motley Crue). This heavy metal Scout flirted with the dark side and it led to his frying his brain on drugs in college. He was cruel towards my brother and I. The music didn't help. This was a time when the album art featured provocative images, particularly the scary Iron Maiden art that featured a skeletal human killing people. The lyrics referenced Satan, suicide, murder, death. Even the names are hardcore: Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Ratt, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, KISS, Metallica, The Skorpions, Gwar, Twisted Sister, and W.A.S.P. to name just a few.

I'll admit that I did (and still do) like the music of Van Halen, Def Leppard, Guns n' Roses, Aerosmith, and Bon Jovi, but they are rather tame and seemed to be more Top 40 radio friendly. It was primarily the music of the heavy metal bands that caused a Senator's wife to launch a crusade to bring parental warning labels to albums, earning the wrath of music fans, notably Frank Zappa. This Senator's wife, of course, is Tipper Gore. I have a copy of her book, Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society. Its a great time capsule to the music of the mid-1980s. But to be fair, it was actually Prince's Purple Rain album that sparked her interest in a crusade for record labeling.

Back to the point, though, there is an energy vibration to music and it does affect you in ways that you might not be consciously aware of. The people I know who are quite spiritual do not listen to such music. There's something about their disposition that you can tell. They just emanate peace and fulfillment. When you listen to the harder music genres, there's a lot of anger in the lyrics, a lot of yelling, and the music can sound like discordant noise. White supremacist bands are notoriously hard core metal. It feeds the hate and gives a false sense of powerful energy to people who feel powerless. I would expect that the level of drug experimentation might be high among listeners of this kind of music. There is no feeling of peace from this kind of music and if anyone thinks so, they are deluding themselves.

At work, whenever the monthly catalog comes out for the subsidiary company that focuses on the alternative / heavy music genre, I'll flip through and the album cover art reflects a dark, negative vibe full of violence and ugliness. By contrast, the subsidiary company that distributes New Age, World Music, and meditation CDs show album covers that feature light, colour, diverse cultures, beautiful scenes of the earth. The vibe is completely different. I can feel it just from flipping through the two catalogs.

The final point I tried to make to those who disagree with me is that there is nothing wrong with listening to music that resonates with us, as most people have diverse interests when it comes to music. However, if you listen to a lot of this denser vibration music, it will affect your overall countenance and keep you in a negative energy dynamic. We always have free will in the choices we make, but if we wonder why we're stuck in a private hell, changing the music you listen to might be one way to begin the changes necessary to alter the course of your life.

Another thing I pointed out was that people are aware of the effect of music on people. Go to your local mall. There are stores such as Hollister that play a denser music designed to keep adults away and to attract teenagers into the store. It works. Though I like Hollister, whenever I hear the music as I pass by the store, I don't go in because the music is not peaceful. By contrast, there are a few MAX light rail stations that play classical music. Apparently, studies have shown that teenagers and young people in their 20s aren't likely to hang out at MAX stations where classical music is playing. Why is that? Even as a teenager, though I wasn't into classical music, every time I heard it, I felt smarter, more cultured. I knew it was good music and reflected the highest aspirations of a culture, even though I was really into pop music exclusively. I find it interesting that playing classical music at MAX stations is an effective crime prevention technique.

I suppose that my views regarding the energy vibrations in music comes across as New Age mumbo jumbo on Facebook, but I don't think I'm wrong on this issue, even if my cousin seems to think so. I see my viewpoint validated in studies that I've read, in techniques that store owners and mass transit officials try, in pregnant women hoping to increase their unborn baby's intelligence, and in the dying wishes of hospice patients. Music that lifts us up, inspires us, and fills us with positive energy vibrations has a profound impact on our lives. That's why you don't see many old people liking the harder music genres or why churches don't have those songs in the worship services. At some point, we have to cast off the negative influences and energy in our lives before it consumes us or leads to our own self-destruction. But don't take my word for it. Experiment with the different music genres and see how it makes you feel after a weekend of exclusive listening to that specific genre. Positive musical energy should make you feel expanded: more peaceful, more loving, more inspired. What have you got to lose?

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