Music, as an art form, is essentially playful. We say you play the piano. You don’t work the piano. …
In music … one doesn’t make the end of a composition the point of the composition. If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest. And there’d be composer who wrote only finales. People would go to concerts just to hear one crashing chord. Cause that’s the end.
Same with dancing. You don’t aim at one particular spot in the room … The whole point of the dancing is the dance.
We thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end. Success or whatever it is. Or maybe heaven after you’re dead.
But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.
You had to do that thing. You didn’t let it happen. And so in this way the human being sometimes becomes an organism for self-frustration.
He goes on to explain that the source of our anxiety is that we are always trying to rush to the end-point, rather than remembering the musical nature of life and the idea that life is about play.
The Chinese word for nature means “happens spontaneously.”
In nature things happen spontaneously. Nature includes the human body. Your heart beats. Your hair grows. Your physical body runs several processes that take care of thrmselves. You don’t do anything to make this happen. It just happens.
Being human means allowing the things that happen naturally to happen, without trying to force them.
Anxiety and the Need For Control
Our greatest source of anxiety is that we do too much in the belief that we can control the outcome. We think that if we work harder or plan more or do more or if we are more prepared or organized we will be better able to control the outcome. We believe that if we have more information up front we can “know” more and therefore control the outcome.
This is all false, of course. There’s nothing you can do to control things. The more we can remember that we don’t control the outcome, the more we can shed anxiety and relax into the present moment of play.
When you’re feeling in the grips of anxiety, remember that nothing you do can control the outcome.
You don’t have to do so much.
Let it happen.