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The Word of God vs The Song of God (or universe)

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    Hope to make this short haha. Cross fingers.

    So often I hear the “word of God” or the power/energy/concept of “the word,” within Creation traditions and mythology. And I do understand the strong influence of language and story and myth. Love it!

    Yet, when I strayed a little more into the “back histories” of JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth…his creation tale invokes or evokes not a spoken word but a Song! The Creator and the Divine-like Ainur sing or make a song, which is a Song of Creation. What fascinates me about that is it reminds me of the importance of Song in other myths not only from Gaelic Bardic traditions but the Indigenous Aboriginal people of Australia! The Songlines!
    And then in modern times what scientists have discovered of how music and song sometimes helps memory.
    So the mythic idea of a Song of Creation (probably shared by many other cultures…?) I find that to be quite beautiful and interesting.
    Song/vibration/energy? Myths/stories passed down in Song?



    But that is just my take!



    Had not noticed this post when it first appeared, Sunbug, likely because it landed amid the holiday swirl (so much disappears into the vortex that stretches from mid-December through the first week of the New Year), but you raise a fascinating point.
    I’d add to your list the Homeric hymns to Hermes, Aphrodite, and the other Olympians, not to mention the Psalms of scripture, and the tales of the troubadours (aka Minnesingers, in German) of the Middle Ages, which were performed as song.

    Rhythm preceded the emergence of speech for our early ancestors – and once language did appear, rhythm, along with the repetition of formulaic phrases (e.g., “the wine-dark sea” and “there spoke clever Odysseus in Homer) made it easier to memorize lengthy, epic tales told around the communal campfire and passed down from one generation to the next.

    David Abrams (in his elegant volume, The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World 101-109), notes that Homer may well have been an oral bard, or rhapsode (from the Greek rhapsoidein – “to stitch a song together”), those who sing the myths; drawing on a rich oral tapestry of traditional stories and formulaic phrases, and stitching them together in performance – which would explain how he could be blind and still create these detailed epics in verse). Indeed, the Iliad and Odyssey are composed in dactyl hexameter, which has much in common with the rhythm of modern rap.

    Forgive my rhapsodizing about the resonance between the rhythms of rhapsodes and rap – but the connection between myth and music (both of which are associated with the realm of the Muses) is worth exploring.


    In answer to this:

    I’d add to your list the Homeric hymns to Hermes, Aphrodite, and the other Olympians, not to mention the Psalms of scripture, and the tales of the troubadours (aka Minnesingers, in German) of the Middle Ages, which were performed as song.

    Yes, yes yes!
    And I love The Spell of the Sensuous!

    I have been savoring it…as well as feeling appreciation for the More than Human world woven all around me.;-)

    The rhythms certainly help with memorization! Found that out when memorizing poetry…and dance steps as well (though it took a little time to learn the synchronicity of movement in time with the music when I was little. Eventually the right brain and body mind took over and now it’s hard not to move when I hear music:-) It awoke that something inside I guess…those primal and mythic rhythms of life!

    And then when singing along to Beatles songs even years since I’ve sung those songs the memory of the words are still there… and when I experimented putting out an imaginative folk music CD, (my music and lyrics) I found that it was even clearer to memorize the lyrics written even than memorizing oral spoken poetry.
    It is very fascinating! And I do remember my Mother loved the poetry of the Psalms. Think she was also intrigued by the different translations of the Bible. For example The Moffit bible (Scottish) translates the “shadow of the valley of death” as “the glens of gloom.” And God is translated as “The Eternal ” or The Eternal One? (not to be confused with Marvel shenanigans these days heh heh.
    It surprises me when I hear talks from spiritual people within certain traditions (very wonderful talks/sharing inclusive open) that this other Avenue seems to remain in the background as a secondary or separate topic…but I suppose that is because of the emphasis of WORD being the whole KEY to the story. And funny that key relates to Song! Well other traditions certainly have the Song woven deeply within them!

    And no apologies on the Rhapsodies of Homer! I love that idea to “stitch a song together.”
    I think another reason the Song of God appeals to me is The Music of the Spheres…

    And there are recordings on Soho of sounds from the Sun.

    my Mom used to play both classical and Beatles music when she taught astronomy.
    It just seems like everything does weave together.
    We live in a fascinating Universe!

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