Saturday, October 31, 2009

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.

-- Ludwig van Beethoven
cited in Notations: Quotations on Music
(ed. by Sallye Leventhal)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Art is not a pleasure, a solace, or an amusement; art is a great matter. Art is an organ of human life, transmitting man's reasonable perception into feeling. In our age the common religious perception of men is the consciousness of the brotherhood of man -- we know that the well-being of man lies in union with his fellow-men. . . . Art should transform this perception into feeling.

Leo Tolstoy
in What is Art?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything.
Everything we look upon is blest.

-- W. B. Yeats
from W. B. Yeats: Romantic Visionary,
"A Dialogue of Self and Soul", II

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Music is no illusion, but rather a revelation. Its triumphant power lies in the fact that it reveals to us beauties we find in no other sphere; and the apprehension of them is not transitory, but a perpetual reconcilement to life.

-- Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
quoted in The Music-Lover's Birthday Book

Saturday, October 3, 2009

If I try to find words to express that transcendent Reality, I have to use images and metaphors, which help to turn my mind toward the truth, and allow Truth itself to enlighten it.

. . . I can say that it is like a symphony in which all the notes are heard in a single perfect harmony, but in which each has its own particular time and place.

. . . Or going deeper, I can say that it is like a communion of persons in love, in which each understands the other and is one with the other. 'I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one.' This is as far as human words can go.

-- Bede Griffiths,
quoted in The Essential Mystics (ed. by Andrew Harvey)