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Hallucinating Music and my Appreciation of the Composer Wagner

by peterpoets


I woke up at 8.30 this morning, after only having four hours sleep.  I then went back to bed at 10.30 a.m. and slept until 2 p.m.  I had the most amazing experience when I woke.

When I woke, I could hear some great and unique classical music that I've never heard before coming from my radio.  I remembered turning my radio off though and thought "That's weird!".  Then I turned the volume up, and it got louder although it didn't go up to full volume.  I thought it was strange because I usually leave my radio tuned to Radio Kent who don't play classical music.  Then I checked the switch to see if my radio was on, and it wasn't switched on.  I then heard some seagulls outside my window, and this created and blended in with more amazing and unique classical music. After about twenty seconds the music faded.

I've hallucinated music before, usually jazz, but not quite as loud and vivid as this.  I then played the parts of what I could remember from hearing the classical music on my guitar, and will remember how to play it now.  This makes me wonder, if I could have been a great composer, and if this is how a lot of classical composers create music, is that they hear the music from the outside or the inside of their heads first.  Maybe some of them hallucinate it.

I'm a great fan of the composer Wagner, and I gain a lot of psychological insight about human beings from listening to and experiencing his music.  I said this in a mental health chat room, and one user in the room said that Wagner was a Nazi sympathizer and a racist, and that his beliefs went hand-in-hand with his music.  I explained to her that the Nazis weren't around during Wagner's lifetime, and in any case the Nazis just used what part of Wagner they wanted to for their own propaganda and ideology, and then they dismissed the rest.  Wagner did have some anti-Semitic views, but he also had Jewish friends and colleagues throughout his lifetime.

Wagner was not simply a nationalist and a racist.  He started off as a socialist and an anarchist, but then got into nationalist politics.  He then returned to his socialist and anarchist views towards the end of his life.

Wagner was interested and influenced by the philosopher Schopenhauer. Shopenhauer was a pessimist who believed that the human will was the source of all evil (unlike the philosopher Nietzsche who believed that it was the source of all good).  In light of the strength of will of the Nazi's, Schopenhauer would have been right that it leads to evil and destruction. Instead of will power, Schopenhauer believed in transcendence and was influenced by things like Hinduism and Buddhism, and he saw salvation, deliverance and escape from suffering in aesthetic contemplation, sympathy for others, and ascetic living, and he thought that music was a very important part of that transcendence.

When I listen to Wagner's music, I do not hear conflict or racial hatred, but I hear both subtle and immense human emotions and love, tragedy, humanism, and ordinary people's struggles against poverty and oppression.

I can hear Wagner's socialism and anarchism in his music, and when listening to his music on the bus on my Walkman, I realized the immense hidden love within ordinary people walking along in the streets, and their struggles against war, violence, and oppression.  This is what I hear in Wagner's music, and which is why for me he will always be one of the greatest modern classical composers.


by peterpoets