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Maturity In Music

July 22, 2008

After another ride home listening to the radio, and a tour around youtube listening to popular music, I figured I’d write another entry related to music, this time in relation to maturity.

What I always notice when listening to popular music is that most all of it lacks maturity.  The content is very childish, and lacks depth.  Let’s take some time and discuss the nature of maturity, and then we will examine some mainstream music, and see what songs are mature and what songs are not, and for what reasons.

I think understanding what maturity is, and what it is not is a very important thing to learn in life.  We’re often told to “grow up”.  What does this mean?  What is the difference between a “grown up” and a child.

We will start with children.  Children always demand immediate and constant attention.  They can do nothing on their own, and must be either carried around, or rolled around in a stroller.  They complain whenever things do not go their way, and are quick to throw temper tantrums.  They are scared easily, and frequently from things which do not pose any real danger (ex: monsters under the bed or in the closet).  They are completely selfish, and never consider anyone other than themselves.  They are quite weak and powerless, and easily injured. The slightest blow can leave them crippled for life.  The world is always in control of them, and even when they do wrong, they blame others instead of taking responsibility.  They are scared to be alone, and are prone to destroy things if left to their own devices.  They injure themselves, then cry for someone to help.  They must have others provide for them.

It is a quite different story with adults.  Adults are able to provide for themselves, and do not demand such continual attention from others.  They can walk on their own two feet, and do not need to be carried, or strolled around.  They fix things instead of complain.  They provide for their loved ones, and have wisdom to perceive tricks and deceit.  They can handle the storms of life and remain unaffected.  When trouble comes, they do not run home to their parents, they can deal life’s problems.  They do not run from the monsters, they instead confront them. They are not as fragile as children.  They have more strength than what they need, so they are able to help the weak.  Instead of being so self-centered, they think of others, and lose their selves in their work and things which are greater than themselves.  It is just fine to leave them on their own, as when you come back things will be even better than how you left them.  They are builders, not destroyers.

In architecture, the sign of a well designed structure is how well it handles catastrophe.  When the strong winds blow, does it tip over, or does it stand?  When the earthquake shakes its foundation, does it stand, or falter?  When the rains come down, does it flood, or can its roof and walls keep out the rain?

Maturity is the same.  Jesus compared his teachings to two men.  One man built his house upon the sand, and another man upon the rock.  When the storms came, the man who built his house on the sand, his home was destroyed, but the man who was built upon the rock, his house stood firm.

Jesus obviously wasn’t referring to a physical structure. All his teachings are about psychology and spirituality.  You can gauge how far you’ve developed your spiritual and psychological strength not by how “successful” you are, but by how much you can take, and still be left unaffected.  Success is normally a by-product of this inner strength, not the other way around.  If you can’t get this mental aspect of life down, you’re probably never going to find any real success.

I’ve learned a strange lesson over the past year or so, and it’s completely unintuitive.  Most people think life will be good once they get all the things they want.  “Once I get this, and I get that, I’ll be happy.”  It’s actually the opposite.

I was watching an episode of the Twilight Zone, and a guy was transported into another world, and in this world he was given everything he wanted, with no effort to get it.  An angelic being sat over his shoulder and gave him anything, with no resistance.  The man very quickly got bored and was going insane.  He literally started screaming at the angel to let something go wrong, so that he’d have something to do.  It was funny when it replied, “What would you like to go wrong?”  The guy said, “It can’t get any worse than this.  I’m sorry Mr. Angel, but I just ain’t made for heaven.”  The angel then replied, “What made you think this was heaven?  This is the other place!”  Then there’s an evil laugh, and the screen fades.

It’s like playing a video game where you can’t die, and can’t lose.  You buy a role-playing game and they give you a maximum level character, with all the best weapons and equipment, and already has defeated all the bosses, and killed all the enemies. You’d have nothing to do.  You play a race car game, and none of your opponents cars move.

Imagine having to watch a movie which lacks an antagonistic force.  No obstacle exists to overcome, and there is no way for the characters to grow.  Imagine how boring that movie would be.  It’d be somebody sitting in a chair, purposeless and aimless.

Life is found in resistance.  Very simple video games offer very little resistance, and you get bored with them quickly.  It’s only the very difficult games, or at least intricate games, with tons of options and lots of details that are fun to play and can keep your attention for a long time.

I think part of maturity is not complaining about resistance, but learning that life is rooted in resistance.  Our goal is to build better and better structures, which can withstand greater and greater forces.  We’re to develop our minds to where we can confront more and more difficult problems, and understand more and more difficult concepts.  It’s all about continual growth, and reality providing more and more difficult opposition to keep our minds occupied.

Sherlock Holmes isn’t brought in for the basic cases, he’s only brought in when all the other investigators have no idea how to even begin to approach the mystery.  Sherlock gets so bored at home that he starts to tackle some difficult chemistry problem while he’s waiting for a crime to happen which is worthy of his pursuit.  He doesn’t dream of basic crimes, he wants to find some adversary worthy of his time.

I remember when I used to play basketball alot more.  I would go to the Rec center, and eventually, as I got really good at basketball, I wouldn’t even want to play games with a lot of the other guys, because it was no challenge.  It wasn’t meant to be mean, but I was just way beyond their level.  Sometimes one of the guys would say, “Hey man, want to play 21 with us?”  I’d agree.  In the game of 21, you start off with the ball, and everyone on the court defends, you score, shoot free-throws, and if you make all free-throws, you get the ball back, then score, free-throws, etc.  One of the guys would go up for a lay-up, I’d block him, get the ball, then I’d literally keep scoring all the way up to 21, no resistance.  It was no fun for them, or me.  They’d only get discouraged.  I remember making like 14 straight free-throws, and the kids were just like, “Uhhhhh. Wow. Ok, maybe we shouldn’t have asked this guy to play with us.”  I had a court nickname: They called me 90%, which reflected my shot percentage.

Now I could teach them, and help them get better, but to ask me to play with them was a waste of time.  I wasn’t a snob about it.  I would teach them if I was just shooting around, and they wanted help. I remember sometimes teaching them not to foul, how they can’t leave their pivot foot and travel, and other basics.  Sometimes I’d teach them proper shooting form, but they’d rarely listen.  I remember one kid wanting to shoot the ball under-handed.  I would tell him, “You’re going to get blocked every time, and never get a good shot down.”

I mentioned before that a lot of the music we’re about to talk about lacks depth.  Now depth is relative to the person.  What one person finds to be deep, is shallow to another.  It all depends on where you are in life.  When I say I find the music to have no depth, I simply mean that I find no resistance in the problems they’re referencing, nor find anything beneficial in the advice they offer.  The cloister of trials they’re currently experiencing is of much less difficulty than my own.

Now I don’t wish to act like this is because of some intrinsic greatness in me — far far from it.  If I have any knowledge about life, it’s only due to great philosophers and thinkers whose books I’ve read, and their teachings, which have brought me up to their level.  I stand on their labors, and hopefully one day, people will stand on mine.

Also, when it comes to knowledge, a person may know a lot about one thing, but know very little about another aspect of life.  How much depth and profundity you find in a saying, or philosophy, or whatever, will depend on how knowledgable you are in that area.  What seemed deep and incomprehensible to you as a child may be a simple topic for you now, especially if you’ve studied it.

Let’s jump in and start analyzing some songs.  We’ll begin with a rather childish song, which is popular with children.  Miley Cyrus – 7 Things. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr0Wv5DJhuk )

“I probably shouldn’t say this
But at times I get so scared
When I think about the previous
Relationship we shared
It was awesome, but we lost it
It’s not possible for me not to care
And now we’re standing in the rain
And nothing’s ever gonna change until you hear
My dear

The seven things I hate about you
The seven things I hate about you
Oh, you
You’re vain
Your games
You’re insecure
You love me, you like her
You made me laugh, you made me cry, I don’t know which side to buy
Your friends, they’re jerks, and when you act like them, just know it hurts
I wanna be
With the one I know
And the seventh thing I hate the most that you do
You make me love you

It’s awkward And it’s silent
As I wait for you to say
What I need to hear now
Your sincere apology
When you mean it, I’ll believe it
If you text it
I’ll delete it
Let’s be clear
Oh, I’m not coming back
You’re taking seven steps here

The seven things I hate about you
You’re vain
Your games
You’re insecure
You love me, you like her
You made me laugh, you made me cry, I don’t know which side to buy
Your friends, they’re jerks, and when you act like them, just know it hurts
I wanna be
With the one I know
And the seventh thing I hate the most that you do
You make me love you

Compared to all the great things
That would take too long to write
I probably should mention
The seven that I like

The seven things I like about you
Your hair
Your eyes
Your old Levi’s
When we kiss, I’m hypnotized
You made me laugh, you made me cry, but I guess that’s both that I’ll have to buy
Your hand in mine when we’re intertwined, everything’s alright
I wanna be with the one I know
And the seventh thing I like the most that you do
You make me love you”

When I watch the music video to this, I see these young girls running around, screaming into the camera, then hugging their teddy bears.  Though in a way it made me smile, as I found it adorable, if one of my own children came up to me and started a tirade like this, I’d try to settle her down, and go into a long talk with her about what true love is.

I’d probably read her the Biblical passage of Paul’s writing to the church at Corinth, which are some of the best passages on true love that there is:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”

Then I’d tell her that love isn’t how you feel at a given moment, it’s moreso a certain set of promises and commitments to someone, and a way that you treat someone regardless of how they treat you.  If the emotions are feeling good, that’s fine, but true love is much deeper than that.  I’d tell her she needs to root her relationship in love like Paul wrote about, and then I’d ask her if she really felt she was ready for that kind of love and commitment.  Also, I’d warn her that the guy would have to return this same kind of love if the relationship was going to be stable and real, and from the sounds of it, it doesn’t sound like he’s decided whether he wants to be with her, or the other girl.

I have a thought experiment which is good for adults, but I don’t know how well it’d be for children.  If you’re living the life you want, take your dream, or whatever is most valuable to you, and assume you’d have to lose that in order to gain the relationship. Would you choose the relationship?  If you do not currently have the life you wish you had, then assume you have the choice between the relationship, or your dream.  Would you choose the relationship?  If you can’t answer yes, then I don’t think you’re going to go very far.  Almost in all relationships you’ll have to sacrifice very important things for the relationship’s sake.

I’m probably analyzing this children’s song too deeply, but generally speaking, if the guy isn’t completely enamored with her, then it’s unwise for her to bet so much of her own personal happiness, and have so much pending on this guy’s decision.  She should only let her own personal attachment to the guy equal that of his, and not get carried away with a guy who isn’t as serious about her as she is about him.  I guess this is easier to say than do, though.  People fall in love, and it’s normally the other person who doesn’t feel the same way, and that’s the problem.  “How do I stop loving them?”, they ask.

If this were my own daughter, and she was a bright girl, I’d tell her that life is very short, and that if she is planning to accomplish much in life she’s going to have to make every moment count.  I’d tell her to study hard, and never waste time on things that aren’t solid.  In business, there are those who try to make money the quick and easy way, and there are those who take the hard road, which has a strong foundation.  I’d ask her what kind of road this relationship was.  Throwing your emotions around in unsound relationships, is like investing all your money in cheap “get rich quick” business ventures.  You’ll waste so much time, and end up with nothing.

If you’re going to invest a lot into something, invest in a good project that you fully believe in.  Put your all into it, and have no excuses, and no regrets.  When you stand back and look it over, even if you fail, at least you can say, “I gave it all I had”, and grow from the experience.  Don’t go into something you have doubts about before you even enter it.  You’ll only use those as your excuses to get out of it once the hard times hit.  When it comes to relationships, doubt is its own self-prophecy.  In business, they tell you to if your business is to succeed, you have to burn the ship you sailed to the enemy’s island on.  You’re either going to conquer and win the battle, or you’re dying, but there is no exit strategy or “plan B”.  I think it applies to relationships as well.

But besides love and relationships, which are deep topics, you can see that this song is completly self-centered, which is what all childish songs have in common.  Children only know themselves, and only think of themselves.  Sacrificing themselves to some greater cause is something they haven’t learned yet.  They’re still lost in the maze of self.

Let’s compare this song to a true classic.  Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSpAWVa4Jak )

“May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.”

I can’t help but stamp every seal of excellence I have on this song.  First off you can see it’s about someone else, not himself.  This is the kind of advice a father should give his son.  If he only had five minutes to communicate something to his son, I can’t think of anything better to say.  He’s found enough strength in life that he’s giving, instead of taking, which is rare to find in the world.  There’s so many subtle messages and encouragements found in the lyrics.  Keep that childish love of life and energy, set high goals and keep your hopes high, to serve others, and let others serve you, to value truth more than anything, to keep your integrity, be brave in the face of adversity, keep a clear conscience, keep busy and improve the world, never be slothful, find that inner strength which keeps you through the winds of change (which is when you’ll need it the most – when friends move or go, or a loved one dies, a divorce, etc.), and always keep a smile on your face through whatever comes.  A+

The next song is one I heard on the radio on my way home yesterday.  Aaron Shust – “Watch Over Me”.  This song is a mainstream pop-Christian music, which is supposedly inspiration, but I’ll show why I think it is not really anything of the sort.

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52_5VuwKVI )

“I was lonely
You came waltzing over to me
And Your eyes they saw right through me
And You heard each one of my cries for help
And You came to rescue me
I was broken
Every prayer that I had spoken
Reached Your ears and all my tears weren’t cried in vain
You carried all my pain
And put me back together again
You watch over me in the darkest valleys
You watch over me when the night seems long
You help me to see the way before me
You watch over me; You watch over me
Always faithful
To be leading, at this moment
Interceding for Your children
Though I’ve wandered astray from Your infinite ways
You’ve never left me alone
Take my frozen heart; awaken me
Never once have You forsaken me
Even though I walk through this shadow of death
You will guide and defend me
You’ll guard and protect me
Even though I walk through this shadow of death
You will lead me home”

I think the problem with this song is that it’s ultimately rooted in fear.  Remember that children fear the monsters under the bed, and can never be left alone.  Children are scared of the dark, because they can’t see what’s there.  If we can symbolize darkness by not knowing the future, aherents of this song are scared of the dark.  Men rise up and rise above adversity, and confront the monster, and grow.  If you don’t have fear in your heart, then why do you need someone to watch over you? This song panders to fear, and covers it up with religion, instead of uprooting it.

When a man becomes a man, he no longer depends on his father, but walks beside him and provides for the next generation.

Let’s take another song, by John Lennon, which many would say is against God and faith, but is actually much more so than the song we just heard.  “God”

“God is a concept,
By which we can measure,
Our pain,
I’ll say it again,
God is a concept,
By which we can measure,
Our pain,
I don’t believe in magic,
I don’t believe in I-ching,
I don’t believe in bible,
I don’t believe in tarot,
I don’t believe in Hitler,
I don’t believe in Jesus,
I don’t believe in Kennedy,
I don’t believe in Buddha,
I don’t believe in mantra,
I don’t believe in Gita,
I don’t believe in yoga,
I don’t believe in kings,
I don’t believe in Elvis,
I don’t believe in Zimmerman,
I don’t believe in Beatles,
I just believe in me,
Yoko and me,
And that’s reality.
The dream is over,
What can I say?
The dream is over,
Yesterday,
I was dreamweaver,
But now I’m reborn,
I was the walrus,
But now I’m John,
And so dear friends,
You just have to carry on,
The dream is over.”

This is a deep song, and many in this world do not like it.  At first he’s telling us that people run to God because they are in fear.  The more pain and trouble their life is in, the more they’ll have the tendency to run to religion, and pray to God to cure it all. God is the embodiment of what we want to be true, instead of facing what is reality.  Next he goes on listing things that people put their faith in, instead of ultimately believing in themselves, which would be much more profitable for them.  He’s promoting self-confidence.

My own life bears witness and affinity to what he’s saying.  Once I started believing in myself, instead of hoping religious figures, and other “icons” would make my dreams come true, my life began to drastically improve.  Religion is always telling us we don’t have the power to do something, and that we can only do great things with God’s help.  So we pray and pray and pray, hoping God will lend us the power…power which we already have in us, but we don’t believe so, because religion tells us it’s not there.  You can roll the coins, and look up your I-Ching hexagram, and get your tarot card reading, but that’s just giving up your life to fate, and feeling there’s a more powerful force in the world than yourself, which you can’t control. There’s no greater power in the world than someone who believes in themselves.  A person who doesn’t look to how things are, but makes up his mind that if things are not how he wants them, he will make whatever changes necessary happen.

I’m not saying that a lot of the teachings of Jesus, or Buddha are bad.  What I’m moreso saying is that even if God was dead, I’d continue going and doing the life I’m doing.  Even if he was dead, I’d have the power to make my dreams a reality. I’d still live with the truest conviction of all the lights reason reveals to me, and I’d try my best to become a better person, day by day, hour by hour.  I don’t do it for God.  I don’t do it for my parents, family, or country.  I do it for me.

The more I’ve went to church, and listened to sermons, and old gospel songs, and Christian radio, the more I do not want to be like the Christian crowd.  There’s a lot of beauty there, but there’s also a lot of fear.  Lots and lots of fear.

I remember one old hymn, “We’ll understand it all by and by.”  In other words, some things in this life – the things which are most important to us – are just too difficult to understand.  We’ll just have to wait until we die, and then God will reveal these things to us.  I can’t think of more horrible advice, nor anything more contrary to what I stand for. You let that kind of thinking into your mind and you’ll live your entire life in ignorance, and you’ll never progress.

Just as we mentioned earlier when referencing Aaron Shust’s “Watch Over Me” song, there is so much fear and lack of confidence.  Such a lack of mental maturity.  So much running in fear to God when troubles come instead of growing and being strong.  Being a man.

They always promote belief in blind faith, and to never question anything.  You tell them to believe in themselves, and they say you’re arrogant and a heretic, yet they believe the Holy Spirit has the form of a dove (a bird, which he created), and in times past loved the smell of burnt animal flesh burned on altars, and also commited suicide in a blood sacrifice to forgive our sins.  John Lennon says, “Give peace a chance.”  But oh no, he does not have faith.  If we had true faith, we’d believe that God, who is supposedly pure love, created eternal hell flames for anyone who does not believe in his own rather crazy blood sacrifice.  Honestly, think about it all for a moment.  Can you seriously say you have no doubts?  Lennon’s faith is in man, most people’s faith is in superstition.  Such faith is a little too down to Earth for some people.  It gives them responsibility they don’t want, but until they mature and realize that their life is in their own hands, and their hands only, they will never grow.

Even the valuable teachings of Jesus are replaced instead by “worship” and other religious forms which take away all demand of the individual to change and progress.  They lift their hands during church “worshipping”, speak in tongues, lay on the ground praying for their country, while the poor man just outside their door needs food, the widows need a place to sleep, and people in the jails need visited.  They preach “prosperity”, yet their master taught, “Take no thought of tomorrow, what you will eat, or what you will drink…Life does not consist in the abundance of things you possess…It’s easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than a rich man the kingdom of heaven.” I turn on TBN, and they hype the crowds, and their message doesn’t sound much different than watching Oprah, or some other daytime TV show.  Jesus said it’s all about serving others, yet they always focus on what God can do for you.  It’s almost like God is going to give them some supernatural edge, because they serve him, and they love to quote, “The wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just.”  They’re really missing the central theme of all the Gospels.

Jesus scrubbed his disciples feet.  Money is frequently used to control others, due to economic circumstances.  The very freedom God gave us is taken away by the invisible prison bars of financial lack. Jesus hated seeing this.  We’re not to try to control one another.  We only wish to control those we dislike, and do not trust.  The love of money is the root of all evil, because people who crave such power only crave it when they do not trust their fellow men, and believe they will find fulfillment in possessions.  Both pursuits lead to misery, for themselves, and others. They hope to use the world of finance to gain control over the actions of others.  They also want money to buy lots of possessions, yet life does not consist in what you have, but in what you can give.

When Jesus told the rich young ruler to give all that he had to the poor, and to follow him, he was telling him to trust in others, and to learn to serve, instead of being served.  His disciples were told not to take money with them, but to let others provide for them.  There was to be no thought of money.  Just men who loved each other, giving information freely, and freely receiving their daily needs.  We also see this in the book of Acts, where all the disciples form a socialist community, where all property was shared in common, and all had equal entitlement to all.

What’s funny about this situation is that my mother was telling me the other day that Christian musicians are the only ones where you have trouble getting their guitar tabs for their worship songs.  Most all “secular” bands you can get them for free.  Christians charge for theirs.

I admire Jesus and his teachings, but his followers I don’t know about.  It’s like J.S. Mill said in his book, “On Liberty”.  He talked about the nature of free speech.  If various topics are not allowed to be debated, you get left with some old crusty teachings, which do not even remotely resemble those of the original teacher.  Jesus teaches to be a good Samartin to the man in need, and instead you go to their service and they’re burning incense pots, chanting latin verses nobody understands, standing up, sitting down, clenching rosary beads, eating wafers… People do not even know what the scriptures mean, because they do not read anything other than the Bible, and even the things they wonder about, they are not allowed to debate nor think about them, because that would be “losing the faith.”

These followers lose track of reality.  In every teaching, some things are more important than others.  There is a weight tied to certain things which are far more important than other more trivial things.  To the novice, all things are equally important.  Such followers have no comprehension of this, as they don’t understand the reasons behind the teachings to begin with.  They say to follow the teachings in blind faith, but they themselves become so blind they cannot even themselves walk in the teachings anymore.  They stumble about in the darkness, causing everyone trouble.

They become like those wretched employee managers, who cause a hellish workplace, all because another employee came in a few minutes late.  They praise politicians who create wars which are killing babies and innocent women and children, then they ostracize a couple for having pre-martial sex.  But they don’t even know what’s going on in the world or politics, because they don’t read that sort of thing.  They determine themselves to only keep their minds on those things which are holy, pure, and of good report.  Then the world they’re supposed to be saving is blowing itself up right outside.

Their problem is they have not spent any time thinking about what is beautiful and what is pure and holy.  A person volunteering to provide medical aid to injured soliders on the enemy’s side is a beautiful thing, even though they’re surrounded by death and destruction. Oftentimes, you can’t identify what’s beautiful unless you’ve exposeed yourself to a lot of things which are ugly.

Anyways, as we can see, they have no touch with reality, or what’s really important.  No knowledge of true virtue, or what really makes the world progress. I could go on and on about Christianity and religion.  I’m so passionate about this because all my family is tied in with all of this.  They hold the dumbest views on things sometimes.  This song of Lennon’s is deep to me because it says so much in so few verses.  Religion enslaves people’s minds.  I always tell people that you can’t dabble with philosophy or religion.

Truth is that which can be tested and looked at from every angle, and will always prove itself true, throughout every test.  If you’re not allowing us to test, nor debate something, I honestly think something is being hidden.  We may find a hole in the religion – one they don’t want us to see.

Let’s examine another song, Paramore’s “That’s What you Get”
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiJe4gUH0fk )

“no sir
well i don’t wanna be the blame not anymore
it’s your turn to take a seat
we’re settling the final score
why do we like to hurt so much
can’t decide
you’ve made it harder just to go on
and why all the possibilities
well i was wrong

that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah
that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah
i drown out all my sense with the sound of its beating
and that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah

i wonder how am i supposed to feel when you’re not here
cuz i’ve burned every bridge i’ve ever built when you were here
i still try holding on to silly things
i never learn
oh why all the possibilities
i’m sure you’ve heard

that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah
that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah
i drown out all my sense with the sound of its beating (beating)
and that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah

pain – make your way to me, to me
and i’ll always be just so inviting
if i ever start to think this strait
this heart will start a riot in me
let’s start, start – hey!

why do we like to hurt so much
oh why do we like to hurt so much

that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah

that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah
that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah
now i can’t trust myself with anything but this
and that’s what you get when you let your heart win – woah”

I’ll begin by summarizing the song. She’s involved herself in an unsure relationship, and things began to be shaky.  She’s commited herself to something, and now is having second thoughts, but she has burned all her bridges of escape behind her.  It’s not going to be easy to get out of this one.  She chooses to hold on, and stay in the relationship, even though her mind keeps telling her that she probably should get out and salvage what she can.  Her emotional attachments and high hopes, make this decision difficult, and she keeps feeling an emotional pull in both directions – both to leave, and to stay.  Hence the pain and conflict.

From the tone of the lyrics, it seems she no longer trusts her instinctive feelings, and wishes to go by reason.  Poor Hayley.  If you read this, by chance, I don’t know if you’d do well as a music artist if you took on the route of reason.  Becoming logical and intellectual will shield you from every pain, but life will not be very colorful.  Passion can lead to beautiful things.  If you choose pure reason, you’ll be cold and austere, quite capable of predicting what will happen far into the future, but apathetic as to the outcome.  That’s been my own problem.  It seems we’re on opposite sides of the spectrum.

Firework displays may be a waste of energy, but at least they go out with style.  A man or woman who is driven by pure reason is like a cabin, on a lake, where the water is frozen over with ice, and snow is coming down.  It has a beauty all its own, but it doesn’t suit your flare.

My kind of life is quiet and tranquil.  Long walks at night, and thoughts on the underlying structure of matter and the fate of the universe, yet little concern as to my own life or where I’m going.  Dreams can become reality, but reality only makes its way into dreams during nightmares.  Your possibilities are endless, mine are limited to what is.  Your dream doesn’t have to die when it fails to be realized immediately in reality, it only needs another chance, with someone capable of taking its mould.

Dreams require a special finesse to bring them into reality, but never let go of the dream just because it cannot easily be actualized.  Visionaries find the world’s rigid framework a bit limiting, but the right person will know how to handle those details for you.  Everything that exists today, was initially only a possibility.

Reason’s ability to predict an outcome before it happens will all depend on your level of knowledge.  In practical affairs, experience is the best teacher, and you only acquire that type of knowledge by charging out into the unknown.  The power of reasoning is limited to your experiences, because it can only analyze and think about your past events that have happened to you.  If you let go of the passions in your heart, and never trust them, you’ll only be left analyzing and rehashing your past over and over.  This removes all progress, and keeps you from the next stage of life.  Reason’s job is not to guide you, but to keep you from going in circles.  Passions are the leader.  Reason analyzes what your passions find interesting.  Remove passion, and your mind will sit idle.

It’s true you can learn from others mistakes in books and such, but there comes a point to where the words just don’t sink in if you haven’t experienced it yourself.  You become like many academics who worship various thinkers as demigods, but really have no idea what they’re talking about.

Passion comes to a person when they really believe in something.  All you’re doing if you take the passion out of the relationship is replace it with doubt.  If you don’t believe in the relationship, it’s not going to work.  The heart can be a bit naive, but it’s a nice component, and something you probably will like to keep around.

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