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One of my favorite post-rock bands is from Iceland. Sigur Rós. In some of their tracks, they use non-literal language that forms the unintelligible “lyrics” sung by the band.

It’s called Hopelandic (English translation), a.k.a., Vonlenska. It consists of emotive, non-lexical vocables. In effect, Hopelandic uses the melodic and rhythmic elements of singing without the conceptual content of language.

This type of music has no fixed syntax and differs from constructed languages that can be used for communication. It focuses entirely on the sounds of language, lacking grammar and distinct words.

Milan”, is one of those tunes that can stir my emotions, especially during those peaks of non-lexical passion.

VictoriaNotes 9 Jan 13
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My Fave Sigur Ros song:

My daughter turned the entire family on to them years ago. We flew to Chicago to hear them live.

I have not checked out their more recent stuff. I probably should!

Zster Level 8 Jan 13, 2019

That's new music to me and very enjoyable. I like art that points me in a certain direction but doesn't spell it out for me. The closest music I've known in this way is by Yes. Although there are words with syntax and grammar, the sentences are very abstract, simply pointing to aspiration and spirituality.

brentan Level 8 Jan 13, 2019

@VictoriaNotes And You And I is a beautiful song. My absolute favourite Yes song is Soon. Shivers up the spine. To me, it's a prayer sent out to the universe aspiring to understand and become in harmony with it. My head tells me it's nonsense and my heart soars with it.

@VictoriaNotes This was an early one as well, for me.

@VictoriaNotes Wow, I can relate to the imperative to live less to yourself and more to Christ. I guess it’s related to Romans 8:13 and Ephesians 4:22-24. I was a Jehovah’s Witness for many years and gave it a good shot. I moved fairly fast to philosophy afterwards and busied myself with that. It was just as well, because old friends were lost and my life experience seemed to make it difficult to connect with new people (I’m a bit of an Aspie anyway). So I enjoyed and related to the Genesis song about ending up alone. I think that cognitive dissonance plays a part too. Where do I fit in anymore? I would recommend John Donne’s poem An Anatomy of the World lines 207-246 as a nicely-worded expression of his feelings about truth being pulled out from under him by science and the new Protestantism in England.

@VictoriaNotes That's it exactly! I hope you enjoyed it.

@VictoriaNotes I started deconverting about 15 years ago. I got very fed up with others insisting that they do my thinking for me. It was a risky business because I was married at the time to a JW woman who had been raised in the faith but surprisingly, she left the faith too, even though not quite as officially (because of her family) as I did. Sadly, it turned out that when we lost the faith, we lost the bond that was keeping us together. There was a web forum for ex-JWs. Many more sprang from that. After a while, members usually squabbled among themselves over petty personal interpretations of scripture. Added to that was the neverending bitterness which was justified but I wanted to move on with my life rather than always listening to the negativity. For some, being an ex-JW is a way of life and they are, to my mind, still having their lives controlled by the Watchtower Society. I tried mainstream Christianity but wasn’t much impressed and gradually became more agnostic. So I got new interests and moved on. I can’t imagine what it is like to live in the Bible Belt. It is decades now since Ireland was like that and these days it is extremely secular. I haven’t found similar spirits to my own but I am an odd fish. I decided a few years ago to read the classics for a bucket list and it has turned out to be a great hobby. I get the feeling you read a lot yourself.

@VictoriaNotes It's very interesting that you're talking about neuropsychology. The book I'm reading, which also lead to John Donne's poem, deals with how the brain works and how it has affected Western culture. In the book, the author compares extreme religious thinking to schizophrenia. The gist of his opinion is that schizophrenics have a view of the world that doesn't include intuition and strives very hard to cope with a mind separated from the context within which it lives including the sufferer's own body. He claims (the author) that this religious mindset come from a focus on the words of scripture rather than for a feeling for the manifestation of spirit and reckons it came about in the West with the advent of Protestantism and its extremes like Calvinism. For me, I think it might at least explain the contradiction between those who talk the talk and those who walk the walk. Anyway, it's a fascinating topic that might suit a topic of its own.

I've very much enjoyed this conversation. It's great to meet you too!

@VictoriaNotes The book is The Master and his Emissary by Iain McGilchrist. Its topic is the effect of how our brain has worked on Western culture through the centuries. But first – your story of how brain trauma affected your poor husband is fascinating, although I guess you might choose a different word for it! My long-suffering ex-wife (and children) had to deal with my religious zeal, not in terms of mystical revelations but in terms of living the Word to the letter, a fanaticism that lead to me being unable to function in the ordinary ways a husband might be expected to, bringing home at least some of the bacon and playing my part socially. Oddly enough, I did not even become aware of my behaviour even after reading Barbara Kingsolver’s brilliant book about a fanatic American dad who takes his long-suffering family to Africa so that he could preach to the natives. McGilchrist attributes both autism and schizophrenia to over reliance on the left hemisphere of the brain, displaying focus on analysis and objective detachment among other things and too little awareness of intuition, context and environment. He claims that the symptoms of schizophrenia in particular show regularly in people who have suffered trauma to the right hemisphere of the brain.
I didn’t understand this sentence ‘I was, for the most part, a diest at the time after having denounced Catholicism and hadn't had much exposure to protectionism, especially the conservative kind’. Did you mean you were a deist after Catholicism and didn’t have much exposure to Protestantism?
David Eagleman’s comment about ‘the false sense of an external presence, and, often, the hearing voices that are attributed to a god’ harmonises well with McGilchrist’s claim that the problem lies with the two brain hemispheres of the schizophrenic not functioning as they should, the left brain dominating and being utterly unaware that it has another side that it should be working with. When that right side sends messages to the left, the schizophrenic believes the communications are coming from outside of him/her.
I will enjoy looking at the video. I had heard vaguely about the possibility that the apostle Paul was epileptic. To be honest, I know very little about the Seventh Day Adventists even though I probably really should, what with their connection to my old teammates.
The strange thing about so many of us who were behaving in eccentric ways (to say the least) is the congregations just about always placed these people on high (not me, I was too autistically blunt about things). There was a refusal to accept what even the dogs in the street knew about the situation. And I guess, in a way, that’s a kind of madness too!

@VictoriaNotes I would safely bet you know a lot more about the workings of the brain than I do. I approached the topic from the point of view of culture but McGilchrist gets right into the workings (and the malfunctions that serve to demonstrate so much of the findings) of the brain and spends the first half of the book on the brain itself. When I first watched YouTube videos about his book, he spent a lot of time talking about the corpus callosum to explain the transfer of information between the hemispheres and also the findings from separation of the hemispheres by cutting through it to split the brain.

I didn’t initiate overcoming my fanaticism. It was a reaction to the breakdown of my marriage, which included severe criticism not just from my immediate family but also from the family I was born into and many other people. I had to do a lot of soul-searching, fast. Sadly, it wasn’t fast enough to save my relationship with my two sons. I couldn’t offer much more than acknowledgement of my failures and confirmation of my love for them but it was too little, too late. Much as I understand my ex-wife’s disappointment with me, I was also very disappointed with her behaviour so I thought I had to put that relationship behind me.

I had always suspended a lot of my disbelief to allow me to carry on as a JW. I was fine with the scriptures but dubious about the hierarchy. Later I found many more interpretations to scripture than I had known. But I was really impressed with Christine Hayes’ YouTube lectures about the Old Testament from the University of York, I think. Her confederate in the New Testament was Dale Martin. They radically changed my whole perspective on the Bible. But first I moved from being a JW to a very short spell as a generic Christian to becoming a voracious reader (I can’t help overdoing what I do) of anything to do with religion, myth and psychology. That and my disappointment with religion lead me first to atheism and then settled into agnosticism. I took a lot of notice of Jordon Peterson’s videos on Maps of Meaning and the Psychology of the Bible and those helped me look on the Bible in a new way.

So I’m back in the land of the ignorant and curious and loving all the new things I’m learning. To be blunt, I’m not one bit happy about losing eternal life as I used to understand it but who knows, if the explosions of stars gave way to little conscious beings like me, maybe that means the cosmos itself is conscious and something of me will always be bound up in it. The ideas I have of life after death come from Rupert Sheldrake’s fascinating musings on the nature of consciousness and the brain and morphic resonance.


It's very pretty.


and this

JeffMesser Level 8 Jan 13, 2019

interesting. I am digging this right now

JeffMesser Level 8 Jan 13, 2019

Very interesting post...thank you .

@VictoriaNotes I like to hear new things,...glad to listen.

@VictoriaNotes Thank you...that is a lovely compliment.

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