The congregating of people in one spot has an effect that is both addictive and meditative. Regardless of the purpose and reason as to why people are grouped together, the effect is one of constant curiousity, and an going relationship between actions and reactions. All of us are either participants or we are engaged in the actions of others. Participating in these crowds seems to provide the most benefit, but participation is not always welcome or possible.
Enhancing the experience of groups, is the power of voice or of many voices. When everyone is captivated by one voice on a stage, the tone and character of that voice helps calm, enrage, or release positive forms of energy from us all. President Obama could have been saying the same word over and over again during his inauguration speech, and the effect would have been equally the same. I am sure people around the world were feeling the same amount of energy as the people who stood by to watch on the grandstands.
Events like these echo into our past and reach deep within us to grasp at our roots. Not our roots in our close ancestors, but a time long ago where we all lived in tribes and small communities. In my mind, I can see us gathered around the campfire, listening intently to the leaders of the day stand up and voice their opinion. It is not what they’re saying that truly guides and motivates us, but how it is said. That is the base of our communication skills. The utterances, the pointing of fingers, the cries, the grunts, all combines to make us understand. It is how all of us started to communicate with our parents and siblings, and it is how some of us can only effectively communicate today.
Listening to one voice is powerful, but many voices singing in unison can be overwhelming. The energy released from their collective lungs, echoing off the walls of the cathedral, comes down to strike us like bolts of lightening. It is incredibly moving to hear a choir sing, especially when that song is lingering in your mind already. The song sounds a thousand times better being sung than what we hear in our minds. And to be amongst the congregation, having the choirs’ words come at you in one direction, and the others coming at you from behind, is one of the most uplifting experiences one can experience. At first, the anxious energies of people sing quietly to themselves, but with the encouragement of your neighbours, you become louder. In no time, the once quiet hall becomes deafening.
The most remarkable experience of this all is the silence afterwards. The song sounds out it’s final note, and it lingers in the air forever until the next sound of people sitting down. There is a collective breath at the end of a song, of a speech, of a performance. It is in those moments that we whisper our private thoughts to ourselves, and quietly wish things had never ended.
But it does remain within our minds and our hearts, resting peacefully with the other primal energies from our ancestors past. Joining the feelings of companionship, of a heart beat, of expression. There it will not be forgotten, but will remain until it awakens again.