Friday, December 10, 2010

Science and the Beautiful

A story on MSNBC goes as follows:
'Messiah' give you chills? That's a clue to your personality

Brian Alexander writes: Some of us get the chills when hearing Handel’s exultant “Messiah” this time of year. For others, it’s the simple, yet joyful opening strains of Vince Guaraldi’s music at the start of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Or it might be Bing Crosby’s poignant “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” that triggers goose bumps. (Or for the sillier of us, his whimsical “Mele Kalikimaka” might just do it.)

Well, it turns out that getting chills upon hearing music is an actual thing, you know, like scientists study. And a new report in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science says that who gets music-induced chills and who doesn’t might depend on personality.

Isn't it so typical of the soulless worlds of the mainstream media and the science community to reduce and dissect the sense of awe we experience when confronted with beauty to mere "personality" differences? Of course, there are biological factors involved, since feeling obviously involves the senses and the body, but there is a deeper, ineffable aspect to the person's encounter with beauty that cannot be explained away by resorting to reactions in the brain which can vary from person to person. As William F. Buckley once observed, we need to ask ourselves, not only about the moving feelings we confront when experiencing beauty, but, even more profoundly, "what is the cause of inspiration" that resulted in the beautiful piece of art, literature or music?

No comments:

Post a Comment