Music is one of the best ways to listen to the spark. Often a piece of music can touch you in ways that are difficult to describe in words. But the experience itself is as real as you can get. This kind of intuitive knowledge through experience is a sure sign that you are listening to the spark. Music helps us transcend the artificial boundaries that the material world uses to separate us, whether race, religion, ethnicity, age or whatever.
Some artists seem to make it their job to uncover the divine spark within themselves, while at the same time acting as a catalyst for you to uncover the spark within you when you listen to their music in this intuitive way with an open mind. Some musicians bring a message of unity and love through the uniqueness of their music. Matisyahu is one such artist. His music is steeped in elements of Jewish spirituality and mysticism. Matisyahu first came to my attention with his excellent inspirational song “One Day”, released in 2009. If only the world would move in the direction of peace and understanding he describes in that song.
Matisyahu appears to have evolved spiritually since he started making music. You can read about his journey at various spots around the internet where people discuss his music. From what I see it boils down to something like this: He went from finding meaning and comfort by immersing himself in Orthodox Judaism, to saying that “[w]hat he is now isn’t always clear – and that’s fine with Matisyahu.” I love it when people move from certainty into uncertainty. In some ways I think being certain about many things, especially spiritual or religious matters, is almost guaranteed to stifle or even shut off your channel to the spark. Uncertainty, on the other hand, raises awareness and heightens the senses — just what is needed to listen to the spark. As Matisyahu says,
“I think that things grow and people move in different directions … I’m just continuing and trying just to make the decisions that feel right and go after, intuitively, the things that I know to be right.”
That about sums up what it means to listen to the spark, and Matisyahu’s latest album, “Spark Seeker”, goes right to the heart of the matter. Like Matisyahu’s new spiritual point of view, it is difficult to stick the album into any one category. It has been described as a mix of “reggae, hip-hop and electronica layered over Middle Eastern instruments and rhythms.” Sounds good to me. Who needs categories anyway? Also, it’s not necessary to agree with Matisyahu’s political opinions to enjoy his music; that’s true of other musicians as well. Nobody is perfect, and the world would be much less interesting if everyone was. We should appreciate those parts of people (including ourselves) that bring joy to the world. Just listen here to the music, and you’ll hear the spark — Matisyahu’s and hopefully your own.