Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Higher Place


I was off on a run today and I decided to play Spotify's pre-selected running/work-out playlist rather than my own work out music because I was getting a trifle tired with my selected tracks and needed some more inspiration to get through my route.

Image result for running with ipod gif

One of the first songs that came own was called Higher Place, and the artists behind it are Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike feat. Ne-Yo.  I have never heard of this song nor of those artists, so I decided to look into it a bit more after my run.

Even as I was running, I was listening to the lyrics and I thought about them as I went along.

The song was pretty jammy on it's own, and I quickly fell in love with the lyrics.



Before I go along explaining my feelings on this song, let me just mention that of course there are thousands of ways to interpret any given song, and I don't proclaim to be an expert after hearing the song for the first time a few hours ago.

Show me to a higher place
Take me to outer space
I want you to be my friend
We'll make it till the world ends

Show me to a higher place
Take me to outer space
I want you to be my friend
We'll make it till the world ends

Don't give me love
Governed by life
Limited by
These worldy heights
I want a love
That the universe
Can never stop
Can never hurt
I want a love that will last
After this world is our past
A love that no time could erase
A love in a higher place

These are some of the most poetic lyrics I have ever heard in what I would typically term EDM (do you think this is a fair assessment?  I think this qualifies as EDM but I'm not 100%--let's be real, I mostly listen to Prokofiev.)

Image result for wink gif

The whole third stanza really connects to something that philosophers and even the common man have felt for centuries--or as my mom would call it "the human condition".



My mom studied Russian history in college (she actually has a master's in the subject) so when I first started reading War and Peace (by Leo Tolstoy--an author she read a lot of) she kept talking to me about why it's a classic and how it shows the human condition, yadahyadahyadah...

I love having literature conversations, so I asked my mom over and over again what the "human condition" specifically means, but she said it was just something you had to learn over time as you grow up and gave some pretty vague descriptions.

Image result for war and peace gif

I have no doubt that my very intelligent mother knows exactly what she is talking about, but as for me, I still remain a bit in the dark.  The more I read and study, the more I think I am understanding what the human condition might mean, particularly in literature.  Also...the more I read the more I am completely sure I know nothing...didn't Leo Tolstoy say something like that in one of my favorite quotes from W&P...

"All we can know is that we know nothing. And that is the summit of human wisdom."

And I think I remember Socrates saying something similar as well...

Image result for all we can know is that we know nothing and that is the summit of human wisdom

So does anyone really know what "the human condition" is?   Discuss.

So as I was saying, this song expresses some deep seeded desires of the human heart (some might call them the "human condition" or something like that...) that have been reflected in philosophers since time immemorial, basically.

Don't give my love 
governed by life

In the ancient days of chivalry, knights would have their ladies, of course, but what sets chivalry apart from other forms of romance is that the knights had such esteem for their ladies that they were never supposed to consummate their love. Rather than just eros, the knights were meant to be full of agape, or charitable love (like the love between God and his people, according to the medievals).  

The knights strove to keep their love completely pure (in their minds this was accomplished by not succumbing to bodily desires) and demonstrate their love by doing great acts in the name of their lady.  

Image result for knight and lady painting

In this way, knights didn't let their love be "governed by life" because they resisted the very natural humanlike tendency for physical pleasure and went for what they viewed as a higher road, great acts and honor.  This concept is called fine amour, and stems from Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy.  

Perhaps moderns feel the same way--or a similar way--as the medievals did.  No one wants their love to only be an incentive for continuously reproducing and egging the species on, like an animal, nor does anyone seek true love by just finding someone they can get the most pleasure out of.  

What people really want is something more than that--something transcendent--like the knights wanted.

Eros is not a bad thing, but it is empty without agape.  The knights of medieval times, and apparently the writers of this song picked up on a bit of that sentiment.

Image result for knight and lady painting

Show me to a higher place
Take me to outer space
I want you to be my friend
We'll make it till the world ends

Show me to a higher place
Take me to outer space
I want you to be my friend
We'll make it till the world ends

Don't sell me short
(Don't sell me short)
On unconditional
(On unconditional)
I want a love
Beyond what we all know
Whoooooooo
I want a love that will last
After this world is our past
A love that no time could erase
A love in a higher place

Who is Someone that gives love unconditionally, is often referred to as living in a higher place, and is understood to be outside of time and beyond human knowledge...hmm....

Image result for jesus thinking

Show me to a higher place
Take me to outer space
I want you to be my friend
We'll make it till the world ends

Show me to a higher place
Take me to outer space
I want you to be my friend
We'll make it till the world ends

Show me to a higher place
Take me to outer space
I want you to be my friend
We'll make it till the world ends

I wanted to share this song with y'all because I like it--it has a great beat and some potent lyrics.

It's also great for running.

exercise, hobby, jog

Image credits: Unzippedtv, Quotefancy, Now magazine, Tenor, Pinterest, Twitter
Sources: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Philosophy of Love)

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