From the standpoint of someone who has dealt with the feelings and reactions of musicians, professionally, for 45 years: let’s hear it for rationality! Good to have an engaged feeling-life; not good to base life-directing decisions on arbitrary impulses and prejudices; in a word, irrationality.
But reason only goes so far, albeit a long way. To travel further requires a leap in the dark; in a word, faith. Perhaps better expressed, then, as a leap into the Light. Faith is not superstition, not investment in dogma; rather, an experiential participation and engagement in a creative process informed by Love: an action founded in a discipline, way or practice. Belief is personal, what we hold. Faith is impersonal, and embraces us.
For a boy, to aspire to a world-standard as a guitarist when tone deaf and with no sense of rhythm, is profoundly unreasonable; very much a leap in the dark. Yet, to follow that aim required the application of reason, and a lot of practising.
All the learned textbooks, on the –ologies and –isms of various forms of musical undertaking, don’t quite prepare us for when Music leans over and whispers in our ears, and takes us into its confidence. When we have a direct contact with the promptings of the Muse, the weighty books are useful for framing discussion of our experiencings, placing them in the wider context of musical, cultural and social life; but not as much for explaining the mechanics of how and why music, the Wine of Silence, enters our lives.
Music engages the feelings, and is perhaps the best readily-available language we have for expressing the feeling-life. Perhaps, in time, we move from believing in the power of music to having faith in Music’s essential benevolence.
Reason is primarily a cerebral activity, and best addresses the phenomenal world, what is available to sensory investigation; and stops in front of the noumenal. Both conditioned and unconditioned worlds (of facts and values) are necessary, to be brought together in action; which shouldn’t be so hard - because they are not apart. We can analyse the soundings of music and its forms of organization – frequencies and structure – but to enter the quality of musicness, something else is required; and this involves the heart.
Our practical difficulty is the fragmented nature of the human being: we are apart-within-ourselves, out of tune, out of time, discordant. So, this then becomes a practical question: how do we achieve personal harmony? This question may be reasonably addressed.