The Mysteries of Harmony

April 1, 2024

When moving into our home in 2007, we had to invest in a new backyard patio project due to some water issues. As we dreamed up the design, I was moved to create the ying-yang symbol within the stonework. It’s a beautiful and dynamic symbol of life, and perhaps I was subconsciously grounding our family home with harmony.

What is harmony’s essence really about?

Is it a virtue, a philosophy, a religious concept, a musical language, or an innate aspect of our cognitive makeup? I believe the answer is yes to all of these, depending on which lens you view harmony through. I believe that embracing harmony, in its entirety, is a continuous journey of growth because it’s about finding balance, pleasure, peace, connection, and understanding in all aspects of life. It’s definitely part of the magical mystery tour!

Some Fun Facts:

Etymology and Mythology: The roots of harmony extend back to ancient Greece, where it was personified as Harmonia, the goddess of concord. The word “harmony” itself derives from the Greek word ἁρμονία (harmonía), signifying “a fastening or join.” Daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, she presided over both marital harmony, soothing strife and discord, and harmonious action of soldiers in war. Late Roman writers sometimes portrayed her more abstractly– a deity who presided over cosmic balance.

Cultural and Philosophical Foundations: Harmony has been revered as a global guiding principle. In Chinese Taoism, symbolized by the yin and yang, harmony emerges from alignment with nature’s cycles and rhythms. Taoist philosophy advocates for balance, spontaneity, and the fluidity of existence, recognizing nature’s inherent wisdom.

Musical Harmony: In music theory, harmony refers to the combination of different musical notes played or sung simultaneously to create a pleasing sound. Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher (“Father of Music and Mathematics”), taught that music should never be approached simply as a form of entertainment. Instead, he recognized that music was an expression of “HARMONIA,” the Divine principle that brings order to chaos. Thus music has a dual value because like math, it reveals the underlying structures of the universe, offering a glimpse into the cosmic symphony.

Visual Harmony: Artists, designers and architects harness the power of harmony to create visually captivating compositions. Whether through the careful arrangement of colors, shapes, lines or textures, harmonious design captivates the eye and evokes a sense of unity and coherence. Each element contributes to the aesthetic harmony, creating a pleasing visual experience.

Psychological Harmony: Beyond external manifestations, harmony resonates within the depths of the human psyche. It manifests as inner peace, calmness, balance and a profound sense of alignment with the universe. Breathwork and hanging with horses can help cultivate this essential aspect of harmony!

Societal Harmony:  Harmony promotes constructive and peaceful coexistence in societies. In our divisive world, the pursuit of harmony takes on renewed urgency. Teaching, practicing and embodying the values of empathy, tolerance and respect for diversity can help us work towards creating a harmonious future for us all.

Reflections: Where does harmony manifest in your life? Perhaps it’s in the rhythm or melody of your favorite music, the serenity of your favorite park, or the warmth of meaningful connections with family, friends and pets. Embrace it all and keep exploring!

In the symphony of life, may harmony be your guiding melody.