Saturday, March 15, 2014

Frisson: Trapped in the amber of the moment

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Sometimes, while listening to music, something weird and beautiful happens. Time stops. It stops being of any significance, it stops having instinctual power over you. But mostly, it just stops.  Like most feelings, there is in fact a word for this sudden thrill and excitement. FrissonFrisson is a shudder of emotion, a fleeting sensation of excitement from an epic moment of a song, or the climax of a movie. 

 During these instances, reality becomes surreal. Almost a mirage. Your body's autopilot takes over. You  make decisions, you do things that you don't remember 10 seconds after you've done them. Your body is doped on life, literally. Moments of frisson release dopamine in your body, which is intoxicating.

This is one of those times your own reality starts looking terribly unimportant. Everything both makes sense and doesn't. Music seeps into you.This is, in my opinion, an altered state of consciousness. Some of the most complex and creative thoughts are birthed while listening to music. They cannot be defined, but you can understand their potent essence. They have a reality of their own, separate from themselves. It is the outburst of soul.

Many take these moments of introspection and gain unquantifiable insight. But mostly, during these short times of frisson, time feels like an instant. It is both over very quickly and lingers for a long time. Like cocaine and Morphine, the ecstasy from the frisson of an event decimates after the first time. Replaying that song will churn up the same feeling, yes. But with a reduced presence. Watching that movie will never be the same, again. But this has no effect on the moment you just experienced.

"Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything?"
 "Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber? Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why."

Time is not the boss of you.
 You sprout a global consciousness, a compulsion to do something about the current state of affairs, but it all feels so insubstantial. A negligible period after the end of a novel. You gain the brevity of human existence and a new perspective for that short while. The meaningless life forces us to find our own meaning, even if it lasts for not more than an instant.

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