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In Praise of Harmonics2011.10.11

    Discord seems to be the tone of the times. The news media seem addicted to it, oblivious to the fact that the chaos that they predict is in part of their own making.


    Robert Kiyosaki, international bestselling author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, has always shown a distrust for investments in volatile things like the stock market, instead advising people to invest in Real Estate and first take care of their cash flow. Fine as far as it goes, but now he is advising people to stockpile two years of food and water, exchange their cash for gold and silver, buy a gun and practice using it every day.


    Is this the kind of message we want to convey, every man for himself? If so, it comes with consequences. It strikes me that in many ways our future is a self-fulfilling prophesy, and therefore it is worth doing what we can to spread messages of harmony rather than conflict. In order to create harmony, it is important to realize that it is already a part of the order of nature, and knowing this we can do things to enhance rather than disrupt it.


    First it is worth watching an experiment called Pendulum Wave, duplicated in various forms on the Internet. Pendulum of various lengths are set in motion at the same time, and the result is a truly amazing series of harmonic variations that can seem more like choreography than random motion. You can see this amazing video at:


    As simple as it is, it is a beautiful and inspiring example of natural harmonies made visible through Kinetic Art. Each pendulum simply swings in its own rhythm, and the result is magic itself.


    We experience this more directly when we listen to music, a bath for body and soul. Music is one way in which we can experience and share harmony. It doesn’t take an understanding of Physics to appreciate music, but it does take listening at a deeper level. Michael J. Gelb, author of international bestseller How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, calls it layered listening, in which you gradually uncover awareness of all of the instruments and their intricate harmonies. It requires concentration and receptiveness, and is a far cry from the casual way that people usually let music slide by in the background.


    It is no surprise that musicians are called upon to rally people for global missions to aid suffering or promote peace. Music moves people and makes a lasting impression.


    Another way in which we can make use of harmonics is through color. Light is made of wave energy, which our eyes perceive as color. Just as our ears perceive harmonies of sound, our eyes can sense harmonies of color schemes, which can be measured and reproduced as scientifically as sound.


    There are various ways to generate and match harmonious colors online, such as Color Schemer at Software can be used to generate color schemes, though they are limited to what can be viewed on a web browser, and may not be as accurate as printed color palettes.


    There are also various approaches to color coordination in clothing and interiors, and professional certification for color consultants. Just as you need not become a sommelier to appreciate wine, it isn’t necessary to go to that level to appreciate and use color in your life in a more harmonious way.


    The advantage of using color is that is a subtle and silent language that communicates its messages constantly to those around us. Color psychology ranges from simplistic to sophisticated approaches, and color has different meanings in different cultures. But one thing is certain, colors harmonize and colors clash. Knowing the difference is already a big step in the right direction.


    The third way that you can communicate harmony to others is in your words and feelings. Human beings are extraordinarily sensitive to the nuances behind what is being said, though of course it is possible to get it wrong. “Them’s fighting words!” is a response to words spoken in conflict. The words “I love you,” mean less than the way in which they are spoken.


    People are more inclined to believe your tone of voice and your body language than your words. Your words carry your energy and intentions. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA established this years ago in a famous study that demonstrated the 7%-38%-55% rule, denoting the weight that people give respectively to verbal, vocal, and visual cues in deciding whether or not to trust a person.


    So rather than succumbing to media-induced panic about how bad things are going to be, why not do your part in positive praise of harmonics, by introducing simple but important changes in the way you experience and communicate through sound, color, and words.



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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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