He was born in 1756 in Salzburg, making him what we would call a “classical” musician.
At three years old, this child would listen to his sister’s clavier lessons and thereafter mimic what he has heard, reportedly to some great delight.
By the age of seven, while attending a performance in the Sistine Chapel, the young boy is noted to have transcribed the music by ear – thereby producing an unauthorized copy of a work which had been tediously guarded by the Vatican to that point.
His first Symphony was completed at the age of eight.
His works eventually numbered over 600, culminating with an unfinished Requiem.
He died in 1791. He was 35 years old.
What I would like you to note about this short biography is that he didn’t try to be anything other than what he was. He gave full, unapologetic rise to that which was within him. And when I say “unapologetic,” he’s quoted as having said, “All I insist on, and nothing else, is that you should show the whole world that you are not afraid. Be silent, if you choose; but when it is necessary, speak – and speak in such a way that people will remember it.”
And yet it is without argument that in giving full, unapologetic rise to that which was within him, he changed the world. And I find myself thinking of us. For I believe we exist at a time when the world needs changing. And, if there’s a lesson to be learned from the life of this musician, I think it’s a lesson best summarized by Howard Thurman who wrote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
In normative religion, we might be tempted to say that what the world needs is people who follow the will of God. But what is this will of God? Rather than perpetuating a model in which this will of God is some galactic game of hide and seek played by a distant and fickle anthropomorphic male with a beard, consider the will of God to be the higher potentials unique to you (as ever-unfolding, ever-evolving soul stuff) longing for expression. So, to follow this will of God, then, is to do what was so beautifully demonstrated by this composer –to give rise to those higher potentials unique to you, higher potentials longing for expression. In a sense, then, to follow this will of God is to stop resisting. It’s to get out of the way. It’s to finally say yes to the prompting of your soul.
In other words, to follow this will of God, then, is to cultivate your higher self and to give it away in such a way that people will remember it.
My friends, God’s will isn’t a singular task imposed upon you from without. Stop looking for it in the clouds. God’s will is an evolutionary impulse allowed by you from within. Start looking for it with the heart.