If we are asked to think of an example of harmony, we probably envision some relaxed and peaceful situation, a moment in which we feel no pressure, when we are without stress or tension, with nothing particular to accomplish. Everything, we might say, is at rest in its proper place.
We can see that principle in operation in every form of art, as well–in painting, or poetry or sculpture. Thus, even in something as simple as an arrangement of flowers, each bloom appears to have its ‘right’ location, and when all the elements find their destined spot, they come together in a stillness that gives a deep satisfaction.
Although we long for harmony in the world, we seldom find it, and usually we blame others for this, the innumerable wrong-headed, inharmonious people who cause all the problems. To find harmony, though, we first have to tune ourselves. When Hazrat Inayat Khan played Indian music in the west, it was something new and unknown, and listeners, accustomed to western polyphony, wondered why there was no harmony in eastern music. But, as a real musician will know, the answer is that harmony is just as important in monophonic music – ask someone with a bad ear to sing a simple melody, such as a children’s song, and every false note will confirm that.
If we ourselves are not in harmony, or in other words, if we have not found that relaxed inner stillness, that feeling that everything is in its right place, then how can we possibly expect to see harmony in the world around us? When we play false notes in the symphony of life, it does not help to look accusingly at another section of the orchestra.