The following questions are an exercise I did in response to reading page 43 for John Cage’s book Silence. Silence is one of the most interesting, unique, and important music books ever written by who I believe to be the most important figure in modern music (and my personal favorite composer/music philosopher). On this page (and several others) Cage presents a series of questions I have responded to these questions by asking my own. Cage’s words are in normal font and mine are in italics. I recommend any/everyone to find a copy of silence and try this. its a great tool to further understand Cage’s world. Plus it’s a lot of fun.
Have we got religion?
Do we need to have Religion or Spirituality?
Do we have mythology?
Does the role of mythology differ from the role of religion?
Would we know what to do with one if we had one?
Will we always abuse religion to harm others?
Have we got a way to make money?
Once we have a way to make money, then what?
And if money is made, will it be spent on music?
Does culture or money motivate music…or is it something else?
If Russia spends sixty million for the Brussels Fair, lots of it for music and dance, and American spends one-tenth of that, six million about, does that mean that one out often Americans is as musical and kinesthetic as all the Russians put together?
Will lack of money change music production?
If we drop money, what have we got?
If use money what do we have?
Since we haven’t yet dropped truth, where shall we go looking for it?
Shall we start from within?
Didn’t we say we weren’t going, or did we just ask where we were going?
Are we always going somewhere?
If we didn’t say we weren’t going, why didn’t we?
Will we ever admit we aren’t going somewhere?
If we had any sense in our heads, wouldn’t we know the truth instead of going around looking for it?
is truth what we seek or the discovery of truth?
How otherwise would we, as they say, be able to drink a glass of water?
is intuition the only aspect of the journey, or even the most important?
We know, don’t we. everybody else’s religion, mythology, and philosophy and metaphysics backwards and forwards, so what need would we have for one of our own if we had one, but we don’t do we?
Is identity important for us?
But music, do we have any music?
Do we have any music now?
Wouldn’t it be better to just drop music too?
Would we have an identity without it?
Then what would we have?
would we still have sound or art?
Is there more now?
Do you mean to say it’s a purposeless play?
is sound accepted now?
Is that what it is when you get up and head the first sound of each day?
is that (sound) music?
Is it possible that I could go on monotonously asking questions forever?
Could I possibly create unique answers through only questions?
Would I have to know how many questions I was going to ask?
Would it become uninteresting or just be uninteresting from the beginning, or neither?
Do I have to know when to stop?
is monotony truly boring?
Is this the one chance we have to be alive and ask a question?
Have we got religion?
How long will we be alive?
What is truth?