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September 1st, 2005

Faith in the music @ 11:02 pm

bonoffee:
I replied this to zoostation's post, but I think it would make a good discussion topic too!

I'm totally not religious, I don't believe in a God or anything, and I wouldn't call myself spiritual either. But U2's music lifts me, spiritually, and I feel connected with... something. It's not a religious thing but it's... I can't explain. Something I don't feel at other times. Like listening to WOWY when Bono does the 'we shine like stars...' bit at 3am when it's raining outside and you feel shit. Suddenly you feel full of some kind of joy. It's weird but amazing.

Does anyone else get this? Anyone who's not religious, like me, feel the same? Sometimes I think maybe I'm missing something by not appreciating the religious references in some of U2's songs, but then today I read Bono saying this:

"It's [their faith] there for people who are interested. It shouldn't be there for people who aren't."

and that made me feel a whole lot better! Thanks Bono, ah what a legend. Even if John Lydon thinks his trousers are too tight. *frowns and thinks Bono's trousers need close examination to really form a proper opinion...*
 
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From:walrusoct9
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
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I think their music can fill people with hope or faith in things other than god. The great thing about U2 lyrics is that most of their songs can be interpreted in many different ways, so even someone like myself who stays as far away from religion as humanly possible can still get something meaningful out of the songs.
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From:bonoffee
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
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Yes, exactly what I feel too. I had a debate (argument?) with someone not long ago about the meaning behind 'Until the End of the World' because as most of us know it's a conversation between Jesus and Judas. But that's only one interpretation, and while I can appreciate that and I do think it's really clever, on my own level I take it as a bitter song between two lovers.

U2 are geniuses, that's what it is. :D
From:walrusoct9
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:39 pm (UTC)
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I think that one is pretty obvious, but to me Jesus and Judas are just two characters that have symbolic meaning, which allows you to see the song a little differently, I suppose.
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From:sapphires13
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:45 pm (UTC)
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Speaking of Until The End Of The World. I totally freaked out a friend of mine when I totally re-interpreted that song into totally different. U2 songs are so versatile. They can fit so many things. They are geniuses.

And as for what that interpretation was.. well you'll just have to wait, because I'm mean like that >=O
I'll make a new entry with it in the next day or so (I was planning on making an entry about it eventually anyway).

Oh, and another thing I kind of started to say in my own LJ today, but then didn't, was that the middle eight in Please ("September, streets capsizing, spilling over and down the drain, shards of glass, splinters like rain, but you could only feel your own pain, October, talk getting nowhere, November, December, Remember? Have we just started again?") can fit so much stuff. I'd been remarking recently that it strangely fit September 11th. But today, I realized it sort of fits what's going on now, with Katrina.. well really the hurricane was an end-of-August event, but it is September now, and it's still going on.
From:onebadkite
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC)
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I know what you mean, but U2's music goes both ways for me. I was having an utterly crap day yesterday, and was ready to give up on a friend ever really being there for me, and "Stay" was playing.... holy sobfest!

Next up, Original of the Species played, and made me feel oodles better, especially the "ribbits".

I think I'm U2bipolar. ;-)
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From:meri_sielu
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:26 pm (UTC)
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Totally, so many of their songs do that for me but there's a few lines in "Miracle drug" that get me everytime, I think it's the musical build up towards it too but I'm not sure...it's something that I just can't put my finger on....

"Time will disappear, love and logic keep us clear..."
"The songs are in your eyes, I see them when you smile and I've had enough of romantic love, I give it up, yeah I give it up...."

and "They're whispering, in science and in medicine I was a stranger you took me in"

They set me off everytime. Probably just because I've just gone through a breakup that I doubt I'm going to get over but all the same, beautiful song. <3
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From:bonoffee
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:31 pm (UTC)
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Oh yeah, I'm not saying all of their stuff lifts you! LIB on a dark night's never a bed of roses ;) If my mood's really down stuff that like isn't going to help. But they have such a lot of songs that do help as well, you just have to not put them on shuffle and take the chance ;)

U2 make us all U2bipolar ;)
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From:wire_tripper
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
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When i didn't belive in God, which wasn't that long ago, U2's music always made me feel connected to something larger than myself.

Couple years ago i was having the most frustraiting day. Bad day at school, came home and found out i had to go volunteer at the local library later that night, just felt totally out of it, angry as hell. Put on ATYCLB, and when the song "Peace on Earth" came on i stopped running around trying to get ready, sat on my bed, and cried. It just pushed out so much negativity that was inside of me.
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From:specialcamper
Date:September 1st, 2005 10:51 pm (UTC)
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Totally off topic, but I wasnt fully paying attention to your icon and I thought it was Bono and Indiana Jones!!!
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From:sapphires13
Date:September 1st, 2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
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Don't give her ideas! She writes fanfic, and that's one that would just be a little bit too weird XD
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From:specialcamper
Date:September 1st, 2005 11:33 pm (UTC)
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Oh God No!
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From:bonoffee
Date:September 2nd, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
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Lol! Well I can see how you might be mistaken ;) I've changed the icon now, he looks less like Indiana Jones now!
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From:sapphires13
Date:September 1st, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
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**points at icon** It was that bit of Vertigo that drew me to U2. The religious reference. At the time, (and really over the last couple of years) I'd really been having a struggle with whether or not I even had any faith, or could have any.
Somehow I was under some strange belief that I was too much of a sinner to ever be a believer, or something. But these strange men in the iPod commercial were singing about God (of course, I knew that they were U2 and that U2 had put God in their songs before, but I had no idea to how great the extent).
In the long run, it was listening to the music, and reading about Bono's (and the other guys') stance on his faith that made me realize I could stop worrying and just relax and believe in whatever it is I believe.
It's funny though. I'm not a Christian. I'm something, but I'm not anything specific. I can't say whether or not I actually believe in any sort of even close to tangible God. I pray, and yet I don't know who I'm praying to, or even who I want to pray to.
I don't need that. I don't need a structured religion or any of that. I'm happy enough being able to believe in whatever, without feeling guilty about it (isn't it odd that I would feel guilty for having faith? It's usually the other way around).
I do feel that spiritual lift in a lot of U2 songs. All Because Of You being the one that has been known to make me get out of bed in the middle of the night to dance around my room singing, and then eventually get on my knees and pray/praise.
With U2, and that feeling, you really don't have to be a Christian, or even a believer of anything specific. It's a pure joy. Just joy, and nothing specific about it. I love it (hard as it is to explain!).
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From:zoostation
Date:September 1st, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC)
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I can't remember which post I made about this. Refresh my memory?

I think the great thing about words is how each one has an effect on us. With the English language being as extensive as it is, it's amazing that U2 (well mostly Bono) can pick out such words, such a combination of words that can really get us going. The music obviously has plenty to do with it. The right pairing of lyrics and music makes it legendary. Like WOWY or One.
When this happens, it makes you feel right. You know what I mean? Like something makes sense. Like you have a connection with something in this world. Whether it be God, Nature, your self (sort of a nirvana I guess) or even with Bono.
Everyone on this Earth wants and needs a connection to something/one. It makes this huge planet feel like one big neighbor.

Words can give hugs!
XD
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From:sapphires13
Date:September 2nd, 2005 12:17 am (UTC)
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It was this'n.

**totally stalking both of you**
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From:zoostation
Date:September 2nd, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
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Ahhh, the post ONE person responded to. After the first like 8 hours I stopped checking back.

Interesting response. :)
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From:surfgirl83
Date:September 2nd, 2005 12:26 am (UTC)
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I totally agree. But my mind is blank right now so I can't think of anything better to say.

Where'd you read that? *what Bono said?*
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From:bonoffee
Date:September 3rd, 2005 11:48 am (UTC)
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Yo dude. I can't remember, lol! Online, probably. Oh no wait, it was maybe in my U2 book.
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From:unorthodox_muse
Date:September 2nd, 2005 12:28 am (UTC)
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I've been through a string of "religions" in my life. I mean, I tortured myself... embarrassingly enough... Mormons, Jehovah Witness's, Deep Southern Fried Baptists, Pentecostal, Foursquare.... etc.... I still haven't found what I'm lookin for - hell, I think I've stopped looking.

The only way I even feel slightly connected to a "god" these days is when I attend a U2 concert. Those good feelings flow during a show - something u2 is good at bringing out. I am agnostic at this point in my life, but U2 makes me lean towards the "there really is a god" side. I tend to believe Bono is a modern day prophet. Although I am agnostic I am thankful for U2 and their influence today as far as this whole god thing. This is the kind of music, these are the kind of lyrics and the kind of beliefs that are good for my kids to be hearing over the airwaves.
From:ex_darshan119
Date:September 2nd, 2005 02:56 am (UTC)

I'm far from someone who wants to change your beliefs. . .

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But I will be the first to say I believe in God or god, however you choose to spell the word.

What I would challenge you and those that consider themselves Agnostics (speaking as a former Agnostic myself) is for you to consider the packaging that you choose to put God into. Most of us who want to believe in God want to put "him" in a silver chair somewhere, and imagine that "person" somehow exerting control over our lives and destinies.

I could sit here and tell you what I believe God "is" and where God exists. But going into extreme detail just isn't important here. I believe that everytime that you are carried to higher place, aspiration, feeling, relief. . . Something deeper than what you find in your day-to-day life is proof of the existence of God. When you feel like you are closer to a stranger standing next to you when Bono is belting out an emploring high note in his music, there lies the presence of God.

Furthermore, I find that when you open yourself to the possibility that God is everywhere in your life, you begin to find it in the most insignificant places. Which is amazing. . . When you think about it, aren't we all looking in one way or another to "fill that God-shaped hole"?

When it comes down to it, the labels are stupid. Find God where you feel it, look deep inside and all around you, and you are likely to find God. The truth of the matter is we are all wired differently when it comes to finding God. Studies are beginning to tell us that we have genetic dispositions to finding God, which is why Atheists aren't wrong either. Remember that God belongs as much to you alone as the rest of us, we just need to find the place as individuals when we can look a Muslim in the eye and respect them and their beliefs, just as much as Christian, Jew, Pagan or anyone else. That to me, is learning to find God. . . Respect your own and respect others, because we are more similar than we are different.

In peace and respect,

--Darshan
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From:bonoffee
Date:September 2nd, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)

Re: I'm far from someone who wants to change your beliefs. . .

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I see what you're saying but with all respect I have absolutely no wish or intention to 'find' a god of any sort (well, unless you count Larry Mullen Jr.). I'm not looking to fill any hole - I don't have any holes that a belief in a god would fill. It's just not part of me. When I feel lifted by Bono singing, I'm lifted by Bono singing. By his humanity and his expression and what he's saying in his songs, and I'm lifted by The Edge's guitar, and everything else like that.
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From:rational_twists
Date:September 2nd, 2005 03:12 am (UTC)
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I don't consider myself religious either, though I used to be. And somehow that all fell away and I was very spiritual for awhile, but a lot of that faded too. I don't know if I believe in God or not. I'm Catholic, so that should explain a lot of my confusion. :P

I do feel very spiritual when I listen to U2. I remember watching some countdown on VH1 or something and somebody said a U2 concert is like having a religious experience. It's really true. I felt closer to something through a live performance of "City of Blinding Lights" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" than I ever felt sitting through a homily.

I've learned that religion just doesn't matter at all. I do believe that spirituality is key, not to get to some happy place in an afterlife, but to really feel fulfilled. I definitely found that fulfillment through (among other things) U2.
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From:boriel
Date:September 2nd, 2005 03:16 am (UTC)
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I totally get this, but i'm at a disadvantage - i'm religious :)

seriously though, i find that U2s music helps me feel more connected to my God, without the religion stuff getting in the way. it helps me talk to my creator like he's in the same room, without worrying if i'm doing it right. And many of u2's songs remind me of gods word and his promises to me - of course they would as bono has more than a good working knowledge of the bible..he just words things in modern language.

if you feel more uplifted, more spiritual...i think thats a bonus. Enjoy it for what it is.
From:echo0001
Date:September 2nd, 2005 03:54 am (UTC)
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I'm not religious.

What I find (and this is probably weird) is that U2's music makes me feel more connected to ... well, me. Listening to their music after a bad day, a hectic day, whatever, helps me feel more centered. Perhaps just because it's such good music, it focuses my head after a rough day and I feel better.

*shrug*

And on the emotional impact of connecting to their music: After ATYCLB came out, I got my copy and found that I couldn't listen to it all the way through. It sounded like a suicide note. It was just so raw and emotionally-packed that I couldn't make it through the whole thing. I remember it kind of made me nervous; what is going on in this man's head that he's writing songs like this?

It was quite awhile before I could listen to it all the way through. That's how strong the connection is when I hear Bono's voice.
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From:canadanne
Date:September 2nd, 2005 10:43 pm (UTC)

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I'm exactly the same. I'm not at all religious (and religion bugs me a lot of the time), but U2 music is definitely good for the soul. I think the main reason this band is so huge is that they're amazingly good at taking all the emotions in the world - everything from pure beauty to the deepest pain - and somehow translating them into musical form. It's stuff that everybody can relate to and find comfort in... it makes you feel good because it's like somebody else understands what you're going through.

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