Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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The will has been Arthur Schopenhauer's concept for the true inner nature or the thing-in-itself of the world. The will that is within a person causes suffering to the person. A person is driven by the will for some kind of fulfillment and once he or she attains that fulfillment, he or she very quickly moves to a new desire, otherwise boredom will set in. If the person fails to attain the fulfillment, he or she will feel dismay. Given this, a person's inner will does not allow him or her lasting fulfillment and obtaining peace and happiness. Another kind of will leading to suffering within a person is caused by the 'blind' will. The will acts blindly within a person, driving a person without any reason or cause and the person has no conscious control over these blind strivings of the will. Schopenhauer proposed that aesthetic contemplation of artworks could provide relief from our will leading to sufferings, though temporarily. Music, however, is a kind of artwork that Schopenhauer considers standing apart from the other kinds of art works. Music according to Schopenhauer is a direct manifestation (Abbild) of the will. Music is "…as immediate an objectification and copy of the whole will…" However, in accordance with Schopenhauer's concept of aesthetic contemplation, it seems that Schopenhauer has fallen short of explaining specifically on how experiencing music as a direct manifestation (Abbild) of the will provides relief from the will driven suffering? In other words, how a listener of music can become "…will-less…" (Schopenhauer 1969:179) thereby gaining relief from the will and suffering? This research paper examines and analyzes Schopenhauer's concepts of aesthetic contemplation and music for formulating how listening to music can bring relief to the will driven sufferings of a listener. The findings of this research arrived at the formulation that non-imitative music (i.e. music that does not imitate the phenomenon): (1) Acts directly on a listener's inner willing and the listener resonates with the music; (2) Causes the listener to experience an essence of emotions; and (3) As a result of (1) and (2) the listener feels transcended out of space and causality, is suspended from will driven suffering and becomes a will-less listener of music.

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