I think that discussion under the last post is a good one that I would like to keep going, but I think that this question is a separate and more foundational one. Can I have an emotional reaction that has nothing to do with the Spirit. I think it's obviously 'yes,' but I don't think everyone agrees with me here.
My gut is that music in film opens up a channel to our emotions and that what we feel there is not God. (Now these are all very vague issues, and describing them in words will always fall short. Nevertheless, I consider it a worth while effort.) If what I wrote above is true, that sweeping music elicits an emotional, not spiritual response, then does that mean that music alone never
elicits a spiritual response? Is it always emotional?
I think that some of our responses to the questions asked about the Spirit and art are responses about emotions, not about the Spirit. But why would I think that my experiences with the Spirit would qualify me to dictate what yours could be? I know a few things that are on my mind about this distinction, and I know my experiences. I'll share those and I'd really appreciate if you would share yours.
1. That Romans 8:16 says: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God"
In this verse, there are two spirits being talked about: The Spirit of God, and the spirit of us. Big 'S', little 's'. And both of them are 'bearing witness.' That is something amazing in my mind. Did YOU know that YOUR spirit could testify? I don't know the terms, procedures, or requirements for this, but it is worth noting.
I don't believe that I even know what it would be to elicit a spiritual response, but the doctrine in this verse is key to understanding it, I am convinced. I don't believe that it is the same thing as our emotions bearing witness.
2. I know that our emotions and our spirits are very closely linked. Nephi wrote that he began to cry more as he became more 'spiritually in-tune' with the Lord (how's that for a phrase with a LOT of topical baggage.
3. I believe that the distinction might best be described by looking at the order of our meetings. The hymn always comes before the prayer/ordinance. The spiritual experience (the connection with God) comes after not during the hymn. The hymn's purpose is to prepare for, not replace, the Spirit.
The idea is that after we have alerted our senses, we will be more receptive to God's presence and His counsel.
That way, our reaction to the preparation (intellectual as well as emotional) is based on taste, culture, training... and I don't know that our receptiveness to the Spirit is influenced by those factors.
4. I know that sometimes I have been given direction as a result of a piece of art. I felt things as I pondered the work (could I have said experienced? I'm really not sure. But it would have to be an active verb). My interaction with a piece of art was always active rather than passive if I was received any divine direction. I know that that is not emotion. It is from outside of both me and my biology.
However, I know that the Spirit does not only speak this way to us. It sometimes primarily a Comforter. That does not require direction.
These are the biggest conclusions I've come to on my own, and I would greatly appreciate you to share yours.