Music differs from, say, travel.
When you travel, you are trying to get somewhere. In music, though, one doesn't make the end of a composition the point of the composition. If so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest, and there would be composers who wrote only finales. People would go to the concert just to hear one crackling chord, because that's the end!
Same way with dancing. You don't aim at a particular spot in the room, that's where you should arrive. The whole point of the dancing is the dance.
Now, but we don't see that as something brought by our education into our everyday conduct. We've got a system of schooling which gives a completely different impression. It's all graded and what we do is put the child into the corridor of this grade system, with a kind of "Come on, kitty, kitty, kitty." And now you go to kindergarten you know, and that's a great thing because when you finish that you get into first grade. And then, "Come on," first grade leads to second grade and so on, and then you get out of grade school, you've got high school, and it's revving up, the thing is coming, then you're going to go to college, and by Jove, then you get into graduate school, and when you're through with graduate school, you go out to join the world. Then you get into some racket where you're selling insurance, and they've got that quota to make, and you're gonna make that, and all the time the thing is coming. It's coming. That great thing, the success you're working for.
Then you wake up one day about forty years old, and you say, "My god! I've arrived! I'm there!"
And you don't feel very different from what you've always felt.
Look at the people who live to retire, to put those savings away. And then when they're 65 they don't have any energy left, they're more or less impotent, and they go and rot in an old peoples', "senior citizens" community.
(Laughs) Because we simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line. We thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, with a serious purpose at the the end, that the thing was to get to the end: success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you're dead.
But we missed the point the whole way along.
It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing, or to dance while the music was being played.