“Death may not be the end, but it’s no excuse for denying life”
RT caught up with legendary Queen guitarist Brian May, who also happens to be an astrophysicist, after a symposium of astronomers at the Starmus Festival in the Canary Islands to talk about links between music and science, God, the universe and the mystery of death.
May says being both a musician and a scientist gives him an interesting observation point to view both.
“I love pure science and I love pure music. They are not the same for sure, but certainly throughout the centuries there have been people, who were immersed in both of them, from Leonardo da Vinci to Patrick Moore. Maybe it’s an abstraction thing, maybe people who like those things, don’t like the clutter of the world we live in. They just like to find the essence of life,” he told RT.
As a man of art, May has insights into life, which he has to put under question as a man of science, he says.
“If you say ‘there is no God,’ where is evidence there is no God? You can say ‘I don’t know.’ Being an agnostic to me is a scientific point of view, which is supportable. In my experience, I felt at times that there is a God of some kind. I don’t subscribe to any organized religion – that’s a different matter. But if there is a God, we have very little idea of what that God may be. That’s inherent in what we are,” he said.
Such limits of perception actually give hope at certain points of life, for instance, when you think of what come after it is over, May said.
“I’m inclined to think that out view of the universe is very simplified. A beetle crawling over a piece of paper has a very limited view of the universe. I think we also have a limited view. So this existence that we know may be just a very small part of the whole picture. I’m not counting on it, because maybe at the end of your life – that’s it. I don’t know. One thing is certain: you can’t use it as an excuse. You can’t say: ‘this life is very bad, but the next one will be OK.’ You have to make the best of what you are,” he said.
May, who contemplated suicide at one point in his life, says taking your life is very self-centered and thinking of people who love you and count on you helps in beating such thoughts.
“In a sense it’s a very selfish thing to kill yourself, because you make so much mess. You do terrible things to the people around you. I did check myself into a depression clinic, which was actually the best thing I ever did, because it was a new start. It was like re-starting your car. I had to ditch my preconceptions, and that work certainly gave me new energy. I realized that if I did not deal with the depression, I was of no use to anybody. It’s the same kind of logic as not killing yourself,” he said.