There are visions & then there are projections & not everyone can tell the difference. & actually the difference may be in how you approach the information.
Up to the dark side, halfway distracted by passion.
We are all in transition, at every moment. Part of the artist-“shaman”-musician’s job is to help us through this endless series of transformations. To use our non-binary mindsets to help our materialist friends acclimate to the idea that “the journey is home”.
We are the music. Acclimate to the lysergic space chord. Whatever. The ghost was with a symphony of mind.
Albert Ayler suggested that anyone affected by his music would go from there out into the world & affect other people, & so the ripple of change would spread. “We are the music we play,” he said, “and our commitment is to peace.” It was beauty that was going to happen. “If you just listen, you find out more about yourself.”
(You think you’re worldly but do you christian bullshit? Perhaps most Emperor has no clothes. The spirit of one unjustly in his own time manipulates increased serendipity.)
It’s no coincidence that rock & roll is linked with sex & drugs. They go together. They encourage highness. They have the potential to loosen up & rearrange your thinking. & it’s probably no coincidence that they are three of western civilization’s major taboos. Coincidence & happenstance to quote mere synchronicity. & elsewhere I encountered a list of songs banned in Russia in the 80s which included songs featuring anti-Russian or anti-Soviet sentiment, featuring occultism, & also many tracks considered undesirable just for being quote punk. Any place that has a strong interest in maintaining its own status quo has an interest in keeping your brain contracted. (Horselover Fat found new expectations.)
In fact—try tuning your guitar at random. Cast a circle first, if you like, or smoke a bowl, or otherwise engage with quote highness. Twist the tuning pegs until it feels good, or weird, or whatever. Then strum. Think of it as a quote space chord. Find some music in there.
Looking in the mirror, listening with Linda & lysergic friends, Jimi watched himself turn into Marilyn Monroe. Like he’d walked into a girl’s closet & put on everything, like the Village Voice’s future critique of his quote vulgar transvestism. Compare & contrast to The Rolling Stones living up to their own press clippings & in so doing, finding themselves.
We walked into a girl’s closet & the ripple of change would affect Monroe. Pitfalls of the habitués of brilliant enough. Hung up finds a soul stubborn.
“Shamans”, or those serving a perceived similar role in various cultures, have sometimes been described as being ambiguous of gender (or perhaps of gender construct, gender identity, or gender manifestation? who are we without concepts?). The “shaman” being, in the current common sense of understanding, the one who travels between worlds, who talks with the spirits & brings information back for the tribe, sometimes with the assistance of drugs or percussion.
“Male” & “female” might be two more worlds, or antipodes of worlds, between which ta may journey, hanging out for as long as they wish at various points between the two or maybe occasionally getting stuck or hung up somewhere along the way. Pitfalls of the psychic plumber, the habitués of the borderlands.
When we took a break halfway through, L. came up to me laughing & asked if we had taken acid before the session. He himself had been writhing on the floor with his guitar for some several minutes. We are shown one another, consciously or unconsciously or through one of the 11 implied dimensions. We assured him we had not, tho I did wonder briefly if someone had dosed the coffee.
The worlds we visit leave their traces on us. Your scent is still here.
It got to be almost a joke with me that something weird would happen every time we played there. Every one of us is potentially capable of healing by laying on of hands. Alot, if not all, of magick, is said to be about changing consciousness. Exposed to music only when we think about them identical adjacent surface areas.
We see what we want to see. What we are Will-ing to see, consciously or unconsciously or projected from our various neuroses. Sometimes, what we are shown.
A whole generation of identical plastic white&uptight American teenagers, abruptly exposed to music with roots in possession trance. They are with the spirits. They go ambiguous. If you just listen, you’ll find “shamans”.
It’s one who travels to loosen up manifestation. The story of a spirit seeking fleshly personification, who reaches across time & space to find a suitable vessel. The spirit of one unjustly & accidentally murdered in his own time & country, who manipulates coincidence & happenstance to arrange his own rebirth. A spirit who casts his feelers out through the ages & finds a soul stubborn enough, single-minded enough, foolish enough, brilliant enough, to tamper with powers beyond his air-conditioned Ken doll; easily distracted by passion, a wild kid drawn to the dark side, the rock&roll animist rebel side, chafing at the bounds of modern culture, who can be counted on to be looking the other way, at some real or imagined slight or maybe at a motorcycle or a pretty girl or a leather jacket in a shop window, when the spirit is finally ready to step in & merge symbiotically with his mind.
Are we as an audience relieved or disappointed when all the kid does is write a bunch of songs?
I’d watch it! Sounds creepy!
Maybe they ‘live’ in our world, maybe they ‘live’ in another. In the world of imagination, or in a higher vibratory level of our own ‘reality’. In one of the 11 dimensions implied by string theory, which lie curled within one another & thus share much adjacent surface area.
Maybe they exist always, maybe only when we think about them.
It may be worth setting an intention—casting a spell—for increased serendipity (as opposed to quote mere synchronicity), or even just for “something fun to happen”, for divine seizure to arise from all this joyous chaos.*
Meanwhile, Phillips found new artists to work with, perhaps most notably Johnny Cash. Dr Bronner’s may smell like peppermint, but do you really want to season your food with it?
What music best accompanies your spelling will of course depend on what exactly it is that you think you’re trying to do. It’s slightly humbling to realize that the music itself has next to nothing to do with this.
Whatever it was the ghost was singing about.
Most of us are at least slightly damaged, inevitably, by Life—which, as Kurt Vonnegut reminds us, “is no way to treat an animal”. We are hardly equipped to determine what is quote true in the dim light of our bad early toilet training, our experiences at the hand of the playground bully, at the hands of the taxman, at the hands of bullies who grew up to be cops, at the hands of equally-damaged members of desirable gender identities.
Sentiment might be two more worlds. Anti-roles. In Russia in the 80s, & female. And our commitment is everything.
To my surprise, Owsley Stanley, 30+ years earlier, had concluded that the way he perceived sound during an acid trip was in fact an insight into the nature of sound. (At every ‘like’, the information at random. Not everyone can interest.) He applied these insights very effectively, albeit with his customary eccentricity, in his work recording & running sound for The Grateful Dead. Taboos to be broken included religiosity, hedonism, sexuality, drugginess, family expectations, respectability aka the Emperor has no clothes.
The soul-selling part is just christian bullshit. You probably do have to offer something, but basically this is about a carefully timed & located ritual.
You have to talk to this dude before you can go anywhere, man!
You must accompany your music with a symphony of mind.
* “Nothing is good unless you play with it” ~ Funkadelic
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Imagine an unclaimed suitcase on Schrodinger’s luggage carousel, circling endlessly in the flickering fluorescent twilight of an airport that might exist in any of an infinite number of instances in any of an infinite number of dimensions in any of an infinite number of universes. If you could find said suitcase and look inside, you might perceive one possible interpretation of the being that is 5-Track. Or you might not. It all depends, doesn’t it?