Why Heavy Rock Lyrics Are Best Subject for Mystic-State Studies
> What a cool group this is going to be, I'm glad that I got here early enough to watch it evolve...and maybe do a little evolving mySelf.
Like the Reformed theologians, I steer by the unpopular, the counterintuitive, and the unthinkable. There is the popular broad path of spirituality, with all the too-familiar assumptions, dogmas, and preconceptions about what religious experience should be about.
I hesitate to label my alternative approach "evolving", but I do think you'll hear a novel, unpopular system of ideas. The others provide instructions on mere conventional light and bliss. I set the controls for the heart (or liver/will) of self-control seizure.
People may flee in horror, fear, and loathing, but at least they can't say this is just more of the same dull newage. I am past trying to be sensationalist, and trendily rad -- Extreme Religion! -- but there is something inherently radical and contrarian in building a theory on instability, loss of control, and the short-circuiting of personal control-power.
The excess-heaviness formula worked for Heavy Psych/ Heavy Rock. Pop spirituality sweetness and light underestimates the draw of The Heavy, which often speaks to us more deeply than the shallow, superficially positive thinking of Spirituality Lite.
>>[In thinking about the meaning of Classic Rock lyrics,] I tend to shy away from the religious, or Christian themes because I feel that acid rock mysticism and modern day Christianity do not mix.
To clarify what you mean by "modern day Christianity", we need to somehow mention esoteric or mystic Christianity, which *is* close to Acid Rock mysticism. There is and always has been a minority interest, yet a strong and important interest, in esoteric or mystic Christianity -- less common, but more significant than the official version of Christianity that the masses know of.
>The key is to recognize this as a false dichotomy and to transcend it. This may be what is keeping me stuck in ego death and preventing me from achieving transcendence.
There are numerous key false dichotomies:
You are either a Believer or not. (Implies that the only kind of Christianity that has ever been held by anyone is my version of Christianity -- that only kind of which I am aware; the one type of Christianity of which I'm not totally oblivious.)
People should use Christian mysticism techniques, rather than drug-based mysticism. (Actually, there is evidence that real Christian mysticism *was* drug-based mysticism.)
Christianity is set against science. (Actually, bunk Christianity is set against bunk Science; authentic Christianity accords with authentic Science.)
Old Testament god vs. New Testament god. (Actually, both contain significant amounts of "wrathful justice" and "generous loving mercy" -- two universal standard attributes of mystically experienced divinity.)
I'm looking for "Christian Rock bands" that are actually Bona Fide Entheogenic Mystic bands; Christian Rock bands that use psychedelics and know that the flesh of Christ through which the dove of the Holy Spirit descends is none other than the entheogen. It's a viable niche opportunity based on the false boundary between supposed "religious Rock" and "secular drug Rock". Nasr's book Knowledge and the Sacred points out that most modern so-called "religious art" is not esoteric/mystic, thus not actually religious in any worthwhile sense.
Visionary-plant inspired Classic Rock is the actual "religious Rock", whereas those so-called "Christian" Rock albums that are drug-free, are not actually religious Rock, or aren't worthy of being called "religious". Also explain this in terms of low, exoteric religion vs. high, esoteric religion.
The question is not *whether* some "Christian Rock" bands are entheogen-enlightened, but *which* songs, albums, and artists.
>Another AMG album review that might hit you closer to home would be the [insultingly low] 2 [of 5] stars allotted to Rush's Fly By Night, Caress of Steel and Grace Under Pressure. I'm currently working on an album review site that has some sort of perspective related to the music itself, disregarding everything but that, the music. It's hard work, though, dismissing all experiences and approaching each review with just the single album in mind.
When I wrote the previous posting, I was thinking of Caress of Steel, which certainly deserves 5 stars and is one of the most important, profound, and inspired albums by this mystic-state philosophy band. The highly acclaimed follow-up album 2112 rests directly on the foundation of Caress of Steel. The album ratings I've seen have given me a hypothesis that the actual best album is usually the one prior to the highest-rated album.
I tend to like a band best before the critics do -- before the band becomes popular and hits it big. I imagine this trajectory: a band puts out a mediocre, uninspired album or two. Then the band discovers LSD, and there are a couple uninspired allusions to LSD phenomena. Then the band experiences ego death and discovers the tradition of double-entendre allusion in High Classic Rock lyrics, and puts out an album that is far more informed by the full range of entheogenic phenomena.
On the next album, the technique of double-entendre is becoming routine, and the thematic material of mystic-state phenomena alluded to is no longer really growing; it's not an area of major discovery -- like pattern-finding in myth-religion after cracking the code and "all knowledge has been revealed", the rate of noveltry drops off after a year and a half.
The classic Acid Rock lyrical techniques decline over the next few albums, and finally remain in further albums purely out of respect. This is why I have smelled the most intense, fresh, worthwhile studies being in the first few albums a band puts out after discovering LSD -- such as Rush during the late 1970s and early 1980s, but not the late 1980s and 1990s, which has the material but as a routinized echo of the original inspirational explosion.