Mental constructs are highly dynamic association matrixes, held together by some degree of binding intensity. Deep re-indexing of mental construct groups (such as concepts of "time" and "change" together) enables a wholesale mental model shift or inversion to another mode. Normally, for convenience, the mind uses linguistic and conceptual associations in a rigid, rutted, and repetitive way; debates are permanent standoffs, because the same cliched assumptions are carelessly adhered to every time words are used. Mastery of semantics enables one to release one's assumptions about every single word in an argument, not just a key term in isolation.
The dissociative cognitive state enables deep-level symbolic re-indexing of mental constructs. There are numerous triggers for the dissociative cognitive state. The absence of loose cognition preserves delusion, preserving the sense of freedom and autonomous agency. Specialized music with lyrics can provide a tangible, temporal environment which resonates with cognitive dissociation and leads up to ego death [points the way to; contains suggestive coding/ expressions].
Don't say "habit-patterns are forgotten/lost/unrecallable". They "tend to be disengaged; are made available-at-will; are made optional; are lifted, are suspended yet available to be present at will". The sense of the ability willing is always present, whether or not the will is guided by the accustomed egoic IS, or is not guided at all. The mind in loose cognition is alienated from the accustomed ego-character and its habit-patterns.
Pattern-perception becomes highly flexible and innovative in the dissociative cognitive state. Blatant perceptual distortion in the dissociative state directly presents questions about perception. All that is directly presented to awareness is mental constructs, which point to alleged referent objects which might or might not exist, or might exist in a way other than the mental constructs representing them seem to portray. Mental constructs are all-purpose representations pointing to all experienced phenomena, including sounds, scents, images, other people, oneself as an ego-entity, one's body, and oneself in the near future. Mental constructs are usually conflated with, or taken for, the objects they represent; oneself is not really the mental icon which the mind uses to represent oneself.
Meta-perception is the perception of the layer of mental constructs presented to awareness, perceiving it as a layer. In the dissociative state, conflation of mental symbols with supposed external referents stops; the representational layer mentally separates from the hypothesized object realm that the representation layer projects or points to. The perceived world blatantly appears as mental representations which are themselves frozen into the block universe; cross-time extension of objects and the controlling ego-entity across time appears to be distributed along a fixed and pre-set stream of time-slices. The vantage point of awareness can be raised, or stepped back a level, to observe mental construct processing and perception itself. Time is no longer perceived as a flow, but as a frozen expanse.
Perceptual distortion of the mental representation of oneself leads into ego death. The pronounced waviness and cartoonish character of perception causes perceptual conflation to stop. The misconstrued conflation-realm splits into its real components: the representational plane, and the purported object realm that the representational screen points to. Normally [in daily life in the egoic mode] this pointing is transparent, and is not perceived as pointing; instead, the mental representations are simply taken for the external objects they point to. Symbol and referent are conflated, collapsed together in a practical mental shorthand. But wavy and unrealistic perception during the loose-cognition mode prompts the mind to think about the conjectural nature of physical objects, including the body. Then, more abstract objects such as the inner ego entity who resides inside the mind, are experienced as insubstantial and come into doubt. [seen how time-travelling continuant self is projected independently at each point in the stream of cognition.]
Normally, when mental-construct associations are tightly bound and rigidly patterned, one senses one's personal presence, and the mind builds up an ego-system around this sense of personal substance. The perceived sense of personal existence is taken to literally be oneself. But when perception-patterns and mental-construction activities relax and loosen, mental constructs betray and reveal themselves through their fluctuation, so that entities that were felt to be directly perceived as solid and constant objects now are experienced as being indirectly perceived, through a mediating, undulating screen of mental constructs. The sense of self, which is a complex, high-level mental construct, wavers and becomes unconvincing, so the representation of oneself is accurately perceived to be split apart from the purported actual self.
Because the representational layer becomes blatantly patchy, wavy, and inconsistent, the mind becomes conscious of the inability to directly perceive oneself without an intermediate layer of representation. In the loosened-cognition mode, the ego symbol consciously splits apart from the actual person it points to. There never existed an ego-entity of the sort that conflated thinking construed. The sense of self disappears, and some aspects of oneself are seen to have been illusory. This observation is eventually secured even during the normal, deceptively stable perceptual state, when the mind understands the time-travelling, controlling ego-entity to be merely a virtual image used as a point of reference.
When exploring the realms of fringe experiencing, it is helpful to understand that even ordinary experiencing is similar to a remarkably detailed and consistent hallucination of a world. In the loose cognition state of awareness, which occurs in advanced meditation, schizophrenia, and psychedelics, the veil of perception loosens and becomes a visible patchwork or mosaic, showing clearly that the world is only present to awareness in the form of dynamic mental models made of mental constructs. Loose cognition tangibly switches on the philosophizing mode, because the mind is fully confronted with its isolation. Philosophy of Mind, which comes from the West and includes skepticism, is a recent, vital approach to studying how the mind internally represents various types of objects and entities which constitute the world. Philosophy of Mind is about to collide with Transpersonal Psychology, from the East, which is also building up models of our innermost subjectivity and studying how the mind constructs its experienced world and the sense of being a person separate from that world.
Sitting at my desk reading about the philosophy of perception, I consider its strange implications for my apparent perception of myself in the scene of my study. Because this type of scene feels natural and intimately familiar, it is a typical example of how the mind internally recreates or simulates the external world, from simple material objects such as a cup, to more complex objects such as other people, and highly complex systems, such as the minds's own thoughts about the mind.
Holding my coffee cup, I have the consistent impression of solidity and weight, but the feeling of roundness is a convincing illusion constructed entirely within my own mind. This fully compelling illusion that I am directly perceiving the cup itself is due to the perfect consistency of the mental impressions. While it is impossible to determine whether the external cup in fact exists, I can handle the cup to test its consistency within the local, subjective fishbowl of experience, but I cannot prove that there is in fact a cup out there.
I can only perceive the (alleged) external world in the indirect form of my mind's self-created subjective experiencing. As long as the impression of my desk is consistent, the mind draws a shorthand identification of the mental construct of the desk with the alleged desk itself, failing to maintain the subtle distinction between the symbol 'desk' and the hidden (alleged) referent desk. But during a schizophrenic break, the mind's model of the desk loosens and partly disintegrates, warping and rippling. The perfect consistency of the perceptual construct is broken, and like a drastic glitch in a film, the medium of representation becomes exposed and the illusion of direct access to reality is disrupted. The mental construct veil then points to itself as much as it points to the actual desk.
A book is usually experienced as a fixed, rigid object, with sentences arranged into a definite structure. But when the mind studies a book in a loosened state of cognition, the sentences and the meanings swim around noticeably, producing a cut-up effect. It is difficult to read while cognition is loosened, but the thinking occurs at a deep level, where complex meanings and possible connections can be built up, enabling the mind to seek hidden networks of significance in the most mundane books. When normal, tightly bound cognition returns, the book becomes innocent again.
I hold the book and the cup of coffee in my hands, and I move my arms and hands to turn the pages of the book. How do I experience my hand and control it? My hand, arm, and body might be substantial, but I can only experience them in the form of rich mental constructs. The relationship of my arms to my mind is essentially the same as telepresence, the control and monitoring loop between remote robotic equipment and a human operator. The mind includes a cybernetic control loop between the ego and the nerves in the arms. The ego performs the cybernetic role of the controller apparently residing inside the robot-like nervous system of the body, and once the mind gets the cybernetic feel of it, controlling the body feels as natural as driving a car.
Does my body move, or is there just a stream of shifting images and kinetic feelings? Awareness peers out from nowhere, and in information space, inserts itself into the apparent configuration or shape of a body. This convincing body with arms and legs extending out is known to me as a convention of illusion. It is only known to me as a detailed cartoon giving the impression of a 3-dimensional body. The experience of motion through spacial dimensions is a pre-programmed mental scheme to keep track of information, by constructing dynamic information structures, complex spacial models which seem to be real -- simply given and non-arbitrary. During the loose cognition state of meditation or schizophrenia, awareness can be perceived as stationary, or non-mobile, the mind merely synthesizing the convincing subjective effect of movement. It is possible to feel, or "see with the third eye", that the only place where the experiences of motion and the controller actually reside is in information space.
Ontic solipsism is the denial that other minds exist. I cannot tell whether any conscious creatures exist outside my mind. In my experience, dynamic tokens arise and act consistently like self-existent entities. They are like spirits in my head, constructed by auxiliary functions of my own mind, and kept separate from my self-construct by mental categorizing. After the experience of a love-bite from my cat, I swiftly moved my apparent arm toward the appearance of a cat, and although I heard a smacking sound as the cat-image fell to the floor, I cannot tell whether there is in fact a referent 'cat' object in the external realm. The cat-image ran away and disappeared, and is missing from the photograph I took of this scene. Maybe I never apprehended a cat at all -- but my hand has tooth marks.
I am not sure my friend exists; all I have is a picture of him. Every time I perceive this allegedly existing person, that glob of perceptions in my head acts in a consistent pattern. When I tell my friend-symbol in my mind that as far as I know, he might only be a mental image, a mere complex idea, that friend symbol jokes nervously with me, reliably. Other minds, including cats and people, might not exist at all, except as apparently self-willed images in my mind, separate from the control system that I call my self-control. My center of personal activity has a certain type of interactive control over these "other mind" constructs that arise in my thought.
As I look out into this room during a schizophrenic break, not only is the impression of the desk wavering and disintegrating into component perceptions, not only is my friend looking more and more like a cartoon created by a loose mind, but the perception of myself is splitting into two layers: a distant, hypothesized object on the other side of my wall of senses, and a mental fabrication immediately present to awareness, merely posing as that object. In loose cognition, it is easy to apprehend the self-symbol as such: a convenient cognitive self- deception. All experience is in the form of mental constructs, which serve as a cartoonish reproduction of the world, and I only know this inner dweller in the form of a mental construct, the cartoon demon of "myself".
Taking a fresh, loose look at my own cognitive functioning, it appears that the activities of my mind are themselves misconstrued, and my thinking and assumptions about my own cognition are only trustworthy when compensated by deeply pervasive skepticism. For example, I definitely perceive the experience of something called "will" or "self-control", but that perception changes during advanced meditation, when it appears that my will just emanates from within me by itself -- from a place within me that I cannot see. My willed actions then appear to emanate from beyond my awareness.
Eastern and Western philosophy have only met very recently. The work to combine them has barely begun. It's a commonplace idea in Eastern philosophy that faith in external reality is extravagant. This idea combines easily with solipsism, which is one of the core ideas of Western philosophy. In magical, pre-rational awareness, and in modern ego-consciousness, there is confusion between the realms of the mind's symbols and the objects referred to by those symbols, which leads to the assumption that mental constructs are not symbols but are the represented objects themselves. In transcendence or mastery of perception, the mind learns to be skeptical about its own perceptions and hypotheses. The advanced mind learns to draw conclusions that are always held with reservations about its ability to perceive the world, including the partly hidden, partly hallucinatory inner world and its delusional inhabitant.
A vivid theory of perception is crucial to understanding mystic phenomena, especially when you stand back from the entire stream of cognition and observe it objectively with the "3rd eye". The 3rd eye, which is actually just a certain cognitive mode, sees normal perception with acute clarity, and is not taken in by the usual ruts of familiarity and numb acquiescence to routine patterns of mental associations. The profound theory of perception is that which studies not only normal sensory perception, but also 3rd-eye perception, or metaperception.
This perceptual stepping-back from the trail of cognition is shown on the cover of a philosophy book as a man looking into a mirror. You see the back of his head directly, and in the mirror -- you see the back of his head. This cover and book probably inspired the cover of Black Sabbath's acid-influenced album _Sabotage_. On that cover, the band, with heavy crosses hanging from their necks, stands in front of a huge mirror, looking toward you both directly and in the mirror. Black Sabbath used drugs heavily, including a lot of psychedelics. Ozzy Osbourne's albums with Randy Roades -- _Blizzard of Ozz_ and especially _Diary of a Madman_ -- are among the most acid-oriented albums. _Diary of a Madman_ is the most coherent acid rock album ever made, and every single song is oriented toward the storyline which describes Ozzy's classic alchemical quest for full control-power over his thoughts and actions. On the back cover he is symbolically crucified, indicating the failure of the quest but attainment of transcendent knowledge about self-control cybernetics.
>Do you pay attention to visuals? Are they unimportant, or repetitive?
In acid-inspired rock lyrics, "ocean", "waves", "bend", and "shifting" very often allude to visual effects. But also audio effects: warping, phasing, slowing, and speeding up of sound.
Visual distortion is a major factor in exposing sensory constructs as representations generated by the mind, rather than as the actual things re-presented by the sensory constructs. Visual effects serve as a flag: "alert! this is a mental picture of a room, not the room itself. Insofar as the nature of perception is significant, visuals are important.
Visuals also are important because they are one indicator of the intensity of the altered state. There are several types of visuals:
I carried a broom out to my car one day, walking down the middle of the street. I was twirling the broom and balancing it on my fingertip. When the broom swept across my field of vision, it left a physical trail, and thus became a solid fan. This effect is similar to mouse trails, in which the moving arrow-pointer on the computer screen temporarily leaves a solid trail of arrows in its path.
The wave effect is not just two-dimensional; it is a fluctuation of depth as well as up-down and left-right shifting.
Some people also talk of literal visual hallucinations, but in a highly qualified way. There is also talk of geometrical play of shapes and mandalas, but I think these are somewhat elusive and are not common.
>Should I focus on visuals during my peak and leave analyzing and such for the come down?
You can't help but have profound insight into vision during the peak. But it is a good idea to absorb rarely experienced visual effects with your full attention while you have a chance. The peak region is fleeting, and if you stop to read and think, the couple hours go by too fast. It is easy to daydream and read during the entire peak, accomplishing little. You could have used the standard state to laboriously read, and reflect. Half or two-thirds of your attention during the peak window should go towards observation, and one-third, towards analyzing, cataloging, and looking up others' accounts. I especially warn against being inspired to look up a passage in a book, and then end up reading a mediocre passage for three hours, struggling to concentrate against the distraction of the shifting text.
Even with inspiration on tap, the problem of inspiration and timing remains. You can't force great insights and connections, either by overemphasis on observation or analysis.
The visual aspect of acid rock, the loss of shared acid-rock culture: (this comment implies the topic of raves as data-feed for visual and multi-psychedelic effects)
When the Grateful Dead go onstage, many people like to be altered. It's quite a scene then. Kind of messy but you learn to navigate the noise. The interactions are all patterned and organized, but you have to be familiar with the scene. Many other rock artists are inspired and write music to accompany the mystic altered state, but unfortunately, these days especially, the culture of tripping has been completely forgotten. People do hear this music the way it was ultimately meant to be received, but these people are only isolated individuals; there is no shared culture of listening together. Thus, there is no building up of techniques for interpretation, and no passing on of this knowledge to the next generation. So, in general, rock concerts are not a very good setting, though they were originally meant to be, in the mid-60s to mid-70s. Now, "light show" and "psychedelic" have been hollowed of their real intent: these have been reduced to a veneer of flat, literal special effects, that fails to point profoundly to the nature of perception itself.
The shifting facade of perception serves as a question mark regarding the existence of all the things represented by the mental image projector. This projector even obstructs your ability to perceive yourself 5 minutes ago. Our ability to perceive has innate limitations because it uses symbolic representation. The wall of perceptual constructs obstructs a more direct perception of the things themselves. Perception blocks perception. This material is the key to philosophy because it reveals the problematic dimension of the familiar. It succeeds at vividly, forcefully posing or exposing problems where none were seen; it renders abstract problems urgently concrete.
When you close your eyes during the peak period, you do not see objects in the room, but just as tangibly and brightly, you see things with the mind's eye. This is one example of a cognitive effect that is similar to a visual effect, but veers toward the more general realm of perceptual effect. The most obvious perceptual effect is the wiggling of visual constructs. The next most obvious perceptual effect is the distortion of the other common senses. More rarely and significantly, there is the perceptual effect of the opening of the 3rd-eye sense: metaperception, which means perception of perception. Metaperception also means perception of the stream of all cognition, from beyond, behind, or above the stream.
Almost no serious thinkers have ever believed that knowledge is absolutely sure. I agree with the great majority that all knowledge is more or less hypothetical and subject to revision. I especially formulate and put forth the view that all knowledge involves webs of conceptual associations, and these webs are always subject to growth and revision.
>Self-control cybernetics does appear to be a most interesting subject, but I will admit it to being a touch over my head right now. But, I will do some reading and such to educate myself on this topic.
The world needs a vivid picture of the most interesting confluence of topics, centered around self-control cybernetics. It needs a way of writing that is description, explanation, and portrayal. The power of the appropos phrase is remarkable. Finding the right evocative, compelling, vivid phrases and combinations of topics is more relevant than a systematic technical proof of the Theory of Transcendent Knowledge.
Many topics are relevant - determinism, religion, agency, cognitive science, and mystic perception. In philosophy books and articles, writers are too topical and specialized. Combine philosophy of spacetime, tenseless time, philosophy of mysticism, theology, determinism, and self-control cybernetics... then you have some truly mind-blowing ideas that can align into a coherent scheme.
Ken Wilber and Alan Watts write about religion and mystic phenomena, but they have written very little about determinism. It's a missing link. Watts definitely understands that his Zen implies determinism, but he did not really integrate these areas. I am vividly, fully integrating them, portraying the feeling of the full visionary and intellectual encounter with the implications of the possibility of fatedness.
Self-control cybernetics connects with other areas of philosophy besides determinism.
I also have clear, vivid ideas about the philosophy of perception. I need to integrate my theory of perception tighter with my theory of the mystic encounter with fatedness. (Fatedness is felt as divine omnimpotence together with human impotence; our power is a shadowy, passive reflection of the all-powerful cosmos outside of us, a cosmos which in turn could be subject to control by entities outside of it.)
Spend money on LSD and spend your prime time dosing and your in-between time reading non-fiction and writing and working out your insights into Fate, self-control, the nature of freedom, and the philosophy of representation. You have many books to read to begin to answer the flood of essential timeless questions that you are shown in divine psychosis.
Just reading 20 important works on ethics of drug laws, and psychedelics, and following Psychedelic Illuminations zine requires a great deal of time. But there are Western and Eastern religious works, philosophy of religion, epistemology, semantics and philosophy of language, and many other domains which I have listed before, that you must also study, to even begin adequately responding to the revealed nature of self, self-control, and the greater world. For example, alcoholism, schizophrenia, and master-slave psychology all tie in strongly. So, you don't have time to dabble with coke, crack, heroin, and pot, and X, and mushrooms and speed.
All this reading requires a quiet study and the opportunity to be alone for long hours and years. Sessions with others often serve too much to distract you from confronting your internal contradictions of logic about your self-system. Most thinking and realization happens alone, where you can work out the subtle shift of mental associations associated with self, action, and world. How can you split meanings of terms into two, such as 'could'(1) and 'could'(2), or 'I'(1) and 'I'(2), with other people lurking over your shoulder and pressing in on your thoughts? A few sessions with other serious researchers is fine, and helpful, but most sessions should be alone, with just you, your self, and an occasional divine intervention.
There is only time and money enough to establish a friendly supply, dose twice a week, and purchase and read books. If your approach is more diffuse than this, you are not responding adequately to the potential of LSD -- the most profound discovery in human history, because it raises the practical philosophical questions that lead to the highest knowledge.
It is time to get serious. Again, a key strategy is to have recourse of kneeling in humble supplication to the ruler of time and fate, at least when it is expedient to do so. If you have not apprehended your inherent inner aspect of weakness and delusion of autonomous ego-power, you have not searched vigorously enough. The highest ecstasy of rational yet intuitive vision-logic is the rapture or raping of the power of self-control or self-guidance. This is the discovery of our ultimate potential as autonomous moral agents -- the potential for self-deconstruction of self-control, in which ego power expands to the point at which it cannot control its own freedom. The will eludes itself through time. While the metaphysical theory of fate and changelessness remains hypothetical, there does exist a model of self-guidance which is remarkable in that it blows your mind in the experience of ego death (and ego transcendence).
The real value of LSD lies in its perfect applicability as a tool to systematically study and interpret the most remarkable human experience: the phenomenon of ego death, and the associated high philosophical insights, not excluding mania and despair. The other drugs are too great a distraction and are thus merely dope, the dreamy sleep of opium, the foggy darkness of regression. The key to mature self-understanding is none other than Delysid. Therefore, if your interest in self-understanding should be awakened, use this key to its fullest and shun the lower distraction of mere comfortable sleep.
Yet remember that the sacrament is to be worshipped as a door, not as a destination in itself. The microscope's value comes through the expanse of understanding that is revealed by it.
What was the kykeon beverage of the Greek mysteries? The Greeks may well have used lysergic acid.
The mystic altered state includes metaperception -- explicit perception of the wall of perceptual constructs representing self, world, and even thoughts. You watch tv in the mind. When you can see this film as such, as images created within the mind, you also clearly see other aspects of perception. You see the nature of time. You see thoughts arising of themselves. You see a single layer of control-events, with no controller-entity standing over it. You see the ego-image, that dynamic, complicated symbol that represents yourself. You see the dynamic self-symbol as a symbol. The feeling of you, of being in your body -- now this feeling is dissociated and wanders away from you, a foot away. These strange phenomena are largely perceptual. When you perceive the ego clearly, you perceive your "control" as embodied in a stream of mental constructs that arises from a hidden source beyond control. You see thoughts bubbling up and you cannot stop the thoughts, you cannot positively control your own thoughts. You see this with the mind's eye, with the third eye.
The key to integrating the theory of perception with the theory of self-control cybernetics is to discuss what is "perceived" not just with the normal senses, but with the 3rd eye too. There is strong overlap of insight into how the normal senses work, and insight into the workings of self-representation and self-control. When your powers of perception are shaken up and highlighted, when you take a giant step back from your entire stream of cognition, you observe fatedness. You see how every moment is complete and existent in itself, isolated on an island from other places in time. You perceive the flow of time as static and predetermined before you can intellectually comprehend it, but eventually, rational knowledge and theory can catch up to metaperception! The mystic-state change in perception creates hyperawareness of all forms of perception. When you are acutely, abnormally conscious of all forms of perception, you will be abnormally aware of those thoughts, or mental dynamics, involving control -- self-control. You see your usual ideas and systems of self-control, and in doing so, you interfere with your guidance system, actually becoming practically unstable.
To perceive the mental constructs used for self-control is to become unstable in your self-control. Perceiving the mental material constituting control, you build up an explicitly conscious model of your own power to control your will and thoughts, but this model has disconcerting dynamics. You see control, you model control... and you interfere with control. In doing so, you experiment with control dynamics and gain scientific understanding of the illusory aspect of the power of control. The epistemological theory of 'scientific positivism': we observe, we then theorize, and finally we have more power over the world. Applying this to the 3rd eye, as Wilber has done in an outstanding and seminal chapter of _Eye to Eye_, we cognitive scientists can say that we scientifically observe the stream of cognition while in the normal and mystic states, we build theories influenced by these observations, and finally we have more power over our own stream of cognition. But we revise our views on the nature of our mental control-power. I cannot directly, deliberately control my thoughts. When I understand why, I have higher knowledge, but I do not necessarily have increased self-control. Perceiving the wily ways and mirage-like aspect of self-control can actually destabilize self-control, throw it into a tailspin, and effectively rob you of all self-control as you realize fully and vividly that all your self-control actions can be thought of as beyond your control.
To describe that perception and insight, I must also explain how the concept and experience of time is altered in the mystic state of perception. The concept of time must change along with the concept of self-control; these concepts are adjusted most easily when the dynamics of perception are also changed. When the way of perceiving is altered and elevated, distorted and explicitly visible as perception, somehow you see time as frozen into the eternal block universe, and you picture yourself as a slave to the future that is thrusting itself upon you.
You can attempt to avoid thinking about the nature of self-control while on strong doses of LSD, but this can set up a trap. See the book White Bears and Other Unwanted Thoughts.
Many cognitive scientists are interested in the puzzle of the inner homunculus who appears to live inside the mind and control the thoughts and actions.
>It seems to me, at any rate, that most cognitive scientists are willing to accept some kind of theory in which mental events are explained in terms of brain events. Perhaps the pivotal work on the mind in 20th Century philosophy is Gilbert Ryle's _The Concept of Mind_, published in 1949 and still in print today. In it, Ryle argues against those who would posit mind as anything other than physical states. If you want to be even minimally well-read in the philosophy of mind, you have to have read this book.
All control actions are predetermined, including the most gratuitous, random actions you can think of. This is a logical conclusion as opposed to the normal, gullible dualism of our concept of self-control. There is only my stream of control actions, no controller entity above and beyond the entire stream of control events.
>You may want to look at the following concerning what you write above:
>Donald Davidson, "Mental Events," in _Essays on Actions and Events_ (Oxford, 1980).
>Davidson is a silent giant in philosophy: he doesn't publish much, and when he does he is short and to the point. This essay, first published in 1970, is of historic importance in the philosophy of mind. In it he describes his own theory of how mental events causally interact with physical events, and through his theory he draws some conclusions about determinism and free will, the limits of human knowledge, and appearance and reality.
>How can there be control and choice if everything is fixed?
>Two fairly recent books on freedom and determinism by philosophers:
>Ted Honderich, _A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life Hopes_ (Oxford, 1988).
>R. Weatherford, _The Implications of Determinism_ (London, 1991).
There are many implications he could potentially focus on, implications which have often been ignored. What about Jesus dying for our sins? Christian theology has a lot to say about determinism, moral agency, and the problem of evil. Is God himself subject to determinism?
>I am trying to decorate my room for maximum trippy experience and have run out of Ideas, any suggestions on lighting, wall cover, colors, art, etc.?
Prints of paintings, or original paintings. I have a Klimt that performs well. Photorealism reflects metaperception well.
Occam's razor was first applied to the issue of whether the perceived world exists, or is superfluous
Occam's Razor is both a general rule and a stance toward a particular original topic. What was the original topic for which Occam invented his razor?
Was he arguing that God is an unnecessary hypothesis? Or was he arguing that the world beyond our screen of senses should not be assumed to exist?
Rush lyrics that allude to heavy mystic experiencing and phenomena, and designed to resonate with situations associated with the exploration of LSD.
Rush lyrics as an active trigger designed to work together with LSD. These lyrics were written on the assumption that acid would be reasonably available and utilized, and understood. That has not turned out to be the case. But that is not Rush's fault. These lyrics do work, toward their higher function, in the right conditions. Studying these lyrics amounts to an inventory of altered-state phenomena and perspectives. I am not going to spell everything out in detail; this should be plenty to go on, if you invest a little energy. It is definitely enough to go on if you study your mind, alone, during the long night.
People who are tripping can use this explaination to blow their mind and discover philosophy, and fully develop the mind even beyond the egoic stage that is dominant at this stage in history.
Rush did not invent the acid lyric scheme -- if anyone, the Beatles did, with Rubber Soul way back in '65. Many top-notch innovative bands have used these techniques, including Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, U2 and Slayer. However, after comparing hundreds of songs on many albums through the lyric server, I've concluded that Rush has had the greatest commitment to pointing to the peaks of experiencing. Rush may have the most integrated lyrics of any band, emphasizing recurring themes that lie behind the surface themes. The surface themes cover broad ground, but there is a persistent underlying theme that is the most fascinating and serves a function beyond ordinary entertainment.
These are the most remarkable lyrics -- the ones that do something. They activate the high circuits.
Forget the context. These must be read as out of context as possible. You never saw these words. You have never heard these words.
Lyrics are from the Web Lyric Server http://vivarin.pc.cc.cmu.edu/lyrics.html - http://vivarin.res.cmu.edu/lyrics/r/rush/
The _Rush_ album is excluded from the comprehensive listing I began with to produce this list.
The lyricists are well aware when a word is used in one song, and appears later in another. The later occurrence takes meaning from the earlier usage. The songs are very closely interlinked thematically. Try searching for words such as dust, control, key, up, high, eye, light, rain, bow, pray, city, valley, mountain, river, drink/drank/wine, dawning, night, morning, and compare usages - force, pride, red, lonely, alone
Alternate hearings -- some are unverified, some are definite and crucial, such as "timeless old attraction" sung as "timeless soul attraction". The words actually sung may be different than these, or the utterances might deliberately support additional alternate hearings.
Double-meanings referring to heavy altered state mystic experiencing, the inner battle of reason and will and fate, slave to the truth, driven to sacrifice to worship truth above mortal morality.
This is metaphor and poetry, don't be a blockhead and read literally - penetrate the surface level of meaning.
There is an overlap between the experience of ego death/ego transcendence, and acid-oriented rock. This is where my interest in philosophy joins my interest in mind-blowing rock guitar and electric guitar processing.
People have fixated on narrowly defining "acid rock" as Hendrix and other electric guitar-driven bands of the late 60s. I am forced to come up with a broader term to cover the diverse songs that are "acid rock" in the literal sense -- not "acid rock" as the name of a limited style and genre that happened during only 3 years, but rather, rock songs, in a great variety of styles, in any era. Thus I have to define a new term, "LSD-oriented rock", rather than "acid rock", to mean the following broad category of rock songs. LSD-oriented rock refers to songs with the following typical attributes:
A few of the known rock/acid rock albums replete with double-entendres to mystic phenomena in the majority of songs:
Ozzy Osbourne _Diary of a Madman_
Beatles _Rubber Soul_
Metallica _Ride the Lightning_, _Master of Puppets_
Rush _Caress of Steel_, _2112_, _Signals_, _Permanent Waves_
Slayer _Divine Intervention_
Kansas _Point of Know Return_
Led Zeppelin _Physical Grafitti_
My musical preference cuts across the established genres, but with a specific pattern: I like LSD-oriented rock with electric guitar, because it is usually very creative and has a cerebral dimension, whether the groups are conventionally classified as alternative rock, acid rock, psychedelic rock, metal, or punk; and regardless of the era. I don't care too much for heroin rock (Trance, Grunge), Ecstasy rock (Rave), alcohol rock (MOR, Springsteen, Southern Rock), pot rock (Boogie, Reggae), cocaine rock (Eagles), crack rock (Rap, Rap-Metal), absinthe rock (Goth), or speed rock.
The LSD influence is a venerable tradition throughout rock and is not limited to the narrow, time-bound genres of "psychedelic rock" or "acid rock". How important is the pop, LSD-oriented rock tradition for a serious model of ego death, ego transcendence, and mystic altered-state phenomena? The LSD-oriented rock canon provides a Western, technological, modern, contemporary inventory of intense and repeated psychological and perceptual phenomena. This inventory is clearer and expressed in modern, practical language, unlike the previously available reports of mystic altered state phenomena, which suffer from the following limitations:
Rock music uses lights, sounds, and visual art (album covers) to create a rich sensory environment. Music is spread along the time axis, providing concrete material to grasp in order to think about the nature of time. The acid album is more noteworthy than the isolated song -- the album serves as a soundtrack for a trip or journey. Technology-oriented, multimedia rock highlights and elicits sensory distortion and unusual perceptual processes.
So, LSD-oriented rock provides a unique, modern, Western, inventory of reports of the mystic altered-state cognitive phenomena, phenomena which, due to 20th-century chemistry, are maximally intense and easily repeatable. The intense mystic altered state has been put on-tap for modern thinkers, and is especially expressed in the cultural context of intense rock, driven by electric guitar. That is why mere pop music -- LSD-oriented rock -- is important for a serious, rational explanation of the experience of ego death, ego transcendence, and mystic altered-state phenomena: this music genre provides a rich, consistent inventory of subjective psychological phenomena that are encountered regularly in the mystic altered state. Having a clear inventory of phenomena, we can construct a theory that explains and interrelates the observed phenomena.
Double-entendres are coded into rock lyrics so that they are revealed only during the visionary state.
Drug use is what you make of it. The great mind makes great use of drugs -- for example, the Beatles, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Rush. The feeble, average, uncultivated mind is unable to create anything with drugs except vague, incohate noises, and cannot fathom how a great mind could produce lofty coherence from the seemingly overwhelming depths of unformed possibilities, possibilities that restlessly recombine in the mystic altered state that some call 'vision-logic'.
Rush lyrics revolve around double-entendres that allude to the psychological phenomena encountered in the mystic or psychedelic altered state. To prove this for the Rush newsgroup, I would have to define what those phenomena are. When people in this newsgroup say "I don't recognize any allusions to LSD," that lack of recognition carries little or no weight, because they don't know what the cognitive effects of LSD are. So of course they can't recognize the allusions when the lyrics dwell obsessively on themes of loss of control, being taken over by another power, the pursuit of freedom in the face of challenges to it, warping and blurring and waving of the visual field, tingling fingers and nerves, and so forth. These allusions are coded such that they unfold before you if and only if you are in the mystic altered state. The lyrics are constructed so that they resonate with the cognitive phenomena unique to the mystic state.
"Bastille Day" is not only about the French Revolution. "The Necromancer" is not only an allusion to Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."
In the mystic state of dissociative cognition, when the mental habits are suspended, you recognize the presence of another layer that alludes to a subject of immediate concern to the mid-70's audience. There is no dispute about the explicit, surface meaning. There is a deeper meaning, or another layer that is "hidden" in that it was encoded with altered-state meanings which come out with the listener receives the signals in the altered state. You recognize no such layer -- but you might lack the decoding state, or the theory that can be brought back to civilization from the frontier that is that encoding-and-decoding state. To crack the code, change the mode. Then will you find data overload.
"The Fountain of Lamneth" is not just about the search for meaning in life.
Now that you have climbed the highest, specific, mountain -- the peak experience described in "No One at the Bridge".
"Cask of 43" refers not just to "wine" as we know it. "Bacchus Plateau" -- Bacchus is Roman god of wine, or "wine". This means an attitude plateau having to do with ongoing LSD use. Wine was often mixed with herbs. Because water was often suspect, wine was drunk often. It was used as a general medium to deliver a great variety of substances. Inebriation does not necessarily refer to plain alcohol inebriation. Historically, "wine" can mean wine with psychoactive additives. Compare absinthe, which is essentially 151 alcohol combined with THC and other psychoactives.
The "pentagram" which appears for the first time in their _2112_ album cover is more than the symbol for the Red Star of the Solar Federation. It represents any collectivist mentality. It has an obvious implication for Communist totalitarianism, the ruthless crushing of the human spirit.
It can refer to the loss of the power of the individual in collectivism, and also the loss of power of the individual in the mystic encounter of transcendent unity.
"The Twilight Zone" is based on two t.v. episodes from that show, but refers to more.
At the Rush sites, you'll just find superficially accurate information on the meaning of many Rush songs based on interviews of the band members themselves as well as others. The band members are unreliable; they will only admit of mundane meanings. They deliberately obscured the psychedelic layer of meaning in the lyrics so that it would only unfold during an acid trip. Since they went to the trouble to hide the meaning in the lyrics, they are not about to reveal the meaning to anyone who asks in a public interview.
The best children's entertainment unfolds itself more for the adults in the audience than for the children. It entertains and edifies the various levels of sophistication in the audience, and speaks to their concerns. You can see this in _Alice and Wonderland_, _The Simpsons_, _The Wizard of Oz_, and The Beatles. Good art is that which keeps unfolding new meanings, the more you delve. Rush is great philosophical rock because if you are not yet looking for philosophy, you can rock out to it. But if you are concerned with the big questions and the highest encounters with the truth about our hidden inner nature, then you can rock out and philosophize with Peart, comparing your non-ordinary experiences as well as the more obvious, public concerns.
The cask of '43 is an acid double-entendre, an allusion to LSD. Albert Hofmann discovered and synthesized LSD in 1943 in Basil, Switzerland and Sandoz Labs. To "draw another goblet" is to conduct another LSD session of grappling with self-guidance power.
"Draw another goblet" is an acid allusion, , not an actual term used in the acid community.
It is not an actual allusion. Neither is it a coincidence. LSD reveals more meaning in anything, whether or not extra meaning was deliberately packed in so as to resonate with LSD. To determine if a piece of art is deliberately communicating in a special way to trippers, the trick in interpreting is to look for the density of such allusions. On nitrous oxide, you will find cosmic meaning in even a candy wrapper, or in an Elvis song about going to the preacher in the wedding chapel. Such potential meanings are indeed there to be unfolded by the mystic genius state of mind. However, it's all a matter of density. You must look at the number of double-entendre allusions to altered state phenomena contained in each verse, song, and album, to find the density of potential allusions. When the density of potential allusions in a song, album, or repertoire is very high, then you recognize an intelligent, deliberate signalling -- the allusions were deliberately encoded, awaiting the matching decoding algorithm. When you tune through the radio dial, you recognize the intelligible signals, rather than saying, "what a coincidence! That static happens to be arranged, by coincidence, into what would appear to be intelligible English!"
It's a matter of pattern recognition, when one pattern is superimposed on another.
"My gaze is caught and I am helpless; mesmerized"
-- an allusion to the loss of power of self-steering, and sense of being trapped in a vortex that leads inexorably to ego-death. This is the Zen feeling -- the controlling-ego homunculus is caught in its own trap of logic.
"Scream out desperation, but, no one cares to hear." Ego death is the most horrific and astonishing and marvellous experience. To fathom hell or soar angellic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.
Would Rush endorse taking anything which takes over the will, as being a good thing? Yes -- not a "good" thing, but a fascinating, most profound thing.
Thus, their emphasis and fascination with Rand, the promoter of ego power. While she is right, in certain realms, she promotes ego so absolutely that she is emotionally attached to it. She thinks that ego is a simple, absolute reality. But actually, ego is distorted -- partly false and illusory. Finding this out, in an actual encounter with that part of mysticism which is true, is rape and rapture of you insofar you identify yourself as identical with the ego and its power of will that it seems to directly command.
The sentiments expressed in Freewill and Roll the Bones - one of the themes Rush has explored is taking your destiny into your own hands and being guided by your own will. Acid gives exactly the opposite sensation, which is why it is fascinating.
Rush wrote the songs because they are obsessed with the problems of securing a solid foundation for the ego's power, against the awesome force of the experience of mystic cancellation of ego. Freewill is could hardly be louder in its ambivalence. "A planet of playthings, we dance on a string, of powers we cannot perceive." See the cover of _Farewell to Kings_ -- they pose a question: are we, too, puppets? Freewill is as much a question and a problem that is put to you, to us, to me. Do you believe in free will? Do you think that you are rather a puppet? What does your own personal experience.... and reason, tell you? It's your problem. Rush solves no problem for you, unless you take them as ones to do your thinking for you. Do you believe in free will, just because some stupid band told you that they have reached that conclusion? They have not supplied us with a hoped-for answer; all they have done is to point out a puzzle, and render freedom problematic. They bring a problem and a question, not a solution and an answer.
The entire story of the necromancer -- about being controlled externally and experiencing your will as being out of your own control. "Stripped of will and soul." This is a standard LSD experience. This theme would hardly occur to an unexperienced lyricist.
Most of us do not vividly and fully encounter this inability to act. But it especially occurs in the altered state: the experience of being a helpless player, a slave, and of being forced to submit some power above and beyond ourselves.
While "everyone has their own interpretation" sounds fine and democratic, I am the only person who has and puts forth a highly structured, explicit, and definite interpretation... I am the only one who claims that there is a single, definite, underlying theme: Rush lyrics are, above all, double-entendres and allusions to the highest human experiences: the standard, mystic altered-state phenomena, that naturally connect to the core of religion, philosophy, and psychology.
In the common state of consciousness or cognition, the theme of control occurs merely in a weak and degraded form.
If a theme is found only in the altered state, it is a pretty "useless" theme for real life. If altered states start up new themes that are totally separate from what is found in real life, would that not be the antithesis of being connected to "the core of religion, philosophy and psychology"? Yes -- enlightenment is useless and the most profound realization.
A timeless theme of mystic philosophy is that the common mode of experiencing is "less real" than the encounter with the Higher, the One, the True Self that is everything. The lower world is asleep in the dream of separateness and the isolated, self-powered autonomous ego who defines its own fate.
Mystic experiencing is "esoteric" (personal, inner, and hidden) religion. Worship and ritual is "exoteric" (social, external, and visible) religion. You could make similar distinctions for philosophy and psychology. Psychologists including Charles Tart propose "state-specific psychology". Established psychology and cognitive science are half-conscious minds studying how the half-conscious mind works.
Acid rock is concerned with individual pride of self-determination, a modern, egoic mode of psyche that we didn't have back in the days of divine kings. The soaring eye, flying by night, leaving yourself behind. Unreality, mental similacrum of freedom and responsible agency. Terror, apprehension, fear of realization of powerlessness, as the will threatens to turn against itself. Loss of control as personal sovereign will is perceived as a product of the universe rather than some inner ego entity. Taken over by the higher hand outside the train of time. Eating humble pie. Hero loses pride but wins higher understanding by surrendering to almighty fate. Slave of truth. Predetermination. Pride before the fall. Individual free power raised up fully, to be dashed into the dust, as the sense of freedom is revealed to be an epiphenomenon projected by the predetermined block universe. Yet life, and semblance of personal sovereign power of will, remains. Commitment to teaching what has been taught. After this revelation, motivation and joy is lost; epiphany brings despair. Despair is worked through and fully experienced. Open receptiveness to the future, rigged as it must be. Universal fatal Fake freedom, for the sake of separation between creatures, and to make love and the human adventure possible. Woe, as fun becomes terror and deepest regret, but it's too late to win against fate. Sorrow, regret; love and nonduality, continued support of individual freedom, such as it is. Commitment to both The Enlightenment from king to ego, and Enlightenment from ego to Truth. Helplessly frozen and emprisoned in spacetime, all is prearranged. Guilt, morality, and judgement are logically incoherent; morality is itself the sin and the lie that goes along with the sense of inner freedom to be your own self-steersman, captain of your ship. Loss of self-control and responsibility. Surrender, cry out to be saved from transgressing your will, accept the mode of illusion and logical incoherence, thus narrowly avoiding having to raise the sacrificial blade as a slave of conscious predetermination. Everything is rigged, including your surrender. This is truth and fact, like it or not, but only a personal confrontation with these things through appropriate technologies of poetry and cognition can show a person this and prove it in action, forcing a show of kneeling prayer and contrite submission to Truth, the master of all time in which you are caught, caught in the ticking trap, laughed at by time.
Got you in a stranglehold, baby; there's gonna be a showdown, tonight, the longest night; there's a killer on the road his brain is squirming like a toad; the killer is you and the killer is me, and it's making me feel like I've never been born. Sorry, but - the news is out, they've finally found me I'm a wanted man - hang man is coming down from the gallows and I don't have very long. Now I'm swinging -- swinging from the gallows pole. Mama, I just killed a man - put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger now he's dead -- too late, everybody, life has just begun, and now you've gone and thrown it all away. He's just a poor boy from a poor family; spare him his life from this monstrosity - LET HIM GO! Meet me, Jesus, meet me in the middle of the air, and if my wings should fail me Lord please meet me with another pair: Oh Saint Peter at the gates of heaven, won't you let me in - I never did no harm, I never did no wrong, I never thought I'd do anybody no wrong, no not once, oh lord deliver me - all the wrong I've done, you can deliver me, Lord, I only wanted to have some fun! There's an angel on my shoulder, in my hand a SWORD of gold, let the music be YOUR MASTER, will you HEED THE MASTER'S CALL?- oh Satan and man - it will only only DRIVE YOU MAD
The album name _Master of Puppets_, by Metallica.
The cover of _Farewell to Kings_ by Rush, which shows an immobile king puppet on slack strings.
Rush: _2112_: "The Twilight Zone", about the experience of becoming the toy of a huge controlling agent.
Ozzy Osbourne: _Diary of a Madman_: "Little Dolls".
It is likely that Metallica, Rush, and Ozzy consciously established a language of LSD allusions among themselves. They extending the existing language of acid allusion and brought it to its full realization. This language has deep roots in rock music, including the Beatles and Hendrix.
Feel your spirit rise with the breeze
See your body fall-ing to its knees <--
-- Black Sabbath
Before you learn to fly
You gotta learn how to kneel --
On your knees, boy <--
-- U2 Rush
Scream out desperation
for the maelstrom is near
Cry out supplication but <--
There's no one there to hear
-- Rush Ozzy
Ask a question <--
To help me save me from myself
Guilty as charged [moral agency problematic]
But damn it, it ain't right
There's someone else controlling me [removal of control]
Death in the air
Strapped in the electric chair [locked into spacetime, w/ dissoc. cog.]
This can't be happening to me
Who made you God to say
"I'll take your life from you!"
Flash before my eyes
Now it's time to die
Burning in my brain
I can feel the flames
Wait for the sign
To flick the switch of death [ego death]
It's the beginning of the end
Sweat, chilling cold
As I watch death unfold
Consciousness my only friend
My fingers grip with fear
What I am doing here?
Someone help me
Oh please God help me <--
They're trying to take it all away
I don't want to die
The essence of cybernetics is not "computers and information technology", but rather, communication and control in man and machine. I am highlighting the psychology of self-control, or self-steering, in humans, and the ultimately fascinating phenomena that happen when the mind becomes extremely aware of its own self-control processes. Acid has a million effects, but the highest and most sacred effect is the deconstruction of self-control -- the self-cancellation of self control as it strives to grasp itself ever tighter. It's the engine that drives itself, though there seems to be faulty logic in this mad machinery. Alan Watts wrote about this, way ahead of its time, in _The Way of Zen_. He showed the connection between cybernetics, self-control, and Zen enlightenment. You can hear about this in the Rush song "The Body Electric". Unit One is you on acid struggling to get a grip on self-control; you end up in prayer to the god of fateful tragic apprehension of predetermination.
The most interesting aspect of the ego, as cognitive structure, is the ego as the inner self-controlling homunculus, the personal steersman, helmsman, or pilot, who resides inside the mind. Roughly, ego = self-controller. In the mystic state, you are forced to confront the shaky logical foundation of this self-control -- "he's got to walk a fine line, and keep his self-control". Predetermination or eternal fate is more logically consistent than metaphysical freedom. But such a denial of metaphysical freedom does not directly impact political freedom. Only when we have political freedom are we externally free to explore metaphysical unfreedom. Confronting metaphysical predetermination has no immediate effect on practical freedom, except for the moment of Truth when you lose the sense of freedom at your core. After this ultimate realization, however, the monk returns to ordinary life in the marketplace, and life continues. The passing of this peak experience can bring despair at the finitude of life, but that seems to pass, and, politics permitting, you can look forward to more such experiencing -- "Like old Sol behind the mountain, I'll be coming up again."
I have basically followed through Watts' work fully. Zen was originally amenable to logic, but the hippies and new agers have wrongly turned it into something hostile to rationality. Enlightenment is fully and adequately rationally explainable.
Many people have concluded that mysticism is a cognitive state of consciousness, and that this same state is triggered with relatively perfect efficiency by that modern scientific discovery, the lysergic acid molecule. This molecule is not itself the point; the fascinating psychological phenomena are the point and a gushing fountain of philosophical inspiration. There are several distinct aspects of the entire mystic experience:
Iron Maiden, Metallica, Rush, and Ozzy all heavily refer to acid experiences on some of their best albums, including Somewhere in Time, Ride the Lightning, Caress of Steel, and Diary of a Madman.
Early Rush is a good example in between acid-rock style and heavy-metal style -- for example, the great furry-chording amp tone on Bastille Day. That song warns that the ego as inner commander is as doomed as the French aristocracy which fell and gave its power over to it, forming the modern rational ego with its confused perception of its power of control. This fall of the ego as a power-wielding agent occurs through the mystic altered state of cognition, such as through repeated heavy tripping.
>I thought bassist Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics to "Over the Mountain"?
My liner notes are in the other room. I think all songs on this album are credited to all four band members.
One practical advantage with listing so many writers is that it hides who had enough tripping experience to write such acid-oriented lyrics.
>Wasn't "Ride the Lightning" written by Dave Mustaine?
If so, I should take a good look at Mustaine's other lyrics. In the liner notes, the song is credited to: Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Mustaine.
>Ride the Lightning is about a kid wrongfully sentenced to die in an electric chair: "Guilty as charged, but damn it ain't right...," "Who made you God to say I'll take your life from you?"
That is merely the obvious, surface level. The higher meaning is the electric chair as a metaphor for loss-of-control in the mystic altered state, and the classic mystic feeling of one's control being taken away from oneself, so that the mystic perceives themselves as a helpless puppet completely manipulated and determined by God, the ground of being, or the unchanging, timeless block universe. Usually we feel that we pull our own strings. During mystic ego death, we feel that we do not pull our own strings and never have; we perceive being a helpless puppet steered by God, with all our actions pre-established from before the beginning of time.
>These are both instances where the band members--the writers--have SAID what the song is about. The argument could be made that they're just not telling their actual meaning,
>the argument could also be made the the LSD theory is just a wild speculation or a drug proponent's seizure of somebody else's words for his own purposes.
It could be made, but that position can be effectively refuted. Looking at various songs from various bands, a common language of lyrical allusion is clearly visible, with some 20 categories of metaphors and allusions. When these metaphors and double-entendres occur very densely, too densely for coincidence, deliberate signaling is revealed. It's a specific system of encoding, and requires a specific system of decoding. The mind on LSD will notice and respond to such deliberate encoding. That mind will also tend to see coding in other places where there is no such deliberate coding -- but the coding will be perceived especially densely in those songs which really do include deliberate coding.
Analyzing just a few songs in isolation is unlikely to persuade those who mistakenly believe that acid is rare in Metal lyrics and culture.
>I'm talking about early/mid-era Metallica. Whoever is the lyricist of Ride the Lightning was intimately familiar with intense LSD tripping. A close analysis of the lyrics in comparison with scholarly knowledge about mysticism reveals this closely. But to firmly establish that any particular
>If you don't know who the lyricist is, how can you claim to know where the lyricist is coming from?
The acid-rock lyricist expresses their acid allusions in the form of lyrics. When lyricists interview, they do not talk openly about their highly illegal drug use. LSD penalties are extremely severe compared to pot penalties, which are plenty bad enough. Acid has been driven way underground, and it is only safe to speak about it in encoded forms. It's not really a deep encoding; it's not hard to break, especially when on acid.
You have to take an overall look at the band's entire lyrical output, and it is necessary to have a lot of scholarly knowledge about religious experiencing, philosophy, and psychedelics.
If you don't know a lot about religious experiencing, philosophy, and psychedelics, I would have to teach you these in order to persuade you that LSD, rock lyrics, rock playing, and rock listening are intimately connected in many of the most important rock groups. You need to read about perceptual phenomena in schizophrenia, ego death experiences in classic mystic writings, Zen as portrayed by Alan Watts (as a control struggle leading to insight about oneself as an agent who wields power), and most of "contemporary metaphysics" (a newly thriving area of Philosophy), for starters. Familiarity with the space-time block from around 1900 is helpful. Ken Wilber is essential for his explanation of what it means to transcend the ego as a cognitive structure: you master that structure, dis-identify with it, but still maintain its main integrity. These topics are found in acid-rock lyrics, shown to the writers by the Teacher, which is the LSD state of mind. "When I teach -- what I've been taught -- and I've been taught" (from 2112).
>If a substance was going to influence their music, it would most likely be beer.
Alcohol is currently legal, and acid is highly illegal. There are many good reasons why alcohol use is more prevalent and visible than LSD use.
>It hasn't stopped "Lords of Acid," "Blue Cheer" or many, many other musicians from talking openly about drug use. Tori Amos, for example, said in Portland "I like mushrooms. If you have mushrooms, this would be a good time to take them because you'll relate to these songs." Or, Floater, "This song is about acid." Or, Pantera in Seattle, talking about acid last week, or in Portland saying "Oregon has the best weed in the world." All but inviting the police to monitor them.
That kind of talking is minor, and safer. Most artists do not talk openly about their acid use in interviews when asked about the meaning of their acid-oriented lyrics. That would be going too far.
>Taking LSD does not make you play in a stylized trippy way. It explodes into a great cornucopia of creative paths. To look for LSD orientation you
>Metal fans suffered through years of religious "experts" finding obscure references and twisting words to accuse metal of being devil music or, in Ozzy case, condoning suicide.
There are hidden meanings in some Metal lyrics. There is some deliberate ambiguity in some Metal lyrics. Some anti-Metal authorities have made mistakes in decoding some of the hidden meanings. But it is not bullshit that there are hidden meanings in some lyrics. The task is to identify where there are hidden meanings, and identify what the hidden meanings are. There is little doubt that some Metal songs have some hidden meanings.
>It's dangerous and, as a songwriter, I hate thinking that somebody might twist my words around sometime or claim to be experts about the meanings to my words. I don't know how many times people have said "I used to listen to that stuff but it made me want to kill myself and stuff." Or "That's all about the devil. If you really understood satanism and rock and roll, you'd understand that."
There is little chance that you could encode LSD-like meanings without intending to, with the intensity of the main acid-oriented Metallica, Ozzy, Maiden, or Rush lyrics. If someone understands my system of decoding deliberate acid allusions in lyrics, there is little chance that they would see your lyrics and think that they used acid-encoding, if you didn't deliberately concentrate on packing your lyrics full of such allusions.
>Ozzy's capable of anything. Randy Rhoads avoided drugs altogether. Hypothesizing that Randy used LSD is legally akin to saying "Randy Rhoads was a child molester" without actual, hard proof or witnesses.
So many rock stars have made that claim, you can't trust anything but in-depth research into the facts, as opposed to accepting the claims at face
>I know a former drug user who is a FRIEND of Randy's family and was a FRIEND of Randy Rhoads. Who talks to me openly about drugs, who talks about other musicians who used them, and who said flat out that Randy Rhoads did not do them because he didn't like doing them. Had Gerald--who partied with Rhoads and Ozzy--said "Yeah, man, Randy used to party like the rest of us" it wouldn't have changed a thing about how I feel. He said "Man...Randy said that he could get the band to play at my fiance's 21er, but only if there were no drugs. Because if there were, Ozzy would have destroyed the place because he did more drugs than all of us combined."
Why was Rhoads is so vehemently anti-drugs? Did Ozzy go crazy on LSD around Randy? There is still some room for interpretation below. Randy could have been a heavy tripper who prefers to trip alone. Parties are a poor place to trip -- there's a pretty strong concensus about this in the LSD books and online conversations. Rhoads did not want to play at a party where there were drugs -- that says little about his private drug use.
Ride the Lightning is credited ambiguously, in the liner notes, to four people. I would like to know what exact person wrote it, and each of the heavily acid-oriented Metal songs. With Rush, it's easy: Peart writes the Rush lyrics, and when he joined the band, it largely became his band. So I can say "Peart's lyrics" or the "Rush lyrics", pretty synonymously. We again reach an obscure point: did Alex Lifeson play guitar while on LSD? We can be pretty sure that Peart was accustomed to playing drums on acid.
>Ozzy's lyrics may have had a psychedelic layer, but it's not likely that Rhoads' guitar playing was in any way influenced.
It certainly could be Ozzy who wrote the lyrics -- in fact I think it is. I don't know whether Randy used LSD to color and expand his guitar playing, but it's likely that Ozzy wrote lyrics about grappling with his mind due to combining the control-struggle of his alcoholism with LSD as a mental reprogramming tool.
>I wasn't deceived when they said Van Halen and Aerosmith were devil worshippers and instruments of satan, and I'm not deceived now.
If you think that Metal lyrics have nothing to do with acid, you are deceived and blind to the encoding. You cannot be certain that there are no hidden encodings in any Metal songs, though that seems to be your absolutely skeptical position. You need to understand deliberate ambiguity, a main technique of acid lyrics. "I tell you to end your life." "I tell you to enjoy life." Suicide Solution is deliberately ambiguous. "Is this voyage coming to an end" is ambiguous - a tragic, or successful end?
>In Fairies Wear Boots, Ozzy sings of smoking pot and tripping on LSD all the time. Pantera's last and completely clear words before clearing the stage for Sabbath 1/12/99: "Drop acid." Heavy metal and Ozzy Osbourne and Sabbath
>So if Diary of A Madman was about acid, I have no doubt that he'd have come right out and said it. After singing about pot, cocaine, LSD and everything else openly, why would he hide it for Diary of a Madman?
He did not hide it very deeply. "I've got to tell you now: the ship is ready waiting on the shelf." I don't know if you caught my recent posting of the full lyrics of about 5 of the Diary of a Madman songs, with detailed annotations to point out the allusions to acid phenomena. I don't know why Diary, Caress, and Lightning albums use veiled rather than explicit references to LSD, but such subtlety could be a mark of art. Personally, as far as me alone as one who understands these albums, I'm glad they are not explicit about LSD -- I enjoy the subtlety -- such subtlety is often seen in art as opposed to technical writing.
In addition to the legal penalties, there are other reasons to hide or encode acid references. If anywhere on Diary it said out and out, "tripping" or "acid", there would be less of a surprise as the tripper absorbs the album. One of the themes of Diary is coding, occluded meaning -- look at the occult symbols around the vinyl album's liner notes.
Further discussion needs to cover theories of encoding more.
>are drenched in LSD, and I would be skeptical upon hearing the claim that anyone in that circle did not use drugs, especially given the seriousness of the Drug Inquisition. Until proven otherwise, it's reasonable to assume that Randy Rhoads was probably familiar with playing guitar on LSD.
The intensity of Metal goes hand-in-hand with the intensity of LSD.
I looked in "the mirror" today
My I just didn't seem so bright
Have I left my lie behind?
Could be, deliberate mealy-mouthing to say 3 things at once, like that wonderful line by Rush in "Subdivisions":
That timeless old attraction
sung as that, but simultaneously sung:
That timeless soul attraction
Peart and Lee probably know that it is possible to mis-hear the lyrics in these meaningful ways.
Rock lyrics about lysergic acid causing synthetic manic depression
Psychedelic peaks of mania are often followed by despair. This peak-then-crash also is reported in western mystic contemplation -- soaring to the sun, you crash into hell. There is no shortage of despairing songs on acid rock albums.
Beatles: yer blues "feel so suidical, even hate my rock and roll".
Iron Maiden: Sea of Madness (there ain't no wind to fill your sails...)
Metallica -- "Yesterday feels as though it never existed, now I will just say goodbye" (on Ride the Lightning).
Jimi -- Manic Depression "Will I live tomorrow, well I just can't say, but I know one thing for sure, I don't live today. No sun coming through my windows; feel like I'm living in the bottom of a grave; I wish you'd hurry up and just-kill/rescue me, so I can be on my miserable way".
Rush -- _Caress of Steel_ -- "Fountain of Lamneth" -- now at last I fall before the fountain of Lamneth, I thought I would be singing, but I'm tired, out of breath"
Cheap Trick -- not only "Hello Kiddies, hello kiddies, whacha gonna do when your head's exploding; well you skipped some school, you thought you'd be real cool, turns out you've been a FOOL!!" - but also "Suicide" (I'm looking up the lyrics on the web server).
Scorpions -- _Lonesome Crow_ -- "I'm going mad" (one of the gloomiest albums ever recorded, 1970)
Ozzy - _Blizzard of Ozz_ - "Suicide Solution" -- "The reaper's you and the reaper is me, breaking locks/laws knocking doors but there's nobody home [mystic emptiness/nonduality], don't you know what it's really about, now you live inside a bottle [double-entendre of acid-fishbowl vision], reaper's travelling at full throttle"
NIN has good examples too.
Another song connecting drug influenced experiences and feelings, and suicide.
A later song on the album says
"So I went to my doctor, see what he could give me
He said son, son, you've gone too far
Cause smokin' and trippin' is all that you do
See also my lyrics comments for Paranoid by Black Sabbath [link].
A bong hit at t=3 hours can throw you into rubber land, trapped behind the waterfall, frozen into stone.
There's no swimming in the heavy water
No singing in the acid rain
Red alert! -- Rush
Eye to I, reaction burning ["p"] hotter
Reflection on the water
Seems to me it's chemistry -- Rush
"It takes dynamite to get me high
Too much is just enough" -- Grateful Dead
Feel your spirit rise with the breeze
See your body fall-ing to its knees -- Black Sabbath
Jeff Beck (trails on Wired, "wired" = tripping, "scatterbrain" = tripping)
I also suspect Van Halen, due to the trails (like Wired) on the cover of Van Halen I, and the straightjackets on 5150 (police code for crimes of insanity).
Dissociative cognition enables incredible, scary improvisation. The neck appears to bend and the fingers feel strange. The music sounds different. It feels like a deal with the devil, a trick to become a guitar god instantly.
>Nobody can play serious music while tripping. It all comes out as a bunch of out of time, out of key noise.
I would like to hear Neil Peart's response to this, as a drummer I am sure has often played on LSD.
Your generalization is invalid. It is possible to play serious music while tripping, without it being out of time, out of key, and noisy. Hendrix reportedly played while tripping, with good-sounding results. If you are accustomed to tripping and accustomed to playing well, there is nothing stopping you from combining the two.
The Dead claim to not play on LSD, because they want to make sure they are alert and in-tune and in-time. Still, it is possible to play well, as well as super-creatively, while on LSD.
Things to heighten the experience, to make the best out of the trip: Listen to music and play guitar.
The rock music that I respect the most is that which is enlightened about peak experiencing -- an entire higher layer of meaning and communication is opened up.
Have you ever played a rubber guitar neck, bending and shifting all over, while you are an insanely creative improviser? Many of the greatest rock guitarists are so experienced.
Home (LSD and Ego Death)