Thursday, December 27, 2012

Universal Truths in Metal--What?

First of all, I use the term 'metal' sort of universally for the genres of loud rock music that I enjoy listening to.

The two songs that I wanna get into are sort of more of a progressive/djent style... 'djent' is the name of the style of music that uses 'chuggy' or palm-muted guitar riffs. Once you hear something djenty, you sort of get the hang of it.

This first video is by THE CONTORTIONIST, who I had the pleasure of interviewing during the Summer Slaughter Tour of 2012 with Will Ruehle.

In the interview, the vocalist Jonathan Carpenter describes their sound as sort of spacey, but their new album INTRINSIC focuses on several universal truths, and examines the human relationship with our universe. Jon's lyrics explore a lot of cool ideas and concepts. He is interested in not only how small we are in relation to some universal processes, but how big we are to some, as well.

THE CONTORTIONIST is one of several metal/progressive/djent/groove bands that uses their music as a means of exploring and sharing a higher consciousness of ourselves and the universe.

Now, regardless of whether or not you dig my kind of music, I think you should give this video a shot. The intro is melodic, not heavy! So if scream vocals aren't your thing, it'll be OK.

Here's the video, and then I'm gonna break down some of the lyrics and hopefully help others to understand why I am so enthralled with this kind of music.

Here are the lyrics:

tiny pieces taking steps towards covariance

how primitive are we still
widen your peripheral
socialized rules scale back progression
searching for the answers
there's a universe inside us all
every passing lifetime important as the last
a tiny grain against a finely tuned grid
see where you've come from
release my senses; they only hold me back
abstracted as forms derived from the
deeeeperrrr orrrrderrrr
searching for the answers
there's a universe inside us all
every passing lifetime important as the last
secret dimensional noise
disregard direction
horizons follow entropy
disregard direction
our microstate feeds their energies
disregard direction


There a few of these lines that I wanted to highlight simply because they acknowledge some very real concepts, universal ones--

1. "How primitive are we still" -- I love this lyric. As 'advanced' as we are as humans, these guys realize that we still have a long way to go. We're still learning that our reality can be manipulated on all scales, from the quantum level up. Society is still working towards 'tolerance,' whether it be of race, origin, sexual orientation, drugs, whatever--we're still working on getting along! We haven't even really been able to see what we're capable of because of these silly conventions to which so many people adhere. We need to move on. This way of thinking, this way of life that fails to recognize universal truths is on its way out. And yet, we're taking our sweet time moving on. We're still very primitive because we THINK primitively.

2. "There's a universe inside us all" -- oh, yes, yes there is. If you refer back to my first post, you'll see a picture of a brain cell juxtaposed with a computer model of our expanding universe. I think the term 'universe' has been used so long to describe what we understand to be 'space' that it's lost its real meaning, its true meaning. UNIVERSE is the name we gave to this expanse of space that we live in. This 'universe' as we know it exists as a construct of the mind. That's why our best understanding of it is a bubble-like space that is expanding from a particle that was once the size of a pea. Well, that's an awfully crude way of looking at one of the most genius constructions ever conceived. The universe inside all of us is the same universe we live in! It comes from within us; it is a projection of our mind (which you'll see in this second video). Our universe, our life experience as we know it is a direct result of our brain's inner workings. Everything you see, touch, hear, smell--these are all electrical signals being processed by a super computer that is so good at what it does that we don't even know our brain is doing it. We're living a movie, or a DREAM, if you will. Think of our universe as "limbo" from the movie INCEPTION. Our universe is raw dream space, raw data that exists at our fingertips. And it comes from inside of us. The universe as humanity experiences it is a direct result of our (humanity's) collective consciousness. Don't believe me? Watch this video where they use quantum physics to TRY and explain it. You'll find that science is still inadequate. "How primitive are we still?"

3. "Abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order"-- we are forms that have all come from the same pea-sized particle that started this universe. We are literally made up of the same atoms and space dust as the rest of the planets, solar system, asteroid belts, etc. We are literally the exact same material as everything else in the universe. However, because of certain energetic circumstances, vibrational patterns and of course evolution over an infinite amount of time, we have grown apart. Species have been formed, other planets, entire solar systems. We are vastly different from so much of our surroundings, and yet we are all the same stuff. The 'deeper order' to which they refer is this sort of basic, quantum-level infrastructure that holds our universe together. This deeper order exists, and we know this because scientists recently discovered the Higgs Boson, or "God Particle." This particle, which isn't really a particle at all, is the energetic life-force (kind of like Star Wars) that binds our reality and our seemingly tangible world together. This quantum-level of reality-existence is where science starts to disappear and the raw dream space--the matrix--that is our universe is more apparent.


This second video is by a band called PERIPHERY. These guys are nuts! I also got to see them with Will at the Summer Slaughter tour of 2012, and they tore it up. If THE CONTORTIONIST is one of the bands that gets me into a reflective/pensive/absorb-the-universe kind of mood, PERIPHERY is the pump-up counterpart to that universal acknowledgement.

This song is called "Froggin Bullfish."

Shut out from this ancient truth 

We are blind inside 
Migrant souls from a distant world 
There's an absence of knowledge 
Reaching out for the pulse of our own 
Now the time has come to awaken the prophecy 
Buried underneath the veil of illusion 
Given a life of freedom, only to neglect what we should feel. 
Tortured by negative consciousness 
Feeling our disorder hit the froggin' wall 
Escape some way... Awake! 
Hallucinating desire 
Chase the obscene 
Travel these wonders far beyond 
Burn down the walls that bind you to this cage 
Or be detained 
For once, a glimpse at freedom would feel divine 
A break from this feeble mind 
My fucking mind! 
Negative scenes are just the projections of our own dark fears 
Playing the victim is not what will bring us back to salvation 
Back to reality 
What is it they all seek? 
Be it the wealth or the throne? 
Live your life as a drone! 
Reaching out for the pulse of our own 
So high... above what they all seem to know (what they know) 
Subliminal signs 
A message that's unrefined 
Soaring above what they all seem to know 
Someday replay the purgatory life you lead 
Chase the obscene 
Travel these wonders far beyond 
Burn down the walls that bind you to this cage 
Or be detained 
Travel these wonders far beyond 
Chase the obscene (travel these wonders far beyond) 

A few lyrics upon which I'd like to comment:

1. "Reaching out for the pulse of our own" -- this is exactly what I'm doing with this dad-burn blog. Eventually, I guess I felt like there had to be more people than me that feel the way I do, or that relate similarly to our universal reality. I think PERIPHERY, or at least Spencer Sotelo (vocalist) can identify with feeling somewhat separate from the societal reality. It's as though this lyric is saying most people are deadened, or asleep--UNCONSCIOUS--of their true universal reality; and for those who have discovered that things aren't quite what they seem, there's a sense of isolation that results. I mean, imagine living in a social reality of which you have to be a functioning part in order to sustain your existence, and yet all the while you know that so much of how we could be living is misunderstood. It's sort of a dualistic reality, which makes for a dualistic life. I know that it's hard sometimes for me to feel like a real part of a world that is concerned with so many trivial things. That's not the reality that I want; it's not the reality that I know to be true. So, "reaching out for a pulse of our own" is Sotelo's way of saying, "Hey, are you alive? Is there anybody else who is awake? Conscious? Is there anyone else that knows what I'm talking about?" And it's not holier-than-thou, or damning in any way. 

2. "Negative scenes are just the projection of our own dark fear" -- this lyric acknowledges one of the greatest universal concepts explored in the video above involving quantum physics and the measurement problem: our reality, our life experience is a direct result of our own thoughts and conscious will. You experience what you project for yourself to experience. Basically, if you live your life as a negative nancy, your experience will likely be miserable and tough. By exhibiting aggression or frustration, the universe will meet you with that same resistance--literally your own emotions directed back at you. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to make sense of this; we live this on the reg. If you're positive about a situation, usually the result is positive. And if it's not, you respond positively and don't let it get you down. That's a life truth, but there is definitely a universal truth / science to it. There is an excellent video of a Chi master demonstrating his power. He uses his pupils' aggression and directs it back at them, rendering them unable to affect him. If you project negativity, your life experience will be negative. If you project positivity, love, and good vibes, then your experience will be as such. It will not depend on whether or not others do this, because your response will be positive. Therefore, nothing will get you 'down;' nothing will stop you from realizing your fullest potential. 

3. "Playing the victim is not what will bring us back to salvation, back to reality. What is it they all seek? Be it the wealth or the throne? Live your life as a drone!" -- This is an important one. We as humans are conscious observers of our universe, but we must also realize (as stated above) that we are conscious creators. Supposedly "God" made us in his image--we have the same powers and capacity for creation, love, etc. that a god would. We are creating the universe as we go! We're not victims! We are not subject to this harsh, unforgiving, disorderly universe--quite the opposite, actually. We are the ones--each of us, individually--responsible for making our reality what we want it to be. But just as we are able to manipulate our reality, our universe, so are we able to be manipulated by others! This is a harsher universal truth, but it's one that is already apparent to you. We're subject to a reality in which we are not able to affect much of a change (or so we think). We're stuck in college, getting a degree, getting a job, finding a significant other that you can stand to be with, starting a family, working hard, getting benefits, and eventually retiring during old age. WHAT THE HELL! That's lame! I'm sorry, but that sucks. I don't want to have to wait to enjoy life until I'm too old and saggy to do anything about it. Fuck that. Our own government has us convinced that we have to vote to affect a change, and we can only do that every four years. And we don't get to vote on important things like who to send aid money to, who not to give tax cuts to, who not to go to war with, etc. We get to vote on silly things. And the rest of the time, we're just supposed to sit and accept whatever reality is chosen for us? Hell no. I am a conscious human being, and I have the ability to change and affect my reality. I do this on a regular basis by making simple, conscious decisions. And yet we feel like we can't do anything! We feel that we're too small for big problems and that we as individuals are powerless! THERE IS NOTHING MORE POWERFUL THAN AN INDIVIDUAL. Think about the man at Tiananmen Square. Think about Ghandi. Think about Martin Luther King. Think about Mother Theresa. Think about Jesus. These individuals affected real change because they believed that they could. They knew their own power, and they decided that it would not be limited. There's a Steve Jobs quote that I love: 

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." -Steve Jobs

This is Me. It's You, too. Steve Jobs put it pretty eloquently, but let's be real--we are all capable of achieving change, great change. PERIPHERY says don't live your life as a drone, don't be a sheep. Don't live your life according to the will of others. If your will is good, others will see it and follow by example. You can inspire people to change. Maybe I have with something I've written in this blog, or on my computer.

Either way, I've changed my life experience for ME because I'm better understanding mySelf and others, the universe, reality--everything--through writing it here. Even if no one gets anything out of the work I've put into this page, it doesn't matter. I did it for me to better understand what I want for my life.

This page is specific to the way I feel, to the way that I think. But we're all humans, and I know that others have experienced the truths by which I try to live. By sharing this, I am affecting my will, making my intentions known, and guiding my life path through this universe-reality. It's fine if you disagree or see something differently; that is good! But there is no substitute for discovering yourSelf, affecting your will, sharing your knowledge, truth, love of life and all things universal. Do not be a victim. Take your reality by storm and live the life you want. You can have it. All you have to do is make a conscious choice. And it's yours. PERIPHERY, you guys nailed it.

Love and peace,


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