14 Sep 2013

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrI-a7Ogmvw?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=http://safe.txmblr.com&wmode=opaque&w=250&h=140]

For a song based on the Old Testament story of Moses at the burning bush, I wanted the video to hopefully evoke an experience of hypnotic and all-enveloping beauty. 

Much like Krishna’s reveal of his true nature to Arjuna on the battlefield in the Bhagavad Gita, I wanted images that would imply a revelation that was simply too much, too intense, too big. When I first saw the digital images put together for Rak Razam and Tim Parish’s “AYA: AWAKENINGS” documentary, I thought they did a great job of conveying the sense of movement towards magnitude – a sense of acceleration into the unknown, hurtling towards the unfathomable. I was pleased when they allowed me to use these images as a visual companion to the song.

How to portray the complexity of the inner journey is a tricky question. I often have mixed feelings about “psychedelic” imagery overall. While it is undoubtably beautiful, it can also be a distraction. 

I loved hearing Robin Quivers (of the Howard Stern Show) talk about her Ayahuasca experience in Peru. After her first ceremony, the shaman asked her what she experienced. She mentioned the gorgeous colors and sacred geometry. He yelled at her “You’re not supposed to be looking at pretty colors! You’re supposed to be fighting for your life!”

With the release of this album, I have been emphatic about delineating recreational drug use from the spiritual “work” that this album is about. 

In the broader secular world, people can be very reactionary, and I have attempted to shape the narrative and dialogue around the album to be one describing the work with Ayahuasca as more connected to the Hindu concept of “tapas” (conscious suffering as sacrifice for insight), rather than “psychedelic voyaging”. It felt important to me to explain that those drawn to medicine work, at least those in my circle, are not looking for a short cut to enlightenment, but are actually intentionally thrusting themselves into their own confusion in order to illuminate their own darkness.

So as you watch this video, for those have experienced the medicine, and for those that have not: please know that the images you are watching, as gorgeous and hypnotic as they may be, are not the destination. They are merely signposts along the way, letting us know that our world view is being altered, that we “are not in Kansas anymore”. However the true destination for the spiritual enquirer lies beyond all phenomena and imagery. Beyond our senses, beyond our desires, and beyond our mind. The true goal of the inner work is to know the mind of God, hovering silently beneath the surface of the world we know.”

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