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THE MYTH OF DYING           THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE         THE ART OF MADNESS            CONTACT






Note about the streaming audio: The nine tracks that comprise The Myth of Dying are presented on the CD in gapless fashion. The streaming mp3s that follow are presented as separate songs.








NARRATIVE

No life flashing before my eyes--instead, I recall the myths of dying depicted in the poems, novels, and tracts of the great litterateurs whom I loved--Milton, Dante, Ovid, the spiritual scribes, and a million others. The wondrous tenets they expounded--of brilliant lights, the inferno, enlightened paths--now hasten in my mind, intertwined, like strands in a woven shroud. And in this final moment, I wonder which of the great myths was correct.

And the deafening howl of death rushes through my mind and body and consumes me as I breathe my last.


LYRIC

Instrumental
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NARRATIVE

Arriving, did I rest content from great amazement as I transcend in bodies of light. I saw a wondrous thing draw to itself my sight. Towards me turning, blithe and beautiful, the spirit said to me: "You are not upon earth, as you believe. Accomplish your journey. Fly with your eyes all round about this garden. Fix gratefully thy mind on the first star to which we have been brought."

It seemed to me a cloud encompassed us--luminous, dense, consolidate, and bright; as adamant on which the sun is striking. A ray of light remaining still unbroken. There is a light above, and around about me flashed a living light and it expands itself in circular form to such extent that its circumference would be too large a girdle for the sun. Light after light to the most beautiful, gleaming brightest in the centre. The semblance of it is all made of rays and at that centre, with their wings expanded, more than a thousand jubilant Angels I saw, each differing in effulgence and in kind.

Into the yellow of an Eternal Rose that spreads, and multiplies, and breathes an odour of praise unto the ever-vernal sun, In fashion then as of a snow-white rose.

So through the living light my way pursuing, directed I my eyes o'er all the ranks; now up, now down, and now all round about.

(Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy-Paradiso)



LYRIC

Mystified as I can see a light
As I go passing by
So high
I'm soaring through the sky
Up there a spirit in the air
Is calling me toward the brilliant light

And I am mysified by the brilliant light
Some things can't be spoken
Mystified by the brilliant light
The truth remains unbroken

Hypnotised by strange and curious sights as flowers bend and sigh
And sigh
And floating in the sky
Up there a garden in the air
Is calling me through the fragrant night

And I am mysified by the silver light
Some things can't be spoken
Mystified by the brilliant light
The light remains unbroken

Mesmerized by the Empyrean light
As angels swirl and fly
So high
Revolving in the sky so clear
Are nine celestial spheres encircling me in concentric lights

And I am soaring beyond
Through the transcendent light
Beginning my mystical journey
Light after light with a centre so bright
Enveloped by angels of glory
Mystified by the brilliant light

Mystified as I transcend the light . . .
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NARRATIVE

Before me were visions, like paths to different realms of eternity. I asked the Angel, "which vision, which path shall I pursue?" and the spirit replied:

"The visions you experience exist within your consciousness; the forms they take are determined by your past desires, your past fears, your past karma. No matter how frightening some of them may seem, just let them pass through your consciousness. No need to become involved with them; no need to become attracted to the beautiful visions; no need to be repulsed by the frightening ones. Just let them pass. If you become involved with these visions, you may wander for a long time confused. Just let them pass through your consciousness like clouds passing through an empty sky. Remember the clear light, it is deathless. No matter where or how far you wander, the light is only a split second, a half-breath away. It is never too late to recognize the clear light."

(Tibetan Book of the Dead)

LYRIC

PART I

Instrumental

PART II

Where do I go now?
Before me lie a million stars
Different visions of eternity

Which path do I travel on?
Each leading to another space
Tunnels to different realities

Where do I belong?
I'm lost inside eternity
Where is my place in infinity?

"Let the visions pass through your mind
Like the clouds passing through open skies"

Tens of thousands stars
In colors that I've never seen
Light the blackness of eternity

And there among the stars
A haunting black sun calls to me
Tempting me toward its reality

"Just remember as you fly
Beyond the light
Let your mind resist the path
Of darkest sight
If you travel to the star
Blacker than night
In a breath you can rejoin
The brilliant light"

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NARRATIVE

With those words, the spirit left me to choose the vision and path I would pursue. Seduced by the dark path, I embarked to discover what lies outside the clear, white light. And in a new realm did I find myself in a dark space beyond the light.


LYRIC

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NARRATIVE

Within the dark realm, an Angel came to me and said: 'O pitiable foolish young man! O horrible! O dreadful state! Consider the hot burning dungeon thou art preparing for thyself to all eternity.' I said: "perhaps you will be willing to show me my eternal lot and we will contemplate together upon it and see whether your lot--the clear white light-- or mine is most desirable." So he took me down a winding cavern. We groped our tedious way till a void boundless as a nether sky appear'd beneath us. I said, "if you please we will commit ourselves to this void, and see whether providence is here also, if you will not, I will?" But he answered: “Do not presume, O young-man, but as we here remain, behold thy lot which will soon appear when the darkness passes away." So I remained with him. We beheld the infinite abyss, fiery as the smoke of a burning city; beneath us at an immense distance, was the sun, black but shining; A cloud and fire burst and rolled through the deep blackening all beneath, so that the nether deep grew black as a sea, and rolled with a terrible noise; beneath us was nothing now to be seen but a black tempest, we saw a cataract of blood mixed with fire, and not many stones' throw from us appeared and sunk again the scaly fold of a monstrous serpent; and now we saw, it was the head of Leviathan; his forehead was divided into streaks of green and purple like those on a tiger's forehead: soon we saw his mouth and red gills hang just above the raging foam tinging the black deep with beams of blood, advancing toward us with all the fury of a spiritual existence.  My friend the Angel climbed up from his station into the mill; I remained alone, and then this appearance was no more, but I found myself sitting on a pleasant bank beside a river by moonlight, hearing a harper who sung to the harp; and his theme was: "The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind." Then suddenly I saw the Devil in a flame of fire, he invited me to peruse his domain.

(William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell )


LYRIC

You came here to see what's going on
 Look around
 Just stroll around the grounds

 Heaven or Hell it's up to you
 Compare what the two can offer you.

You came here to see what's going on
 Look around
 Just stroll around the grounds
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NARRATIVE

Having witnessed the vision of the inferno, I chose, as instructed by the first wondrous angel, to let the vision flow through my consciousness. Then my Angel returned. By force I suddenly caught him in my arms, and flew westerly through the night, till we were elevated above the earth's shadow.

The Devil, having lost my soul, was filled with despair. He scorned his minions for their inability to enlist me to their realm whilst I purused their dwelling.

And so he spoke:

"You have let a soul slip through your fingers. The howl of sharpened famine for that loss re-echoes at this moment through all the levels of the Kingdom of Noise down to the very Throne itself. It makes me mad to think of it. How well I know what happened at the instant when they snatched him from you! There was a sudden clearing of his eyes (was there not?) as he saw you for the first time, and recognised the part you had had in him and knew that you had it no longer. Just think (and let it be the beginning of your agony) what he felt at that moment; as if a scab had fallen from an old sore, as if he were emerging from a hideous, shell-like tetter, as if he shuffled off for good and all a defiled, wet, clinging garment.


The more one thinks about it, the worse it becomes. He got through so easily! One moment it seemed to be all our world; the scream of bombs, the fall of houses, the stink and taste of high explosive on the lips and in the lungs, the feet burning with weariness, the heart cold with horrors, the brain reeling, the legs aching; next moment all this was gone, gone like a bad dream, never again to be of any account. Defeated, out-manœuvred fool!

The degradation of it!—that this thing of earth and slime could stand upright and converse with spirits before whom you, a spirit, could only cower. If only we could find out what He is really up to! Alas, alas, that knowledge, in itself so hateful and mawkish a thing, should yet be necessary for Power! Sometimes I am almost in despair. Meanwhile, I have you to settle with."

(C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, XXXI )


LYRIC

I'm the devil
Your my spies
And I revel
At a soul's demise

I'm the devil
Your my spies
And I revel
At a soul's demise

When you fail it makes me queazy
'Cause your task is so damn easy
Just get the souls of those who die.

(He's the Devil)
I'm the Devil
(We're his spies)
Your my spies
(And he revels)
And I revel
At a soul's demise
(At a soul's demise)

I'm the devil
(He's the Devil)
Your my spies
(We're his spies)
And I revel
(And he revels)
At a soul's demise
(At a soul's demise)

When you fail it makes me queazy
(Uh-oh. oh, oh. oh, oh!)
'Cause your task is so damn easy
Just get the souls of those who die.
(We get the souls of those who  die.)

All I want
And all I ask

Is that you do one simple little task!
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NARRATIVE

Leaving the dark realm I chose a path toward a purple star that exhuded wisdom and curiosity. There, suspended weightlessly above the ground and revolving round and round in deep thought, were many of the great thinkers whom I had admired. There before me was Huxley, Hume, Kant, Protagoras, Russell, Plato, and so many others. And before me hovered Socrates who described the realm to which they belonged. The Skeptics, he explained, could not follow the paths that wind through infinity. Instead they revolved, like a carousel, endlessly in contemplation.

And he pleaded to obtain my knowledge of the other realms of infinity from whence I had come.  Although I wished to tell him all I had seen and of my experiences, a force would not allow me to utter a word.


LYRIC

All the souls are lost here
Still uncertain of their end
We contemplate all possibilities
Our positions we defend

When we look beyond here
At the stars that fill the air
We wonder what might lie beyond our realm
Is there anyone out there?

Round and round we go again
Questioning the fate of men
There are days I think I'll loose my mind
And I'm just wasting time, wasting time . . .

Round and round we go again
Even we, the wisest men,
Cannot find the truth within infinity
Perhaps we're wasting time, wasting time . . .

Souls like yours have come here
And we ask them all the time
Can you tell us what you found out there
But they cannot speak their mind

Round and round we go again
Questioning without an end
Won't you tell me what's beyond here
I guess I'm wasting time, wasting time
Wasting time, Wasting time . . .


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NARRATIVE
By chance, I found myself at the top of eternity and at the bottom of a golden staircase. Following the Divine spirit  I ascended the stairs to enter His Realm. Circling around Him were His chosen twelve who appeared in white light.

The Mysterium was the most beautiful Realm to which I had traveled--oceans of multifarious color flowed beneath a million suns and moons. Endless fields of exotic grass, each blade a different color, could be seen for miles and miles.

The Divine did not speak--keeping His distance and seemingly unaware of my presence. He walked, like a trapeze artist, on the sea of colors before it parted under His silent command. Then with a stroke of His arm, he changed the oceans to wine.

I remarked to one of the twelve how useful the Divine’s talents would be to those still under an earthly skies. The apostle shrugged, but did not speak. Then did one of the twelve tell me that since the seventh day the Divine had been in silent repose.




LYRIC

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NARRATIVE

They're moving off in all imaginable directions, each according to his own private belief, and this is the secret that silent Lazarus would not reveal: that everyone is right, as it turns out. you go to the place you always thought you would go, the place you kept lit in an alcove in your head.
 
Some are being shot into a funnel of flashing colors into a zone of light, white as a January sun. Others are standing naked before a forbidding judge who sits with a golden ladder on one side, a coal chute on the other.
 
Some have already joined the celestial choir and are singing as if they have been doing this forever, while the less inventive find themselves stuck in a big air conditioned room full of food and chorus girls. Some are approaching the apartment of the female God, a woman in her forties with short wiry hair and glasses hanging from her neck by a string. With one eye she regards the dead through a hole in her door.
 
There are those who are squeezing into the bodies of animals--eagles and leopards--and one trying on the skin of a monkey like a tight suit, ready to begin another life in a more simple key, while others float off into some benign vagueness, little units of energy heading for the ultimate elsewhere.
 
There are even a few classicists being led to an underworld by a mythological creature with a beard and hooves. He will bring them to the mouth of the furious cave guarded over by Edith Hamilton and her three-headed dog.
 
The rest just lie on their backs in their coffins wishing they could return so they could learn Italian or see the pyramids, or play in a light rain. They wish they could wake in the morning like you and stand at a window examining the winter trees, every branch traced with the ghost writing of snow.
 
(Billy Collins, The Afterlife)


LYRIC

Now I finally see the truth and I know  
Why I am where I am
All that I believed in life determined
Why I am where I am

What your mind believes the soul will follow
I thought . . . therefore I am
All that I believed in life determined
Why I am where I am

I see the truth
I found the truth
I'm just where I imagined I would be
I finally see the truth!

Hey, can anyone alive still hear me
I miss the earth, I miss my life, I miss my family
Now an emptiness and pain overwhelms me
If anyone out there can hear, won't you save me

Where, oh where, have I been?
What have I seen?
The infinite is now my home
Where I wander endlessly alone

If anyone is listening now
I'll tell you the story how
I traveled forth and back through all eternity
If I told you where I've been
And I told you what I've seen
The places and things that fill the heavens

A million miles I've traveled
Through a universe unraveled
To find the truth about eternity

All I imagined is all I received
Just what I figured and what I believed
Now and forever adrift in the light
Or should I journey to realms out of sight?

Here every place that the mind can invent
Realms for the wicked in constant torment
Realms for believers and martyrs and saints
Those who had lived under crushing constraints

A million miles I've traveled
And the universe unraveled
To find the truth about eternity

In the Mysterium I met the Divine
All alone changing water to wine
Since the first seven days He's been fast at rest
All alone save the twelve who passed the test

Well now I've told you where I've been
And I told you what I've seen
The places and things that fill the heavens

A million miles I've traveled
Through a universe unraveled
To find the truth about eternity
Oh, a million miles I've traveled
And the universe unraveled
To find the truth about eternity . . .

I can see the light
Just beyond the mist
Calling out to me

As I soar in flight
A voice I can't resist
Calling out to me

I can feel the light
Pouring over me
Raining down on me

In the Realm of Light
For all eternity
Forever I will be!




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