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Rush Lyrics Alluding to Mystic Dissociative Phenomena

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Altered-State Lyrics

General site for Rush lyrics:





Almost all Rush albums have many songs that have dense allusions to mystic altered-state phenomena. I primarily cover early Rush albums, when they were originally exploring this approach - Caress of Steel through Grace Under Pressure.

I have not yet indicated which are the stronger, or "leading" allusions and which are weaker, "following" allusions. The strategy in this sort of analysis must be to brainstorm and overshoot. It is best to think of an excess of mystic-state interpretations, and then later pick the best ones.

My primary purpose with these annotations is not to explain the surface layer of meanings, which is evident during the normal state of cognition. That would be valuable, but my emphasis is on the occluded layer of meanings, the layer that is revealed during the dissociative state of cognition. These two layers are distinct, even if interdependent. I acknowledge the surface layer of meanings, but emphasize the occluded layer. It is clear enough that on the surface, "Bastille Day" is about the French Revolution, "Countdown" is about a rocket take-off, "Red Barchetta" is about a car, "No One at the Bridge" is about a ship, "Cygnus X-1" is about a black hole, and "The Body Electric" is about an android. Those are elementary explanations -- perhaps needed, but of little interest. Those meanings should be instantly obvious to anyone who is paying any attention at all. I am assuming that such analyses have already been taken care of.

Perhaps I should take the time to spell out the surface meanings as well as the occluded allusions, offering this site as the first complete and adequate explanation of Rush lyrics in general. Analyses which are limited to just the surface layer are shallow and have little to offer. I do need to take another look at the couple of books which attempt to explain Rush lyrics -- but I already looked at them and saw nothing more than "Song A is about B, song C is about D", and so on. Such interpretations are shallow because they are too easily satisfied; as soon as the first meaning is determined, the analysis is declared complete. I do discuss the surface layer in some cases, such as when it involves the philosophy of egoism. The "layer" idea applies better to some songs than others.

These are some of the best places to start reading:
The Fountain of Lamneth, particularly No One at the Bridge
The Body Electric
Cygnus X-1 Book One --- The Voyage
The Twilight Zone
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres
Red Barchetta
The Camera Eye
Vital Signs

In the Rush newsgroup, someone wrote "Does anyone know what the hell this guy [egodeath.com] is talking about??"

Richard wrote "Well, as a matter of fact I do. But then again, I am altered even as I type this. Thank you [egodeath.com] for your post and the link; I have been looking for just this kind of information for quite some time. Thanks." -- ElectRick, trippin' for the night

>What exactly is the point of all your nonsensical discussions regarding the lyrics of Rush?
>I've read more of your discussion about Rush lyrics and have concluded that you're either very intelligent or you're an idiot with a psychology book in front of you and you're using as many psychology buzzwords as possible to put forth the illusion that you're intelligent!

The status of my intelligence is not directly relevant to this subject.

It is widely thought that Rush is a philosophy/mysticism band, but a crucial point for understanding the nature of this "philosophy" and "mysticism" is that it is *acid*-mysticism.

The lyrics are crafted to lend themselves particularly well to carrying subtle double-entendres alluding to common experiences of the LSD mystic altered state. The result is a language of hidden reference, a systematic, definable scheme of encoding and decoding of meaning. The acid lyricist writes while on LSD, subtlely phrasing things in a way that suggests common LSD experiences and perceptions. These allusions are not recognized except by listeners who are also in the LSD mystic altered state. For example, "sea spray blurs my vision, the waves roll by so fast, save my ship of freedom, I'm lashed helpless to the mast" are publically understood to simply tell a story of a sea voyage and a storm. But for those on LSD, the rather odd or arbitrary phrasings are seen as referring, with a perfect fit (perfect beyond the possibility of coincidence), to the common LSD experiences of perceptual waving and of loss of the sense of free will.

Ego death is the most interesting phenomena in human experiencing and warrants such research and explanation as my site puts forth.

There is no need for psychology buzzwords and high intelligence to experience and explain this. Just a familiarity with Rush lyrics and common altered-state experiences.

See Rush as an acid-mysticism group for much more explanation.

-- Unit One

Different Stages shows Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson being hauled away from the concert hall in a straightjacket, by orderlies wearing white. Compare the cover of 5150, by Van Halen, showing the band in straightjackets. These album covers both refer to the psychotomimetic effects of LSD.


Fly By Night

The Holland version of this album cover shows an eagle, representing liberty of the individual. The regular cover shows an owl (representing being awake during an all-night trip). I am surprised the owl does not have large pupils.


(Lee, Lifeson, Peart)

[This is pro-egoism as opposed to collectivism and an altruism which condemns the value of the individual who gives to others. Contrast with later songs that dwell on the problematic nature of ego and egoic self-control. For more information, see Ego strengthening vs. ego transcendence.]

Know your place in life is where you want to be
Don't let them tell you that you owe it all to me
Keep on looking forward; no use in looking 'round
Hold your head above the ground and they won't bring you down

Anthem of the heart and anthem of the mind
A funeral dirge for eyes gone blind
We marvel after those who sought
New wonders in the world, wonders in the world,
Wonders in the world they wrought.

Live for yourself -- there's no one else
More worth living for
Begging hands and bleeding hearts will
Only cry out for more [compare Cinderella Man, in which "he held up his riches to challenge the hungry"]

Well, I know they've always told you
Selfishness was wrong
Yet it was for me, not you, I
Came to write this song [here is a declaration of selfishness and a refusal of the morality of altruisim (feeling one is morally obliged to hold oneself down to altruistically help others)]

Beneath, Between And Behind

(Peart, Lifeson)

[This song presages many themes that appear in "Bastille Day".]

Ten score years ago, defeat the kingly foe [search "king"] ["kingly foe" would be either the dragonesque inner ego as false controller-agent, or a control-agent who controls the Ground of Being which gives rise to our every act of will and act of personal control]
A wondrous dream came into being
Tame the trackless waste, no virgin land left chaste [exploration and mapping of mystic state; consciousness researchers as Magellan's]
All shining eyes, but never seeing [search "shining" and "shining eyes"; it's a repeated motif for dilated eyes in altered state]

Beneath the noble birth [allusion to kingship repeated later in Bastille Day; search "king"]
Between the proudest words [the Ground of Being that produces the delusion of egoic power eventually reveals the impotence of ego]
Behind the beauty, crack appear
Once, with heads held high
They sang out to the sky
Why do their shadows bow in fear? [ego-bowing theme repeated later in Bastille Day, search "bow"]

The guns replace the plow, facades are tarnished now [possible allusion to transgressive sacrifice and loss of moral-control stabilizer in the dissociative state]
The principles have been betrayed [which principles? consider freedom, inner personal government, cybernetics principles]
The dreams's gone stale, but still, let hope prevail [compare staleness of the quest in Fountain of Lamneth]
History's debt won't be repaid [search "history"]

By-Tor And The Snow Dog

(Lee, Lifeson, Peart)

[premonitions of the battle theme of The Necromancer]

The tomb of Hades, lit by flickering torchlight
The nether world is gathered in the glare
Prince By-Tor takes the cavern to the north light
The sign of Eth is rising in the air.
By-Tor, knight of darkness, [note that in the song "The Necromancer", "Prince By-Tor" is the champion, the savior, the good guy and rescuer.]
Centurion of evil, devil's prince. [By-Tor here too is a prince - but a prince of the devil.]

Across the River Styx, out of the lamplight [in ego death, cross river styx into hades]
His nemesis is waiting at the gate
The Snow Dog, ermine glowing in the damp night
Coal-black eyes shimmering with hate. [allusion to dilated pupils]
By-Tor and the Snow Dog
Square for battle, let the fray begin.

The battle's over and the dust is clearing
Disciples of the Snow Dog sound the knell
Rejoicing echoes as the dawn is nearing
By-Tor in defeat retreats to Hell
Snow Dog is victorious
The land of the Overworld is saved again.

Fly By Night

(Lee, Peart)

["Fly by night" means a trip (LSD session) during the entire night]

Why try? I know why
This feeling inside me says it's time I was gone [ego disappearance]
Clear head, new life ahead [rebirth]
I want to be king now, not just one more pawn [king ego, puppethood; but actually one goes from feeling as a king to feeling as a puppet, in mystic altered state]

Fly by night away from here [trip (LSD session) during the entire night]
Change my life again
Fly by night, goodbye my dear [disappearance of ego]
My ship isn't coming and I just can't pretend [search "ship"]

Moonrise, thoughtful eyes
Staring back at me from the window beside [ecstasis (standing beside oneself), dilated eyes, pure awareness is a higher vantage point to observe the mechanics of ego-cognition]
No fright or hindsight [fear of loss of control]
Leaving behind that empty feeling inside [ego disappearance]

Start a new chapter, I find what I'm after
Is changing every day.
The change of a season's enough of a reason
To want to get away
Quiet and pensive, my thoughts apprehensive [apprehend/fear insights about illusory nature of self-control]
The hours drift away
Leaving my homeland, playing a lone hand
My life begins today

Caress of Steel

Back cover art -- conditionally animated

When the viewer is tripping on LSD, the album art (4 sq. ft. total) becomes animated, moving about; moving pictures.


September 1975

(04:37) Bastille Day
(03:37) I Think I'm Going Bald
(04:08) Lakeside Park
(12:30) The Necromancer
I. Into Darkness (4:12)
II. Under The Shadow (4:25)
III. Return of the Prince (3:52)
(19:59) The Fountain of Lamneth
I. In the Valley (4:18)
II. Didacts and Narpets (1:00)
III. No One at the Bridge (4:19)
IV. Panacea (3:14)
V. Bacchus Plateau (3:13)
VI. The Fountain (3:49)

Caress of Steel is dedicated to portraying and accompanying ego death. Self-control cybernetics and mystic-state experiences in Caress of Steel

_Caress of Steel_ is the most awe-inspiring album, because it is the peak source of inspiration and impetus to the following albums. The most important and noteworthy song from a historical and developmental standpoint is "No One at the Bridge".

Which is the greatest and most worthy song on _Caress of Steel_? While "Bastille Day" and "The Necromancer" deal with the apprehension of mystic ego death, the first does so in the form of a warning or prophecy, and the second does so in the form of a highly metaphorical adventure fantasy. Only "No One at the Bridge" deals directly with the peak experience of needing a divine rescuer. It's an appropriately doom-laden song describing the first strong encounters with the self-destruction of the twisted logic of self-control. All later descriptions of such encounters are less engaged, lacking the immediacy of Discovery. "The Twilight Zone", "Freewill", "The Enemy Within", and "The Body Electric" are spoken from a stance which is so accustomed to the fatal loss of the ego's power of will, that these later songs are sung as safe and secure echoes of the original blast, which built up momentum on _Fly by Night_, but exploded on _Caress of Steel_. The subsequent albums were reflections and echoes of that highest blast of inspiration and forceful moment of revision of the egoic worldview, the blast which is unmistakably represented by "No One at the Bridge".

Acid allusions and philosophy of self-control cybernetics in Caress of Steel

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.

_Caress of Steel_ is packed with allusions to altered state phenomena:
o "take a piece of my mind"

o the waves roll by so fast (waves of perceptual distortion)
o save my ship of freedom, I'm tied helpless to the mast (freedom of will becomes experienced as cancelled or impotent)

o my gaze is caught and I am held helpless mesmerized (or some such) -- 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.

o 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 lyrist.

o The loss of the ability for self-steering in "No One at the Bridge" (detailed in my long Rand, Satanism, Rush posting).

The extremely artistic melancholy of manic depression is another standard effect of LSD - recall Hendrix's song "Manic Depression" on the important acid rock album, _Are You Experienced?_

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.

These lyrics are open to interpretation, but there is a dimension or layer of the lyrics that contains a *definite* allusion. This is a brilliant mastery of meaning, the way the lyrics are simultaneously about the surface topic, *and* are generally, poetically open, *and* -- I'm pointing out -- share a consistent theme. These 3 strands of interpretation are distinct and separable - each can stand on its own.

This suggests a system or philosophy of interpreting poetry. The ancient Greeks felt that the highest artform is music, meaning music with lyrics. I agree, and Rush is unsurpassed in the height of their lyrical achievement - their cleverness of encoding layers of meaning that reveal themselves, some layers more freely than others.

Ego Death meaning, King Ego kneeling, king into puppet

The experience of ego death is a temporary experience, a passage that can happen in multiple LSD sessions. There is also ego death on a longer term -- actually a lasting ego transcendence. "Ego death" is a very transitory experience.

Technically, "ego transcendence" is a more robust, accurate term than "ego death" -- and the word "suspension" is really good. A lot of this terminology is a matter of usage and definition. Many people talk about "ego death" and LSD is certainly experienced as a kind of death -- people talk about "feeling like I was dying". There is the Grateful Dead with all their skeleton imagery. There is crossing the river styx. In rites of pasage, the immature self dies and the more mature self is born.

From Rush: Caress of Steel: Bastille Day:

See THEM bow their heads to DIE
As we would BOW as they rode by
And WE're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Sing, oh choirs of cacophony
The king has KNEELED
To let his kingdom rise

The "king" here is king ego -- the false, illusory aspect of the ego-agent.

As the aristocratic kings died, so will ego bow, kneel, and die, as an illusory cybernetic controller/governor residing inside the mind, during an LSD session.

>but enough to (hopefully) leave the person with enough of an insight into the nature of the ego so that they can see their way more clearly even when without lsd, thereby making it easier and easier to eat lsd, as the ego is 'softened' thru repeated experience.

The ego "dies" as far as no longer being the unchallenged center of personal identity. The ego becomes more like a tool and an identity token, rather than one's true identity. The ego becomes as a tool of the mind.

After ego death, the new mind, or new ego, is different in some essential way from the old ego. The new ego is a more sophisticated, more well-understood ego, that is more differentiated from all the other activities of the mind. Ego death and ego transcendence can be thought of a simply a better understanding of the real nature of the ego -- such as seeing the way in which ego has *always* been an illusion. This can be subtle -- the ego is not entirely an illusion; it *sort of* exists. In the mystic state of dissociative cognition, the ego is re-perceived, and re-conceptualized. This is usually impossible, during the normal state of cognition, because deeply locked-in patterns of thought prevent the mind from examining the ego.

I have never heard someone claim to be born into a new "ego". They ususally say something like "I died to the old self to be born as a new, true Self". Ego is, by convention, demonized -- except by egotists, who usually do not have any insight about mystic experiencing or transpersonal psychology.

>What's usually referred to as "ego" in ego-death isn't the Freudian ego, it's the self-conscious narcissistic narrative, according to some who are experienced in Zen ... I find this compatible with my own "ego death" psychedelic experiences, it's not loss of self so much as loss of the "selfish self". "Zen and the Brain" explains it in detail.

Language about the sense in which ego exists and does not exist is very subtle.

I was glad to see that new book, Zen and the Brain.

I am concerned with the maximum effects of LSD, such as the sum of the following experience:

2 hits (200 mics) 200 times
5 hits (500 mics) 50 times
10 hits (1000 mics) 10 times

Take about 400 mics, and hold out your fingers -- are they shaking, in small distinct rapid vibrating motion, noticeably more than usual?

The black hole takes control away from the empty illusion of the inner homunculus who is the source and controller of the will and self-control. Another place where the double-inverse pentagram appears is the sleeve of Farewell to Kings. The cover on that album shows a puppet king. Kings actually were thought of as puppets, of the divine will. Whoever ends up king, must have been divinely fated to be given that power. The king's power, though, was thought of as deriving from the god of Fate, master of the future and all time.

Who is this king that dies in this new Bastille Day we have? In the Enlightenment, political and rational enlightenment hands the reins to the individual, and eliminates the metaphysical political system of a hierarchy of control flowing down from God, through the kings, and finally to the serfs (the lowest slaves in the giant master-slave hierarchy). Now we enjoy autonomy -- or perhaps we enjoy a *direct* master-slave relationship to god, rather than a circuitous hierarchical master-slave relationship to the omnipotence of the god who is the master of eternity. The mystic point of view shows a new appearance of the landscape of metaphysics, time, and self-control: the power of the autonomous self of modernity is seen as a confusion and illusion of the mind, and the source of one's will appears to be the world shaped as a block-universe with the time-axis frozen. One's will, at any point in the past, present, or future, appears to be floating eternally, pre-given at every point in time. This is the revealing of the hidden secret of self-government: apparently, according to altered-statte perception and the accompanying rational mental-model, it does stand to reason and perception that oneself cannot be the *ultimate* source of one's actions. It looks as though I am not my own ultimate self-controller. All my own power melts as I become a slave under the power of Fate and time, grovelling before my one true master, the god of Fate, the god of the future.

Bastille Day

Words and music by Lee, Lifeson, and Peart

Ooh, there's no bread, let 'em eat cake
There's no end to what they'll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth

But they're marching to Bastille Day.
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize.
Free the dungeons of the innocent [sinlessness as all responsibility is recognized as owned by Ground of Being]
The king will kneel
And let his kingdom rise.

Ooh, blood stained velvet, dirty lace, [search "blood", "crimson"] [white appears dirty smudged during altered state]
naked fear on every face [terror of loss of control in ego death]
See them bow their heads to die [in ego death, many feel forced to bow to the Ground of Being or divine higher control level, or underlying control level, acknowledging its priority of power over the ego]
As we would bow as they rode by
And we're marching to Bastille Day [*we* will die as governors just as did the kings]
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize [flaming sword cuts off ego's head when one grasps cybernetic Truth]
Sing, oh choirs of cacophony
The king has kneeled [ego has died to let the power of the Ground of Being be recognized]
To let his kingdom rise.

Lessons taught but never learned [search "Lesson", as in the song by that name on 2112]
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past [as kings-as-governors died, so shall egos-as-governors die]
Long ago the mould was cast
For they marched up to Bastille Day
La guillotine claimed her bloody prize
Hear the echoes of the centuries
power isn't all that money buys. [money to buy LSD (thousand 10 cent wonders) appears to enable greater personal control via metaprogramming the mind, but instead, leaves one metaphysically powerless and helpless]

I Think I'm Going Bald

Words and music by Lee, Lifeson, and Peart

I looked in the mirror today; [altered mind as mirror]
my eyes just didn't seem so bright. [can hear "my I"] [the "I" construct isn't very smart; it's largely an illusion and a logical impossibility]
I've lost a few more hairs. [directs attention above the head] [this could very well be a joke about the myth of LSD causing chromosome damage: "I've lost a few more heirs]
I think I'm going bald,
I think I'm going bald.

Seems like only yesterday
We would sit and talk of dreams all night, [trip all night]
Dreams of youth and simple truths. [allusion to fountain of youth, fountain of Lamneth]
Now we're all so involved,
So involved with life.

I walk down vanity fair, [allusion to dominance of ego-consciousness]
Memory lane ev'rywhere [all mental constructs and memory retrieval seen as alike]
Wall Stree shuffles there, [perceptual waviness in altered state - walls and streets shuffle]
Dressed in flowing hair.

Once we loved the flowers,
Now we ask the price of the land.
Once we would take water,
But now it must be wine. [wine = lsd, as in "Cask of '43"]
Now we've been and now we've seen [our ego been transcended, seen Truth]
What price peace of mind. [search "peace"]
Take a piece of my mind. [allusion to psychotomimetic, and concretization/fragmentation of mental construct processing]

My life is slipping away. [allusion to ego death]
I'm aging every day.
But even when I'm grey,
I'll still be grey my way. [even in a state of transcending personal existence, retain personal uniqueness]

Lakeside Park

(Lakeside Park is in St. Catharine's, on Lake Ontario, in Canada. May 24th is Victoria Day, commemorating Queen Victoria's birthday.)

Words and music by Lee, Lifeson, and Peart

Midway hawkers calling "Try your luck with me." [luck, fatalism, risk of LSD, gamble of trying to purchase real LSD] [search "luck"]
Merry-go-round wheezing same old melody. [whirling theme]
A thousand ten-cent wonders, who could ask for more. [higher in the LSD distribution chain you can buy 1000 hits for $100 - each hit is 10 cents]
A pocketful of silver, the key to heaven's door. [= LSD, search "key" - Twilight Zone: use the key, unlock the door, see what your fate might have in store]

Lakeside Park, willows in the breeze. [no breeze needed to make trees appear to move, with waving perception]
Lakeside Park, so many memories. [memory flood of LSD]
Laughing rides, midway lights, [flashes of bright light]
Shining stars on summer nights.

Days of barefoot freedom, racing with the waves, [search "wave" - waving perception]
Nights of starlit secrets, crackling driftwood flames, [inner secrets revealed]
Drinking by the lighthouse, smoking on the pier, [consider drinking "wine" and smoking THC]
Still, we saw the magic was fading every year. [compare depression of Fountain of Lamneth]

Everyone would gather on the twenty fourth of May, [what day is this?]
Sitting in the sand to watch the fireworks display.
Dancing fires on the beach, singing songs together,
Though it's just a memory, some memories last forever. [timelessness]

The Necromancer

Words and music by Lee, Lifeson, and Peart

I. Into Darkness

As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travelers, men of Willow Dale, emerge from the forest shadow. Fording the River Dawn, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of the Necromancer. Even now the intensity of his dread power can be felt, weakening the body and saddening the heart. Ultimately they will become empty, mindless spectres, stripped of will and soul. Only their thirst for freedom gives them hunger for vengeance...

[altered state themes in this story include: night voyage, remote cybernetic control of oneself by dispassionate higher-power controller, frightfulnes of being controlled by a higher level of power, ego emptiness, loss of egoic stable thinking, loss of control over one's own will, insight about illusory nature of metaphysical freedom.]

Silence shrouds the forest
as the birds announce the dawn.
Three trav'llers ford the river
and southward journey on.
The road is lined with peril,
and the air is charged with fear.
The shadow of his nearness
weighs like iron tears. [search "tears", as in the song "Fountain of Lamneth" and song "Tears"]

II. Under the Shadow

Shreds of black cloud loom in overcast skies; the Necromancer keeps watch with his magic prism eyes. [blurring during dissociative state, like "glass onion" or Donovan's "crystal spectacles".] He views all his lands [compare Biblical phrase "the kingdom of God is all around you, but you don't see it"] and is already aware of the three helpless invaders trapped in his lair... [being caught helplessly in a trap is a common theme of the LSD peak, as is feeling like a trespasser into the dominion of the gods/controllers/fates when one rises too high in consciousness]

Brooding in the tower, [non-compassionate higher-level all-powerful control agent]
watching o'er his land,
holding ev'ry creature,
helplessly they stand. [helplessness]

Gaze into his prisms, [altered-state perceptual blurring, compare "sea spray blurs my vision"]
knowing they are near.
Lead them to the dungeons.
Spectres numb with fear,
they bow defeated. [search "bow"] [defeat of ego power during ego death]

III. Return of the Prince

Enter the Champion. Prince By-Tor appears to battle for freedom from chains of long years. The spell has been broken...the Dark Lands are bright, the Wraith of the Necromancer soars away... in the night.

Stealthily attacking,
By-Tor slays his foe.
The men are free to run now
from labyrinths below. [altered-state navigation of the labyrinth of strange loop of egoic control and ego-agency]
Wraith of the Necromancer
shadows through the sky;
another land to darken
with evil prism eye. [note singular here, unlike above; think 3rd eye] [this song calls omnipotent God evil though all-powerful; implies that By-Tor is victorious. But, in terms of Christian symbology, it's not clear if By-Tor is Jesus the substitute sacrifice savior, or Satan the good ego as against God or against a bad demiurge, or Michael the Archangel. In the song "By-Tor And The Snow Dog", By-Tor was the bad guy, defeated by Snow-Dog. We could say that Jesus buys us control-power from God, so that God and egos are co-rulers, co-cybernetic-power wielders, co-governors -- thus a rescuer-figure purchases virtual freedom/power for the ego, despite the nonreality or illusory nature of ego as control-agent.]

The Fountain of Lamneth

Words and music by Lee, Lifeson, and Peart

Alex Lifeson (1983 interview): "Ged and Neil wrote the lyrics for The Fountain of Lamneth, and he thought it would be kind of nice to try to incorporate a very loose concept in it by having a starting point and ending point which would go from the beginning of side 2 [to] the end of side 2 and it would be one complete story, but broken up, so that it could be individual songs that, unless you look closely, wouldn't necessarily relate to each other."

I. In the Valley

Psychedelic birth/rebirth drawing reminescent of the Caress of Steel artwork

I am born;
I am me.
I am new. [rebirth in altered state]
I am free. [remember that freedom is as problematic as it is central and cherished; search "free"]

Look at me; [in altered state, awareness, mind, and self are separated so you can look at the me-construct]
I am young.
Sight unseen;
life unsung.

My eyes have just been opened,
and they're open very wide. [dilated pupils][to do: link to "open eyes" list in rushacid.htm]
Images around me
don't identify inside. [memory associations dissolved/suspended]

Just one blur I recognize,
the one that soothes and feeds.
My way of life is easy,
and as simple are my needs.

Yet my eyes are drawn toward
the mountain in the east. [drawn to mystic insight]
Fascinates and captivates; [forcefully captures attention]
gives my heart no peace.

The mountain holds the sunrise
in the prison of the night,
till bursting forth from rocky chains,
the valley floods with light.

Living one long sunrise, [at end of all-night trip]
for to me all things are new. [rebirth, sense of new Creation]
I've never watched the sky grow pale, [at end of all-night trip]
or strolled through fields of dew.

I do not know of dust to dust.
I live from breath to breath. [intense fear during peaking, holding on to ego desperately moment-to-moment]
I live to climb that mountain
to the Fountain of Lamneth. [live to explore mystic altered state]

II. Didacts and Narpets

[title stands for teachers and parents.]


["Listen!" is an injunction to now prepare to be taught the greatest truths, by the mystic altered state.]

[search "listen"]

[You didn't listen again, to *this* lesson in *this* important, key song: THERE IS NO CYBERNETIC GOVERNOR AGENT AT THE CONTROLS running your mind and actions; ego is only epiphenomal, with all its actions completely originating from the Ground of Being rather than truly originating from the creative power of the ego-agent.]

Ego-death, the steersman homunculus, and self-control cybernetics

The highest philosophy song ever written is "No One at the Bridge". Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is just a typical New Age expression of mystic "knowledge" in that it is non-rational, and has no distinct, explicable meaning. But even the *title* of "No One at the Bridge" is packed full of specific insights about the nature of self-control cybernetics.

III. No One at the Bridge

Crying back to consciousness, [once more, in the altered state]
the coldness grips my skin. [tingles and nervous chills of meditation]
The sky is pitching violently, [altered state perception]
Drawn by shrieking winds

Seaspray blurs my vision [blurred vision of altered state]
The waves roll by so fast [loose perceptual cognition of altered state]
Save my ship of freedom [freedom becomes amplified to instability]
I'm lashed, helpless, to the mast [experience of helplessness]
Remembering when first I held
the wheel in my own hands, [self-control steersmanship, augmented]
I took the helm so eagerly
and sailed for distant lands [pushing the boundaries]
But now the sea's too heavy. [heavy problems of controlling freedom arise]
And I just don't understand,why must my crew desert me [my self who controls, is seen as partly illusory]
when I need a guiding hand? [I *need* an ego in my head to steer myself]
Call out for direction [my guidance systems are all suspended]
and there's no one there to steer [there's no one in me to give birth to will]
Shout out for salvation [kneel and pray to god-of-Fate to save me from freedom]
but there's no one there to hear [no god appears]
Cry out supplication [grovel slave-like, humbly, contritely, desperately]
for the maelstrom is near [the whirlpool vortex of self-control breakdown]
Scream out desperation [in deepest jeopardy]
but no one cares to hear [there is no god out there who cares to save me]

IV. Panacea

The whiteness of confusion
is unfolding from my mind.
I stare around in wonder.
Have I left my life behind. [ego disappearance]

I catch the scent of ambergris
And turn my head, surprised.
My gaze is caught and held and I
am helpless, mesmerized. [powerless to resist the strange attractor of ego-death insight]

Panacea, liquid grace.
Oh, let me touch your gentle face.
Enchantment falls around me
and I know I cannot leave. [helplessness]

Here's a meaning for my life, [problem of meaning - search "meaning"]
a shelter from the storm.
Pacify my troubles with
her body, soft and warm.

Naked in our unity, [unity consciousness]
a smile for ev'ry tear. [search "tears", as in the song "Fountain of Lamneth"]
Gentle hands that promise me
comfort through the years.

Yet I know I must be gone [ego disappearance]
before the light of dawn. [trip through the night]

Panacea, passion pure.
I can't resist your gentle lure. [powerless to resist Attractor]
My heart will lie beside you,
and my wandering body grieve. [body perceived as unreal]

V. Bacchus Plateau

[Bacchus is another name for Dionysus, the god of intoxication and transgression of the restraints of Reason. This is manic intoxication with psychedelics; wine was just a general purpose carrier and preservative base for all sorts of substances. Wine historically and more interestingly can be conceived of as an alcoholic suspension of something. After being frequently and intensely intoxicated with LSD, depression is a common result.]

Another endless day.
Silhouettes of grey.
Another glass of wine. [another LSD session]
Drink with eyes that shine. [dilated eyes, flushed face] [to do: link to "open eyes" list in rushacid.htm]

To days
without that chill at morning.
Long nights, [tripping]
time out of mind. [psychotomimetic, out of the egoic mind mode]

Draw another goblet [another LSD dose]
from the cask of '43. [LSD, discovered in 1943]

[Here is what some goblets of wine from the cask of '43 look like. This is 25 hits, each of the squares contains nominally 100 micrograms. 5 of these hits would make a suitably strong dose to produce the full-fledged classic experience of ego death, feeling like a cognitive puppet completely led around and produced in total by the universal process.]

Crimson, misty mem'ry, [search "crimson", = life blood of ego] [perceptual blurring, acute perception of cognition as present memory re-constructing]
hazy glimpse of me. [ego disappearance. LSD perceptual blurring]

Give me back my wonder. [after understanding ego death, no more challenge in life]
I've something more to give.
I guess it doesn't matter.
There's not much more to,
not much more to live.

Another foggy dawn. [blurred perception, near end of LSD session]
The mountain almost gone. [mystic allusion to "then there is no mountain"]
Another doubtful fear. [search "fear"]
The road is not so clear.

My soul
grows ever weary,
and the end
is ever near.

VI. The Fountain

Look the mist is rising,
and the sun is peeking through. [the trip is peaking]
See the steps grow lighter
as I reach their final few.

Hear the dancing waters;
I must be drawing near.
Feel, my heart is pounding [erratic heartbeat]
with embattled hope and fear.

The key, the end, the answer, [key = LSD dose = cybernetic loop understanding]
stripped of their disguise. [hidden/revealed theme]
Still it's all confusion,
and tears spring to my eyes. [search "tears", as in the song "Tears"]

Though I've reached a signpost;
it's really not the end. [what to do in life now?]
Like old Sol behind the mountain,
I'll be coming up again. [will have many more LSD sessions to re-experience these insights]

Now at last I fall before
The Fountain of Lamneth.
I thought I would be singing,
but I'm tired, out of breath. [suspended breath and energy of LSD session]

Many journeys end here, [Even so near the beginning of his lyrics career, Peart has already completed the highest journey; his life's quest has already come to its end; how could there be anything more to do?]
but the secret's told the same.
Life is just the candle,
and a dream must give it flame.

I'm in motion.
I am still. [changelessness, frozen time]
I am crying.
I am still.
I'm together.
I'm apart. [cognitive dissociation, fragmentation of accustomed mental constructs]
I'm forever
at the start.
Still, I am.


>Where did Neil come up with these ideas in 2112? In the book in the cd, there is a little excerpt about 2112, by a woman.

All the Rush fans online but me are more or less mystified by it, and finds no overarching theme that fits. Shrugging, they say "who dares to try to understand the Gods?" But Rush are no gods, just one more who's searching for a world that ought to be, an explorer at the forefront of a community of leading, modern mystics.

As far as the place of ego and Ayn Rand's Objectivism, ego is a transitional stage in the development of human consciousness over history. When divine kings ruled, people did not have egos in the sense that we are fully accustomed to. They did not have our feeling of being entirely self-sufficient, sovereign steersmen of our own destiny. Rush, and other groups, are devoted to building up and affirming this freedom and sovereign power of the ego. And yet, they build it up as a platform from which we can explore the things beyond the separate ego -- the experience of mystic unity and nonduality.
This is an attitude of affirming the ego in order to transcend it.

Many people think that LSD is the most fascinating discovery of the 20th century, of all time. Unfortunately the government and fearful people have made it illegal and have demonized drugs. This attitude of crushing the fountainhead of philosophical inspiration is extremely depressing to those who have had the privilege of experiencing it, the key that unlocks the door to the higher dimension where time and space collide and there is no escape from the Truth about our freedom. There's no one around [in your head, no homunculus-controller (see Minsky's _Society of Mind_)], you've just become his brand-new toy [helpless against what your fate might have in store] -- and no escape, no place to hide!

Here is "the key to Heaven's door"; Rush tells us to "Use the key, unlock the door":

Above: LSD-soaked blotter paper with a chemical diagram of the LSD molecule. The browning of the paper indicates it does contain LSD molecules, is not fresh, but is probably still potent.

"I learned to... turn the keys."

Lennon in Help: "Now I find I've changed my mind, and opened up the doors."

It is well-known that Rush is a pot-positive band (see Passage to Bangkok and "burning pot" in Chemistry), but less well known that they are more of an acid-positive band. The highest use of pot is 3 hours into a trip.

This is where Neil came up with all these ideas.

Truth is false, and logic lost, now the fourth dimension is crossed.

Rush personally invites you to
Use the key, unlock the door
You won't get wise, with the sleep still in your eyes

"For you -- the Truth."

2112 album lyrics by Neil Peart
"With acknowledgement to the genius of Ayn Rand"

The meaning of the naked guy on _2112_

The Naked Guy alludes to our psychological state in the Garden of Eden, when we "knew not" the moral system of constraints, of the guidance-system of good and evil. Before the egoic mental system, there was innocence of good and evil; during the egoic phase, the mental principles of morality reined and guided us; and finally, after (or beyond) the ego, after mystic enlightenment, there is again the innocence of good and evil, or nakedness. (This is just some preliminary associations; of course there are many issues I can't touch upon in this posting.)

Who is the king overthrown in the Enlightenment of the double-inverse pentagram? It is King Ego.


A few of the many other songs by Rush alluding to ego death, fate, breakdown of freedom/self-control:

Bastille Day (on _Caress of Steel_)
The Enemy Within (on _Grace under Pressure_)
The Body Electric (on _Grace under Pressure_)


The Ominous Parallels - "A brilliant study of America today - and the ominous parallels with the chaos of Pre-Hitler Germany" - the Ayn Rand library - by Leonard Peikoff - 1982 (certainly the most gripping book of the Ayn Rand library).

The New Satanists - Linda Blood - 1994. Compares Satanism and Nazism. Examines power-motives of Satanists and the strategy of transgressing one's own deepest moral constraints.

Rand's closed-mindedness to mysticism, 2112 by Rush, high philosophy and rock mysticism

Full front cover of 2112 (28 KB)

The rock album 2112 by Rush (1976) shows only a Red upright pentagram-in-a-circle floating on black water, on the front cover. It's a fold-out album. On the inside, it shows a naked guy apprehending this same symbol. So Rush has been through some kind of experience resonating with Satanism. The inside cover says "with acknowledgement to the genius of Ayn Rand." What, then, is the connection between Satanism and Ayn Rand's philosophy? Both of them promote the individual ego. But Rush highlights the apprehensive encounter with a satanic power turned upside-down, an encounter that happens through technology and logic. This encounter involves a discovery that is rejected by the established priesthood as a destructive toy, a toy that has some relationship to electric guitar.

2112: The symbology of the pentagram, ego death, destabilization of self-control

[to do: link to Rock: Pentagram Symbology]

The rock album 2112 by Rush (1976) shows only a Red upright [double-inverted] pentagram-in-a-circle floating on black water, on the front cover. On the inside, it shows a naked guy apprehending this same symbol.

Ozzy Osbourne, a Christian, does a comparable inversion of symbols on the front and back covers of _Diary of a Madman_ (1981). On the front, you can see the entire upside-down cross on the wall of his sorceror's pad, with a psychotic Ozzy on rampage. On the back cover, after the crazy Ozzy entity has "died", the reborn Ozzy is standing, blocking the view of the bottom of the cross, so that the remaining visible portion appears as a smaller, but upright, cross. This album chronicles Ozzy's psychedelic Discovery, belief, paralysis, struggles for self-mastery, and finally, a despairing madness of the ego which he now knows to be a lie, in some sense. The back cover shows him reborn in white with the upright cross above his head, so that he is standing under the cross. "Under the cross," by the way, can mean being buried in the grave or "dead in Christ".

The star is a Satanic power symbol, inverted/negated. It is also a symbol of a collective power seeking to control all.

I don't necessarily believe anything that Neal says -- he is a premiere bullshitter and bluffer. He obscures the meanings of the lyrics and symbols in order to protect the puzzle characteristic of the Rush lyrics, so that the game of discovery and unfolding of meaning may continue.

The theory that the star strictly refers to collectivism fails to address the fact that the pentagram in a circle, when inverted, symbolizes the worship of Satanic power. The symbol used in 2112 then takes on, in some altered form, the meanings which have already been established for the symbol of Satanism. That is how symbolism works, especially when the two symbols are so blatantly close. It is absurd to just dismiss the associations already built up around the colors red and black, and the star-in-a-circle, as having no relevance whatsoever.

The philosophy of Satanism shares some elements with objectivism -- namely, egoism. The idea of turning the logic of Satanism upside-down, setting the power of ego and freedom against itself, has great explanatory potential. Also I think it captures the essence of the naked guy much better to say that he is "apprehending" this power, not that he is simply in fear. Ego-power is logically problematic, as is freedom. "Look up to see a giant boy, you've just become his brand new toy. And no escape, no place to hide, here where time and space collide."

The problems with Satanism is that the ego, as conventionally conceived, is logically self-contradictory -- it is misconceived and an unstable foundation for human thought. Also, Satanism is succeptible to becoming lopsided, chaotic, and unbalanced, turning into a dominance-and-submission power relationship. I haven't seen a real explanation of why that is, but there is evidence of this tendency. Thus, Nazism becomes a bedfellow of Satanism.

The Red Star symbolizes *all* of the following:

Geddy on the man/star symbol: Geddy Lee (1983 interview): "Hugh Syme designed that. Once he received the lyrics for 2112 and heard some of the music and know what the album was, sortof, what direction the album was going, and he designed the graphics to go along with it and he came up with the design. It sorta comes to us to sort of stand for individualism, sorta man against the masses."

Neil Peart on the symbol: Neil Peart (Creem 1982): "All it means is the abstract man against the mass. The red star symbolizes any collectivist mentality."

This "individual against the masses" can represent the tripping philosopher against the straight, unthinking philistines who would jail the philosopher.

Are there decent sources to read about Peart? Most rock biographies are shallow and fail to truly interpret lyrics. They are gullible and stop at the first, superficial, and obvious layer of meaning, as though the artists have no deeper ideas and meanings to communicate. They slip over the surface and fail to penetrate.

The pentagram appears on several Rush album sleeves and we're debating the meaning of this. The pentagram is red, on a black background (colors associated with Satanism). It has a circle. There is a naked guy standing in a pose of apprehension (but not exactly fear). The pentagram has 1 point up, which I've referred to as "double-inverted" as though it is a negation of the inverted pentagram of Satanism. Rush has publically claimed that this symbol refers to the threat of collectivism that crushes individual freedom.

The 1-point up pentagram is used by Rush as a symbol of the inversion of the satanesque *ego*, an inversion that happens in mystic enlightenment. In short, it represents ego death, the hanged man, in Rush's symbology.

Rush, 2112 lyric analysis about legalization. The tyranny of the needs of the average

Ayn Rand portrays collectivism as requiring the greatest people to put themselves down and literally live not for themselves, but for *the average* and downtrodden people. "Just think about the average -- what use have *they* for you?" -- what use do ordinary plain dull masses have, for the ultimate insights and ecstatic terrors of high experiencing? The sacred hidden knowledge revealed in the rites of Eleusis, and so also available by drinking "the milk of paradise" "from the cask of '43" (Rush), is of no *use*, no utility, for the mass of society -- in fact, it dangerously destabilizes society and "must therefore" be repressed, denied, as the temple Father grounds that precious instrument of transcendent knowledge into splinters beneath his feet, in the name of protecting the contented life of the average.

Rush has an album-side against the spirit of your argument. Compare these and listen again:

A drug user online wrote "Hard drugs such as speed, XTC, PCP, heroin, coke, etc. truly are for the experimental individual. However these drugs DO ruin a vast amount of lives. As such, and as they don't seem to have any medical benefit, I personally think they don't have a responsible place in our society."

Beware of what you are thinking! Your words are the same as the evil priests in 2112. Neil Peart, lyricist of Rush, wrote the following, as the famous words of the small-minded, evil cultural authorities:

... "The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. I have always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulated and directed from within! Our books, our music, our work and play are all looked after by the benevolent wisdom of the priests..."

We work together common sons
Never need to wonder how or why.

Look around this world we made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh what a nice contented world

[The individualist protagonist seeking realization of self and truth says: ]

I watched in shock and horror as Father Brown ground my precious instrument to splinters beneath his feet...

Yes, we know it's nothing new
It's just a waste of time

Don't annoy us further
We have our work to do.
Just think about the average
What use have they for you?

Another toy [the discovery that is offered] will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn't fit the plan. [plan of the benevolent rulers for the collectivist good]

[The individualist protagonist seeking realization of self and truth says: ]

I see the works of gifted hands
That grace this strange and wondrous land
I see the hand of man arise
With hungry mind and open eyes [to do: link to "open eyes" list in rushacid.htm]

I can no longer live under the control of the Federation, but there is no other place to go.

The government, in the name of the good of the average person, takes the position:

LSD is just for the experimental individual, not for the average man. LSD ruins a vast amount of lives, whether or not this is from long-term psysiological effects; and LSD doesn't seem to have any medical benefit. Therefore, LSD does not have a place in our society, and should be unavailable. This unavailability means that LSD must be illegal, which means that people should be put in jail for using it. LSD is useless and detrimental to the average man, therefore, the inquisitive individual should be put in jail for using it.

The above is precisely the position of the actual "priests" who made LSD illegal in the U.S. on October 6, 1966 -- 32 years ago. For 32 years, the rulers of the U.S., in the name of the benefit of the Average, have been jailing and ruining LSD users, including advanced acid mystics, philosophers, and consciousness explorers like the lyricist of the great Rush albums.

I. Overture

And the meek shall inherit the earth. [Ultimately, the no-free-will worldmodel remains standing, while free-will thinking is doomed to collapse in the light of mystic insight and mystic-state experiencing.]

II. Temples of Syrinx

... "The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every
Federation city. I have always been awed by them, to think that every single
facet of every life is regulated and directed from within! Our books, our
music, our work and play are all looked after by the benevolent wisdom of the

We've taken care of everything
The words you hear the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to you eyes. [this is a cognitive-puppethood description; the stream of cognition is pre-set and given to you by the Ground of Being]

It's one for all and all for one
We work together common sons
Never need to wonder how or why.

We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

Look around this world we made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh what a nice contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand.

We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

What is the discovery in 2112?

The aspiring individual, Anonymous, wants the share "the toy" he found with the priests of the establishment temples. "The toy" refers to "the guitar", which was one thing that destroyed the "elder race" (that's us, 20th century).

But of course the album 2112 and "the discovery" is not about a mere guitar. It's actually about the discovery of the most potent source of philosophical, moral, and religious experiencing. A source, a toy, so potent that it has the potential of destroying our race. A toy that doesn't fit the establishment plan of a placid peace, contentment, and equality under the benevolent guidance of the temple priests.

The lyrics on the back cover were not included in the 2112 lyrics I posted from the lyrics web, and they should have been. They include the following:

... the surviving planets were banded together under the Red Star of the Solar Federation. ... I believed what I was told, I thought it was a good life, I thought I was happy. Then I found something that changed it all...." -- Anonymous, 2112

Notice the reference to the Red Star. But especially, notice "Then I found something that changed it all," which hardly could refer to a mere electric guitar. Actually it refers to a chemical trigger that forcefully confronts the mind, will, and self-control, with the highest philosophical, moral, and religious questions, as well as the most intense aesthetic experiences of terror and beauty. It is not so much the discovery of freedom, as it is the full understanding of the nature and implications of freedom.

III. Discovery

"I lie awake, staring out at the bleakness of Megadon. City and sky become one, merging into a single plane, a vast sea of unbroken grey. The Twin Moons, just two pale orbs as they trace their way across the steely sky. I used to think I had a pretty good life here, just plugging into my machine for the day, then watching Templevision or reading a Temple Paper in the evening.

My friend Jon always said it was nicer here than under the atmospheric domes of the Outer Planets. We have had peace since 2062, when the surviving planets were banded together under the Red Star of the Solar Federation. The less fortunate gave us a few new moons.

I believed what I was told, I thought it was a good life, I thought I was happy. Then I found something [LSD, electric guitar, individual consciousness] that changed it all..."

-- Anonymous, 2112

... "Behind my beloved waterfall, [= altered-state perceptual waving]

in the little room that was hidden beneath
the cave, I found it. I brushed away the dust of the years, and picked it up,
holding it reverently in my hands. I had no idea what it might be, but it was
beautiful" ...
... "I learned to lay my fingers across the wires, and to turn the keys [search "key" - key = LSD dose = cybernetic Truth]

to make
them sound differently. As I struck the wires with my other hand, I produced
my first harmonious sounds, and soon my own music! How different it could be
from the music of the Temples! I can't wait to tell the priests about it! ..." [my cybernetic insight is a very different approach than conventional religion -- one that succeeds at producing enlightenment and transcendent understanding of moral agency]

What can this strange device be?
When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
It's got wires that vibrate and give music
What can this thing be that I found?

See how it sings like a sad heart
And joyously screams out its pain
Sounds that build high like a mountain
Or notes that fall gently like rain.

I can't wait to share this new wonder
The people will all see its light
Let them all make their own music [let us each experience mystic insight directly and gain understanding through direct personal experience]
The Priests praise my name on this night.

IV. Presentation

... "In the sudden silence as I finished playing, I looked up to a circle of
grim, expressionless faces. Father Brown rose to his feet, and his somnolent
voice echoed throughout the silent Temple Hall." ...
... "Instead of the grateful joy that I expected, they were words of quiet
rejection! Instead of praise, sullen dismissal. I watched in shock and horror
as Father Brown ground my precious instrument to splinters beneath his feet..."

I know it's most unusual
To come before you so
But I've found an ancient miracle
I thought that you should know

Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There's something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you.

Yes, we know it's nothing new
It's just a waste of time
We have no need for ancient ways
The world is doing fine

Another toy will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn't fit the plan.

I can't believe you're saying
These things just can't be true
Our world could use this beauty
Just think what we might do.

Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There's something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you.

Don't annoy us further
We have our work to do.
Just think about the average
What use have they for you? [average people have no need for exploring mystic altered state, so it shall be illegal]

Another toy will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn't fit the plan.

V. Oracle: The Dream

... "I guess it was a dream, but even now it all seems so vivid to me. [post-trip, trip seems as a dream]

yet I see the beckoning hand of the oracle as he stood at the summit of the
staircase" ...
... "I see still the incredible beauty of the sculptured cities [search "city"/"cities"; in Hemispheres, building cities is later called insufficient motivation in life] and the pure
spirit of man revealed in the lives and works of this world. I was overwhelmed
by both wonder and understanding [overwhelming insights of altered state] as I saw a completely different way to life, a
way that had been crushed by the Federation long ago. I saw now how
meaningless life had become with the loss of all these things ..." [contrast "Fountain of Lamneth" -- life is meaningless and unchallenging after reaching enlightenment through tripping, *because there is no more challenge* -- here the complaint is different: desire for LSD as the very effective key to highest revelation, but it's illegal due to the "needs of the average"]

I wandered home though the silent streets
And fell into a fitfull sleep
Escape to realms beyond the night
Dream can't you show me the light?

I stand atop a spiral stair [mystic-state allusion]
An oracle confronts me there
He leads me on light years away
Through astral nights, galactic days

I see the works of gifted hands
That grace this strange and wondrous land
I see the hand of man arise
With hungry mind and open eyes [see how the highest, most advanced members of society, who want to use LSD, are held down due to the "needs of the average"]

They left the planet long ago
The elder race still learn and grow
Their power grows with purpose strong
To claim the home where they belong
Oh, to tear the Temples down...
Oh, to change..

VI. Soliloquy

... "I have not left this cave for days now, it has become my last refuge in my
total despair. [I just want to trip all the time and study mystic cybernetic phenomena] I have only the music of the waterfall [perceptual waviness of altered state] to comfort me now. I
can no longer live under the control of the Federation, [theme of wanting release from external control] but there is no other
place to go. My last hope is that with my death I may pass into the world of
my dream, and know peace at last."

The sleep is still in my eyes
The dream is still in my head
I heave a sigh and sadly smile
And lie a while in bed
I wish that it might come to pass
Not fade like all my dreams

Just think of what my life might be
In a world like I have seen
I don't think I can carry on
Carry on this cold and empty life
Oh...noo. [suicidal despair -- it is surprising to find this *defeat* of the Individual in Rush lyrics.]

My spirits are low in the depths of despair [mystic altered state causes synthetic manic-depression]
My lifeblood spills over.. [search "blood"]

VII. The Grand Finale

Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
We have assumed control. [We have incorrectly *assumed* that we ever had control, as egoic controller agents.] [theme of radical shift of control-center in altered state - ambiguous if Individuals or collectivist Priests/governors have won]
We have assumed control.
We have assumed control.

A Passage To Bangkok

Lyrics by Neil Peart

[About marijuana, which is a companion drug for LSD. Compare song "Chemistry", including "burning p-hotter"]

Our first stop is in Bogota
To check Columbian fields
The natives smile and pass along
A sample of their yield
Sweet Jamaican pipe dreams
Golden Acapulco nights
Then Morocco, and the East,
Fly by morning light

We're on the train to Bangkok
Aboard the Thailand Express
We'll hit the stops along the way
We only stop for the best

Wreathed in smoke in Lebanon
We burn the midnight oil
The fragrance of Afghanistan
Rewards a long day's toil
Pulling into Katmandu
Smoke rings fill the air
Perfumed by a Nepal night
The Express gets you there

The Twilight Zone

Lyrics by Neil Peart

A pleasant faced man steps up to greet you
He smiles and says he's pleased to meet you
Beneath his hat the strangeness lies
Take it off, he's got three eyes [3rd eye of perception, to see our hidden nature; refers to mystic dissociative state. (Twilight Zone episode "Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?" http://fusionanomaly.net/twilightzone.html)
Truth is false and logic lost [Egoic logic contains error, now corrected]
Now the fourth dimension is crossed [especially, time is seen as frozen]

You have entered the Twilight Zone
Beyond this world strange things are known [they *are* known, though strange]
Use the key, unlock the door [the potent chemical key] [search for "key"; occurs several times - "the key to heaven's door", "I learned to turn the keys"]
See what your fate might have in store [experience of Fatalism]
Come explore your dreams' creation [world and self experienced as constructs]
Enter this world of imagination [world of illusion-like mental constructs]

You wake up lost in an empty town ['wake up' mystically] [scene empty of self] (TZ pilot episode "Where Is Everybody?")
Wondering why no one else is around ['no one' lives in the homunuclus-illusion]
Look up to see a giant boy [yourself-across-time, or satan or god] (TZ episode "Stopover In A Quiet Town" has a giant girl)
You've just become his brand new toy [sense of being a puppet]
And no escape, no place to hide [sense of entrapment, robbed of feeling of power]
Here where Time and Space collide [dissolution of ego boundaries into spacetime] [compare phrase "In between time" in the song "Between the Wheels"]


[How to learn lessons from the mind itelf - independently of authorities.]

You know we've told you before
But you didn't hear us then
So you still question why
You didn't listen again [this says, "go back and inspect the song "No One at the Bridge very closely"; the shout of "Listen!" introduces that song]

*When* could Rush possibly have told us anything before this album? In the albums before 2112:

1. _Rush_
2. _Fly by Night_
3. _Caress of Steel_

1. The album _Rush_ couldn't count, because it's not a messsage-oriented album and the word "we" couldn't apply, as Neil wasn't included in the album Rush.

2. _Fly by Night_ has many allusions to mystic phenomena. This is part of the pointing, the telling, that Lessons refers to. I feel that this album was not quite mature though, as a vehicle for intelligibly communicating the mystic phenomena.

3. _Caress of Steel_ also has many expressions alluding to the standard altered state experiences. Most of all, in the song "No One at the Bridge", which is possibly the best high philosophy song ever written, as it deals with the helpless confrontation of fate that cancels the power of the self-controlling, cybernetic steersman.

The mind can be its own teacher of higher knowledge. Every so often in history, meditators throw off the writings and the authorized teachers, in order to study their own mind directly. "The lessons come from within your own head, not through authorities."

In Lessons, Rush tells us especially clearly, the Lessons (referred to in the song Lessons on 2112). This is the lesson of the cancellation of egoic, Satanic autonomy.

The Lessons are taught on a heavy sea of blurred vision with waves rolling by (No One at the Bridge), as the ship of freedom is pulled toward the vortex of enlightenment and the helmsman cries out supplication to the god of Fate, in an empty sky of doom. In this episode, the Satanic pentagram of self-will turns upside-down, as the logic of ego's system of autonomy, power, will, freedom, and reason, inflates itself to the point of exposing its inner contradictions in a logical explosion of self-deconstruction, "in a final flash of glory, never more to witness the night" (Cygnus X-1). Cygnus X-1 is about a foolishly daring trip to the black hole that takes control and shatters oneself.

Lyrics by Alex Lifeson

Sweet memories
Flashing very quickly by [in mystic state, memories are recognized as present mental constructs rapidly presented to present pure awareness]
Reminding me [that all experiencing is in the form of mental constructs presented to awareness]
and giving me a reason why [remembering altered state cognition] [gives a reason to go on living; see end of Fountain of Lamneth]
I know that
My goal is more than a thought
I'll be there
When I teach what I've been taught [taught by the mystic state]

You know we've told you before [in our previous 2 acid-rock albums] ["we've told you before" is important: it establishes that the mystic-state encoding system is understood and owned not just by a single band member, but by all three]
But you didn't hear us then [you didn't pick up allusions to the alt-state]
So you still question why
You didn't listen again ["listen" is a direct reference to the important song No One at the Bridge, which was introduced on the previous album by shouting "LISTEN!!!"] [the standard state doesn't pick up on the encoded signals; decoding requires the mystic altered state] [for those who *did* listen to and understand "No One at the Bridge", they understand this criticism to be aimed at the inexperienced mass of listeners, rather than the experienced few]

Sweet memories I never thought it would be like this [it's surprising]
Reminding me Just how close I came to missing
I know that This is the way for me to go [the mystic altered state is the way for the ego to go away, to disappear, to die]
You'll be there When you know what I know [it's a place any mind can know] [you will be gone when you have mystic knowledge as I do] And I Know [I have knowledge of cybernetic Truth; I am enlightened]

You know we've told you before [in No One at the Bridge, especially]
But you didn't hear us then
So you still question why [why we phrase things as we do. If you were Experienced, you would understand, rather than question, the phrasing]
You didn't listen again


Lyrics by Geddy Lee

All of the seasons
And all of the days
All of the reasons
Why I've felt this way
So long
So long

Then lost in that feeling
I looked in your eyes
I noticed emotion
And that you had cried
For me
I can see

What would touch me deeper
Tears that fall from eyes
That only cry?
Would it touch you deeper
Than tears that fall from eyes
That know why? [tears of enlightened, revelation state] [search "tears", as in the song "Fountain of Lamneth"]

A lifetime of questions
Tears on your cheek
I tasted the answers [eat LSD dose; compare "spit it out" - "don't swallow the poison"]
And my body was weak
For you
The truth [love for Cybernetic Truth]

Something For Nothing

Lyrics by Neil Peart

Waiting for the winds of change
To sweep the clouds away
Waiting for the rainbow's end
To cast its gold your way
Countless ways
You pass the days

Waiting for someone to call [come?]
And turn your world around [common mystic "whirling" theme]
Looking for an answer to
The question you have found [see "the key, the end, the answer"; LSD or the mystic state is the answer, the key, to the question. The question is the ego (egoic control power) as a puzzle to be solved]
Looking for
An open door ["use the key, unlock the door"] [the door is an open one if you have "the key to heaven's door"]

You don't get something for nothing
You don't get freedom for free [you must abandon metaphysical freedom to know truth and have the only true freedom of Indivdual power you can have]
You won't get wise [won't become enlightened]
With the sleep still in your eyes ["sleep" = lack of altered-state experience and understanding of cybernetic truth]
No matter what your dreams might be [no matter how you conceive of the ego or apply it to pursuit of goals, you will never understand the true nature of ego's existence without awakening via mystic-state experience]

What you own is your own kingdom [search "king" and control - complex theme]
What you do is your own glory
What you love is your own power [power is a complex theme] [egoic thinking loves the apparent power of the ego, "your own power"]
What you live is your own story
In your head is the answer [the solution to the cybernetic puzzle is discovered in the mind in altered-state introspection] [also consider head = controllership/goverorship, can be severed as in Bastille Day]
Let it guide you along [the key, the altered state, is the Teacher and Guide]
Let your heart be the anchor [in the altered state one desperately needs an anchor to stabilize self-control and steersmanship; compassion is the anchor against destructive (even sacrificial) transgression]
And the beat of your own song

A Farewell to Kings

Neil's statement is pregnant with subtle meaning: "We also began a series of puns with that album, in that the King is a puppet King. There have been a lot of criticisms of the Throne over the past couple of decades as being a heritage that we really can't disregard, but certainly don't take as seriously as we used to."

Translation: "Throne" refers to ego as cybernetic steersman, a purely self-directing sovereign agent. Popular culture and schools of spirituality have criticized the ego, from the 50s Zen movement through the 60s pscyhedelics movement and ensuing New Age spirituality movement, but we really can't just dismiss this necessary mental construct. After experiencing ego death, the ego does remain, but it is no longer taken as a literal reality.

This cover shows a puppet king with strings ascending into the heavens. Compare the cover of Metallica's album Master of Puppets (the acknowledgements of those liner notes include Rush), which shows a graveyard with puppet strings attached to each headstone. During the peak of a full-intensity LSD session, a common experience is to feel oneself to be a helpless puppet of the universal process. Compare also the song Little Dolls by Ozzy Osbourne from Diary of a Madman. These albums all have LSD themes and puppet or doll themes. The doll theme also occurs in the song Twilight Zone (Rush: 2112 album).

The Death of King Ego

In the liner notes of the album Different Stages, one clipping is a newspaper ad for the Farewell to Kings tour. It shows a skull wearing a crown. This is a reference to ego death triggered through LSD. It uses the same skull imagery as seen often in the Grateful Dead, but with the added concept of the death specifically of the king -- that is, the death of kingship. This is essentially synonymous with the puppet-king concept shown on the cover of the album A Farewell to Kings. The "king" is our sense of independent governorship or cybernetic steersmanship. On LSD, one perceives, very commonly, that one's power of origination is largely illusory. One may create and originate thoughts and acts of will, but this is seen as merely subservient, 2nd-order origination. The ego, or oneself, is not a prime mover; it is merely a mover which is moved. You will do what the universal process forces you to do, what it has determined and pre-set that you shall do. All preordained, king ego finds himself as a prisoner in chains, a victim of fate -- a slave of fate. The king/slave relationship is seen in the Crucifixion as well. This is the highest realm of philosophy, the philosophy of ego death and self-motion, free will and virtual (not actual) moral agency.

Cover of A Farewell to Kings (38KB)

A Farewell to Kings

When they turn the pages of history
When these days have passed long ago
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow
We turned our gaze
From the castles in the distance
Eyes cast down
On the path of least resistance

Cities full of hatred
Fear and lies
Withered hearts
And cruel tormented eyes
Scheming demons
Dressed in kingly guise
Beating down the multitude
And scoffing at the wise

The hypocrites are slandering
The sacred halls of Truth
Ancient nobles showering
Their bitterness on youth
Can't we find
The minds that made us stong
Can't we learn
To feel what's right and wrong

Cities full of hatred
Fear and lies
Withered hearts
And cruel, tormented eyes
Scheming demons
Dressed in kingly guise [ego is demon-illusion acting as king] [search "king"]
Beating down the multitude
And scoffing at the wise
Can't we raise our eyes
And make a start
Can't we find the minds
To lead us closer to the Heart


"To seek the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
To break my fast on honey dew
And drink the milk of paradise..."

I had heard the whispered tales
Of immortality
The deepest mystery
From an ancient book. I took a clue
I scaled the frozen mountain tops
Of eastern lands unknown [explored the mystic altered state]
Time and Man alone
Searching for the lost --- Xanadu

Xanadu --- To stand within The Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste anew the fruits of life
The last immortal man
To find the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
Oh, I will dine on honey dew
And drink the milk of Paradise

A thousand years have come and gone
But time has passed me by
Stars stopped in the sky
Frozen in an everlasting view [time-freezing in altered state]
Waiting for the world to end [common apocalypse theme of altered state]
Weary of the night [exhausting all-night battle/tripping]
Praying for the light [search "pray", "supplication"]
Prison of the lost --- Xanadu [search "prison"]

Xanadu --- Held within The Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste my bitter triumph
As a mad immortal man
Nevermore shall I return
Escape these caves of ice
For I have dined on honey dew
And drunk the milk of Paradise

Closer To The Heart

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones to start
To mould a new reality
Closer to the Heart

The Blacksmith and the Artist
Reflect it in their art
Forge their creativity
Closer to the Heart

Philosophers and Ploughmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the Heart

You can be the Captain
and I will draw the Chart
Sailing into destiny [fatalism]
Closer to the Heart [realizing Cybernetic Truth crucially demands nonviolence, non-transgression of convention moral actions]

Cinderella Man

A modest man from Mandrake
Travelled rich to the city
He had a need to discover
A use for his newly-found wealth [surprise: he doesn't "use" it by giving it away; he ends up "holding it up as a challenge to the hungry"]

Because he was human
Because he had goodness
Because he was moral [morality = challenging the hungry to better themselves and gain money on their own power]
They called him insane [morality is logically unfounded]

Delusions of grandeur
Visions of splendour
A manic depressive [search "depress", "despair"] [synthetic manic-depression of altered state]
He walks in the rain

Eyes wide open [pupil dilation]
Heart undefended
Innocence untarnished

Cinderella Man
Doing what you can
They can't understand
What it means

Cinderella Man
Hang on to your plans
Try as they might
They cannot steal your dreams

In the betrayal of his love he awakened
To face a world of cold reality
And a look in the eyes of the hungry
Awakened him to what he could do

He held up his riches
To challenge the hungry [complex wording - he does not give them his money, he holds it out as a challenge and inspiration to them]
Purposeful motion
For one so insane

They tried to fight him
Just couldn't beat him [Rand's architect who wins]
This manic depressive
Who walks in the rain


When the dragons grow too mighty
To slay with pen or sword
I grow weary of the battle [search "battle"]
And the storm I walk toward ["toward storm" = drawn toward the maelstrom strange attractor of mystic ego death]
When all around is madness [= psychotomimetic aspect of LSD, perceptual waving]
And there's no safe port in view [danger of loss of control on LSD during cybernetic transcendence of control systems]
I long to turn my path homeward
To stop awhile with you

When life becomes so barren
And as cold as winter skies
There's a beacon in the darkness
In a distant pair of eyes
In vain to search for order
In vain to search for truth
But these things can still be given
our love has shown me proof

Cygnus X-1

From the Rush FAQ: Cygnus X-1 is the name given to an X-ray source in the constellation of Cygnus, believed to be a black hole. For a more detailed explanation, check issue 567 of TNMS, available via anonymous ftp from syrinx.umd.edu in the rush/digest directory. [to do: excerpt here]

Note the irregular heartbeat at the end. Turn the balance all to one side, turn down the treble, and turn up the bass. An irregular heartbeat is a signature physiological effect of LSD. In this context of the question of what happens after passing through the black hole, the answer is "life but..." ego death in life, with allusion to heart attack and death. He's still alive, but a doctor might say he might be dying of a heart attack. Heart palpitations - Whose heartbeat is at the end of the Rush album "Farewell to Kings", at the end of the song "Cygnus XI", in one channel?

The following clip is the end of Cygnus X-1 - heart palpitations as in heavy LSD use. Recorded mono from left channel only, boosted bass, increased volume at start and end.
Uneven heartbeat (79 KB) (16 Kbps) High compression works well for this clip since the treble is rolled off anyway. The .wma extension on this super-compressed file is added to please WinAmp 2.21, otherwise the signal is uneven. You can try renaming the file if necessary.
587 KB (128 Kbps), straightforward mp3 file extension
Heartbeat chart from Cygnus X-1 -- 30 KB, mono from left channel only, boosted bass, increased volume at start and end

55 heart beats in 37 seconds. That's 90 beats per minute. This heartbeat is fast and uneven, sometimes pausing.

The reason that this is important is that Cygnus XI is about mystic ego death during an intense LSD trip. The heartbeat is erratic, as happens 2/3 of the way through an intense trip when using a strong dose such as 1000 milligrams (10 hits). Whoever's heartbeat that is, that person is an expert LSD user in the latter portion of a high-dosage session. I expect that it is Peart's heartbeat, because he is the mystic lyricist and must have great experience and poise enough to think of this and capture it, whereas the others in and around the group might not.

This erratic heartbeat is almost never mentioned in the research literature -- it is subtle and only known to a few, intense-dosage LSD users. On the other hand, LSD users often think they are going to die, and one reason for this -- though they forget it later -- is that breathing becomes so shallow it seems to stop completely (think of the bodily tricks of the Indian gurus) and that the heart races and then halts, erratically. It is quite reasonable to call the ambulance when your breathing halts and your heart is very erratic, palpitating in a (benign) heart attack. But the experienced tripper knows that these physiological effects are sacred and normal and associated with the ego death and ego-transcendence state, the mystic state of cognition. I need to write more about these two layers. I always write about the mystic state of *cognition* but I would capture the experience much more realistically and vividly if I dwelled more on the accompanying *physiological* effects of the altered state.

Hugh Syme (Creem, 1983): "Permanent Waves is the result of a conversation which I had with Neil out at his home in the country. We spoke all evening about Rush growing up, and how we were going to do these EKG readings of each member as they were recording. We were going to tape their temples and chests and have real heartbeats of them while they were playing. So Permanent Waves was going to be a technical statement, and we were going to treat that with red and gold foil, and do a nice study in design- as opposed to a photographic thing. "I walked out and, in the doorway, said 'Wait! Let's try something with Donna Reed, with her permanent Toni hairdo, and have her walking out of a tidal wave situation.'

Book One --- The Voyage


In the constellation of Cygnus
There lurks a mysterious, invisible force
The Black Hole
Of Cygnus X-1 [strange-attractor of insight about the nature of control; dawning ego-death insight]

Six Stars of the Northern Cross
In mourning for their sister's loss
In a final flash of glory
Nevermore to grace the night...


To telescopic eye
The star that would not die

All who dare
To cross her course
Are swallowed by
A fearsome force [ego disappears and control is recognized to emanate from Ground of Being rather than originating from ego-as-governor/creator]

Through the void
To be destroyed
Or is there something more? [do I die when my ego dies, or is there more?]
Atomized --- at the core [cognitive dis-integration/fragmentation]
Or through the Astral Door --- [through the Door of the altered state]
To soar...


I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

On my ship, the 'Rocinante'
Wheeling through the galaxies,
Headed for the heart of Cygnus
Headlong into mystery

The x-ray is her siren song [seeing through the normally solid-seeming ego and cognitive layer, acts as a strange attractor; this attractor like the sirens' singing leads to crash the ego, leads to ego-death]
My ship cannot resist her long [search "ship" as in the key song "No One at the Bridge"] [ego's power is helpless to resist being trumped and taken over by the power of the Ground of Being that is the controller and creator of the ego, of every act and thought and act of will that the ego normally seems to originate]
Nearer to my deadly goal [the control singularity vortex and its ego death]
Until the Black Hole
Gains control...

Eye in vortex (75 KB)


Spinning, whirling, [common altered-state theme of whirling]
Still descending
Like a spiral sea, [search "spiral" as in 2112]

Sound and fury
Drowns my heart
Every nerve
Is torn apart.... [dis-integration and fragmentation of mental constructs in the loose cognitive binding state]

[irregular heartbeat from heavy LSD dose] [indicates that after the flaming sword of ego death, personal existence yet remains/continues]

To be continued

[Continued immdiately below in Cygnus X-1 Book Two: Hemispheres.]

Nerve network space vortex (358KB jpg)


This album-side is a cautionary rebuttal of Rand as an unbalanced thinker.

Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres

[Continued from immediately above, Cygnus X-1 Book One: The Voyage.]

I. Prelude

When our weary world was young
The struggle of the ancients was begun.
The gods of Love and Reason
Sought alone to rule the fate of Man. [search "fate", "destin"]

[concern with fatedness. Fatalism is making a major comeback in contemporary metaphysics, as people finally understand what exactly the position entails -- it's much harder to refute than determinism, as it makes fewer assertions about *how* the future is preset.]

They battled through the ages,
But still neither force would yield.
The people were divided,
Every soul a battlefield.

II. Apollo: Bringer of Wisdom

[Apollo = Rand, reason, order, ego, ordinary state of consciousness, mundane normalcy and security]

"I bring truth and understanding,
I bring wit and wisdom fair,
Precious gifts beyond compare.
We can build a world of wonder,
I can make you all aware.
I will find you food and shelter,
Show you fire to keep you warm
Through the endless winter storms.
You can live in grace and comfort
In the world that you transform."

The people were delighted
Coming forth to claim their prize
They ran to build their cities
And converse among the wise.
But one day the streets fell silent,
Yet they knew not what was wrong.
The urge to build these fine things
Seemed not to be so strong.

[So much for Fountainhead - building skyscrapers does not fulfill the whole needs of the human psyche.]

The wise men were consulted,
And the Bridge of Death was crossed
In quest of Dionysus,
To find out what they had lost.

[As a solution to the emptiness of egoic rational existence, people took Kykeon in the Greek mysteries at Eleusis, or took LSD in other forms. This brought ego death and took them across the river Styx.]

III. Dionysus: Bringer of Love

[Dionysus = intoxication, LSD, enthusiasm, excitement, intoxicated frenzy, revelation, radical freedom, transcendent concerns.]

"I bring love to give you solace
In the darkness of the night,
In the Heart's eternal light.
You need only trust your feelings;
Only love can steer you right.
I bring laughter, I bring music,
I bring joy and I bring tears. [search "tears", as in the song "Fountain of Lamneth" and song "Tears"]
I will soothe your primal fears.
Throw off those chains of reason
And your prison disappears."

[Dionysus fulfills the half of the psyche that starves to death in the dull prison-world of the Randian ego.]

The cities were abandoned,
And the forests echoed song.
They danced and lived as brothers;
They knew love could not be wrong.
But the winter fell upon them
And it caught them unprepared,
Bringing wolves and cold starvation,
And the hearts of men despaired.

[Egoic rationality without transcendence is a wasteland. But intoxication and freedom and transcendence without Reason and order cannot sustain life or pleasure.]

IV. Armageddon: The Battle of Heart and Mind

[The battle of transcendence vs. ego, experienced in the self-battle at the peak of tripping.]

The Universe divided
As the Heart and Mind collided,
With the people left unguided
For so many troubled years.
In a cloud of doubts and fears,
Their world was torn asunder into hollow Hemispheres.

[Rand's reason/ego, without transcendence, is hollow and not sustenance. Transcendence or tripping, without reason and order, is similarly hollow and empty of worth.]

Some fought themselves, some fought each other.

[How do you fight yourself? The battle of self-control at the peak of tripping, which exposes the governorship of the ego-agent as an illusion that cannot even govern itself. "Every muscle tense to fight the enemy within."]

Most just followed one another,
Lost and aimless like their brothers,
For their hearts were so unclear,

[Like the 60s boomers with their vague Revolution.]

And the truth could not appear.
Their spirits were divided into blinded Hemispheres.

[There it is. Rand's spirit, her "genius"/jinn, is blind. Reason without transcendence is blind and cannot fulfill the real breadth of human needs.]

Some who did not fight
Brought tales of old to light.

[These would be the mystic advanced meditators and trippers of old, explorers of the astral plane, the transcendent level of cognition and higher altered-state experiencing.]

My Rocinante' sailed by night
On her final flight.

[Here we have another vessel like Ozzy's "ship upon the shore/shelf", and the ship of loss-of-helmsman-power in "No One at the Bridge".]

To the heart of Cygnus' fearsome force
We set our course.

[Taking ten hits of LSD, sets us upon a collision course with higher truth, to bring reason to full fruition in transcendent knowledge about the illusory nature of ego.]

Spiralled through that timeless space
To this immortal place.

[The sense of time (and space) stops, ego death is now, physical death seems infinitely removed.]

V. Cygnus: Bringer of Balance

I have memory and awareness,
But I have no shape or form.

[Body unreality in schizophrenia, mystic state, or LSD altered state.]

As a disembodied spirit,

[Common mystic perception; time and space and body are experienced as equivalent concrete illusions -- all just mental constructs.]

I am dead and yet unborn.

[Ego death - there never was an ego-entity, to be born or die.]

I have passed into Olympus
As was told in tales of old,
To the city of Immortals,
Marble white and purest gold.

[Marble: the concretization of perceptual constructs. Shifting shadows and details. Heavenly bright white and gold are from pure-awareness-feedback.]

I see the gods in battle rage on high,

[Rand would not talk of seeing gods.]

Thunderbolts across the sky.

[Thunderbolt = psychoactive mushrooms after a storm, and psychedelics in general. Here is a picture of LSD-soaked blotter representing the chemical ego-death experience as a lightning bolt inside the mind:]

I cannot move, I cannot hide,

[Common LSD and mystic themes. Loss of control-power, feeling of being monitored by a higher awareness, from inside.]

I feel a silent scream begin inside.

[Compare Ride the Lightning lyrics.]

Then all at once the chaos ceased.
A stillness fell, of sound and peace.
The warriors felt my silent cry
And stayed their struggle, mystified.

["Mysti-fied." The immense, panicked struggle of self-control over itself stops suddenly.]

Apollo was atonished; [Rand would be astonished, reason is astonished by higher Truth about the ego construct and its relation to personal power.]

Dionysus thought me mad.

[Interesting wording: he "thought me mad". It is possible to "think yourself (into becoming like) mad." LSD is a psychotomimetic, mystic insight overlaps with the insights of the schizophrenic.]

But they heard my story further,
And they wondered, and were sad.

[There is a profound sadness to revelation, to the full blossoming of comprehension of our true nature.]

Looking down from Olympus
On a world of doubt and fear,
Its surface splintered
Into sorry Hemispheres.

They sat a while in silence,
Then they turned at last to me.
"We will call you Cygnus,
The god of Balance you shall be."

[Not the god of Ego -- but the god of Balance, as opposed to Rand's gross imbalance and ignorant condemnation of transcendent knowledge.]

The Sphere: A Kind of Dream

We can walk our road together
If our goals are all the same.
We can run alone and free
If we pursue a different aim.
Let the truth of love be lighted,
Let the love of truth shine clear.
Sensibility, armed with sense and liberty,

[Freedom and liberty are portrayed as only *part* of the equation.]

With the Heart and Mind united in a single perfect Sphere.

[This is nothing like an ode to Rand's ego-only, reason-only philosophy, which has a little about art but only to support reason, and actively rejects all forms of mysticism and religion as empty of any value.]


A boy alone, so far from home,
Endless rooftops from my window.
I felt the gloom of empty rooms
On rainy afternoons.
Sometimes, in confusion,
I felt so lost and disillusioned,
Innocence gave me confidence
To go up against reality.

[The innocent tripper attempts to control himself and secure his power. When he ultimately fails and becomes fully rationally enlightened, he has innocently, accidentally achieved that comprehension which millenia of philosophers have attempted and failed.]

All the same, we take our chances,
Laughed at by Time,

[In the LSD peak, you are killed and trumped by time. Time and the future do not move, therefore freedom and personal power are fatally compromised.]

Tricked by Circumstances.
Plus ca change,
Plus c'est la meme chose,
The more that things change,
The more they stay the same.

[Change does not change; change is stationary. Change is permanent and relative and pre-existing, just an effect or appearance.]

Now I've gained some understanding
Of the only world that we see.
Things that I once dreamed of
Have become reality.
These walls that still surround me
Still contain the same old me,
Just one more who's searching for a world that ought to be.

The Trees

[How mass culture works to cripple the highest achievers. How the little frightened minds would prevent even the inspired thinkers and scientists from exploring LSD.]

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced the're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"These oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.

La Villa Strangiato (An Exercise in Self-Indulgence)

1. Buenas Noches, Mein Froinds!
2. To sleep, perchance to dream...
3. Strangiato Theme
4. A Lerxst in Wonderland
5. Monsters!
6. Danforth and Pape
7. The Waltz of the Shreves
8. Never turn your back on a Monster!
9. Monsters! (Reprise)
10. Strangiato Theme (Reprise)
11. A Farewell to Things

[self-indulgence, Alice in Wonderland, dreaming, strangeness, monsters, perceiving unreality of things/objects while tripping, and the death of kings as the death of the inner egoic governors/controllers - not exactly Rand territory.]

Permanent Waves

Neil Peart (Sounds, April 1980): "The woman on the cover is really a symbol of us. If you think that's sexist in a negative way -- well, it's really looking at ourselves so I don't think it can be. The idea is her perfect imperturbability in the face of all this chaos. In that she represents us. "In the basic sense, all that cover picture means is forging on regardless, being completely uninvolved with all the chaos and ridiculous nonsense that's going on around us. Plus she represents the spirit of music and the spirit of radio, a symbol of perfect integrity and truth and beauty and..."

Consider "Grace Under Pressure" -- same idea. How to retain poise during ego death and the psychotimemetic state, without freaking out?

The Spirit of Radio

Begin the day with a friendly voice,
A companion unobtrusive
Plays the song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood.

Off on your way, hit the open road,
There is magic at your fingers
For the Spirit ever lingers,
Undemanding contact in your happy solitude.

Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antenna bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted.
Not so coldly charted, it's really just a question
Of your honesty, yeah, your honesty.

One likes to believe in the freedom of music,
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity.

For the words of the profits were written on the studio wall,
Concert hall
And echoes with the sounds of salesmen. [can be heard as "sailsmen", alluding to No One at the Bridge. ego death is the disappearance of cybernetic steersmanship]


Geddy Lee ("Rockline", Dec 4 1989): "The song is about freedom of choice and free will, and you believing in what you decide you believe in." [but are you forced to reach your belief?] In "Freewill" which lyrics are correct (the ones on the album sleeve or the ones Geddy sings)? Neil Peart (Rush Backstage Club newsletter, December 1985): "That's a funny question. I've had a few lately from people who are so sure that what they hear is correct, that they disbelieve what I've put in the lyric sheets! Imagine! People have quoted me whole verses of what they hear, as opposed to what's printed, sure that they are right and the cover (me) is wrong. Scary stuff, these egocentric individuals. [notice "ego" mention] I assure you, other than perhaps dropping an "and" or a "but," we take great care to make the lyric sheets accurate." [that is disingenuous - they often sing their lyrics so as to be heard differently than printed; for example, "burning pot" hidden in "burning hotter".]

The Song Freewill Is about Transcending, not Denying, Determinism

This is a profoundly ambiguous song just as pre-enlightenment naive freewill only appears to be the same as post-enlightenment transcendent freedom.  Naive freewill is ignorant of determinism; enlightened freedom magically and miraculously transcends cosmic determinism, thus Christian ideas such as "in regeneration, you become a slave of God/Jesus instead of a slave of the devil".

The song Free Will by Rush must be read as a mystic-state problematization of naive free will -- it was written after the lyricist was intimately familiar with the intense mystic-state experience of no-free-will, so Free Will is a post-determinism or transcendence-of-determinism song, not advocacy of naive freewill as the noninitiates among the Rush fans assume. 

After all, 3/4 of the verses in the song Free Will clearly state and express and assert the classic determinist position: A planet of playthings, we dance on the strings, of powers we cannot perceive. 

But *in the face of this* mystic-state realization -- not in denial of it -- the mind is transcendently reset from outside of its own controllership resources, one "becomes truly free" per mysticism, as opposed to one's former asleep dream and naive assumption that one was free. 

The song Freewill is not just only merely ironic; higher than that, it is divinely transcendent (magical, miraculous, supernatural).  The divinely transcendent (magical, miraculous, supernatural) also appears in the song The Body Electric: "Bows its head and prays to the (compassionate) mother of all machines, mother of all machines."

The song Freewill has a predominant percentage of lines asserting determinism or cosmic determinism, contrasted against a brief and out-of-nowhere declaration of choosing free will. 

I have defined the 'pre-trans fallacy' with respect to freewill: naive freewill is to be contrasted with transcendent freewill.  One moves from ignorance (freewill assumption) to knowledge of the natural (that is, the experiential discovery of determinism), to knowledge of the supernatural (that is, a certain kind of transcendence of determinism and rationality). 

The noninitiate and the perfected initiate both proclaim freedom from heimarmene/fate/cosmic determinism, but one does it out of ignorance, and the other out of transcendent gnosis, supernatural divine transcendent wisdom.  Stage 3 (transcendence of determinism), not stage 1 (ignorance of determinism) is what is meant in acid-oriented Rock by a statement such as "I will choose free will." 


The non-initiate is a prisoner of cosmic determinism who mistakenly thinks they are free; the peak-state advanced initiation reveals that one's thoughts are frozen into the cosmic prison; the transcendent divine lifting-up beyond that realization gives the mind something that has historically been called "true freedom", very different than mere naive assumption of freewill -- the naive assumption of freewill is utterly dead and impossible after mystically experiencing the deterministic true situation.

Rush and fatalism: the solution to free will vs. determinism

Come see what your fate might have in store. Roll the bones, and deal those cards, you dogs. Don't panic - it's only logic, you mad machines.

>Many of Rush's works deal with the concept of people who deny the hard evidence of their senses for intangibles, whether it be a demagogue's rantings, the peddling of religious faith, etc... Freewill goes to the heart of this matter, and the irony (and wit) of Neil stating what he does in the above quote seems to go right over people's heads, as they fall victim to the very mindset he lambastes in that song.

Neil's a cosmic bullshitter because he wants to preserve the mystery of the lyrics, so that they may unfold their enfolded meaning as the seeker goes through their own Discovery about the nature of self-control and the relationship of the self and world.

[commitment to invidual freedom and commitment to deliberate Belief in free will is different than philosophical belief in metaphysical free will. The challenge here is to claim personal power, as against the omnipotent Ground of Being/Tao, even when one has seen the illusory nature of personal egoic power.]

There are those who think that life is nothing left to chance,
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance. [ego death is holy horror/terror, radical loss of control of one's will and mind, saved through prayer for salvation from the control vortex]

A planet of playthings,
We dance on the strings [compare/search "puppet" theme, as in Twilight Zone and cover of Farewell to Kings]
Of powers we cannot conceive. [can be heard "powers we can un-perceive"]

"The stars aren't aligned
Or the gods are malign"
Blame is better to give than receive.

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still haven't [sung "have"] made a choice. [difference between printed and sung lyrics emphasizes *problematic* nature of free will in the face of the illusory nature of ego-power]
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose Free Will. [heavy irony - free will is anything but clear; it is centrally problematic]

There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand,
The cards were stacked against them
They weren't born in lotus-land. [cards are shown on album Moving Pictures; search "card"]

All preordained [fatalism]
A prisoner in chains [search "prison", "free"]
A victim of venomous fate. [search "fate"]
Kicked in the face,
You can't [sung "can"] pray for a place [search "pray"]
In heaven's unearthly estate.

Each of us
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete.
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet. [search "fortune"]

Jacob's Ladder

The clouds prepare for battle
In the dark and brooding silence.
Bruised and sullen stormclouds
Have the light of day obscured.
Looming low and ominous
In twilight premature
Thunderheads are rumbling
In a distant overture...

All at once, the clouds are parted.
Light streams down in bright unbroken beams...

Follow men's eyes as they look to the skies.
The shifting shafts of shining weave the fabric of their dreams...

Entre Nous

We are secrets to each other
Each one's life a novel
No-one else has read.
Even joined in bonds of love,
We're linked to one another
By such slender threads. [compare puppet strings, dance on a string, strings of the toy puppet king. "a planet of playthings" vs. "planets to each other" as in, we are as our own independent gods/controllers despite our mutual puppethood with regard to the Ground of Being]

We are planets to each other,
Drifting in our orbits
To a brief eclipse.
Each of us a world apart,
Alone and yet together,
Like two passing ships.

Just between us,
I think it's time for us to recognize
The differences we sometimes fear to show.
Just between us,
I think it's time for us to realize,
The spaces in between
Leave room for you and I to grow.

[compare this verse to the verse in Limelight:]

We are strangers to each other,
Full of sliding panels,
An illusion show.
Acting well-rehearsed routines
Or playing from the heart?
It's hard for one to know.

We are islands to each other,
Building hopeful bridges
On a troubled sea.
Some are burned or swept away,
Some we would not choose,
But we're not always free. [especially we do not feel free during the altered state of mystic ego death]

Different Strings

Who's come to slay the dragon, [ego as prime originator of control-actions]
Come to watch him fall? [like Icarus fell when flying too close to the sun]
Making arrows out of pointed words, [these lyrics are crafted to kill the ego]
Giant killers at the call?
Too much fuss and bother,
Too much complication and confusion.
Peel away the mystery, [search "mystery"]
Here's a clue to some real motivation. [search "clue"]

All there really is,
The two of us,
And we both know why we've come along.
Nothing to explain,
It's a part of us
To be found within a song.

What happened to our innocence,
Did it go out of style?
Along with our naivete,
No longer a child. [after ego-death insight, no longer innocent belief in inner ego-agent]
Different eyes see different things, [altered-state eye sees in mystic-perception mode]
Different hearts beat [correction - peal] on different strings.
But there are times
For you and me, when all such things agree.

Natural Science

1. Tide Pools

When the ebbing tide retreats
Along the rocky shoreline,
It leaves a trail of tidal pools [separate egos]
In a short-lived galaxy.
Each microcosmic planet
A complete society.

A simple kind [of?] mirror
To reflect upon our own.
All the busy little creatures [us egos]
Chasing out their destinies. [search destiny, fate themes]
Living in the pools,
They soon forget about the sea... [forget about mystic unity consciousness, about metaphysical oneness]

Wheels within wheels in a spiral array, [common altered-state mystic theme of whirling - search "spiral"]
A pattern so grand and complex, [mystic pattern re-perception enables seeing things in a transcendent rather than egoic pattern]
Time after time we lose sight of the way,
Our causes can't see their effects. [questioning cause and effect - is causality real, given that fatalism is true?]

2. Hyperspace

A quantum leap forward
In time and in space,
The universe learned to expand.

Myths and the magic,
Triumphant and tragic, [discovery of cybernetic truth, ego death, is a triumph that is a tragedy for the ego; you have victory over delusion of personal sovereignty, victory over the delusion of moral self-responsibility, but tragedy in that your every action was deluded and you really have no separate existence or responsibility and are just a puppet totally defined in every act by the all-encompassing ground of being that produces everyone and every action. Tragedy is the act of becoming conscious of your status as a helpless slave of the universal process]
A mechanized world out of hand. ["mechanized" alludes to cybernetic fatedness]

Computerized clinic
For superior cynics
Who dance to a synthetic band. [compare puppethood of android in song "The Body Electric"; "a planet of playthings, we dance on the strings of powers we cannot perceive"]

In their own image, [according to egoic pattern-perception rather than mystic re-perceived mode of interpretation]
Their world is fashioned
No wonder they don't understand. [they don't understand themselves (the nature of ego and its virtual power); they don't understand the world either]

3. Permanent Waves

Science, like nature
Must also be tamed
With a view toward its preservation. [consider "LSD, the ultimate product of science, must be tamed, along with preserving the ego and transcending rather than destroying it"]
Given the same
State of integrity,
It will surely serve us well. [for "science" and "it", consider both LSD and the ego. The ego, once understood and reconciled with cybernetic truth so as to gain some integrity, can surely serve us well]

Art as expression,
Not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations.
Given the same
State of integrity,
It will surely help us along.

The most endangered species,
The honest man, [enlightened, Experienced] [the ego is dishonest, a sham, a delusion; the honest man is the enlightened man in whose mind the ego has been transcended, having seen through the delusion of personal sovereignty] [in the mystic altered state, one's integrity is endangered and destroyed in its old egoic pattern, then granted survival and integrity in a new, transcendent form]
Will still survive annihilation. [to survive the mystic altered state, especially if coming away with the transcendent mental model, is to survive annihilation of the ego. In this sort of annihilation, the ego is destroyed as a delusion, but preserved and transcended as a cognitive structure]
Forming a world
State of integrity,
Sensitive, open and strong.

Wave after wave will flow with the tide, and bury the world as it does. ["wave after wave" -- alludes to perceptual distortion -- search "wave"; perm. waves, "the waves roll by so fast", "wall street shuffles there... flowing hair"]
Tide after tide will flow and recede, leaving life to go on as it was... [the last phrase seems similar to the end of Fountain of Lamneth (The Fountain); even after the peak experience of ego death and enlightenment, "still I am", "life is just a candle and a dream must give it flame"]

Moving Pictures

Tom Sawyer

Neil Peart (Rush Backstage Club newsletter, December 1985): "Tom Sawyer was a collaboration between myself and Pye Dubois, an excellent lyricist who wrote the lyrics for Max Webster. His original lyrics were kind of a portrait of a modern day rebel, a free-spirited individualist striding through the world wide-eyed and purposeful. [wide eye: read dilated eyes] I added the themes of reconciling the boy and man in myself, and the difference between what people are and what others perceive them to be - namely me I guess." [he's not usually perceived as an acid-oriented consciousness researcher]

A modern-day warrior
Mean mean stride,
Today's Tom Sawyer
Mean mean pride. [strong dedication to ego]

Though his mind is not for rent,
Don't put him down as arrogant.
His reserve, a quiet defense,
Riding out the day's events.
The river [stream of consciousness?]

And what you say about his company
Is what you say about society.
Catch the mist, catch the myth [search "mist" - altered-state perception]
Catch the mystery, catch the drift. [search "mystery"]

The world is, the world is,
Love and life are deep,
Maybe as his eyes are wide. [search "wide", = dilated pupils]

Today's Tom Sawyer,
He gets high on you,
And the space he invades [ego is an extra invention that would be inserted into space and time]
He gets by on you.

No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent,
He knows changes aren't permanent,
But change is. [implies changeless change, time freezing, fatalism]

And what you say about his company
Is what you say about society.
Catch the witness, catch the wit,
Catch the spirit, catch the spit.

The world is, the world is,
Love and life are deep,
Maybe as his skies are wide.

Exit the warrior,
Today's Tom Sawyer,
He gets high on you,
And the energy you trade,
He gets right on to the friction of the day.

Red Barchetta

My uncle has a country place
That no one knows about.
He says it used to be a farm,
Before the Motor Law.
And on Sundays I elude the Eyes, [I take LSD every Sunday]
And hop the Turbine Freight [common mystic altered-state theme of whirling]
To far outside the Wire, [search "wire"]
Where my white-haired uncle waits. [Wings sang "We're so sorry, uncle Albert" - Albert Hofmann, discoverer of LSD]

Jump to the ground [Ground of Being]
As the Turbo slows to cross the Borderline. [compare Cygnus X-1, crossing the event horizon of the control singularity in the control vortex of ego death]
Run like the wind,
As excitement shivers up and down my spine. [altered-state energy/tremors]
Down in his barn,
My uncle preserved for me an old machine,
For fifty-odd years. [1938 (orig. synth. of LSD) + 50 = 1988; this song was written 40 years later]
To keep it as new has been his dearest dream.

I strip away the old debris
That hides a shining car.
A brilliant red Barchetta
From a better, vanished time. [time perceived as unreal in altered state]
I fire up the willing engine, [good phrase - egoic will is a "will-ing engine" that appears to drive the mind]
Responding with a roar.
Tires spitting gravel,
I commit my weekly crime... [I do my weekly illegal LSD session] [sung as "commit my weekly crying; lsd often triggers intense emotion]

In my hair [mumbled/sung between "head" and "hair"]
Shifting and drifting [perceptual waving of altered state]

Mechanical music
Adrenalin surge... [an altered-state experience]

Well-weathered leather, [my skin peceived as cartoon. Compare "a pulse of dying power in a clenching plastic fist" in The Body Electric]
Hot metal and oil, [I am as an android with cybernetic control-stream encased in the spacetime block]
The scented [scent of?] country air.
Sunlight on chrome, [mystic altered-state distorted perception, like covers of Are You Experienced, Rubber Soul]
The blur of the landscape, [altered-state blurring; search "blur"]
Every nerve aware. [compare Cygnus X-1 - "every nerve torn apart"] [search "nerve"]

[Below: notice the bowed head, the egg outline around the whole body, and the halo with rays centered around the 3rd eye, the pineal gland. Also, flames, and the 3rd eye shown as a brilliant white light.]

(artist http://www.alexgrey.com/)

Suddenly ahead of me,
Across the mountainside, [search "mountain"]
A gleaming alloy air-car
Shoots towards me, two lanes wide. [the wide path]
I spin around with shrieking tires, [vortex-panic theme]
To run the deadly race, [ego death, race against one's own power]
Go screaming through the valley [compare valley and mountain in Necromancer]
As another joins the chase. [another = the enemy within. compare "two to one" in Chemistry; the virtual ego as redundant/ superfluous addition]

Drive like the wind, [add "Driven" lyrics. Driven like the wind, one's will is pushed along by the Ground of Being.]
Straining the limits of machine and man. [ego as android; peak session is a maximum cognitive strain]
Laughing out loud
With fear and hope, I've got a desperate plan. [search "fear" - Twilight Zone, Enemy Within, Cygnus, Fear, Body Electric] [search "desperat" -- no one at the bridge]
At the one-lane bridge [the narrow path; compare Jesus as narrow requirement of restriction to moral compassionate action for entering heaven viably without extremely transgressing moral control in sacrifice]
I leave the giants stranded at the riverside. [search "river"]
Race back to the farm, to dream with my uncle at the fireside.


[This is a metaphor for altered-state perception of oneself as an actor-agent inside the mind.]

Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage. [mystic insight into the problem of perception/representation, perceptual mental constructs]

Cast in this unlikely role, [compare song Entre Nous] [the ego-agent is logically impossible]
Ill-equipped to act, [the actor agent can't exist and one is frozen in spacetime unable to really change any action]
With insufficient tact,
One must put up barriers [must retain ego-boundary and egoic thinking to stay viable and intact in the form of a coherent person]
To keep oneself intact. [ego dis-integration and cognitive fragmentation during the dissociative state -- loose binding of mental constructs]

Living in the Limelight,
The universal dream [egoic consciousness is a shared dream]
For those who wish to seem. [to seem like inner primary controller-agents rather than puppets of the Ground of Being]
Those who wish to be [who want to be a genuine agent or understand control-agency]
Must put aside the alienation,
Get on with the fascination, [don't be alienated from LSD; be fascinated with it]
The real relation,
The underlying theme. ["look for the *underlying* not the surface themes of these lyrics]

Living in a fisheye lens, [again compare the covers of Rubber Soul and Are You Experienced, and "sunlight on chrome" -- mystic altered-state perceptual distortion]
Caught in the camera eye.
I have no heart to lie, [ego-agent at the core of egoic thinking is a lie, an illusion]
I can't pretend a stranger [in the mystic state the ego is alienated, a stranger, a remote fiction]
Is a long-awaited friend.

All the world's indeed a stage,
And we are merely players, [we ego-agents are illusory]
Performers and portrayers,
Each another's audience
Outside the gilded cage. [of mind, of the wall of perception] [search "prison", "cage"]

Perceptual distortion and mystic-state allusions in The Camera Eye

"The Camera Eye", from _Moving Pictures_, by Rush

Compare "fisheye lens" and "Rubber Soul". The lyrics of Camera Eye are filled with expressions that resonate with the psychedelic altered state of perception.

The Camera Eye

Grim-faced and forbidding,
Their faces closed tight,
An angular mass of New Yorkers
Pacing in rhythm,
Race the oncoming night,
They chase through the streets of Manhattan.
Headfirst humanity,
Pause at a light,
Then flow through the streets of the city.

They seem oblivious
To a soft spring rain,
Like an English rain
So light, yet endless
From a leaden sky.

The buildings are lost in the limitless rise. [search "building"]
My feet catch the pulse and the purposeful stride.

I feel the sense of possibilities, [during the altered state]
I feel the wrench of hard realities. [the hard reality is that we are helpless prisoners encased in the spacetime block]
The focus is sharp in the city.

Wide-angle watcher
On life's ancient tales,
Steeped in the history of London.

Mist in the streets of Westminster.
Wistful and weathered,
The pride still prevails, [pride = egoic thinking, or commitment to individualism]
Alive in the streets of the city.

Are they oblivious
To this quality?
A quality
Of light unique to
Every city's streets.

Pavements may teem with intense energy, [compare "wall street shuffles" in song "Going Bald"] [search "energy"]
But the city is calm in this violent sea. [search "sea"]

Witch Hunt

[This is about the drug war/ drug inquisition -- and demonization of recreational drugs, particularly LSD.]

The night is black, without a moon.
The air is thick and still.
The vigilantes gather on
The lonely torchlit hill.

Features distorted in the flickering light, [distorted face-perception in the altered state]
Faces are twisted and grotesque.
Silent and stern in the sweltering night,
The mob moves like demons possesed.
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right,
Confident their ways are best.

The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will.
Madmen fed on fear and lies [about drugs and drug users]
To beat and burn and kill.

They say there are strangers who threaten us,
Our immigrants and infidels.
They say there is strangeness to danger us
In our theatres and bookstore shelves,
That those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves. [the average hold down the advanced consciousness-researchers who want to use LSD]

Quick to judge,
Quick to anger,
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand. [the average people are ignorant about LSD, prejudiced against it, and afraid of it.]

Vital Signs

"We had to be patient and wait for the audience to understand us."

[Compare "The Body Electric" - in the altered state one becomes as a cybernetic-controlled android.]

Unstable condition, [instability of control and cognition in the loose-binding state of mystic cognition]
A symptom of life,
Of mental and environmental change.
Atmosphereic disturbance,
The feverish flux [search for humidity-related strings] [flux: search for "wave" and "flow" and "shift"; alludes to perceptual distortion of LSD]
Of human interface and interchange.

The impulse is pure;
Sometimes our circuits get shorted [in mystic ego death, control-power short-circuits and defeats itself]
By external interference.
Signals get crossed [next album named "Signals", full of encoded allusions/signals. Search "cross" - black hole vortex marked by 6 stars who form a cross]
And the balance distorted
By internal incoherence. [the egoic-control core is rationally incoherent. Our assumption of primary self-control does not make sense.] [compare The Enemy Within]

A tired mind become a shape shifter, [altered-state perceptual distortion]
Everybody need a mood lifter,
Everybody need reverse polarity.
Everybody got mixed feelings
About the function and the form.
Everybody got to elevate from the norm. [get high above average ego-consciousness, in the mystic altered state]

An ounce of perception,
A pound of obscure.
Process information at half speed. [altered time-sense of mystic altered state]
Pause, rewind, replay,
Warm memory chip,
Random sample, hold the one you need.

Leave out the fiction, [the fiction of ego and egoic control power]
The fact is, this friction
Will only be won by persistence. [must have many LSD sessions, to study and understand control cybernetics and Cybernetic Truth]
Leave out conditions,
Courageous convictions
Will drag the dream into existence.

A tired mind become a shape shifter,
Everybody need a soft filter,
Everybody need reverse polarity.
Everybody got mixed feelings
About the function and the form.
Everybody got to elevate from the norm...


Signals has far more tricks with the recording of the lyrics, than Grace Under Pressure. In fact, as far as recording techniques, Signals stands alone as an experiment in digitally processing the lyrics -- cutting and pasting, chipmonk effects, and apparently some backwards snippets which I want to check out on a 4-track.

MP3 clips highlighting hidden words on Signals

These types of signals leap out when you are an abnormally receptive state of mind, wearing headphones. The normal state of mind misses these entirely, but they *jump* out in the altered state, a loud break in the pattern.

There are 3 mentions of cutting: blade, sword, chop... These are meant to trigger doubt about self-control. Also they allude to the ancient religion of the devouring mother/Baal/semitic religion, of sacrificing one's firstborn son as a transgression of one's own will in order to prove subservience of one's will to the will of the worshipped god.

Key lyrics

"He's got to walk a fine line
and keep his self-control" (self-control becomes problematic in the mystic altered state)

"Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps" (ego's power and controllership is trumped by the time axis)

"The boy lies in the grass with one blade
stuck between his teeth
A vague sensation quickens (this quickening is the sense of alert excitement and dread at coming ego-death insights)
in his young and restless heart" (for heart palpitations, hear the end of Cygnus X-1)

"Like a steely blade in a silken sheath"

"Excitement so thick
You could cut it with a knife"

"Circling choppers
slash the night..."


The vocals on this song, and maybe others on the album, are treated through "modulated delay", which is a single echo but one that rises in pitch with shortening of delay, and then falls in pitch, with lengthening of delay. This creates a complex, intriguing sound when listening closely to the lyrics while on LSD, and provides a sonic thicket to mask double-entendre mumbling and timing of the singing.

MP3 clips highlighting hidden words on Signals

1:01 "an insulated border" is also "uninsulated border" (loss of ego boundary)
1:09 'unknown' speeded up at end
2:10 sub Burbs speeded up
2:51+ 'timeless old attraction' is "timeless SOUL attraction" (mystic experience of timelessness)
3:48+ in the basement BOWELS (altered/fluttery sound) (alienation of gays)
4:43 'unattractive' slowed, 'subBurbs' speeded up. This highlights "the unattractive truth" (see below).

Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order
An insulated border ["uninsulated border" - ego-boundary disappearance in altered state]
In between the bright lights [bright lights and flashing are common dissociative-state phenomena]
And the far unlit unknown [can be heard "foreign"]

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided [strong allusion to fatalism and illusory nature of free personal choosing]
Detached and subdivided [cognitive dis-integration/fragmentation in dissociative altered state]
In the mass production zone

Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone [read "tripper", "consciousness researcher"]

In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out [in altered state, must conform to moral restraint, or be cast into chaos and out of studying Cybernetic Truth]
In the basement bars ["bowels" - allusion to repression and casting out of gays]
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out
Any escape might help to smooth
The unattractive truth [ironic wording -- cybernetic truth has a strange attractor, the vortex of ego death insight, but this attractor is "unattractive" -- loss of personal control and becoming a helpless puppet are dangerous and unappealing -- you have to find an escape, such as prayer and substitute victim of the vortex; despite impossibility of moral agency and restraint, must seek help to prop up the crucially needed delusion of moral agency]
But the suburbs have no charms to soothe
The restless dreams of youth

Drawn like moths we drift into the city
The timeless old attraction [timelessness perception; time freezing.] [sung "timeless soul attraction"]
Cruising for the action
Lit up like a firefly
Just to feel the living night [all-night LSD session]

Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps [search "trap", "prison", "caught"] [ego's power is especially trumped by *time*, by the permanent presetness of all events in the future, by the isolation of ego's power in each moment and inability of control to reach across time]
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights... [search "memory"]

The Analog Kid

0:45 one Blade!!! stuck between his teeth -- 'blade' is jiggled
(sword of prajna that you grab and threaten sacrifice with)
(be sure to walk a fine line and keep your self-control!)
1:49 'sun BrOwNeD legs' is jiggled
2:07 unmovING [jiggled] staring at the SKYIND/signed [backwards?]
2:11 his mother starts to CRAWL him as a *hawk* goes soaring by
2:15 boy pulls *down* his baseball cap UNCOVERS *up* his Eyes
2:37 autumn words and *in disguise*

A hot and windy August afternoon [search "wind" theme]
Has the trees in constant motion
With a flash of silver leaves
As they're rocking in the breeze [altered-state perceptual distortion/waving] [search "breeze", "wind"]

The boy lies in the grass with one blade [sacrificial blade, flaming sword guarding secret of Cybernetic Truth]
Stuck between his teeth
A vague sensation quickens [attractor vortex of oncoming ego-death insight]
In his young and restless heart
And a bright and nameless vision
Has him longing to depart [disappearance of ego]

You move me -- [the ground of being moves the ego/will, which only then moves personal action. I don't move my will; the ground of being drives me like a puppet]
You move me
With your buildings and your eyes [search "building"]
Autumn woods and winter skies [sung so that it can be heard as "words... in disguise"] [compare "skiing fast through the words/woods", another instance of digital manipulation]
You move me
You move me
Open sea and city lights [search "light"]
Busy streets and dizzy heights [high in altered state is dizzying. "whirling" theme]
You call me
You call me -- [vortex-attractor of ego death]

The fawn-eyed girl with sun-browned legs
Dances on the edge of his dream
And her voice rings in his ears
Like the music of the spheres

The boy lies in the grass, unmoving
Staring at the sky
His mother starts to call him ["mother" could be ground of being calling one to recognize its omnipotence over one's stream of will-actions]
As a hawk goes soaring by [sounds like "hot-cold"]
The boy pulls down his baseball cap [directs attention to above-the-head]
And covers up his eyes [can be heard "un-covers up his eyes" as in opened the 3rd eye]

Too many hands on my time
Too many feelings
Too many things on my mind
When I leave I don't know
What I'm hoping to find
When I leave I don't know
What I'm leaving behind... [leaving behind ego-illusion and egoic thinking]

Chemistry: Mystic doublespeak and Zen self-control allusions

Neil Peart (Guitar for the Practicing Musician, 1986): "'Chemistry' was a true collaboration between the three of us. The other guys had a couple of key phrases they wanted to express, so they gave me the music. That was easy because all the groundwork was done. Playing with words comes so much easier than having to dream up the whole thing."

The above passage is not clear at all. "Gave me the music" could mean either "gave me the task of writing the music", or "gave me the completed music". Alex and Geddy's "key phrases" could have been either musical phrases or lyrical phrases. If "key phrases" means *lyrical phrases", then I would assume that Alex and Geddy contributed phrases that allude to LSD experiencing, supporting the proposition that all three band members used LSD and understood the idea of double-entendres alluding to LSD experiences. I am committing to the assumption that all three band members collaborate in the LSD layer of allusion.

>I find it humorous, to say the least, that someone should suggest that Neil Peart's lyrics in the mid 70's were drug induced, however, I don't see the benefit in irrational attacks on someone arguments, when they are logical and supported.

>Are you saying the lyrics were not drug-oriented? I wouldn't be surprised if some were, though not upset. Many musicians wrote music in the 70's in an altered state. I kind of like the hypothesis too, even if I don't partake in drug taking. (You don't need to appreciate the music.) AAMOF, I think more music should be written in an altered state. I'd buy it, if it is done tastefully. Hmmm, "A Passage to Bangkok" was about a train ride? Ummmm, not really. Party on Neil.

"Chemistry" is certainly about *drug* chemistry, at some level. "Reaction burning 'puh' hot-ter". I have already fully explained this in my exegesis of _Signals_ when I posted all the Rush lyrics.

Pointer: an unsophisticated drug song points to the drug itself. A sophisticated drug song points to the psychological phenomena accessed through the drug.

The highest way to use pot is 3 hours into an LSD trip. Watch out -- it's wacky. Paranoia and prayer are coming your way, and there is no escape from this fatedness. Isn't it astonishing and wonderful! Especially if you consider your powerful freedom.

Zen moment:

You have those specific "free" actions that the world forced upon you eternally, from the moment-beyond-time at which all actions simultaneously popped into being.

I am master of my fate, governor of my will. No one is in control of me. I am the one who is in control of me. Alan Watts would formulate the puzzle thus: "The power of freedom there is, but no one who wields it."

The above LSD blotter shows the Discovery of LSD by Chemistry scientist Albert Hofmann; he is holding the Cask of '43 (a beaker). He discovered LSD in 1943. "Pure" refers to highly pure LSD, such as "pure Sandoz". Sandoz is the pharmaceutical company where Albert Hofmann worked.

Leading chemist Albert Hofmann holding a model of the LSD molecule.

Albert Hofmann with LSD evangelist Timothy Leary (56KB)

The surface meaning of "two to one" is the ratio of hydrogen to oxygen in water. But with "reflection on the water" comes the idea of the ego-symbol or inner homunculus steersman as being redundant and logically superfluous; seeing as much is part of ego death and enlightenment.

In the mystic state of perception, the mind perceives the self-symbol as such, clearly differentiating it from the person who is represented by that dynamic symbol. The map is not the territory; specifically, the mental construct or mental representation of me is not, itself, me. This is related to the ominous terror of seeing your double, as the homunculous inside your mind, at which point you experience ego death. "Reflection on the water" refers to the wiggly, waving effect of seeing the wall of perceptions as such.

Compare the metaphors for metaperception, "behind the waterfall", "camera eye", "fisheye lens", and "sunlight on chrome", not to mention "waves roll by", "permanent waves", and "wave after wave".

The perceptions stand out, waving like a flag, saying "ceci n'est pas un monde" -- these symbols interfacing you with the world are not, themselves, the world represented. The mystic state is a state of a chemical computer, affected by chemical triggers, a reaction burning p otter than the default cognitive mode.

MP3 clips highlighting hidden words on Signals

1:12+ 'invisibly' is warped
1:28+ 'mysteriously' is warped or backwards
1:44++ BURNING POT ter
1:46 '2 to 1' sounds more like "due to a reflection on the
1:55+ H to O has been tampered to sound like "H to whoa!/woe" - can be
heard as "each to All"
2:16 "seems to" is speeded up, "me' is slowed down
2:44 'received' is altered somehow -- jiggled
3:06++ 'naturally' contains the word 'backwards' patched digitally
into the middle -- naturBACKWARDSally
3:17+ one too FREE addict of subtraction (when tripping, you
feel alarmingly unconstrained) (in the mystic
state, the ego loses its substantiality -- ego-entity
disappears hence "subtraction")
3:26+ 'sound' (speeded) on 'sound' (slowed)
3:47 'another' is speeded up
3:55 'seems' is speeded up
4:34+ Some words are spoken through a vocorder (voice-modulated
choral synth).
It sounds very slightly like "acid - really... llls ss ddd".
Any other suggestions? I've played with a vocorder so I
know what this process sounds like. They are very cool.

Signals transmitted [this album is about altered-state encoding and decoding, alluding to mystic dissociative phenomena]
Message received
Reaction making impact

Elemental telepathy
Exchange of energy
Reaction making contact

Eye to I
Reaction burning hotter ["burning p-hotter"; "burning pot - er"; that is, smoking marijuana along with taking LSD]
Two to one [can be heard "due to a"]
Reflection on the water
H to O [can be heard "each to all"; each individual ego is joined with the All] [one of these "H to O" occurrences can be heard as H to woe, H to whoa!]
No flow without the other
Oh but how
Do they make contact
With one another? [This "they" does not refer to merely two people; rather, the higher meaning is questioning the relation between the real self and the mental construct representing oneself. The "seeing one's double and thus dying" experience also involves wondering about the relation between the experience of being a controller-entity, versus the actual control that really does exist but not in the naively conceived way.]

Electricity? Biology?
Seems to me it's Chemistry

Rotating model of LSD molecule (33 KB)

Emotion transmitted
Emotion received
Music in the abstract

Elemental empathy
A change of synergy
Music making contact
Naturally ["nat-backwards-ally"]

One, two, three -- ["one too free" - the loosened mind suspends its moral control system and one becomes alarmingly unrestrained]
Add without subtraction ["addict of subtraction" -- I am addicted to losing my ego every week during tripping]
Sound on sound ["unsound"; loss of stable egoic cognition, psychotomimetic]
Multiplied reaction
H to O [see notes on "H to O" above]
No flow without the other
Oh but how
Do we make contact
With one another? [again, taking "reflection on the water" into account and "I looked in the mirror", consider the word "we" here as referring not to two people, but rather, the actual person and the mental construct representing the person, particularly the mental construct of the ego as controlling agent, as homunculus/steersman, puller of one's own puppet strings.]

Digital Man

Could someone with a 4-track please listen to 3:09 backwards on Digital Man and email me about what it says? Unfortunately I sold my 4-track. "he won't need a bed" Thanks! Or maybe someone already knows. That damn harsh digital "bzeeew" keyboard sound *just coincidentally* happens right at the same time as the reversed phrase, every time.

His world is under observation
We monitor his station
Under faces and the places
Where he traces points of view

He picks up scraps of conversation
Radio and radiation
From the dancers and romancers
With the answers -- but no clue [search "clue"]

He'd love to spend the night in Zion
He's been a long while in Babylon
He'd like a lover's wings to fly on
To a tropic isle of Avalon

His world is under anaesthetic
Subdivided and synthetic
His reliance on the giants
In the science of the day

He picks up scraps of information
He's adept at adaptation
'Cause for strangers and arrangers
Constant change is here to stay

He's got a force field and a flexible plan
He's got a date with fate in a black sedan
He plays fast forward for as long as he can
But he won't need a bed
He's a digital man

The Weapon (Part II of Fear)

We've got nothing to fear -- but fear itself?
Not pain or failure, not fatal tragedy? [search "fat"/"fate"]
Not the faulty units in this mad machinery? [during altered state, egoic thinking is suspended/broken, its logic is seen as broken/faulty all the time]
Not the broken contacts in emotional chemistry?

With an iron fist in a velvet glove
We are sheltered under the gun [consider Jesus as sheltering and protecting moral agency though egoic moral agency is logically impossible]
In the glory game on the power train [the stream/worldline of personal control-actions along the time axis; glory/power eventually has to be assigned to the Ground of Being rather than the ego-agent who is merely illusory]
Thy kingdom's will be done [I am only able to will what the Ground of Being forces me to will]

And the things that we fear are a weapon to be held against us... [fear during tripping is fear of one's power backfiring]

He's not afraid of your judgement
He knows of horrors worse than your Hell [becoming a helpless puppet of the Ground of Being is hellish]
He's a little bit afraid of dying -- [ego death]
But he's a lot more afraid of your lying [I am moderately afraid of ego death and loss of control, of puppethood, but that's sure better than living in the lie of ego-agency]

And the things that he fears are a weapon to be held against him...

Can any part of life -- be larger than life? [the ego-agent illusion is the "part", the whole of life is the Ground of Being that has glory/power over the illusory ego-agent]
Even love must be limited by time [ego power is trumped by the fixity of all actions in time including future personal will-acts]
And those who push us down that they might climb -- [consider power tradeoff of divine ruler/god and created ego-agent]
Is any killer worth more than his crime? [consider ego death and the sacrificial virtual "death" of Isaac and Jesus; consider Jesus as a study in the invalid/problematic concept of moral agency, criminality, guilt, innocence, and punishment] [consider sacrificial transgression of one's will -- at the cost of killing one's firstborn son, one establishes/demonstrates transcendence of egoic cybernetic restraint and understanding of Cybernetic Truth -- the lyric would be asking, "is that approach worth it?" "is Truth worth killing for, because it secures Cybernetic Truth for the killer?"]

Like a steely blade in a silken sheath ["blade" is meant to alarm tripper about self-control]
We don't see what they're made of
They shout about love, but when push comes to shove
They live for the things they're afraid of [afraid of ego?]

And the knowledge that they fear is a weapon to be used against them... [what prohibitionist Christians fear is knowledge of cybernetic truth about illusory nature of moral agency and invalidity of punishment/reward]

New World Man

1:45+ he's a rider and a ranger and a young boy bearing arms [baring arms / very harmless]
2:13+ trying to save the day for the overman
2:17 end of 'the' is slowed down
3:04 again, 'old world man' is 'overman'
3:10 'third world man' is 'ferver man'

He's a rebel and a runner [tripper]
He's a signal turning green
He's a restless young romantic
Wants to run the big machine

He's got a problem with his poisons [LSD renders self-control problematic]
But you know he'll find a cure [pray for supplication, will find a prop for impossible moral agency; will find a way to retain viable control in the altered state]
He's cleaning up his systems [see "guidance systems breakdown" in song "The Body Electric"]
To keep his nature pure [rather than deluded by illusion/lie of egoic control-agent]

Learning to match the beat of the Old World man
Learning to catch the heat of the Third World man

He's got to make his own mistakes
And learn to mend the mess he makes
He's old enough to know what's right [mention of moral control system]
But young enough not to choose it [has not yet understood importance of committing to compassion rather than sacrificial transgression]
He's noble enough to win the world
But weak enough to lose it
He's a New World man...

He's a radio receiver
Turned to factories and farms
He's a writer and arranger ["a rider and a ranger" of the animal-ego - Ken Wilber's "centauric consciousness"]
And a young boy bearing arms [sung as "young boy very harmless"]

He's got a problem with his power [egoic control power becomes problematic during altered state]
With weapons on patrol
He's got to walk a fine line
And keep his self-control [central theme is problematic nature of self-control]

Trying to save the day for the Old World man
Trying to pave the way for the Third World man

He's not concerned with yesterday
He knows constant change is here today ["to stay"?]
He's noble enough to know what's right
But weak enough not to choose it
He's wise enough to win the world
But fool enough to lose it
He's a New World man...


[This song is designed to trigger ominous fear and terrifying ego death.]

1:01 - circling CHOPers SLASH the night (uh oh, oh shit don't lose control)
1:22 "at the present time, we have no major problems..." (no major problems.. oh shit!!!)
1:58 as the sun and the Drama!! start to mount (try dropping at midnight, you'll be there)
2:28 - eXcitement so thick [speeded up] - you can CUT it with a KNIFE!!!

[to do - note background talking "we have no problems *at the present time*" (ominous)]

Lit up with anticipation
We arrive at the launching site
The sky is still dark, nearing dawn
On the Florida coastline

Circling choppers slash the night [whirling blade of flaming sword of ego death, sacrificial transgression of moral control system during altered state - the thought of being willing to prove subservience (and transcendence of moral restraint) by killing]
With roving searchlight beams
This magic day when super-science
Mingles with the bright stuff of dreams

Floodlit in the hazy distance
The star of this unearthly show [that would be the deluded ego who seems to wield primary power]
Venting vapours, like the breath
Of a sleeping white dragon [dragon = animalistic deluded self-control core, with its tangled logic]

Crackling speakers, voices tense [altered-state hearing]
Resume the final count [control vortex approaches, "end of the world" feeling]
All systems check, T minus nine
As the sun and the drama start to mount [fear mounts, anxiety ramps us as ego-death insight approaches and one is on the verge of suddenly completely losing control]

The air is charged -- a humid, motionless mass [search "humid", "atmospher"]
The crowds and the cameras,
The cars full of spectators pass
Excitement so thick -- you could cut it with a knife ["blade" mention again]
Technology -- high, on the leading edge of life [LSD = technology high]

The earth beneath us starts to tremble ["starts to trip - ble"] [Ground of Being, nervous tremors]
With the spreading of a low black cloud
A thunderous roar shakes the air
Like the whole world exploding

Scorching blast of golden fire [flaming sword of prajna that blocks the Tree of Life; to approach cybernetic Truth, your ego-power must die and you become dangerous helpless puppet]
As it slowly leaves the ground
Tears away with a mighty force
The air is shattered by the ["that"?] awesome sound

Like a pillar of cloud, the smoke lingers
High in the air
In fascination -- with the eyes of the world
We stare...

Grace Under Pressure

[To have "grace under pressure" is to retain your wits and self-control during the peak of an LSD session.]

Distant Early Warning

An ill wind comes arising
Across the cities of the plain
There's no swimming in the heavy water -- [search "sea", "ship"]
No singing in the acid rain [mention of "acid" as LSD]
Red alert
Red alert [ego-death control vortex is alarming]

It's so hard to stay together [cognitive dissociation, dis-integration of mental constructs during altered state]
Passing through revolving doors ["door" = altered state, revolving = common mystic-state theme of whirling]
We need someone to talk to
And someone to sweep the floors

The world weighs on my shoulders
But what am I to do?
You sometimes drive me crazy
But I worry about you

I know it makes on difference
To what you're going through
But I see the tip of the iceberg
And I worry about you...

Cruising under your radar
Watching from satellites
Take a page from the red book
Keep them in your sights
Red alert
Red alert

Left and rights of passage
Black and whites of youth
Who can face the knowledge
That the truth is not the truth?

Absalom, Absalom, Absalom


You were gone
From all the lives
You left your mark upon

I remember
How we talked and drank
Into the misty dawn

We ran by the water
On the wet summer lawn

I remember

Tried to believe
But you know it's no good
This is something
That just can't be understood

I remember
The shouts of joy
Skiing fast through the woods [digitally manipulated as "skiing fast through the words". Compare "Autumn woods and winter skies" sung so that it can be heard as "words... in disguise"]

I learned your love for life
I feel the way that you would

I remember --

I feel the way you would
This just can't be understood...

The Enemy Within (Part I of Fear)

[search "fear"] [refers to the dangerous work of using LSD sessions to study ego death]

Things crawl in the darkness
That imagination spins
Needles at your nerve ends
Crawl like spiders on [under?] your skin

Pounding in your temples
And a surge of adrenaline
Every muscle tense -- to fence the enemy within

I'm not giving in to security under pressure
I'm not missing out on the promise of adventure
I'm not giving up on implausible dreams
Experience to extremes
Experience to extremes

Suspicious-looking stranger
Flashes you a dangerous grin
Shadows across your window
Was it only trees in the wind?

Every breath a static charge
A tongue that tastes like tin
Steely-eyed outside to hide the enemy within...

To you -- is it movement or is it action?
It is contact or just reaction?
And you -- revolution or just resistance?
Is it living, or just existence?
Yeah, you -- it takes a little more persistence
To get up and go the distance...

The Body Electric

1001001 is the binary representation for the capital letter "I". When you see the letter "I" on a computer that uses ASCII, you know that somewhere in RAM is the voltage pattern high low low high low low high -- 1001001. In the video, the protagonist is a prisoner attempting to escape from some sort of prison. The number on his uniform is 1001001. If you convert this to decimal, it is 73, and ASCII 73 is a capital I. This fits with "unit one" referring to the ego, the "I", the self. The self is largely just a mental construct mistakenly conceived as a substantial, truly self-directing entity; to realize this is to experience ego death along with loss of control and transgression of egoic morality.


One humanoid escapee [you have escaped your own accustomed, secure chains of self-restraint and moral guidance]
One android on the run [one becomes consciously a helpless deterministic android (though self-controlling and cybernetic)]
Seeking freedom beneath a lonely desert sun [seeking freedom, not *having* freedom -- metaphysical freedom is impossible and there is no ego to be free]

Trying to change its program [changing from the egoic to the transcendent conceptual system, yet the transcendent conceptual system is highly unstable, at least initially]
Trying to change the mode -- crack the code [the code of egoic thinking about self-control]
Images conflicting into data overload [conflict between egoic and transcendent mental model of self, control-power, and world. overloaded with dis-integrated mental data]

S.O.S. [pray that the Ground of Being that you now recognize as giving rise to your every act of will is compassionate]
In distress [ego-death is completely distressful]

Memory banks unloading
Bytes break into bits [cognitive dis-integration, loose cognitive binding of mental construct sets]
Unit One's in trouble and it's scared out of its wits [I am Unit One; that is you peaking in an intense LSD session - Unit One is the ego. Ego death is frightening and you are scared witless to realize that nothing restrains you and you can't restrain the flow of willing that the Ground of Being injects into you.]

Guidance systems break down [self-control cybernetic breakdown]
A struggle to exist -- to resist [hanging onto the ego-structure is almost impossible in a sea of cognitive fragmentation and transcendent clarity of thought and perception]

A pulse of dying power in a clenching plastic fist [on LSD, one's hand appears as a cartoon representation only, and one's power is seen to arise prior to oneself -- one's stream-of-will is given to oneself] [compare "Well-weathered leather" in Red Barchetta]

It replays each of the days [memory flood]
A hundred years of routines [routines = accustomed egoic operating system; these habitual cognitive structures and patterns of association are suspended and dis-integrated in the mystic altered state, as per the "habit suspension model" of psychedelic efficacy]
Bows its head and prays [search "pray" and "bow"] [in ego death, your power becomes helpless and out of control; prayer to a compassionate higher controller is needed for reset; hopeless and desperate situation, with no option but to love, trust, and fear God as a personal higher controller]
To the mother of all machines... mother of all machines [the Ground of Being, the Tao that gives rise to every thought, every cybernetic control-action and steering action, and every act of the will]

Red Lenses

[about paranoia during LSD, feeling of being remotely monitored and controlled by overpowering external controlling agents]

I see red
It hurts my head
Guess it must be something
That I read

It's the colour of your heartbeat
A rising summer sun
The battle lost -- or won [to win the battle against the dragon of the delusion of personal ego-agency, one must *lose* and end up utterly powerless, a helpless puppet -- who knows Cybernetic Truth]
The flash to fashion
And the pulse to passion
Feels red
Inside my head [hyperawareness/observation of one's own thoughts during altered state]
And truth is often bitter [Cybernetic Truth is ego death; this is a bitter victory of understanding requiring a great loss of power and freedom; power is sacrificed to gain Truth]
Left unsaid
Said red red
Thinking about the overhead [directs attention up to the 3rd eye]
The underfed

We've got mars on the horizon
Says the national midnight star
(it's true)
What you believe is what you are [you believe in the delusion of egoic control agency, you are delusion of ego]
A pair of dancing shoes
The soviets are the blues
The reds
Under your bed
In the darkness
Dead ahead [ego-death lies straight ahead, unavoidably, in the worldline (stream of personal will-acts/choice-acts) in the form of the self-control breakdown vortex]

And the mercury is rising [allusion to alchemy]
Barometer starts to fall [search "humid", "atmospher", etc.]
You know it gets to us all [this is quite a line during an LSD+THC peak]
The pain that is learning
And the rain that is burning
Feel red
Still -- go ahead
You see black and white
And I see red
(not blue)

Between the Wheels

To live between a rock and a hard place
In between time [compare Twilight Zone: "Now the fourth dimension is crossed", "Here where Time and Space collide"]
Cruising in prime time -- soaking up the cathode rays [prime time would be the peak of the LSD session]

To live between the wars in our time
Living in real time [real time is frozen pre-set time]
Holding the good time -- Holding on to yesterdays...

You know how that rabbit feels
Going under your speeding [spinning?] wheels
Bright images flashing by
Like windshields towards a fly [metaphor for how fragmented cognition appears to pure awareness in mystic dissociative state]
Frozen in the fatal climb [clime/climate/environment] -- but the wheels of time [frozen time. fatal climb: climbing into higher mystic perspective one discovers fatal ego death. ego's power is trumped by time]
Just pass you by...

Wheels can take you around
Wheels can cut you down

We can go from boom to bust
From dreams to a bowl of dust
We can fall from rockets' red glare
Down to "Brother can you spare --"
Another war -- another waste land
And another lost generation...

It slips between your hands like water
This living in real time ["real time" is mystic dissociative session]
A dizzying lifetime
Reeling by on celluloid [mystic altered-state perception as a screen of cartoon constructs]

Struck between the eyes [directs attention to 3rd eye.]
By the big-time world [perceiving the the Ground of Being takes away your delusion of power]
Walking uneasy streets [compare "wall street shuffle" and "pavement" in other Rush songs]
Hiding beneath the sheets [consider that "sheet" is slang for 100 blotter hits of LSD]
Got to try and fill the void... [the lack of substantiality of ego]


What would be the counterparts? The ego as governor/creator of actions, and the universal process as governor/creator of actions.

Stick It Out

Neil Peart ("Counterparts Radio Premiere"): It's just a play on the words, really. "Stick It Out" meaning both a kind of arrogant display, "stick it out", but also the endurance thing; if you have a difficult thing to endure, stick it out and you get to the end. It was the pun on both of those, really, so again the duality in the song is a bit leaning both ways. The sense of forbearance, of holding back, and also the idea of fortitude: stick it out, you know, survive. But that was more of a piece of fun, that song I would say, both lyrically and musically it verges on parody, and that was one I think we just had fun with, and lyrically I certainly did, too. "Stick it out" and "spit it out" and all that was just a bit of word play.

Trust to your insticts [in the mystic altered state, you can relax egoic control and let the universal process be fully dominant]
If it's safely restrained [but you lose control; this is dangerous and terrifying]
Lightning reactions [compare Metallica's title of their most LSD-oriented album "Ride the Lightning"]
Must be carefully trained [your reaction and skill with LSD must be carefully developed, or you will lose control destructively when you discover that egoic cybernetic self-control is a delusion and a hollow, impotent convention of thinking]

Heat of the moment
Curse of the young [consider the ancient semitic religion of sacrifice of the firstborn child, representing dedication to a god]
Spit out your anger
Don't swallow your tongue [alludes to schizophrenia; some insane people are at risk of this]

Stick it out [struggle to maintain control through the night, during a long, strenuous LSD session. Also can mean to stick out your head of egoic cybernetic governorship so that it may be killed; hold out your controllership and look at it, in order that it can be recognized and killed and transcended]

Don't swallow the poison [the poison is LSD, which kills ego]
Spit it out [spit out the LSD blotter. There is no point in saying this except to an audience who uses LSD, so this song can't simply be read as a statement against taking LSD]
Don't swallow your pride [Could mean "stay proud" or could be a warning that you are bound to be humbled. Whatever is being implied here about the proper attitude about pride, certainly the mention of pride here accords with the centrality of pride, in the experience of ego death. Pride is the false assumption that the ego is substantial and wields sovereign, independent power and has metaphysical freedom and is the ultimate originator of one's movements of the will. During the peak, when the consciousness researcher discovers that all acts of will are forced upon the mind and are pre-set as part of the universal process, the researcher is commonly forced to abandon pride and pray for a good future rather than going berserk in destructive Dionysian consciousness (consciousness of cybernetic helplessness).]
Stick it out
Don't swallow your anger
Spit it out
Don't swallow the lies [the only way to "not swallow the lies" -- the delusion of ego -- is to use the mystic altered state. Thus, this phrase is tantamount to saying "use the altered state"]

Natural reflex
Pendulum swing
You might be too dizzy [alludes to common mystic-state theme of whirling/circling/spinning/vortex]
To do the right thing [see comments on "to make the wrong moves seem right", below] [what is "right" is relative to what is valued: egoic morality, or cybernetic truth; these two value systems inherently conflict] [ego death, loss of control, and transgression of egoic morality are main components of the altered state that occur together]

Trial under fire [insights about the delusion of egoic moral agency. Fire = mystic-state consciousness]
Ultimate proof [the mind discovers insight about the illogic of egoic power/freedom, and can prove this by radically violently transgressing the egoic control system]
Moment of crisis [the peak of an LSD session is a moment, or revolutionary turning point, of crisis: it is an ultimate crisis when egoic power logically fails (fails the test of Reason); this crisis is the risk of going berserk while "seeing the face of god"; that is, while understanding cybernetic truth -- the truth of our metaphysical puppethood. How can you become a morally nullified slave of the universe and still preserve your trust in your actions in the near future?]
Don't swallow the truth [this lyric symmetry equates poison and truth; to swallow LSD is to swallow truth and die (in ego death)]

Stick it out

Each time we bathe our reactions
In artificial light [LSD is mystic brilliant light, from a synthetic chemical produced in lab reactions]
Each time we alter the focus [alludes to perceptual distortion of the mystic state of perception]
To make the wrong moves seem right [moral agency and personal egoic responsibility is seen as delusion in the mystic state; "wrong" action, that is, transgressing moral restraint in the name of cybernetic truth of metaphysical helplessness and slavehood, is "right" in that it leads from the false world to reality and moral truth. Moral truth is the truth about morality, which is to say that morality is a sham connected with the delusion of substantial ego and metaphysical freedom.]

You get so used to deception [the mind gets so accustomed to the egoic mental model and egoic mode of cognition]
You make yourself a nervous wreck [during the peak of the altered state, the egoic way of thinking crashes, the mind becomes a nervous wreck, becomes panicky as guidance systems break down and egoic power is recognized as merely an illusion and delusion]
You get so used to surrender [mystic surrendering of egoic control in favor of the recognized reality of the omnipotence of the universal process]
Running back to cover your neck [alludes to Bastille Day's guillotine that cuts of the egoic head (head of state = cybernetics governorship)]

Stick it out

Test for Echo

The phrase and song "test for echo" do have allusions to the mystic altered state. For example, "some kind of trouble on the video screen" alludes to the ominous premonition of impending ego death/ loss of control, and to perceptual hyperconsciousness in which representations of objects are perceived as representations rather than objects. To test for echo is to look for substantial power-wielding ego and fail to find it; compare Metallica's "hear the silence so loud" in the album Ride the Lightning.


Driven up and down in circles [the driver, the cybernetic steersman which is ego, becomes consciously merely a driven cog, during the mystic altered state]
Skidding down a road of black ice [when you drive on black ice, you lose control, which is what happens in the mystic altered state]
Staring in and out storm windows [mystic state = storm. Compare storm in No One at the Bridge] [another allusion to eyes -- "with the eyes of the world we stare", "coal-black eyes", "magic prism eyes", boy with giant dilated binocular eyes, "invisible to telescopic eye", etc.]
Driven to a fool's paradise [the mystic state is a fool's paradise; it is foolish to enter there, where you will die and be hung upside-down]

But it's my turn to drive

Driven to the margin of error [egoic model of self and world is an error on a grand scale]
Driven to the edge of control [alludes to loss of control (or loss of delusion of control, or loss of egoic mode of self-control) in the mystic altered state]
Driven to the margin of terror [ego death and loss of control bring terror of being forced by the ultimately controlling universe to go berserk, to transgress one's deepest restraints and personal values]
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole [compare "the maelstrom is near" in No One at the Bridge] [the hole is the emptiness of the ego-homunculus]

Driven day and night in circles [yet another allusion to the common mystic-state theme of whirling] [notice "night" -- alludes to the norm of tripping during the night, all night]
Spinning like a whirlwind of leaves ["whirling" again] ["leaves" implies cognitive fragmentation rather than stable static mental structures as the tree would be]
Stealing in and out back alleys
Driven to another den of thieves

But it's my turn to drive

Driven in -- Driven to the edge
Driven out -- On the thin end of the wedge
Driven off -- By things I've never seen [this would be the ego -- look all you want, there is no ego entity who wields power]
Driven on -- By the road to somewhere I've never been

It's my turn to drive

The road unwinds towards me [the road of mystic path points toward understanding the ego delusion]
What was there is gone [egoic existence was seemingly present, but now is recognized as illusion. Also, during altered state, egoic cognitive structure is largely suspended and disintegrated, along with all static mental structures]
The road unwinds before me [in the block universe, the time dimension and its contents are permanently fixed in place, so that my personal worldline of past and future actions is already in place, unwound, laid out at each particular point in time, before I even arrive at that point in time. My worldline is laid out prior to my arrival at each point in my worldline]
And I go riding on [compare "still I am" at the end of Fountain of Lamneth; even after ego death, ego as cognitive structure remains (now with caveats)]


The title alludes to the virtuality of ego and its control power. The ego is a virtual ego wielding virtual power; in actuality all power belongs ultimately to "the mother of all machines" (from The Body Electric). The mother, or ultimate origin of all cybernetic actions, is the Ground of Being, also called the universal process, God, or the Tao (the great Tao that flows everywhere). Egoic agents have merely virtual separateness from the Matrix, but actual metaphysical oneness and unity with the Matrix. The ego is only a virtual originator/creator of the mind's acts of will. From a deeper perspective than the egoic perspective, the ego is created *along with* the acts of will. The universe in a single action produces acts of personal will *and* the illusion that those acts are originated by the ego as a substantial, creating agent. The ego is ultimately a creature (created thing) rather than creator; a puppet rather than puppetmaster.


Like a shipwrecked mariner adrift on an unknown sea [direct allusion to important song "No One at the Bridge"; ego's power of steersmanship is nullified during the "sea" of mystic state of dissociative cognition] ["mariner" would be "cybernetic steersman" in general]
Clinging to the wreckage of the lost ship Fantasy [power-wielding ego is delusion, fantasy]
I'm a castaway, stranded in a desolate land [radical solipsism of mystic state; desolate = devoid of one's own ego and all egos, as in "Twilight Zone": "You wake up lost in an empty town, wondering why no one else is around"]
I can see the footprints in the virtual sand [there is no ego, only the projection or traces of ego; an impression of a being without the actual existence of that being]

Net boy, net girl
Send your impulse 'round the world
Put your message in a modem
And throw it in the Cyber Sea [this phrasing is a difficult achievement, to bring together the real and the bogus usages of the prefix "cyber". By recent conventions, "cyber" = "computer" and the Internet; but by more ancient, more important traditions, "cyber" means cybernetic steersmanship/governorship. The *main* meaning of cyber here is not the obvious Internet reference, but rather, the steersmanship sea covered definitively in No One at the Bridge.]

Astronauts in the weightlessness of pixellated space ["astronauts" hearkens to the common "tripping = space travel" metaphor as in Bowie's Space Oddity and Rush's Cygnus X-1] [weightlessness = being high, with empty ego] [pixellated space = cognitive fragmentation and disintegration, of the dissociative cognitive state; compare "bytes break into bits"]
Exchange graffiti with a disembodied race [grafitti: Led Zeppelin album title "physical graffiti" refers to perceptual fragmentation/distortion] [disembodied has a hidden meaning of high state of consciousness, in which the mind's mental model of the body is suspended and one thus feels disembodied; see "as a disembodied spirit" in Hemispheres.]
I can save the universe in a grain of sand [sand = silicon. "save the universe" is a common feeling in the mystic state; saving the world from delusion of egoic sovereign government]
I can hold the future in my virtual hand [time is suspended and frozen in the mystic state; search "time" -- "laughed at by time"; time conquers the delusion of egoic power -- there is no time for metaphysical freedom] [the trick with "virtual hand" is that this does not refer to the obvious telepresence technology and on-screen avatars, but rather, to one's *actual* bodily hand: a direct allusion here to the hand of Unit One in the very LSD-oriented song "The Body Electric": "A pulse of dying power in a clenching plastic fist"] [so this line has two parts: "hold the future" and "virtual hand" -- due to the altered-state meaning of "virtual hand", the phrase "hold the future" must be interpreted in the mystic way, as meaning "freeze" the future; realize the future is frozen; realize that the future is frozen; realize freedom is naught]

Let's dance tonight [search "dance" -- puppets, we dance on the strings of the higher (or underlying) level of control -- thus, = "let's trip tonight"]
To a virtual song
Press this key [this is definitely an allusion to "use the key, unlock the door" and "the key, the end the answer" and "I learned to turn the keys"] [press this key = ingest the key of LSD]
And you can play along [these songs are a game of mystic altered-state meaning-exchange. If you want to play the game of exchanging meaning with Rush lyrics, you must "press this key" and ingest LSD]

Let's fly tonight [let's trip tonight]
On our virtual wings [this spells doom for the ego; the fall of icarus. Kansas: "I was soaring ever higher, but I flew too high" (and then fall like a zeppelin made of lead)]
Press this key
To see amazing things [these amazing things are not cool web sites (my unique site about ego death would be an exception), but rather, about the amazing things commonly discovered and experienced in the mystic altered state]

Like a pair of vagabonds who wave between two passing trains
Or the glimpse of a woman's smile through a window in the rain
I can smell her perfume, I can taste her lips
I can feel the voltage from her fingertips [compare "Bright antenna bristle with the energy", "the body electric", "every nerve aware"]

Net boy, net girl
Send your heartbeat round the world [compare the errratic heartbeat at the end of Cygnus X-1, an important, meaningful, actual heartbeat well worth alluding to]

From "Resist"

You can surrender [mystic surrendering as you become consciously a helpless puppet totally defined and controlled by the universal process]
Without a prayer
But never really pray
Pray without surrender [this is contradictory; affirming power of ego while praying to be saved from being forced, in your helplessness, to do destructive actions]

Home (ego death and self-control cybernetics)