As a wave of music articles is slowly taking over the Hashmark, I feel I must take a step back for a moment, and consider purely the lyrical content of In Dub by Hallucinogen. I won’t lie to you, there aren’t many lyrics on this album, but there are some very interesting concepts and ideas.
Although upon first listen one might think that the lyrics are solely about drug abuse, particularly of the hallucinogen LSD, and though on one level you may be right, there are some deep meaningful statements made. The first line that fascinates me is this:
“LSD hints to us that there is an area of the mind which could be called unsane, beyond sanity and yet not insane.”
I believe that this ‘unsane’ can be compared to a state of ‘no mind’ often referred to in Zen koans. This is a state in which the unnecessary thought processes of the mind – such as emotions like fear, and worry do not exist, nor does the concept of time (i.e. using the future to avoid the present moment, if, for example, it is currently unpleasant). This state is one in which you becoming totally aware of your body, ignoring the conversations of thought, giving much more of a connection to the world around you. It could almost be seen as a point of both super-sanity and super-insanity, where the two extremes join to create an absence, yet presence of both at exactly the same time.
“They are afraid that there is more to reality than they have ever confronted. That there are doors that they are afraid to go in and they don’t want us to go in there either because if we go in, there we might learn something that they don’t know”
This line is even more intriguing… in 1965 the US government passed a freedom of information act – this was entitled ‘The Sunshine Law.’ This was also, perversely, the year acid became illegal… it earned itself the nickname ‘sunshine’ due to the ‘shedding of light on reality and whatnot.’ From my limited knowledge, I think one of the reasons the drug became illegal was due to the new realisations of reality experienced by many of the bohemian types of the time, leading them to start to drop out of society, as Timothy Leary’s famous quote goes ‘tune in, turn on, drop out.’ The obvious example of this I can muster is Jack Kerouac’s novel, On The Road, telling the story of a man fed up with society, working to have his money taxed – the usual story .This line, from the song ‘LSD,’ is definitely a reference to this.
These musicians are obviously very wise people – apparent from the complexities of the music, so well composed and arranged, it is possible to imagine the music being written down immediately upon waking from a dream.
“During [the first] stage, the dream is beautiful. The second stage… is not quite so long… and it’s a little unsettling… and there’s an element of instability in it… a certain touch of insecurity… In the third stage which is not… again so long… the forces of light and the forces of darkness of good and of evil are equally balanced.”
This statement can be taken on a huge number of levels, but at base it describes the myriad of experience and life: birth and death, happiness and sorrow, and the fractal nature of the universe. Every level that one can experience, or indeed imagine is identical to any other, though there appears to be differences, or maybe a series of ‘stages,’ life is still nothing more than a circle.
Sorry for this being a day late – it was purely the Editor’s fault.