People talk glibly about the tragic lives of artists when they have not the slightest understanding why it is so. Just look at the tragic losses: Vincent van Gogh’s madness and self-mutilation, Beethoven’s stone-cold deafness, Bach’s, Milton’s and Homer’s blindness, Keats’ consumption, Coleridge’s neuralgia, Paul McCartney’s purported premature death. Why all these afflictions attenuating the vision and restricting the capacities, vitality and longevity of the artist. Why? Were they not all aspiring to improve the conditions of Life? Were they not all producing works that were uplifting, inspiring, and exalting?
But there the Anti sits, scoffing at our capacities, sneering at our successes, permitting us time and tide enough to build our kingly attributes and capacities, infusing us with faith in our own invincibility, impregnability and invincibility, biding its time until the moment is ripe and then comes armed with a needle and syringe to administer the Anti-dote, and Anti-biotic, that will be the Anti-gen and will seed the plague against Life. In the music and the art, and even the written word is the seed of Death. Death and Anti-Life work in the shadows and cloistered halls and back rooms of the infirmary concocting the disease germs and pandemic viral mixes they intend to seed in the progenitors of the race who will spread them with the alacrity of a brushfire to those who hear their music, view their art and read and listen to their written words.
In Bach’s polyphonic music there was a hidden melody still ringing in his ears that contained the seed of Anti-Sight, the seed of Death that would bring an end to the capacity of sight in him and all those who listened to the feud in his fugues. In Milton, there was the seed of Death in his bold and rash proclamations that it is “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.” And so he did reign in hell, the Living Hell, blind and debilitated, a refugee of Cromwell’s revolution, a Puritan in his own right who put up the wall of puritanism in daring even to judge God, preferring banishment and exile from heaven to servitude to the most high and reverent attribute of man – Life!
And so it was that Coleridge, whose lyrical ballads celebrated life and the common language of common men, became a victim of the Antis of Anti-Life and Anti-Capacity, wracked with pain and such agony that he was forced like Thomas de Quincy to become an opium eater, turning his capacities upon himself until they ate him up.
As for Van Gogh, Dan McClean probably said it best when he attributed Van Gogh’s unrequited love and public rejection to a “world that was never good enough for one as beautiful as you.” Indeed, Anti-Reason and Anti-Intellect came in for a full frontal assault on the artist’s frontal cerebral cortex to scramble his senses, disorder his thoughts and make him see the world through a spinning kaleidoscope of distorted colour, form and substance.
As for Paul McCartney is he really dead or was his soul abducted, kidnapped, absconded with and hidden by the entities Death and Anti-Life, so that not even the Mother God is quite sure where it now resides? A Divine Being who once sang about and celebrated Life, the death of his soul led to the death of the man in the eyes of his fellow band members who could see that the light had died, that the gem no longer sparkled, the jewel no longer glittered, the charm no longer charmed. Paul was for all intents and purposes dead and so the last half of the 1960’s decade was dominated by the Band of Life singing about Death, Paul’s Death and the Death of the Old Beatles and the Birth of the New Beatles who had married the Brides of Death, Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney. No wonder the war in Vietnam went into full swing, when the greatest musicians of the day became dark and started singing about Death.
As for Elvis, there are so many lookalikes who knows if he is really dead or if one of those lookalikes is really Elvis in disguise. According to the Mother, he did eventually die, though not when they said he did. In fact he died four years after his official death. Why? Well, Anti-Life has a way of shortening and attenuating the length of the lifeline we are given to hang on amid the troubled waters of this world and not go under, sink and drown. Often times we do get over our heads, but it is the length of rope we are given that often prevents us from going under. In Elvis’ case it turned out to be a bungy cord and he used it to bungy jump into another life so that the King of Rock became the King of Pop and the capacities and the talents he had developed in his own body were infused into the body and the mind of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. Don’t believe it? Think about Jacob’s ladder and realize there are many rungs in that ladder and each rung connects to the Tree of Life.