Phish & Dualism- A Philosophical Analysis of One Point on the Jam Scene
(ranting on the subject of Phish)
Music is played for it’s own sake; never made to arrive, it is enjoyed fully in transit. Most of my perspective consists of opinions, so it isn’t relevant to those with opposing opinions.
This is my perspective/misguided perception, depending on where you stand.
I am not attempting to convince; I seek to understand, which is likely where I fail. There’s my disclaimer.
Phish… let me put it this way: the fulfillment that most lyrical music gives me seems to be absent from Phish. The music has soul & cosmic truth at certain moments; it reflects something very high & inspired, yet the lyrics fail to represent that level of clear translation.
The thing that confuses me in the utmost is what Phish represents: what is the message/philosophy of Phish?
Can anyone explain this to me?
Here’s what I know:
They are a continuation of the jam scene that the Dead helped to popularize. They inherited a piece of established culture.
They are upholding the original ideals of the traveling music fan:
a long, trippy, mutative piece of entertainment for the chemically-induced dancers & listeners, from state-to-state, cross country.
Here is where I get lost:
whereas the Grateful Dead has a connection with “The Ultimate”, as it were, Phish seems to dwell within the relative. I mean this purely in a philosophical sense.
My understanding of art is that it comes not FROM man, but THROUGH man.
Art, where thought is concerned, is an abstract formation of patterns beyond our normal realm of linear conception.
It usually evokes feeling instead of thinking, yet it is still comprised of thought-stuff.
The Grateful Dead (and more importantly, Robert Hunter) center their gaze upon the stars, using (most of) the lyrics and music to point at the full moon (in the Zen Koan sense).
Where is Phish pointing?
What sort of vibrations are they creating/sustaining/destroying?
On one finger, it is bringing people together, through love.
Love of music. Love of experience. Love of fellowship.
I respect that. But when I go deep into the roots of what the music actually is, and is saying, I find no ultimate basis.
For me, anything that obscures my attention from that full moon, from ultimate understanding, is engaging in division and confusion.
I sez to myself: let it be. Stop analyzing so much.
A lot of music fits the bill for these accusations.
Listen to the radio: its riddled with pop homages to samsara.
But something in me won’t let it go where Phish is concerned.
There is a certain cosmic representation that Phish receives and upholds. Put simply: I feel that they are misrepresenting reality, even though they have a certain responsibility to uphold the cosmic energetic union between band and audience; between dancer and player.
Phish represents a traveling lifestyle that caters to psychedelic experience (“mind manifesting”)… so what type of mind is Phish manifesting with all that wide-open awake energy? I’ve taken chemicals at numerous Phish shows and honestly tried to feel their resonance. Wherever they are bound, I cannot recognize.
Phish isn’t just some band on the radio; people spend much of their time, efforts, and finances on this energetic force. Is Phish reenforcing conscious evolution or sustaining confusion & distraction? I suppose it’s up to the individual listener to be responsible of their own consciousness.
I just wish the scenes weren’t so indicative of a culture at odds with itself.
Furthur/Dead scene is no better, as we all know.
Just go to the lot and watch the spectacle. It’s no less an animal kingdom than any other place.
I am disappointed and feeling sort of cheated by my own culture, which is why I no longer strictly identify with it.
There is division & there is unity.
As such, there are two choices that arise in our lives:
we can either strive for sensory gratification or we can strive for ultimate perfection & evolution. I work to align with the latter, and choose to surround myself with other sources of the same.
Outward vs inward
Materialism vs spiritualism
Life sure gets complicated before it gets simple.
Thats okay. Burn this post & carry on, folks.
Jerry oughta hit the Big Wheel for a spin and show back up soon… we need another like him if you ask me.