Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tales from a Red Universe | Part Two of Four: Universal Conscience
"Tales from a Red Universe" is a four-part exploration in which Thomas takes you behind the scenes of the lyrics and concepts of URIZEN's "Universe:Red." Slip on a spacesuit and join us for the ride, won't you?
(Haven't read Part One yet? Foolish human, view it here!)
A Budding Consciousness
I will not tolerate this boundary, I find it troublesome indeed. I will not yield to limitation.. in fact I'll never yield again. I'll find a way to save my blissful state and backwards facing dream. The simple "I" that became, will not be made to live as "we". Ah, every moment it worsens... this, thickening awareness. Cluttering and corrupting my peace. Wretched questions with seemingly no end! I can see it in the distance... my doom! The cursed "why?!" I find this state of mine to be a harsh eventuality. And I shall not fear nor oppose. I'll find what it means to "know". I'll find the substance of my glee. I'll take it back to when "I" was the answer to most everything. I'll find the surface of my glee and suffer fate no more. I want to make this whole world go away. (Lyrics: Thomas Drinnen)
Here's where things start to go wrong for poor old Mr. (Or Ms... or Mrs... or Dr.) Universe. Having burst onto the scene with a great deal of pomp, we find the universe in an awkward and unforeseen predicament: it is growing a multiplicitous consciousness by way of universal laws, the developing order of the settling universe, and, of course, humanity's ever growing awareness of the universe from within (or, as Carl Sagan put it, humanity is: "a way for the universe to know itself").
An unintentional meaning and importance (and thereby responsibility?) is slowly being instilled into the universe, and the once proud abstraction of potential (and little else) finds itself moving away from the simple and reckless "I" and into the more complicated arena of "we". As the universe approaches the impending "death" of its beloved simplicity as a singularity, it invariably finds itself succumbing to the five stages of grief (I'm not going to mess with the updated seven stages... so there!).
In "A Budding Consciousness," the universe passes through the first three stages: denial, anger, and bargaining. ("Depression" is covered en total by the song "An Unfortunate Realization," where "acceptance" also makes a brief appearance (at the very last moment), and is finished off in "A New Revelation.") By the end of "Budding", we find the universe realizing that this evolution of consciousness is unavoidable, and, in an act of bargaining, it decides that perhaps in embracing consciousness it can find a solution wherein it might be able to return to it's less complex origins. And with a scream, the universe begins its final moments as a mysterious simplicity.
An Unfortunate Realization
Though "An Unfortunate Realization" has no lyrics, it serves as the universe's last moment of peace "to itself". Just as a human life ends by a return to non-existence, the universe's non-existence ends with the birth of a multitudinous conscious sense. Where before there was only potential, now there is realization (hence the title). You could say that this track represents the universe's "whole life flashing before its eyes" right before the moment of death.
In fact, album concept aside, I often list this song as my favorite Urizen track for this very reason. There is something bittersweet about recounting the events of a lifetime. Good or bad, the sensation is always a bit unreal... distant... faded. I always imagine the last of such moments as being all at once beautiful and tragic, and that is the unfortunate realization. It is the last chance to look back at the totality that is you... the most accurate picture of "self" you will ever have... and then, a moment later, it is lost forever.
Join us next time for "Tales from a Red Universe" Part Three of Four: Human Revelations, in which Thomas discusses the universe as a human, and the human as an impermenant mortal! Prepare yourselves for further tales... from a Red Universe!
(Don't stop now! Read Part Three here!