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August 5, 2010


 

"Remembrance is the secret of redemption
Forgetfulness leads to exile."
Hebrew sage, Baal Shem Tov

A Tribute to Tea Party
& Jeff Martin

... here, here we are
shelterless souls
lit by the stars

... because the world keeps turning
... seven circles twisting
around these moments of our lives...

... see what we are is limitless light
reflecting the stars

seven circles, Tea Party

Although i do not usually write about music, being somewhat preoccupied with mystical and scientific investigations and studies, I will take the occassion of Jeff Martin's interview on 106.9 FM, THE BEAR, and the release of his new CD Exile and the Kingdom, to write something of a tribute to this outstanding Canadian musican and to the Tea Party band.  For myself, on a personal level, the music of Tea Party has been a mainstay for over fifteen years, and i have managed to attend three of their concerts, and look forward to another evening of such ecstacy and inspiration as their music provides.  I have only just learnt of the Tea Party separation, and of the members' independent work. 

    Tea Party are poets of the heart and soul.  They sing of ecstacies and sorrows, love lost and discovered, and of the search for Self.  Tea Party have explored also the dark side-- the dark nights of the soul, the losses of love and desolation, the madness of the mind and addiction, the tragedies of death, and the dissolution into nothingness. (as in Psychopomp).  There music -its depth, ecstasy and and power, somehow embodies these mysterieis of being, which a beauty simply beyond words.  Feel it in your heart beat, and Tea Party so enlivens one's Heart.
     As it happens, there are many profound mystical insight and teachings within Tea Party lyrics, and i would like to illustrate some of these by explaining the mystical significance of certain key concepts and lines.  I do not know what Jeff Martin knows of the deep lyrics that they sing, or the other other member, of the images they have used on the CD's (see the Tree of Life below), but their music does embody deep mystical teachings and truths.  Martin sings "what we are is limitless light," an ancient Kabbalist and mystical teaching, "reflecting the stars" --as every man and woman, and child, is indeed such a star-in their magical nature.
      Tea Party sings of the mysteries and depths of the human heart and soul, the tragic dimensions of life and death, and the deep human yearning to find heaven on earth, amidst the surrounding lies of life and the madness of humankind.   Jeff Martin's solo CD is entitled "Exiles and the Kingdom."  This is certainly the condition of humankind depicted throughout the mystical traditions, one of exile.

     The Kabbalist Tree of Life in fact can be used to depict the exile from heaven, and the path to finding one's way home-with Heaven coming down.   Elsewhere, an esoteric verse from the Bible, Christ states: "The Kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17: 21)  The mystical life quest, in any tradition, is to find such a Kingdom within oneself.   Until then, we live in exile, with deep heart longings, and we search to find our way home. 

you tell me love
tell me where the stars sleep
tell me why your eyes weep
i really want to know
and show me love
take me to the place where
everything would change there
and we'd be free.
Tea Party, Stargazer, seven circles.

Heaven Coming Down is likely the band's most famous song, the feature of the CD TRIPtych.    The lyrics read:

with nothing to do you'd waste away
obscured in exile
they've witnessed the times
you've gone astray
whose fault? now you're thinking ...

... and it feels now
just like heaven's coming down
your soul shakes free
as it's conscience hits the ground

so strange are the ways,
they all have changed
still life it stays the same
a break from the past
could make it last
maybe just a little longer

... you surrender
love under will
rest assured you're adored

and it feels now
just like heaven coming down
your soul shakes free
as its conscience hits the ground
this time, no tears,
just one last chance to see you prove
stay strong, no fears
there is a change that's
coming through
hold on my love
hold on ...

It is impossible for lyrics to convey the intensity of the music and feeling within this quite awesome song-a classic song of inspirational rock.
     The lyrics, "you surrender, love under will,"  reflect particularly the Magick of Aleister Crowley.  Crowley's main dictum in the Book of the Law, is "Do as thou will shall be the whole of the law. Love under will."  In his writings, Crowley explains the mystical conception of love in terms of Hadit and Nuit, the point star within cosmic space,  and the aim in magick is to realize this magical nature, and to attain one's true Will.  Crowley's first principle of magick states that: "Every man and every woman is a star."   If one can attain his or her true will, one surrenders the lower egoic 'will's,' and can experience the cosmic dimensions of love.  For Crowley, or anyone spiritually or mystically inclined, all love making can be made a sacrament unto the mysteries of Nuit, the goddess of space, embodied in all living beings. 
     Other elements in the lyrics to Heaven Coming Down embody the same teaching as within Gurdjieff's fourth way psychology.   The awakening of conscience is regarded as the key element to the awakening of the higher emotional centre within a human being, and this can help to bring about the awakening of human consciousness.   As that happens, the soul shakes free, and the conscience hits the ground, or is transcended, in the realization of heaven. "Rest assured, you're adored," can be experienced with the awakening of the heart, and the realization of the deep nature to Self.   Love as an element pervades the universe--if we are awakened enough to experience such things. 
       So for myself, Heaven Coming Down represents these processes of transformation and awakening, and encourages us to stay strong, keep the faith, and somehow know that you're adored.

     Underground, another track from TRIPtych, portrays an individual's search for Self and truth, and not wanting the lies and deceit of life:

... now all my life i've been wandering
looking for teachers with the keys
nothing found still searching
for sound ... 
underground

now let me tell you about a story
it's about a man consumed with vice
he's theosophical in nature
and hedonistic in disguise

and all his life he's been wandering
looking for teachers with the keys
nothing found still searching for sound
underground ...

This character is "theosophical in nature"-- as is Jeff, and Tea Party.  Theosophy is the teaching of occult scholar Madame Blavatsky, and she penned The Secret Doctrine, published in 1888.  The title, Seven circles, reflects such an influence, as indeed, Blavatsky explained: "Seven is the number of the Divine mysteries."   For Blavatsky, all cylces of time, of life, of human evolution, all embody this sacred Law of Seven. 
       Tea Party has many such elements of mysticism and occult teachings within their lyrics-a curious mixture of theosophy and hedonism, east Indian and mid-eastern influences, Crowley, drugs-sex and magic, and Kabbalah, all reflecting somehow the nothingness and the infinite light of the stars within ourselves.

 

Interzone Mantra reflected more eastern influences and the cover was based on the classic Indian God of Shiva, the God of tranformation, destruction and transformation.   The similarity of the Interzone Mantra image to this of Shiva is undeniable.

However, the Tea Party figure is more androgenous, or feminine in nature.  In fact, the themes and feelings of  Goddess worship are found through many Tea Party songs. 
     Shiva dances in ecstacy, religious ecstacy, as so essential to the human soul.  Further, Shiva stands upon the Dwarf of Ignorance, detailed here. 

The Dwarf of Ignorance is the masses of humankind, who live in ignorance of Self.   Shiva in the dance of ecstacy portrays this transcendence of ignorance within our selves, and realization of the inner life of ecstacy.  And the music and feeling of Tea Party is so often one of such ecstacy, and can help enliven the individual to awaken within the inner life.  Sister awake, brothers awake.  Wake up, and listen to Tea Party.

where's my angels i'm a naked soul
where's my angels i'm a naked soul
now don't you hide from me
from Angels

in the face of the fire
you see angels conspire
will they hear your desires
will they stop your soulbreaking
could they stop your soulbreaking
will they stop your soulbreaking
could they stop your soulbreaking
please love

lyrics to Soulbreaking

The magic of Tea Party's music, for myself, is this interplay between the poles of madness, despair and desolation, and soulbreaking, and that of ecstacy, remembrance and the struggle to find the kingdom. 

The Tree of Life within the realms of the Absolute
Back cover to 7 circles

On Kabbalist Creation

Kabbalah as a Multi-dimensional Model
of Human Consciousness

---------------------------

Footnote: "Remembrance is the secret of redemption
Forgetfulness leads to exile."

Hebrew sage, Baal Shem Tov
(Source: Jonathon Cott's On the Sea of Memory: A
Journey from Forgetting to Remembering, 2005)



 

Publications

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Zero Point Dynamics

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