Home Page Works Series 1-Quest To Be Whole Album 1-Predator Song
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This topic is central to any understanding of the human condition, and especially to a communication project like this band.

We each live alone with our thoughts in a condition called 'existential isolation' because isolation is a 'given' of human existence. Because each person's thoughts are private, we attempt to communicate by way of symbols. From talking to satellites, from hand gestures to the Mona Lisa, communication quality defines the intensity of a society.

Since no one can directly know what's going on inside you, they cannot accept the 'real' you. Basically, they react to the picture of you they've formed in their mind from the appearances you've given off. Inside each person are shameful things we fear would make us unacceptable if known. What people long for is to be known, 'warts and all', yet still be loved and accepted.

This conflict over wanting to be known and loved, when it is impossible for anyone to even know us, causes varying degrees of desperation in our search for love. Some people become chameleons. Some abandon hope of acceptance and go out of their way to show contempt for the whole desire for love. Some search among the outcasts, others in sex, still others in a host of activities to make them more acceptable. Jesus is the only One who can break into our isolation to know us better than we know ourselves. Yet He loves us, and calls for us to come to Him.

"Two dark ends" are birth and death, which our experience of time "runs between", beyond which our senses cannot reach. It also refers to the baby coming into this world in darkness, isolated, helpless, and ignorant, with all the lessons of existence yet to be learned. Conversely, the person who has left this life has confronted the reality that lies beyond, but cannot communicate that knowledge back to the babies struggling to discern that nature of the world.

In 2021 I ran across the epitaph on composer Kurt Weill's (1900-1950) tombstone. It is from the musical Lost In the Stars, which is adapted from the novel Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. The words are from Maxwell Anderson's lyric for the song A Bird of Passage. The music there-inscribed is of course Kurt's.

This is the life of men on earth:
Out of darkness we come at birth
Into a lamplit room, and then -
Go forward into dark again.

"Quarantine world" means everyone lives in the isolation of their mind.

"Gesture and word" represents our attempts to break out of this isolation through symbolic communication.

"Faces" stand for our external identity, our social existence. When we meet someone, we each send out our agents to make contact.

"Devices" are the senses which receive these symbols.

"Mystery of the core" is that our inner self is not within reach of another's senses, so we attempt to discover the character of that other self by clues.

This stanza points to the conflict between those who believe human beings are bodies only, with no essential nature, and those who believe human beings are, "Spirits with the gift of hands." It should be clear from this song that I am of the latter opinion. Part of this debate is symbolized in the painting by Raphael titled, "The School of Athens", where Plato is pointing up and Aristotle is holding out his hand palm down, indicating where each believed ultimate reality to reside. In the modern culture of scientism, Aristotle is accepted as being in the right. But what follows from this position? I think a quote from Dostoyevsky has laid out the ramifications as well or better than anyone.

"Another me" is the self I am continually becoming through the accumulation of experience.

"Time-lapse altered" is the continuity with which I view my self over time, despite the past 'self' no longer being visible.

"Shadow of possibility" represents the self you have 'constructed' with the chain of choices made from each moment's array of options. The shadow also stands for an image that bears a resemblance to you, but is not really you. Shadow is also a kind of sideways reference to Carl Jung, though his specific meaning is not what's intended, being occult.

"Unsure who I am" refers to the great difficulty of even knowing myself, despite the fact that I have perpetual direct contact. If we don't really even know ourselves, how reasonable is it to expect to know another person through words and gestures and pictures, our symbolic pantomime?

Predator treats Art of Pantomime as a central condition of the predatory system because existential isolation is the basis of selfishness, distrust and misunderstanding, which are in turn the basis of greed and exploitation.

Existential isolation is the result of sin, which separated us from God, making sin the foundation of the evil we symbolize as predator. The album, and series, begins with this first fruit of sin instead of sin itself because an examination of sin is the purpose of the entire album series. If we could write one song that adequately treated the existence and nature of sin, and our response to that existence, the rest of this album and series would be pointless. As it is, even a series of concept albums can barely scratch the surface of this condition.

Existential isolation is the most fundamental divisions of 'us' from 'them', being me as opposed to everyone else. This is one of the most personal things lost in The Fall; instead of walking with God in the cool of the evening, we totter through life trying to reach out and to be reached, and always in some measure failing utterly.

In our condition, conflict is the natural state of relations between people. Watch very young children and you will see that core selfishness clearly. Sharing is a learned behavior, yet it is also vital. The most miserable people you will ever meet are those who are too selfish to join their lives with others.

In the series, this song stands for one of our voids which must be filled in before we can be whole. One of the paradoxes of our existence is that we cannot be whole alone.

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Last Description Song 1 DESCRIPTION - Art of Pantomime Next Description
Home Page Works Series 1-Quest To Be Whole Album 1-Predator Song