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Reverberations from times of cosmic awakening social moments
I guess this is the right forum for this, although it could fit in any culture forum too. Peripherally it's about the planetary alignments, but that's just a piece of it, which you can forget about if you want.

These posts sent me on this path this morning, not an unfamiliar one from me of course. Here they are:

(03-28-2020, 02:22 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 06:24 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 01:08 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: I accept Strauss and Howe dating in The Fourth Turning that says the unravelling began in 1984. That was the year that Reaganomics was cemented into the national psyche after the early years of his term when there was still much doubt about it and protest against it. 1984 was "morning in America" and all generations "acquiesed in indulgence" according to S&H. Yes, it's Mr. Howe writing the books now. He's good, but he doesn't get involved in discussion forums like Mr. Strauss used to do. Interesting that he died in 2007 and just missed seeing his 4th turning prophecy come true.

I know it doesn't match the books, but I think the Awakening proper ended about the time Nixon hit office, or perhaps the Democratic convention.  In the 1970s were a bunch of failures: Watergate, the Fall of Saigon, the Oil and Hostage crises, the National Malaise.  The feeling that we could tax and spend our way out of anything was gone.  The feeling that we wanted to tackle the big problems was going.  Things had begun to unravel.  I might not have hit fully until about 1984, but it was there sooner.

It's plausible, and at the time I thought the Awakening had wound down in the 1970s. As I discovered astrology, it made a lot of sense. When I wondered what was supposed to correspond to such a powerful radical and transcendental surge of activism and creative energy as the sixties was, astrology told me it would be an alignment of outer planets. So I looked up where they were in the book that shows this, and there it was. Of course, Pluto was still considered a planet then, and astrologers still consider it so, based on how thoroughly it indicates events. But Uranus and Pluto were indeed aligned in the sixties. Then I wondered, when was the sixties energy at its peak? It must have been when I felt it the strongest. That would have been when the conjunction was exactly aligned. So I looked it up, and the exact date was exactly when I thought it would be, at the end of June, 1966. 

Among the things that happened then, the National Organization for Women was founded on that date, and Stokely Carmichael declared "we want black power!" at the end of a march he and Dr. King led through Mississippi. The psychedelic culture was bursting forth and some of the best music of the period (or ever) was created at that very time.

But, planets are considered to be aligned only within a certain margin of degrees, or orb. When they separate, the alignment is over, and the energy wanes. That happened in around 1970. They had been within orb since about 1962. .....But the Awakening was not over, not by a long shot......

My claim, my theory if you will, my experience, is that there are certain times in the life and history of humans and Earth when things become more "radioactive," as Kenneth Clark put it in his monumental "Civilization" series, as he described one of those times here:

"The Great Thaw" was the climax of a period in which a creative momentum was building up. The heart of it was the period around the 1130s and 1140s when Gothic art was invented, as the planets Uranus and Neptune joined and were opposed by Pluto. Remember that an opposition is also an alignment, with the Earth between the aligned planets. One can quibble about exact dates, but usually the heart of such awakenings corresponds to an exact alignment among at least two of the outer three planets, and also often includes other planets at certain key moments and in key angles. The great awakenings of spirit which have reverberated through the ages expressed a miraculous cosmic energy that formed in the sky, as well as resonating here at its center in human life on Earth. It's all one energy. As above, so below. It's no wonder that the phrase "the stars aligned" has become commonplace.

In these times an awakening of spirit combines with a degree of confidence, worldly power, prosperity and physical energy dedicated to this spirit. Often there is also great intellectual creativity and fascination with the divine mathematics. Clark mentions also the awakening of the sixth century BC, which got going at the time of Ezekiel's vision of God around 590 BC, which led to his reorganization of Judaism during the captivity in Babylon in the next couple of decades. In this era in the 570s BC, as the great alignment of all three invisible outer planets happened for the only time in history, at times within less than 2 degrees of arc as in 577BC, amazing advances were made such as the first Greek science, and important figures were born in this era such as Pythagoras and the Buddha. It was a reverberation of spiritual awakening and new artistic vitality that lasted until at least the defeat of Athens in 404 BC and the trial of Socrates in 399. This golden age has continued to inspire humanity ever since, and all the great religions were either transformed or begun in this period called the Axis Age. The final Upanishads that record the greatest enlightenment in history and the transcendent experience of Hinduism were created and written down in the 570s BC as well, and Confucius and Lao Tse formed the basis of religious and moral life in China in this era. The Jains and Zoroasterians were descended from this time as well.

Of course, Christianity itself came from a spiritual awakening that followed Jesus the Christ's crucifixion and resurrection around 28-30 AD, shortly after the most magnificent cosmic CROSS ever seen in the skies above Earth in 25 AD between all four large outer planets, with Uranus opposite Neptune at the heart of it. This revelation was acted out by his followers who spoke in tongues and healed as Jesus did, and loved one another in the new Christian communities as Christ taught them to do. Thanks also to St. Paul this awakening has reverberated so thoroughly through the centuries that Christianity remains the religion with the largest following, and still influences politics though not as much as it did in the Age of Faith in Europe from about 300-1300 AD, which encompassed and inspired the Great Thaw of circa 1130-1150 that climaxed an entire century, as Clark brilliantly illustrated in the clip above.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
The Renaissance that started in Italy at the turn of the 15th century was another such awakening. This began when Ghiberti won the contract to design the Baptistry doors in the Florence Cathedral. At that time Neptune and Pluto were aligned and opposed by Uranus. Through the following 120 years great artists arose, climaxing in the golden age of Michaelangelo, DaVinci and Raphael. Clark describes the Renaissance in two programs, the measure of all things:
and the hero as artist:
The style of art, religion and politics that emerged from this awakening dominated Europe and the world for 500 years. The craftspeople of Florence continue the tradition.

Clark mentions how the French Revolution injured the products of The Great Thaw. But even though it was a 4th turning social moment, it had the characteristics of a second turning awakening as well. Perhaps that's something we can hope will happen in this new decade. As before, the new energy was building up. Clark described it as like sparks flying before a great eruption, or spray flying off the rock before a tidal wave comes. Mozart portrayed the growing energy of the revolution to come in his 41st symphony finale in 1788, and in fact he himself was a mason who was involved in the ferment of his time. This music was unprecedented and influenced all the greatest classical and romantic music that followed, and in it we can feel the intense ferment and aspiration of those times as well as appreciate the dynamic, elaborate form that surpasses all other music.

This obscure video includes all the repeats. Bernstein's performance is the most remarkable.
You can hear the famous 5-theme fughetta here:
Woody Allen remarked that this unique symphonic moment proved the glory of God, because only God can follow the 5 themes at once.

But as Clark mentions, this preview era created by the "enlightened" aristocrats of the salons who questioned authority and sought change in society and by the aspiring thinkers of the age of reason led up to the heroic period that enraptured Europe and led the French to great advancements in democracy and social remedies, and then down the path to wars of conquest and betrayals of terror. It was expressed in the March of the Marseillaise, which in a real way was the source of all of romantic music, and of Beethoven as succeeding Mozart, as Clark relates in this documentary of this great awakening, starting with his Leonore Overture from Fidelio and including the 3rd Eroica Symphony and the hymn to liberty. The democratic Revolution and the Romantic Movement has all reverberated from that one inspired, heroic Marseillaise moment in July and August 1792 when Uranus (and Sun and Venus) opposed Pluto, and Saturn opposed Jupiter, Mars and Neptune all aligned, in one of the most potent planetary alignments in history; it reverberated not only in the great romantic arts that began then, and followed it for another century, but in the continued attempts to attain freedom through revolution that failed over and over again, and yet spurred on further progress and continues today to erupt and inspire people around the world. And the fallacies of hope that became apparent in the disillusion after a time of idealistic activism followed by the failures of the Revolution found its echo in the 1970s malaise that Bob described.

"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Another whole thread could be written about the turn of the 20th century Awakening and its reverberations since then. The Renaissance had reached its end, as the last classical music and art masters before the chaos of modernism portrayed their civilization falling off a cliff, most spectacularly in Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony of 1893, and in Munch's painting "The Scream" in the same year. But this new era of civilization which we are still in was rising up at the same time, most spectacularly in the arts of Van Gogh, Cezanne and Gauguin and the philosophies of Henri Bergson and Friederich Nietzsche. The various kinds of organic and mind-expanding art nouveau styles helped to inspire the next awakening and help indicate the connections from awakening to awakening. It was to be an age in which the growing power of science led into strange new visions of the world that overthrew the classical views, through quantum theory and relativity as well as depth psychology, also to climax in the next awakening era, and into inventions that have reshaped the world we live in forever, such as cars, planes, electronic media and skyscrapers. The defeat of the old nationalist colonial imperialism in the world wars opened up the possibility of a globalizing era of increasing peace, and a prosperity distributed more widely as proclaimed by socialism and the social gospel. Neptune aligned with Pluto in the 1892-93 era sounded the death knell of the old renaissance/enlightenment era measured in mechanical proportions and dominated by aristocrats and empires begun at the previous such conjunction in circa 1400, followed by Uranus oppositions to Pluto in 1901 and Neptune in 1908-10.

The two remaining Awakenings I will describe from the lifetimes of the older folks among us like me may seem smaller than these great and momentous epochs of the past that have shaped our lives so tremendously and continuously. I must say though it might also be hard to find too many other periods in which all the planets aligned in such powerful formations as they did on these two occasions, besides those I have mentioned, although there have been some.

The sixties Awakening is of course a mainstay of The Fourth Turning book. It emerged out of the Kennedy years and his exhortations to the young to work for change, and the civil rights movement that challenged the leftover repressions from the South's response to its defeat in the Civil War 4T and Reconstruction, new movements which formed the tail end of the first turning and a time of renewed humanitarian generosity and altrusim. After JFK's death this emergent movement became an Awakening in 1964, with more powerful and disrupting features. As Uranus approached Pluto for its conjunction in 1965-1966, LBJ passed Kennedy's programs and established Medicare and a war on poverty. This ambitious drive was called The Great Society.

But his ambition also impelled him to bring the Cold War to its awesome and deadly climax in Vietnam. The young generation whom Kennedy had inspired to question the status quo, in many cases rejected the less-charimatic LBJ's call to join an American invasion of another country seeking self-determination on the pretext to contain communism. In February 1966 Saturn, Mars and Mercury opposed Uranus and Pluto in a tight formation. Kennedy's brother Robert came out against the war that month, and Senator Fulbright began hearings. The peace movement grew out of this experience, and still reverberates, leading us toward a world without war. And what a sign in the sky echoed this new movement! On November 12 all the planets formed a peace symbol in the sky during a total solar eclipse. The blacks and other repressed groups in society asserted their rights and identity, sometimes in more militant ways, and these movements continue as well. In this era, industry had grown to such an extent that it threatened life on Earth with pollution and climate change, so environmentalism arose to restrain it and, with help of the new computer fields then taking off, lead us toward a post-industrial information-age society. It reverberates today in the Green New Deal proposal. The people-power methods pioneered by the sixties activists continues to be deployed in movements for freedom and justice all over the world.

Of course, counter-awakenings arose too to promote the kind of traditional religious revival common in past Awakenings and to oppose these new movements. This counter-revolution continues among the Republican proponents of Reaganomics, the anti-welfare and free-market policies named after the actor turned governor in 1966 and president in 1980.

I claim that the psychedelic revolution of 1966 tore a whole in the psyche of normal consciousness and introduced us to altered states to an extent that is covered up but can't ever be filled again. LSD was part of a new development in medicine that had great promise to help people psychologically to see past their illusions and emotional reactions and reconnect with the divine self. It opened sensibilities to such an extent that love was the only response and impressed those who took it as the foremost principle of life. It is no small thing that art was employed to represent these altered states, even though as this article points out the drugs were used as an excuse to diminish this art.

The art of Wes Wilson was a great source of psychedelic art.

On my way back from witnessing the Great American Solar Eclipse on Aug.21, 2017, I went to the 50-year anniversary of the Summer of Love exhibit at the San Francisco DeYoung museum, and wish I had bought their big book, but I saw the works of the artists, mostly born around 1940, who created the wonderful art renaissance of that time.

Some of the articles above note that this art has been very influential on popular culture, and emerged in new forms in the next awakening period as I will describe later.

Psychedelic art was an enormous explosion in 1966, and so was psychedelic music, as developed by great musical artists and thousands of garage bands springing up all over the land and across the seas in that year. But what I experienced, not having taken these drugs, was not only a sort of contact high and spiritual awakening of my own, but reports of many people I knew who experienced powerful spiritual awakenings without drugs at the very same moment I did in the early summer of 1966. I said at the time that I felt "something in the air." Perhaps Bob Dylan anticipated my statement in his most famous song in 1962-63. 4 years later in 1970 a song by Thunderclap Newman stated it explicitly, as heard in this video that also shows the emerging counter-culture and other fun delights of the times.

Pete Townshend of The Who wrote this song, and he as well as anyone put the spirit of this Awakening in his music, including this one in which he sang "Let's See Action, Let's See People, Let's see freedom in the air!"

As I enjoy the best music from electronica, rock, folk and ambient genres from all of the years since, I feel that they express the spirit of that original awakening in our lifetimes in 1966. All the musicians since have been influenced by that moment, and the inspiration they express in the music is as much a continuation of it, as was the romantic music further variation on La Marseillaise. The legacy of the counter-culture and the psychedelic opening is not for us all to take psychedelics, but is our ability to take classes, listen to music, read books or practice methods that take us beyond ordinary consciousness, usually all wrapped up as it is in our various anxieties, and bring us back into the fullness of NOW which includes all of time. As two of the most significant psychedelic songs of 1966 put it, it is the end before the beginning.

Quote:Norman gosney
5 months ago
We got the album on the day it came out. Several of us had dropped acid in the previous months, not that day, but our expectations were high. The day was beautiful, and we gathered in a flat off Holland Park, elegant with high ceilings and big windows, but we closed them so we would be able to hear it without any outside noises, and drew the curtains.

We'd all smoked a little. Gary put the record on, and except for having to flip it midway, we were transfixed, not a word was as if the Beatles were speaking for us, our small group, this blossoming culture that felt we were part of, so new and maybe important...and by the time Tomorrow Never Knows had finished, several of us were in tears, so blown away that our visions and dreams had all been voiced. I think we listened to it constantly for days...does this still happen, do friends still gather for this kind of experience?
Give it a try...not here on YouTube, but a vinyl copy on a decent stereo...get yer mates round... make an event of it...close the curtains, close your eyes, light some candles,.....get some kind of high.....taste that unique time and feelings....fuck, it still works, there's still a little magic to be had......

Disillusion is a featured legacy of this revolutionary awakening as it has been in many others, especially that first Revolution for Liberty in circa 1792. Kenneth Clark used the Leonore Overture #3 from Fidelio by Beethoven to illustrate his story of the awakening and its disillusion called The Fallacies of Hope, embedded above. Pete Townshend and The Who created in 1971 what I claim is the best of all rock music pieces, probably influenced by this documentary (after all it was British and was released just two years before), as well as by John Lennon's famous "Revolution" song on the flip side of one of the Beatles greatest hits in 1968, and it could have acted as the perfect soundtrack and lyric background for Clark's program. And in fact, with two dominant notes added, the theme of this greatest rock song in history begins with the same motif as Beethoven's Leonore Overture's main theme does. By tones, it goes 1-3-5 (5) (5)-6. "And the parting on the left, is now parting on the right, and the beards have all grown longer overnight.... meet the new boss, same as the old boss" And no song embodies the creative genius of this era better. We have been fooled again and again, but still, the spirit of liberation and awakening continues on.

"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Having learned astrology as a result of this awakening, and predicting where all the planets and signs would be in my chart before looking up their actual positions, and then predicting exactly when the outer planet alignment would be virtually to the day, I research the planetary cycles and their historical correspondences and began writing my book. One of the first things I noticed when looking into the future was that Saturn, Uranus and Neptune would line up in 1989. Not only that, but Pluto would be reaching its perihelion, which had corresponded to the golden ages of the past. 5 years before it would enter Scorpio, predicted by astrologers to begin an important era of change and innovation. In November 1989, I saw, Jupiter would oppose both Saturn and Neptune in an alignment of all 3 planets within 3 minutes of arc. "Revolution will happen in 1989" I wrote in my early draft. Uranus and Neptune were scheduled to be exactly aligned in 1993, and within orb from 1988-1998.

We all know what happened. First in Poland, and then in Hungary, the iron curtain was breached as freedom movements arose in Eastern Europe. In November, the Berlin Wall, erected at the height of the Cold War in 1961, was scaled by thousands of enthusiastic youth and was taken down and dismantled, and Europe became unified in 1990. The Velvet Revolution thereupon erupted in Czechoslovakia, as the movement of 1968 was fulfilled and the communist regime overthrown. A more violent revolt then overthrew the dictator in Romania in December. All this was helped along by the liberal leader that had emerged in the Soviet Empire that dominated the region in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Even before this, movements in the Pacific rim in the mid to late 1980s had overthrown the tyrants supported by the USA, in Chile, The Phillippines and South Korea, and in China in May 1989 the main square of Beijing was filled with young people demanding democracy and brought the People's Republic to a standstill. But this movement was repressed in a bloody crackdown on June 5th.
Meanwhile the USA itself intervened in a revolutionary movement in Panama against its dictator and overthrew him, as justified by the agreement for Panama self-rule in 1977. Big things were forecast for early 1990 as more planets aligned with the conjunction. At this time Nelson Mandela was released and aparteid was thereupon ended, with Mandela becoming president in 1994.

These events inspired an awakening among Generation X and some Boomers in many places. The rave scene was its most famous expression. According to this site:

Quote:Raves began as an underground movement, where a group of like-minded people would get together and dance (in an enhanced state of consciousness) to all types of electronic music. Raves created a magical environment where people could dance for hours. Rave was founded on groundbreaking electronica and innovative DJs, but the scene encompassed more than just that. Laser lights, fashion and open-minded attitudes helped to build and spread the scene. It was only natural that a movement so magical would grow to epic proportions...... This period became known as the Second Summer of Love, a peaceful movement that (was) similar to the Summer of Love in San Francisco.

"It was all one love, everyone together. Anyone can dance all of a sudden, freedom of expression. Dress down, not up. Converse trainers, smiley T-shirts – a sort of tribalism took over. Everyone was happy to be the same." – Pete Tong

The article says the rave genre began in Chicago with tracks like this in 1987:
At first the music was very spare and repetitive like this one above, sometimes even more annoying. The high-tech drumming was a constant beat that was supposed to be entrancing. But as the music and the scene developed it went in many directions, and much of the music became much more spiritual and elaborate.

The scene was sometimes shut down, but it moved to elsewhere in the USA including the SF Bay Area, and to London where this big event was held:

I went to a couple of raves in the SF Bay Area. The website cited above says this about the USA and the SF scene:

"Many smaller promotional groups sprung up in the US, which caused a real ‘scene’ to develop, and Scotto’s NASA collective (Nocturnal Audio and Sensory Awakening) went on to produce rave tours that featured Moby, Prodigy, Orbital, Aphex Twin and then-emerging producer Richie Hawtin.

In the 1990s, one of the most prominent rave promotion crews was Global Underworld Network. They organized the OPIUM and NARNIA Festivals that drew an incredible attendance of over 60,000 people. Narnia was featured on MTV and twice in Life Magazine, and honored as the Event of the Year in 1995. Narnia became known as the “Woodstock of Generation X”.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Bay Area experienced a surge in popularity in rave culture. Small, underground parties began to take off, and expand from SF into the surrounding areas. With no curfew in place, venues would have up to 20,000 people partying every weekend. By 1991, raves were exploding, and flyers could be found up and down Haight Street. ‘Homebase’, and ’85 & Baldwin’ were two of the biggest venues that raves were held at in the Bay Area – but raves also appeared in open air venues (watch three different SF area raves in the video below)."

I was a DJ at a community radio station in this period from 1986 to 2010 and still host an internet show. I played some of this genre, and this is one of my favorites from it:

This was the second coming of psychedelia, and had many aspects, including cyberpunk literature, and multi-media art. It blended with world music styles like reggae dub, and gets darker in dark ambient.

The mainstay of my radio program was New Age music and ambient of a spiritual, mystical nature, sometimes also called spacemusic or visionary music or visionary sound arts, which developed in the 1980s and reached its height around 1992. All these related genres have such a vast array of artists that it is unfathomable. If you want to get a flavor of the roster, I picked out a list of favorites from my time as a radio DJ:
favorite single tracks:
favorite albums:

It all harks back to the original inspirational moment in June 1966, I feel, including the 1966 psychedelic rock of groups like early Pink Floyd.
This one above was also based partly on a 1966 rock hit called My Little Red Book. The group that made that record was simply called "Love".

The German influence of cosmic rock often called the Berlin School was a major influence as well. It reached cosmic levels in tracks like this amazing favorite of mine from 1972:

But it gained a new power and style with the next generation in the rave scene of circa 1990, and it keeps diversifying. Ambient music continues, reaching very meditative, transcendent levels in pieces like this one, which really seems like it is prolonging the 1966 experience over 40 years later, and even the spiritual experience of all ages:

And the influence of electronic music from cosmic rock to rave house music continues in the electronic dance music (EDM) that is prominent in millennial generation pop music. The song from that genre that I posted in the Music of the 4T thread called "Feel It Still" (2017) is a wonderful little dance song that expresses a lot of what I mean in these posts. It says "I've been feeling it since 1966." It may be over now, but I feel it still, it says, and I still do. And for Gen X, it mentions the fall of the wall, and that they can kick it like it's 1986; and I can too, since that's when I became a DJ!

All in all, this 1990 era had many awakening-like expressions, and I may review others in a future post. It is understandable that another poster (who is angry with me) considers the Awakening outside the USA to have started later in 1968 and ended with this 2nd summer of love in circa 1989. But even if it's in a third turning, and the original awakening was international and began in 1964, as I fully experienced it, the cosmic planetary figures that accompanied the circa 1990 Awakening showed that sometimes Awakenings can happen in other turnings, or come forth as later echoes and ramifications of a 2nd turning, much like the developments in modernism in the previous 2T continued after 1908-- its ending date according to Strauss and Howe. Or the recurring democratic revolutions. Or the rebuilding of Chartres Cathedral after a fire at the end of the 12th century. A powerful Awakening during a 2T can continue to reverberate and re-awaken even in diverse ways in the following years, perhaps even indefinitely, especially if "the stars align."
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
This great organ work by the French composer Louis Vierne has the same appeal to the reverberations from revolutionary awakenings (particularly the French Revolution) as does Le Marsaillaise, Won't Get Fooled Again, the Leonore Overture #3, and Kenneth Clark's program The Fallacies of Hope (where you can hear two of these). The theme also begins with an ascending phrase much like in the other three musical works, and like them something similar can be said of Beethoven's 5th Finale, to which this piece also makes reference. I made this video which highlights the symbols and memories evoked by the music of our rough and uplifting historical journey as a human race since the Revolution, and the persistent aspiring idealism and courageous energy behind it. Much of music in the romantic tradition like this is based on the 1792 Marseillaise moment. Enjoy the ride!

"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Speaking of reverberations of cosmic awakenings, the current incarnation of The Who features Pete and Roger now in their 70s and Pete's younger brother Simon and Ringo's son Zak, among others, sounding as good as new, and they just released a great new album with 14 new songs. It's first track is an ironic (and maybe someday iconic?) song that has all the musical vitality and beauty of sound arrangement of earlier songs like "Won't Get Fooled Again" (see post #3 above). It's melody and words even hark back to "The Kids Are Alright" from 1966. And Roger's voice has been rehabilitated and sounds like it did 30 or 40 years ago. They are feelin it like it's 1966, and kickin it like it's 1986 now!

The lyric point of the song is that Pete doesn't mind if you steal his songs; he's done it too. "The sound that we share has already been played, and it hangs in the air" he says. " Freedom in the air " again! Just like he snipped the iconic title lyrics from the Beach Boys' "I Get Around" and Buddy Holly/Rolling Stones "Not Fade Away" for his own iconic song " My Generation ," so key for our own forum here. And the millennial boy band One Direction was accused of ripping off The Who's " Baba O'Riley " for its opening in " Best Song Ever ." It was a tribute to The Who, who had created two of the best songs ever on the album Who's Next, Baba O'Riley and (my nominee for best song ever) Won't Get Fooled Again. And in this new song, he again refers back to Buddy Holly by saying that this music will fade. But it won't fade away, because it will still hang in the air.

I report all this and the below ideas too in my essay Fly Away: The Who and Our Generations

It seems unlikely that Pete Townshend "stole" and reshaped the musical ideas in Beethoven's Leonore Overture #3 (1806) for Won't Get Fooled Again (1971, one Neptune cycle/one double saeculum later), although the latter seems obviously to have been inspired by his fellow Brit's Kenneth Clark's 1969 monumental and historic documentary "Civilization," and it's episode " The Fallacies of Hope " (embedded in post #2 above), which showed how the great French Revolution launched a new society and the romantic movement, but which brought to power new bosses which were same as the old bosses, in a cycle which was repeated over and over again in subsequent revolutions down to Pete's own time, and beyond to ours. And "The Fallacies of Hope" opened with the Leonore Overture, just as Clark said that Beethoven was the sound of European civilization again reaching for something beyond its grasp, and that we are the offspring of this romantic movement and still victims of the fallacies of hope.

It may be that Pete repeated Beethoven and Clark in archetypal cyclic synchronicity, or maybe he was inspired by them. But the resemblance between Won't Get Fooled Again and Leonore Overture #3 goes far beyond the fact that the opening notes of the main theme in each piece are almost the same. The great synthesizer riff in Won't Get Fooled Again is like an echo of the Revolution, still hanging in the air today. And Beethoven seems to have anticipated this pioneering electronic music in the way he shaped the notes in his famous descending riff in his Leonore Overture so that each note gets louder and then cuts off, as if sounding backwards like a synthesizer riff. And then each song goes on from there to end in virtually the same way. Beethoven follows this virtual synthesizer riff with an orchestral "scream" as iconic and bone-chilling as Roger's iconic scream. Then the main ascending 4-note theme is recapped, in each piece, with Roger singing "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" to the theme, and then each piece ends with some similar final razzamatazz and tonic power chords. We are sent escaping from the boss and flying away in both pieces! (the links above include these endings)

In the same new album, The Who includes another great new song that brings up the same issue of unjust imprisonment which Leonore and Florestan are faced with in Beethoven's Fidelio, just as Won't Get Fooled Again does.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
The Woodstock Festival in August 1969 was a climax of the counter-cultural and anti-war awakening of circa 1966. It was "a remarkably ruly gathering" according to historian William L O'Neill (Coming Apart). At that time Jupiter aligned with the ongoing (but soon to end) Uranus-Pluto conjunction that had been exact in 1966. This PBS Newshour report asks: What does Woodstock mean five decades later?

Echoes too of Tahrir Square (called "the Arab Spring's Woodstock") and Occupy Wall Street for the Millennial Generation during the recent re-alignment of the same 3 planets, as the Uranus joined Jupiter in conjunction and in square to Pluto in Jan. 2011. As Todd Gitlin notes in the video, effervescent gatherings are not enough to change the world. They reverberate today, but it takes political work in the trenches to really make a difference. There will be more Woodstocks though, even if not exactly the same. Just as the 2011 events demonstrated. And more Marsaillaise marches, and more artistic, spiritual/religious and intellectual awakenings, and it's these events that do the most to make our lives what they are.

Symbolically, we're still waiting for the Big Cigars!

As Pete and the boys climax this great new song from 2019, their majestic and vibrant music recreates the spirit of liberation that roared through the world in the sixties from California to Woodstock and Britain/Europe and Latin America, and it will never die and will arise again! Just as this new song reverberates that same passion for freedom and justice embodied in Beethoven's Leonore Overture and the Prisoners' Chorus in Fidelio, and in Won't Get Fooled Again and it's immortally-reverberating synthesizer riff.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Another great awakening moment of civilization that reverberates down to us today should not be entirely forgotten, although it mainly involved intellectual and artistic/aristocratic elites, but also involved an historic and influential revolutionary mass movement for a time as well. If you're following the cycles, this great "social moment" during a second turning featured a line-up among the outer planets almost identical to that seen at the dawn of Gothic art and architecture in The Great Thaw in the 1130s and 40s. This period of circa 1650 was the cyclic climax of the Renaissance era, just as the earlier Romanesque and Gothic one was the climax of the medieval era that began in the early 10th century.

Kenneth Clark even mentions in his chapter "The Great Thaw" embedded above that it's artistic outburst was "similar to the baroque." There's lots to say about this Baroque era, as well as its following Rococo one. Clark himself decided he didn't have time to include all aspects of the Baroque Awakening among his 13 episodes of "Civilization," and instead he inserted some references to it in the following program about the Rococo era, and in its preceding episode about the Catholic Baroque Counter-reformation revival " Grandeur and Obedience ", and significant aspects of this baroque era were described in "The Light of Experience."

These two eras of Baroque (circa 1590-1711) and Rococo (circa 1712-1783) (both ignited as Uranus and Pluto aligned) are capped by two great pieces of music that are keys to experiencing them vividly. The first very-characteristic one from the middle of the Baroque era was actually featured, in part, in Clark's Rococo episode, while ironically the second one from the early Rococo era itself was not, even though it has the same name, and even though this iconic piece by the world's greatest composer (whom he DOES mention, of course) captures the essence not only of its own Rococo era, but of ALL eras of awakening of civilization! I recorded part of this first one myself for you tube, and it's the best version of it on there; but it cries out for more views! More on these two pieces below. Naturally because of these works, I feel even more the need to mention their whole eras here.

In this case in circa 1643 we see Neptune reaching the opposition to Pluto, which was the full moon climax to the cycle begun at the start of the Renaissance during their conjunction of circa 1400. Never in history was the light of a "full moon" in the cycle of civilization so completely revealed by the culture of the time. Uranus follows up with its opposition to Pluto in 1649, and its conjunction to Neptune in the early 1650s. The reverberations from this alignment continue powerfully from there through the 1660s, and its impact dominated our culture at least until the next conjunction and opposition combos of these 3 outer planets the 1890s and 1900s. It also gives a clue to the coming cyclic climax of our own era yet to come in the next century in the 2140s through the 2160s. The Rococo era after the Baroque was sparked by the following Uranus-Pluto conjunction in circa 1711-1712 that was quite similar to the one in the 1960s.

The artistic elements of this "silver age" culmination of civilization in the mid-17th century include the height of baroque church architecture and sculpture by such figures as Bernini and Borromini, which transformed the humanistic structures of the Renaissance into swirling, dynamic and sensual celebrations, as well as Sir Christopher Wren who expanded on the Renaissance style crowned by Michelangelo at St. Peters with the St. Paul cathedral in London, and in India by the climax of Mogul architecture with the greatest architectural jewel of all at the Taj Mahal. All-time great Baroque painters included Rubens, Van Dyke, Hals and Rembrandt (one of the greatest of all). The Dutch masters were made possible by the awakening of democratic self-rule and prosperity through Dutch trade and colonies after its liberation from Spain. Here is Rembrandt's early masterpiece from 1642.

Among these Dutch masters was Jan Vermeer, who highlighted what Clark called "The Light of Experience," and reflected the contemporary "scientific revolution" carried out by pioneer thinker Descartes and culminating in the epic theories of Issac Newton. Holland was the epicenter of this movement at first. Philosophy and mathematics were put into their modern forms by Descartes, and he spearheaded as well the modern removal of religious ideas from science. Following Francis Bacon and Galilleo at the turn of the century, their followers put science on the basis of accurately-observed "experience" and empirical investigation, structured and measured by mathematics. So our rationalist and scientific traditions descend largely from this era, and Clark also mentioned that the descendants of the scientific instruments developed then and displayed at the British Royal Society, " may destroy us ," as we started to discover soon after the next great combo of those planetary alignments that happened around the turn of the 20th century. Not to mention the fact that rising capitalism led from the charming realism created at the mid-17th century to the vulgarity later in the century of a similar kind to that we see can today in Trump Tower, as well as to the disorder of industrial society. As Clark surveys the architecture of Amsterdam here, we hear a typical baroque era fugue played on the harpsichord, and we hear another baroque piece later while he shows Vermeer paintings.

What Clark understandingly omits is the highly esteemed "Age of Louis XIV", expressed in the austere palace (now the greatest museum in the world) of The Louvre, and then at Versailles, and most celebrated in the dramas of Racine and Moliere and the painting of Poussin and Lorraine. In his early years the "Sun King" was a great patron of the arts and was much celebrated and esteemed for his wise and enlightened rule. But later, after this climactic full-moon period ended, he descended into imperialist, warrior tyranny. As the prototypal fugure of what was known as the Ancien Regime, he proclaimed that he himself WAS the state; and thus the climax of the orderly and hierarchical royal Saturn meme, just as it was then being expressed in science and art.

Before Louis XIV could take the throne securely, however, he and his ministers had to repress the Fronde rebellion, which echoed the simultaneous much-greater [i]Great Rebellion[i] in England that began in 1643, later celebrated by Marx, which was climaxed by the overthrow and beheading of King Charles I in 1649. Uranus opposing Pluto was the signature of this moment, and of the mass uprising and civil war leading to it, as it would later be of the revolution that overthrew Louis' successor in August 1792 and his beheading in January 1793. But even though the new boss, Oliver Cromwell, was no better than the old, just like Napoleon would be, the British Parliament that took control then was the start of its power later on in the late 1680s fourth turning, an institution which has been imitated in the modern world more than any other form of government all over the world.

Despite the Rebellion and the tyranny of the mid-17th century, and perhaps also inspired by the magnificence of royalty (and still by Christianity), the artists of the time often celebrated the optimistic, expansive energy of the baroque era and its confident reasonable worldview, as it colonized the world and grew in prosperity. Here in the documentary called "The Light of Experience," Kenneth Clark sums up the achievements as well as regrettable modern results of the Baroque era, showing Wren's great British architecture at Greenwich with its baroque ceiling art and some typical ebullient baroque music by Purcell.

Continued in the next post....
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
This same ebullient and reasonable mood is expressed in the very-typical, concise, rational, uplifting Toccata and Fugue in F #157 by the leader of North German organ music, Dietrich Buxtehude of Hamburg, whom a youthful J.S. Bach escaped from his job as an organist to hear and learn from. Clark used this Toccata in F by Buxtehude to illustrate Dutch and German organs and sculpture in the baroque era, and follows this up with Bach's Christmas Oratorio to illustrate German rococo architecture and sculpture, all during his episode of "Civilization" called "The Pursuit of Happiness."

Buxtehude was born in the year that Descartes wrote his Discourse on Method, 1637. The pictures of him as a young man that I put into my video below were from the period when he became prominent in his profession in the peak of middle baroque in the 1660s, perhaps the time that he composed this Fugue in F #157. Ironically, since I recorded it (but without its shorter Toccata heard in the Clark documentary), a few people say that, being recorded on my home organ during the coronavirus pandemic, it lacks the "reverberations" that it would have in a cathedral! I made the video somewhat impulsively, so I wasn't dressed for the ages, and I didn't clean the keyboard. But this is not really brown as it appears in the video, as I show myself playing the wonderful pedal solo from the piece near the end. So, its best to focus on the music!

Here is a link to a complete performance of Toccata and Fugue in F #157 by Buxtehude, and some readers might like it better. It's a good performance, but perhaps because it's recorded on a romantic 19th century organ, I think the sound is a bit muddy for my taste, and I like a slower tempo.

The second "Toccata in F" is of course by Bach, BWV 540, which I have posted here several times already. It was composed a few years after Uranus-Pluto came together in the early 1710s, when Bach was hired as organist at Weimar. But as Clark said, Bach was universal. In the two canons over the held om-like pedal note and two pedal solos that begin the piece, Bach captures the entire spirit of awakening that has created all the civilizations and liberating movements that reverberate to us from the past and in the present all over the world. This rococo organic-like growth, "wandering in a double curve" as Clark puts it, expands into majestic columns like the rising of a baroque or medieval cathedral, and climaxes in an ecstatic blissful moment of revealing divine light. The piece also reflects Bach's awareness of esoteric alchemical as well as sacred mathematical traditions that underlie our civilization and which swirled around him in his time, but which are often hidden from us-- as I describe it here in this link below. Even the extraordinary coincidence of its work number, and the relation of this Toccata to Bach's own personal seal, reveal these divine universal designs. The work makes an appropriate climactic expression to the baroque and rococo eras which sought to create structures which reveal the light of truth.

I don't know a better performance of this difficult piece than this one.

"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Hmmm.... OK, so there really is a comet for 2020.  I mean, I alluded to a comet in an earlier post, bu I mean come on. Disasters are on time and more are on the way. Cool
---Value Added Cool

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