Monday, February 25, 2008

Song 25 of 26 - What I Feel For You

Almost there! The twenty-fifth of the 26 songs is called "What I Feel For You". Scroll down below the following videos for the lyrics and a brief discussion of how this song ties into the project. A blog post which lists all 26 songs, including 1 video for each song can be found by clicking here.


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w06IRgChaMY

Let's think back to song 6, "Connections". The last verse of that song went like this:

I think I met myself today
I think I saw my eyes
Another me in another body
Livin another life
I must admit to glossing over that stanza back when we talked about this song then, but it relates very much to where we're headed now as we round the turn into the home stretch. Likewise, in song 3, "Burn the Candle Brightly", we made this bold statement, but spent very little time discussing how such a thing could be possible:
So when this journey is over
And that beautiful spark is finally gone
We can see that the vessel is empty
But we know that the light carries on
Song 7, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" also talks about this idea from the first person perspective.

One of the books I have referred to a number of times in these notes is Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am a Strange Loop". Let me quote a few paragraphs from this enlightening and inspiring book, much of which is about the structures and forms that create the mysterious "I" of consciousness. In the latter part of the book, though, he expands these ideas into what it means to have a representation of other people - your spouse, your children, your parents, a very close friend - held within those same structures. Specifically, how much of that can be thought of as being an actual part of what it is that makes that person uniquely who they are? And if any part can be thought of in that way to any degree, then what happens when the real person dies? Hofstadter writes:

The bond created between two people who are married for a long time is often so tight and powerful that upon the death of either one of them, the other one very soon dies as well. And if the other survives, it is often with the horrible feeling that half of their soul has been ripped out. In happier days, during the marriage, the two partners of course have individual interests and styles, but at the same time a set of common interests and styles starts to build up, and over time a new entity starts to take shape.
And later on...
The following should be a much easier question (although I think it is not actually easier). What was the nature of the "Holden Caulfield symbol" in J. D. Salinger's brain during the period when he was writing Catcher in the Rye? That structure was all there ever was to Holden Caulfield -- but it was so, so rich. Perhaps that symbol wasn't as rich as a full human soul, but Holden Caulfield seems like so much of a person, with a true core, a true soul, a true personal gemma, even if only a "miniature" one. You couldn't ask for a richer representation, a richer mirroring, of one person inside another person, than whatever constitutued the Holden Caulfield symbol inside Salinger's brain.

In my own book, as we've discussed in working through these 26 songs, I suggest that what each of us think of as our unique "soul" is actually a large and interconnected set of memes, some of which rise and fall in prominence over a lifetime, and memes by their very definition are patterns of information that exist across space and time. This leads me to some conclusions that are related to what Mr. Hofstadter is talking about, but I go a little further out on the same conceptual limb:
Here’s another way to look at this idea: if each of us has a unique soul, where are all the new souls coming from? Our planet’s population has exploded in numbers, so there must be new “soul material” being created from somewhere (if there really are only a certain number of souls allocated to this planet, then the chances of any one of us being the reincarnate soul of a person who lived here in the last few thousand years are approaching the chances of winning a lottery!).
In the New Age community, theories abound regarding what that source of all those new souls might be. All of those theories may be held within the version of reality that we are advancing here: if our soul is a conglomeration of memes that exist outside of time, then other versions of that soul could exist in other universes, in other locations within our universe, in other parts of the history and future of our universe, and even right now in other parts of our own world. The idea that it’s possible to meet another incarnation of yourself right now may take some getting used to, but it is an important aspect of the version of reality we are exploring.
And later on:
It may appear, then, that if we imagine a particular meme that has existed since the perceived beginning of our universe, collapsing a specific version of reality out of the wave of potential universes through the act of its observation, that we are imagining an aspect of the Creator-God. But there is a second way to view this puzzle. Could the feeling of “self” that each of us holds within us also be “just geometry”? In other words, what if this interlocking web of memes were exactly like the interlocking web of physical realities implied by the Many Worlds theory? This would mean that the potential for all ways of viewing the world, and the potential for all the different systems that we think of as being our own soul, are also held within an indeterminate wave of potential at the tenth dimension that has always existed, and will always exist.
Sometimes this can all get so abstract that it's hard to see how any of it relates to what's important in the world around us. This song is my attempt to put that level of perspective back into the discussion: relating to others is what it's all about, and that's just as true when we put our heads together to imagine the underlying structures of the universe as it is when we spend quality time with family and friends, just hanging out and enjoying each other's company.

WHAT I FEEL FOR YOU
words and music (c) by Rob Bryanton

Much greater minds than mine
Have tried to figure out
The secrets of the universe
And what it’s all about
Masters of the abstract
Seekers of the spell
That fits it all together
I know the quest so well

But it all keeps coming back
No matter what I do
The only thing that’s real for me
Is what I feel for you

And what I feel for you
Is what makes me carry on
My world would be so pointless
My reality so wrong
The secret gears and levers
That spin behind the scenes
To make what’s here before us
Must only do one thing

Cause it all keeps coming back…


Much greater minds than mine
Have tried to figure out
The secrets of the universe
And what it’s all about
Masters of the abstract
Seekers of the spell
That fits it all together
I know the quest so well

But it all keeps coming back
No matter what I do
The only thing that’s real for me
Is what I feel for you
The only thing that’s real for me
Is what I feel for you

Other blog entries that touch upon ideas from this blog entry and song:
Seeing Eye to Eye
Constructive Interference
FAQ 12 - Is This About Consciousness and the Quantum Observer?

(Edit: By request, here's a simple chord chart for this song. Unfortunately blogger throws out extra spaces when you insert them in a line so there isn't a way for me to place the correct chords over the correct syllables. Hopefully the song is simple enough that you'll still be able puzzle this all out)
WHAT I FEEL FOR YOU
words and music (c) by Rob Bryanton

(verse - power chords, no third, so neither major nor minor)
E E D E
Much greater minds than mine
E E D E
Have tried to figure out
E D E F E E
The secrets of the universe
E E D E
And what it’s all about
A A G A Bb A
Masters of the abstract
A A A G A
Seekers of the spell
A A G A Bb A
That fits it all together
A A A G A
I know the quest so well

(chorus - normal major/minor chords. For instance B/D# = B major chord with D# bass)
(no chord)
But it
B/D# B/E B/F# G#m
all keeps coming back - No
B/D# B/E B/F# G#m
matter what I do - The
B/D# B/E B/F# G#m
only thing that’s real for me Is
E F#(add 4) B
what I feel for you

Third verse (which lyrically is first verse repeated) - okay to fill all of the power chords in as full major chords.

Next song: 26 of 26 - Thankful

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