Friday, August 19, 2011

Forgotten Pathways - Shrouded in Mystery

What have we lost of that mysterious other world? Where would we find ourselves if we took those forgotten pathways? Would only desolate crumbling monoliths be there to meet us, or will we find that the realm of Faerie still exists, but has simply been left behind by a mankind which has gotten lost in a forest much more menacing than any monster of the ancient fables?

Dungeon synth is an attempt to rediscover and walk these inner pathways, which might lead us into the mystical sacred realms somewhere in the collective unconscious, a place of nymphs and sorcery. Whether the artists of this genre are successful depends on whether they have assisted the lone listener with his explorations of the imagination. This is art not for the masses, but for those with the mind of a storyteller, those that can give atmospheric music genuine life with their mind's eye.

Here what we see is another rotting kingdom, functioning on some kind of order put in place long before, now grown quite weak. Forgotten Pathway's demo, Shrouded in Mystery only brings us to the point where we can see the misty twilight that marks the boundary between here and the elfish realm, and blurry in the distance, that fabled landscape itself. We can picture what was lost, what that fantastic realm might hold. And what it truly does hold we can never know because what we have lost is the mystery itself. Our gods, elves, and myths reside in the realm beyond, yet with no mysterious land behind the hill for us today, existence is more meaningless than ever. Most find satisfaction in truths we can objectively believe in, and that was the start of science, to find answers that we can trust for certain. Science ignores all that which can't be handled in objective testable forms, pretends that other states of consciousness and realms of existence are an illusory fluke of biological machinery, but living beings were not meant to live life objectively.

There is no ultimate truth. Science is failing us. Bring us back to the glorious dark ages, where God and gods were physically present in the skies, where other lands were alien planets, where dragons might be found nesting deep in the dark forests, and where the struggle for one's life was a daily quest rather than just a fantasy. This is what dungeon synth seeks to restore, even if just for a brief moment. Only in the most terrible decay and darkness of the inner landscape can we find the lost mystery, and art can only bring us there if it is an isolated journey with a mind embracing the degradation as the inherent quality of lost things.


  1. It's always a pleasure to read another review on your blog! Good job again, I need to check this one out.

  2. "Ultimate Truth" is not to be found because it is not an object. All objects are transitory: they came into being, they will go out of being. Truth cannot be transitory: if true, it must always be true, to the same degree in every place, at every time, and from every perspective. Thus we see that one cannot experience the truth: one can only be the truth!

    Luckily enough, we already are that. Look to your own experience: did you not perceive the coming into being of a body, the subsequent realisation of a world, and the ensuing cultivation of such mental objects as "personality", "identification", "attachment", etc? Every night, when you go to sleep, do you not witness the passage of this world and this body from your awareness? Do you not come into that pristine space where not even a vestige of your person exists? You remain while all else passes. You, the subject of your experience, are that eternal reality!

    Truth cannot be falsity, nor can falsity be truth: what we are in our primacy we have always been, and will always be. Though we might appear to be deluded as to our true nature, this is only an appearance: just as we take a dream to be real until the time of awakening, so too this waking dream will appear real until the time of Death. Not the physical death of the body, but the death of death itself - the death of the "ego", of the "soul", of that which is born only to die and be reborn again. Properly directed effort will see the quickening of this inevitability. Stop enquiring into the world; drop all interest in that which appears, and keep your focus on the one to whom it is appearing. Who are you, who is beyond all appearance?

    1. I feel like truth is transitory though. The truth of dreams differs from "conscious" experience, just like I'm sure the truth of death differs from life. I don't think there's any fundamental difference between objects and truth.

    2. What is the truth underpinning all transition? In order for transition to be recognised as transitory, it must first appear. If it didn't appear, we wouldn't notice whether or not it were transitory. Now, in order for it to appear, there must first be one to whom it appears! That one must exist in principle in order for there to be appearance of any sort whatsoever. Whether phenomena appear or a void appears, the fact remains that the appearance - of everything or nothing - is to an observer. The observer does not change in any way, but is itself the measure of all change. Even that through which there is observation - the character, the entity, the "person" you take yourself to be - might change, but the pure observer is as it is. It is no object, but is the subject. Given that only objects have qualities, and it is only qualities that change (and, furthermore, that all change is subjective and is witnessed pertaining only to objects), it is clear that the subject undergoes no change.

      You say that truth changes between waking and dreaming, and between living and dying. But surely it's clear that waking, dreaming, sleeping, and death (which is only a long sleep, as experienced) are each recognised to supplant each other? There is a point of which we can say "I was awake", and one of which we can say "I was asleep", or "I was dreaming". So too, one of which we can say "I was dead", and one of which we can say "I was born/I am alive". The states may change, but clearly the same one is recognising their transition: what remains the same throughout all change is the "I" that recognises change. This very "I" is the truth, not any particular state of affairs (which can only be "facts of the matter", not "truth"). The state or form of the experience might change; the fact of the experience(r) does not.

      The truth, as much as it can be expressed in English, is that existence exists. If it didn't, we wouldn't be able to have this conversation! Furthermore, it is clear that existence is aware, and it is self-aware - for is self-awareness not absolute in your experience? You aren't aware of anything without first being aware of yourself as the one who is aware! So we find, on reasoning alone, that the reality exists, and it is aware(ness). Experience will show that not only is it existent and aware (primordially intelligent), but it is also blissful. In order to taste the bliss/peace/freedom that is our natural effulgence, self-attention must be practiced. This is basically what meditation is meant to be ; )

    3. I guess "cogito ergo sum" could be an ultimate truth, it's the only one I recognize, but it's easy to take for granted. I want more, or maybe less, just a more narrow "truth" to relate to.