Very recently, seemingly filled with opportuneness of all that might be needed (in the heart of my heart, I know it is), I have been exposed to the literature or the philosophy which asks us to negate whatever is perceptible through the senses, often termed as the outer world, and to try finding an inner world, which seems and sounds totally incomprehensible, confusing, and unreachable. But only at the beginning, as the literature or the teachings proclaim, for once this world senses a sincere inquiry, it makes itself known and designs the inward journey on its own.
There are warnings of many types and an unforgiving tussle is foretold, and it is prophesied to be more tiring than any other struggle you might have engaged in while carrying out the tasks of your life. Whether you read “The Way of a Pilgrim” or “Fihi Ma Fihi” or you listen to the exposition of the Upanishads, you will realize that on the way, you will face questions and foes that you never reckoned residing within you, but now must address or face in order to gain clarity that can’t be tarnished again. Though it is not, it appears to be a difficult process because it demands sincerity of the utmost nature–relentless, you may say.
But why am I telling you all these things! Well, the very basis of this album reminded me of this struggle. “Gnosis” means the knowledge which is gained through experience, and this knowledge, this realization that you gain through your own efforts is enlightening. The album catches the essence of this process so closely. I just can’t stop marveling at the fact that it landed in my kitty for a possible listen–it is so helpful in visualizing that struggle. You see with closed eyes, and you feel the intimacy without moving an inch.
Album Name: Gnosis
Artist Name: Chronotope Project
Total Time: 52:16
Chronicling the journey of a seeker, the album takes you on a path that is definitely less traveled, or never traveled till now, at least by you. Others have done it and talked about it very subtly. To you, this path may seem to be an unknown one yet your truest and closest self is your companion and also the ascendant goal. I know how strange I might be sounding, but that’s the beauty–it is vague and each one of us has to and will find the answer on our own.
It is Jeffrey Ericson Allen’s 5th release for Spotted Peccary Music and 9th as Chronotope
Project, and in six songs spanning over fifty minutes, he has captured a beautiful projection of what goes within us.
“Higgs Field, Cauldron of Being” begins the journey with slow ambient sounds, clearly indicating the mysterious significance and prospect of the task that lay ahead. It has all the elements to make it excitingly joyful. Based on a spacey arpeggio, it slowly builds the charm and the awe of a journey free of bumps and jerks–you float along as you approach the cosmic depth and set into a rhythmic flow.
Once the flight is completed, the journey continues in a denser medium. “Lethe, the River of Forgetfulness” allows you to leave behind everything and embark on to the next phase. The sound is deeper and the bassline projects the beating of the heart (or the mind)–there is uncertainty and a sense of never-felt-before experience, yet a strange comfort allows you to keep going on.
Welcome to the new world! “Eidos, Realm of the Forms” is the second-longest song on the album and expresses the shock and slowly introduces the concept of familiarity. The self begins to understand the calm and peace that prevails in every corner of this space. By now, there is a total disconnect from the outer world, as if the drowning is complete and you can’t hear anything the materials might be saying to bring you back to the existence of sensory wakefulness. The song beautifully captures the effort the self needs to put in to feel at home. The mixture of electronic sounds almost makes you see yourself sitting in the body but undergoing an experience that isn’t visible from outside. After a minute of such discord, a rhythm starts to let you enjoy the dance–you are perspiring but you like it!
The time for rumination has arrived. “The Still Small Voice”, after being serenaded by renegade jolt to whatever it has known till now, is trying to make sense of what it has experienced. It was new but felt ancient and familiar. The struggle is overcome and there is a feeling of acceptance, newly-found joy, and peaceful existence, which does not depend on anything–it is felt because it is present. Succinct and to the point, it happens to be the smallest song on the album.
“Entelechy, Emergent Order”, as the name so purposefully pronounces, marches forward to take you onto the last lap of the journey. It is mysterious but you have known your potential and have gained the confidence to let go of any reservation. Sounding almost like Buddhist chants, the sound reverberates with so much passion.
The last and the longest song on the album, “Myth of the Cave” represents the innermost chamber of your being where all identification with the self merges in the absolute–you come to know that you have met yourself, and there never was another person. This may sound overwhelming but it is the truth. All the growth and the decaying of whatever concerned the outer world has been cast off. An eerie sound fills the surroundings whose basis is complete silence. The dissolving happens here. This is the beginning of the endless!
It is hard to put to words what has been tried to be captured with this album–yet, how realistic and palpable it sounds! It does not come to you so easily–it is the result of dedicated efforts and careful observations that may sometimes extend beyond births, and I wonder how relieved the composer must have felt after giving birth to such a creation.
As I tried mentioning in the title of this review, the album is worth everything if you are a sincere seeker of the truth that lies within–a definite, most potent entity that awaits your arrival and delivers you free from the jostling that seems to be unending.
My heartfelt thanks to Jeffery for giving us this great gift during times that force us to search deep within! Tune to the album and feel its unfailing effect!
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