Please, avail yourself of the April in the Orange album the Glittering Fish Were Stars, indulge in whatever chemicals you find give you spiritual balance, if any at all. Take as much time as required to come to terms with this interactive diagram, contemplate the small, the large and the relative scope of yourself amidst the universe. Lay back, ideally observing the most un-light-polluted night sky reasonably possible and repeat after me (group recitation is also encouraged): “There is no God, I am alone. The human concept of God exists only in the ignorant mind as a lie self-dictated to us in the early days of our collective awareness, to reassure those incapable of grappling with the ineffable truth, which I have unsuccessfully contemplated, but wholly accept. I acknowledge that the notion of a being, entity, force or intention existing before the material universe and giving creation and overseeing the lives of the tiny, imbecilic life forms on a small rock in a distant spiral arm of an unimportant galaxy in the scope of what is now believed to exist as well as the chaos and suffering of the world as it is is thoroughly foolish, and to sustain such a notion in my mind is only to give shelter to the self-important machinery of ignorance. The reason I cannot contemplate the real truth, and instead replace it with loving absent cosmic fathers, is the same reason it gives me spiritual balance. God is but the projection of ignorance, fear and self-importance that comes with self-awareness. I am ignorant enough to believe in a higher power, self-important enough to expect one and fearful enough to need one. I am a tiny, insignificant carbon based life form able to understand my place in the universe only to the extent as to wilfully misinterpret it. I assume my place in the universe to be of purpose, to make sense, to begin and to conclude in a sequence comprehendible to my brain; this is not the case. My life is pointless, a happy cosmic accident and a joyous giggle on the temporal smoke exhalation of the breath of the universe. My life has no purpose but what I make of it. I am not watched over, either by benevolent or malevolent forces, nor indeed indifferent entities. Just as the earth is not the universe, just as the earth is not the centre of the universe, just as the earth is not the centre of the solar system, just as the solar system is in no way central – my life is in no way central, watched or controlled. I express my understanding of this fact, although I do not understand it. I express my agreement with this fact, even while my body shouts with every atom of its existence a strong pantheistic terror at the expression of the following phrase, the existential terror belying what I am about to express highlights both the truth of the phrase and the difficulty I have in accepting it into my being. I make all efforts to come to terms with this truth, to open my mind to its possibilities and though my body shouts I say quietly but with resolution: I am totally alone. Alone in a universe so vast and labyrinthine that in no way can I understand the enormity of it. My life was not created with meaning, nor did it cultivate meaning. I was not created, I simply am. When my soul separates from my body, I know not whether it will endure or die too, nor where it will go if it does endure.”
[If you feel a strong sense of revulsion, even dread at the concept of an untethered existence, fear not, this simply means that you have an open mind.]
“I defy my body further. I will say clearly, even while my soul shouts against it, that this exhalation of truth fills me not with terror but with joy. My life is not planned or organised. I am my own being. Totally free except for laws of nature. All other laws are self-imposed. Any meaning of my life will be that created, understood and expressed by me. I am alone but I am not lonely. I understand my place is no place at all, and can be shifted or obliterated at any time and accept these facts willingly. I understand that even while fear trembles in my veins, that this fear is the very act of celebration of self-awareness that brings me joy. I am aware. As no creature on this earth before has been able to express. I. Me, my own understanding of the world accepting and pouring out. I understand that the tremors of fear of understanding that the world is far too chaotic and amoral to have been created or be shepherded by any kind of force, and that no God exists, and that the only God I think I perceive is but a reflection of this fear, closing my petals to the bright, harsh but beautiful sun that attempts daily to explore my darkest recesses. I realise that I am a member of a small group to have uttered this truth and attempted to understand it. I understand that my self-awareness is to be celebrated and loved, that I stand imbecilic on the crest of a great wave of wakefulness coming after an ages-long slumber. I understand that the spiritual ‘I’ is but the first disbelieving blinking at the door of the cave. That despite so much understanding and exploration of what it means to say ‘I am’ not as a creature but as a being still only begins to understand exactly what the place of our world is. I understand that all worldly concerns are petty, false and not to be concerned with overly. I understand that even with dedicated, uninterrupted and successful study over the course of a long life, the fabric of the universe would remain a mystery, the being of humanity would remain hidden and the exact scale of the ladder of understanding, at the bottom of which I stand would remain cloaked in incomprehensibility. I understand that to embark on the journey holds no greater promise than the embarking, and though I quest from this day hence on a constant mission of holistic human betterment and a desire to explore and spread my meagre acceptance and failed understanding of the truth of human loneliness in the face of cosmic indifference. I understand that I will fail, wholly and completely, and this fact too, fills me with joy, because the embarking on the journey is the true revolutionary action.”
|April in the Orange|
C/O the always awesome Revolt of the Apes
“I accept the responsibilities, as few others do, as being in existence in the first inhalation of the rich gas of knowledge. I understand that morality is my own domain, and is not handed down. I understand that my human goodness will not be weighed against criteria by a nebulous force, but inside my own mind. I understand my ability to ask ‘why?’ and try to make sense of the world give me the responsibility to do so. I consider it my duty, by luck, not design, to utilise my ability to understand, and use it to help everyone better understand the entirety of their existence, even in small part. I shall do this by exploring art and science, by making use of substances, through meditation and experimentation with all methods of human bonding, both sexual and nonsexual, and the collective benefit of creating wonderment, because through wonderment is the realisation of something not previously understood, or not previously given breath in my own understanding. I will daily celebrate the non-existence of God or of any higher power with any ability to punish or reward, and will daily give thanks to chance and randomness which has allowed me to contemplate everything. I will allow no more than strictly necessary the infiltration of my precious time and thought those things that are material, or that matter not considering the truth of my existence. I recognise the only existent beings I should serve are my fellow humans, who I love unconditionally. I recognise that all of the suffering in the world, apart from that which has resulted from cosmic randomness, is but the passing of ignorance, from which all problems derive and continue to hold power. I understand that my mission to banish ignorance by spreading the truth of what ails us is a mission of holistic human improvement. I understand that I will die not knowing the answer, for no answer comprehendible to my imbecilic brain exists, but the quest will sustain me. If at the end of my life, I can perish knowing not what awaits me, but knowing at least a single person is now existent in the world who has also expressed desire to understand the unfathomable truth of existence, I can pass knowing I have improved the world for the people who remain, in the most massive and only way one can; and pass on to whatever may await me with open arms, and perish with two thoughts, one for the world I am exiting, and one for any possible world I am passing into: I am totally alone. Take me up.”
This is the truth, as I have heard from ripples in the universe as interpreted by others. I am alone, and you are alone. We serve only each other. I believe that rock and roll, meditation and mild substance use, as well as human bonding including sexual bonding, are the most efficient tools to allow me to express these truths. I will use my writing, as it is my only transmission method. I advise you to start with a thorough meditation involving April in the Orange, a quiet contemplation of both the enormity of the universe as understood by science and the enormity of the universe visible to the human eye in the night sky and a recitation of the passage I have just dictated. It is flawed, the words to express the luck we have at existing at this time and place in the world do not exist in my vocabulary, but between the almost unfathomable beauty of April in the Orange, in the spaces between the notes and the gentle exhaled lyrics, there exists a tiny measure of a reflection of the beauty that all of us must try to sustain in our understanding long enough to communicate to those who are not fortunate to be equipped to attempt to understand the unfathomable place in the universe in which we reside, and our inherent infallible meaninglessness.
There is no God, no higher power watching you now, or ever previously. Your existence, just as the existence of the grass between your toes and the entirety of the world as you stand, seeing and hearing and breathing it in, rubbing it into the pores of your skin and feeling the wind of understanding cause your eyes to water, is merely luck, a chance dice throw resulting in your screaming birth. You exist at a crucial time, as our understanding reaches the first pinnacle, and many, confronted with so much new knowledge, are keen to bury it and return to a world created in falsehoods, but comfortable. This cannot be allowed to happen. The spiritual explorations of April in the Orange, the deepseated fears they conjure reflected in the flames of their music, just as thousands do in a million ways each day, cannot be allowed to go out.
Written under duress by Steven.