"One against the other while the halls of power thrive; we've been victims of the spin." This song's dedicated to the truth-seekers.
As a songwriter, it's hard to answer the question "what's your favorite song you've ever written?" I like to make the analogy, as I'm sure many other songwriters have likewise done, that it's like asking a parent which one is their children is their favorite. I have a special attachment to all the songs I've ever been involved in the creation of. But if hypothetically I was ever somehow forced to answer the question, "Listen to the Light" would be a strong contender for that distinction. One reason has to do with the music. From the first time I ever messed around with that intro piano line and all that it lead to, I was electrified! The marriage to the lyrics, expressing a topic I've long been passionate about, amped me up even more. The creative part of the recording process was something I looked forward to every time I stepped into the studio. It seemed this song had room for everything plus the kitchen sink! When I heard producer Doug Weier's final mix, complete with Chad Martin's ripping guitar lead reminiscent of an 80s greatest rock hits compilation, I went into overdrive!
I think most everyone would agree that in every walk of life, more goes on behind the scenes than most people are aware of. Even in the conventional, traditional study of history and current events, reading and research will uncover the many backstories and intrigue surrounding events. Often, all one needs to do is "follow the money." Think of how many movies and television shows have themes like this. Do we really think all the story lines come from pure fantasy?
However, going beyond that, there are many who believe in something that's intentional and even diabolical. Society tends to refer to them as the "conspiracy theorists." They feel there's some sort of organized manipulation of events from behind the shadows by influential people who are the real power brokers of the world. These may be the super wealthy, the elites of banking and industry, etc. Others take it even a step further, and say the manipulation at its core is non-human. Some would say spiritual or inter-dimensional. The various religions of the world have always had their version of this. For Christians, these forces would be identified as demons or fallen angels; in the Gnostic tradition, they are referred to as archons; the Islamic and pre-Islamic world characterize them as the Jinn. I could probably fill many more paragraphs here with the various depictions throughout history and cultures. Heck, turn on the History Channel or go on You Tube, and you'll see there's a whole lot of people who believe in extraterrestrial interaction with humanity.
Personally, I find these topics fascinating. Some of it seems "way out there," while some seems quite compelling and well-researched. Sometimes, even the "way out there" material seems thorough in its research. While going to the extreme of finding a conspiracy, or demon, or whatever, hiding in every corner would perhaps be overkill, wrought with its own pitfalls and slippery slopes, is there something to, for example, the idea that wars, conflicts, and division are instigated and guided by those who play both sides and benefit from it? We don't live in a vacuum. The Bible speaks of "the powers and principalities of this world," and as someone who believes in a spiritual component to our existence, would the darker elements of that not feed off of negative energy and conflict? But if so, then the $64,000 question becomes, "what can we do about it?" Well, some people may be led to share their insights on a larger scale, whether that be through writing, journalism, speaking, running for office, becoming an activist for a cause they're passionate about, music, ministry, or whatever. For others, that's not the case.
Before I continue, I want to make something very clear. I think life is a learning process, and we keep learning until the day we depart this earthly realm. When I talk about this or any topic, I do so as one who's still very much learning, growing, and sharing that process with others. I don't claim to be any expert who has more answers than the next person, and I still have a lot to learn. I personally believe there's a lot going on behind the scenes that we know nothing of. I'd also be willing to bet that if that's the case, then those who are working behind the scenes would also probably be willing to create false narratives, or even some of the conspiracy theories themselves, as a way of leading the masses to a different perception of reality.
So, my big confession is yes, I think it's safe to say I'm a sort of what many people might refer to as a conspiracy theorist. I mean, I don't have an underground bunker packed with twenty-five years of freeze-dried food or something like that. Like I said, sometimes things are just what they are, and you can't find a conspiracy in everything, just like the exorcist can't treat every case as bona-fide possession. But I do believe there's a lot more than we know about in all areas of life, and in many, if not most, events and situations, there are things that are hidden. However, one could spend every moment of the rest of their lives researching and never be able to say for certain what's what. That could be really frustrating, I imagine. There's so many different theories about so many different things, many of them overlapping or contradicting each other. Maybe we can't say for certain what all the specific details are, but do a lot of reading and studying beyond the "official" sources, and you can start to get a pretty good picture. I also can't help to have the hook of an old song running through my head as I write this: "I know there's something going on....."
I strongly believe that beneath and behind all of it is something bigger. Something beyond this realm of our existence. Call it the spiritual if you like. Think of it as the ongoing battle beyond the veil between good and evil. Think of me as an optimist, or naive, if you wish, but I thoroughly believe the force of love, goodness, and creation ultimately always wins. I believe when we consider this level of reality, this unseen realm, then things may start to make a little more sense.
That being said, regardless of what spiritual tradition or religion one comes from, the truth can start to become clearer and better understood by inward reflection. The idea of the Kingdom of God within has been a principle concept in numerous spiritual traditions, and I think before we can really be a source of positive change in the world, we need to get our own house in order. I'm willing to bet if each of us can learn to fight and overcome the negative energies and forces in our own lives and beings, we can then be a source of light and goodness in our daily interactions in the world around us, and choose love over anger, hatred, and impatience, even in the smallest daily situations. We can choose to create an atmosphere of light, love, peace, and happiness around us. If enough people start doing that, I think there would be a change for the better in the aggregate. All of this is where "Listen to the Light" comes from.
As I said, some people may be called to action on a larger scale. But regardless of our situation, for everyone it begins with the small, everyday things. It might be something as simple as letting the rude driver cut in on you, or holding your tongue (keypad) on Facebook, or not going ballistic with neighbors over their horse-sized dogs leaving steaming presents on your front lawn (a personal favorite of mine). Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting we become pushovers and wimpy wallflowers, not do I think that's what "turn the other cheek" means. There's a time for righteous anger and action. I just think far too often, we get triggered by the little, ultimately meaningless stuff. I know I often have.
We need to awaken and face the reality that the world is possibly not always what we thought or hoped it was, and always seek to gain understanding of ourselves and what's around us.... to look within, and listen to the light.