"And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."
- Mark 4:39
Empty yourself of everything.
Let the mind rest at peace.
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.
- Lao Tzu
he title, along with the photo on the back cover, seems to imply the goal and
practice of meditation. Andrew Keeling has also mentioned that "
seems to be Peter Sinfield out of the influence of the Crimson King. The title
'Still' (passive as opposed to active) has
always struck me in this way."
Yin as opposed to the Yang of cruel King Logos. I further take
"Still" to mean that, despite what had transpired, Peter was at peace with
himself - and also a tad defiant: "I'm STILL here."
The album cover image, a little girl resting in the jaws of a dragon, also
expresses stillness, a sense of peace. When Neil
Ingram pointed out that it is "in marked contrast to the screaming face of the
21st Century Schizoid Man", he touched
on the connection between the cover images of
In the Court of the Crimson King
. Like the the dragon of
21st Century Schizoid Man is a monster, the monster of the unrecognized
unacknowledged shadow lived out and
projected out into the world. In the world of the 21st Century Schizoid Man the
dragon of the unconscious is a
terrifying realm to be avoided at all costs. But in the world of
, the dragon is a friend, a Big Friend within whom the
narrator is resting comfortably. He has, through the individuation process,
come to accept both the light and the dark
aspects of his unconscious (integrated them into consciousness). We can also
see this another way. The little girl is the
anima, the Moonchild, no longer far away and out of sight but finally regained
and in view. She is resting comfortably
within the re-unified self. On the album's back cover the anima (unconscious
content) is resting comfortably within
"Jung suggested that if the encounter with the shadow is the
"apprentice-piece" in a man's development, then coming to
with the anima is the "master-piece."["Archetypes of the
Unconscious," CW 9i, par. 61.] The goal is her
transformation from a
troublesome adversary into a function of relationship
consciousness and the unconscious."
There is another meaning to the image of Peter Sinfield on
. The union of front and back cover images represents the union of conscious
and unconscious, a further step toward individuation.
"In her book on Shambhala, (Shambhala, the Fascinating Truth Behind the Myth of
Shambhala, 1996, p. 58) Victoria LePage remarks that 'The octagon, with a ninth
point in the center, is also central to the mystical symbology of Sufism. It is
the seal or design which Ernest Scott says 'reaches for the innermost secrets
of man'. Meaning wholeness, power and perfection, this primary geometrical
symbol is one which Sufis associate with Shambhala ..."
And as Neil Ingram observed in the previous chapter :
(the album) is, perhaps, like a mandala, with
(the song) at its centre. This is the point of unity with the 'Self'; a place
where wholeness and integration are found. The 'stillness' and calm at the
centre of the storm. It is 'the still point of the turning world' (Eliot)."
And so we see that just as the title song of
was a microcosm of that album so too does the thematic structure of
reflect the structure of the four King Crimson albums - with
, the quintessence, at the center.