- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Introduction | pg. 2 - The Song of the Sea Goat | pg. 3 - Aquarian Runes
pg. 4 - Shaking in the Dome | pg. 5 - The Smoke-Filled Road | pg. 6 - The Fallen Sun
pg. 7 - Under the Sky | pg. 8 - Still

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Brakeless Trains | The World Server

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Neil Ingram:

By the final verse the decision has been made. The glass is emptied and hurled along the road. This reminds me of one of those Russian vodka toasts where you smash the glass at the end of the session.

Jon Green:

I think he is saying "the hell with it all!"
As discussed earlier, verse one is primarily concerned with Peter's integrity as an artist. Verse two continues this theme while ingeniously introducing the military imagery that will come to dominate the final verse. In verse three, Peter brings it all together. The first two verses begin with prophetic actions. In verse one, the sea goat "casts aquarian runes" and in verse two he "reads the flight of birds and writes upon the sand". In the third and final verse...

"The sea goat sips and hurls his glass along the
smoke-filled road"

The breaking of the glass could signify that the shamanic spell or state is broken. The prophesying is done. He has, in a state of shamanic ecstacy, received his messages from the gods and is now back on earth, the smoke-filled (obscured) road of life. This is the same motif, the rising to consciousness or birth/re-birth in the material world, used to open the first four King Crimson albums.

Neil Ingram:

War in the house of Aquarius

The Vietnam war was an almost constant accompaniment to the first four Crimson albums. In 1968, there were half a million US soldiers fighting in Vietnam. The 'peace' treaty leading to the withdrawal of the American troops was signed in January 1973, around the time of the writing of Sea Goat.

Peter Sinfield has addressed the horrors of that war. In 21st Century Schizoid Man 'innocents are raped with napalm fire'. Epitaph can be applied to the masters of that particularly nasty war.

At the start of this essay we observed that the Tenth House 'is the executive branch of the government and all means of enforcement, from police to the military. It is also the seat of upper management in large corporations. 'This provides Peter Sinfield with a context in which to address wider concerns.

The focus of the song shifts back to the social and political. A people corrupted and manipulated by powerful forces can hardly withstand the call to arms. Chomsky's review of how the American people are led to consent to overseas wars is very revealing. Consent is manufactured through the creation of necessary illusions, and this takes us back to the midas oil imagery of the first verse. The transmuting panacea will soon 'smear their uniforms with blood, whitewash and woad'

Jon Green:

Very good point.

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"Where shuttered snakes of brakeless trains run aching
with their load"

"Shuttered", like "smoke-filled", creates another image of the truth obscured by material reality. In this passage "snakes" has an obvious negative connotation and "brakeless" tells us that these "trains" are unstoppable. In modern society, the inhuman logos, the law or "no one", sets the rules.

"Of spring-eyed, tonguetied, wooldyed lads who kiss the
L-shaped goad"

"The L-shaped goad", as Peter has informed me, is the British pound sign (money) and it is "kissed" (worshipped) with equal fervor by soldiers, musicians, lyricists and the rest of us when we buy into the world and its deceptive message.

"Which soon will smear their uniforms with blood,
whitewash & woad."

Peter has told me that "blood, whitewash and woad" represent the red, white and blue of the Union Jack, which brings us back to the "pointing hand" image. It is actually that of John Bull, the British equivalent and predecessor of Uncle Sam.

John Bull Recruiting Poster

"This World War I military recruiting poster demonstrates that more than a century after independence from Great Britain, in many areas the United States still copied the mother country. This British recruiting poster showing John Bull was produced in 1914 or 1915, before mandatory conscription began. Both this and James Montgomery Flagg's Uncle Sam poster are similar to an earlier recruiting poster showing Britain's Lord Kitchner.."

- John Bull and Uncle Sam
Four Centuries of British-American Relations

Note the . . .

"spring-eyed, tonguetied, wooldyed lads"

(in the background) who . . .

". . . soon will smear their uniforms with blood,
whitewash & woad."

For "woad" (a blue dye used as war paint by the Medieval Scots) see Mel Gibson as William Wallace (Braveheart). The love of money leads us all into the Mr. Nine 'till Five rat race where we are bloodied, forced to give up our true natures (whitwashed) and eventually find ourselves depressed!? woad=blue! But let us note: only our "uniform" (uniformity) is affected by the love of money. Where does the play of forms (Maya) end and true reality begin?

"Damn iron minded, gold braid blinded, officers and

Once again, this is all of us. We all want the gold ring.

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Neil Ingram:

The message of the Sea Goat (III)

"In Aquarius, Christ put His disciples in touch with the "man, bearing a pitcher of water," Aquarius, and in the upper room introduced them to union and unity under the symbolism of the communion feast. For that feast, humanity is today preparing, as we saw when studying the last constellation. The astrological significance of the New Testament is as yet little understood. Christ was born in Capricorn, fulfilled the law under Saturn, initiated the era of intelligent brotherhood under Venus and is the perfect example of the Capricornian initiate who becomes the world Server in Aquarius, and the world Savior in Pisces, thus completing the round of the zodiac and able to say triumphantly in Pisces "It is finished."

- Esoteric Astrology

The tone of the Sea Goat's song becomes messianic, which is consistent with the astrological idea of the 'world server'.

Jon Green:

He returns to the world where he lives to teach others.

"And in the tenth and final picture, called Entering the City with Bliss-Bestowing Hands, or In the World, it shows them now in an enlightened stage, walking, smiling, meeting others, this portrays the situation of one whose personality is completely transformed. He goes, and everything he touches, the trees, the blossoms -- so that's, to me, the difference between unity and wholeness. Unity is a transcendent state of no-differences, no-dualities. But wholeness means everything is included, and therefore you can function out of that unity and then that enlightened stage is able to give to others, also what the Buddhists call the "bodhisattva", who foregoes going into a unitive state, and devotes him or herself to the enlightenment of all sentient beings."

- Ralph Metzner
Virtual U

Still ~ Shaking in the Dome
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Still ~ The Fallen Sun

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
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