The search for Self. The path to peace and Individuation. At the time of conception (many years before the song release), I didn't even understand what these concepts meant, but the lyrics and sentiment came as if a foreshadowing of what would become a life long journey. Written early in that journey, the tone may skew bleak, but from that was born a greater and more positive insight which I now better understand.
INSPIRATION / MEANING
The search for true Self and the path to inner peace leads to questions. New doors opened reveal exponentially more divides and decisions. Stepping through each threshold elevates understanding and moves you ever closer to to who you are meant to become yet with each answer comes more questions. Understanding folds into itself leaving you feeling farther from your perceived destination than you were when you began. The keener the perception and the broader the view, the more complexity, detail and possibility can be seen and conceived. Many choose not to continue down this path because of such near maddening pursuits to completion and what we might see as understanding. They stop at one of those doors and turn to the side, choosing not to reach and reveal what might lie on the other side. They instead live out their mortal life as was defined and limited by the body which holds and defines it within this immediate world. They eventually shrivel away to dust in the soil from which the vessel originally sprouted.
Those that choose to continue on, unwavering, through doubt and uncertainty, will continue grow, and expand their vision beyond bounds that were never before known to exist. They will move path the mundane constructs that to which their animal and physical vessel holds limitation, and become privy to so much more than what is initially shown by this world. By choosing the path of boldness and struggle, the reward of persistence and devotion will lead to a new richness of vision an understanding that only those that possess such fortitude will have the pleasure of experiencing.
This is what I believe. Though the path is often darkly lit, sparsely traveled, and the obstacles encountered seemingly ominous and unpassable, the reward of ever progressing and fulfilling the hunger of the deeper Self is limitless and infinite. It has the power to bring wisdom and understanding to every moment of this existence. The imagery contained within this video is an extension of these original concepts, transformed into symbols and a take on the visual representations within the essence of that journey. Seeking, progressing, growing, ascending, forever…
The original vision for the music video for ‘Epiphany’ was very ambitious and large in terms of scale and effort. Everything from mixed CG, live action, to a trifecta of atmospheres reflecting planes of existence through which the protagonist traverses via physical body, consciousness and subconsciousness. As with many things encompassed in this project, the time, budget, and energy involved in the effort quickly became unrealistic. As much as we wanted to fulfill that vision, as an independent band, it was simply unrealistic, and we figured we might want to write, record and release more songs one day was well, so decided to leave some energy for that.
A decent amount of initially planning and storyboarding was done regarding the initial effort however, two concepts of which are described in the following as the “Planes Reference” and “Original Storyboard”. Some of these concepts made it into the existing video, many of them did not. Both of these diagrams and the concepts therein preceded the actual artwork for ‘Epiphany’ that was included in the album.
The “Planes Reference” diagram roughly describes the abstract journey of Individuation juxtaposed onto the metaphysical realm mapped against the composition of the parts of the song. The diagram describes the traversing of one through each of 4 planes:
Literal / Physical
Ego / Material Juxtaposition
Divine Infinity or Ultimate Completion
Each section has rough symbolism and imagery to describe the visuals that would correspond with each scene and level respectfully. Along each respective plane, the constructs within evolve along the timeline of the journey, the physical realm decaying and crumbling with time, the Ego/Material realm merging and blending the conscious and subconscious over time, and the Subconscious realm becoming more detailed and complex as it approaches the final realm of infinite divinity. The climax of the journey relapses the transition through each of the planes into infinity.
The “Original Storyboard” diagram matches more literal imagery and environmental context to the storyline of the journey described in the “Planes Reference” diagram. Again, the diagram maps the sections of imagery and theoretical concepts against time and the sections of the song, naturally from left to right, and also matches each section with lyrics from the song. Here each section describes the imagery with a correlating concept along that journey to Individuation relating to the phases of struggle that one might encounter on that path. These phases also posses loose reference to the maturation of mind and spirit as might pertain to growth of the physical body and conscious mind through the more relatable process of adolescence.
The phases of Individuation described in this diagram are outlined as follows:
- (Pause / Reflection)
- Brink of first step into abstract unknown
- Potential loss of Self
- TAKING THE LEAP
- First taste - juvenile approach to understanding
- Unknown / Fearing
- THE FIGHT / LOSING CONTROL
- Caught in tumult
- Feeling outside yourself from inner reflection
- AGING / LIVING / PASSING
- Time marches on
- The world waits for no one
- Internal constructs materializing on terrestrial plane
- Understanding of inner being progresses
- Making that understanding a part of the material existence
- ACCEPTANCE / UNDERSTANDING
- Success (what you wanted)
- Ascension toward COMPLETION
- INDIVIDUATION / COMPLETION
- Inner Peace
- Connection with Deity / Infinity
- Completion / The concept of “Heaven”
VISUALS / SYMBOLISM
The visualization of the crops represent a metaphorical dichotomy of the growth and evolution of the physical body juxtaposed with that of the spirit. Throughout the field there exists various stages of growth and decay in each plant. Many follow the same cycle, budding and blossoming with their eyes set on the sky, but most, when at the integral point of conscious choice, where the possibility of ascension and spiritual growth is presented in an ambiguous and infinite sky, choose to cling in fear to the ground in which they budded and still hold root, and therefore follow the fate of their mortal coil as its cycle completes and they wither to the ground.
Ascension / Beams
The energy beams shown in the video, connecting ground and sky, represent the extroversion of the mind and its flowing connection with and between all planes of existence. [reference planes diagram]. As an individual entity fights and struggles to ascend, abandoning the limits of the physical world and the familiarity and control of the vessel that held it, greater forces aid and guide ascension, consuming, overcoming and transcending. Moving to another plane.
The concept of the temples, one in the far left distance, and the other in the far right distance, represent the wisdom and ideology on which we build and are able to stand upon, allowing us to reach higher and higher than previously capable. The left temple symbolizes historical wisdom and discovery. The historical temple could be described as ‘Historical Collective Wisdom and Experience’.
The right temple symbolizes theoretical projection and conjecture which we can use to postulate our future progress and direction. The future template could be described as ‘Philosophy’ and ‘Metaphysics’.
These pillars light the way of progress and ascension, giving us the tenets on which to build the strength to overcome fear, dogma and tradition to look upward from within and move beyond and transcend.
2 becomes 1 Symbol
The triangle symbol found in the ‘Epiphany’ artwork is loosely derived (employing some artistic license) from both the concept of ‘one becomes two’ or the Axiom of Maria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_of_Maria), and, more visually, the symbols of the I Ching (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching). It represents the process of growing awareness, individuation and the realization of true Self. The single bottom shape ascends each of the rows to become two at the third and top level. The symbol in itself has four shapes, which in its completion and description of the whole process represents wholeness, completion and arrival.
The third is the transcendent function, described as a "psychic function that arises from the tension between consciousness and the unconscious and supports their union"; and the one as the fourth is a transformed state of consciousness, relatively whole and at peace.
The ultimate culmination of the journey and path of spiritual growth and realization, superseding and separating from the limiting physical existence is depicted as the symbol of infinity, by the lemniscate. In this case an upright lemnicate that is included as part of the seal used in our logo. This idea here represents completeness, the arrival at inner peace, understanding of Self, full Individuation, divinity, infinity. This concept at its foundation is hard to conceive let alone define, and the asymptotic approach of such is completely different for everyone. The purpose of an attempted description here (both in text and in symbolic visuals) is to support and encourage the search and seeking of such a concept, whereas that effort will always bring you closer to the destination, however far it may yet remain. Searching, seeking, discovering, growing... Forever.
[From Creative Brief]
Concept of song is philosophy of self, introverted study; existentialism; looking for answers only leads to more questions; ultimately the cycle continues through generations ...forever.
Visual concepts: rebirth and expiration; some who fight to learn, ascend, others wither away with next cycle. This is depicted in sketch as rows of humanoids growing up as crops in a field like plants. Some are just hatching/budding/blooming, while others, at end of cycle are withering away into nothing. A very few ascend out of their encapsulation and above masses in a beam/aura of light [ref. images].
Center of image will be one of these figures ascending with arms back and head raised (see image refs). Possibly one or two others like it in background. For the most part the ground will be the budding and withering crops. The number of rows of “crops” should be a lot more than in sketch, can go into distant horizon. Should be a broad and vast scene with depth, (you do this very well in a lot of your pieces)