The Physics of HipHop
By Marcus Gray
This was a piece of prose inspired by a meditation on what spirituality actually is while crossing Harvard Bridge on a late winter night in 1998. I was a valet on Newbury street and student of theology at the time. Valeting kept me grounded and engaged with the art and music culture where I often video taped the scene and dj’d local house parties. My Studies kept me reaching for the divinity within me that knew it had alot to learn yet something great to contribute. I lived in Sommerville so I often walked into Cambridge to hit the divinity school library after work before catching the train home. Home was a beautiful victorian mini mansion which was also home to a revolving dozen religious refugees, cult members and monks. I was and still am a bit of a combo of all of these.
My days consisted of waking before the sun arose, taking a cold shower, meeting my brothers and sisters in my commune in the study at 6am for our morning message before getting on with our day. I was an unofficial monk living with other members of a cult group loosely associated with Christian Buddhist and Korean Moonies. A cult called Providence. I collected many cults during that time in my studies of culture and belief systems, but this was the one I lived with for 2 years before moving to LA in 2000.
I learned many things from this particular cult. They taught me how to question prevailing wisdom and to digest information metaphorically. They also taught me that people really need to believe in something bigger than themselves. They alone are just not big enough. I believe hiphop has changed this paradigm for me.
(I am excited to share how, as I hope it will change this for others. It’s difficult to believe in something bigger without giving away your power without first believing deeply in yourself. )
In order to participate in the morning message we were all encouraged to search throughout the day for an insight to share. Something, anything that inspired a movement of energy or an epiphany of some sort. It was a great habit I practice to this day. Always looking for the wisdom in the day.
This particular day I had shared a small epiphany in my morning message saying that I am starting to see mechanism of the idea of culture more as a biological entity. Later that evening on the bridge I was struck with the thought that hiphop culture, like all belief systems, had a hyper dimensional origin and was not apprehended all at once. Meaning the wisdom of hiphop is approaching, unfolding as we as human beings unfold our potential to see and utilize its guidance. Until hiphop is given the frame as a guide and religion it’s difficult to see it as more than just a culture. But what is culture but a cult thats true to you, but an idea from the depths of experience and imagination?
As a dragged my boots through the snow across the bridge, MetalHeadz jungle music massaging my mind with its chaotic clamor, it occurred to me that hiphop was a religion. Perhaps it was the state of gnosis that the music induced, and it’s relationship to the spirit of hiphop. A loosening of logic occurred and an epiphany was born.
What is religion you ask? Religio having its root in latin for bond or reverence. Religion is a word to signify a system that bonds us to our own reverence.
I was inspired to skip the library, go home to write what you see below. A prose styled, stream of consciousness, poem/manifesto exploring the raw ideas about hiphop, shamanism, religion and magick that filled me. It has been unfolding in me for over 20 years. This has been at the root of all of my offerings to the culture of hiphop. From my hiphopchocolates to my hiphop diaper bag and the unique perspective on the sublime wisdom and energy guiding hiphop culture. This paper is at the center of my personal revolution.
I will be editing it LIVE as it is ALIVE.
1. The science of matter and energy and the interactions between the two.
1. A Culture /Theosophy conceived in the belly of Urban terror. Consisting of 4 basic elements of expression: Turntableism, B-boyin, Air-e-soul art, Lyricism includes the esoteric art of the Beat Box and the many abstract tools for reflection which have come to include the documentation and distribution itself. i.e. Films, Videos, Photography, social media, Clothing, Language, all that it influences, and all that influences it.
Truth is one. The only difference is the method of explanation. Truth has no denominations or national boundaries.
Truth is commonness. Therefore, you can realize a thousand truths when you realize one truth.
What is Hip Hop composed of?
If the Universe is made of ideas, and hiphop is just an idea, am I allowed to describe the universe as a proverbial B-boy renaissance womb? Spinning discs of chaos into order, while ideas dance in cyphers, nodding with the neck of a nation of Ions flaring for their survival.
Can Cans of commotion color faceless spaces for open eyes to taste the elements through periodic tables of flavorful?
Painted with the beast called Word.
What is the Word?
” In the beginning was the Word, the Word was God and the Word was with God.” John 1: 1
Hip Hop has given us a chance to rediscover the power of Word sound and its life of conjugation and invocation. After all, it’s only a word, Hip Hop. Hiphop is actually consciousness. Consciousness is a fruit from the source of creation. Consciousness in all of its iterations moves toward tools that help it communicate its insight and experience. Consciousness itself hears through our ears and sees through our eyes. Being mindful of your relationship with consciousness gives us a more intimate relationship with reality. Meaning, if you know who you are from the core up it’s easier to feel into what you can be, what your unique gifts are. You are the universes borrowed consciousness.
Ignorance is never a tool for survival. Through consciousness, art and culture gives us a glimpse at what the universe is thinking. We are the tools who must translate our glimpse of the universal mind. There are so many ways that this creation speaks. If it is to speak to us it must speak through us. If it desires to know itself, it must know itself through us.
Words are Symbols, actions are symbols, this is a dimension of symbols awaiting meaning. These symbols rule imagination and thus consciousness in turn. But you can’t create what you can’t perceive. So how do you imagine the un imaginable? If you want to begin to give texture to the un-manifested imaginable you use symbols, you use art. Art has permission to do anything, to be anything. In that place of fearlessness the unimaginable is waiting to be imagined. Making the darkest and rarest corners of infinity available.
How did we imagine hiphop? Is hiphop still allowed to be imagined…to emerge? Do the greatest parts of Hip Hop yawn partially formless in the void, where it remains an idea maturing into itself?
Our job as its children is to read Hip Hop’s mind, which in time will reveal Hip Hop’s intention. Where are we taking our inheritance, our love? By drawing parallels between what we know about our world described through the language of science, other belief systems, mythology and what we know about the emerging culture of Hip Hop. We are able to induce a state of piety for Hip Hop. Giving color to all the wonderful implications this art form/culture brings to humanity. Revealing the many reflections of perfection that surround us in other forms and metaphors. Evoking a more profound relationship with reality. How will people react to this new paradigm? Some may mutate into Hip Hop physicians, others hiphop mystics, others thrust into insanity by a glimpse at the pure potential of this culture.
Hip Hop is one of the most infectious cultural phenomenons Mother Nature has ever given birth to. With the help of modern day methods of information sharing…multimedia, social media, music distribution, Internet, etc… not even religion has had a chance to compete with hip hop’s monstrous power of proliferation of propaganda and information. Within less than 40 yrs Hip Hop has flourished. With the help of the exploitative power and genuine praise of visionaries all about America, a coalescing of Hip Hop’s nervous system and earth’s own sacred system has begun.
Hip Hop’s a term given to a movement. The name of a Hyper-dimensional genius. It’s the beginning of a worldwide epiphany. The spiritual shadow of a heavenly culture? A perfect culture where the creative rule with spirit, courage and a stylish purity. They can describe the science of creation through their actions. Knowledge actualized brings understanding. Meditation on that understanding through action spawns Culture/Philosophy/Religion. At what point should we begin to simply appreciate this meditation as a gift and seek to acknowledge it’s core? I think that point has come and gone. There is a need to fully appreciate Hip Hop as a meditation in order to revisit its definition and mission.
If we ever stop adding to its definition we may end up like the scientists that discover to define. In most cases these scientific laws become known as axioms or truth, which help to create the mental boundaries that were forced to use to define humanity. Raising our kids with these boundaries does them more harm than good. Because our sacred system then becomes built on an imaginary foundation that’s bound to expand as time reveals more pieces of the biggest picture. Our perception of our true-selves cries buried under jargon.
“Reality is None simultaneously apprehended” Robert Anton Wilson
Mythology tells us that the Logos (the silence/God/Tao/universal over consciousness) is sending a Madhya (savior/disillusioned one) to bring a new language to disrupt the pattern of reality and inspire a shift in consciousness that will lift humanity out of suffering. But what if the shift only breaks down everything you thought was true into dogma? Old thoughts die when new language is born. Mythology also tells us a secret. That secret being that as beings on the cutting edge of consciousness we in fact are the Christ/saviors bringing that new language. We are natures eyes and imaginations at the absolute cutting edge of existence.
As nature moves towards more novel ways of expansion and expression, clouds of consciousness move as well. These clouds are the sensitive people who have tuned themselves to nature and speak and dance and draw these words of expansion into being. Most of these sensitive ones can be considered shaman, some prophets, some schizophrenics, some artists. Art is our favorite way of channeling the prophetic. Art is the only discipline that is allowed to be in spirit or inspired without persecution. With the spirit comes a new way to explore and describe our understanding of reality.
The only thing that changes from interacting with Christ consciousness is our perspective and how it is used. Hiphop is a conduit for its consciousness.
The death of the geocentric view is a great example of how a paradigm shift is a catalyst for the evolution of human consciousness. Lifting the Idea of humanity into a new and improved, more mature version of itself. The fact that earth is the third planet from the sun in a system of eight acknowledged planets in our solar system and not the center implies, among other things, that we did not give life to ourselves…poor Copernicus 1473-1543 R.I.P. Persecuted for the distribution of observation and meditation, disrupting the Ptolemaic system of astronomy. See how difficult it is to evolve when people protect their traditions and rituals, then attempt to raise the future on this tainted paradigm. Lets not do that to Hip Hop. The physics of Hip Hop is not an attempt to define Hip Hop itself. Instead we intend to extract its encrypted wisdom by drawing parallels between hiphop, ancient belief systems using critical thinking.
Creativity as a language
The Laws of the dancing universe
Creative evolution allows us freedom to create a path for our imagination to develop on. Inspiration sparks the mind, our flesh always follows suit. So as apposed to letting your environment mold you, Hip Hop teaches us to mold ourselves, the enviroment will follow. The Hip Hop culture is an external reflection of a particular way of processing thought & information. Like everything Hip Hop must have certain conditions in order to survive. How can we discover these conditions? By examining the universes laws and conditions. The first law of thermodynamics for instance states that the total amount of energy and matter in the Universe remains constant, merely changing from one form to another. The First Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation) states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed.
In essence, energy can be converted from one form into another i.e.
Let’s say you’re at an MC battle… you’re next…you have 60 seconds to bury your competition. Your only weapons are your charisma, life experience, your words, syllables and how you use this combination. Yet, in the course of that 60 seconds there is only so much you can say. No matter how fast you speak you can never say everything. That 60 seconds is a closed system. Energy must be transmuted from feeling and thought into speech and fast! Influences come in…from the crowd, the other Mc, what he’s wearin’ whateva, but. Your allotted time is a boundary with walls, it’s a closed system. Within it you have a system, a whole world that you’re forbidden to step outside of. Use your time and energy wisely. The universe is a similar system where these laws are observed. Remember this next time you have the honor of witnessing a b-boy/girl raise enough energy (from nothing) to perform a never-ending series of gravity defying aerial feats. Then seamlessly return all that borrowed energy back to the Universe in a premeditated galactic freeze (pose).
Even particles (the pockets of energy that make everything) dance borrowing energy from within themselves in a phenomenon known as fission. (In essence creating something out of nothing.) Also known as Al-kemit’ or transmutation. Anyone who watches a dancer juggle themselves on a linoleum floor can agree that the surge of energy that builds in the air can rival many spiritual experiences ( The music’s an entity in itself there to contain and inspire this energy.) Now the question remains is the dancer aware of this manipulation of energy, of this LAW of thermodynamics? Rarely. So it’s quite clear that dancing is simply another language used to describe this law. Though it describes it without defining it. Without a single spoken word. Let’s see what other laws Hip Hop acknowledges, or perhaps discovers.
The second law of Thermodynamics, states that “In all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state.” This is also commonly referred to as entropy. Once the potential energy locked in carbohydrates is converted into kinetic energy (energy in use or motion), the organism will get no more until energy is input again. In the process of energy transfer, some energy will dissipate as heat. Entropy is a measure of disorder: cells are NOT disordered and so have low entropy. The flow of energy maintains order and life. Entropy wins when organisms cease to take in energy and die. In other words “All things in existence tend to fall towards decay or disorder”. Ask yourself, how much energy have I invested into the organism that is Hip Hop? We have passed our prime and without another surge of understanding and inspiration Hip Hop is bound for decay. Although if decay is meet by a wise heart it can be the very thing that brings understanding and inspiration.
Decay and suffering, in the eyes of most of humanity, is viewed as something to be avoided at all costs. Knowone likes to suffer. Yet the exceptional ones throughout history have been inspired by the notion of thriving at all costs. Its a battle.. Life VS Entropy. Hip Hop, like all cultures forces focus. But the fact that we are battling entropy says that we have found Hip Hops inspiration, it’s wisdom. As hiphop struggles to maintain its deathgrip on popculture as well as one hand in the soil that birthed it. Hiphop as a culture has danced itself into a corner. Dividing its consciousness into polar camps.
In the process, the wisest of both sides are getting intimate with enigma. Embracing paradox as its point of power. Which releases creative energy when confronted. Genius is always found in those dark areas where ideas collapse and collide. Hiphop needs to know that there is no need to suffer or push against the aspects of itself it doesn’t like.
Anyone who has the courage to use suffering as a fuel has eradicated suffering. After all it’s just a word (brought to you by the same folks who gave us civilization) A symbol, our reaction to a perfectly natural Phenomenon in life. You could call it training.
Does the sun scream as it consumes itself in order to feed life throughout our solar system? Under pressure and flames all things eventually become indestructible. Bling Bling, like a diamond, Hip-hop is a rare jewel. Utilizing what it’s learned from generations of social tension and tribulation. Eventually these exceptions are lead to share their realizations in the form of art and culture. Decay and suffering gave birth to this culture, inspired by entropy and urban turmoil. Emerging like a medicinal weed surging up through a crack in the concrete to sing for society. Reaching for the sun gasping for life. Kool Herc says hip hop was born by bringing breaks and people together. The term break/or broken being a slang of that day expressing a feeling of despair or indifference. This feeling was found in the heart of the soulful dance music of the 60’s. That heart of the song became known as the break. It gave the people an excuse to be broken and break with revitalizing expression.
Defusing their frustration and fragrance on the dance floor. The B-boys and b-girls are born. They came first! With them came an attitude, a whole culture would have the pleasure of refining and participating in. Being broken aint so bad when you can break. Hip Hop swells with strength and soul against all odds.
What is Style?
To participate it helps us all, if you have or are willing to develop yourself as an expression of your personal culture or style. One definition of Style: A quality of imagination and individuality expressed in one’s actions and tastes. Your perspective given substance through your chosen art. To this day, one of Hip Hops hallmarks remains the recycling and manipulation of information. Sampling is a divine way of preserving the relevance of the past. The turntabalist uses borrowed breaks and manipulated bits to conjure a new genre of music. Breathing new life into this ancient medium (the record player) This finger flaring, catch and scratch, beat juggling, neo-Frankenstonian has taken on the challenge…to joist with groove. The Deejay helped redefine music as well as musician, seducing order out of the sublime. Now nearly in its forties, Hip-hop has demonstrated the seductive strength to intrigue the world’s collective. Because of what it represents; Re-evolution, resurrection, independence. In its youth Hip-hop confronted the world, creating a stage, an alternate dimension, a brush for the frustration and bliss of intelligent artist everywhere. ( You gotta get your own colors though, don’t bit.)
I’m able to behold parents and truly empathize with their plea to “TURN THAT SHIT DOWN”, but. I also see it’s created a haven for many to develop within, a Canaan for the talented and emerging. Where milk and honey flow. Before they sat simply slaves who inherited the social burdens and boundaries of their ancestors. Like Moses who lead the dead in an opportunity, an exodus, to leave a spiritually disintegrating empire built on borrowed energy. Deserting the past to begin their empire. Hip hop has been a promised land for millions of would be DJ’s, MC’s, dancers and artists worldwide. This evolution could not have occurred without taking a bit of the old culture along. Much like the Jews and the African slaves who had no choice but to sample and integrate the masters culture when naturally creating a new history for themselves. Hip-hop is a worldwide cultural collaboration and therefore world wide power.
Cultural hybrids have given birth to the inspiration for most forms of mysticism, philosophy, art and Music. None yet utilizing the bite and chew technique more than Hip Hop. (Opps…Did I say that?) Cultural mutations, marriages, and mad scientists populate Hip Hop.
Mutation is a way of referring to an unexpected macroevolution. Taking flavors from the past and present, Quantifying and using them to create a more vivid portrait of what human could be. This is what makes hip-hop different from other genres; it’s forced to evolve (ideally) because of its competitive nature and emphasis on originality. Hip Hop has all the characteristics of a perfect culture, in its early stages of puberty. It’s time we try to fully realize it. Discipline it. Bring it into maturity. Lets explore this alternate dimension we call hip-hop. I use the word dimension because, if you think about it, it’s an idea. It’s a concept, a gift from Hyper-Space A.K.A the Spiritual World. Hip Hop like all residue from the imagination, Began in the heart, sang it’s ways into the mind where it was given flesh by the word then made available by the body to the universe which spews forth the vibrational language of truth.
Soon after erupting Hip-hop has begun it’s evolution into the arms of oblivion. Which according to the documentary on the history of Breakin titled ” The freshest kids” began with the exploitation of the Mc’s because they could produce product. When culture can be monetized culture becomes a product and from then on can be molded by its new master. Most of these Mc’s became rappers, quickly forgetting about their B-boys and their inheritance. It was the dancers response to the music that was unique enough to inspire the organization of this movement. Afrikka Bambatta and Zulu Kings were The first Bboy crew who later created the Mighty Zulu Nation. But the power of the word made the MC the voice for this movement. The Graffiti artist recorded history with their dancing letters. But as Hip Hop grows so does its aspects and awareness. Although the Mc pulled away from the culture to take advantage of the opportunity to make a living. Hiphop continued to evolve and influence conciousness, art and culture.
How do we understand the power of Hip Hop’s influence? Better question, who wants to understand Hip Hops influence? Some seem to prefer slogans and nursery ryhme over substance. So it seems we’ve actually given ourselves the authority to cloth divinity in the thin guise of Bling Bling for the sake of makin a buck? Is this the future of Hip Hop? Bling’ Blingin: Can be seen as a term that colorfully expresses the mind frame of a true lunatic running far and fast away from Hip Hops own existential revelations. Have you tried to imagined it? Insanity oozing through microphone cables into young unsuspecting minds through headphones, speaker cones and top 10, 20 countdowns around the world? What an unnecessary nightmare! Some may argue it’s just another breeding mutant parasite in the Hip Hop gene pool. There is so much more to place our attention on.
I have dedicated my life to forcing an evolution in my definition of Hip Hop.
This is a crusade for Hip Hop. A perfect culture comparable to any.. Hinduism, Jazz, Free Masonary, Judaism, Pop, Christianity, Rave, Shamanism.. Etc. conceived by urban decay. Hip hop seems to surge as it does because of its insatiable appetite for perfection originality and its raw inclination to recycle and build off abstractions inspired by the body of a pattern. A very large pattern also known as the morphogenic field.
Music is our favorite way of praising the passage of time. The rod and staff Hip Hop uses to venture into celebration and sorrow. Hip-Hop dances with the laws of creation, with the sacred systems. Order, chaos, rhythm, breaks, the heart beats. The drum confronts and cradles its lover in the thick breathe of its thorough bob, bounce, and bass…a pace that sticks and sways. As it inspires reflection and in most cases participation. This participation is Hip Hop. “Clap your hands c’mon clap ya hands.” Dig? Yet who really deserves to participate when the heart of Hip Hop gets heavier from its shitty diet and more complex with every passing moment. Who makes the rules? Has Hip-hop lost its relationship with the heart?
“The heart has been squeezed into solid-state electronics” – Saul Williams.
Because the heart is not enough to move the kids these days. Where are the Hip Hop preservationists? Are we afraid to evolve? Its time to resurrect Hip Hop before it dies dried and swallowed by another genre conglomo. Help me to remove the plank in our eye so we can see what can be seen for the sake of our culture.
Giving Hip Hop a perspective also gives it a consciousness. This helps us to personify Hip Hop, giving us greater access to his/her “secret” places. We then provide ourselves the opportunity to become Hip Hops lover (with enough imagination it’s possible to be that intimate with anything). I hope this new relationship with Hip Hop will inspire a powerful sense of urgency, a reason to refine our community. The purpose of this will be to rescue the lost value of Hip Hop from the foul bowels of complacency as well as restoring Hip Hops value as a manifestation of truth (Tao).
HIPHOP as a tool for the evolution of consciousness.
The HipHop Mystic
For thousands of years mystics have intuitively adopted certain practices as tools to commune with the divine. Why would communing with the divine be a good idea?
To celebrate the source of all creation is to fully celebrate the source of your own being. Until one is able to celebrate their source they aren’t able to move from the core that is the foundation of their being. Every child becomes and adult. When maturity rises in a being the first thing they do is begin to appreciate their parents, where they came from. This is maturity. The next level of maturity requires a deeper look into ones self and circumstance. The mystic spends their life inside of this level of maturity.
It is now known to western scientist what eastern mystics have known for thousands of years. The sub consciousness is the foundation of our being. Throughout our lives it is shaped by external influences as well as internal beliefs. After a certain time in a habitual system the subconscious may become settled in its landscape. Changing belief systems can then prove to be more like war against your own ego complex. Any challenges to this Goliath can cause confusion, pain, even mental breakdowns. It is very important that you first understand that all beliefs are not true. They are rather made true by our investment in them. The ego complex is made up of beliefs and habits practiced into truth. They are programs downloaded from experiences, culturation and other rhythms of social posturing.
In this war there are few weapons. One of the most powerful is meditation, self hypnosis and the use of daily affirmations. These tools give you the power to first begin a habit of watching your own mind through meditation. Later you will use these tools to redesign your belief systems. First let’s take a look at the virtues of meditating.
By watching your mind you can actually learn what your thought patterns are, what habits they inspire and perhaps what experiences or ideas inspired the patterns. But first your task is to simply observe your breath. One…single…breath at a time. Don’t fight any thoughts that arise, simply let them rise and fall on the beat of your breath. As a wise man once told me, you may not be able to control your thoughts but you can choose which ones rest inside you. This may be challenging at first. In fact, this may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done! You will find that your mind fills quickly with thoughts that you may never have encountered before. You may even be shocked by the storm of images and ideas that march in circles inside your head! Your work is not to stop any thoughts but to observe them. Show yourself the truth of the mind. That truth being that your thoughts, if not under control will eventually control you. Meditation is a solid way to begin to observe and curate the thoughts you actually want to have. Only After you get acquainted with yourself will you know which direction you truly want to go in your life. That direction is paved by the thoughts that you turn into beliefs which turn into habits which turn into actions. In this work to guide your consciousness self hypnosis or gnosis, or the trance state is a great ally.
The Sufi mystics of Turkey known as the dervish spin in a circle pivoting on a single foot with their arms raised 90degrees like wings. Caught by the wind of the will and the spirit they twirl their way into an altered state of consciousness. There they receive information from their idea of the divine. Was it their intuition that inspired this action? Or was it their intention that lead to the inspiration? Breakers spin in all manner of ways to commune with the divine but may not know it… The breaker is 100% intuition. With just a little intention to commune with the divine the breaker crosses over into the realm of the mystic.
What intention would a breaker have? I suspect they would be the same as mine. To master their craft. To dance the unimaginable. To carve out excellence in a moment. I may also have refined my intentions. To be a conduit for source energy. To commune with the divine. To heal my mother of cancer. Or manifest prosperity. When the ego is arrested something special happens. We return to the moment of creation, of infinite possibility.
Dancing affirmations into your body is a technique that combines very well studied disciplines. Neuro linguistic programing, the subconscious mind and muscle memory.
These can all be used together to dance ideas into your body. Or purge your body of negative thought patterns and trauma.
The first step is to choose your intentions or affirmations.
Keep them short and meaningful.
“It is my birthright to be healthy.!”
“It is my birthright to have abundance.”
It can literally be anything that has meaning that you can concentrate on when you’re in movement. Make a list of your affirmations. Thoughts you want to believe. Whether it’s courage or better eye sight. The magick of the subconscious mind is in the patterns it holds. Even recognizing a pattern can lead to your ability to change it. Many live without full awareness of the patterns in their life. Or they ignore their awareness for a road predictable and safe. HipHop is not a safe culture. HipHop is about diving deep into oneself and bringing forth an authentic gesture. Hiphop explores consciousness with its elements. Explore your patterns of action and thought. See yourself and make decisions about what aspects of your being you would like to refine. It can only make you a better artist and person.
Austin Osman Spare was a magician and artist. Well worth a study, Spare wrote a book on automatic drawing and also created his own way of recording his intentions into his drawings. He also popularized a technique for creating desire stained symbols referred to as sigils. Sigils are personalized symbols used to encapsulate a desire, intention, Idea even a deity. Spare was such an adapt at infusing his art with intention that paintings he did were reported to literally come to life in the presence of their owners. So disturbing was this that many sold the paintings right away or covered them for fear of confronting his magical thought forms. He taught simple techniques on how to create your own sigils. Once again, It all starts with an affirmation, idea or desire.
After the symbol is made it is held in the mind and meditated on in any number of ways to be charged with psychic energy. Its image and intention is held until a level of void, ecstasy or gnosis is achieved. At which point the image is released, torn or burned…forgotten.
There are 2 schools of reaching gnosis. Under-stimulation or overstimulation. Under stimulation through a traditional meditation or lying down posture. Or overstimulation through a meditative movement like dance, song or putting the mind into a chaotic environment. This is done to help record the desire into the subconscious mind and then be forgotten. This is what he referred to as firing the sigil. This method of conjuring a desire, focusing it, than releasing and forgetting it is present in all shamanistic traditions and ideas around manifestation. From African Yoruba and voudon, to ancient Egyptian priests, to modern day Advertising agencies, symbols infused with meaning are the pillars of power in our society. Considering the overstimulated environment we all live in its easy to see how we could be forced to meditate on, charge and fire the ideas of other entities such as corporations or belief systems unconsciously after being exposed to a corporate brand or sigil. This inspires us to live with the anchored ideas of others making us more aware of the way they interpret reality. After learning this art ourselves we can take back our power to guide our own consciousness and see the world with new eyes.
Graffiti artist have the same opportunity as every shaman. To use their art as a tool to manifest their deepest desires. Much like artists in other aspects of hiphop. The Graffiti artist exists on an intuitive level that is arguably spiritual in nature. An extraordinary Hand style not only takes time to develop but also takes self reflection. Often the deeper an artists is able to analyze themselves the more potent their contribution to a medium is.
Only the artist knows their intention when executing their art. Many do have stories and meaning behind their styles. Others remain in that area of pure intuition. I propose that with a little intention applied the whole discipline of graffiti can be transformational for the artist as well as the consumer.
Applying the idea of sigilization to graffiti art is only a matter of a slight shift in awareness and possibility toward this mystic facet of hiphop culture. From this angle hiphop is a belief system that contains great wisdom beneath its layers of vibrance and revolt. Within the soul of hiphop is the voice of creation itself. That voice is yearning to speak to and through its high priests and appreciators. Refining Hiphops cultural consciousness into a tool for personal evolution. Personal evolution leads to cultural evolution which leads to global enlightenment. Enlightenment leads to art and culture that nurtures the natural evolution of consciousness.
Hiphop as a hyper sigil
The hyper sigil is a term i first heard used by comic book genius Grant Morrison. A hyper sigil is a body of work infused with a specific intention.
I perceive HipHop is a hyper sigil populated with the keys and clarity to a profound kingdom. A kingdom that holds the power to guide the universe into its highest forms. HipHop is a cultural consciousness with a subliminal power just beneath the overt force that has shocked its way into the hearts and minds of billions of people on this planet.
What HipHop is evolves as our understanding of what culture is evolves. Hip Hop is an organic ritual adding energy to anyone who uses its tools wisely. With this writing I am adding my breath to the ritual.
HipHops Alchemical Heritage
The idea of Alchemy has been known as the process of turning base metals into gold. It has also been interpreted as taking something worthless into something valuable. This is the spirit of Hip Hop Culture, transmutation. The Hermetisist interpret the idea of alchemy as transmuting ones own personal short comings and base vices into virtues. There have been many messengers sharing the perspective of the Hermetic science and philosophy. Mercury, Thoth most notably Hermes. All messengers are metaphoric mediators between “heaven” and earth. This knowledge is the crown of all things. Hip Hop has five elements. MCing, Djing, Graffiti, Breakin and Knowledge. Nature has 5 elements. Fire, earth, air, water and spirit. It can be said that all of these elements are symbols of higher ideas. All mediators between those higher ideas and our earth. They are the bridge to a deeper relationship with reality.
Did our ancestors experience more of the nature of reality because their languages were primitive. Does language worship isolate us from nature?
These thoughts and questions may never be answered but it is our work as a collective to explore them. As we explore them we may find more of ourselves.