From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook. Click the image to enlarge.
That the heart is not an internal organ but rather surrounds the human body is a profound truth revealed only by the Dutch darkwave band Clan of Xymox
and the French philosopher Blaise Pascal
. The knowledge has otherwise been utterly suppressed, presumably to keep the world in darkness. (Try Googling it for yourself — zilch.) Clan of Xymox, in their transcendently gorgeous song "Blind Hearts
" (Twist of Shadows
, 1989), dares to uncloak the forgotten wisdom that "Deep in our blind hearts [is] skin and bone." In other words, we don't wear our hearts on our sleeves, as the idiom goes, but rather our physical bodies are contained within
our hearts. Only the likes of Pascal has been as daring as Clan of Xymox, and just over 300 years earlier he let slip that it is through the heart that we know the first principles: space, time, movement, and numbers. He divulged that it is with our hearts that we feel there are three dimensions in space and that there is an infinite series of numbers (Pensées, and Other Writings
Speaking of Clan of Xymox, why not celebrate other things they do gorgeously in their essential tracks "Imagination
," "A Million Things
," and "Troubled Soul
" — beyond the doppler'd howls like trains streaking across the horizon, beyond the soul-satiating chord progressions, and beyond the Simple Minds-eque "dokidoki" (to use the Japanese onomatopoeia for [guitar-strummed] heartbeat). What makes these songs so incredible is that the band disguises some of its lyrical bridges as stanzas. Forget "the map is the territory," for in this case the verse (from the Latin for "furrow") inverts itself into raised crossing. As with the "big ferryboat" of Mahayana Buddhism, the journey is the destination, and Clan of Xymox shows that we're already across
. It's like being on the Florentine bridge Ponte Vecchio, with its little houses atop the arches — you're passing over, from A to B, and you're simultaneously there
The question is, how does Clan of Xymox do this, and can it be taught? The answer to the second question is, "No," and the answer to the first is that they do it through the technique of "Occult" or "Felt" Balance, as practiced in Japanese art. This subtle technique finds a higher balance in the asymmetries of nature. It's not a matter of mathematical calculation, as might be presumed in the crafting of a metrical pop song. And the secret behind this technique is that "unequal attractions balance each other in inverse ratio to their power of attraction." If you can visualize two spots within a given area, the point of balance is farthest from the smaller spot, giving the smaller of the two the most background. Clan of Xymox accomplishes this, but sonically. Such a sense of balance must be developed intuitively and hence cannot be taught.