Babbling Brook

James Ray

The first time I collapsed on stage and thought I wasn’t going to get back up alive was in Hamburg. The music, the dry-ice, the strobes and a quantity of drugs, of which I had never sampled the likes of before, had presented me willingly to gravity. It was beautiful. Something I would later recall as a total experience. It was a long way from a small room in a small town in a small part of England. This was my Villiers Terrace.

As a child I was taught that the world revolved around the sun and not me.

By the tender age or 13 my teachers had all ready suppressed my dreams of becoming any kind of anything, along with a few other lessons I ‘needed’ to learn my education was geared towards nothing.

By the age or 15 I knew exactly what I didn’t want to become.

When I as a child I thought as a child and spoke as a child, but when I became a man I took that child outside and had him shot.

There are some of us in this world that feel lonely, lost and disenfranchised within the place we live. And there are some of us that take refuge in whatever is available to remove ourselves from these places, whether it be art or religion or strong drink or illegal drugs or whatever. And then there are some of us that choose to remove ourselves from the place into which we are born, that place that is forced upon us through no fault of our own or in most case of no fault of our parents. And there are some of us that do all of these things.

My life had been fucked for years, only I hadn’t noticed and no one was telling. Not that anyone else had noticed and why would they; they were wrapped up in their own shit. There was definitely something wrong but whether it was with me or the scheme of things I wasn’t sure.

I just didn’t see enough respect anywhere for anything or anyone. It’s seems to be such a rare thing. We are scared by sincerity and we distrust decency. And I appreciate that people have different levels of ethics and morals and that is why I also understand that with that knowledge comes an understanding to respect that difference and not infringe on another persons boundaries. The act of disrespect and disregard is an obvious sign of a person being conversant at a lower level of consciousness or awareness of their own validity. A level of which you have a base instinct for but no immediate knowledge of with which to comprehend such ignorance in a person but which is also tempered with the knowledge that ‘people have different levels of ethics and morals and that is why I also understand that with that knowledge comes an understanding to respect that difference and not infringe on another persons boundaries’.

It’s a tricky paradox when it comes to democracy. Real democracy. In real democracy a real level of trust has to exist. A trust that says every person will do what is right by everyone else otherwise a real democracy can not exist where any kind of tyranny is. A belief in a real democracy is a faith that will transcend respect and regard to a level of great beauty in which we can all bask. And that is surely the vision of god. To be as great as god. For god to ensure it’s greatest pleasures upon us. Pleasures beyond this world. A pleasure that will behold all pleasures for eternity whilst in a moment. We came from nothing to so we shall return. But the beginning was quicker than a thought so its end shall seem like the slowing of time. And this is the way it works because this is the way it was devised to work, not designed, nor divined, just devised.

It is not life that is just fragile it is everything that we are that is fragile. Every situation we are in every encounter we meet and every thought we have is fragile. It’s every essence is the fact that may even never be. It only exists because we consciously assume it does exist. Not at a level of martyrdom. At a level of respect and regard, devoid of Religion and Politics.

If you don’t know that then you are surely a lesser man than those that do, regardless of your might.

All I ever needed was an excuse, just one. Not one reasonable reason could convince me not to do something if I wanted to do it. No matter what the possible, or even predictable, outcome. I didn’t even need a suitcase or a trunk. The excuse was in case I needed it in the eyes of the law. If you’ve got an excuse you don’t need to learn the law. It’s not as if players need to know the rules of the game. That’s what referees are for – yellow card then red card. But life is not about yellow and red cards, the law can be reasoned with, and that’s what lawyers are for.

Fear is a survival mechanism. The control of irrational fears is part of the same mechanism. Discriminating between the rational and the irrational is not part of that mechanism because it belongs to logic and neither life nor death is logical.

The drug taking wasn’t excessive, not as far as I could see. But to my mind it was enough. Enough to take me to my limits. The drink had been constant, as always. There was no doubt about that. And there was no doubt that it was now time to head off into the future. The bet was, on this God awful, moonless, muther of a night, that I could traverse the my dark night of the soul on a 1955 Vincent Black Shadow.

The last of the legendary Black Shadows, the 1955 D series saw Vincent close their doors leaving a legacy of high tech, state-of-the-art, fast and dramatic motorcycles. The Black Shadow, first introduced in 1949, survived through 1955 and along the way broke speed records on several continents. On a cool Monday morning on Sept. 13, 1948, Rollie Free lifted from Harley Davidson the US national motorcycle speed record by riding the first Vincent HRD Black Lightning racing motorcycle to a speed of 150.313 m.p.h. When Rollie's leathers tore from early runs at 147 mph, he discarded them and made a final, heroic attempt without jacket, pants, gloves, boots or helmet. Aboard the motorcycle owned by the California sportsman, John Edgar, this final run resulted in the most famous photograph in motorcycling, the "bathing suit bike" shot taken from a speeding car on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Rollie lay flat out on the motorcycle wearing only a speedo bathing suit, shower cap and a pair of borrowed sneakers. The Vincent was the first true 100 mph tourer. And remained the fastest motorbike until 1973!

‘The intrepid traveller can make it at the speed of light. You just get up, ride out and you’re there, man.’

Where this beast of a bike came from, fuck knows! But this machine makes a beautiful noise and the slate grey and black mountain range ahead of me will be no match for this hand produced beauty even in these modern, carbon-fibre times.

Approaching night is a glorious ride through a rising, tree shrouded valley. Elms and Oaks silhouetted against the fading sky. A sky that had given the day the full furnace of the sun and a Mexican sunset to boot. But the oncoming contours can hold many surprises for the night sky.

Black clouds enshroud the night as quick as rapids, deepening the sky into a black, wet wall.

Friends are an unnecessary distraction in life. They need to be considered, as do loved ones and family. If it’s freedom you desire then do without them. They will only hold you back in your lonely pursuit of true freedom. Society has been constructed to control the dangerous, animalistic forces inside us. To repress the savage barbarism that lies just beneath the surface. Man’s psychic ills are a manifestation of a maladjusted society unable to meet man’s inner needs. Out here there is no society. Out here individual freedom is possible – true democracy – the freedom to express oneself fully. Civilization and society is a trap for the would-be ‘modern-man’ and only brings discontent, depression and despair.

Travelling at speed on a Vincent at night on winding mountain roads is to be straddling beauty whilst dangling toward demise. The purity of emotions are so feasible the experience surpasses any chemical high man has yet to invent. Adrenaline.

Fallacy - Divergent sequences are unpredictable. According to some science everything is, in principle, predictable and controllable, and everything that is not soon will be with a little more knowledge. This view is wrong, not merely in detail but in principle. The prediction and control of many things are simply impossible for the simplest of reasons, especially homogeneous material. Under tension, a chain will break at its weakest link. That much is predictable. What is difficult is to identify the weakest link before it breaks. The generic we can know, but the specific eludes us. Some chains are designed to break at a certain tension and at a certain link. But a good chain is homogeneous, and no prediction is possible. The Vincent has such a chain.

At Pendine Sands, Wales, racing driver and engineer John Godfrey Parry-Thomas attempted in 1927 to regain his world land-speed record from Sir Malcolm Campbell, who had broken it weeks earlier.

Parry-Thomas was suffering from a nasty bout of flu at the time but soldiered on. A bout of the sniffles soon proved to be the least of his worries. The exposed chains connecting the engine to the wheels of his car, named Babs, broke at 170mph, hit Parry-Thomas in the neck, and decapitated him.

One thing that is predictable is the probability of the unpredictable occurring at some point in time.

I lost control almost immediately. I heard myself screaming as a struggled to steer The Beast. I could feel my blood surfacing. The darkness even more engulfing when into the night I flew. The noise of The Beast was deafening as it slid across the drenched tarmac and gravel and plummeted off the edge of the road and into abyss, its headlamp still ablaze as if to guide it to it’s predictable demise.

The uncertainty principle states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known to arbitrary precision. That is, the more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. It is impossible to measure simultaneously both position and velocity of a particle with any degree of accuracy or certainty. The same can be said of a body in flight.

I watched the Vincent from a height of 5 feet or more above the mountain road, my velocity and exact position unknown. The last place I was in was in a spot.


Is his how I wanted to die? Do I even have a choice? Could I have chosen an earlier time, as the choice of a later time is obviously not an option – there is no time like the prequel.  What do we wish for from our death? A quick end with no time for regrets or the suffering of remorse? A slow, pleasant drift as if entering a very familiar and comforting dream with time to confront our loved ones and express our heartfelt warmth and gratitude for their continual friendship? Or do we die in character, true to ourselves, intrinsically attached that which was living. Does a stubborn mule die stubbornly? Does a Christian die gracefully? Does an atheist die acceptingly and give themselves to the great nothingness only they could conceive of? Is atheism really the only true faith? So many questions.

The amount of adrenalin produced by the body in times of extreme danger is a highly precise dosage, self-administered to create the necessary effect on the body in order to deal with a given situation. Many people have experienced, usually in times of car crashes, that everything around them appears to slow down. What in affect is happening is that your body and mind has sped up as a result of the pumping adrenaline. The slow motion is merely relative to our own self perception.

The endocrine system functions by releasing hormones which regulate all kinds of different reactions within our bodies. These hormones act like directions
which help to maintain our health. Too much or too little of a hormone can cause different results. Adrenalin is one of these hormones.
Adrenalin is produced in an endocrine gland called the adrenal gland. We have two of these glands, one on each of our kidneys. Adrenalin, or also called
epinephrine, is a hormone we use every day to regulate things such as muscles and our heart.

We are most familiar with adrenalin when we get scared or nervous. It makes our heart beat faster, makes us breathe harder, and can make us sweat. And if we are really scared it can give us goose bumps or cause us to vomit or wet ourselves. When we have strong emotions our brain tells our adrenal gland to release the hormone adrenalin. It enters our bloodstream and causes increased heart rate, muscle strength, blood pressure, and the use of sugar. All of this provides us with a quick boost of energy. Many people have experienced, usually in times of extreme situations, that everything around them appears to slow down. What in affect is happening is that your body and mind has sped up as a result of the pumping adrenaline. The slow motion is merely relative to our own self perception. This response is commonly called the 'flight or fight response' and it can help save our lives.

Or not.At the age of 32 Bruce Lee died from a Brain Edema supposedly from a reaction to prescription painkiller. Not true. Bruce Lee died whilst in deep meditation as he searched for the power to control his adrenal glands, allowing him to summon a blast of adrenaline at any given moment which would give him speed of action to render him almost invisible in movement. This adrenaline would allow him so much speed in an instant that everything around him would appear to stand still in time and through it he could then ‘flow like water’. Our brains are protected by defences for keeping poisons from our inner workings. Adrenaline has the power to force open these defences when necessary and was one time thought to be the Trojan Horse on which poisons can enter the brain and causing an Edema. Research has now shown that it is the Adrenaline itself that causes the Edema if the brain is too highly dosed. In the case of Bruce Lee he may now exist in The Realm Of The Dragon, a place where everything has slowed down to a complete standing still – a time between time.

Death is a strange mystery. On one hand it is mystical and beyond our knowledge though still full of wonder and mindless possibilities and on the other, it is simply The End. The idea of ‘parallel Universes’ is on the rise again. The idea that at every quantum event another possibility becomes a reality. So at the moment of my death I immediately exist within an identical universe except in which this knew one I didn’t die. Ergo, it doesn’t matter if I die. I can never die.

There are, on this planet, 4500 known species of mammals, 9000 known species of birds, 270000 known species of plants, 28000 known species of fish and 10 million species of insects. There are millions of different species of animals and plants on earth — possibly as many as 40 million. But somewhere between 5 and 50 billion species have existed at one time or another and I am merely one individual of 106,456,367,669 possible births of one species of a possible 50,000,000,000 species and their respective individuals. At this moment in time only 5.8% of us are alive. That makes me feel pretty special.

No time for pondering death now, it will have me when it chooses. There is trouble lurking out here in the darkness, sure as hell. Cruel people with wild beasts which the heathens use to protect themselves against the oncoming future and its religious fervour. I was ahead of both, but I was hideously lost. The map I was following in my mind had disintegrated some time ago and had let me loose out here in the Wilderness to fend for myself. It has been said by many prophets from many religions that ‘to truly find one-self you must truly loose yourself’. Well I was truly hoping that my new self was going to be suitably dressed for the weather. I was drenched and I had made some bad decisions made on some of the worst choices I had ever had to deal with. Choices that would become apparent once the results of the decisions came into reality. Every decision would prove to have been wrong. I was in the middle of an unrelenting avalanche of wrongs and the only thing left for me to rely on was my reptilian stubbornness. Courage and determination had never dwelt within me and I have no appetite for pain. But fear? I know not fear. In this junkyard of a brain that I possess there are only moments of confusion. Some of them loom large, and some will haunt me for ever.

The last sheep had indicated that on this insidious night, not fit for man nor beast, death was at large. They were here; the bastards were all around me – Ill Gwylliath – The Men Of The Dawn. I could hear them in the trees drawing their broadswords, ready to pounce. Men Of The Dawn don’t pounce, they plummet from rocky crags with a great mass of wool and woad, crushing you beneath their leather soles. It didn’t matter how many people were praying for me, human sacrifice had obviously been called for and was required. Hungry people have the cunning of wild beasts.

Myths, without them we are infected with society’s insanity. A society without courage and soul.

There are many possible responses to being lost in the wilds. You can stay put and wait for help. You can build fires and flash mirrors and construct huge SOS signs by piling stones on the ground. You can pray. You can throw yourself off a cliff. You can try to find your way out by backtracking, or you can plunge on ahead, or sideways, or in circles. It makes no difference which method you adopt, though it is a reflection of character, and an expression of style. They say the romantic is a dangerous impulse, easily confused with the most pathetic sentimentality, yet so wonderfully capable of a magnificence borne and illuminated not by mere endurance, but by a joy so elemental it will gladly risk the foolishness of its likely failure. There are lessons here that even the wisest council can't prevent us from learning. Have we dreamt this world up? Have we convinced ourselves that what we see and hear and touch and smell combine to form these hideously real experiences, or is it simply hideously real and no amount of dreaming can remove us until we board Death's dawn train and head off into a less uncertain future full of myth and legend. There is no drug stranger than reality, because reality, despite our arrogant, terrified and hopeless insistence, doesn't require our perceptions, merely our presence. There can be no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. In searching out the truth be ready for the unexpected, for it is difficult to find and puzzling when you find it. Reality is final. But it is not complete. And the roads to wisdom are strewn with excess.

What felt like forty days and forty nights wandering in this wilderness had amounted to no more than a series of stumbles, wrong turns and a seemingly endless string of failures.

Compliment or compensation ? Was I ready to manifest?

I feel like I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, in the midst of my true life. As if my mission was accomplished. But I have failed in my foremost task to open people’s eyes to the fact that man has a soul, a boundless soul and that there is a buried treasure out there in the field waiting to be discovered by everyone. But sadly our Western religion and philosophy are in a pitiful state. Lost in a wilderness of their own. The older I get the more I realise how little I know, but the more I believe. Eventually I will know Nothing.

The State, like the Church, demands enthusiasm, self-sacrifice and love, and if religion requires or presupposes the 'fear of God', then the dictator State takes good care to provide the necessary terror...... then the ethical decision of the individual not longer counts - what alone matters is the blind movement of the masses, and the lie has thus become the operative principle of political action. We watch chaos unfold into our own logic, yet we still fail to understand. We don't know what we what no more, we know we want extremes. We don't know what they need no more, to bring them to there knees. We hurt each other. We help each other. We kill each other and love each other and generally suffer the slaughter of bored failure in between. We treat people, plants, animals and the Earth with contempt, deceit, unbound venality and slobbering greed. What faith we muster is often blind with self-righteousness or is merely a garbage can lid to keep the flies from making maggots, the dogs from scattering our trash on the front lawn, our dirty little secrets and decaying shame displayed for all to see. And then a small child cuts a crooked cherry limb for a sword, lifts the garbage can lid for a shield, and sallies forth to vanquish the real dragons guarding the real grails, the empty grails depicting in precious stone the marriage of the sun and moon. We didn't change our minds, our minds changed us. There is no drug stranger than reality, because reality, despite our arrogant, terrified, hopeless insistence, doesn't require our perceptions, merely our hopeless presence. Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. We don't carry labels on our chests, and even though they are continually fixed to us by others, they convince only the lazy and those with a desire for ignorance. The desire for the verification on the part of all of us, with regard to our own experience of others, is understandable but cannot always be satisfied. There can be no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false; it can be both true and false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both. We will interpret a common experience quite differently, though we prefer to subscribe to the view that there's a shared common ground all right, but that it's more like quicksand than solid ground. Because reality is quite a strong firm word we tend to think, or to hope, that the state to which it refers is equally firm, settled and unequivocal. It doesn't seem to be, and appears to be no worse or better for it.

There are 5 billion people on this planet, mostly with different agendas. We are all born into differing families, communities and societies with their rules and slavery – the latter being a construct devised to manage and manipulate the masses by the powerful few. Within these structures the one thing that is the most unpredictable is how an individual will determine their own destiny, inside or outside of society. Society as an organism to create security for an individual has proven to be a fallacy beyond belief.

We live in a repressive, vicious, authoritarian system. A system which is inhumane and immoral, because it deprives 99 percent of humanity of the right to live their lives their own way.

Everywhere in the West there are subversive minorities who, sheltered by our humanitarianism and our sense of justice, hold the incendiary torches ready, with nothing to stop the spread of their ideas except the critical reason of a single, fairly intelligent, mentally stable stratum of the population. One should not, however, overestimate the thickness of this stratum. It varies from country to country in accordance with national temperament. Also, it is regionally dependent on public education and is subject to the influence of acutely disturbing factors of a political and economic nature. Taking plebiscites as a criterion, one could on an optimistic estimate put its upper limit at about 40 percent of the electorate. Since the gift of reason and critical reflection is not one of man's outstanding peculiarities, and even where it exists it proves to be wavering and inconsistent, the more so, as a rule, the bigger the political groups are. The mass crushes out the insight and reflection that are still possible with the individual, and this necessarily leads to doctrinaire and authoritarian tyranny if ever the constitutional State should succumb to a fit of weakness. The bird-feed, if it really arrives, will last a long time. We don't need to think beyond that. Who knows what will be by then. But through the strength and spirit and fire and dare and gamble of a few men in a few ways we can save the carcass of humanity from drowning. No light goes out until it goes out.

In searching out the truth be ready for the unexpected, for it is difficult to find and puzzling when you find it. Since all is a plenum, all matter is connected and all movement in the plenum produces some effect on other bodies, in proportion to the distance between them. Hence everybody is affected not only by those with which it has contact, and thus feels in some way everything that happens to them; but through them it also feels those that touch the ones with which it is in immediate contact. Consequently, everybody experiences everything that goes on in the universe, so much so that he who sees everything might read in any body what is happening everywhere, and even what has happened or will happen. He would be able to observe in the present what is remote in both time and space. Every object has two aspects: The common aspect, the one generally seen by everyone, and the metaphysical aspect, which only rare individuals see at moments of clairvoyance and metaphysical meditation. A work of art must relate to something that does not appear in it's visible form. Et quid amabo nisi quod aenigma est. To the north we are bounded by the Aurora Borealis, to the east the rising sun, to the south the procession of the equinoxes, and to the west the day of judgment. Every hour wounds then the last one kills. Death, is the road to awe. We all live in an age when darkness reigns and only the shadows and shapes of love that remain, remain in a place that is forever a strange part of somewhere. Life, is just art, imitating life. Indeed it is even possible for an entity to show itself as something which in itself it is not. I tego arcana dei.

We have learned that human nature has a black side, and that not man alone possesses this side, but his works, his institutions, and his convictions as well. Even our purest and holiest beliefs can be traced to the crudest origins. This way of looking at things even has its justification, for the beginning of all livings things is simple and lowly; we build our houses from the ground up. No thoughtful person will deny Reinach's explanation of the Last Supper in terms of primitive toteism is fraught with meaning; nor will they object to the incest-theme being pointed out in the myths of the Greek divinities. It is painful to interpret radiant things from the shadow-side, and so in a measure reduce them to their origins in dreary filth. It seems to be an imperfection in things of beauty, and a weakness in man, if an explanation from the shadow-side has a destructive effect. The horror which we feel for such interpretations is entirely due to our own barbaric or childish naivety, which believes there can be heights without corresponding depths, which blinds us to the really final truth that, when carried to extremes, opposites meet.

All of Western and good faith become engaged in this wager on representation: that a sign could refer to the depth of meaning, that a sign could be exchanged for meaning and that something could guarantee this exchange - God, of course. But what if god itself could be simulated, that is to say can be reduced to the signs that constitute faith? Then the whole system becomes weightless, it is no longer itself anything but a gigantic simulacrum - not unreal, but a simulacrum, never to be exchanged for the real, but exchanged for itself, in an uninterrupted circuit without reference or circumference.

Not only is nothing good or ill but thinking it makes it so, but nothing is at all, except in so far as thinking has made it so.

The romantic is a dangerous impulse, easily confused with the most pathetic sentimentality, yet so wonderfully capable of a magnificence borne and illuminated not by mere endurance, but by a joy so elemental it will gladly risk the foolishness of its likely failure. There are lessons that even the wisest council can't prevent us from learning. Each raindrop is different unto the river and equally waters the trees. Reality is final. But it is not complete. How could it be without the Mystery Train hurtling through our dreams? How could it possibly be complete without imagining that together we have all dreamt it up, to make it real, so that at this moment, right now, our entire lives could come to this provocative state of affairs? That train is the Dawn Death Zephyr, burning human breath and broken dreams for fuel.

Never the less, I felt like I had made it. Made it past some level of existence people strive to achieve. Like pulling away from the maze, cutting the strings. I had survived. So by the age of 20years I knew that all the truth in the all world just adds up to one big lie......... Ding an sich!


One 4-track demo, one record company, one shot.