AND YOU AND I
A Commentary on Yes’ 1972 Masterpiece
© 2001 The Church of Yahweh
This piece of music, very simply put, is about Jesus and our relationship to him. Some of you may scoff, but there is no other rational or reasonable interpretation, based upon the simple objective evidence of the lyrics themselves.
This is a song about a man, a song about a preacher, a song about being nailed upon a door of time, about accepting, immortalizing and divinity. It is a song about travel, beyond your limited space time consciousness. It is a song about salvation--salvation of the soul, not just from what we might call hell and not going to the good place when you die--but salvation from all of the sadness, darkness and stupidity of our lives.
Why does the song's title start with the word "and"? I do not know! What did Jon Anderson have in mind when he wrote that title. I have never sat down and talked to Jon Anderson about it, so I do not know. The best answer I can give you is to look at the back of the album cover,. Thereon you will see, lined up right underneath one another, two phrases: “close to the edge,” “and you and I.” That makes sense.
Close to the edge, and you and I. The entire album is about being close to the edge--about being near to God. Here, we are going to encounter an incarnation of God. Perhaps THE incarnation of God.
Because it is not enough for truth to remain truth. Truth must come to the level of common ordinary mortal human beings, or those common ordinary mortal human beings will never be able to understand it.
There’s a marvelous analogy of a human being watching an ant farm, wanting to talk to talk to the ants. Thinking how wonderful it would be if only he could become an ant and retain all of his knowledge. How much he could teach the ants, and how the ant colony would become transformed.
This is a song about Jesus, and You, and I.
“The dream” What is “The dream?” This is the key factor in this verse.
One of the constant factors in mystical religious material across all generations, across all centuries and across all religions is the notion that the universe is God's dream, and that we all live our lives in that dream. For those of you who scoff, the Bible itself is clear about this. Before he creates the temple in the book of Exodus, Moses is taught by YHWH how to build it. YHWH shows him the real temple, the temple in Heaven, and God tells him to make the earthly temple as a copy of the real temple. In 1 Corinthians, St. Paul talks about how we now see through a glass darkly, as though we are peering through the fog and cannot truly see the real picture of truth or God. Eventually we will see him--God, face to face. It's just like being in a dream.
Formerly, we were dead in our trespasses and sins, but now we are alive. That is a more powerful image than the notion of a dream. To be dead and become alive is very similar to being asleep and becoming awake.
Gautama Buddha and Buddhism doesn't use the dead and alive terminology, but use the asleep/awake terminology. This is a very important. The dream is God's dream, in as much as he is projecting upon the vast countenance of himself, the entire universe, and all aspects of the universe are images which dance upon the face of God, but we are all individually asleep and dreaming. We are dreaming, because we are caught in our delusions and our ignorance and our own projections. Socialism, taxation, Satanism and all of the world's evils are simply dreams of ignorance with which we can cover the true face of God and the truth of the blissful brotherhood of all mankind. We live, as it were, in a dream.
We have all had the experience of mortal dreams, and sometimes we wake up in the morning, after a particularly vivid dream, and say, "What did that mean? What is the purpose of that dream? Why in the world did I dream that?" So we seek answers. People spend millions of dollars every year on books to help them interpret their dreams. The Bible is full of people who find great meaning and God's revelation through their dreams. We need look no farther then the book of Daniel to see how dreams and their proper interpretation altered the course of mankind. The interpretation of dreams is even listed in the New Testament as being one of the holy gifts of God's holy spirit. So to discount your dreams, is to buy into the entire materialistic age. Dreams are important. Dreams are a truth. Dreams are a proclamation from God. There is a reason why you dream what you dream, and you might be wise to keep a dream diary and to pay attention to your dreams.
The dream, is God's dream, because God, too, is dreaming. This part of the lyric tells us that “a man conceived a moment’s answers to the dream." A man, and it is very clear that this person is a man, recognizes within this time and space, within this moment, the answer to the dream, not the ultimate eternal answer to the dream, as though there could be one, for the same dream dreamt five times in a row does not necessarily have the same meaning.
Each moment must be analyzed and interpreted by itself. Therefore, we see an important religious principle. How do we tell the difference between God's temporal revelation (within this particular time and at this particular place) versus God's eternal limitless spiritual revelation.
For example, in the New Testament, St. Paul says very clearly, "Any woman who prays without having her head covered should have all of her hair shaved off." St. Paul also says in the same book of the Bible, "Homosexuals will have no place in the Kingdom of Heaven." For any thinking rational human being, there is one very simple question that we must ask ourselves. If we are comfortable saying that the first proclamation regarding a woman's hair is a temporal proclamation, based upon the culture and norms of that time in that place, upon what rationality or criteria do we state that the prohibitions against homosexuality are not likewise limited only to that time and that place?
Please note that I am not deliberately intentionally espousing homosexuality. The question is rather an academic one as to how we interpret the difference between temporal truth and eternal truth? How we judge and what criteria we use to determine those things which God is telling to us here and now, that is the moment, and those things which remain true across all generations.
All of this I see within this simple verse. A man, a human being, living, breathing, eating and excreting, waking and sleeping, conceived within his mind a moment’s answers to the dream, for this time, this place, here and now.
This tells us more about the man, because this entire song is about the man. The word "you" in the title refers to the man.
To stay the flowers means many things. What is a flower? The wonderful thing about a flower is that a flower is the beginning of fruit, and from the fruit, comes the seed to reincarnate the entire planet. I live on a hill full of orange trees. In the early spring when those trees begin to flower, the radiant fragrance of the orange blossoms fills the entire hill. There are very few smells in the universe that are more glorious. Every single one of those flowers is a future orange, and inside of that orange will be seeds which are capable of dying, entering the ground and growing up to become new trees that begin the cycle again, flowering, producing fruit and bearing the seeds of life.
Nature does indeed give us a glorious parable of all of God's truth. This man, who stayed the flowers, held on to them, kept them constant, felt them, made them real. He saw those aspects of life which contained, as do flowers, the potential for the seeds of all regeneration.
And he also daily, which means every single moment, sensed all of the themes. Jon Anderson regularly refers to the truth of God as a song. You see this very clearly in “Close to the Edge,” in “And You and I.” It is very clearly apparent in “Tales from Topographic Oceans,” where he asks what happened to this song we once knew so well, all the way up into “Awaken,” where he talks about the star song, ageless. The word of God only has to be placed to music to become the song of God, and these melodies become the themes--the themes of truth upon which are based all reality.
Anyone who has read more than just a little bit of my writing, understands that it's based upon a certain small, but potent, number of themes. Just as a symphony, beautifully constructed is an artistic flourishing of a small number of themes, so too the Bible and these songs that we are talking about and my humble writing are all based upon a small number of themes. I will leave it to you for the moment to determine exactly what those themes are.
What is important here is that this man, who can hold onto the very flowers of life daily, moment by moment, each and every day, senses all of the themes which make life true--the themes of love, the themes of thankfulness, the themes of forgiveness. We are about to learn even more about him.
This is a very powerful verse. Let’s consider the “foundation”. The Bible talks about Jesus being the rock, Peter being the rock. Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" Peter said, "You are the Christ." Jesus says that upon Peter and upon his confession, God will build his Kingdom and the gates of hell itself will not prevail against it. That is the foundation.
Parenthetically, we all have a foundation. We all have those core central beliefs which are essential to our entire being. Every house has a foundation. Every computer program has a base foundation or a platform. Every philosophy and mathematical theory has a series of postulates which cannot be debated or proven or disproved, but must merely be either accepted or rejected.
This man, Jesus, is the foundation. In the lyric, this man, this foundation, becomes left--left here on the Earth. He comes here and his words and proclamations are the foundation which is left to all of us, you and I, in order to create a spiral aim. You aim something in the direction you want to go. That's what an aim is.
The quest for God is a search which is constant and clear. Knowledge of God is a pursuit, unending. It is an aim; it is a focus. There are essentially two ways of living. One is called deontological living. This is life according to the rules. Do what you are told, tell me how to live, and I will perform my duty. The other, teleological living, is life based upon goals. The end justifies the means. And, between deontological and teleological living, we find the matrix of human existence. Sometimes it is good to follow rules. Sometimes it is good to have a goal.
As it comes to the religious life, we must begin by following rules. It is good enough for human beings to simply obey the law, the civil law and the human law. to respect each other’s rights and leave people alone, to not steal, not lie, not cheat, not murder. And, if we could have a society based simply on that pure deontology, we would all be very well off. But, ultimately as following those rules becomes internalized and we begin to understand that there is a reason for these rules, then pure deontology becomes transformed into teleology. We begin to seek an end. We begin to have an aim. We have a goal. This is what the Bible talks about when it talks regarding seeking. You must seek your goal. Knocking, asking, persevering, enduring, praying--these are all activities based upon a goal.
As it pertains to this third verse, this man is left to create a spiral aim. This man is able to focus us upon the truth, the highest truth. And yet the key operative word here is the word “spiral.” None of us, or at least very, very few of us, ever go straight from where we are directly to the godhead without taking several detours and excursions.
All of those detours and excursions wind up creating essentially a spiral. A good thing about a spiral is that it always moves in a direction. The spiral is always moving up. Otherwise, it would simply be an inclusive circle. In order for there to be a spiral, there must be a direction, and yet that direction is not a straight line because none of us, as mortal normal fallible human beings, are capable of perfectly seeking for God. God understands that.
So as we seek for God and we seek our personal fame and fortune, and we toss in a bit of gluttony and lust and ego and selfishness and sin, the quest for God becomes a spiral aim. This man is left as the foundation to create this spiral aim.
In this verse we see the compression of time. Adam and Eve in the Garden lived as one with God, without any separation or barriers whatsoever. This man, who is able to sense all the themes, enables us to regain this relationship, this movement, this spiraling. We regain it in that we are able to return to the source.
But it is also regarded, in that it is something to be seen. In other words, if we regain the movement, we are following along its pathway. If we regard the movement, we are observing it.
The movement, then, is both subject and object. This man and Christianity and the religious pathway are both regained and regarded. It is something that we have because Jesus is a person whom we must listen to and follow and obey. That is very clear throughout the scriptures. In that respect, His proclamations are truths which we must have for ourselves. They have been regained. We have the first Adam which is Adam, and we have the second Adam, who is Jesus. Then, we are called to Christhood by number one, regaining Him and following Him, but also by worshipping and acknowledging Him--regarding Him.
We see here the potencies of both aspects of religious devotion, to regain and regard, to find the religious subject and the religious object. And here we know that there is no difference between worshipping Jesus and doing what He says. The Bible, in fact, happens to agree. "Not everyone who merely says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven." It is not merely enough to regard Me and see Me and worship Me and call me Lord, but you must also regain Me, follow My pathway, take up your cross and follow Me unto life eternal.
“Seeds of life” is a glorious beautiful phrase. We know what seeds are. Seeds from an orange will deliver an orange tree. Apple seeds turn into apples. Mustard seeds turn into mustard. That's a remarkable thing about seeds.
Here we have a phrase of such power and beauty and magic. "...seeds of life.." Life can never be lived in a vacuum. Life, if it is true life, is something which we share and commune and experience with all of our loved ones. These seeds of life happen with you my friends, my loved ones. It happens with the "you" of this song. It happens with Jesus.
We then become complete. We have the streams of living water; we have the seeds of life; and, we have the movement, which has been regained and regarded. We are now all complete in the sight of these seeds of life. It is not merely enough for those seeds to be there. We must see them. We must turn our eyes to focus not on death, but on life. Seek ye therefore life. This is crucial.
So, what do we see in these first five verses in this first paragraph? A man comes to the earth and is able to conceive an answer to all the dreams and all the mysteries and all the questions of life. He holds within his hand all the flowers and their glorious seeds, and every single moment of his life senses all of the themes which make life worth living. This man becomes a foundation to focus us to the truth, return us to God, so that we might not only worship him, but follow him. And in so doing, we all become absolutely complete, as we focus ourselves upon the very seeds of life, and all is one.
This verse refers to the mystery of the incarnation. God comes to the Earth as Jesus. Other religions would say that he has come to the Earth at other times, but we need not debate that here. God comes to the Earth in the form of Jesus. And, He therefore changes Himself. He changes Himself from His eternal spiritual self, transcendent beyond all time and all space, and He does this so that we might be able to see Him and hear Him and walk as one with Him.
The Bible reiterates over and over the fact that the apostles walked with Him, They talked with Him; they saw Him; they touched Him; they heard Him. And, what the writers of the New Testament seek to do is make sure that we too can share in that experience. So this being, this man, we now see is nothing more then the infinite godhead, who has changed himself for purposes of enabling us to see and hear. And, all of space agrees.
“The picture of time” is a very bizarre phrase. Suffice it to state that there is great mystery within the universe, which no mortal mind is capable of unraveling. That is the mystery of time itself. The closest we can come to it is to say that time has no reality. Time is merely a part of the delusion because God and his infinity and his eternity are the only truths.
So this picture of time refers to the fact that in the previous verse, this being who has been changed for sight and sound and space, also dwells constantly in all modes of time, behind and between the picture of time.
The second half of the verse, "..behind the face of need," is a reference to our brothers and sisters on this earth. Jesus walks with us and talks with us in the Bible, and as He does so, He says whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers you do to Me. When you saw Me hungry and thirsty and naked and alone, you did not feed Me, give Me water or comfort Me. The disciples say, "When did we see you this way?" "Whatsoever you did or did not do to the teeniest tiniest one of those in need you did to Me."
The people who suffer in this world are no more nor no less the picture of time than God Himself is. When we see someone hurting, when we see someone alone, when we see someone hungry, we are looking at the face of God.
I'm not going to pretend that I am a saint, but I do know that for a decade and a half now, I have been supporting children in India and Indonesia through World Vision. That is, I will freely admit, pathetically little and merits me absolutely nothing. But, the simple sad fact is that if every person on this earth who had enough to eat would share just that little bit with someone else in the world who did not have enough to eat, there would be no more hunger. That is all that is necessary. That is all we need to know; that is all we need to do. The reason we have so many uncountable hundreds of millions of starving dying people on this earth is because there are so many hundreds of millions of unbelievably selfish people who will not spare one dollar to help one of those others who so desperately need it.
We, as a corporate planet, easily spend $2,000,000 per minute on our militaries and war machines. If we chose, we could eliminate all poverty, all hunger, all disease. These words of this rock `n roll song, if you will simply sit down and read them and try and understand them, are telling you that this man, who is sensing all of the themes of life, who has been changed from his eternal limitless Godhood, simply so that you might see him and sense him and hear him, is no less present inside of the faces of those people on this earth who are in need.
Here’s just one place where you can touch the face of need. Call World Vision. Call them now. For $18 a month, my orphaned daughter in Indonesia receives food and clothes, a Christian education, learns how to read and write and has all of her material, spiritual and emotionally needs cared for. That is the face of need, and that face is sacred.
This is a reference to the interaction that we, as seekers, have with the proclamation of the previous seven verses. You see, we have come to terms with all of these expressions, these statements of God. Notice the different ways so far that, at least poetically, God has been expressed.
God has been expressed as an answer to a dream, a flower within which is the seed of life, all of the musical themes of eternal truth, the foundation of life, a movement toward the godhead, sights, sounds, space, time and need. We must come to terms with this, and this song is about doing just that.
In exactly the same way that “Close to the Edge” is about human beings coming closer to God, “And You and I” is not about Jesus in some abstract philosophical way, but rather is a song about you and I coming to terms with Jesus. That's why it is important that we do come to terms with all of these expressions which have been laid in front of us.
To see the face of God, to hear the truth of God proclaimed, to acknowledge it as such, and then to turn our eyes on it, as though it is not real, leaves us in a very dangerous situation. It is not that often during our lives that we are able to feel the word of God speaking to us. During those times when we do, when we have expressed to us the eternal, we must not ignore this. We must heed His voice. I realize that this sounds almost preachy, but the truth is, the last half of this song is called, "the preacher, the teacher." We must come to terms, and quickly so, before the moment passes of all of these expressions which God has laid in front of us.
This poetic language is truly gorgeous. In some respects it's almost a shame this got set to rock `n roll music, because if anyone in an English poetry Ph.D. class could sit down and simply read these words, they would be deeply and truly astounded by the depth and value of this imagery.
What does this say, "Emotion revealed as the ocean maid." What is the ocean? What is the ocean maid? What is the emotion that is revealed? Does this mean anything at all? Is it anything more than simple gibberish and garbage, language meant to merely rhyme, simply because it's interesting. If this means anything at all, what does it actually mean?
In order to answer that, I think all you'll have to do is follow the imagery, follow the language of symbolism. What is the ocean?
Number one, the ocean is incredibly vast. It is huge beyond any human being’s conception. But, it is also the source of life. Without the ocean, we would have no ability to live, because all of the plankton which transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, would not exist, and there would not be enough plants on the earth to enable mammals and the rest of the primary bio-organisms to live. The ocean is the source of life for us.
Now, the ocean maid means that the maid is the ocean. A maid is what? Someone who serves, because the ocean is there to serve us and enable us to live. But, also the idea of a maiden is that of someone who is pure, who is untarnished. The ocean, even though we have for many years been polluting it and damaging it, does remain, for the overwhelming majority, a maiden, vast and unexplored, mysterious and unknowable. That ocean maid then speaks of the waters of life and endless beauty. That is the manner in which your emotion can and will be revealed. Once you come to terms with all of God's expression, then you will find within you emotion welling up, the likes of which you will not know how to deal with. You will find yourself dancing in fountains of bliss, so transcendent that you will feel as though every pore in you body is ready to explode.
You will want to shout from all of the roof tops. You will want to proclaim to every person of the unbelievable glorious perfection and ecstasy that is existence itself. Your emotion will, all of the sudden, be revealed as this ocean maid. You will find, as the Bible says, streams of living water welling up inside of you, coursing throughout your being, taking you into the outermost regions of human bliss, vast horizons of love and joy, welling up inside of you, unlike anything you could possibly imagine. Once you embrace the expressions of Godhood around you and begin to taste of their reality, you will find this ocean of God consciousness flowing all around you.
It is true that we do not see God. It is not true that we cannot see him because he is too far away. We cannot see him because he is too close. He is everywhere, and he is everything. It's just like a fish in the ocean, to tie into the imagery of this verse. Fish swim through the water of the ocean just like you and I walk through the air, and except for an occasional gust of wind or turbulence, we don't even notice it. Imagine if that fish could delight and find unnamable ecstasy in every single water droplet in that ocean. That's why God cannot be found, because we constantly overlook Him.
Once we begin to see that He is in the sunlight, that He is in our dreams, that He is in the flowers, that He is all seeds of life, that He is within all sight, all sound, all space--once we begin to see that He is actually in the Bible and behind the face of every needy human being, then we will begin to come to terms with God's truth. We will find the infinite ocean of Godhood flowing through us, and our bodies will begin to tingle with an unimaginable excitement.
This is a recapitulation of verse 5. What we have here then is a rhyming couplet in four verses, followed by a statement. Verse one, “dream,” rhymes with verse two, “theme.” Verse three, “aim,” rhymes with verse four, “same.” Verse six, “agreed,” rhymes with verse seven, “need.” Verse eight, “laid,” rhymes with verse nine, “maid.” And after verses four and nine, we know that everything is complete in the sight of seeds of life with you.
It is now time to learn a few more lessons.
At this point in the song, we undergo a very dramatic change. We have seen a vision in the first two stanzas of this man and his revelation. Presented opposite to that is the next section which attempts to paint the picture of some of the difficulties we have in life. Why do we need this man anyway? Why do we care about him and his answers to the dream? Why does it matter?
We project and assign value. This is a key idea. A coin is a measurement of the human idea of materialistic potential. A coin is absolutely, totally, utterly dead and, in and of itself, has no fruit, no life, no worth. What is more, it is completely and utterly unknowing. A coin has no consciousness; it has no knowledge; it has nothing; it is nothing.
This is exactly the same for crosses. We look at a cross and see truth. Christians see inspiration and salvation and beauty, but the cross itself is nothing. It is simply through the process of our projection and our imaging, that that cross becomes valuable or significant. It is only through the purpose which we apply to it, that the coin becomes valuable. And they, the coins and the crosses, never know anything. Their worth, whatever it is, is completely fruitless. It comes strictly from us. The truth of the universe and the truth of your life is that nothing outside of you has any value whatsoever. I will state that again, and I mean it absolutely. There is nothing whatsoever outside of you that has any value at all. All value comes from you. Even something or someone as precious as your spouse or child or parent is important to you, only because of you, not because of them. This is your projection, your value system.
What matters is to understand if something seems unimportant and valueless and purposeless, it is not because of the outside, it is because of your inside. If something seems evil or wrong, it is not because of the outside, but because of your inside. Situations can change, but they can only change by human consciousness transforming their worthlessness into lasting value.
The Mother Earth is a very common theme in Jon Anderson's music. He sings in Starship Trooper, “Mother Life hold firmly onto me.” The Mother Earth and Father God are the 2 poles of normal existence--the Father God, who sends the spirit and gives the seed, and Mother Earth, who gives form to it.
Upon death, Mother Earth swallows our form, as we decay into the dust of the ground, and Father God takes our spirit. He then is taking his spirit back. These cords are not musical chords but cords, the cords that we use to tie, to connect ships to docks. This is a cord to connect, and we are being told here that the cords have been broken. We are disconnected. We are no longer associated with Mother Earth. We are no longer living in harmony with nature, and these cords which are broken, still lie locked inside of Mother Earth,. They are there; they are waiting. She is protecting them, but we have to be able, willing and ultimately worthy to become reattached.
You see, you will not be helped until you are ready to be helped. They won't tell you, these cords. They're not going to hide away, but they're also not going to hold you against your will. Mother Earth is neither going to remove herself from us, nor is she going to force us to have a relationship. It is the same thing with God. The cords which connect us to God the Father will not be hidden away from us, because they are plainly apparent for all to see.
They also won't hold you. You are free to remove yourself from them. They won't hide; they will not hold; but, they won't tell you until you ask. If you ask, they will tell you. If you seek, they will show themselves, and you will find. If you reach out, you will touch. It is up to you to do the seeking.
As I've said many times before in many of my other writings, the truth lies not in having the groom rape the bride or the bride rape the groom. The two of them must mate in a blissful dance of love.
Here we're given a universal perspective. To watch all of the world, is to see this go on, not just within an individual person, but within the whole planet, all of the human race, as it reaches out to Mother Earth, as the human race ignores the bonds it has. As the entire human race breaks the cords of life, we see that Mother Nature is watching all of us go by. She is watching all the world; she is watching us; she is waiting. She is still there; truth remains. It is not that God or nature have closed their eyes to us. They are watching, very attentively, waiting for the slightest indication that we are ready to reach out, that we are ready to listen, that we are ready to seek or touch.
While these four verses are being sung, in the background and very hard to hear, are other words being sung. And, unless you have the lyrics sheet, which I don't believe has been published with the album since the very early 1970's, you could not possibly know what is being sung in the background. So here, for those of you who might be interested, is the background text.
That is one of the most bizarre passages in all of Yes's literature and it's meaning is so highly symbolic that I'm not certain I have any genuine feeling for what was meant. Most of the other lyrics, I honestly think I interpret fairly closely to what Jon Anderson intended. For this, however, I do not have a clue.
A tailor is a normal working man. Mornings of the interest shown could easily be an indication of sunrise, the light coming in, enlightenment. Interest shown is an indication that we are showing interest, and therefore when we do, there will be light, there will be morning, presenting one another to the cord. That, I think, is pretty clear. We must eventually present ourselves to the cord of life and become reconnected to Mother Earth, and also therefore Parent God, all left dying, rediscovered of the door. What we think of as dead, that there is no connection to God, that there is no way to recapture our lost harmony with nature, simply lies undiscovered, and we can rediscover it.
That turned around to close the cover, simply makes no sense at all to me, and I have never been able to even imagine what that could mean. All the interest shown, obviously is intentional because it recapitulates previous words and yet closing the cover, and what interest we have in it. Inasmuch as I don't know what the cover is, I cannot help explain the passage.
Turn to one another, to the sign of the time float your climb. I think float your climb is clear. What we see as a climb, whether it's Mt. Everest or the Mountain of God, ultimately need not be a struggle. We can float to Heaven. We can float to the highest parts of the universe. Life need not be a war, but usually it is. I think that's why these words are sung so mysteriously in the background, almost inaudibly. Because while we're going through the struggles with the broken cords, while we're attempting to become reconnected and trying to do our climb, behind the scenes, there are mornings being shown, there is interest, and the cords are there to be rediscovered. We can be floated. But, that is so far removed from normal life, that there is not much reason to talk about it.
You must be comfortable with the language of symbolism here. The sea is a small ocean. The endless seas would refer to the waters of life, in which dwells God's healing creative power. We have come from the ocean, in that so much of our bodies are made of salty type water. Our moods are affected by the oceans, and the entire symbolism of the waters of life which come to fill us, gives us a very robust framework to understand the phrase, the seas. We are, however, in this verse, climbing over the seas to the valley. The valley is the darkness, the low point, the sad point. The mountain top experience is the blessing, because it reaches up into the sky, close to the Sun where we meet God.
Throughout the worlds’ religions, God is encountered upon mountain tops. The seas are the oceans of God's bliss and His blessings. The valleys are the low points between the sea and the mountain top. It is beautiful that at the very end of And You and I, we see the exact opposite of this verse. Verse 15 says that we're climbing over the seas and going into the valley. We're ignoring the sea and the ocean of God's blessing. The cords that connect us to Mother Life. And, we're intentionally ignoring it all and moving into the valley with our valueless coins, our dead crosses and our hidden disconnection from God. We're moving past all the seas of bliss, stopping before we get to the mountain, and we're just heading to the valley.
In the very final verse, we have the exact opposite. You and I called over valleys of endless seas. There, we are being called because we're no longer worrying about our personal climb, and we're called past valleys of seas. The sea enters the valley, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. For right now, suffice it to say, that verse 15 is a symbolic poetic reference to what you could call the fall of mankind, ignoring the sea of bliss and moving into the valley of the shadow of death.
Here, in the valley of shadow of death, we reach out and seek reasons to call. We begin to ask, “Is there a purpose to life?” We've seen in the first stanza this man and his answers to the dreams, but what about us? We're still obsessed with our meaningless coins and dead wood, all of our projections and our icons. Well, we enter the valley, and we sit and we reach out and seek for reasons to call to God. Why should we listen to Mother Nature? Why should we try to rediscover those lost broken cords? Why do we bother? Why should we bother?
And at this point, the music changes into this beautifully, gloriously apocalyptic theme. We start with this beautiful man, we start with a little taste of what life could be, and we become obsessed with our own failings. We lose contact with life, and we wind up in the valley. We stop, and we call out for reasons to be. We reach out for the reasons to call. Climbing, reaching and calling are three essential motifs within this piece. As we reach out, all of a sudden, the music changes, and we are answered. We are responded to.
For it has been said and it is so true, that every time a person takes one step toward God, God takes 1,000 steps toward that person. This is absolute truth. And, musically the cascading waves of peace and bliss wash down around us. It has something to say. The answer is a recapitulation, a reminder. There's no new material here. There's simply a repeat of previous verses.
These are verses 8, 9, 4 and 5. What the preacher had said, what the man has known comes to us in our valley as we reach out for the call to answer from the heavens if you will, is nothing more than what we've been told before. These four lines are undeniably the four most important lines in the piece, inasmuch as they are repeated three times.
We crucify truth. We take Jesus, and we nail him to the cross. The color door of time is a magnificent phrase. The cross, without going into too much detail, is the center of all time. All events of the human race can be seen as leading up to the event of the cross, and as leading away from the cross.
This door of time, then, is an open door through which we can crawl or walk, which leads us to eternity. There is much that can be learned about ourselves, God, and the universe, through the cross. I will not begin to go into all of it here. For those of you who are interested, please read my booklet "The Stations of the Cross." For purposes of understanding this song, I think that this is actually a reference back to the man whom we met in verse 1, Jesus. Here we have strung Him up on a cross.
This is very sad. The preacher is the teacher, and he has tried to help. We go into our darkness, into our valley in verse 15. In verse 16, we reach out for reasons. The answer is nothing more than a reminder of what we were told in verses 8, 9, 4 and 5. This tends not to make the masses very happy. They prefer to have themselves lied to. They prefer to have someone sell them a magic mood watch. They prefer to cast about, gazing into tea leaves for signs and indications of events to come. They would rather have a magician give them a magic formula that they can chant, so that when they die, they'll be really okay.
That is why, after we are reminded of the truth in this song, we go ahead and nail the guy to a tree. We nail him to a cross.
We have heard in verse 11 how crosses don't know their fruitless worth, and yet here we see the cross referred to as the colored door of time. The cross, in and of itself, has no worth, yet this event, as we crucify truth, is the door to all time and eternity and is colored with all of the rainbow.
We call him insane, say that he knows nothing. He is a blasphemer, he is a mutant, he is a rebel, he is working against the organized religions. He is working against the organized government and he is insane. And yet this "insane" teacher is there still, reminded of the rhyme. He still sees and knows the truth. The harmony of all life.
The mutant enemy is a reference to Jesus, this man who's been strung up on the tree. He is a mutant. He is the enemy we cannot put up with it. As a social race, we are like a bunch of pigs grunting in the mud, a bunch of dumb pathetic bleeding sheep wandering around with no purpose or vision. But one thing we know, is that we value conformity above all else, conformity and obedience.
We shall certify to you that there will be no mutants and there will be no enemies. Anyone who attempts to shake us from our bed will be likewise nailed.
This is the promise of the social order. Every new administration, every new military tyrant, every new despot, promises that all war is about to be over, that all of politics as a sad remnant of our past is going to be dead, and that through our leadership, there is a new day. We are told that there is something new, something better. Of course, it's all a lie. But, we don't know that. We buy into the lies.
The social order is telling us to stop thinking. Delight in conformity. Do as you are told. These forward tastes will take care of you. You do not need the teacher. You do not need the preacher. You do not need the cord. All you need is us and our new regime, the end of war, the end of politics, the end of mutant enemies. We are told here in verse 21 to simply reach out. As these forward tastes, these very progressive, modern, liberal, socialists enter you, and you can begin to see the truth, the wisdom, the goodness of following along and being a bleeding sheep.
So, poetically, as the “I” of this song, the singer tries it.
The pathway of politics and socialism is always ultimately dead. It cannot fulfill; it cannot help. The person listens to the message of the socialists and tries hard, but just cannot see how any of their proclamations lead to a life tempo inside or outside of himself. Social reform never comes about through social engineering. The only transformation there is must come from within. Unless you transform peoples insides, then no matter what outside enterprises you engage upon, you will ultimately always wind up with the same results: wars, hatred, pain, misery and suffering.
No matter what you do, no matter how many mutant enemies you kill, no matter how many non-conformists you eliminate, you will never abolish the sin, pain and suffering of this life, until people are called to a higher purpose. That higher purpose can never be granted through the control of government. So, Jon Anderson is listening, listening hard to the politicians, but there is no hope. And, then the most dramatic turn around occurs in the next few verses.
The singer now recognizes that the preacher, the teacher, whom we've nailed to the cross, whom we met as the cord of life in the 1st verse, traded his name, lost his name, did not seek to demand conformity, did not seek to reform the social order politically. He did not seek to stamp out all enemies, did not demand acceptance of any of his teachings. This preacher lost his name, was willing to die, was willing to give up everything for the purpose of what he believed in.
That becomes much more significant than all of the politics and all of the screaming and all of the caterwauling of the socialists.
The teacher said if anyone comes after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me. That is what He preached and that is what He taught. All He did in traveling was asking to find someone who would join with Him in denying themselves and crossing the river to losing the name. That becomes the most significant thing.
All the teacher was doing was losing His name and seeking if there was anyone who was willing to do that same thing. Finally, we are told in clear terms that the preacher, the teacher, is so much more important than government.
The preacher, the teacher, whom we start off crucifying, we will finally accept in the end, after we've examined everything else and tried politics and tried coercion and tried forcing. We will finally agree, we will finally know and we will immortalize Him. We will recognize that this insane teacher was telling us infinite truth--infinite truth which we must make immortal, unable to die, to preserve for all generations the losing of self, the transcendence of ego. This is, in fact,, the greatest gift. If only it could be more true for more of us, it would be the end of our struggles, the end of our pain, the end of our darkness. The ego is not a friend. The ego is the enemy.
He traded in His name. He lost it. He sought only for others to join Him. Why do you call Me good? There is no one good but God. In the end, we will agree with that. We will accept it, and we will know the truth of that man was maturing in His eyes. To look upon the face of the preacher, the teacher, is to look into the face of God. It is the most egoless statement that a human being can make to say that I am God. The truth of the man stands immortal, far more powerful than all of the kings and all of the kingdoms and all of the wars that have ever been fought throughout all of the years.
That is a recapitulation of verse 5. Now finally, the singer is able to join in harmony and joy with the preacher, the teacher. He knows that he is finally complete. What the preacher, the teacher, had to say were the seeds of eternal life. Now the singer has that relationship. He sees that all is complete in the sight of seeds of life with you.
We then have a recapitulation of verses 8, 4 and 9.
We now come to the grand climax of the piece. Musically speaking, the highest point comes with the following verse.
This needs little commentary. If you want your future to be in harmony, if you want your future to have purpose, then you must follow the teacher, the preacher. As you do, your mornings, evenings and nights will be with Him, and that will provide the clarity and the purpose and the focus of your entire life. Apocalypse. It is interesting that the term "apocalypse" refers to a revelation, sometimes the end of the world, but it need not be at the end of the world. It can be at the beginning of a new cycle. The apocalypse is 4 verses.
We've transcended the stupidity of politics and socialist transformations. And now, and You and I, Jesus and I climb, crossing the shapes of the morning, the dawn of the sun in our hearts and souls. We reach over the sun for the river--the sun, the source of all light; the river, the source of all life. This is great glorious vision. We're moving ever closer towards the movement, the return of all creation to the God head. You and I call over valleys of endless seas, all of the valleys which we previously thought were the dark zones between the ocean and the mountain.
Now are all transformed, and all valleys are endless seas. Once you have truly transformed your ego, once you have actually died to self, you can no longer be hurt, because there is no more you to be hurt. There are no more valleys of death. There are no more shadows of darkness. There is no more fear because all experiences are part of the seas of infinite bliss.
We do that through the preacher, the teacher, by accepting, acknowledging and immortalizing his truth. That is what this song says to me. What about you?