Let’s shake, rattle and roll your fundamental notion about your audio gear that will give an uncontrollable eye twitch and it is absolutely a true statement: every audio system is mish-mash of resonating unstable electro-mechanical devices, that are interacting with each other in ways so complex and chaotic that they so baffle mortal "audio engineers" that they must construct engineering models that completely deny this reality. We can’t blame these men for intellectually retreating because using "test signals" is the only way to keep from having nervous breakdown in this business. Intrinsic to this notion that audio systems are "chaos systems" is that your listening room is also a "modifier" of all your equipment, but the most chaotic and complex component of this system is you.. Multiple your complexity by your system’s complexity and you have infinite complexity and very lovable chaos. To put it mildly an audio system is a chaos system of multiple unstable resonating gizmos. That is the good news. at The Triode Guild, where we order extra paradox, enigma, conundrum and contradiction on our audio pizza. On the other hand this simple transcendent reality is bad news for those who need to live in micro-down sized bogus reality of the audio arts.

The audio arts are a brave new art form. One that has the unique capability of transporting us to these wondrous "non-normal" realms of musical reality which have been the foundation of our humanity for thousands of generation, but lost to industrial man. In our homes we can completely dematerialize, just like we did in the good old days. And most importantly when you are in a dematerialized state you never have to take out the garbage, or mow the lawn, because how can a man that is trembling in the tremendum of creation deal with earthly stuff like that?


So, if you have the right imaginative stuff, let start to explore an expanded musical metacontext, which means we have to trip back to a time when there was nothing but connection, and no Internet, television or taxes, and life was all about survival today, and that meant getting the job done, or die, or get eaten by the saber tooth house cat. Things were remarkably simple back then, and there wasn’t a theoretical idea in our head to confuse us. Life was frightening enough. We are talking one hundred percent pragmatism; what worked staid, what didn’t work went. Very simple. We spent a great deal of time in mind altering rituals because they were effective at making us more effective at survival, and remember, we never wasted our time. These rituals ranged from the massive human sacrifices at the Mayan temples, to the ingestion of hallucinogenic plants in the rain forest of Brazil, to the building of pyramids. All of these rituals "tuned us" into our cosmology. The patterns of culture clearly indicate that just living in the "normal material world " wasn’t sufficient for survival. Essential survival stuff and knowledge could only found in other "nonnormal" places, other spirits, other animals, or in trances or dreams, and to get them we had to change our mind, our form and our spirit. Rituals and magic charms were designed to induce the necessary magic of transformation. The plant powers were essential in this process. It is also why music was is a very powerful mind changer. Music, like a psychotropic plant, is an exogenous neural transmitter, and that I means, it is an external stimulate which alters how our brain’s neural transmitters work.

Even William James, the famous nineteenth century psychologist, in his book, The Variety of Religious Experiences, notes the extraordinary power that completely dematerialized (invisible) spirits have over the majority of mankind. How is it possible that something that has no material form can have such power over our emotions and ideas, he rightfully ask. One way to explain this devotion to the de-material is to assert that "mind" developed as a dualistic "religious mind" and it is therefor compelled to operate on more than one plane of reality. I can say that another way: our mind developed the capacity to simultaneously exist in the material and de-material (abstract) world. We all posses a dualistic mind, whether we like it or not; we must participate in the material world and simultaneously participate in the de-material world, and what could be more de-materialized than music? And let us not forget what we call "mind" is only about twenty thousand years old! An interesting example of this phenomenon we find in children who spontaneously invent imaginary characters to be their friends, and yours truly, shares his name with one of the great invisible Hollywood stars, Harvey, The Rabbit, a 1941 (year of my birth) film starring Jimmy Stewart.

My fellow weirdoes, look how much effort, concern and care we give to the de-material side of our DNA. You may not see yourself as a "religious" man, but like the devoted, you are completely emotionally and spiritually involved, as an audio artisan, with the completely de-material: music.

It is not a coincidence that as we ethnobotanist/anthropologists are discussing the etymology of the dual mind, quantum physicists are bringing to maturity Einstein’ theory of relativity, and by that I mean Stephen Hawkens (A Brief History of Time) , et al, are pointing out that reality is obviously not just four dimensions but "N" dimensions. It is conceivable in the Nth dimension that you could be born before you parents, and what would happen if you accidentally killed them? Figure that paradox out. And yes Fido, there are many strange paradoxes of existence (just like our audio systems) , which naturally leads me to ask this question: If you are existing on other, higher planes of reality, what form do you take on those other planes? Is it possible that you are, like me right now in Cindy Crawford’s belly button listening to music in the eight dimension of reality? And is that why tubes sound better than transistors?


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