Estas Tonne: Who am I?

Self-knowledge is essential when embarking on a spiritual path. The “Know thyself”-inscription at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi was already mentioned in the post on Birds of Paradise. Estas Tonne turned a poem by Peter Moore (Pendragon Poetry) into a song, published in 2009 on the album Bohemian Skies.

In these lyrics, many references to mystic / gnostic / spiritual wisdom may be found. Readers are encouraged to seek their own associations. Just a few ideas …

Who am I – I cannot say
My seasons, they change from day to day
Poet, priest, assassin, thief
My magic dispels my disbelief.

The speaker becomes aware of the many voices within him, apparently including voices from the past, from past incarnations.

Who am I? – I’m just a pack of lies
I’m a tower of cards, I’m the yarn of a bard
I’m the jest of a fool, a glittering jewel
I’m just a candy coated castle in the sky…

There’s the present day personality: Upon closer examination, her identity does not hold up, it is not coherent, rather a collection of mis-fitting puzzle parts.

However, there is much more potential in the human system:

But this little self is just a day dream of an angel
It’s the shadow of a rainbow
It’s the twinckling in the inckling of a blink
Of an all seeing Eye….

So how can this potential be unleashed?

Tear down your lying idols and
and let your true spirit free…
Stop searching and find, stop listening and hear, stop looking and simply see …
Do what Thy wilt! And no other thing!
Wonder alone in the crowd and sing…
And fear not the taunts of the man and his masses,
cos when disaster comes knocking
it’s us fools who’ll be laughing.

“Tear down your lying idols” reminds me of Bob Dylan’s Changing of the Guards: “When your false idols fall”.

Stop trying to achieve spiritual success with your own will-power, just observe in neutrality (“Stop searching and find, stop listening and hear, stop looking and simply see”).

Now Noah and his folks were the neighborhood joke,
Till the rain started falling and the levees broke…
But too late, the profane saw the error of their ways,
At the end of their tethers in the ancient of days.
So don’t get manic and panic, when terra turns titanic….
Just don’t stand and stare at the wave as it breaks!
Do what Thy wilt!
Whatever it takes!

Follow lord fortune wherever he leads and petition your demon to tend to your needs,
Go crazy, go wild, get wasted, get Wise,
Wake up from your nightmares, stop believing their lies!
Get active, get radical, get real and get magical …
Aspire to your heights and embrace all your lows,
Give in to desire … let the flood of lust flow.

Modern day spirituality does not require withdrawing from the world, like spiritual communities of the past did (e. g. the Cathars in the caves of the Pyrenees). Tonne / Moore encourage us to make all the experiences that we need on our path, without any fear, without holding back …

Let experience unjudged be your teacher supreme,
in the mystical marriage of the king and his queen,
for devotion delivered from lust of result,
destroys the delusions of the personal cult.
And the seed of the apple, the snake gave the dove?
That was Shakti and Shiva, united in Love.

Now the fruit of the knowledge of good and ill was a necessary evil but a bitter sweet pill.
But the fruit of the tree of eternal life is the salve to alleviate a mortal strength …
See the kiss of the cobra both kills and cures, and the only defense is a heart that’s pure.
It’s a drug to unhinge the temple’s door, and the key to the kingdom where LOVE is the law.

The “mystical marriage” refers to a deeply spiritual event: the unification of spirit and soul, as in the true sense of alchemy. Love songs sometimes use worldly marriage / love as a symbol for this inner process.

The fall of man (“fruit of the knowledge of good and ill”) is seen in a matter-of-fact way, not something to be condemned now, but the start of a path of experience in the world of matter. Its effect can be undone; a pure heart is the key …

The word of sin is restriction, so give in
to a sacred addiction,
And get drunk on the wine of the light divine, so bright that it bites and burns your mind blind!

Divorced from mistaken identification..
To all but to Love and the grace of creation,
Witness each breath with dispassionate wonder,
at once here and now in the blissful blue yonder.
Honor the body as the bride and the king
and nurture the spark of desire within,
Let reason and passion be your left and your right,
no more divided than day is from night,
Then unite by your art, your head and your heart,
For emptiness ends when eternity starts…

The last verse contains a second reference to the tree of life:

Let go, and let rip, take a ride, take a trip!
Get to work, get to bed, get a life. Get a grip!
Take leave of your senses, your cunning pretenses,
Pick up your beds and tear down your defenses …
And retrace the course of the spring to its source …
In the time before mind, when God only knows,
In the garden of Eden,
Where the tree of life grows.

“Pick up your beds” may be a biblical reference to John 5:8 / Mark 2:11.

Tonnes guitar playing has been called magical, spiritual, uplifting, … and much more, e. g. by many commenters on Youtube. This can often be felt in the music alone, without words. I had the privilege of witnessing him live; both his music and words helped create an atmosphere of purity, like in a dedicated temple.

One example of a purely acoustic song is the Song of the Golden Dragon. The spectators are unusually silent during this street performance, barely daring to move:

What's your view?