Saturday, July 26, 2014

My God...or how Jethro Tull Saved Me

The church I attended as a child voted, as if they needed to vote on this topic, as to whether African Americans could walk in their doors to worship God. The vote was no to "Negroes."

This almost completely killed any hope that I would believe in God. But I did not equate ignorance with belief in God, thankfully, and this was almost entirely due to Jethro Tull, or more properly Ian Anderson.

Aqualung / My God, how I like to refer to the album, gave me a way to be angry yet think of God in a more dynamic way. I was no longer constrained by necessity to believe any human being to be right about God. I only needed to follow my intuition, my beliefs, my own carefully considered and studied ideas. There really need be no formal God, as a fully and correctly explained concept, for me to have an intuitive belief that I am not all important ... even though I had only experienced life from my own point of view and had no objective way to prove through my senses that I was not the totality of existence itself. I certainly believed by this time in the fallibility of churches and also of myself. I felt that I needed a belief that did not place man or myself at the center of the universe. The line "You are the god of everything, He's inside you and me" is sort of the Zen 公案 (kōan) of this song, though most of the songs have this same kind of provocation and invitation to think, to doubt, to explore.

I have posted this song and other songs from the "My God" side of the album on my blogs and on Facebook multiple times. These songs remain highly important to me in a personal way... and now this one is here posted.

I owe to Ian Anderson the appreciation of the beauty, importance, and wonder of insolence.