Eternal Sleep: Indulging Loneliness and Developing Self Love / by Sam Abelow

Often we hear: “You have to go into yourself.” This new age phrase touches on the history of mysticism and contemporary psychology in which contemplation and self-reflection is essential. While, it can be easy to romanticize “going inwards,” in practice a prolonged solipsism is often painful. 

This pain is the beginning of a process. It is a necessary stage of purification. This is referred to as tapas (meaning “heat” in Sanskrit) in Yoga. It is also known as Nigredo (meaning “the darkening”) in European alchemy.

My song “Eternal Sleep” is steeped in the quiet loneliness of this antiquated and strange monk-like existence. I sing, “The world is passing by like I’ve lived 1,000 lives.” Despite recognizing that the only way out was in, the only way to light was through the dark, the only way to happiness was through intense sadness, watching the world go on without me was at times excruciating.

I wrote this song during a time in my life when I couldn’t deal with the realities of the mundane world. My spirit flung high into rich fantasies and dreams. Because of this, my daily life lacked true direction and responsibility. This sort of detachment entailed lack in many areas, including romance and love.

So the song expresses the underlying pain felt from these lacks. And yet the recording and painting glorify the experience in a strange way,  rendering it for others to see.

I share this you from a much different place in my life, and you may be in a different place within yourself too. Regardless, we all experience loneliness, as we come into the world and leave the world alone. Hopefully in the process we find someone we enjoying spending time with. This song expresses the deep need we all have to share life with another.

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