The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Rhode Rachel: Rhode Rachel, age 29 — vocals, instruments, and production for psychedelic rock act Aura Blaze
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
RR: Nature has always possessed the ability to rouse within me a fire unlike any other. Just last week I ventured out alone into the wilderness and traversed nearly fifteen miles of hills, fields, and forests, returning again to civilization not as a weary wayfarer but rather a Thoreauvian prophet with a creative flame blazing anew. It would appear, based on my own experiences, that staying in shape is crucial to maintaining productivity and motivation. Physical activity increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain which in turn stimulates creativity. By partaking in activities that involve nature one is effectively channeling into himself the vibrant, healing energy inherent in such, not least allowing himself a requisite detox from the contrarily damaging attributes of technology — EMF currents and positive (charged) ions that we are constantly surrounded by in our “advanced” world.
While some would feel terribly out of place without a set of weights and the sterile atmosphere of an air-conditioned corporate gym, I would much rather disappear into the woods for a few hours and leave society far behind me.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
RR: The irony in balancing both creativity and professionalism is that the former will generate an enormous amount of ideas when left to its own devices but it is the professional’s job to then sort through those ideas and identify the ones that ought to be pursued.
I can recall plenty of examples from the past in which I attempted to follow through with just about every creative concept I came up with, only to find that I was spreading my talents to thin, as it were, at the cost of a seemingly lacking degree of professionalism across the gamut of my undertakings. I am not comfortable with this, and being someone who never settles for anything less than what I consider ideal, I have since adapted my approach in generating work by routinely focusing all of my creative energy on my strongest ideas. There is hardly enough time in the day is it is — why not spend it where it matters most?
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
RR: This question reminds me of an article I came across a few years ago concerning the various times of the morning, and in some cases the afternoon, in which famous authors arose to start their day. Although the physical sensations of such can at times be nothing short of agonizing, especially in the winter when the bed is warm and the rest of the house resembles Yuri Zhivago’s ice palace, I find myself aligning more closely with the habits of Kurt Vonnegut and Ernest Hemingway who woke at 6AM as opposed to, say, Charles Bukowski who regularly slept until noon. So, if I am not hung over and I am feeling up to it I will certainly endeavor to take advantage of the hypnopompic clarity of the dawn’s early light.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
RR: The recording process for the second Aura Blaze album is well underway and I am hoping to have a finished product ready for release by the end of 2016. In the short term I have a few cover songs I plan on releasing within the coming months as well as the instrumental versions to a few selections from the first album. I have received a number of inquiries from fans and listeners across the globe regarding my potential plans for releasing the Aura Blaze debut on vinyl and I intend to make this a reality as soon as the opportunity allows for it. There is also some exciting information concerning Aura Blaze and a prestigious record label which I am not quite at liberty to discuss at present. Indeed, the future is blazing bright.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
RR: Time is a commodity of which we could all use a little more and when I am utilizing mine creatively outside of music, I am often writing. I have two novels in progress along with a collection of poetry exploring my fascination with Beat generation free-verse.
In my experiences, a great deal of not only inspiration but stylistic development can spring from reading a variety of authors with unique and notably dissimilar voices. Kerouac has always been a favorite of mine. The fact that he penned On the Road in just three weeks, especially when considering how his words flow in an almost stream-of-consciousness meter, leads me to conjecture that he was tapping into a higher spiritual plane from which to translate into words the formless, ineffable notions swirling about his mind.
When I myself attempt to access a state of transcendence — the Sparkling Black, if you will — I seat myself at my desk, pipe at the ready, light a stick of Indian incense and drop the needle on The Great Bach Choruses performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Eugene Ormandy. It is a wonderful collection of some of J.S. Bach’s finest choral works and is highly conducive to the creative atmosphere.
TCU: What scares you?
RR: From a personal standpoint I am frightened by my lack of self-discipline and my propensity to succumb to distraction. It is something I am continually struggling with and working to amend in myself. The prospect of waking up one day and being eighty years old with nothing to show for it frightens me more, I suppose, so it helps to keep things in perspective by being grateful for my talents and utilizing them at every available opportunity.
On a macrocosmic and, dare I say, more holistically important level lies my vexation with the apathy of the general public in the face of an ever-hastening descent into tyranny. The world is on the brink of an irreversible Orwellian nightmare and we have what you would hope would be adults spellbound by things like Pokemon and Netflix. Now, let it be known that I hold no animosity towards leisure in and of itself; on the contrary I will be the first to admit that I enjoy and partake in it with a little too much enthusiasm at times which is why my struggle for self-control is one I take very seriously, but where I differ from most is in my conscious effort to maintain balance and to actively seek truth, and to do so with an open mind devoid of biases or preconceptions.
What I see in society is anything but balance and not only an unnatural disinterest in the truth behind world affairs but a keen aversion towards those who dare to question what passes for it. It is certainly an unpleasant feeling to have friends and acquaintances laugh and call you stupid for thinking for yourself — for daring to be different and for projecting your awareness beyond the walls of conditioned perception — but that comes with the territory as a rite of passage along the path towards enlightenment and so I take it in stride, wholeheartedly, quietly giving thanks for my spiritual evolution.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
RR: I see success as the simultaneous achievement of lucidity in its truest form and the adjustment of one’s course in the light of this heightened perspective. In short, success is attaining the wisdom to find happiness by living in the moment. The “space between thoughts,” as Eckhart Tolle puts it, is where the ego dissolves and the profundity of existence fills the meditant with euphoria. Success means letting go of every semblance of identity, thereby freeing the spirit into formless, infinite Consciousness. Success is seeing God in yourself, walking out into the world and seeing God in others and all around you, and undergoing the revelation that the divine force you have become perceptive of in all things is one and the same; success is going forth spreading happiness and love to all, and in the end, leaving the world in better condition than you found it.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
RR: Absolutely, yes. I would like to again stress the importance of open-mindedness because I believe the next phase of human evolution — and survival — will be stringently dependent upon it. It will play the most significant role in respect to communication: allowing for oneself the quiet attentiveness necessary for the full conveyance of a notion or idea from another individual while retaining an acute awareness of the machinations of one’s own mind in real-time, keeping in check the creeping of his innermost predispositions. At the highest level of this “conscious listening” is the rare wisdom of striving to unabashedly entertain the notions being introduced with the hopes of attaining insight into why the other individual thinks what they do, gleaning from the experience the empowerment of an expanded perspective. Only then can true progress be made.
As we are flushed deeper and deeper into the sewers of ignorance by a system designed to enslave us, the situation grows ever more dire and eventually progress will happen of its own accord and it will be drastic, as an animal backed into a corner will lash out in the most unexpected and violent of ways in a last-ditch effort for self-preservation.
I am beginning to develop a theory that anarchy is the only real answer to salvation for the human race. Traditionally, anarchy represents the complete obliteration of a governing structure from which the populace can then reclaim their otherwise trampled freedoms and individual liberties. It has always been the subject of debate, however, as many fail to consider the bigger picture, choosing rather to interpret pure and unstifled freedom as a Pandora’s box ultimately leading to chaos. I ask, then: from where do you suppose “order” originates? Is there not, as the scholars of science preach to us, an unquantifiable randomness inherent in quantum mechanics, a randomness that pervades our existence as flesh and blood humans in a vast and equally unquantifiable universe? Those connected to the IV of the mainstream science dogma might subscribe to the notion of a meaningless existence lacking in any sense of the divine while others who are a bit more open-minded, who have taken their power back and who think for themselves and who question the merit of the status quo will recognize that everything ultimately happens for a reason — an incredibly complex system of events and happenstances that we cannot quantify using the mere five senses at our disposal.
There is a higher order indeed, and where the majority tends to become lost in regards to their understanding of the nature of reality is in their inability to measure it. To do so would require an elusion of the human perspective — a liberation of one’s perception from within the human form, the mortal vessel, to a state of omni-consciousness beyond the five senses. It is pitiful and almost humorous to see scientists attempt to “prove” or “disprove” certain ideas based on measurements gathered within the narrow spectrum of what they as humans can perceive. In cases where they actually do admit that a particular study has yielded no conclusive results, they often have the audacity to peddle a proposal with an inclination in one direction or another, and the public, as they have been programmed to do by the control system that mainstream science is a party to, will exalt the “discovery” simply because it was proposed the the almighty science community. Such instances fly in the face of mainstream science’s penchant for ridiculing spirituality with a laughable level of hypocrisy.
Faith, humility, knowledge and wisdom are indeed synonymous. Until we can admit this to ourselves, we will never be able to enjoy all of them at once.
As for anarchism serving as our deliverance from destruction, I again point to the consideration that “order” cannot exist without “chaos” just as light holds distinction by means of the contrast between itself and darkness. Yes, there would undoubtedly be, I surmise, a period of what might appear as “chaos” during the transition period if you were to suddenly implement such a system (or anti-system, to wit) out of the blue today, but when the dust has settled, as it always does, I am confident that we will begin to see a natural order emerge in which our human needs are met with surprising comfort and the global imbalance plaguing society today due to rampant corruption and injustice is completely extirpated.
As the blazing spirit David Icke once famously said, “Infinite love is the only truth — everything else is illusion.” For all intents and purposes, indeed it is so.
If you want to learn more about Rhode or Aura Blaze, head to some of the sites below.