KT EMMERSON: What the Hell is Numinosity and How Can I Find Some? + heavy dose of Tycho
The article comes courtesy of Kt Emmerson’s BEDBUGS AND BALLYHOO.
by Kt Emmerson
The Dance Floor is for Poets
I’m not exactly sure what numinosity is, but I know it when I see it, ’em hear it? or experience it? Oh, you know what I mean!
It’s one of those things you just know you know, you know? Do you remember when you were 3 Stoli-and-cranberries in, the night was endless, excitement and youth pulsed with the beat and that one song came on? Maybe it was But Not Tonight from Depeche Mode (a song frequently playing in my dreams…speaking of the numinous), or something darker, The Mission UK, or Killing Joke. Goth loves the numinous. You were floating, mind and heart united, and didn’t care if the nuclear apocalypse was imminent. Ever had that? What C. G. Jung, borrowing from Rudolf Otto, described as,
“…religious quality, suggesting the presence of a divine power. “
It seems to me that the younger set tends to experience the numinous phenomenon more often, maybe because every event, place, experience is new, and novelty breeds the sacred. Even though we call every new generation on the scene a bunch of cynics, they are still wide open to beauty.
I don’t fault mid-lifers, like myself, for loosing our numinous mojo. Someone had to pay the mortgage, quit smoking when they got pregnant, put their dreams in a drawer like Mr. Darling.
We can’t all be Peter Pan. Sadly, something happens along that track in life. It’s nearly impossible to attract the numinous anymore or to even value it. It’s only the saints who can see the transcendence of loading the dishwasher. I reckon that’s what a midlife crisis is all about. Jung was right, we’ve forgotten the healing power of the sacred, and that brings me to a very valuable psychological medicine. Soon you’ll be back reading your William Blake…
To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour.
I suggest a heavy dose of Tycho, or to drop his handle, Scott Hansen. A wizard, or Reverend if you’re of that persuasion, of retro synth, ambient progressive compositions. He’s created a stockpile of glorious albums, each an anthem to the sublime. I’m selecting only the highly aromatic herbal healing waves of a few numbers to put you at the edge of the abyss, as a starter pack. Or, just to make the humdrum laundry a bit more lovely.
- “Dive”, is a hallelujah of ambient richness. So many places to voyage in this eight-minute song. If you see Siddhartha there, give him a wink from me.
- “Awake” has a sublime intro reminiscent of Joy Division. And if visions of Ian Curtis don’t jolt you back to your own magical transcendence, well, you must be a robot, stick to Kraftwerk
- “Jetty” giant trance tune invoking exotic experimental sounds (remember when DM used to do that?).
Your neurotransmitters will be working at full capacity if you maximize the experience with a bit of nature or a dark dance floor.
“sweeping like a gentle tide pervading the mind with a tranquil mood of deepest worship…hushed, trembling, and speechless humility of the creature in the presence of—” Rudolf Otto
“There is a place where the sidewalk ends And before the street begins,” – Shel Silverstein