RAPTURE The Rock & Roll Strategy of the Second Coming:
The Rock and Roll Strategy of the Second Coming and It's Dependence on The Transcendental Relationship of the Beauty and the Beast and It's Links to Universal Harmony Through the Use of Symbolic Interactionism in the Mass Media

     "She was old when the earth was young.   She stood atop Cemetary Ridge when Pickett made his charge,and she was there when the six hundred rode into the Valley of Death.  She was at Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius blew, and she was in the forests of Siberia when the comet hit.     She hunted elephant with Sealous and Buffalo with Cody, and she was there when the high wire broke beneath the Flying Wallendas.  She was at the Fall of Troy and the little bighorn, and she watched the matadors face the brave bulls in the bloodstained arenas of Madrid.     She was there when man went to the stars.  She saw the Battle of Spica and the seige of Serius V, and she sat in Jummy McSwain's corner the fateful night he fought Skullcracker Murchinson.  She rode the spaceways with the angel, and watched Billybuck Dancer die beneath the red Sun of a distant world, and stood beside Santiago when Johnny-One-Note gunned him down.    She has no name, no past, no present, no future.  She wears only black, and though she has been seen by many men, she is known to only a handful of them.  You'll see her - if you see her at all - just after you've taken your last breath.  Then before you exhale for the last time, she'll appear, silent and sad-eyed and beckon to you.   She is the Dark Lady and this is her story"  (Resnick 1-2).

                 WOMAN AND THE CISCO KID

              She was followed by the little child
                inside the man.             
              Her presence always made him feel a little older.                

              Pretending age as a cowboy senses balance,            
              Always reaching,                 
              Ever seeking,             
              Never seeing that his feet won't touch the ground.

              The directions never clear
                a roundabout way            
              Always somehow takes him where he wants to go.            
              A distant mission forever reminding him,            
              Still searching,          
              Now calling,                           

              Somehow falling, now he floats in the air.

              She watches him fly slowly through the sky,
                 liquid jade            
              Brings sparkling wings to help guide him to a jeweled place.            
              A space left ageless, like he, a corner of time.            
              Sometimes grasping,            
              Never holding,             
              Constantly hoping that time will let him slide.
     Although written by two different people, Mike Resnick and me, respectively, they tell the same story.  The characters are known by different names; Jesus and Mary, Beauty and the Beast, Winston and Julia, The Phantom and Christine, Romeo and Juliet.  We can. if looked at in a different light, take this interpretation all the way back to Genesis and use the knowledge to gain cosmic insight.  "Woman, in the picture language of mythology, represents the totality of what can be known.  The hero is the one who comes to know.  As he progresses in the slow initiation which is life, the form of the goddess undergoes for him a series of transformations.  She can never be greater than himself, though she can always promise more than he is yet capable of comprehending.  She lures, she guides, she bids him burst his fetters.  And if he can match her import, the two, the know-er and the known, will be released from every limitation.  Woman is the guide to the sublime act of sensuous adventure.  By deficient eyes she is reduced to inferior states; by the evil eye of ignorance she is spellbound to banality and ugliness.  But she is redeemed by the eyes of understanding.  The hero who can take her as she is, without undue commotion but with the kindness and assurance she requires, is potentially the king, the incarnate god, of her created world" (Campbell 40).  Over the centuries our ability to communicate has increased greatly since the visionary wanderers of  Jesus' days.  This time he's bad, he's nationwide.  Our sociological and psychological standards have made each of his descendants a vital part of this machine, Earth.  Which leads to my vision of the only possible outcome of all divine thought coupled with present technology, the birth of a network designed for the soul instead of the skin.  I haven't studied the myths of the bible, the Hermetic Writings,or even the  Kama Sutra very much in my lifetime, but I know enough about these legends that I feel its fair to surmise that these teachings have been centuries developing foundations.  When the foundation of a theory can be grasped, only then does the theory become plausible.  According to Joseph Campbell, "Being in touch with myth and mysticism is what binds us to the earth and one another."  Being in touch, what could that mean?  Looking to the millions of of heroes and heroines of literature and the arts, we can find long awaited answers.  When asked how some individuals have a sense of this even though it's not inherent in their culture, Mr.Campbell responded this way, "Well, I arrived at it by reading something that wasn't just sectarian in it's treatment of the spiritual.  I did comparative historical studies; comparative literature, comparative religions, comparative mythologies, and traveled around a bit and saw that one song is being sung in many different languages, that's what one finds out.  But few people get out of the bondage of their cultural environment.  Very few, it's amazing...the two - the hero and his ultimate god, the seeker and the found, are thus understood as the outside and the inside of a single, self-mirrored mystery, which is identical with the mystery of the (manifest) world" (Campbell 54).   Technology has empowered mass communication in many forms. Using the Shannon-Weaver model of the communication process, the message is encoded by its source and decoded by the reader, and it's apparent that feedback to it's source is the key to progress in the communication process.   The different mediums must reach many people, thus they require the use of technological devices, located between source and destination.  Who says what through which channel to whom?  Who knows?  There are competing technologies in Mass Communication, especially between the print and electronic media.   The Cone Effect applies equally to all media. Here, "real life" is the center and our perceived media reality is a selective process where we choose our media to create our own constructed media reality.  Tony Swartz, in his book, THE RESPONSIVE CHORD uses the resonate theory of communication to illustrate that there is a constant flow of energy from the sender to the receiver.  It is all one thing.  You are the beginning of the message and you are the ending of the message.  The media eye is a pretext of the known thing.  This philosophic endeavor of exploring the "Nature of Life".  We examine communication models for confirmation of our own "realities", 

     Print-books, magazines and newspapers-is an integral part of our world.  I could not name a single book that has had the greatest impact on my life.There are a few authors that I follow, a few subjects I can't resist learning more about, and every once in a while I will pick a book out of the blue that blows my mind.  The myths of our culture are a vital part of my character.  Books are all fun to decode, plus they are a permanent record of ideas.

     Warren Chappell said it best in his book, A SECRET HISTORY OF THE PRINTEDWORD, "It is possible that books as repositories of human experience and creativeness may be overshadowed, or in time, replaced, by microfilm, because of the requirements of space or research.  But, for an author, there can be no substitute for a well-designed, well-printed, and well-bound edition of his manuscript, that he can hold in his hands and see and feel as well as read...the feel and look of a good page is just as desirable in the twentieth-century as it was in the fifteenth (century)" (Chappell 241).  This book was written in the seventies, and is a relevant today as it was then and will continue to be, as some things are better delivered in print.  (The book is always better than the movie.)

     Although it has been said many times about books, I think that magazines must be the playgrounds of the mind.  Magazines are an entirely different format, and there is an abundance of them, on any subject that can be thought of.  Dependant upon advertising, magazines supply much more than entertainment or "beauty tips".  My favorite magazines, in no particular order are; Musician, Mirabella, Down East, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, just to name a few.  I subscribe to many.  They contribute to my artistic sense as well as provide much needed humor in low doses.  I like the ads, often more than the content of the mag.  Ads are usually photographs, and photos help us structure the world.  In a career such as mine, I like to keep up with the architecture of the different publications.  This does NOT limit me in my perceptions of the world.  If anything,it builds on them.  Magazines reflect the real values of our culture, producing and consuming, both of which I have become very proficient at doing.   Newspapers, on the other hand, serve an entirely different purpose, but not without the advertising.  There are different types of newspapers, just as there are various magazines.  There are Big City newspapers, serving and international market,and there are local newspapers, serving the local trades,  There are tabloids, (cheap sensationalized publications) and there are Street Sheets, serving the deep city folk.  All of it is news.  Some of it is news we can use.

     "If any messages come through the mists and mazes of history, it is that we should never underestimate the power and creative capacity of the human mind.  As long as the challenge is there, it is the eternal quest of the artist, scientist, or philosopher to envision the invisible, comprehend the incomprehensible, understand the unintelligible"(Campbell 381).

      Now, computers tell us, as related by Raja Flattery in THE JESUS INCIDENT, "There is a gateway to the imagination you must enter before you are conscious and the keys to the gates are symbols.  You can carry the idea through the gate...but you must carry the idea in symbols."  What Jesus had hoped for was a metamorphosis of nature, human and non-human,a transformation to the whole earthly form of existence.  Why would his hopes be any different today?  And are we ready?  The best answer to this question was in the TIME-OUT column of the Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), written by my friend, Jim Lewis, "As I walked out of the store, I could feel the Yuppie staring at me.  I wondered if I did the right thing.  Was it silly to buy a pair of fuzzy-dice?  Was it too impulsive?  In the hallway, the splashing water in the fountains seemed to make a  clapping sound, while the plants, stirred by the manufactured air, seemed to nod, "Yes".

     It has been said that the Great Secret, the only secret, is that all things are secret (Maeterlinck xii).  The evolution of consciousness has awakened the divine dream.  The bridge between consciousness and creationism has been gapped.  The outcome of centuries of written recorded video-taped information, rich with introspection, is a fountain of knowledge, to be plotted and mapped, in order to discover your own way of interpreting the Great Secret.  The great divide has been bridged by religious teachers, great thinkers...scores of humans dedicated to the search.

     The creation of the collective consciousness of modern culture started with the invention of film.  When Edison filmed FRED OTT'S SNEEZE, who knew that film would develop into one of the most ambitious businesses in the world?  Movies are moneymakers and myth makers.  If the culture is healthy, the theaters will be healthy.  Mythologies bind us together as a civilization.  Movies fit a diverse and eclectic society like ours.  They reflect values, dreams, and the forbidden.  Celebrities fill our need for royalty and heroes.  Our society is about POWER, and the image IS the power and it sometimes reflects the power we can't have. The images do empower the viewer though, and there is control in the visualization process.

     In this generation the disembodied voice is the norm.  In film, you can also disembody the person from time and space.  In his book, COSMIC TRIGGER, Robert Anton Wilson said, "Star Trek is a better guide to the emerging reality than the New York Review of Books" (Wilson 209).  On the other side of the proverbial coin, THE BIBLE SPEAKS TO YOU says "Mystery may, in fact, be the gateway to a deeper understanding of life than would be possible without the element of mystery" (Brown 307).

     Mystery is evident on the radio.  Radio creates a passive audience and it has no natural feedback.  Talk Radio does, but what about Alternative, Classic, County, Jazz, and Hard Rock stations.  Listen to them.  They are all saying the same thing.  Music, most notably, rock and roll, is as important today as the Gregorian Chants were to the Dark Ages.  Shaping and focusing generations of humans has been a historical process that volumes of writings and scores of music has documented.  Many people, as children, found their first sense of belonging with the radio, and they grew up with it growing stronger every day.  However, I see a loose thread that few have attempted to weave into the mystery of the musical experience. 

     "Jesus has left the safe harbor of hymns and gospel songs to walk across the turbulent waters of rock and roll" (Huffman 58).  Do you ever wonder HOW Jesus is going to get here this time?  I do.  I was talking with a friend of mine about the Second Coming, and I asked her, "How do you think Jesus will appear?", and she proceeded to tell me about trumpets sounding, the heavens opening up, and Jesus appearing like a thunderbolt.  It just so happens, in my dream, Krimpets are appearing, there's trouble in Paradise, and I saw Jesus hiding in a yellow Volkswagen.  Remember that commercial?

      Rock and Roll IS coming of age.  Peter Gabriel and David Bowie are just two of the individuals who are in their forties who are making the loudest noises in the recording industry.  They understand the compositions of music and lyrics that are in synch with the mystery of rock and roll.  It is not a mystery why so many people live inthe world of rock and roll with an almost biblical faith toward the music.  It leads to a fuller understand to the meaning of life, and "Jesus Christ is the 'clue' to the meaning of life" (Brown 309).

     "Two major developments...have transformed the media in the twentieth century.  One is the triumph of the technological society and the resulting institutionalizing of the means of communication.  The other is the rapid rise of radio and television to a position of dominance over the other media" (Tebble 323). Television has gained control of a grand portion of the daily thought processes of many Americans.  At any given moment you can turn on the television and hear (or not hear) thought control taking place.  Not only in the sub-conscious advertising motives, but in the shows that are most popular to the public mind sphere.  It's downright frightening to me.  "No other medium has so influenced American life as broadcasting, in little more than half a century, and since its audiences are far larger than those enjoyed by any other media, embracing nearly all of the population, it has raised profound social, political, and cultural questions" (Tebbell 355).  Television and radio was once thought to be a uniting force for the people, "when in fact, it has splintered them beyond any real hope of unification"  (355).  "One must remember that 95% of American homes now have television sets, and the people in those homes watch them several hours a day" (373).  Not me, I don't have the patience to sit and watch artificial life.  I'd rather watch The Big Picture, which encompasses everything, everywhere, all the time.

     We (humankind) come from a place far from here.  This planet has become a "land of confusion" and it is time to prepare the not so future generations for a move.  It has been made clear to me that I am to influence potential "voices" with my knowledge.  When I first began to "break on through to the other side" I was instructed to study two great mythologies, the Bible and Star Trek, and to combine the info.  This was a Godsend, as I am able to use one of two primary approaches in my instructions, either Religion or Technology.  Yes, this IS the Second Coming; the Exodus HAS begun.  Help me let my people go.  Believe it or not, the American dream is to rock and roll away the stone.  You hear, smell, think, and sing it every day.  Where do we go from here, sweet children of mine?

     And, YES, it does have a basic theme; TIME.  History repeating itself is a bunch of bunk.  We happened first, NOW.  Every single printed word or man-made visual image ever created, from the beginning of time, relates to, or is allegory for what is going on right here, right now.  The late great secret of time travel is the power of sight and sound.  If all that remains is the NOW, does that mean it's already too late for a second coming?  Has it already happened in the now of the past, is it hidden in the now of the present, or is it looming on the now of tomorrow?  I think he's already here, hiding out.  Maybe he's afraid we'll kill him again.  Maybe this time he wants us all to be ready for what his appearance truly means in this day and age.

     The signs are all here.  For eyes and ears to decipher in their own ways.  From SPORTING NEWS to WOMAN'S WEAR DAILY, if you know the alphabet the range of data is overwhelming.  Roger Rabbit, eat my dust.  You will never see this story on the front page of your local paper.  It is too tragic to be entertaining, too true to be told.  Remember Orson? Yes, it could show up in the WEEKEND section of the NEW YORK TIMES, where fiction and reality are blended.  The movies, the comics, the music, that's where you will see it, if you see it at all.  Because the resurrection cannot be rationally explained, it must be told in symbols, codes, second sight, and most importantly "reading between the lines".  The great secret is being shouted from the mountains, the rooftops, and the highways.  It has been exposed to many, understood by few, and known to one.  It is within reach.  "The Unknown Man", "The Stranger", "the collective consciousness"' is the force of the world.  Tapping in is a cinch.  Nirvana awaits.  All the cliches of the world apply here.  Being "born again"in the "new age" can be a reality for seekers.  Finally, religion will walk hand in hand with technology.  It has always been a "matter of time".  When will we know, where does the sidewalk end, and how will we deal with the answers when they are staring us in the face?  Do the majority of us believe in the concept of enlightenment and is it possible for everyone, or just the chosen few? (10,583)

     This is my next step.  The cover of a recent FINANCIAL WORLD magazine said, "Intelligent telecommunications is the single most powerful competitive tool available in today's expanding global market."  I have no where left to go.  Again Mike Resnick asks, "WHO IS THE DARK LADY? Her portraits span the course of human history, yet she remains forever young, forever seeking...an enigma of the eternal night, she calls men to their great deeds...and to their deaths.  Not only humans hear her sirens song to the alien art historian, Leonardo.  The Dark Lady is much more than a haunting specter- she is the key to his salvation.  He will risk much to unravel the mystery of this most compelling phantom, but the Dark Lady guards her secrets well" (Resnick X).

     In a study of the possibilities for communication throughout the universe, it has been thought that an extraterrestrial message will be much more like a discipline of learned study than like a series of headlines.  Owing to the fact that pathfinders in the past have been religious teachers, it should not be surprising that a prophet holds the keys to the doors to the universe.

"Stay awake", he said, "that's all.
"The DJ wants to be a story
And she wants to be a star.
They sing in their glory
While she writes in her car.

 "Excuse me while I kiss the sky."
A hush surrounds my ears,
Emptying waves into the canyon.
The rage of the dead clown
Causes me to whisper and cry.

"My name is Luka.
I live on the second floor.
I live upstairs from you.
Yes, I think you've seen me before."
  -Suzanne Vega

Works Cited

Brown, Robert McAfee.  The Bible Speaks to You.
         Phils: Westminster, 1975.

Campbell, Joseph.  The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
          NJ: Princeton, 1968.

Chappell, Warren.  A Short History of the Printed Word,
           NY: Knopf, 1970.

Herbert, Frank and Ransome, Bill.  The Jesus Incident.
            NY: Berkley, 1979.

 Huffman, Eddie.  "Jesus is Everywhere - The King of Rock and Roll."
            OPTION Oct. 1991: 58+.

Lewis, Jim.  "Time-Out".
             The Patriot 24 Oct 1987: B3.

Maeterlinck, Maurice.  The Great Secret.
              NY: University, 1969.

Resnick, Mike.  The Dark Lady: A Romance of the Far Future.
               NY: Doherty, 1987
Tebbel, John.  The Media in America.
               NY: Crowell, 1974.

Wilson, Robert Anton.  Cosmic Trigger.
               AZ: Falcon, 1977.
(Reprinted with permission from the author.)

Quotes from Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix graciously,
                Came naturally.

 (C) Donna Surles 1991-2010-2016