Yeah, there was something going on at the shows. I only saw them 6 times when Jerry was alive and once since, but one show in particular, Nov. 10, of '73 at Winterland, comes to mind.
I got in line at 7AM in the rain, which eventually stopped, but there were already 20 or so people there. They let us in at 4PM, show started at 7:30, played for 3 1/2 hours plus break time, plus at Winterland the stage was 4-5 feet above the floor so I'm standing up for the whole show, so it's a pretty long day.
But when I got out of the show I felt "energized" somehow. I smoked whatever pot was passed to me and drank some beer, but no chemicals, yet I stayed up until 3AM, no coffee, nothing, just this energy buzz. At the time I wrote it off as a "contact high" but something was definitely up.
I now believe that whatever it was came from interaction between the Dead and the crowd. The time I saw them without Jerry was in '04. I noticed that they didn't jam on their songs as much and no space (not at THAT show, anyway), but the crowd got into it the same way as before, lots of swells of applause with no pattern, neat atmosphere.
But I think the energy flowed from both directions; from the band to the crowd, back and forth for the whole show. The band lit the fuse, but without the crowd, THAT crowd, not the same effect. That line in 'The Music Never Stopped' comes to mind....while the music played the band, Lord, they're setting us on fire...the "music" is referring to the crowd.
I've seen other bands and gotten a good feeling, but nowhere near as consistently as the Dead. Something definitely was going on at their shows that seemed beyond the natural.
To me, "God", or "The Tao that can be named", or whatever you choose to call the higher energy of the universe is a VERB not a NOUN and that makes all the difference. Even the bible says the name of The Lord is "I am" - a process of being. When you see it like this, it is easy to see how religions are all talking about the same process, even using similar stories, when you see the content as symbolic. Unfortunately, many people that tie themselves to organized religions get so caught up in the content - man's interpretation of it all, that they exclude other perspectives and argue over details. To try to know the dynamics of such a huge force, we must listen to and respect the perspectives of others. It is like a hologram - the more points of light focused on the one truth, the more clearly we can see.
Knowing this, all ritual serves the same purpose, to connect us to a higher energy level, whatever you choose to call it. Going to a Grateful Dead show was spiritual in this sense. Energy came through the band, to us, and we increased it and gave it back, creating an energy loop that lifted ALL of us up - band members included - to a higher level. Spinning was one way to focus and build that energy, but there were others. When you consider the archetypal symbolism in the songs as well, there is no doubt that we created our own form of church, "living myth" as Joseph Campbell called it.
But that ability to connect to the flow of energy didn't end at shows. Showing thanks and connecting with the small but meaningful moments in life is another way we express our connection to the higher energy. When we come together to practice gratitude and ritual the energy increases.
It is important to me that we remember that a Grateful Dead show was more of an experience, often spiritual, than it was a concert, and we were lucky to have been able to participate in it. It connects us in an important way and we should remember and foster that connection.
I thought I might be the only Christian deadhead on the planet. Right now I look to God and the bible for spiritual truth and wisdom; I look to the Dead for entertainment. Sure I see parallels between the 2 sometimes, but the Dead never claimed to be God. God has never let me down, and, as entertainment, the Dead haven't either.
just came across this topic.what a way to end a beutiful day.i enjoyed reading what everyone posted,thank you all for sharing your truths ,your inner beings. when i was growing up
The Tao Te Ching...verse 71
up for a good dance!!your right hal,pop in a good show and all chores get done in harmony..i had the best time choppin wood today..it was all about crazy fingers and the tao of choppin wood!!
heres a goood one for all to ponder...
To know that you do not know is highest..
To not know,but think you know is flawed..
Only when one recognizes the fault as a fault,
can one be without fault..
Therefore the sages are without fault,
because they recognize the fault as a fault...
That is why they are without fault:D
have a grate day all!!and prosper!!.......--Moondrop
with her, she will come back, Hal. Paintedmandolin would join us too, am sure.
SunnyG-am dancin' now!
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live.
paintedmandolin - we have had some good talks over on this forum. I wonder where SuunyG has been. Did she just do the virtual Dead dance and move on the next virtual space?
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
i really didnt know this thread existed!..good to see you tigerlilly and hal!..sunny g mentioned something about that show at shorline..that was the first show of anykind that i had been to since 7 9 95..and sunny ,your so right about bieng right back home again!..even though it was different with joan oz and all..and that set was smokin with loose lucy, rubin and cherise and st steven and all..i really was in tears,because i was overwhelmed with the joy of letting my spirit surf with the music waves of the dead again..i was really speachless,so i just smiled the whole show through,and spun in circles...and all the family that showed up..jane and the cleanup crew was there,so i got my old job back,and we marched into the show just like we did years before,...and yes!!i got to somersalt down the hill at the end of the show!!hey now!..i knew right then i had to turn on,tune in,and drop out again!!then i went to prison pretty much after that,,but hey now, i didnt let that stop me,because i had a tv i bought for my cell..and once a month on pbs they hosted dead shows,for the fundraiser..and being the only deadhead there and whiteboy too (it was all mexican)so hey now!i told all the border brothers,hey jerry garcias on!!..they were like seemon!garcia!..i had a cell full of border brothers eatin chips and salsa,while i was educating them what hippies and deadheads are..and i tell ya..thats how i earned the nickname "loco blanco covaio"..i kinda liked it to tell you the truth...ok im babblin too much here...anyways,,ill post again soon on the subject at hand..i got carried away again:D...."somewhere in sanfrancisco on a back pourch in july,just lookin up at this cresent in the sky...in the sky --moondrop
''' NO JESUS, NO PEACE ''' ~~~ ''' KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE '''