Thursday 02 December 2021

The Breakfasting Trough, Hotel Acceptable, Osaka.


Rising 06.50 and down to the trough.

For forty years within KC, on-the-road breakfasting time has been an opportunity for reflection on arisings, concern and points of interest. In this incarnation of KC, breakfast is also the time for setlisting.

Forty years ago this month, King Crimson’s first visit to Japan with the Discipline formation, breakfast-trough reflecting took place at the highly impressive buffet of the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo, with many tasty things of local and Western varieties. This morning, Hotel Acceptable in Osaka offers an entirely acceptable buffet.

Today’s arising reflective point: the seeming difficulty of asking questions, even burning questions, in such a way that an answer might be given without me having to climb over obstacles that the form of the question puts in the way. This is a recurrent difficulty. I am astonished how decent, intelligent posters seem unable to get themselves out of the way of their question (also questions purporting to be singular). That’s before we get to the intentionally rude, hostile (and occasionally creepy) quasi-enquiries.

Before we move from A to B, good to know that we are at A (Guitar Craft aphorism).

I am reminded of my long-term interest: I wish for us all that we see what we are - the mechanics of our behavior and interactions with others, belief systems, prejudices, and default operating strategy, or Blind Spot. (Before we get to this directly, a useful practical guide is to see ourselves as others see us).

Seeing what-we-are is the necessary beginning point for anyone who has an interest in (whatever we understand by) authenticity, the real world, intentional living. If I can’t see myself, I won’t see others. If we don’t see each other, we’re only people bumping into people. In a wider context, a lot may happen but little gets done. In the immediate moment of seeing what-we-are, a different part of us comes into play: who-we-are. Simply, who-we-are sees what-we-are. This is a considerable shift in how we experience ourselves.

It is not possible for the machine to see the machine. The operator has to step forward, see what is going on in the machine, and get operating. The operator is who-we-are, the spark within each of us that has access to what is real. What-we-are is the animal we inhabit (a living machine, then), a remarkable animal with remarkable possibilities, subject to the animal’s capacity to respond to direction. How does this animal accept direction? Through the development of a personal discipline / practice, where the different elements of who- and what-we-are speak to and co-operate with each other (as if) we were one harmonious and balanced whole.

If this resonates, as it did for me in 1974, and we seek to follow the injunction – know thyself - we may not like what we see. More of a shock even than this, when we see that we do not exist at all. Which, in itself, is one form of completion and so also a new beginning.

Setlisting ahead.