The Mysterious Life and Death of David Bowie


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April 8, 2016

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April 9, 2016
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The Mysterious Life
and Death of David Bowie

What Did David Bowie Believe
And Why All the Fuss About the Rock Star?

The Daily Walk with Miracles, updated April 9, 2016, by Paul Evans, Video courtesy of David Bowie Greatest Hits 2015, photo of David Bowie courtesy of Patheos. Photo of dappled forest sunshine courtesy of Skylar10. (BTW, I am in NO way any sort of witch, but a spiritualist charismatic Christian. “Judge not lest ye be judged, and in such a manner as ye judge others, so God will judge you.“)

I have this thing about David Bowie. It’s morbid. Yeah, if you’re a decent writer you can get rather creative about David Bowie. For example see David Bowie’s sex life bent the rules, too, New York Daily News, January 11, 2016, by Nicki Gosten: I won’t go into details, the poor man is dead (or is he?). Had you any idea that Bowie declined knighthood because he disapproved of the queen? Oh, there’s plenty of “weirdness” documented. Read Sixty things about David Bowie, BBC News, January 8, 2016, by Jody Thompson: “David Bowie was born David Robert Jones in Brixton, London, on 8 Jan 1947. He shares the same birthday as Elvis.” And listen to and read, if you will, all about an album of David Bowie’s, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, AllMusic.com, by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

Borrowing heavily from Marc Bolan’s glam rock and the future shock of A Clockwork Orange, David Bowie reached back to the heavy rock of ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ for ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.’ Constructed as a loose concept album about an androgynous alien rock star named Ziggy Stardust, the story falls apart quickly, yet Bowie’s fractured, paranoid lyrics are evocative of a decadent, decaying future, and the music echoes an apocalyptic, nuclear dread.

Um, there’s more, a LOT more. See David Bowie’s Best-Loved Characters: Ziggy Stardust to Goblin King, NBC news, January 11, 2016, by Alexander Smith, or an entire web site devoted to Bowie, DavidBowieNews, a WordPress site, ongoing. “Try it you’ll like it.” Weird? Yeah. But there’s so much more than weird to David Bowie. Even major religious leaders have belatedly recognized a certain value to his life, so I want to cover Bowie’s life in a positive way, and give the man the recognition he deserves.

Bowie, the Occult and the Masons

Almost the weirdest things about Bowie were his last recorded album and the fantastically artistic, almost esoteric way David Bowie died…. Or did he? See Pat Robertson (didn’t) suggest David Bowie wasn’t really dead, or that “demons kidnapped him to entertain them in Hell.”, Snopes.com, January 15, 2016, by Kim LaCapria. Whether Robertson did or not say that is controversial, but it is apparent that he said something close to that. But it’s a typical attitude by the 700 Club towards rock music in general, though, isn’t it? I’m just saying it’s an extreme statement towards a man who is heralded around the world for his contribution to music, if not to the cultural history of the times. Are all the awards and tributes the work of those “demons from hell”? What superstitious people don’t understand they usually fear or call evil.

Was David Bowie a witch? That’s just one thing we explore in this article, but it’s not something I find of over-riding importance in realizing his very real and true worth as an artist, a month after Bowie’s unfortunate death at age 69, of cancer.

David Bowie: Sex & the Church
OR
The Buddha of Suburbia

I want to honor a true hero who has passed on, dearly beloved rock star David Bowie. See David Bowie Dies at Age 69 After Battling Cancer, MSN, January 11, 2016, by Mike Barnes. If you’re interested in getting “near the edge” of metaphysical explorations in music, David Bowie’s your man. Some people loved him and sadly, some hated him, I guess. Hate has no place in a Christian’s life, seems to me. Regardless of the haters, those who are true ready to judge people and those intolerant of those who are “different,” a LOT of very thoughtful people think David Bowie was pretty cool. See Saint David Bowie? Not yet, but faith leaders pay respects to dead rocker, Religion News Service, January 11, 2016, by David Gibson. I will always love you and listen to your music, David. Check out David Bowie Greatest Hits [Full Album] || David Bowie’s 30 Biggest Songs, which has a lot of Bowie’s “stranger” music. Speaking of strange, read David Bowie: Mystic, Magician, Wizard, Shaman, Shape-Shifter, Pagan, God. Yes, David Bowie was kind of weird. But then, so are a LOT of rockers and at least David Bowie sounded great, made great explorations of the mystical and never descended into anything destructive or hateful in his writing. If you’re interested in exploring the connection between rock and roll music and the occult, or witchcraft, I would recommend reading Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, Tarcher/Penguin books, July 1, 2014, by Tarcher/Penguin.

Just a word about that word “occult.” It’s used for example to describe the Masons/Illumiati/Knight’s Templar and the stuff they picked up about ancient Egypt (and other “occult” knowledge they have and distribute in their own, stratifed way), even though I strongly believe they retain their Christianity. The Illuminati were formed as a reaction against evil they saw in the Catholic church of that time. One man’s “esoteric” is another man’s “occult.” The point is the word “occult” was used in Victorian times to describe secret knowledge, and this did NOT have the negative connotation it has today. Have the masons done evil things: yes, but to say the Masons are wholly evil is to say the whole history of the United States is evil, and that just ain’t so. Evil ends up infiltrating any organization of any size, over the decades and centuries, but don’t go panicking just because you find out about the extent of power of the Masons. It’s still a free country. Nobody’s making you join them. Essentially “occult” USED TO mean just some kind of knowledge that is secret or hidden. But of course when fundamentalists read the word “occult” they think “Satanic.” Not necessarily at all. And in the information age, it’s getting harder and harder to keep information secret. But there’s a lot of false crap floating around the internet.


Was Bowie weird and probably some kind of witch? Yes, judging from his music, but probably not evil, and certainly not wicked. David Bowie was one of the weirdest, most creative and most gifted men in rock history.

See How David Bowie Correctly Predicted the Future of the Internet 16 Years Ago, The Verge on Yahoo Tech, January 12, 2016, by Rich McCormick. Also see How David Bowie helped create the Yankees website, New York Daily News, January 12, 2016, by Anthony McCarron.

Was David Bowie a witch? Again, that’s not something I find of over-riding importance and I will always love Bowie’s music, but then I’m “mentally ill” (sanity is a mean statistical norm) and “different,” certainly, I admit. Patheos commented that:

The occult and magical imagery in his music, as well as his frequent mention of spirituality (although he has often been thought to be an atheist), made his music particularly meaningful and perhaps even formative to people who identify as pagan. But more significant than the power, wisdom and strangeness of his lyrics, Bowie personified a misfit of otherworldly dimension.

I guess one man’s “occult,” which is supposed to be a little evil, according to the censors and the religious right, is another man’s “esoteric.” If some knowledge is in some way secret or hard to find, do we have to use morally loaded words like “occult” to describe it?

David Bowie Lived Totally Originally
and Died Absolutely Uniquely

I believe that, to some extent, Bowie was also a bit “androgynous,” or at least that was within the repertoire of the personas he adopted at times. He really rocked, though, didn’t he? Bowie had his sexual identity and manliness perhaps challenged at times. He loved a woman who demanded that he be more “normal,” and so he quit his unusual rock niche and went into singing standards for a while. But what he did as he was in the end stages of dying of cancer was truly noteworthy, and hugely original too.

Patheos is a website which explores religious belief in an open way, without becoming doctrinaire, and lets its writers have a free hand. You can find a lot of different viewpoints expressed there, mostly of a religiously “liberal” (if you must) nature. They have a new article on Bowie’s death called In His Final Performance, David Bowie Embraced Death, Patheos, January 11, 2016, by Cody Ray Shafer. Anybody and everybody can just die. David Bowie did it right:

Blackstar is a “death obsessed treatise,” but precisely because he was preparing us for his departure. I think he had already accepted it. It was the rest of the world he was trying to prepare.

If you haven’t already, watch the video for “Lazarus,” also released mere days before he died. In it, a blindfolded Bowie (I’ve seen this character referred to as “the blind prophet,” though I don’t know where that comes from) lies in a bed, and occasionally levitates, while singing “Look up here, I’m in heaven/ I’ve got scars that can’t be seen/ I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen/Everybody knows me now.” Meanwhile, a menacing woman waves her hand ominously underneath the bed. Later, another Bowie, unblinded, dances in a uniquely Bowie fashion before sitting down, pen in hand, to scribble down some final message. He bites his nails before doing so, and darts his eyes around, wondering how to construct his final message. He finally goes for it, jotting it down furiously, writing off the paper and down the side of the desk. He stands, dances again, and retreats into the wardrobe behind him. The figure in the bed continues, “Oh I’ll be free/ Just like that bluebird/ Oh I’ll be free/ Ain’t that just like me.”

As it turns out, “Lazarus,” and Blackstar as a whole, was full of clues that this was Bowie’s final work. It has, naturally, completely altered my view of the record. As an album , it was brief, mysterious, and profound. But as a final act, a parting gift, it is so much more. David Bowie has taught us that embracing the unforgiving flow of time and death can be greeted with the same creative ingenuity as a new image….

Always a good bet is the Official David Bowie Facebook page. Highly recommended for David Bowie fans is From Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke: Remembering David Bowie, the chameleon of rock:

Just two days [after the release of his Blackstar CD] Bowie’s family made the shock announcement of his death via social media, revealing that the star had endured a secret 18-month battle with cancer.

Testament to his status as an entertainment legend, fans worldwide refused to accept the news, instead insisting it was a hoax, struggling to believe a star that had touched every musical generation since the 1960s could be gone.

Starting with “Space Oddity” in 1969, Bowie scored hit after hit over more than four decades, ranging from “Changes”, “Starman”, “The Jean Genie” (1972) and “Rebel Rebel” (1974) to “Heroes” (1977), “Ashes to Ashes” (1980) and 1981’s “Under Pressure.”

For a couple of great Bowie performances, check out David Bowie – Live by Request (Full Show) – HD, YouTube A&E music video — 1:34:07, or David Bowie Berlin 2002 — 1:07:06.

Let me make a minor apology to the “traditionalists” and more conventional among my readers. Writing about David Bowie honestly does not leave me a lot of leeway except to fully dive into the “weird” and “different,” does it? But I think Bowie would have wanted it this way.

The Light and the Darkness
the Yin-Yang and David Bowie and I

a dappled sunlit path through the woods

David had some interesting thoughts on dark and light, as do I, and he explored them a lot. His last album, published TWO DAYS before he died, again was called Blackstar [Explicit] (Amazon.com digital album download). They’re saying the album is going to number 1 on the U.S. charts. I believe that Bowie thought at least to some extent, as I do somewhat, that darkness, (or yin, the right brained, intuitive or feminine principle) was COMPLEMENTARY and NOT OPPOSITIONAL to the Light, or yang, the left-brained, masculine, logical principle. (You know, the “yin-yang”?) This complementarity is what is commonly believed in Eastern (Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist) thought. [Isn’t Satan supposed to be an “archangel” anyway, the “prince of darkness,” and couldn’t the darkness as used in the Bible be simply a metaphor for all that is evil or wrong, and not refer to the night? Satan most closely corresponds to TIME itself. Time does take its toll on everyone, does it not? Time is NOT dark matter (which is composed of the God particle, too), but there IS something in the very fabric of dark natter which DOES involve the space-time continuum. There is nothing evil in the night, per se. Yin and yang are conplementary, as in Buddhist, yoga, Hindu and Taoist thought. Many Christians believe that in the end, When Jesus comes again, time itself will end. This is one possibility which has strongly struck me. Don’t people simply do evil acts under cover of darkness and then blame it on Satan? In what sense is the physical darkness involved, necessarily? It has been my experience that evil comes at us equally, at all times of the day and night. Admittedly, the bars close at 2 and there are a lot more evil geeks up late. But that has nothing to do with night versus day, really.]

Personally, I am much more logical, or yang, and I am fascinated by manifestations of sunlight in natural settings. I am also fascinated by the use of light and shadow in Renaissance and later paintings, which is called “chiaroscuro.” I also like staying up at night, and I am intuitive (yin) in the sense of exploring my creativity in my blogging. Go, figure. NONE of this involves any evil on my part whatsoever, although I have run into a terrible amount of popular prejudice about it. If Bowie were shunned, as I am sure he must have been, by traditional elements in society, so have I been. God said to me about all this that I should “not expect fairness, but they should know that intentional injustice is to be avoided.” Well I am used to the injustice about my views, as I am sure Bowie must have been. David Bowie as my subject did give me an honor: to write a minor, proud tribute to this wonderful man. God Bless you David.

Watch MIX: David Bowie – I Can’t Give Everything Away, YouTube music video playlist — 25 videos.

♪ David Bowie Greatest Hits 2015 ♪

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